Stay away from the incomplete parts of Islam through ISIS.
That dreaming ISIS.
There are no dreaming years.
He told me that a harsh character
found the credit for character
within their character.
I have a lethal weapon.
ISIS too has integers.
leave a notebook.
They put a bomb in this kid’s mouth.
That so formula.
The following is an excerpt from an article in Dabiq[i], the first official magazine of Islamic State. It quotes three dreams of the suicide bomber of the Brussels metro in 2016, dreams he had in the months before he died:
“Khālid al-Bakrāwī (Abū Walīd al-Baljīkī) Metro Station Istishhādī
A man of strong character, a natural leader, Khālid was guided while in prison after having a vivid, life-changing dream. He saw that he was alongside the Prophet fighting the disbelievers. Narrating his dream, he said, “It was a vision. After hearing the last verse of al-Fath[ii] recited in a loud voice, I saw the Prophet on a horse in battle, a distance away. The vision took me beyond the battlefield. I saw myself as an archer shooting arrows at the enemy. I would shoot, take cover, then shoot again.” He narrated other details of the dream and said, “I then woke up, back in my prison cell.”
After leaving prison, full of conviction and steadfastness, he started giving da’wah in his neighborhood, calling the youth to make hijrah to Shām. He also wrote a few articles on the crusades of the era fought by the West against the Muslims. All preparations for the raids in Paris and Brussels started with him and his older brother Ibrāhīm. These two brothers gathered the weapons and the explosives. After the blessed raid in Paris, he saw another dream, which motivated him to carry out an istishhādī operation. He narrated, “The second dream was three months ago. It was a vision that took place from fajr[iii] until dhuhr[iv]. I arose to a high place, as if I was in space, surrounded by stars; but the sky was like the blue of night.” He then heard a voice in the dream telling him that he was created only to worship Allah and ordering him to fight for His cause and make His word supreme. He then woke up.
Abū Walīd then narrated a third dream: “I had a vision that also took place from fajr until dhuhr, but ended at night. I saw myself on a boat along with Abū Sulaymān and another brother. Each of us had a Turkish soldier as a hostage. I had a pistol and Abū Sulaymān had a belt. I told him to give me his belt, as I would feel better having it. So he gave me the belt and I gave him my pistol. I then quickly advanced with the Turkish hostage in order to close in on other soldiers, two of whom were in front of us. I detonated my belt, killing the soldiers. My head then descended to the ground. One of the brothers working on the operation and Shaykh al-‘Adnānī took my head and said, ‘Check to see if he is smiling or not.’ I then saw my soul and those of the three soldiers. All of a sudden, the soldiers’ souls burned and vanished and, suddenly, the banner of Islam – represented in the dream by the flag of the Islamic State – came out of the earth and was shining brightly. My soul then became full of light.” He then heard a voice in the dream telling him that he had achieved deliverance. Abū Walīd continued, “I prostrated quickly and repeatedly pronounced the takbīr[v]. I then awoke to find my heart beating fast, and I was taking quick breaths.”
One would expect the leader of ISIS, al-baghdadi, whom they claim to be the Caliph of Islam, to be the dreamer they are reporting here, not some corporal who’s only going to kill himself after having such ‘inspiring’ dreams. This is the first time Dabiq, their English medium magazine, has included a dream account that aims at showing Allah inspired a suicide attack[vi], and it’s interesting that it comes a month after I posted a comment on Internet Archive where a copy of the previous issue of Dabiq was made available. That comment included a link to a poem video[vii] I’d been sending out for the previous month trying to get the video to ISIS. In the video, among other things, I ask why someone with the spiritual stature al-baghdadi’s supposed to have doesn’t guide by his dreams and implied that their decisions as a group do not come from dreams and visions but from things like Google maps, the need for men and supplies, the lust for power, and the like.
