Adonis Diaries

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“The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie (Part 2, November 1, 2008)

The public in the tent were listening to the poets declaiming their yearly poems in competition of the best seven verses.  The Prophet Muhammad entered the tent; eyes closed, and recited his new revelation saying “Have you thought upon Lat, Manat, and Uzza, the third, the other?  They are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”.  

Muhamad was found unconscious in a street by Hind and her servants transported him to her palace. In the morning Hind made it clear that her three Goddesses would never make peace with his Allah; she also proclaimed that she is Muhammad’s equal.  The reactions of his disciples, his uncle Hamza, his wife and Hind sent Muhammad hurrying back to Mount Cone and spent the night in the cave, 500 meters below the top of Cone facing the vast desert.  The Prophet returned with a counter verse and recited it in the House of the Black Stone in front of the praying pilgrims of the three idol female Goddesses “Shall He have daughters and you sons?  That would be a fine division!  These are but names you have dreamed of, you and your fathers.  Allah vests no authority in them.”

The previous night, the three disenchanted disciples Khaled, Salman and Bilal got drunk and had a brawl with four Kuraichi youths wearing gold masks; Hamza reached the place in the nick of time with his sword and killed two and two managed to flee.  The two dead young males turned out to be the brothers of the all powerful Hind.  Everyone understood that a new period is beginning and that they would have to leave Mecca pronto.

Muhammad told the disciples of his counter verses and that the previous one was inspired by the Devil “Shaitan”.  Khaled replied “My faith is stronger now since the Devil is real”.  The Prophet finally got home and he found his 70-year old wife dead! He mourned her for 40 days in seclusion and had ordered his disciple to leave to the northern city of Yathrib in small groups.  

How Muhammad slipped away to Yathrib and how he managed this city and ruled over his followers you may read in my book review “Aicha, the beloved of the Prophet”.  The satiric poet Baal composed a valedictory ode: “What kind of idea does “Submission” seem today? One full of fear.  An idea that runs away.”

The next part is extracted from the chapter “Return to Jahilia”.  After 13 years from his flight of Mecca, Muhammad returned victorious. He destroyed the 360 idols and (kept the same old worshiping ceremony at the Black Stone with different connotations to the meanings in the procession).  Hind is the real power broker in Mecca but her husband has made a deal with the Prophet; the city would open its gates and no revenge would take place; the citizens would stay in their houses.  Hind faked conversion to Islam by reciting at the feet of Muhammad “There is no God but Allah”.

The Persian Salman had fled Yathrib incognito back to Mecca.  Salaman was the official scribe to Muhammad and he got suspicious with the increased rate of rules issued every day to organize and manage the lives of the Moslem followers.  Salman started experimenting and tampering with the verses recited to him by the Prophet and then he realized that Muhammad was about to find him out.  In a long night of drunkenness Salman told Baal, the much heavier, forgotten, and decrepit satirical poet, that the Moslems in Yathrib hated him because he suggested to the prophet digging a ditch around the city to save the inhabitants from the cavalry of the unbelievers, a realization that was not conform to the practiced chivalry in wars. He also told Baal that once the bold Aicha, the favorite wife among twelve, replied to the prophet “The Angel Gabriel has a way of answering all your wishes”.  Salman said that Muhammad had a hell of a time submitting the women of Yathrib: the independent minded women of Yathrib could divorce their husbands by just turning their tents around and the husbands settled in the wives’ clans.  The prophet had to issue many verses to reduce the women into submission and follow the customs of Mecca and obey their husbands and seclude themselves in their homes and wear the veil when out.

Bilal later intervened on behalf of his long time friend Salman who had his life saved from certain death.  Two years later and in the nick of time Salman was to leave the Arabic Peninsula back to Persia.

