Sunday, October 5, 2008

Immaculate Conception

The best works of fiction are those inspired by fact. We all know the famous saying “fact is stranger than fiction”. I seem to have struck an uncomfortable chord with some readers of my stories. Shocking as they may be, the tales told on this blog are all true (thus far). Perhaps seen as gossip mongering or a claim to fame, or the imaginations of some twisted mind, I prefer to think that the stories point to human nature and reflect a little bit of each of us. Are we so savagely scarred that we turn away from our reflections and prefer to mask ourselves?

Certainly my favourite books are those inspired by true events. Everyone loves the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, disturbing as some of the descriptions may have been! I love the three books of Tariq Ali’s quintet that I’ve read, covering the loss of Al Andalus, the birth of modern-day Turkey and the conquest of Al Quds by Salahaddin. These tales wouldn’t be complete were they not thoroughly researched and had they not included deep descriptions of acts of human nature – lust, love, hate, greed etc.

The Quran itself is filled with anecdotes that we can relate to so that we may better understand.

Even the much idolised Rumi has written fables and stories appealing to the humanness in each of us. He wrote of jealous wives and cheating husbands, of sheikhs in debt and murdering kings, of sexy trysts – sometimes with even the most sordid, bordering on pornographic, and detail! He wrote of stories of the Prophet (SAW), of Moosa (AS) or Isa / Jesus (AS), of Sulaiman (AS) and Bilqis, of Abu Bakr (RA) and of Ali (RA).
So why are we afraid to explore and why are we quick to condemn?
I’ve been reading some of Rumi’s stories on the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and clearly these are fictitious. The imagination is infinite once we take the first step. He wrote conversations between God and his prophets, debates between angels and humans ….. Somehow there seems not to be a problem in publishing these, perhaps because they are ancient scripts or because the author is a long passed ascetic.

Do we not then have double standards in condemning the as yet unpublished Jewel of Madina? Are we afraid to admit to the humanness of the Prophet (SAW)? Have we forgotten that Aisha (RA) herself relayed stories of his (SAW) nature towards her as a wife – when she described his (SAW) playfulness with her after intimacy? Or is it fear that there will be a backlash and rioting similar to the Danish cartoon fiasco?

I’m saddened that the image of Islam is reduced to mob-mentality. Have we forgotten that even when the Prophet (SAW) was alive, there were people who mocked him? Was he not abused in Taif? Somehow my history notes fail to show retaliation on his (SAW) part! I don’t recall him (SAW) rallying up the Muslims to riot in Taif! Instead I read Allah (SWT) words of counsel to His (SWT) messenger (SAW), urging him to be patient. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: “Alas for mankind! There never came a Messenger to them but they used to mock at him.” (36:30)
But the Prophet’s (SAW) example is one of tolerance and perseverance and setting examples so that people can see that Islam is a religion of peace.
It is so rare these days to find Muslims setting this example. We are demonised in the West and in the media but we are also responsible for this in only emulating the militant aspects of Islamic history, rather than the diplomatic and peace-making aspects.

So can we quit with the denial and actually use the open minds we profess to have and stop behaving as though the entire Muslim Ummah was immaculately conceived!!!!

6 comments:

The Organ Harvester said...

That has been what i've been thinking lately. It's what suits us. Not what is best. Nice one your demoness.

Anonymous said...

This will come out wrong, no matter how I say it.

Muslims would be alot happier if they start having sex( halaal of course)

We wouldn't have as much Fatwas if our brothers were being blown regularly.

In all honesty. we suffer from sexless-ness and funnybone-less ( male and female)

The problem is we are told to be feminine or masculine is wrong, when the Qu'raan in fact celebrates this fact!

Aasia

Waseem said...

People are sheep, Islam isnt meant to be blindly followed, if they considered their actions and behaved according to correct teachings, world and opinion on Muslims be way different.

The corrupt shepherds are as much to blame as the mindless sheep though.

Nooj said...

I think it is fear. We do not take the initiative to become knowledgeable about our own heritage and therefore condemn anyone else who does, because we are fearful of being misled when we did not arm ourselves with knowledge in the first place

desert demons said...

OH, Thanks. You're right, wat suits us may not always be best but are we such cowards that we can't face the reflection in the mirror?

Aasia,
Sometimes we just have to call a spade a spade! This post on immaculate conception stems from my observation that we are constantly under check by the powers that be and reminded again and again not to behave in certain manners that sometimes are just human! We shouldn't laugh out loud, we shouldn't celebrate happy events, we shouldn't mourn sad events. Are we to kill our emotions? Yes in everything there should be balance, but those emotions were not created by Allah for us to constantly fight. Everything we do and feel is not a vice! Like one Saudi commentator said, the clerics are turning weddings into funerals!

Waseem,
The current state of affairs and the absence of thinking muslims really worries me. I wonder if the few of us that are able to voice our thoughts are really such a minority against the very loud baa-ing sheep and the careless (sometimes brokeback mountain like) shepards!

Nooj,
Thank you for your visit. Yes fear stems from not knowing. We need to dispel those fears by empowering ourselves with knowledge but sadly there seems to be a demise of wisdom these days.

Bilal said...

i agree with waseems point but ask the question:
how many of us can really think! sometimes it seems that us self proclaimed thinkers are just dumb ass pretenders too!

good post*