A meeting with Brother Abdullah formerly Deep Chand Aheer
Question: Ahmed Awaah: Assalaam o alaikum
Answer: Abdullah: Waalaikum Assalaam
Q: Ahmed Awaah: Brother Abdullah, you must be aware that we publish a magazine from Phalat (India) called Armughan, in which we have started a feature about people coming into the fold of Islam. It is for this feature that I want to interview you.
A:Abdullah: Brother Ahmed (with tears streaming down his face.), why do you want to sully the image of your wonderful magazine by writing about a cruel, mean and dastardly person like me?
Q: Ahmed Awaah: No Brother Abdullah! My father Hazrat Maulana Kaleem Sahib Siddiqui is of the opinion that your life is one of the signs of Allah’s power and he wants your interview to be issued in this publication.
A:Abdullah: Your Father, May Allah (SWT) grant him a long life. I consider myself to be his humble servant, if it is his will then I bow my head down to it. You can question me about anything and I shall gladly answer to the best of my knowledge.
Q:Ahmed Awaah: First, please introduce yourself…
A:Abdullah: If I say that since the creation of this universe, I am the cruelest, worst and luckiest person ever to walk the face of this earth. In fact, it would not be far from the truth if I were to introduce myself as the vilest creature in existence.
Q:Ahmed Awaah: This according to you is the emotional introduction, of how you perceive yourself. We would like to know about your domestic life and family background.
A:Abdullah: I was a resident of the District of Muzaffarnagar, tehsil Barhana. I was born in a Muslim Rajput majority village to a Hindu Aheer (goat herder) family, about forty two to forty three years back. My family was not only very religious, but they were also criminal by nature. My father and my paternal uncle were both among the top leaders of a criminal gang. Destruction and cruelty were in my blood and veins and a part of my family legacy. At my relatives’ behest, along with my father I took part in the 1987 anti Muslim genocide that took place in Meeruth. Both my father and I killed at least 25 Muslims each with our bare hands. After this event, Muslim hatred intensified in my heart and soul and I went on to join Bajrang Dal. In 1990, at the advent of the destruction of Babri Masjid, I killed countless Muslims in Shaamli. In 1992, many Muslims were killed mercilessly in my own village of Barhana. There was a very famous thug of Barhana who was also a very good Muslim and because of whom all the non Muslim community was scared. I along with a friend of mine went and shot him, and in this fever of Muslim hatred I committed such a crime, (whilst crying uncontrollably) that I don’t think you will have either thought, seen or heard of an example of such extreme barbarism and cruelty over land and under sky, no matter how hard you try. (Continues crying…)
Ahmed Awaah: Please tell us what led you to revert to Islam.
Abdullah: There is a Surah Burooj In Qur’an which talks about the people in the ditch of fire. Allah says that they were destroyed and killed. This Surah I think was brought down for me. What is that Surah? Can you please recite for me in Arabic?
Ahmed Awaah: (After reciting Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem)
قُتِلَ أَصْحَابُ الْأُخْدُودِ
النَّارِ ذَاتِ الْوَقُودِ
إِذْ هُمْ عَلَيْهَا قُعُودٌ
Translation: Woe to the makers of the pit of fire.
Fires supplied abundantly with fuel.
Behold they sat over against the fire.
Abdullah: If we say that the Allah had mercy on the people of the fire then how will we say it in Arabic?
Q:Ahmed Awaah: Reham Ashaab al akhdoo d’al’naar zaat alwaqood.
Abdullah: Yes, if this ayaat had been about me then it would have been like this: Reham Ashaab al akhdoo d’al’naar zaat alwaqood.
Ahmed Awaah: Please tell us how you came to Islam.
Abdullah: Yes brother, I am getting to it. But even a hardened criminal like me doesn’t have the strength to relay this story anymore. But I will try.
Q:Ahmed Awaah: So please try, maybe this story of yours would deter many Muslims from straying from the right path.
