Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘prophet

Prophet Motive

The Kahlil Gibran phenomenon.

By , Jan. 2008 issue

Shakespeare, we are told, is the best-selling poet of all time.

Second is Lao-tzu. (And after removing the Chinese readers?)

Third is Kahlil Gibran, who owes his place on that list to one book, “The Prophet,” a collection of twenty-six prose poems, delivered as sermons by a fictional wise man in a faraway time and place.

Since its publication, in 1923, “The Prophet” has sold more than 9 million copies in its American edition alone.

There are public schools named for Gibran in Brooklyn and Yonkers.

“The Prophet” has been recited at countless weddings and funerals. It is quoted in books and articles on training art teachers, determining criminal responsibility, and enduring ectopic pregnancy, sleep disorders, and the news that your son is gay. Its words turn up in advertisements for marriage counsellors, chiropractors, learning-disabilities specialists, and face cream.

“The Prophet” started fast—it sold out its first printing in a month—and then it got faster, until, in the nineteen-sixties, its sales sometimes reached five thousand copies a week. It was the Bible of that decade.

But the book’s popularity should not be laid entirely at the door of the hippies. “The Prophet” was a hit long before the sixties (it made good money even during the Depression), and sales after that decade have never been less than healthy—a record all the more impressive in that it is due almost entirely to word of mouth.

Apart from a brief effort during the twenties, “The Prophet” has never been advertised. Presumably in honor of this commercial feat, Everyman’s Library has now brought out “Kahlil Gibran: The Collected Works” ($27.50), with a pretty red binding and a gold ribbon for a bookmark.

While most people know Gibran only as the author of “The Prophet,” he wrote seventeen books, nine in Arabic and eight in English. The Everyman’s volume contains twelve of them.

The critics will no doubt greet it with the same indifference they have shown Gibran ever since his death, in 1931.

Even his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, brushed him off. When Knopf was asked, in 1965, who the audience for “The Prophet” was, he replied that he had no idea. “It must be a cult,” he said—an ungrateful response from the man to whom “The Prophet” had been a cash cow for more than forty years.

In 1974, a cousin of the poet’s, also named Kahlil Gibran, and his wife, Jean, published a good biography, “Kahlil Gibran: His Life and World.”

Then, in 1998, came the more searching “Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran,” by Robin Waterfield, a translator of ancient Greek literature. But until the first of those books appeared—that is, for forty-three years after Gibran’s death—there was no proper biography of this hugely influential author.

Both Waterfield and the Gibrans complain about the literati’s lack of respect for their subject—Waterfield blames it on snobbery, “hard-hearted cynicism”—but the facts they dug up were not such as to improve his reputation.

Gibran in 1897. Told he was a mystic—

Gibran in 1897. Told he was a mystic—”a young prophet”—he began to see himself that way.Credit Photograph by Fred Holland Day. Royal Photographic Society / National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

Part of the reason there were no real biographies is that little was known about Gibran’s life, and the reason for that is that he didn’t want it known.

One point that seems firm is that he was born in Lebanon, in a village called Bsharri, in 1883.

At that time, Lebanon was part of Syria, which in turn was part of the Ottoman Empire. Gibran, by his account, was a brooding, soulful child. From his earliest years, he said, he drew constantly—painting was his first art and, for a long time, as important to him as writing—and he communed with nature. When a storm came, he would rip off his clothes and run out into the torrent in ecstasy.

His mother, Kaamileh, got others to leave her strange boy alone. “Sometimes,” Gibran later recalled, “she would smile at someone who came in . . . and lay her finger on her lip and say, ‘Hush. He’s not here.’ ”

Gibran’s father was not a good provider. He owned a walnut grove, but he didn’t like working it. He preferred drinking and gambling. He eventually got a job as a tax collector, but then he was arrested for embezzlement. Poor before, the family now became destitute.

In 1895, Kamileh packed up her four children—Bhutros, Kahlil (then twelve), Marianna, and Sultana—and sailed to America.

They settled in Boston, in the South End, a squalid ghetto filled with immigrants from various countries. (Today, it is Boston’s Chinatown.)

Kamileh, like many other Syrian immigrants, became a pack peddler; that is, she went door to door, selling lace and linens out of a basket she carried on her back. Within a year, she had put aside enough money to set Bhutros up in a drygoods store. The two girls were sent out to work as seamstresses; neither ever learned to read or write. Kahlil alone was excused from putting food on the table. He went to school, for the first time.

