A Suicide Bomber’s “Groundhog Day” in Paradise

Preface

The following is from a “hadith” — a traditional commentary, on the punishment for suicide in Islam, by Bukhari, a revered Islamic scholar:

Hadith – Volume 7, Book 71, Number 670:

Narrated Abu Huraira:


The Prophet said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”

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A Suicide Bomber in Paradise

The day is hot and dusty, and the bus engine moans like a dying giant, as I walk down the aisle to the center seats. I know what is about to happen. I have been here before, and yet, I am so afraid I am almost soiling myself, soaked in sweat, and the explosives in my bomb belt weigh on me like lead ingots. I look only at the floor in front of me, so the others cannot see my fear, but I know they can smell it.

The prayers my leaders taught me echo in my mind, but the words do not calm my soul. They mock me. I feel a guilty anger toward those “leaders.” If my mission is so sacred, why have they not come along with me? Why is this mission worth my life, but not theirs? I push aside unfaithful thoughts, and try to imagine Paradise.

In the center of the bus, I reach under my jacket for the switch that will detonate blocks of plastic explosive with screws and wire wrapped around them. My prayers are a furious torrent of empty words. As my thumb presses on the button, I glance at last around me, seeing the other passengers for the first time. They are supposed to be “pigs and monkeys,” but they could be my family, my neighbors.

There is a flash too bright to see, a sound too loud to hear. I am instantly dead, but I feel the searing heat, the relentless shock wave, and red-hot metal penetrating the flesh of others, as if their flesh were mine. I hear screams of pain, the screech of metal, and, too late, I understand: their flesh is mine. I am a zealot and a fool, and I have thrown the gift of my life back into the Creator’s face. Others die with me for my stupidity and arrogance.

The gullible child within me wonders: will I know when I have reached Paradise?

The day is hot and dusty, and the bus engine moans like a dying giant, as I walk down the aisle to the center seats. I know what is about to happen. I have been here before, and yet, I am so afraid I am almost soiling myself, soaked in sweat…

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2 Responses to “A Suicide Bomber’s “Groundhog Day” in Paradise”

  1. Mike Mahoney Says:

    A real “killer” of a tale. Groundhog day indeed.
    Thanks

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