In the mid 1980s I was helping the Afghan people against the soviets. I was doing many things at once: anything that could help the struggle was on my menu as long as it was not against Islamic teachings. One such thing was to help set [up] schools in refugee camps; to do so, I was traveling all over the North West Agency that borders Afghanistan to inspect the conditions and write recommendations for materials to be given to the organizations which ran the schools.
Also, I used to buy books and school supplies for the schools; these trips allowed me to learn a great deal about the region and the tribes and their customs. I enjoyed the beauty of Swat valley and the breathtakingly clear rivers of Kalam and Droosh. I spent time in Malak and lingered in Bahreen (an area where two rivers meet and converge). I used to accept the trip if I had nothing else to do at that time and a driver with good knowledge of the area was always with me. Some places were so exotic that I used to take my time admiring the whole scene; the only problem for me was the food, so I used to keep it simple: Don’t eat anything or eat only familiar things!!! My time in Peshawar was usually short and I used to hang out with a group of brothers who came there from all over the globe. We used to go to local restaurants and sometimes these restaurants opened only after midnight!!! Because they functioned as butcher shops during the day, and after midnight, they offered Kebab and Curry with freshly baked Nan.
I used to move a lot so I didn’t have a fixed address, but some friends used to offer me a room, sometimes in an office building or a villa. I used to keep my belongings in bags so I could move quickly. In one of such jobs, I was going to buy some mules, horses and donkeys to give to the Afghans who were to use them as pack animals to transport all kinds of materials to the fronts. But this time I had company; a brother was coming with me to help out. The brother was a very good person that I met few weeks before and he had one of the most interesting stories I ever heard: he was raised in Paris as a secular and almost knew nothing about any religion. His mother was a very strong figure in his north African country, so she wanted him to be educated and cultured in the western way of life.
Abdurrahman, as he was called among the brothers, was a twenty something lad who was sick when I met him. I noticed that he was very keen to follow the sunnah of the Prophet peace be up on him. I also noticed that the brothers didn’t like to sleep any where near him!! They said they just felt that a heavy thing on their chest whenever they went to sleep in the same room with him. I didn’t really care much because I always had nightmares and I was used to these kind of feelings. We became friends and he started telling his story. He said that he always felt that he wasn’t alone in his room back in France, so after many researches, he tried to put the pen to the paper and see if he can get whoever is there with him to answer his questions!!
As he held the pen loosely on the paper and started asking, an unseen force used the pen in his fingers to write the answer to his inquiry. Soon they were exchanging information on daily basis. Then one thing led to another and the subject of religion came up; he was told about the major religions and of course Islam was the religion that got his attention. Soon he was practicing Islam by the help of these “Jinns”!! The thing that caught our attention about him was that most of his dreams used to come true in very short time!!
Time and time again he related to us a dream, and we paid attention to the details, and we were blown away with the accuracy. He was of course aware of the Hadeeth that says the most truthful amongst you in his speech is the most truthful in his dreams: meaning that a person who tells the truth at all times will see dreams that will come to be true.
The brothers were always waiting to hear what the brother will say in the morning. Sometimes he said nothing and sometimes told us his latest dream. One day he told us that he saw one of our brothers fall on his face and return!! The brother in the dream was joining a caravan into the North provinces of Afghanistan; the caravan was leaving from Chitral, and we were in Peshawar where the chances of communication were very low. I knew the Chitral area very well, especially the remote area of Garm Chashmah where the journey starts. Because the brother left us more than a week ago, we thought that he would be on his way to the North, but after Abdurrhman’s dream we were not so sure.
The day after we were told about the dream, someone rang the bell while we were having our breakfast. It was the brother in the dream. He told us how he fell and couldn’t carry on with the caravan. When he was left behind by the fast traveling caravan, he had to travel back to Peshawar. This was very unusual thing: anybody traveling to the North during that time used to take long time in preparation as the brother did, and the caravans don’t make the journey regularly, so most of the time the brothers take extra measures to be ready and endure to complete the journey. The brother in the dream was in very good shape and known for his determination, so when we saw that, we knew that it was a true dream. Many other dreams made us nervous; we were living on the edge, some were [even] told about a dream that they might die!!! The dreams were sometimes more complex, two events woven into one, both come true but in two different places!!
I was going and coming like before, but anytime I got a chance, I used to ask about the latest dreams. Alas, the Brother’s strong mother came to Pakistan with her Government’s power and was looking for her son. The Pakistani government put pressure on the brothers and someone lied to Abdurrhman to bring him to a house where his mother and many officials were waiting. They took him away. I felt bad for him because he didn’t want to go back. I didn’t like how he was set up, but my life went on. I always remembered him and his dreams.