He also enrolled in an art class at a nearby settlement house, and through his teacher he was sent to a man named Fred Holland Day. In European art, this was the period of the Decadents. Theosophy, espoused by Madame Blavatsky, became a craze. People went to séances, dabbled in drugs, and scorned the ugly-hearted West in favor of the more spiritual East.

Above all, they made a religion of art. Day, thirty-two years old and financially independent, was a leader of the Boston outpost of this movement. He wore a turban, smoked a hookah, and read by candlelight. He did serious work, however. He and his friends founded two arts magazines, and he was a partner in a publishing house that produced exquisite books.

By the eighteen-nineties, Day’s main interest was photography. He particularly liked to photograph beautiful young boys of “exotic” origin, sometimes nude, sometimes in their native costumes, and he often recruited them from the streets of the South End.

When the thirteen-year-old Gibran turned up at Day’s door, in 1896, he became one of the models. Day was especially taken with Gibran. He made him his pupil and assistant, and he introduced him to the literature of the nineteenth century, the Romantic poets and their Symbolist inheritors.

Robin Waterfield, in his biography, says that this syllabus, with its emphasis on suffering, prophecy, and the religion of love, was the rock on which Gibran built his later style. According to Waterfield, Day also gave Gibran his “pretensions.”

Imagine what it was like for a child from the ghetto to walk into this world of comfort and beauty, a world where a person could make a life of art.

Gibran already fitted into Day’s milieu in a small way: he was “Oriental.” Day made a fuss over Gibran’s origins, treated him, Waterfield says, like a “Middle Eastern princeling.” Gibran looked the part. He was very handsome, and also reticent. A later mentor declared him a mystic, “a young prophet.” (This was before he had published anything professionally.) And so he began to see himself that way.

Kamileh and Bhutros would not have failed to notice that Kahlil was spending all his time with people he did not introduce them to. They may also have worried about his exposure to Protestantism—they were Christians of the Maronite sect, allied with the Church of Rome—and, indeed, to Day, who was presumably homosexual.

In any case, Gibran, at the age of fifteen, was packed off to a Maronite college in Beirut. In his three years there, he apparently decided that he might be a writer as well as a painter. He and a classmate founded a student literary magazine, and he was elected “college poet.”

But in 1902 he returned to the South End, and to his family’s troubles. Two weeks before he landed in Boston, Sultana died, of tuberculosis, at the age of fourteen. The following year, Bhutros died, also of t.b. (it was rife in the South End), and then Kamileh, of cancer.

Waterfield says that there is no evidence that Gibran mourned any of them for long. It is hard to escape the thought that this ambitious young man was not inconvenienced by the loss of his slum-dwelling family. One member remained, however: his sister Marianna. She adored him, cooked his dinners, made his clothes, and supported the two of them on her earnings from the dressmaker’s shop. Gibran still took no job; art was his job.

Soon, he had something to show. Day held an exhibition of Gibran’s drawings in his studio in 1904. They were products of their time, or a slightly earlier time, that of the European Symbolist painters: Puvis de Chavannes, Eugène Carrière, Gustave Moreau.

Often, in the foreground, one saw a sort of pileup of faceless humanity, while in the background there hovered a Greater Power—an angel, perhaps, or just a sort of milky miasma, suggestive of mystery and the soul.

Gibran began publishing his writings as well: collections of stories and poems, parables and aphorisms. He had been heavily exposed to Lebanon’s political problems: the warring among religious sects, the sufferings of the poor at the hands of a corrupt clergy and the distant Turkish overlords.

Anger over this, and also pity—whether for Lebanese peasants or, quite often, for himself—were the main themes of his early writings. They were published in Arabic, and they won him great admiration in the Arab-American community. Not only was he standing up for his homeland; he was “making it” in America—and in art, not in drygoods.

He enjoyed this, but he wanted a larger audience, and soon he found the person who would make that possible.

Mary Haskell, the headmistress of a girls’ school in Boston, was a New Woman. She believed in long hikes, cold showers, and progressive politics. Her school disdained Latin and Greek; it taught anatomy and current events instead.

Before Gibran became close to Haskell, in 1908, he had a history of befriending older women who could be useful to him. Haskell, too, was older, by 9 years. (She was also taller. Gibran was five feet three, a source of grief to him all his life.) She was not rich, but by careful thrift—the school’s cook, who also had some wealthy employers, sneaked dinners to her from their kitchens—she managed to put aside enough money to support a number of deserving causes: a Greek immigrant boy who needed boarding-school tuition, and another Greek boy, at Harvard. Then she met Gibran, who would be her most expensive project.