Baal hid in the famous whore Curtain House called Hijjab for over two years.  The prophet had taken the suggestion of Abu Simbel not to close this House right away because the conversions of the citizens of Mecca are at best skin-deep. Baal suggested to the Matron of the House that each one of the 12 whores emulate one of the Prophet’s wives in name and in historical incarnation.  Business was great and the 12 whores got the crazy idea of asking Baal to marry them all as the Prophet did an idea that was consummated. 

Two year later Muhammad returned to Mecca and closed the Curtain House.  The girls were incarcerated.  For 12 days, Baal would show up in front of the prison and recite wonderful and touching love odes to each one of his wives.  The guards finally realized that the names corresponded to the Prophet wives and Baal was taken prisoner. The girls were stoned to death.  During the trial, the public would not believe Baal’s story and thought that he was jesting which aggravated the Prophet’s mood who said “In the old days you mocked the Recitation; then too these people enjoyed your mockery.  Now you succeed in bringing the worst out of the people” Before being decapitated Baal said to Muhammad “Whores and writers Muhammad; we are the people you can’t forgive.”  The Prophet replied ” Writers and whores, I see no difference here.”

Hind secluded herself in one room for the duration of two years.  When Muhammad died Hind wore all her jewelry and ordered a sumptuous banquet and invited the citizens of Mecca.  No one shared the banquet with her, not even her husband.  Hind said “I cannot change the course of history but revenge is so sweet!”

“The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdi, Part 1 (October 30, 2008)

This manuscript is of 547 pages and divided into nine parts: The Angel Gabriel (Gibreel), Mahound, Ellowen Deeowen, Ayesha, A city visible but unseen, Return to Jahilia, The Angel Azraeel, The Parting of the Arabian Sea, and A Wonderful lamp.

I will review the chapter “Mahound” because this section is crucial for setting the geo-political, commercial and society structure in Mecca and the neighboring towns.  This description would help comprehend the climate within which Islam was born and grew.

Mahound is one of several names given to the Devil.  It is very unfortunate that Rushdie decided to represent the Prophet Muhammad by this name just to state that one of the verses was inspired by the Devil, and thus forbade over one billion Moslems from reading this essentially wonderful and most informative book.

Many “fatwas” in the Moslem World, and especially in Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini, permitted the killing of Salman Rushdi for this blasphemy.

Rushdi has been since then protected by the British police and been mostly in hiding.  Actually, Moslems should be thankful to Rushdi in not naming Muhammad as the one who delivered the two “Satanic” verses that deviated from the message of One God.  I will use the name of Muhammad in the remaining review.

Mecca at the time of Muhammad was built four generation ago to cater for desert caravans bringing goods from Zafar and Yemen to bifurcate toward Egypt, Iraq/Iran, or Syria/Turkey and back to Mecca.

It barely rains in that region and the only potable well was called Zamzam.  The story goes that Abraham abandoned his Egyptian wife Hagar and his son Ismail to their fate in this unforgiving area.  Luckily for Hagar, Angel Gabriel (Gibreel) uncovered for Hagar the well Zamzam and she survived with her newly born son.

Once a year, the Bedouins of Arabia who adored 360 idols, which are imported from the neighboring countries to encourage pilgrimage to the Black Stone (Al Ka3ba), celebrated the passage of this same Abraham (Ibraheem) in the vicinity!

Mecca was structured around concentric dwellings starting from the Black Stone and fanning away.  Houses closest to the Black Stone belonged to the most prominent personalities in the city council and their respective clans in the extended Kuraich (Shark) tribe.

There were four main clans and each clan was specialized in one kind of commerce; the Scarlet tents sold spices and scents, the Black tents the cloth and leather, the Silver tents precious metals and swords and the fourth colored tents or the owners of the Dappled Camels specialized in entertainments, wine, hashish, and the slave trade. Water carriers were despised because any overflowing of water would damage the streets and homes built out of sand.

Around the year of 600 the businessmen in Mecca were losing trade to the sea transports; worse, another new and famous Temple was built in Sheba in Yemen and pilgrims were investigating these new regions.  The pilgrims were getting scarce in Mecca because they realized that they were being bilked (milked) from every penny they had and young girls were abducted for ransom.  Consequently, in order to keep afloat the Kuraich tribe encouraged vile entertainment activities during the pilgrimage season to attract more customers.