I can only speculate whether this dream account and the claim that “both IS leaders and members strongly relate to their nightly dreams”[viii] and a rumor circulating that al-baghdadi used a dream to make a military decision in 2014, are a result of ISIS seeing the video and trying to prove me wrong. I can, however, be reasonably sure they’ve seen it by now, will probably read this article, and so I want to take this opportunity given me to examine this dream account in the light my experience with dreaming. In my opinion, much of the supposed guidance in these dreams is a mixture of Khalid’s dispositions and desires as well as a hostile influence pushing him toward the act of destruction he carried out in Belgium, dreams which are being reported by ISIS for propaganda purposes. In my analysis of these dreams, it’s my intention to try and expose these corrupting elements, as well as the misunderstanding and misinterpretation by Khalid of some genuine symbolic elements in these dreams in order to suit his lethal intentions.
Encountering it has made me realize it’s not wise to call for a society-wide wholesale opening to dream and vision. That would be, as Douglas said when I told him these dreams, a disaster. Neither is it a good idea to encourage people to guide by their dreams without first warning them dreams can deceive as much if not more than they can help, and that, long before they can be a good source of guidance, you have to have cultivated an integral understanding of their nature and purpose in the course of working with your dreams over a long period of time. You have to explore dream, not simply have them and remember them. The inner revolution I’ve been talking about won’t come from simply opening to our dreams but from learning to use them to go deeper within ourselves to discover who and what in truth we are. It seems fairly obvious Khālid didn’t use his dreams to discover truth, was not an inner explorer. He sees himself in them and believes whatever he sees.
To take a dream or vision at face value, as if it’s an oracle of truth because it comes from inside us, can lead to tragedy, what these dreams led Khālid to. He didn’t understand that dreams, more often than not, show us what’s going on with us, what we want to do, not what we should do, what we fear will happen, not what will happen, what we think the truth is, not what it is, and he didn’t know that they are constantly tampered with by the hostile powers, the field of dreams being their stomping ground, they being the non-physical creatures that they are. Between us Douglas and I have over 50 years of daily experience working with our dreams, oftentimes with the dreams of others, and although they’ve become for us a source of guidance, because we’ve developed dreaming to the degree we have, we have to be constantly on our guard so as not to be fooled, and I still get fooled sometimes.
That brings in the other corrupting element of these dreams I want to expose, one that’s made examining them a challenge, and that’s the fact that they have clearly been doctored to spout ideology and are being used as tools of propaganda. It’s not possible to separate with complete certainty what Khālid actually dreamed and what both he and Dabiq added to and subtracted from his dream accounts, and most certainly such has been done to these dreams. They bear the mark of the spin doctor. As my muse puts it, “added literature, fake literature, fake news from Allah.” To one degree or another, it’s a factor to consider in any dream account you hear second hand, but with one from ISIS, a religious/socio/political group of extremists that have taken propaganda to new levels of deception and style, it’s the major consideration.
To simply pass these dreams off as propaganda, however, and therefore not worth the trouble to examine, would be foolish. They’re being used by ISIS to convince others to carry out suicide attacks, and, however much they were misinterpreted and misrepresented by Khālid and doctored and construed by Dabiq, these dreams, in their raw form, were a factor in convincing him to kill himself and as many unsuspecting everyday people as he could in the process and to aid others to do the same, which he does as obediently as a house dog.
Not being able to see these dreams as he really had them but doctored as they are, I’m unable to say how much they were just showing him what was cooking with him and how much they have been tampered with by the hostile powers. It’s an influence on us in dream and vision, as Douglas has been showing in his two latest articles. How big an influence depends on the individual and their opening to the beast in themselves. That such an influence is acting upon ISIS I have no doubt, not only by the depravity of their brutality, but also by coming into contact with it as I was making the above mentioned video, the physical effects of which I talk about in the introduction to the video on this blog.[ix]
To one degree or another, each one of us are under the influence of the hostile powers, even people considered good, and when we learn this it will greatly change the way we understand and deal with human evil, since we’ll see an outside will acting upon us that can become stronger than our own. In the case of ISIS as a group, however, that influence has taken over, and it’s as though they have fallen into a hole they cannot now climb out of. They let it in with their diabolical violence, no doubt as a means to gain quick attention, but I’m sure they didn’t understand that it’s not a door they can close once it’s open, unless they renounce and repent being ISIS, and even then it’s mark will be upon them the rest of their lives, a stealthy persistent influence awaiting re-entry.
