Two weeks later, I was lying on the bed with the other kids and Sheik Khalid came into the room and touched me. “Why are you not sleeping? He asked me in a muddled voice. I told him that I will never have a good night rest until I have succeeded in killing those people that are responsible for my parent’s death.
“I understand what is wrong in your heart. I have something to tell you about how we will be killing those wicked people and that is why I am here,” the Sheik said and then he ordered me to follow him.
We had barely come out from the room before he started talking.
“Those people that killed your parents might not be alive when you will finally be ready to take your revenge.”
I was so shocked by his statement and I did not allow him to continue talking because I wanted to ask him what he meant.
“Would my revenge take that long to start?” My mind was asking me.
“If those people are no longer alive then how will I be taking my revenge?” I threw at the Sheik.
“You will kill their fathers, their mothers, their brothers and sisters, their uncles and aunties, their relatives and friends. You will kill all the people that are related to them. You will kill people that make them happy. If you can kill all these people that I just mentioned now, you will indirectly be killing them and you will actually be taking your revenge. Remember they killed your own relatives too. Do you now understand me?” The sheik asked me and I nodded my head in affirmative.
“Good my boy. I want you to go back to your room and have a good sleep. Relax your mind because you will be killing all the relatives of the people that killed your father,” Sheik Khalid had said to me. I came back to the room and climbed my bed. Before I could even have the time to think of the discussion I had with Sheik Khalid, it was already morning and the call to the morning prayers by the Ladan had already woke me up.
“Humnnn! Humnnn!! Humnnn!!!” Zuliya exclaimed in pain consecutively as she was shaking her head.
“This is very bad; can you now see how he was gradually manipulating your life from childhood? I don’t blame you for falling into that trap. You were only a child then and you were also blinded by hatred. If only there was somebody at that time to tell you the story of Adam’s two sons in Quran 5 Vs 27-30; where one of son’s killed his brother and Allah cursed him. I know that the Sheik would not have the time to be telling you about good stories to teach you good morals because it will prevent him from turning you into Ahmad The Terrorist. In verse 32 of Quran chapter 5, Allah stated that whoever that kills a soul, it is as if that person has killed the entire mankind. Also in Verse 29 of that same chapter 5 of the Quran, Allah stated that when you kill someone you have inherited the person’s entire sin. I don’t want it to look like I’m judging you but I will not be wrong if I say that you have inherited plenty of sins committed by the people that you and your sect have succeeded in killing. Allah can still forgive you if you repent because he is the Almighty forgiver. You don’t know how many sinners are on this plane, so if you kill them you will inherit their sins. Allah stated clearly in Quran 4 Vs 29 that we should not kill ourselves.
“According to the story from the bible on Adam’s two sons in the book of Genesis 4 Vs 4-15, after one of the brothers killed his other brother; God punished him and also placed a curse on his head that whosoever that kills him with inherit his curse sevenfold.”
Ahamd was not surprised that Zuliya was also quoting the scriptures because Zuliya had told him before that she is a Chrislam and he understood it to be somebody that has vast knowledge of both Christianity and Islamic religion.
“May Almighty Allah forgive all your sins and grant you paradise,” Zuliya prayed for him and Ahmad replied with a loud roar of, “Ameen Suma Ameen!”
“Come to think of it Zuliya, you are one of the most religious being I have come across. I envy your understanding of both the Quran and the Bible very well. I have never studied the Christian bible before because I was told that the entire stories in the Bible are also in the Quran. You look much like a Christian because of your dressing but your small hijab also made you look like a Muslim too. “You are indeed a Chrislam practitioner,” Ahmad joked and Zuliya smiled exposing her set of white teeth and dimpled cheeks that had caught Ahmad’s fantasy.
“Look at the way you are treating me even after I had told you that I was with bomb. You are indeed a rare gem,” Ahmad told her and Zuliya smiled.
“How is my dressing? Zuliya asked amidst smile and Ahmad didn’t reply but just smiled back at her.
“I am not one of those sycophants that hide under the guise of religion to perpetrate evil,” Zuliya quickly added.
Ahmad was engulfed with a feeling of guilt because of her last statement because he is now seeing clearly that they at the al-Azad camp are the sycophants that hide under religion to perpetrate evil. They unleash terror on people and while they grief, they are joyous. While they grief in inconsolable sorrow, we ululate and hi-five which is not a sign of being a good Muslim. He was still lost deep in his thought when Zuliya spoke again to bring him back from his rivers of thought.
“Islam and Christianity are not the only religion that is practiced on this earth but yet the rivalry is more pronounced among these two religions, with one trying to claim superiority and authenticity over the other. I aptly x-rayed the phrase; a true religion from my mind because we are all created by God into the respective families we belong to and God is still creating people into these families up till this moment that I am speaking to you. He is also creating people into families that practices Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Jainism, Judaism and African Traditional Religion. These children will grow up to learn the religion of their parents from childhood. Do you think God is making a mistake by creating people into these families?” Zuliya asked.
Ahmad thought for a while before responding to her question.
