BismIllahir Rahmanir Raheem
I crouch lower into to the seat that they have strapped me into. They’re coming at me with the “Drill”… Imagine your head been dunked under water and someone electrocuting you at the same time with a 100 volts…you will come something close to the pain of what they were about to do to me.
This was special treatment.
Welcome to Guantanamo Bay folks.
I’m strapped so tight that I cannot move even an inch. They’re punishing me because I was on hunger strike since they banned me from reading salaah with jamaah. As if that was terrorist activity.
For goodness sake,we were all in separate cages.
Caged like animals, heads shoved onto the sand by burly American guards with crew cuts. The face of “democracy.” In our filthy orange jumpsuits, blistering in the heat of the Cuban sun till our skin peeled and you saw the weeping pinkness of our raw flesh which they poured a chemical over…when they got super sadistic.
Yesterday they force fed me. They held me down and forced a tube up my nose till it went down my throat and into my stomach. The pain of the unnatural intrusion…how do I ever describe it to you? They laughed at my silent tears. But I will not scream…I will not utter a sound…I won’t give them that pleasure.
Do you know why they hate me so? Because I am Muslim, because I have a beard, because I “dared” fight in Jihaad when they declared war on my religion and home.
“And what their hearts conceal is more intense.” (hatred)
In my head, I keep reading “Allahu Waliyul lazeena Amaanu” and I feel a strength from somewhere deep inside me. “Allah is the Close Friend of those who have firm faith.”
I have learnt a technique. I shut my eyes and send my mind elsewhere. To good, better and happier places and times.
I picture my cousin Aslam and I outside my Grandfather’s house in the summer …in the beautiful Afghan summer. We were around 10 and 8.
“Umair Jaan! Come up here! I feel like the king of Paghman! Or at least the captain of a ship…come ,come.” Aslam said pulling me up the huge Acacia tree.
I placed my foot on the steady branch that stretched out like a giant hand. “If Baba catches us up here, we’re in for it!”
“You know Baba, he’ll scold us and then hug us.” He smiled at me.
I looked around me…the lush green hills in the distance…the rippling little stream nearby… this was the life. I sighed in contentment. “ I feel like I can do anything… You be captain and I’ll be a soldier who is going to conquer the world!” I said
We heard Baba open the door into the back garden where the Jasmine flowers scented the air. Aslam hopped down nimbly. “Last one into the stream is a bowl of yucky shorwa,soup!” He declared as he ran off…I jumped down onto my haunches and took after him ,laughing . No way was I going to be yucky shorwa. Sometimes it seemed like my childhood holidays was one long sunny afternoon full of utter contentment.
‘Umair Rayhaan Jal!’ The military voice hissed into my ears. “You will eat or you will follow in the footsteps of Zahir Ghuraib.”
I clenched my teeth as the pulled my hands and twisted it. In my mind, I willed myself into calmness and read Salawaat on my beloved SAW.
They look at us with such disdain
Sending salaam on your name
Do I feel release from this prison of my untold pain
Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam
Another Jum’ah was going to go without me being able to perform a proper Jum’ah, apply surmah or itr,take a ghusal,dress up in my kurta or go to the Musjid early so I could get extra sawaab,to make wudhu using a miswaak so I could get more value in my salaah and 70 different benefits … They thought I cried out of pain…but my pain was the inability to practice my Deen and the sunnah.
Why don’t we value our freedom as freedom to worship Allah as best as we can?
I escaped into another happy thought.
It was when Sulaiman was born…and Rumaisah,my wife holding our first born and smiling up at me. She looked so tired and happy. She was never more beautiful to me than at that moment with her hazel eyes, smudged by sleepless nights. I held them both. We were now no longer just a couple,but Sulaiman’s arrival made us a family. As we gazed at him, he curled his tiny,precious hand around my finger. I thought my heart would burst. “ Rumaisah, you’ve got competition for my heart.” I jokingly smiled at her.
I couldn’t wait to introduce Sulaiman to my friend in America, Victor Smith. I remembered us sitting under the tree of our childhood afternoons, with my grandfather making zikr and the utter peacefulness that radiated off him. Victor was spellbound.
Suddenly I was jolted back to the present as they ripped the straps of my arms and threw me onto the floor.
‘We’ve got some news for you dog.”
To be continued…
Revive the sunnahs of Jumah-
Dress up the sunnah way for Jum’ah day.