The following is a concise English translation of Urdu excerpts from a book called ‘Shajar Haye Saaya Daar’. The author, Syeda Humera Maududi, is daughter of the world renowned late Muslim scholar Syed Abul Aa’la Maududi.
In 1978, I (Humera Maududi) had returned to Lahore from Jeddah to spend summer vacations with my family when this strange incident occurred: It so happened that after Maghrib prayers, two Squadron Leaders of the Pakistan Air Force came to see my father (Maulana Maududi). As always, father was busy working in his study room so he called them there.
One of the gentlemen who appeared quite anxious started thus:
“Maulana, I had a dream which has troubled me to such an extent that I can neither sleep, eat, nor do anything with concentration. In the dream, I have gone to Madinah only to see that the entire city has been completely demolished through heavy bombardment. Neither the Prophet’s Mosque nor its Green Dome can be seen. All houses and buildings have been reduced to rubble. When I reach the spot where the Prophet’s resting spot is situated, I see the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) offering prayers outside his tomb. (Then suddenly) I hear some voices as if several people are chattering nearby; when I look around, I notice a staircase going down into a basement. I descend into the basement and am only halfway through when I see six or seven Jews, clad only in underwear, wielding large knives; they are butchering humans and piling up their severed limbs, whereas many more corpses are dangling about the walls (like slaughtered meat). (I realized at once that) These corpses are of the people of Madinah. As I see all this, I flee upstairs in terror, fearing a similar fate for myself. When I get out of the basement, I see that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is completing prayers after reciting “attahiyaat” and then “salam”. Then He (The Holy Prophet PBUH) looks at me and says: ‘Don’t worry, this meat will not be sold.’ At that moment, I woke up.”
(The pilot further said) “Maulana, since I’ve seen this dream, my restlessness and panic is growing. Tell me, what could this dream’s interpretation possibly be?”
(Being a practical man) My father did not dwell in the world of dreams nor did he interpret them. He belonged to the real world and invited the people towards faith on logical grounds. Despite this, he was in great shock to hear this dream as even saintly people would scarcely be blessed to have it (because of its intensity, let alone revelation upon a seemingly irreligious young man!). Why was this clean shaven young pilot chosen for this message? Why was a brave fighter pilot of the Pakistan Air Force singled out for this dream instead of some caretaker of a shrine, a scholar of weak temperament or perhaps a renowned religious personality?
What is evident enough is that in the future, the responsibility of leading the Ummah will be taken up by such gallant young men, and these youth are the very people who will lead the defence and protection of the Two Sacred Sites (Makkah and Madinah).
Father told those fighter pilots, “A hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) says: ‘When wars upon wars will rage, Allah will raise a non-Arab nation which will be superior in riding (mobility/maneuvers/tactics) and weaponry. They will be entrusted by Allah to support His Deen’.” (Ref: Mishkaat). Then he continued, “This dream also points to a hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Umro (May Allah be pleased with him): ‘[In the End Times] There will come such people who will be swift as birds and ruthless as beasts’.” (Ref: Mishkaat).
Today we can interpret this hadith by examining warplanes, fighter jets and other aircraft which can target children, the elderly and women of suspected enemies with unprecedented force and brutality ( ‘Shock & Awe’ campaign of US forces in the Iraq War). In the dream, Madinah is apparently destroyed by carpet bombing. No honor, life or property will be safe from their onslaught.
The third hadith is that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) addressed Abu Zar Ghaffari (May Allah be pleased with him) and asked, “O Abu Zar, what will become of you when there will be such hunger in Madinah that will prevent you to get up from your bed and go to the mosque, as this hunger will be tremendously laborious? What will become of you when there will be so much bloodshed that the blood will engulf the ‘Ahjar Azait’ (slippery mountain)?”