“Our God is a perfect God and does not make mistake.”
“Your religion is in here,” Zuliya said as she was hitting her chest.
Ahmad understood that she was telling him that religion lies in the heart which is actually true.
“Get that book I told you about. It will be a good read and you will have a lot to learn about these other religion. Above all you will clearly understand that religion is all about you and your God,”
“What is the title of the book again?” Ahmad asked.
“Returning Home Beyond The Slavery Of Religion,” Zuliya said
Ahmad promised to get the book as early as possible if God spared his life.
On the night of my tenth birthday, Sheik Khalid walked into our room that night. I was alone in the room because I still don’t relate well with the other kids. He told me that I was now ready to commence full training for my revenge.
“Ahmad my boy, for the five years that you have lived with me, I have watched you grow. I have discovered that you have a very strong heart and I believe that you are going to make me proud. I have selected you among the twenty boys that I will be transferring to a new camp where you will be spending another eight years before you will finally be ready to commence your mission. In this new camp, they will teach you all that you need to know about our group and about us. Listen to me carefully; don’t ever try to get emotional. You cannot join your emotion with your mission because a hen does not scratch for food simultaneously in her two legs,” Sheik Khalid said to me.
I did not bother to ask him what will befall the other thirty children in his house while we were gone because I didn’t care then. I was only concerned about my next eight years when I will start taking my revenge. Zuliya had wanted to ask him what happened to the children and on the spur of the moment, Ahmad told her what befell the children. The remaining children were taking to the al-Azad farm which produces food for the group. They are allowed to live their normal life get married and produce children too but they are kept in the dark about the main activity of the group.
Ahmad was surprised at himself because he was divulging the secrets of the al-Azad sect to Zuliya; a stranger he had just met. The secret he took almost fifteen years to learn.
“Has she charmed me?” he was asking his confused mind but it did not give an answer to his question. Since there was no reply from his mind to his question, he continued with his story.
“Welcome to the al-Azad camp!” a voice shouted out to us.
I knew I have heard that voice before because it sounded so familiar. I tried to see where the voice was coming from but couldn’t because there was no one on the podium standing in our front and I was almost the last person on my own queue so I couldn’t see clearly what was happening in the front even if I stretch my neck. We were on parade ground that morning about one hundred and fifty of us. It was our second day in the new camp and we were dressed in military camouflage. I could not comprehend the joy in my heart when I was first given the Khaki to put on. I looked at my image in the huge mirror in my room and I was very happy with what I saw. I was growing tall and getting ready for my mission.
“Welcome to the al-Azad camp,” that same voice repeated cutting through my thought. I looked up and saw Sheik Khalid bin Tahid on that large podium in front of us. I have no doubts he is the one because I know the face of the man I had spent the last five years with. “What is he doing here?” I was asking myself. He was also dressed in the same military khaki like us but with the rank of a general on his two shoulders. He read out his welcome note to us in an unusual voice that I was not familiar with. The voice was very different from the voice of the cool and calm Sheik back then in his house. In this place he was a grand commander and they are all answerable to him. My heart was elated and I started hoping to attain the position of the Sheik in no distance time.
I learnt that in the new camp he was not called Sheik Khalid but General Tahid. All the years I spent in his house I never knew that he was a general. He did not visit the camp again until after six months. It was later that I learnt that he normally visits the camp once in every six month. He did not speak to me before leaving that first day that he gave his welcome address. I thought in my mind that maybe he has thought me all what I need to know from his house because that was actually one of the things he told me on the night I was to leave his house. It had taken our vehicle nine hours before it reached our new camp from the Sheik’s house. I later discovered that the reason they had chosen to transport us to this new camp at night was because they don’t want any of us to see the path they took before they came to the new camp.
During the Sheik’s second visit to the camp, he personally called me to talk to me. People were staring at me as I was taking a walk with the Commander. I knew they would be dying to be in my shoes and my eyes were glowing with pride.
“Ahmad, I hope that you have not forgotten you reason for being here?” I replied that I have not. Sheik Khalid’s voice telling me that I need to take my revenge because they killed my parents had already stocked to my brain like a two woods joined together by a strong adhesive. I have never for once forgotten his voice. Even in my dreams I kept on hearing his voice telling me about the revenge. His voice telling me that I need to take my revenge had automatically become a part of me.
“It is a good thing that you have not forgotten,” Sheik Khalid echoed to me in a commanding voice.
I stood up, saluted him and stamped my right foot hard on the ground and then I echoed; “I have not forgotten sir!” We have been thought that we need to salute a superior officer with a salute and a Sir whenever we are answering any question from them.
As I was going back to the training ground, I turned back to look at General Tahid because I was curious to know if he was contended with my little display. The smiles on his face confirmed that he was actually happy with the way that I was growing in the camp. I was equally happy too because I was becoming more militant in my approach. I did not smile back at him. I could not even remember the last time I had had a fulfilled smile let alone laughter. I was too engulfed with my revenge mission that nothings seems to be revolving around my head and mind other than what I have been longing to do in the last five years.