The Black Stone enshrined around 360 idols brought from around the neighboring civilizations to entice pilgrims in from all around the regions.  The colossus Hubal the shepherd was sent by the Amalekites of Hit, the idol Kain was the patron of musicians and blacksmiths, Astarte (He-of-Shara) was brought by the Nabataen as well as saturnine Nakruh.  Manaf was the sun-god, in the eagle-form Nasr, Quzah or rainbow; Uzza the goddess of beauty and love, and Lat the all-powerful mother goddess.

The idol Allah had some sort of overall authority, an all-rounder in an age of specialist idols and thus was not that popular and didn’t generate money.

Hind, the all-powerful wife of the preeminent Karim Abu Simbel owned the three most famous goddesses of Al Lat, Manat, and Uzza.

Muhammad was rich (he married one of richess women in Mecca Khadija), but he was an orphan and his clan was of lower stature and thus was not represented in the city council. His wife Khadija was 10 years older than him and she had hired Muhammad to lead and manage her caravans heading to Damascus.

Khadija was the first person to believe in the predication of Muhammad.  By the age of 44 Muhammad message of “no God but Allah” was not making any major breakthrough among the city dwellers.  The lampoons of the very young and most famous poet named Baal were pinned up all over town “Messenger, do please lend a careful ear.  Your monophilia, your One, One, One, isn’t for Jahilia. Return to sender

Beside his uncle Hamza and a few poor fellows not many were paying any attention to Muhammad revelations.  Among those poor individuals were Khalid the water carrier, Salman from Persia (who later would suggest to dig a wide ditch around Medina to prevent the cavalry of Kuraich to enter the town), and Bilal the mighty slave that Muhammad set free from his owner and would later be appointed the first official “muezzin” calling the believers to the five prayers of the day.

In order for his message to breakthrough Muhammad was inclined to accept the deal of Abu Simbel.  Abu Simbel would recognize Allah as the mightiest God and would offer Muhammad a seat in the city council in return of recognition of Al Lat, Manat, and Uzza as Gods or the best interceding goddesses to Allah.

The clan of Hind, the Umayyad, owned these three most privileged Goddesses from pilgrimage revenues.  Muhammad thus returned from the Mount Cone and delivered publicly the verses stating that “Lat, Manat, and Uzza are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”.  I guess these were the “Satanic verses” alluded to by Rushdie

The disciples of Muhammad were beside themselves and could not assent to accepting a God but Allah.  Muhammad did not dare face his wife Khadija that night and did not enter his house.

Follow the story in the next part or the chapter “Return to Jahiliahttps://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/the-satanic-verses-part-2/

“The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie (Started October 30, 2008)

This manuscript is of 547 pages and divided into 9 parts:

The Angel Gibreel (Gabriel), Mahound, Ellowen Deeowen, Ayesha (Aicha), A city visible but unseen, Return to Jahilia, The Angel Azraeel (Satan), The Parting of the Arabian Sea, and A Wonderful lamp.

I will only review Mahound because this section is crucial for setting the geo-political, commercial and societal structure in Mecca and the neighboring towns.  This description would help comprehend the climate within which Islam was born and expanded.

Mahound is one of several names given to the Devil.

It is very unfortunate that Rushdie decided to represent the Prophet Muhammad by this name which forbade over a billion of Moslems from reading this essentially wonderful and most informative book.

Many “fatwas” in the Moslem World and especially in Iran of Khomeini permitted the killing of Salman Rushdie for this blasphemy.

Rushdie has been since then protected by the British police and been mostly in hiding. Actually, Moslems should be thankful to Rushdie in not naming their Prophet for two verses that deviated from the message of One God.  I will use the name of Muhammad instead.