The process known as radicalization, whether that be done face to face by an inman or whoever or indirectly through social media, is insufficient to account for why someone such as Khālid, a native of the city he blew such a monstrous hole into, would so willingly annihilate himself and as many others as he could, the worst thing in his power to do, something that aims at destroying the very idea of what it means to be a human being. That lethal idea got ahold of him when he opened to ISIS, probably even before he contacted them, as it’s done and is doing to many today, and it’s conscious and non-human, anti-divine, and human suffering is its food. This phenomenon, to go off and kill as many people as you can however you can, is a conscious formation working within the collective field of human consciousness that in ISIS has found a home, but it’s worked it’s dire spell on anyone who goes on a killing rampage, which, in our times, has become something almost panhuman.
A person opens the door to that lethal idea when they hate, be that a hatred of society itself or some group within it, and even if they themselves don’t carry it out or even consciously consider it, their hate is a will acting on anyone who does, aiding and abetting the hostile formation. Since we live in a collective field of consciousness, our hate accumulates and becomes a force that seeks action, which manifests in individuals such as Khālid and anyone else whose action annihilates. In other words, we are all partly to blame for such tragedies. It’s not possible at this time to directly fight the hostile formation, but we can work to stop the hatred among ourselves so at least our collective will isn’t helping it to manifest its hell.
Whatever ISIS may say, the driving force behind them isn’t a passionate love for God but a murderous hatred of whom they feel are either non-believers or bad believers, which is anyone who isn’t a member or supporter of ISIS or anyone who is they decide isn’t living up to their idea of Islam. In such a narrow hateful environment it’s no wonder the hostile formation pushing for annihilation is given such free play, seems to seize people who want to join ISIS, be the idea many if not most have in their minds as what they must do as ISIS members, is what ISIS itself uses as its major weapon, is something so characteristic of and central to its existence.
“A force demoniac lurking in man’s depths
That heaves suppressed by the heart’s human law,
Awed by the calm and sovereign eyes of Thought,
Can in a fire and earthquake of the soul
Arise and, calling to its native night,
Overthrow the reason, occupy the life
And stamp its hoof on Nature’s shaking ground.”
from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo[x]
It’s so telling that, when ISIS begins to publish personal dream accounts of their members, they choose this one from a suicide bomber and construe the whole account to lead up to a justification of his actions, wanting us to believe God himself, through whatever divine intermediaries, not only willed him to do it but gave him the mission to. But the propagandists in Dabiq do not know enough about dream and vision to pull it off, about human nature either, and they do not know that when you are claiming to embody the one and only truth upon earth, and you use lies to spread that truth, you reveal that you’re not embodying it.
One can dream anything, and dreams can help us heal ourselves and others (the more so the more conscious soul contact we have), which is what Douglas and I have been focusing on this blog, the helpful nature of dreams, but they can also trick us into hurting and killing people, the latter depending on how much influence there is from the hostile powers and how much we want to hurt and kill, an aspect of dream we have neglected to give the emphasis it needs, since dreams and visions are so often a factor when one of us harms (not only bodily) or kills others. I cannot emphasize enough that any dream or vision that’s telling you directly or indirectly to do something must be ardently questioned and not automatically obeyed, even when they’re telling you to preach what you feel is the truth, most especially when they’re telling you to harm yourself and others or bring yourself glory, regardless of whatever divine clothes the mission may be wearing to give it authority and a look of righteousness.
Dreams and visions are most trustworthy as guides when they’re suggesting or telling you not to do something that would violate others or harm yourself or aggrandize your ego. Khālid doesn’t even bat an eye when a voice in dream tells him that he’s achieved deliverance by carrying out a suicide bombing. He falls to his knees and blesses God over and over, and then simply goes out into the waking world and carries it out, believing by that mournful deed he’ll be liberated from sin and death.
