The Islamic Post Blog

Reflections: Sleep in an Old Fort Brings a Mysterious Experience by Khalida
January 2, 2009, 8:26 am
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, travel

The following passage is the introduction  of M.A. Gillani’s historical accounts called, “Some Mystifying and Enigmatic Events,” originally published in Defence Journal.  Therein are narrated unexplained events that Mr. Gillani,encountered during his army career:
Sometimes in our lives we experience strange and, at times, baffling events which often keep on haunting us. In this article, some such events, experienced during my army career are being listed below for the interest of the readers. All these events are based on facts but, as they say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
First night in Abargarh Fort- Bhimber Sector, Dream or Illusion?
During January 1949, I was commanding a company which was deployed in defence of the fort situated on a commanding feature. The fort was a few centuries old, built by the Mughals, but later occupied by the rulers of Kashmir. The outposts of the fort had decayed with the passage of time. The fort itself was in good shape and looked majestic from a distance. It commanded the Dadabad valley, facing the enemy-held heights called Mandak and Reech. An old sarai (resting place for caravans), also built by the Mughals, existed short of the Sadabad Gala, and below the famous feature, Shaheen (pt. 3350).
The ceasefire in Kashmir was effective on the first of January in 1949, and there was no exchange of fire but troops remained alert in battle locations. I had two platoons deployed on the forward slope of the effort. My company headquarters was in the upper tier of the fort. An artillery observation post and intelligence detachment were also located there for keeping constant watch over enemy movements. On the left of the fort was a dominating height facing the valley, occupied by a volunteer force called the Furqan Battalion. On its left, the hill was defended by the Lashkar of Kashmira Khan.
The Mughal commander’s room, located in one corner of the top tier of the fort, was selected by the senior JCO as my residence. A look inside disclosed that it had not been used for a long time. The room was then cleaned and the floor and walls washed. It was a small room with a canopy type roof, having an opening to the courtyard. There were two slits in the wall facing the valley, and the whole area was visible through the slits.
Before my company shifted to the fort, there used to be only an observation post, defended by a regular section and a detachment of Kashmira Khan’s Lashkar. The enemy often shelled, but the damage was negligible.
The weather was cold, the night was dark, and it was drizzling. The bed had been neatly arranged on the floor. The dim light of the hurricane lamp was my only companion in the room. The cold breeze often entered the room with a whirring sound. I suddenly had the thought that many Mughal commanders must have resided in this room during their stay in the fort.
At times, I felt as if someone was present in the room. I tried to shake off the feeling, but an unknown fear gripped me, and I started reciting the kalima, and Ayatul Kursi (blessed words from Holy Qur’an by which are sought the protection and refuge of the Almighty), and tried to sleep. Suddenly, I heard the clashes of swords and cries of some wounded person. At the same time, I felt as if someone was sitting on my chest. With a loud yell, I managed to shake off the weight. I opened my eyes, and in the dim light of the lamp, I saw someone’s shadow. As I got up, someone hurriedly left the room – I distinctly heard the swish of heavy clothes.
The nearest guard was about 15 yards away, but I did not call anyone. In order to hide my fear, I went out in the wet night to check the sentries, whom I found alert. I remained awake for the rest of the night, and the next day I shifted to a place closer to the men’s quarters. I did not disclose my experience to anyone, and to this day, I often wonder whether that was only a dream, or an illusion? This experience remains unexplained and mysterious in my memory box.

-Editor’s note: Out of the creation of Allah Almighty, there are human beings, angels,  and also jinn beings. Jinns are mischievous by nature, frequent uninhabited spaces, and enjoy playing tricks on human beings.


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