After offering the Fajr prayers on the third day of the Ramadhan. I went to my room to catch some sleep before going to university. I closed my eyes. The sleep took time to take me away. It did finally.
I was in a dream.
I had arrived in war-torn Syria. I was scaling the mountains and the forests in search of a rebel group. I had come to fight with the rebels. Hiking down from the hill in the dense forest, I finally met a rebel group. It was a splinter group not more than 5-7 people. I took up the Bazooka which was lying on the ground, it was not heavy. I felt as if I had got a new life something which I could have proud of on the day of judgement.
We joined the main group after some kilometres of walking. The smell in the air was bloody. Dead bodies were lying on the either sides of the streets. Little children, youth, women and men had been slayed in the war. The graves had filled themselves with mortal remains of the immortals. The ground that I walked on, felt moving. It felt like there were people underground, they were screaming and cheering the fighters on.
Wishing and praying that this bloodshed end, we entered the camp. There were a lot of foreign fighters, it was like help had descended on Syrian people like it came to Bosnia in the 1990s.
The plan was laid out, I was given a role. I was the Sniper.
We were commanded to leave to fight. I was excited and at the same time I was scared. The thought of being dead and not living was a little mind numbing. I had thoughts that told me to leave. But I asked myself, what would I answer the almighty on the day of judgement? How would I think of myself when my mortal body would have been buried? Wasn’t dying from a bullet better than dying from old age disease?
Gathering courage, I chose to fight. I told myself, I am not waking from this dream.
We neared the enemy lines. Bullets roared in the sky, the sounds of “Allahu Akbar” reverberated in the air. I took a place behind a boulder. Adjusting the position of the rifle on the rock. I took aim. Breathing on my fingers. My heart was in my mouth.
I took aim and looked towards a guy. He was tall. As I was about to take a shot, everything around me was silent. Like it was him and me and nobody else around. The noise was absent. For a moment when my eyes had frozen on his movements, I thought I knew him. I had seen him somewhere beating up women in the streets of Srinagar. I had seen him raping maidens in their homes while their mother heard the shrieking cries. I had seen him blowing up a six month old baby to smithereens in Islamabad. I had seen him splitting the legs of a young boy. I had seen him torture an old man who had asked him to stop killing.
My eyes began to hurt. I had rage in my heart. I wanted to kill him more than before. My finger had begun to sweat on the trigger. I pressed my finger slowly. La Ila Ha Ilal Lah.
“Zooom”. The bullet broke the layers of air. It hit the man on his head. He fell down.
I was shaken to the very core of my soul. How could one human kill another human? Doesn’t everybody deserve to live for another day?
But when some humans turn savages and oppress other humans in the cruel manner. When the oppressed human raises his hand towards the Almighty and asks “Oh lord, send us a protector to save us from this oppression”. Then those savages meet these protectors, the defenders and the aspiring martyrs.
In that moment of truth. I remembered how my brothers were killed in my homeland in massacres, in funerals even in parks.
The rage had overwhelmed me. I was screaming. I started shooting. La ila ha ilal Lah. I had taken down many. Somebody took the sniper from me. I still remained in the same position. My screaming had turned into crying.
I don’t remember what happened next. I found myself running near a river, the women were wailing over the dead. Some women had taken up arms to defend themselves.
“Run, save your lives, the army is coming” screamed an old woman.
Me and my friend ran. I paused in my mind. Still not gathering why I was running?. “Why are we running?” I asked my friend. He replied, “Save your life now, we can come back fight again”. I ran with him while the sounds of tanks was nearing us. I jumped into the stream nearby. The last touch of water I could have, my feet weren’t numb from the icy water. I kept running.
I woke up in sweat. I had seen my dream. Thinking what would have happened next, I tried to close my eyes once again. It wasn’t there.