Or so Dabiq would have us believe. That he willingly carried out his attack is something that doesn’t seem to be in question. The question is, of course, how much is Dabiq putting those words of divine mission into his dreams’ mouth?
As I suggested but didn’t explain in the beginning, dreams of this stature, ascending upon high to receive a divine word and mission, seeing your soul transfigure and hearing another god-word telling you you’ve been liberated, among other things, are characteristic of a prophet, seer, or significant religious figure, not some fall guy about to blow himself up no different from the all the rest doing that. Either Dabiq or the hostile powers added these seer elements, the former to fool us and the latter to fool Khālid, and it’s a tossup as to who did the most fooling.
The dream account begins with a quote from the Quran. Although Khālid was in the restricted environment of prison and perhaps hearing or reciting that verse often, it’s unusual to hear something of such length and clarity in dream all in one go, but not impossible. It’s more probable he heard a portion of it and reported he heard the entire verse. Although it’s saying to be harsh to unbelievers and merciful to believers, it’s not a call to arms and seems to suggest Christians and Jews are believers too, though in the one God not in Mohammed, as other verses in the Quran suggest. If you were a jihadist and were adding material to this dream, you’d pick a less ambiguous verse for your cause, one reason this dream seems to me to be more genuine, another being that it’s a common feature of dreams, if you’re devoted to a religion as Khālid was, to dream of the prominent religious figures of it, especially in the sort of monastery prison can be if you are religiously devout. Add to that he was most likely being indoctrinated in the jihadist interpretation of Islam and therefore when he sees such a figure, it’s not surprising it’s on a battlefield. It’s significant that Mohammed is nowhere in sight when he’s shooting arrows at the enemy, a symbol they interpret to mean he’s to conduct jihad, but in my experience with this symbol, it has more to do with pointed messages you send to people than actual fighting, what we see him doing when he gets out of prison and is writing articles about jihad. Whatever the case, if the verse was added or embellished or if it’s a truthfully told dream, both Khālid and Dabiq interpret this dream to mean much more than it does in itself. It’s interpreted as his first call to arms in jihad, where he will end up indiscriminately killing anybody in the Brussels Metro near him in the near future, be they Muslim, Christian, Jew, or whomever.
Dabiq frames these dreams, as I’m showing, to lead up to Allah ordaining his suicide mission, through whatever channels of dream and divinity. Dabiq tells us that in this first dream he’s fighting alongside the Prophet, a framing technique that puts Khālid and his actions on equal footing with the battles Mohammed fought, In the dream, however, he’s some distance away, and in dream that’s quite significant, the distance we are from someone a symbolic representation of our actual proximity to them in terms of our intimacy with their person. When it’s a religious figure, it shows how close we are to their ideal, not only their person. Here, he’s not close but some distance away, and we aren’t told Mohammed’s looking at him or even aware of him, probably because he wasn’t, and that would put a lot more distance between he and Mohammed and would suggest he has little or no part in Mohammed’s battles, and so Dabiq embellishes greatly by saying he’s beside Mohammed. A dream shift occurs, and we see him shooting arrows at an enemy fighting wherever beyond the battlefield is. It’s not alongside Mohammed. The further details of the dream we aren’t given, and you have to wonder if that’s because it would detract from the impression they want to give. Since dreams are symbolic, the more details you have the better you can interpret the meaning of a dream. Dabiq describes this as a life-changing dream, what put Khālid on the path that would ultimately lead him to carry out his suicide mission.
The second and third dreams are framed within the call to prayer, beginning at the dawn prayer and ending at the noon one, and it’s not unusual for dream to initiate on an outer sound and end on one, especially end, if the sound wakes us up. What’s odd here is the length of the dreams. Several hours is a long time for a single dream. In fact, neither Douglas nor I have heard of a continuous dream lasting that long, and these dreams are not full of dream shifts, one of the most noticeable characteristics of dream, where the individual elements and scenario are changing constantly, and the longer the dream the more shifting there is. They are presented as having the continuity of waking life experience, one scenario that plays itself out in dreams that we are told lasts several hours. That’s just not characteristic of dream, as I’ve said. It makes me hold framing the two dreams within the call to prayer under suspicion, something either Khālid or Dabiq embellished slightly or greatly to suggest his dreams were participating directly with Islam.
