Ramadaniyat (VI)

Few years back I was traveling in a group that consisted of my family and my friend’s to the Bulgarian spa’s of Albena. And while we were waiting for our dinner to be served in a restaurant, on a huge table that accommodated almost a dozen of us, a young couple of immense beauty and elegance came in and sat on a lovely corner, which apparently they specifically booked before, beside our table. All the heads in the restaurant turned towards them, it was in fact a lovely scene as if out of a movie. The youth had that fresh look that was tanned by nature, both tall and sleek. And they looked very intimate. And while I was having my dinner I noticed that my friend’s sister’s eyes never left them alone for one second, except to lower her gaze to see that her food would not miss her mouth. She was facing them and me, so I could see exactly where she was looking, and I told her jokingly ”basich 3ad, tara walah ma ra7 te3adi 3alaihom ellaila bekhair”.

My friend’s sister is a retired schoolteacher, the same age as my mother, she is very conservative and the abaya never leaves her head if she goes to the moon. And her scarf underneath it, takes half of her face, and always in black. Actually, ever since my friend introduced me to her, I’ve never seen her in any color except black. I heard that she never changed her color since she was widowed in her early forties. Very tragic death was her late husband’s fate.

She looked at me with all innocence and said ”3yoon elmo7ib ma te9eeb, ana ga3da ashoof nafsi laman arja3 shabab fi iljana ma3a flan (her husband) nishrab khamor mithilhom”
Of what I have heard about her late husband from his own family did not exactly place him in heaven by the regular Moslem standards. He was a man who loved life, with all it’s joys ( bidoon 7ash), and was never religious. And being the tease I am, I said “ ishrayich i6loblich min thak elkhamor illi biljana, 3alashan ta3rfeen eli7sas 3adil”.
And before finishing my sentence her mouth opened, her jaw dropped, her eyes bulged out and she almost choked with the words” astagfor allah” LOL

Few days back, Christiana Amanbour presented a very nice documentary that was titled “On the Footsteps of Bin Laden” on CNN. She made an interview with a young woman of Moslem French nationality who was covered all over with black except for her eyes. It was apparent that she had an attractive figure be it all covered.

She was talking with pride and joy that her husband is in heaven and that she’ll be with him some day, she was explaining the whole story of how her husband contacted Bin Laden and offered him his services and eventually got killed in one of the suicide plots. She also explained the joy in which the neighbors greeted her for the honor of being the wife of a martyr.

How many tragedies have you caused afterlife.

Afterlife and the way it is presented in religion does not make sense, the only way to accept it is by having faith. And the only way to have full faith is by giving your mind a long vacation. Otherwise your faith remains shaky.

Faith is a tool used by almost all religions, underestimating the power of human minds is not new. And that was not hard to reach by the clerics, for the mere fact of the mystery of death. it was never easy to understand death. People, who lose a loved one, want to believe that they would be reunited with them someday. The mere idea of death brings terror to the mind, yet this terror is not from death itself, but from the unknown, and here comes religion to make the unknown known, connecting it to good and evil, heaven and hell and so forth.

That suicide bomber in CNN story and his young wife had faith; a blind faith, and they had hopes, they were no aliens from outer space, they were the most sensitive and the most devout to their religion. But are they taking the right route? For moderate Moslems, no, but according to them, definitely. And come to think of it, I do not blame them.

It is true that they were brainwashed by certain ideologies, but this brainwashing did not come from void. If you analyze Quran; the only holy book that all sects believe in its infallibility, you would notice the vast amount of tolerance, humbleness, ethics that it presents in Mecci verses, while the whole story takes a sharp irony of intolerance of others, arrogance, full of terrorizing threats in its Madani verses. Why is that if the book was the true word of one single God?

Same goes to the story of the prophet Mohammad; the one chosen to complete ethics on earth, his great personality is evident and almost vibrant in Mecca, yet, it takes a big divergence to a point that you don’t really know what to make of this personality in Madina.
I pointed out this broad note as an example only, if one goes deeper, more confusion would arise, in the core of the islamic religion.

This could only have two explanations; either Islam was man-made, or it was manipulated as it progressed. And whatever is the case, we can’t take it blindly and have faith in it totally, nor we can discard the possibility of its validity for believing in some of it’s contents, at least on some parts.

And here comes the idea of moderation. Now the tow extreme have many mid-points depending on the individual and his logic. How to practice the rituals or not to practice them at all, should not be the main problem of a Moslem, these rituals were set to reach a goal, they were never the goal. Moreover; they tend to segregate people into tribalisem, each believing that his sect is right and the other is wrong. But accepting others, either the ones belonging to a different sect or to other beliefs. Tolarance of others means accepting their point of view even if they did not agree with them. not taking everything personally and sensitively, and not getting emotional because of other’s critical point of view. Being open to different possibilities and accepting others as a belief and not just mere utterance is the only way to human salvation, while blind faith is the demolisher of nations, and the evidences are many in the pathetic situation that Moslems are in today.