Mecca at the time of Muhammad was built 4 generation ago to cater for desert caravans bringing goods from Zofar and Yemen to bifurcate toward Egypt, Iraq/Iran, or Syria/Turkey.  It barely rain in that region and the only potable well was called Zamzam.

The mythical story goes that Abraham abandoned his Egyptian wife Hagar and his son Ismail to their fate in this unforgiving area.  Luckily for Hagar, Angel Gabriel (Gibreel) uncovered for Hagar the well Zamzam and she survived with her newly born son.

Once a year, the Bedouins of Arabia who adored 360 idols, and imported from the neighboring countries to encourage pilgrimage to the Black Stone (Al Ka3ba), celebrated the passage of Abraham (Ibraheem) in the vicinity!

Mecca was structured around concentric dwellings starting from the Black Stone and fanning away.  Houses closest to the Black Stone belonged to the most prominent personalities in the city council and their respective clans in the extended Kuraich (Shark) tribe.

There were 4 main clans and each clan was specialized in one kind of commerce:  the Scarlet tents sold spices and scents, the Black tents the cloth and leather, the Silver tents precious metals and swords and the fourth colored tents or the owners of the Dappled Camels specialized in entertainments, wine, hashish, and the slave trade. Water carriers were despised because any overflowing of water would damage the streets and homes built out of sand.

Around the year of 600, the businessmen in Mecca were losing trade to the sea transports; worse, another new and famous Temple was built in the town of Sheba in Yemen and pilgrims were investigating these new regions.

The pilgrims were getting scarce in Mecca because they realized that they were being milked from every penny they had and young girls were abducted for ransom.  Consequently, in order to keep afloat the Kuraich tribe encouraged vile entertainment activities during the pilgrimage season to attract more customers.

The Black Stone enshrined around 360 idols brought from around the neighboring civilizations to entice pilgrims in from all around the regions.  The colossus Hubal the shepherd was sent by the Amalekites of Hit, the idol Kain was the patron of musicians and blacksmiths, Astarte (He-of-Shara) was brought by the Nabataean as well as saturnine Nakruh.  Manaf was the sun-god, the eagle-form Nasr, See Quzah that hold the rainbow; Uzza the goddess of beauty and love, and Lat the all-powerful mother goddess.  The idol Allah had some sort of overall authority, an all-rounder in an age of specialist idols and thus was not that popular and didn’t generate money.

Hind, the all-powerful wife of the preeminent Karim Abu Simbel owned the 3 most famous goddesses of Lat, Manat, and Uzza.

Muhammad was rich after marrying Khadija, but he was an orphan and his clan was of lower status and thus was not represented in the city council. His wife Khadija was about 7 years older than him and she had hired him to lead and manage her caravans heading to Damascus.

Khadija was the first person to believe in the predication of Muhammad.  By the age of 44 Muhammad message of “no God but Allah” was not making any major breakthrough among the city dwellers.  The very young and most prominent poet lampoonist Baal had pinned up all over town “Messenger, do please lend a careful ear.  Your mono-philia, your One, One, One, isn’t for Jahilia, return to sender”

Beside his uncle Hamza and a few poor fellows, not many were paying any attention to Muhammad revelations.  Among those poor individuals were Khalid the water carrier, Salman from Persia (who later would suggest to dig a wide ditch around Medina to prevent the cavalry of Kuraich to enter the town), and Bilal the mighty slave that Muhammad set free from his owner and would later be appointed the first official “muazen” calling the believers to the five prayers of the day.

In order for his message to breakthrough Muhammad was inclined to accept the deal of Abu Simbel.

Abu Simbel would recognize Allah as the mightiest God and would offer Muhammad a seat in the city council in return of recognition of Lat, Manat, and Uzza as gods or the best who can intercede with Allah.  Muhammad thus returned from the Cone Mountain and delivered the verses stating that “Lat, Manat, and Uzza are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”

The disciples of Muhammad were beside themselves and could not assent to accepting a God but Allah.  Muhammad did not dare face his wife Khadija that night and did not enter his house.


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