I cannot say much more about the second dream other than dreams do give people missions, as any study of dreaming down through the ages will show, and such dreams usually involve spreading a religion, and so he could’ve had this dream as it’s related, whatever’s askew about its length, but it’s too by the numbers for me not to question it, too literal. Besides, Khālid’s contemplating murderous suicide by this time, and you wouldn’t imagine the heaven of Islam here leading him further along that path, but you would the hostile powers. I’ll also say that, when examining the truth value of a dream account you hear secondhand, just being given a summary of what the voice of dream said and not the exact words, you have to be suspicious either a lot’s been lost in the summary or it’s been made to mean what the people reporting it want it to.
The third dream ties the dream account specifically to suicide bombing, what it’s been leading up to since the beginning: showing it was willed by heaven and was a blessed and sacred act. It’s also the most over the top dream in terms of divine fireworks, and therefore the most, I feel, tampered with by Dabiq. The first part of the dream is quite normal as far as dream goes and shows in symbolic terms his growing desire to kill himself and others, what he’s been thinking about in regards to it, which seems to be how brave and daring he’ll be, not should he do it. (He is by this time convinced that he should and is aiding others to do that and planning attacks.) Is he smiling or not represents the question of his bravado, and it’s interesting that it’s not answered. Instead, a remarkable thing happens: he sees his soul.
Seeing a representation of the soul in dream isn’t all that uncommon. While this may have been what he dreamed, it’s a little suspicious to me in light of the video I mentioned where I question ISIS about dreaming. The video, in its essence, is about the soul, and in it I say that they are not in contact with their soul nor have knowledge of it. It’s the biggest challenge I make in the video. Did Dabiq add this to his dream so to prove me wrong, or was it indeed a part of it? We have no way of knowing without further information, but because from here on out the dreams ceases to be symbolic and becomes more literal, the whole nature of the dream changing from a vital one to a religious and spiritual one, I think it’s a legitimate question.
If you were adding such things of course you’d show that the souls of the enemy, who are also Muslim we can reasonably assume, are inferior, their souls being gray insignificant things and just burning up while Khālid’s undergoes a transfiguration, but not before this happens: “suddenly, the banner of Islam – represented in the dream by the flag of the Islamic State – came out of the earth and was shining brightly.” Why the commentary here? Why doesn’t he just say the flag of ISIS? Because they want to say that the flag of Islam and ISIS are one and the same and therefore that ISIS is the true Islam. Because they are not truthfully reporting a dream account but are spouting propaganda.
Once his soul transfigures and becomes full of light, Dabiq calls him Abū Walīd and not Khālid, the name change in the account is significant no doubt, coming as it does after his transfiguration and after he’d detonated his belt. He’s now the son of his father, the son of Islam being the implication here I feel. In any event, now he’s somebody.
Once he saw his soul it appears he became the observer in the dream and not a participant, a common characteristic of dream, switching back and forth from observing to participating, but wouldn’t he be his soul and not his mortal self once his soul transfigures, seeing how he’s again a participant prostrating himself and blessing Allah and is no longer the observer? I ask this question based on what I know about coming into contact with your immortal soul. You wouldn’t wake up from a dream of being your transfigured soul excited like a little kid You’d have a brush with eternity and be filled with the calm and peace such contact brings. Neither, by the way, would you be liberated from sin and death by such a murderous suicidal action, and if the voice of dream did actually say that, and again we hear a summary and not the exact words, it’s not the soul’s voice or the divine’s. It’s the hostile powers’ or a manifestation of Khālid’s intense desire to carry out such a tragic act.
