I feel as though we’ve had this discussion before. Maybe because we have. The ugly reality of racial segregation was not so long ago–and yet it feels as though we have learned very little since then.
When I imagine future generations reading about how we used to be afraid of genitals I realize that we will have a difficult time explaining away the so-called “Bathroom Laws” by blaming the Tea Party and other fundamentalist politicians who would rather focus on non-issues and avoid the real and more arduous work of actual statesmanship. Between now and then, I’m sure we’ll get our story straight.
Muhammad received many questions from his cohorts regarding what was halal (permissible) and what was haram (forbidden). While early Muslims would certainly have began grasping the “spirit” of Muhammad’s teachings—he may still have had to clarify the rules every so often.
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Muhammad and Omar taking in the unparalleled beauty of nature.
“He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw?”
The Holy Quran
Decided to go with something a bit more light-hearted this week!
According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad’s first wife Khadijah was also the first to accept Islam. It is said that Muhammad used to go to a cave called Hira in Jabal al-Noor (the Mountain of Light) to meditate. On one such occasion, the angel Gabriel appeared to him to deliver God’s final religion: Islam. Terrified at having encountered a supernatural being, Muhammad hurried back to his wife Khadija. She consoled the shaken prophet and would become the first convert to Islam—thus beginning Muhammad’s life-long prophetic mission to bring Islam to the people of Arabia—and the world.
However, there is one companion who may have preceded even Khadija in the honor of being the first Muslim. His name is lost to us, but I have it on good authority that he may have been asleep inside the cave with Muhammad when Gabriel appeared. Roused by the angel’s booming voice, he became the only living creature to witness those first magical moments between Muhammad and Gabriel. (Or, he may have found it politically expedient to corroborate Muhammad’s story or risk being stomped on or fed to a feral desert cat!) Let’s call this character “Muslim Mouse”. We do know (if little else) that the rodent had a sense of humor (as I hope you also do, dear reader).
Apologies for the brief downtime yesterday. Here’s a bonus cartoon!
A dejected modern-day Muhammad giving a Q&A outside of what appears to be a Whole Foods, but probably isn’t.
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