“The Soldiers of Allah”

داکتر ثنا نیکپی

داکتر ثنا نیکپی

Short feature story
2008 Canada

By: Yar Sana

“The Soldiers of Allah”

Uncle Qudoos is a faithful Muslim. He practices five times a day and after practice for a long time he prays. Nobody knows what he says when he joins hands and looks to his hands, then murmurs softly and carefully, saying something to him.
Uncle Qudoos is very poor. I thought he wanted money from god or some changes in his life. After a long time, living as his neighbour I had an opportunity to talk with uncle Qudoos, in a “Novroz” celebration in Kabul. Asking about practicing or praying is not polite. I think how to form my questions to uncle Qudoos to find the mystery of his praying.
Everyone in our neighborhood called him Uncle Qudoos, as a sign of respect
I called Uncle! without the Name. It’s more respectful and familiar to Afghans.
He said:
– “Yes, you want to say something?”
– “No uncle, I have a request, if you don’t mind. “
– “Ask, Ask your request.”
– You’re a Moomeen man (faithful Muslim) you’re practicing and praying a lot. Could you please pray for me too? I’m young and have a lot wishes.
– “Son”! I pray for something important and very important. If my prayers are accepted by Allah, then all wishes will come true, yours, mine and all of
Muslims.
My conversation with Uncle Qudoos turned to a good condition for my main question about his praying. Then I ask bravely:
– “Something important?”
– “Yes very important.”
– “Can you tell me Uncle?”
– “I’m praying for the victory of “the SOLDIERS OF ALLAH’”
– “Solders? Which solders? Allah is “Rahman-urrahim” (Merciful and benefited), he don’t need any soldiers and force from his “Bandas” (followers of Allah”. His power is not in weapons and guns”.
– “Listen to me “son”, they are coming soon and bringing to us Allah’s law, Allah’s Government, Allah’s justice. Everyone will be equal as brothers.”
– “Uncle how you know about ‘Allaha’s soldiers”, who are they?, Have you ever you seen them?, There’re people, angel or anyone else? There’re landing from the sky or coming from somewhere else?”
– “The “Soldiers of the Allah are fighter of the right way. I mean “Mojahidin”. They are fighting for “The SABILULLAH”, (for way of Allah, from Arabic). It’ means free, just for Allah.”
-“No, I never seen them, but our Mullah in the mosque is saying that we have to pray for them and be ready to welcome them.”
– “Uncle, Mullah says about Mojahidin, in speech after Namaz*? I never saw that.”
– “No in “khudba (Tribune in masque), these things are not for all. Mullah Sahib* classified “Moomeen (faithful Muslim) to groups, he talks to us in a secret meeting in the Mosque at night.”
– “Uncle! so interesting. Can you explain more about these groups and meetings at night in the Mosque?”
Uncle Qudoos didn’t answer my last question and he breathes deeply, “I told more then necessary. You hunted my words. I’m not allowed talk toomuch”, said uncle Qudoos.
Three month latter, in April 1992, Mujhidin occupied Kabul. Before they formed a Government; they started to fight with each other. Kabul became the arena for fighting, killing, marauding, looting and spoiling, between different Mujahid’s groups, who came from Pakistan, Iran and some of them descended from mountains, which were far away from society, city and proper infrastructure. They knew just fighting, killing and forcing people on mountains and villages. Now they’re in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. The buildings and castles seem to them like mountains. Their life style, feeling, moral, attitude and even their entertainment and celebration are different from the habitants of Kabul. On the first week after their coming to Kabul, Mujahid’s groups started to celebrate their “triumphal victory” that night. They fired parachute flare into the air. Thousands of fighters fired to that destination from all across of the city. The concentration of bullets with air made a very powerful salute under the city. The city was light up fire of bullets and missiles.
As the concentrations of fires from the firing was moveable and slowly came down and landed in the city onto houses. The fire concentration also followed that point till landed. Everyday people died from these “celebration’s fires” or people lost their houses from the fires. In a spring sunny day I saw a panic, I heard shouting of Uncle Qudoos.
“Oh, my god”, said I, he’s crying. What happened? On a blanket in front of Uncle Qudoos I saw his son’s body, who was killed by the mujahidin, when they were fighting each other for to taking “Ganima”(Anfal). During the three days of funeral ceremony every time Uncle Qudoos accidentally had eye contact with me, we remembered the story of Mullah, which he had told me, the story about the soldiers of Allah and his praying after “Namaz”. Then I turned my eyes down to avoid feeling shame on Uncle and even after the ceremony I never talked about those stories to Uncle Qudoos.
The city and people’s face changed every day. Women bought “Chadary”(veil) and men “Pakools” (Mujahid’s hat) and “Perantunban”(Traditional dress for Afghan villagers, but in Pakistan is as official dress ). These clothes were produced in Pakistan. For Pakistani companies, which produced these uniforms for a nation, it was a very good business.
About 2 million people bought these clothes just in Kabul.
On first two week we can identify the people who came from Pakistan and Afghan Mountain from size of their beards, but after a month Kabul habitants of Kabul was assimilated in on kind of clothes as uniform. You couldn’t identify women, because they were covered by “Chadary”.
In May 1992 after a month of having “power”, “The Mujahidin” started to marauder, loot and spoil private properties, after they had spoiled government things. Uncle Qudoos and I were riding bicycles to go shopping. City busses were taken “Ganima”(Anfal) by fighter and they were brought then to Pakistan and sold for an unbelievable discount. For example one city bus was sold for 300 USD. Our friend and relatives, who came from Pakistan, told us that Kabul’s city buses were on streets of Karachi and Peshawar with the signs of our district in hands of privates. Driving a car was a risk, or already private cars had been taken “Ganima”(Anfal).
Going shopping on a bicycle was luxury for us. Before shopping, in a central area of Kabul a group of fighters from the famous warlord Ahamad Shah Masoud on a big truck parked beside us and commanded us to “Stop!”. They checked our pockets, took our money for shopping, my bicycle and Uncle Qudoos’s old antique watch. They also hit Uncle Sharif, punished him for having a old bicycle. When they were leaving, they broke Uncle’s bicycle.“Stupid old donkey, cannot have new bicycle?” Said a “Soldier of Allah” to Uncle Qudoos. For two hours we walked back home with empty hands and empty pockets. On our way we never talked to each other. When we had some eye contact, we remembered Uncle’s story, story of Mullah and uncle’s praying for the benefit of “The Soldiers of Allah”.
I knew how shameful it was for Uncle Qudoos. Especially his praying. I preferred to avoid talking about those stories, to save Uncle’s dignity. The next day I walked to the market for shopping, when I passed the National Archive of Afghanistan, which was located north of Kabul city. It was the first government building I passed from my house to the city. I was a witness of an unbelievable wildness of Mujahid’s militants in front of National Archive building. They were boiling water to prepare tea and they used the Archive’s paper and documents as wood for fuel, because they had stolen electrical appliances and even electrical wires from the wall. They no had power to prepare tea for themselves. After they finished the office desk, chairs and shelves, they started to use archive documents as wood for fuel. I couldn’t ask, couldn’t make a request and I couldn’t cry openly for the lost of my invaluable documents. I remembered the all shelves, brunches and partition of the National Archive. Three years ago I came in the summer for research for my Master’s degree. I knew how valuable this Archive was. Now I can do nothing, because the “The Solders of Allah” are wild, ruthless and unfeeling. Now I can just feel smell of smoking of these documents, which I wished had copies of. Unfortunately when I came here for research and study, I was a student and I couldn’t afford it.
A child care center was the last building, which still wasn’t taken by the “Mujahid” groups. My children were still inside the child care center. We were on lunch, outside hearing the noise of machine gun, missiles and artilleries. From the roof of houses we saw that two groups of Mujahid were fighting to occupy the child care center’s building. “The Saif group”(Afghan Wahabi fanatics) were already in the building and another group was attacking there to remove “Sayaf group and occupy the building for their group. The Sayaf group had captured Hazaras and killed them. The Children were under fire, bombing and attack. I went to child care office to pick my twin sons up and take them home. Then I saw the group of fighters, had taken the child care building as “Ghanima”(Anfal). I took my children from the poison smell of hashish and my sons passed under the barrel of the machine gun.
On the wall of child care office I saw a handwriting phrase: “The taste of Jehad is pleasure than taste of hashish.” At this time there was no Uncle Qudoos to share with me the story of “Soldiers of Allah” or ‘Fighters of right way”, by his eye contacts, but the situation in child care center, reminded me at those stories anyway. I came home and seriously decided to leave Kabul. And I did that.
On 1994 I was outside of Afghanistan, when Kandahar was occupied by the Taliban. I heard that the Taliban, with “Quran” in their hands, US Dollars in their pockets, magically occupied the Mujahid’s positions. Because after two years of fighting the Mujahid’s “mission” was implemented and the people, who made Mujahid wanted to continue their strategy and go to the next step. I remembered Uncle Qudoos’s stories again about “Soldiers of Allah”. “Maybe Allah wants to change his soldiers”, I thought.