Abdullah: Yes, truly the story of how I came to Islam is a ray of light for all those who have lost hope, When the Merciful and Gracious God Allah (SWT) can be so kind and show such mercy to a person like me then there is no space left for despair and hopelessness in His mercy. So listen now Brother Ahmed, I have an older brother and in spite of all the crimes and the cruelty against humanity that we had committed, not only were we very loving, but we were also extremely loyal. My older brother had two daughters and two sons, whereas I had no children. His elder daughter was called Heera and she was very passionate by nature. If she loved, then she loved with a great intensity and if she hated, then she hated with an equal intensity. Sometimes we used to think that maybe she is inflicted by something supernatural. We took her to many wise people, but all to no avail. She studied in school till grade 8. After leaving school she became involved in daily household chores, but she was very fond of higher education, and without telling anyone in her family she filled the high school form and collected tuition fee and cost of course books by breaking her back in the fields and collecting money through hard physical labor. She bought her books and when she could not understand them, she went to a Brahmin’s daughter who lived in our neighborhood. One of the Brahmin’s sons was a thug and a robber. I don’t know what he said to my niece Heera, that she ran away with him one night. He took her to a jungle near Barote where his gang used to reside. She went with him willingly, but when she reached there she realized what a mistake she had made as she had put her parents respect and reputation on line with her foolish actions. With this realization came misery and tears.
There was a Muslim boy in this gang, who hailed from Idrees Pur. One day when he saw her crying, he asked her the reason, to which she replied that in my innocence and ignorance I have run away with this man, but now my virtue is at stake and my parent’s apprehension due to my actions is bothering me. The boy felt sorry for Heera, and he told her that I am a Muslim and Muslims are true to their commitments and promises. He promised her that from this day on you are my sister and that I am the protector of your virtue and your defender, and I promise you that I will deliver you safe and sound from this jungle and return you to your parents. He told his gang members that this girl is very brave and that we should incorporate her into our gang as we need a few female members. The only way we can keep her in the jungle is by dressing her up as a boy. All the gang members finally agreed with him and Heera was dressed up as a boy and taken around as a part and parcel of the gang from that day forward. Heera realized that out of the 10-12 members of the gang, this boy was very different from the rest. He was honest, he used to give sound advice, whenever he got his share of the loot he kept some aside for the poor, he used to make Heera sleep separately away from all the men and in the middle of the night he used get up time and time again to make sure that no one went to Heera’s room to harass her. When he was sure that Heera had become a permanent member of the gang, then only did he let is guard up.
One day after making up an excuse he sent Heera to Barote, and told her that hire a carriage and go to my house in Idrees Pur. When you reach my house, relay your story to my younger brother and tell him that your brother has called you, and tell him that when he reaches the jungle, he is supposed to tell the gang that the people of Barote have taken the girl into custody in suspicion and handed her over to the local police. Heera repeated all verbatim to his younger brother. The younger brother went to the jungle and repeated the whole story. The older brother told his younger brother that go back and send Heera to the police station, where she should tell the police that a gang had kidnapped her from her village and that she had been taken hostage by them and that somehow she has escaped as she had been scared for her life over there. Heera did exactly as told. The Barote police contacted the Barhana police station, where the kidnapping of Heera had already been registered. A female police brigade was sent to Barote from Barhana to recover Heera. Heera was taken back to Barhana and sent back to her parents home. Her family accepted her back but they did not want to keep her in the house as now they felt that her virtue had been compromised and that she was a girl of loose character. Heera told her family that I had been kidnapped by that gang of thugs, but in spite of that I protected my virtue, but no one believed her. An educated member of our clan also came and told us to get her medical check-up done just to be sure. So, Heera was taken to Barhana hospital and there was always that thought in the back of our mind that if Heera was proven to be virtuous then we will bring her back, otherwise we will kill her and dispose off her body in the river. By the grace of God, the doctor gave the report that her virtue was intact, happily we brought her back home but now she started talking about Muslims all the time, and time and time again she would say that it was become of a Muslim that she had been able to escape that gang in the jungles. She started befriending Muslims and started going to a Muslim girl’s house. A Muslim girl gave her a book called, the knocking of hell and the key of heaven. When I saw the Muslim literature in her hands, I beat her black and blue and forbid her from bringing books like this in the house again, I even threatened to hack her into pieces if I ever came across Muslim literature in her possession, but my threats had no effect on her Islam had now enlightened her heart and soul with its Noor (Noor: meaning divine light). She went to the Madressah with a Muslim girl and took Shahadah (the Islamic oath of allegiance to Allah) at the hands of a Maulana Sahib. On the sly she learnt how to say Salaat (Muslim five timely prayer) and started saying it off and on in secrecy. After accepting Islam she no longer felt at peace in an environment rife with polytheism, she used to feel suffocated and miserable. Previously she was a happy go lucky child who would often laugh and now she turned into a pensive individual who hardly ever smiled. Somehow, I don’t know how, she left home and took refuge with a Maulana Sahib who took her with his wife to Phallat. For a few days she lived in your house Brother Ahmed, maybe you remember her…
Q:Ahmed Awaah: Yes, yes I remember sister Hira. Where is she now? My family is very much worried about her. She was a very pious girl. I am surprised that you are our sister Hira’s uncle.