In the beginning, her major benefaction to him was simply financial—she gave him money, she paid his rent.

In 1908, she sent him to Paris for a year, to study painting. Before he went abroad, they were “just friends,” but once they were apart the talk of friendship turned to letters of love, and when Gibran returned to Boston they became engaged. It was apparently agreed, though, that they would not marry until he felt he had established himself, and somehow this moment never came.

Finally, Haskell offered to be his mistress. He wasn’t interested. In a painful passage in her diary, Haskell records how, one night, he said that she was looking thin. On the pretext of showing him that she was actually well fleshed, she took off her clothes and stood before him naked. He kissed one of her breasts, and that was all. She got dressed again. She knew that he had had affairs with other women, but he claimed that he was not “sexually minded,” and furthermore that what she missed in their relationship was actually there.

When they were apart, he said, they were together. They didn’t need to have “intercourse”; their whole friendship was “a continued intercourse.”

More than sex or marriage, it seems, what Haskell wanted from Gibran was simply to be acknowledged as the woman in his life. As she told her diary, she wanted people to “know he loved me because it was the greatest honor I had and I wanted credit for it—wanted the fame of his loving me.”

But he would not introduce her to his friends. “Poor Mary!” Waterfield says. Amen to that.

Later, Gibran told journalists many lies about his childhood, and, according to the Gibrans’ biography, he seems to have tried these out first on Haskell. He was of noble birth, he said. His father’s family had a palace in Bsharri, where they kept tigers for pets. His mother’s family was the richest in Lebanon. They owned immense properties, “whole towns.” He, as a young aristocrat, had been educated at home, by English, French, and German tutors.

He was sure that a great destiny awaited him. She believed this even more than he, and in the beginning her adulation was probably as important to him as her money. “Oh Glorious Kahlil!!” she wrote in her diary. “Transcendent, timeless spirit!” When he read to her from an early book of his, she reported that “the invisible” gathered so thickly around her, “lights and sounds came from such far times and spaces, that from center to circumference I trembled with the excessive life-force”—a remarkable response, in view of the fact that the book was in Arabic, a language she did not then understand.

She recorded the extraordinary experiences he told her he had had.

For instance, he had intuited the theory of relativity before Einstein; he just hadn’t written it down. Thousands of times, he said, he had been sucked up into the air as dew, and “risen into clouds, then fallen as rain. . . . I’ve been a rock too, but I’m more of an air person.”

We don’t know how much of this Haskell believed. Furthermore, however godlike she found him, she was a schoolmistress, and she tried to educate him. On the pretext of their having a nice literary evening together, she would get him to read to her from the classic authors, exactly as Fred Holland Day had done, and for the same reason—to improve his English.

He profited from this, and of course resented it, as he resented the amount of money he had taken from her—by 1913, after five years of friendship, this came to $7,440, equal to almost a hundred and fifty thousand dollars today—but he didn’t tell her to stop writing the checks.

Soon after Gibran became “engaged” to Haskell, he told her that he was leaving town. Boston was a backwater. New York was where the action was.

he had another purpose as well: to get away from Haskell. He also needed to unload Marianna. If he was to become a major artist, how was he going to explain that he lived with this illiterate woman who followed him around the house with a dust rag?

And so, in 1911, throwing off the two women who had supported him through his early period, Gibran moved to New York, and to his middle period. He found a studio apartment in an artists’ housing complex at 51 West Tenth Street. Haskell paid the rent, of course.

After a few years in New York, during which he published two more books in Arabic, Gibran made a serious decision: he was going to begin writing in English. To do this, he needed Haskell’s help, and she rushed to give it. When they were apart, he sent her his manuscripts, and she sent back corrections.

When they were together—she visited him often (sleeping elsewhere)—he dictated his work to her. She wrote in her diary that if, during that process, “we come to a part that I question, we stop then and there.” Who resolved the question? We don’t know. She said that “he always gave every idea, and I simply found the phrases sometimes.” But finding the phrases is a large part of writing. For Gibran’s first English-language publication, a brief poem, Haskell sent him seven pages of proposed corrections. She probably made substantial changes in his later work as well. Proud of this responsible role in his life, she gave up hoping for more.

In 1926, with no objections from Gibran, she married a rich relative. But at night, after her husband went to bed, she would work on Gibran’s manuscripts. Until he died, she edited all his English-language books. With the third of these, “The Prophet,” he hit pay dirt.

What made “The Prophet” so fantastically successful?