It seems they’re trying to make this out as a religious experience and not just a dream, what Khālid seems to feel all three dreams are, why he calls them visions no doubt. It’s clear he’s not using the word vision in the sense I do, as dreams you have or voices you hear when awake but in a slight trance or in twilight, between waking and sleeping, usually much less immersive and shorter than sleeping dreams. Dabiq sticks to the term dream throughout, and I can’t help but wonder at the discrepancy. Would it have anything to do with my challenge to them in regards to dream? If they too called them visions, the account wouldn’t get the tag it needed to go out into the world as proof they are into their dreams and guide by them. It’s a no accident the discrepancy is there, since this is propaganda, and every word is purposefully placed. Whatever the case, this third dream is too incongruent for me to accept either as a truthfully reported dream or a religious experience. It’s a carefully construed piece of propaganda of the most potent kind, like the other two dreams, having just enough truth in them so as not to be able to clearly see the lies. Here with this dream, however, they are so bent on spouting ideology they show their hand.
To get any real picture of what was going on with Khālid’s dreams, we’d have to see an unedited dream journal that tried to include as many of the thousands of dreams he had in the months before he died, not only the ones that seem to be telling him to become a suicide bomber. Since he was calling on God, focused on Islam, and no sincere call goes unanswered no matter how seemingly unfit the vessel, he would’ve had dreams that questioned the dire action that had taken hold of his mind, dreams that tried to warn him and that contradicted ISIS, and I say this based on being myself an unfit vessel but still calling on God, not as one righteous pointing the finger at Khālid. I have gotten so much help from dream and vision. We all get help to one degree or another, and no doubt Khālid did too, since dreams aren’t just random firings of the subconscious regurgitating our lives but meaningful insights into ourselves and our world, however much they can be tampered with by hostile powers or people with bad intentions or by our own, but we have to be able to see the true from the false in dream and cling to the true, and towards this end I submit my article.
“Injustice justified by firm decrees
The sovereign weights of Error’s legalised trade,
But all the weights were false and none the same;
Ever she watched with her balance and a sword,
Lest any sacrilegious word expose
The sanctified formulas of her old misrule.
In high professions wrapped self-will walked wide
And licence stalked prating of order and right:
There was no altar raised to Liberty;
True freedom was abhorred and hunted down:
Harmony and tolerance nowhere could be seen
Each group proclaimed its dire and naked Law.
A frame of ethics knobbed with scriptural rules
Or a theory passionately believed in a praised
A table seemed of high Heaven’s sacred code.
A formal practice mailed and iron-shod
Gave to a rude and ruthless warrior kind
Drawn from the savage bowels of the earth
A proud stern poise of harsh nobility,
A civic posture rigid and formidable.
But all their private acts belied the pose:
Power and utility were their Truth and Right,
An eagle rapacity clawed its coveted good,
Beaks pecked and talons tore all weaker prey.
In their sweet secrecy of pleasant sins
Nature they obeyed and not a moralist God.
Inconscient traders in bundles of contraries,
They did what in others they would persecute;
When their eyes looked upon their fellow’s vice,
An indignation flamed, a virtuous wrath;
Oblivious of their own deep-hid offence,
Mob-like they stoned a neighbor caught in sin.”
from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo
[ii] Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Those who are with him are harsh against the unbelievers but merciful to one another. You see them bow and prostrate themselves seeking the bounty and pleasure of Allah. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel, as the seed which puts forth its shoot and strengthens it, so that it grows stout and rises straight upon its stalk, delighting the sowers, and through them He enrages the unbelievers. Allah has promised those of them who believe and do good deeds, forgiveness and a great wage.
[iii] Dawn prayer.
[iv] Noon Prayer.
[v] “God is great.”
[vi] https://sustainablesecurity.org/2016/09/08/islamic-state-and-dream-warfare/ “These issues are the first times Dabiq has contained personal dream reports of significant IS members intending to demonstrate the glorious Allah inspired sacrifice of their martyrs.” I should also credit Iain R. Edgar, a dream researcher at Durham University, who published the above article and others about the dreams of ISIS on the web, what alerted me to their existence.
[x] Savitri quotes courtesy of The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. The last quote is a description of the population of one of the hell worlds.