“No, please don’t! Please! No! Please don’t! I’ll do what you want! I’ll do whatever you want! Please! Please!” He screams more. “Please, no! I don’t like snakes! Please! Not the snakes! Please. Stop. Stop!” “Please stop!”
Khaleel Jooste Amr is happy. He looks at Gadija and her brothers. They're clothes look expensive. Those patterns in Gadija's dress are hand woven, those don't come cheap. Her scarf is heavy and yet fine in texture. Those turbans that the brothers are wearing don't come cheap either. Amr sighs. He looks at his son, Malik. Excited face. His everyday, white shirt and white pants, that reaches to his ankles. Those sandals. Always clean and neat. Amr sighs again. He thinks disappointment
Khaleel Jooste I seek protection in Allah from Satan the outcast and I start with the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
The events in this novel are just a glimpse into my imagination, of which my Lord is also the King.
However, the book tries to fashion the circumstances of the then South-West Africa, now Namibia, and South Africa, just as with former President Nelson Mandela's release from Robben Island. Then of course, the current situation in and around Cape Town, South Africa.
Under no circumstances am I trying to encourage the use of hard liquor or consumption of pork. It is indeed prohibited by my Lord. Nor any violent behaviour as illustrated in this book.
‘Finally!” shouts Maria. “Where have you been?! You’ll ruin everything!” “Maria, calm down. She’s here now. Back off.” Drew eyes her up and down. Sharp twist in his brow. She puffs her cheeks and walks away. “That girl needs a real attitude adjustment. Perhaps a whole new personality.” Drew removes his hand from Kimberly’s and lets go of her arm. “She’s worried. This is important to all of us. That’s all.” Kimberly smiles sincerely. “Sure, Kim. Always covering for everyone.” He shakes his head. “Any way, here’s your position. Remember, twenty paces and you’ll be in the centre of the stage.” He kisses her on her cheek softly. “Break a leg.”
Khaleel Jooste Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying Allah has mobile squads of angels, who have no other work to attend to but to follow the assemblies of Remembrance of God and when they find such assemblies in which there is Remembrance of God they sit in them and some of them surround the others with their wings till the space between them and the sky of the world is fully covered, and when they disperse after the assembly of the Remembrance of God is adjourned they go upward to the heaven and Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, asks them although He is best informed about them: Where have you come from? They say: We come from Thine servants upon the earth who had been glorifying Thee (reciting Subhan Allah), uttering Thine Greatness (saying Allah o-Akbar) and uttering Thine Oneness (La ilaha ill Allah) and praising Thee (uttering al-Hamdu Lillah) and begging of Thee. He would say: What do they beg of Me? They would say: They beg of Thee the Paradise of Thine. He (God) would say: Have they seen My Paradise? They said: No, our Lord. He would say: What it would be then if they were to see Mine Paradise? They the angels said: They seek Thine protection. He (the Lord) would say: Against what do they seek protection of Mine? They (the angels) would say: Our Lord, from the Hell-Fire. He (the Lord) would say: Have they seen My Fire? They would say: No. He (the Lord) would say: What it would be if they were to see My Fire? They would say: They beg of Thee forgiveness. He would say: I grant pardon to them, and confer upon them what they ask for and grant them protection against which they seek protection. They (the angels) would again say: Our Lord, there is one amongst them such and such simple servant who happened to pass by (that assembly) and sat there along with them (who had been participating in that assembly). He (the Lord) would say: I also grant him pardon, for they are a people the seat-fellows of whom are in no way unfortunate.
It’s Sunday, the 26th December, I’m Gerry Clemency this is CNN Live from London. Breaking news… Five dead and dozens more injured, including school children, as bus collides with a Ford Mustang, Fiat 500 and a family van in Bakersfield near the Golden State highway. We get more now from CNN Jill Parker.
Khaleel Jooste Before white man set foot on southern African shores, there lived a people, known as the Tree Dwellers. As the name suggests, they preferred to live in the trees. To see a Tree Dweller was a rare sight for they rarely left the safety of their abode. They were people of myth and their stories were that of legend. The men and women were all small, rarely taller than a hickly bush. They're arms were slightly longer than the average person and their feet, well; they were adapted to skillfully wrap around a branch or a tree trunk. A Tree Dweller would never leave the trees, except to hunt. Hunting only took place once a year and this was always to mark the beginning of plenty. The time when nature starts to wake up from its cold, dead slumber and life returns to the barren lands. The animals return and so too the great floods.
“Islam does not oppress women. Men oppress women.” She tucks at her scarf. Continues. “You must remember, before Islam, the Arabs were a people lost in ignorance.” Peter-John takes another pastry and listens intently. “It is known as Jahiliyyah, the period of ignorance. That was not a good time for women.” Maryam shudders. “To be a woman, back then, was worse than being a dog.” Peter-John looks at her curiously. “The Arabs, then, buried there daughters alive. To have a daughter, was seen as something shameful. A disgrace.” She takes a sip of her spiced tea. “Islam came to liberate the women. The Western world speaks of women rights and all these things only as of the 70’s, 80’s. Allah freed us and gave us rights more than 1400 years ago.” She gives the woman in the corner a quick glance. Smiles. Continues. “The prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, came to free us. All praise belongs to Allah.”