A:Abdullah: Yes Brother Ahmed, your father named her Hira, and I am the uncle and murderer of that pious, wonderful and unfortunate child. (whilst crying.)
Q:Ahmed Awaah: First tell me where is Hira baji?
A:Abdullah: I am telling you, I am going to tell you the story of my barbarism and cruelty. As you know, just to be on the safe side, Maulana sahib had sent her to his sister’s house in Delhi and she stayed there for some time. There she got a very conducive environment and she used to call Maulana sahib’s sister Rani puphi or The Queen aunt. Your mother also gave Hira a lot of love and appreciation and Rani phuphi nurtured and guided her a lot. Maybe she stayed in Delhi for one and a half years. This residence in Phalat and Delhi colored her into a very staunch Muslim, so much so that had Qur’an been revealed in this day and age, maybe this martyred girl might have been mentioned by name in the Holy Book. She used to love her family a lot specially her mother. Her mother used to stay very ill, one day Hira dreamed that her mother had died. Upon waking up, she could not shake off the yearning to be close to her mother again. She used to think that if my mother dies without Iman, what will become of her? This thought did not let her have any mental peace or relief. She used to cry constantly because of this. When she started screaming uncontrollably, all the residents of the house woke up because of this noise and ran to see what had happened. Everyone tried to console her and sometimes she even stopped crying, but then suddenly something would remind her of this dream and she would start crying again. She used to call your father Abba jee. Again and again she would cry and plead to your father that Abba jee send me home, but your father constantly kept on denying her saying that if your family finds out that you have accepted Islam, they will murder you or they will convert you back to Hinduism. This fear for her Eiman or faith used to deter her, but something would bring back old memories and then again she would go and plead with your father to send her back home. One day with a heavy heart your father when pushed a lot by her agreed to let her return to her house under one condition and that was that she would invite her loved ones to the fold of Islam and save them from the fire of hell. Hira replied that they detest Islam and under no circumstances would they accept it. She told everyone in her house that Maulana Sahib had told her that when Allah will open your family’s hearts to Islam, then they will start hating polytheism as much as they hate Islam. Maulana Sahib told her that before accepting Islam you (Hira) also used to hate it passionately but after accepting it you have turned around 180 degrees. Maulana Sahib told her to pray to God and to promise him that I am going back to my home to convert my parents and to protect them from hell fire. He told her that if you go with this intention, then Allah will protect you and if you face any hardship in this quest then you will only face the type faced by Rasool Allah (PBUH) according to his sunnah, and if your family kills you then you will be a martyr or a Shaheed, which is the shortest route to paradise, and I am sure that your martyrdom will pave the way for their reversion to Islam, if you lose your life in your quest to save your family from hell fire then it is most certainly a very nominal price to pay for the reward you will get by saving them in the hereafter.