After this, father narrated a hadith about the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) and said, “Your dream points out one other thing; in the coming wars between the Crescent and Cross (Muslims vs Infidels), the Air Force will play a decisive role. This is the very reason this dream has been revealed to a fighter pilot. It is time you should call out the “azaan” (call to prayer) in the cockpit of your warplane. Your duty is calling you, protection of the Ummah (Muslim community) and the Two Sacred Sites is your responsibility now. A hadith informs us that Eesa/Jesus (PBUH) will be reinforced/helped by an army coming from non-Arab lands which will be superior in the art of war and arsenal. Remember, your first and foremost loyalty must lie with Allah and His Prophet (PBUH), then to the Two Sacred Sites and then your Motherland. To uphold all these loyalties, you must strengthen your relationship with Allah and The Qur’an and seek help from Allah (in all circumstances).”
After listening to his interpretation, the pilots felt comfortable and when they got up to leave, despite his illness and acute weakness, father got up to shake their hands; he also saw them off at the door, saying, “Since you have been honored with the blessed sight of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), you deserve my honor accordingly. You have now transferred that anxiety and restlessness to me, which you were suffering with previously; I don’t know for how long it will keep assailing my mind.”
That night when he came inside the home for dinner, his face bore tension and distraught (which was extremely unbecoming of Maulana Maududi, for he had a strong reputation of not cowering down in the worst of situations; instead, he was known for his unearthly composure in the sight of extreme peril and terror: may it be a sudden arrest from home, being fired upon with a volley of bullets or even death sentences). But when he narrated that dream and his thoughts upon it, we were shocked beyond belief. At that moment, I recalled the following verses of Allama Iqbal:
“(O Allah) Although you do not need anything but require your lovers to prove your Oneness (tawheed) with their blood. Servitude and Love are two different plains. In servitude, Angels take the lead – but O Allah! You desire mere submission from beings of light and demand even more from the creatures of dirt!”
I am convinced that the stage has now been prepared for the arrival of Dajjal and Eesa/Jesus (PBUH). As the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said in one of his speeches, “Since the day Allah created this world and mankind, no trial has been as greater as the trial of Dajjal (Anti-Christ/False Messiah). He will emerge from between Syria and Iraq and will quickly move to spread unrest in all directions; he will be everywhere, on the right and to the left. That is why, O servants of Allah, be steadfast. Hark! The trials he (Dajjal) brings will include Heaven & Hell. In reality, his ‘hell’ will be Paradise and his ‘paradise’ will be Hell. If one of you gets thrown in that Hell, he should seek help from Allah and recite the initial ten (10) verses of Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave), the fire of (that hell) will be rendered as cold and safe for him as it was for Ibrahim/Abraham (PBUH)” (Ref: Mishkaat).
When I refreshed my memories regarding my father, this dream became more lucid to me. The era we are living in is an interpretation of that dream itself. The destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, bloodshed in Kashmir and Palestine, the brutal torture in Abu Ghuraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons, the slaughter of Chechen and Bosnian Muslims deny any room for doubt! There we see a saga of sorrows of the followers of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and on the other hand, we see glad tidings and invitations to act. All of this gives us reasons to learn!
The strength and support to be received from non-Arab lands of which my father informed the pilots has also been corroborated in a statement by former Army Chief of Egyptian Armed Forces, Field Marshal Abd al-Halim Abu Ghazala, which was published in a popular newspaper Daily Al-Ahram. He said: “The Armed Forces of Pakistan are the guarantors of the safety of Arabs because they can hit even Israel (with their expertise and weaponry). That is why the Arabs should help Pakistan in her economic crises. The success of Pakistan is the success of Arabs.” Later, in another popular daily newspaper Al-Ittihad, Field Marshal Abu Ghazala published an analytical article which said, “Pakistan is a great military power owing to its nuclear warheads; if Pakistan is harmed, the entire Arab world will feel its rammifications”. These statements further elucidate the right explanation of that dream.
The author would like to thank ‘Baktar-e-Noor’ for basic translation. It has been refined and further contextualized for the general audience at large.