When even a seven-year-old is not “too young for jihad”

Published: January 1, 2017
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The bewildered looks on the faces of the two girls are enough to convey that they neither understand this mantra, nor do they believe it. PHOTO: SCREENSHOT.

She was probably born on a bad day. Her birth must have been as abysmal as her death was going to be. She had heard from her grandmother about the bad aura of some days.

“All people born on such days are as nehes (unlucky)”, her grandmother had said one day.

She gulped nervously. She looked at her sister lying next to her who had fallen asleep only an hour ago after sobbing uncontrollably all night. Fajar is near.

I can pray to Allah. Maybe He will undo this. But I should hurry. If father gets up and prays before me, then Allah won’t listen to my prayers, of course. It is like mother always says; Allah listens to parents, that’s why we should also listen to our parents.”

All these thoughts raced through her head as she scrambled out of bed and ran to perform ablution. She sat on the prayer mat, waiting for her prayers to be heard. Her tiny hands rose in dua, the seven-year-old trembled to think of what the day would bring. She heard sniffing behind her. Turning around, she saw her mother crouched over her sister. She was running her hands through her sister’s hair.

“Why is she crying? She told us it will all end in Jannat. God sends only those people to Jannat whom He loves”, she wondered.

She got up to warn her mother to stop crying before their father woke up. He would be furious. Tears were a sign of weakness and there is no weakness in the way of Allah. Just like there is no age for jihad. But if they were doing something good, why was her heart thumping in fearful anticipation?

All this and more might have rushed through her head as she walked into that crowded police station wearing a detonable suicide belt. Her prayers to save her life went unanswered.

“Does God only listen to parents?” she might have wondered in the unnerving moment right before she was blown up from a remote control from an unknown location.

The above mentioned account is a fictional attempt to gauge what may have gone through the head of a child who is too young to grasp the concept of jihad. A seven-year old blew herself up in a police station in Syria a couple of days ago after a video was released of a father prepping his two daughters (a seven and an eight-year-old) for jihad.