After that Maulana Sahib requested her to do two Rkat Nafl Prayer and to pray to Allah (SWT) to guide her to the right path and to promise Allah that you are going to bring your family to the right path. From Delhi she went to Phalat and then she went to her village. We were incensed the minute we lay eyes on her. I hit her with shoes and kicks, but she still did not tell us where she stayed all this time. Albeit, she did tell us that she had accepted Islam and was now a staunch Muslim and that no one could change her into anything else. If we maltreated her, instead of rebelling she would cry and plead us to save ourselves from hell fire by accepting Islam. Her mother was very ill, and she died after two months, Hira kept beseeching us to give the body to Muslims for Islamic burial as she had accepted Islam at her (Hira’s) hands before dying, that it is cruelty to cremate her in these circumstances, but all this fell on deaf ears. We did not bury her, we cremated her according to the Hindu rites. Every day there was conflict in our house, sometimes she would plead with her brothers to accept Islam and sometimes she would beg her father to do the same. By general consensus of the household we decided to send her to her maternal relatives in Meeruth. So, we sent her there, her maternal uncles got sick of her dyed in the wool Muslim attitude and sent for my brother and me. They told us that we are sick of this faithless girl and we are sick of the arguments that have been taking place in our house since the day she decided to darken our doorstep.
I consulted with the administration and top brass of Bajrang Dal, and they advised me to kill her. One day I went to the river and dug a 5 foot deep trench on its banks. My brother and I, both with the excuse of bringing her back to the village to meet with her paternal aunt took her away from her maternal house. Maybe she knew of our intention and had already seen it in a dream, she took a bath and wore new clothes, then she told me that, “Uncle at least let me say my last prayers.” Then very happily like a new bride about to meet her new groom she started on the journey back with us. In spite of the fact that we took her to an unfamiliar and deserted route, she did not question us that my aunt’s house is not here, and nor did she rebel. When we reached the banks of the river where I had dug a trench, laughingly she enquired of her father, that are you taking me to my aunt’s house or sending me to the house of my Beloved? (Allah SWT)
Q:Ahmed Awaah: After providing brother Abdullah with water, “Please complete your story.”
A:Brother Abdullah: How can I complete such a sordid tale, but complete it I will…I was carrying five liters petrol in a plastic bag with me. Both Hira’s real father and me her real uncle took her to the trench that we had dug a day previously in order to put our devious plan into action, like an animal I pushed her into that trench whilst saying to her, “How will you save us from hell fire? Here now you fell what fell fire feels like!” and so saying I doused her with petrol and threw a burning matchstick on her. Meanwhile, My elder brother kept on crying and staring at her. As soon as I threw the matchstick on her, her new clothes caught fire and she stood up in the trench and raised her hands towards the sky and cried out, “ My Allah! You are seeing me right now? Aren’t you? My Allah! You are seeing me right now? Aren’t you? My Allah! You love me, don’t you? You love your Hira, Don’t You? Yes, my Allah You love the cave of Hira and you love the Hira burning in the ditch and because I have Your love, I don’t need anyone else’s love.” After that she called out to her father and me, “Father please do accept Islam. Uncle please do accept Islam, uncle please do accept Islam.” At that I got angry and I took hold of my brothers’ hand and we left from there. My brother beseeched me that lets us go back and try and reason with her and at that I got really angry. Later on, when we went back to that place we heard Kalma e Shahadat being recited again and again extremely loudly in that ditch. We felt that we had done our duty and left, but the last sentence spoken by that martyr of love had really shattered my heart into pieces. After reaching home my brother fell ill and he was broken by his grief, and that grief eventually took his life. Two days prior to his death, he called me and said that whatever we did in this life, that is gone and past now but now I cannot die till I accept Hira’s faith. Please call a Maulana sahib from a Masjid. By this time, even I had broken down mentally and emotionally. I found an Imam Sahib at a local masjid, and got him to our home where my brother lay on his death bed. Maulana Sahib made my brother recite the Kalma e Shahadat and he chose the name Abdul Rahman for himself. Then he told me to bury him according to Islamic rites, this was a very difficult thing for me but I considered this my brother’s last request and I somehow had to fulfill it. I took him to Delhi for treatment and got him admitted into a hospital. My brother breathed his last in that hospital. He was at peace. I told a doctor from Hamdard about my brothers’ last wish, so he gathered some Muslims from that area and had him buried according to Islamic rites.
