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The child was woken up,
Much to his utter dismay,
The mother snatched the blanket away,
And told him to be ready for school.

Lazily, he went and brushed his teeth,
Looking in the mirror for signs of a beard,
He mused: “I will be a man one day
And no-one will wake me up, I will wake me up”

The mother knocked on the bathroom door,
Shouting to be ready soon as the breakfast was turning cold.
Since the first time the child fell from a tree,
He was reluctant to go to school this day.

But the knocking on the door made him jump,
And he hurriedly washed his innocent face,
With the water, that to him had tasted of Zam Zam,
When he had woken up for fajr to perform wudu.

His mother fussed as he ate, knowing full well, she shouldn’t.
But she was a mother; nevertheless, it was her job to fuss,
He was her only child; and the man of the house,
Since her husband was killed by militants 4 months back.

The horn of the school bus, felt as if a bomb had gone off,
The child jumped in fright, yet the mother consoled him.
She gingerly took his hand in hers and like a bride at a wedding,
Walked him to the school bus and as soon as he sat, she wept.

The child went to school, knowing full that there were no classes that day,
Yet the smile on his face was as wide as Russia on the world map.
He was told by his teacher, on his way to the auditorium,
Where a function was to be held, that “Beta, thank Allah for everything”.

He said a silent prayer and proceeded to the battleground,
There was something off in his gait, he was panicking,
Yet his friends, teased him about a girl he had a crush on,
He smiled again and thought of the flowers he wanted to buy for her.

As he was going to his seat, a man pushed him to go in the front,
The force was such, that the childs’ fragile and tiny arms felt heavy with pian,
Instead they hosted him up, he felt more a man here, than anywhere.
He thought of his mother, and her daal chawaal he would feast on in the afternoon.

The program started, his principal started saying certain words,
Of hope, wisdom, courage, education; of love and life and Islam.
During her speech, certain individuals he saw, started to stand up,
And it was then there was chaos. He felt the world collapse and everything fell apart.

He heard, the gunshots in the hallways, where he had just walked moments ago,
He heard a bomb go off, maybe in one of his classrooms.
It was then, he saw a rifle pointed at him, a man with no face held it,
He felt brave and tried to fight his inner child; he was a man and he will not cower.

Alas, there was nothing he could do, as from the corner of his eyes,
Another man had aimed his gun towards the principal, and fired at her for sport, killing her in the end.
He started crying, he started to wail, along with the others in his place,
He was slapped hard across the face, leaving an imprint on his face, and was shot in the knee.

He felt his body give up and he fell on the ground with unbearable pain,
The blood sprayed out from his body across the floor and he saw similar sights around him.
His friends screamed and he saw one of the many faceless men in the room, shoot them.
One by one, as dominos, they fell on the ground, staring at futures they had dreamed of.

He prayed for his mother, he started to pray for his fathers’ soul in Jannah,
The man thought the child was upto some mischief, fired at his arm, and dislocated his ankle,
The child wept in sheer agony, he felt helpless and small and thought of his mother,
What will happen to her once, once when he was gone, and she was alone.

It were these thoughts, that came ture within the next few seconds,
He became numb to the sounds of gunshots and the bombings happening as fireworks on Independence Day,
He silently asked Allah to protect his mother and to guide her right,
As he was asking Rehmaan, he felt a slash across his neck.

He felt as if he had become a sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha, as he saw more blood eave his body,
His system started to shut down, and he started losing consciousness,
He saw a glimpse of heaven and smiled at the man claiming to be a Muslim,
And everything went black and he too fell, like a soldier on a battlefield.

His mother upon hearing the news of her sons’ death smiled.
She smiled that he was now a Shaheed like the Shaheeds of Karbala,
She wept, at the son she would never hold again or fuss on,
She wept, knowing her son had taken one thing with him that she may never have: Hope.


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