In contrast, mounted on the roof of an apartment building across the square, was the excellent and pious brother Abu Hamza. He was was the kind of Muslim that everybody, religious or not, Muslim or not, looked up to. His readings of the Quran were legendary. Also, having been in the U.S. Marines for most of a decade, his training had kept most of them alive; without him, much of the congregation would have been dead. Thus far, in spite of his excellent example, the Qureshi brothers remained unmoved.
Imran signaled the hourly “all clear”, and Abu Hamza waved back. He was alone on that side of the square, watching the parking area to the side of the mosque that was obscured by trees. He was the only person skilled enough to be in such a dangerous position alone, while most of the others, men and women, were in the heavily-fortified main hall, getting ready for the evening prayer. Only Imran and Azad remained on the roof. It had been days since the last zombie sighting, and they were starting to feel hopeful.
Imran watched as Abu Hamza put down his rifle and prepared to pray. Deep inside, he envied that belief; his childhood was a religious one, and those memories were good ones. He glanced over at his brother, who was chewing dates and spitting out the seeds, and he mused at the difference between the two. It stung a little, that difference. From across the square, he heard the call to prayer, loud and clear, and he turned to watch. Even Azad had enough respect to go silent for the moment. Abu Hamza was blessed with a beautiful voice. Once the call was completed, Abu Hamza lay down his prayer mat and began to pray. The brothers could clearly hear his recitations, and they stood and stared, as if it was their first time hearing him.
A scrabbling sound snapped them out of their trance. Nearly three dozen bent, shuffling figures flowed out of the alley next to the apartment building. They had heard the call to prayer, and they followed the resonant sound of Abu Hamza's recitations. Azad started to spray bullets across the square, and Imran started screaming warnings to the apartment rooftop. He also began to fire, almost wildly, as the zombies ripped through the formidable barricade and swarmed into the building, guided by the sound of Abu Hamza's amazing voice.
Abu Hamza was oblivious to the danger. His concentration was so deep, his love for Allah was so strong, that even as the creatures flooded the roof around him, he continued on with his prayer. Even as they set upon him and began to tear him apart, he continued his recitation; his last words were, in Arabic, “you prefer the life of this world, while the hereafter is more satisfying.” The two brothers watched in silent agony as their friend died, stinging tears running down their cheeks. They stood for minutes in dumbfounded silence. As the grizzly scene before them concluded, they turned to each other, and without a word, placed their guns at their feet.
They turned to the northeast, toward Mecca, and stood next to each other; Imran said “Allahu akbar”, and they began to pray.