Q:Ahmed Awaah: This is a very strange story, but you haven’t told us yet how you came to accept Islam.
I am leading you in that direction only. My hatred for Islam had lessened to some extent but I was very upset at the fact that my brother had died a Muslim. The fact that my brother had accepted Islam, convinced me of the fact that my sister in law must also have accepted Islam before her demise. I felt that some Muslim had by magic coerced my family and clan into accepting his/her faith. It was as if their hearts were gripped by the wanting to be a Muslim. One by one everyone was leaving Hinduism and accepting Islam. So I went and spoke to many wise people. I was going from Shamli to Own in search of a tantric. I took a bus and coincidentally that belonged to a Muslim and the driver was a Muslim too. He was playing a Qawwali on a tape recorder in is bus. The Qawwali depicted the famous story of Rasool Allah Sall Allah ho Alaih w Aalayhee w Sallam (PBUH) and is encounter with and old lady who used to harass him and throw trash at him. But one day when she did not throw garbage at him, he enquired about her and found out that she was ill. So he went and served her and showed extreme kindness to her, because of which she accepted Islam. The speaker was blaring right on top of my head. This Qawwali suddenly changed my perspective, I thought that the Prophet depicted in this story cannot be a liar. Instead of going to Own I got down at Jhunjhana and I thought that I should read about Islam. After that I sat in the bus headed for Shaamli. There was also a tape recorder playing in this bus. Pakistan’s Maulana Qaari Haneef Sahib was giving a lecture about death and what happens after death. I was supposed to get down at Shaamli but the lecture had not finished as yet and I wanted to listen to the whole lecture. When we reached Shaamli, the driver switched off the tape recorder. I was getting anxious to listen to the full lecture. The bus was going to Muzaffarnagar, to listen to the lecture I took a ticket for Muzaffarnagar. The lecture finished when we reached Bhaghra. That lecture had really driven out all the doubts that I had about Islam. I got down on Barhana Road and caught a bus home. A Maulana Sahib was sitting near me. I told him that I want to know what Islam is and I want to educate myself about Islam, will you help me in my quest? He told me that go to Phalat and meet up with Maulana Kaleem Sahib. That he is the best person to guide me. I took Maulana’s address in Phalat and instead of going home, went straight to Phalat. Maulana Sahib was not at home. He was supposed to return the next morning. At night a teacher gave me Maulana Sahib’s book titled “ Aap kee amanat, aap kee sewaa main.” Translated as “your trust, in your service.” This book was extremely touching and hit me right on my heart. Maulana Sahib instead of returning in the morning, reached home in the evening. After Maghrib I requested him to take my Shahadah (The oath of Islam) and told him that I had come to enquire about Islam but your book has absolutely floored me. Maulana Sahib was very happy at this turn of events. On 13th January, 2000 I recited the Shahadah and my name was changed to Abdullah. I stayed in Phalat at night and requested Maulana Sahib for an hour out of his time. In that hour I told him about my life history filled with terror and barbarism. Maulana Sahib cried for a long time after he found out what had become of Hira and told me that Hira had stayed at his place only and had later on gone on to live with his sister in Delhi. Maulana Sahib consoled me that Islam wipes clean all the misdeeds committed before its acceptance. But I was inconsolable, how can such cruelty be wiped off so easily?
Maulana Sahib told me that to console and redeem yourself, you have to now go and save the life of as many Muslims as you can. Qur’an says that good deeds cancel out bad deeds. So now, to console myself I try and save as many Muslim lives as possible. I even know this that I do not have the power to save anyone or to give a new life to anyone but the person who tries to save another is akin to the one who actually saves them. That is why I try to save lives now.
