My last blog post expressed my frustration about understanding humans and their motives. With this short story I strive to comprehend what it is that makes us what we are...
"Here son, a Porsche for your 18th birthday. Isn’t it great?"
"Thanks Dad! This is the ultimate gift in the world."
"Well, can I take it for a spin, with my friends?"
"Yes, of course son. It’s yours, you can do whatever you want with it."
"Bye Dad, will I see you and mom for dinner tonight?"
"No son, I am off on a business trip to Prague and I am sorry but I don’t know what your mother’s plans are."
"Ok Dad. I am off. Bye!"
That’s how it had always been for Rashid. His parents never had time for him. His Dad was a jet setting billionaire million times over and it was always business for him. He took out time but only for himself and of course with other women. While his mom had tried at first to be a good wife and mom, she had given up a long time ago. His parents barely acknowledged each other’s existence. His mother kept herself occupied as a socialite and party girl who never had time for her only son.
He enjoyed all the benefits of being rich, not that he didn’t but as he grew up the world had taught him to be detached from all the trappings of a family life. Rashid had no expectations, all he knew was that he existed one birthday to another, when his father gifted him these fabulous presents to make up for not ever being there. His parents competed with each other about who gave him the best gifts. But today his Mom had been missing since morning.
He had friends, loads of them actually. But inside he knew they were a part of his life for the money he could spend on drugs and booze and the parties he could arrange with all the money he had. He had no goal, no ambition, just himself, trying his best to exist as a normal teenager.
But today was going to be different. He had not lied to his father, he was meeting his friends but before that he had to meet someone else. He was going to meet his friends, but he was going to meet Abdul Raheem first. Thinking of Abdul put a smile on his face. Abdul had shown him the way, he had given Rashid a goal in life. He would prove to everyone that he too could do something in life and get out of his father’s shadow. And then maybe just maybe his parents would notice him. He had everything in life yet he craved for that one moment when he would leave his mark in the world.
He wasn’t scared, he knew this is what he was born for. It was in a café that he had first felt the call of Allah. Abdul was talking to a friend. “Allah is the light that will lead you to peace, tranquillity and serenity,” he was telling his friend. Rashid wasn’t a religious person. His family didn’t have time for religion or its teachings. But something in Abdul’s voice and words spread warmth and a sense of calmness in his whole body. He had never felt like this before. Even cocaine had never given him this kind of a rush ever.
Abdul was glancing at him, looking at the boy who kept staring at him with these sad little eyes. Abdul smiled and he and his friend walked over to him. That was just the beginning of a friendship and connection Rashid had craved for all his life. Allah had given him a sign and Abdul was his messenger.
"The West needs to be taught a lesson. They are sinners who are now corrupting our world. Allah is with us. We have to honour him and his teachings. We have been taught to strive and struggle for improvement as well as fight back to defend one's self, honour, assets and homeland. That Rashid is Jihad, the fight against evil, internal or external."
He smiled to himself as he realised today was his day, the day he would officially be a soldier in the Army of God. Abdul was waiting for him at the warehouse. He drove into the warehouse in his birthday gift. As he got out of the car, Abdul smiled and said “today you are a true Muslim, Allah wants you with him in this war. Martyrdom will take you to Allah and harmony and tranquillity will be yours at last.”
Rashid was captivated at the sight of the jacket that Abdul was strapping him into while he had been speaking. He handed a remote control to him and said…"If they seek peace, then seek you peace and trust in God for He is the Hearer, the Knower." [Noble Quran 8:61]
Rashid smiled back, got into his brand new Porsche and drove off to the mall where his friends were waiting for him for he had invited them there for a birthday treat. Allah was waiting for him and he knew what he had to do to people who didn’t believe in him and opposed him. He parked his car and walked into the mall filled with thousands of shoppers, people who had been led astray and had to be shown the true path which would lead them to Allah.
He walked to where his friends were waiting for him, waving to him when they saw him coming towards them. He waved back and then put his hand in his pocket. He took out the remote control and pressed the button, with a smile on his face, with a calmness he had never felt before, with no dread. He could see Allah beckoning him…