“Well, remember, the children’s show will be in the afternoon. You know, the Christmas story, some fun and games and of course lots of prezzies and foodies. Kimberly will attend to all that.” She smacks her lips. “My performance will however only be in the evening. The night light suits me best.” She gives herself a last look in the glass. Straightens her spaghetti top and gets ready to leave. “Really ahwesome chatting to you, again. I hope to see you at the show.”
The second time they met was at El Compadre, a bit further down Figueroa. That was at dusk. They only ordered drinks and didn’t stay long. He remembers thinking to maybe bring Kimberly there. She enjoyed Mexican cuisine. Her father was Mexican. Guess she was too, in ways. He would definitely be up for a flaming margarita, perhaps not. Kimberly didn’t drink.
Ben smiles and nods. That was definitely a strange meeting. He remembers feeling cold.
He scans his notes again.
The third time they met was at Pico station, Flower Street. That was at night. They walked south, turned right and headed west on Pico Boulevard. They continued past the Compass Café and departed at the drinking fountain near LA Galaxy. The Demolition man didn’t say much. Only confirmed Ben’s suspicions and gave him some advice.
He scans the map again, then his notes.
Last time they met, was outside The Mayan. That was also at night. For some strange reason, that night, he got the feeling that the Demolition man trusted him; or more than before. That was the night he gave Ben the strange note, then disappeared amongst the clubbers.
“Are you sayin’ that this was planned?” “Of course. I have no doubt about it. What about that really ridiculous news report about the pilots’ names? Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, Bang Ding Ow.” He shakes his head. “That news reporter blames it on the intern for gettin’ the names wrong. Absurd. What reporter lets the intern do her work for her, especially reports that are supposed to go live on air?” He shakes his head. “Any way, it was planned to be like that. That report was supposed to be aired that way.” He looks at them all.
Khaleel Jooste “What happened to mi casa su casa?” “Drew, mi casa es su casa, but not to go and make it look like a tornado hit the place.” “You want me to leave?” He stops scratching about and glares at Peter-John. “No one is forcing you to stay. You’re free to leave if you wish.” He looks at him. Drew can’t read him. “Fine! I’ll pack my stuff and go.” “I wish you wouldn’t.” He shakes his head. Despondence the only face he could manage. “I don’t get you, Pete?” He walks closer to the kitchen, where Peter-John is sitting. “Everyone else has told me to take a hike. I only give you problems and still you… wish… I wouldn't.” “What’s not to get, Drew?” Serious expression on Peter-John’s face. “Why are you doing this?” He starts pacing. “You’re my friend.”
Khaleel Jooste Dear Claire I miss you. I wrote these songs for you. When I see you again, I’ll sing and play them for you. God willing. I’ll try to be home before Christmas. Please give Mr Biggs a kiss. I wish we had another place. Love and miss you much May God keep you safe Ben
Khaleel Jooste In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has sent down to His slave (Muhammad) the Book (the Qur'an), and has not placed therein any crookedness. (He has made it) Straight to give warning (to the disbelievers) of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a fair reward (i.e. Paradise). They shall abide therein forever. And to warn those (Jews, Christians, and pagans) who say, "Allah has begotten a son (or offspring or children)." No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths [i.e. He begot (took) sons and daughters]. They utter nothing but a lie. Perhaps, you, would kill yourself (O Muhammad) in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration (the Qur'an). Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. [i.e. those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allah's sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet]. And verily! We shall make all that is on it (the earth) a bare dry soil (without any vegetation or trees, etc.). Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription (the news or the names of the people of the Cave) were a wonder among Our Signs? (Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave, they said: "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!"
“You should take things easier.” “Tomorrow. I will. But only after I get the shed out of the attic and rearrange the paintings that has the tools to the garden. Haven’t been able to find the paintbrushes to add the fertilizer to the petunia patch. The soil is a bit dry too. Maybe some more paint will do the trick.” She exhales deeply. Continues. “Then there is still the laundry too. Usually takes me forever to get it all into the bin. We should really get those recycle stuff. It will make things easier. Sorting the white from the colours and blacks, instead of throwing it all into the trash all at once.” She closes her eyes.
“Pretty, aren’t they?” “Positively.” They continue further ahead. “You glad we came?” He nods. “Honestly. Yes.” They move to the edge of the pinkish fluffy thing they were standing on. “Ready?” She winks at him encouragingly. “Highly still, but surely, yes.” They take each other’s hand and jump to the next ball of pink fluff in the sky. Bouncily they land on it and catch their breath. “Look!” The little girl shouts excitedly. “Wordy, what are they?” “I have never seen things like that. So pretty.” He smiles shyly. “Rightly you are. Positively pretty indeedy.”
“By seeking refuge with God, we must therefore believe in Him and everything He has created, we must pray, we must take care of the poor, we must fast during the prescribed times, we must make every effort to do pilgrimage at least once in our lives and we must continue to share the good news of paradise and the assurance of the forgiveness of sins after sincere repentance, all this with patience, even in times of hardship. All hardship is from God too, do you understand, Ben?” Maryam looks at him hopefully.
“Knowledge is like a tree with well-developed roots. You see? The words are its leaves, but action, those are the fruits it will produce.”
Khaleel Jooste And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided. Surah Al-Imran (Family of Imran) 3:103