There was a massacre in Gujrat, so I considered that a God given opportunity. I am grateful to Allah that I was able to help countless Muslims save their lives. I acted as if I was a Hindu and took the Muslims supposed to be killed to a safe and secure place or I warned them before-hand to run away and save their lives. One deed that Allah had me do, really gave me some peace of heart. In a village called Bhaonagar, the Hindus had planned on burning 400 Muslim kids alive in a Madressah. I went and informed the jail incharge Mr. Sharma before hand and got him ready. Ten minutes before the arrival of the crowd, I broke the back wall of the Madressah and helped all the children escape. I stayed for three months in Gujrat to save Muslim lives, but my misdeeds are so many that a lot more has to be done by me before I can say that I am at peace. Once Maulana Sahib tried to console me by saying that the Allah who has shown you the right path, also has the ability to pardon you so have faith. Maulana Sahib told me to go in a Jamaat to learn about Islam. I asked for two months time. I went back to my village and sold all my property over there at a low price and bought a house in Delhi. I rounded up my wife, my two nephews and Hira’s sister and had them recite the Shahadah at Phalat. All this cost me one year instead of two months. Then I went in the Jamaat, my heart was always weighed down by the grief of the way I had killed Hira and the other innocent Muslims. I always used to think how can such a cruel man get pardon? Then Maulana Sahib told me to read the Qur’an and he specially told me to recite Surah Burooj again and again. Now I remember it along with its translation. 1400 years back what an amazing thing was said by my Allah.
It seems as if it is about what had happened over here in India, now in this day and age.
It is like this:
85. Surah Al-Burooj (The Big Stars)
1.By the heaven, holding the big stars .
2. And by the Promised Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection);
3. And by the witnessing day (i.e. Friday), and by the witnessed day [i.e. the day of ‘Arafat (Hajj) the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah];
4. Cursed were the people of the ditch (the story of the Boy and the King).
5. Fire supplied (abundantly) with fuel,
6. When they sat by it (fire),
7. And they witnessed what they were doing against the believers (i.e. burning them).
8. They had nothing against them, except that they believed in Allah, the All-Mighty, Worthy of all Praise!
9. Who, to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allah is Witness over everything.
10. Verily, those who put into trial the believing men and believing women (by torturing them and burning them), and then do not turn in repentance, (to Allah), will have the torment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire.
11. Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). That is the great success.
12. Verily, (O Muhammad ()) the Grip (Punishment) of your Lord is severe.
13. Verily, He it is Who begins (punishment) and repeats (punishment in the Hereafter) (or originates the creation of everything, and then repeats it on the Day of Resurrection).
14. And He is Oft-Forgiving, full of love (towards the pious who are real true believers of Islamic Monotheism),
15. Owner of the throne, the Glorious
16. He does what He intends (or wills).
17. Has the story reached you of the hosts,
18. Of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and Thamud?
19. Nay! The disbelievers (persisted) in denying (Prophet Muhammad () and his Message of Islamic Monotheism).
20. And Allah encompasses them from behind! (i.e. all their deeds are within His Knowledge, and He will requite them for their deeds).
21. Nay! This is a Glorious Qur’an,
22. (Inscribed) in Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet)!
Ahmed Bhai, just read this Surah and then think about what Hira had prayed for whilst burning in the pit. “ My Allah! You are seeing me right now? Aren’t you? My Allah! You are seeing me right now? Aren’t you? My Allah! You love me, don’t you? You love your Hira, Don’t You? Yes, my Allah You love the cave of Hira and you love the Hira burning in the ditch and because I have Your love, I don’t need anyone else’s love.” “Father please do accept Islam. Uncle please do accept Islam, uncle please do accept Islam.” (Whilst crying incessantly.)
Q:Ahmed Awaah: All praise to Allah that you did as she asked. You are very lucky that you came out of the darkness of that cruelty towards the light and kindness of Islam.
A:Brother Abdullah: Oh I did not obey her, the omniscient Being who loved her made that decision for me and steered me in that direction and made me obey him. A lowly, cruel and barbaric person like me was not worthy of this kindness shown him by Allah.
Q:Ahmed Awaah: Thanks a lot Brother Abdullah!
A:Brother Abdullah: Ahmed Brother pray for me, that Allah makes me do something that helps me find peace and that I am forgiven the cruelties that I did.
Definitely Qur’an speaks the truth when it says that good deeds clean up the bad deeds and it is because of this when I helped save some innocent Muslim lives in Gujrat that I found some peace in my heart.