August 20th, 2017 - Damascus, Syria

 

Mohammad Arsalan Malik nudged the rocket launcher into place while his men checked the dials. Sweat trickled down his face as he aligned the feet of the launcher with three marked points in the middle of an empty cotton field. Every second wasted decreased the chances of success and they all needed this attack to go well. He was running out of time.

The summer heat beat down on them, making Arsalan wish they’d stuck to their original timetable of early morning. Why the market would be more crowded in the heat of the day, he couldn’t understand.

Karim started to load the mortar round.

“N-no!” Arsalan shouted, the stress making his stutter worse. “Check the l-level first!”

“Sorry, Mahdi,” Karim said as he pulled the ammunition back out.

Arsalan was known to his followers as Mohammad Al-Mahdi, though some were starting to doubt. While he was tall enough, fair complexioned, was the son of Abdullah and Aamina, and even stuttered, his fortieth birthday had already come and gone without an official pronouncement.1 One of the many prophecies said the 12th Imam would be forty years old when he revealed himself to the world. If he turned forty-one before that happened, it was too late. There were too many signs2 which hadn’t been fulfilled and even Arsalan was doubting whether he could accomplish all that was required of him before his next birthday.

They got the launcher leveled and dialed in. If their practice sessions and measurements were accurate, this would land right on the doorstep of the fairgrounds. Today the government was reopening the fair as a sign that the fighting had died down. His forces may be diminished, but they weren’t entirely defeated.3

“We are ready, Mahdi,” Karim said.

Arsalan quickly checked the settings and said, “Do it,” as he backed away.

Karim dropped the mortar shell into the tube and Hamoud pressed the launch button. The rocket-propelled grenade soared into the air, leaving behind an acrid smell.

Ten seconds later Arsalan’s radio buzzed. “Get out of there! The military is on their way!” the spotter shouted.

No one needed to be told twice. They threw the rocket launcher into the back of the van and piled in. The driver gunned it and they were on the road in less than a minute.

“Mission accomplished,” the spotter said. “Direct hit.” The only round they’d been able to fire had hit the market in the fairgrounds.

It was a tight squeeze, but the driver managed to get to regularly trafficked roads before the troops arrived. Three minutes after that, they were on the 110, heading south. It wasn’t much, but it just might be enough for the Shadow Council to let him live.

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Endnotes

  1. August 20th, 2017 - Damascus, Syria
    Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali
    http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/masdaj.html (As of 2015)
    The full text is too long to include here. For further study on this topic, visit http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/
    Physical description of the Imam Mahdi:
    1. He will be tall;
    2. He will be fair complexioned;
    3. His facial features will be similar to those of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam);
    4. His character will be exactly like that of Rasulullah;
    5. His father’s name will be Abdullah;
    6. His mother’s name will be Aamina;
    7. He will speak with a slight stutter and occasionally this stutter will frustrate him causing him to hit his hand upon his thigh.;
    8. His age at the time of his emergence will be forty years;
    9. He will receive Knowledge from Allah.

  2. August 20th, 2017 - Damascus, Syria
    There are many signs which are to precede the appearance of the 12th Imam. For a brief overview, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signs_of_the_reappearance_of_Muhammad_al-Mahdi

  3. August 20th, 2017 - Damascus, Syria
    Deadly rocket fire hits near Damascus trade fair
    https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/153417-170820-injuries-reported-after-rocket-strikes-much-awaited-damascus-business-fair

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