After Story Events:
On September 1996, Kabul the capital city of Afghanistan had been taken by the Taliban. On August 1998 for the second time the Taliban occupied
Mazar-e-Sharif and they killed eight to twelve thousand Hazara and Uzbek people.
Also before that I heard about the genocide of Hazaras in Afshar Kabul, Yakawalang province of Bamyan, Rabatak province of Baghlan and more places.
The Taliban were in power from 1996-2001. They had a brain washed policy, fought against music, photography and picture. They destroyed historical and cultural heritage, made serious damages to status of women in Afghanistan. They return back the history of Afghans and changed the face, name and history of Afghanistan.
On October 2001 the Coalition forces brought down the Taliban from power.
In 2007 the nomadic population came from Pakistan and they killed Hazaras in province of Wardak and they spoiled 400 houses. The Governor of Jozjan province commanded his soldiers to killed 13 civilians in a peaceful demonstration.
Now sixteen years after Uncle Qudoos told me the stories about “The Soldier of Allah”, Coalition forces are fighting with “Soldiers of Allah” against another kind of these” Soldiers”. Paradox, who knows they are fighting or doing something else. Anyway the Contents of war stay the same as started. The same tribe in power, as was Taliban, The same genocide before, the same killing of journalists and even more than during the Taliban period, the same Violence against women, same policy to cultural activities, and the same “uniform” wearing Afghan women.

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