Like Manna from Heaven


We were being held captive inside the Great Mosque’s courtyard. The sky above us was an eerie pitch-black. We had been locked up by a one-eyed ogre that seemed to have sprung up from a squalid dungeon in hell. It beggared belief how much terror he had spread. He had decapitated innocents, and as the fine necromancer he had proven to be, he had managed to sow corruption in the Levantine territories. He had driven dozens of people to the brink, but not us, because we knew that we had God on our side. We had begged Him to send us one of His warriors to gouge out the demon’s only eye and free us from him.

We knew our prayers had been answered when we saw a knight descend from the sky enveloped in a halo of light and riding a creature that looked like an angel. The knight placed his hands over the angel’s wings to bring it to a halt. The crowd inside the mosque had never seen such splendor. The two apparitions exuded a scent that instilled fear in the infidels and aroused hope in the believers. We all dashed to where they had alighted, asking ourselves who this knight might be. Those who had harbored doubts over God’s supreme power regained their faith upon seeing that the sky always comes to the aid of those who stay true to their convictions and pray wholeheartedly, especially when they have little reason to do so. We ran toward him, hoping to avoid being detected by the one-eyed fiend or his squad of goons, which had filled the world with evil and corruption. We strode inside the mosque without even knocking on its doors. We entered the minarete through which windows we had seen the knight access the mosque’s interior. Finally, we were able to get a good look at him. His face was bright, his beard was neat, and he was carrying a sword with an inscription that read: “Regardless of how doom and gloom the future looks, lend credence to God’s mercy.” For a moment, we stood there at a loss for words. It was, ultimately, quite a breathtaking sight.

Then, the knight spoke. “Greetings, sons of mine. What are you doing here?”

“Hello, mister. God praise you! Forgive us but is that not the question we should be asking? After all, it is not every day we see a man descend from the sky riding an angel,” we retorted.

In response, the knight said, “Gentlemen, you are right! Allow me to introduce myself. I have been commissioned to spread love and peace and to restore the world’s good, justice, and safety. I am known by many names. They call me Christ, Jesus, Isa the son of Maryam . . . I am here to help the sky root out the corruption that has been brought about by the one-eyed villain! I ought to be able to return the earth to its pristine state and to send the one-eyed devil to burn in hell forever—back where he belongs. I have come since nobody else has enough power to gouge out his only eye, kill him, and thus end this entropy that has set in. Judgment Day is drawing closer!”

Our mouths hung open in perplexity. “Peace be upon you and your virtuous mother.”

He then said, “Peace be upon you as well. Now please take a few steps back, my esteemed audience. I have serious matters to attend to.”

We added, “Of course, venerable prophet. Godspeed to you!”

He marched out into the open, completely calm, cool, and collected. He didn’t even seem to be trying to steer clear of the main streets although they seethed with thugs loyal to the one-eyed brute. Fearing for him, our voices wavered as we said, “Dear Messenger of God, the one-eyed man’s gangsters roam the streets. Avoid running into them lest they harm you!”

God’s messenger responded in an amused tone. “Don’t be afraid, my sons. Walk beside me if you feel like it, for God is on our side. One has nothing to fear when God is on one’s side.”

We started to follow him and saw how the miscreants melted away like sugar in hot tea as they encountered him.

We finally arrived at the place where the one-eyed scoundrel was usually to be found. He stomped out of his underground lair hooting with laughter. However, he cowered in terror as soon as he saw God’s messenger. He tried to flee, but God’s messenger ran like a hare. He swished his sword at him and thrust it into his only eye. The one-eyed beast, who we had deemed invincible, went rigid and subsequently melted away like his henchmen before him. That most certainly put us in an ebullient mood. We felt triumphant and in God’s debt. The sun rose over the horizon, and it shone brighter than ever.


Written by Omar Khattab.

Choose your own adventure

Let’s unite our voices to

a) live as one and the same.

b) die as one and the same.