At the opening of the book, we are told that Almustafa, a holy man, has been living in exile, in a city called Orphalese, for twelve years. (When “The Prophet” was published, Gibran had been living in New York, in “exile” from Lebanon, for twelve years.) A ship is now coming to take him back to the island of his birth. Saddened by his departure, people gather around and ask him for his final words of wisdom—on love, on work, on joy and sorrow, and so forth.

He obliges, and his lucubrations on these matters occupy most of the book. Almustafa’s advice is not bad: love involves suffering; children should be given their independence. Who, these days, would say otherwise? More than the soundness of its advice, however, the mere fact that “The Prophet” was an advice book—or, more precisely, “inspirational literature”—probably insured a substantial readership at the start.

Gibran’s closest counterpart today is the Brazilian sage Paulo Coelho, and his books have sold nearly a hundred million copies.

there is the pleasing ambiguity of Almustafa’s counsels. In the manner of horoscopes, the statements are so widely applicable (“your creativity,” “your family problems”) that almost anyone could think that they were addressed to him.

At times, Almustafa’s vagueness is such that you can’t figure out what he means. If you look closely, though, you will see that much of the time he is saying something specific; namely, that everything is everything else. Freedom is slavery; waking is dreaming; belief is doubt; joy is pain; death is life.

So, whatever you’re doing, you needn’t worry, because you’re also doing the opposite. Such paradoxes, which Gibran had used for years to keep Haskell out of his bed, now became his favorite literary device. They appeal not only by their seeming correction of conventional wisdom but also by their hypnotic power, their negation of rational processes.

the book sounds religious, which it is, in a way. Gibran was familiar with Buddhist and Muslim holy books, and above all with the Bible, in both its Arabic and King James translations.

(Those paradoxes of his, come partly from the Sermon on the Mount.) In “The Prophet” he Osterized all these into a warm, smooth, interconfessional soup that was perfect for twentieth-century readers, many of whom longed for the comforts of religion but did not wish to pledge allegiance to any church, let alone to any deity who might have left a record of how he wanted them to behave.

It is no surprise that when those two trends—anti-authoritarianism and a nostalgia for sanctity—came together and produced the sixties, “The Prophet” ’s sales climaxed. Nor is the spirit of the sixties gone from our world. It survives in the New Age movement—of which Gibran was a midwife—and that market may be what Everyman’s had in mind when it decided to issue the new collection.

“The Prophet” is comforting. Gibran told Haskell that the whole meaning of the book was “You are far greater than you know—and All is well.” To people in doubt or in trouble, that is good news. Reportedly, the book is popular in prisons.

Finally, “The Prophet” is short—ninety-six pages in its original edition, with margins you could drive a truck through—a selling point not to be dismissed. And, since the text is in small, detachable sections, you can make it even shorter, by just dipping into it here and there, as some people do with the Bible. My guess is that plenty of its fans have not read it from cover to cover.

There is a better book by Gibran, “Jesus, the Son of Man,” which was published five years after “The Prophet.”

This is his second-most-popular work, but way second. That, no doubt, is because it lacks the something-for-everyone quality of its predecessor. “Jesus” is about Jesus. Also, it is not a book of advice or consolation. It is a novel of sorts, a collection of seventy-nine statements by people remembering Christ. (Sort of Christian Hadith?) Some of the speakers are known to us—Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene—but others are inventions: a Lebanese sheepherder, a Greek apothecary. They all speak as if they were being interviewed.

Though Gibran thought of himself as an admirer of all religions, he had an obsession with Jesus. He told Haskell that Jesus came to him in dreams. The two of them ate watercress together, and Jesus told him special things—for example, parables that didn’t make it into the Gospels.

On occasion, Gibran clearly saw himself as Jesus, and presumably it was this that inspired his unwise decision, in “Jesus, the Son of Man,” to rewrite long sections of the Bible, for example, the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father in earth and heaven, sacred is Thy name. Thy will be done with us, even as in space.”

Much of the book transcends such follies, however. Gibran at one time had hoped to be a playwright, and “Jesus” shows a gift for characterization and “voice”—an insistence, for the moment, on one speaker’s point of view—that saves the book from his habitual gassiness.

much he imagined himself as Jesus, in this book alone he drops the oracular tone that is so oppressive in the rest of his work. A number of the speakers have complaints about Jesus. Judas is allowed to justify his crime: “I thought He had chosen me a captain of His chariots, and a chief man of His warriors.” Judas’s disgraced mother is given a dignified and moving speech: “I beg you to question me no further about my son. I loved him and I shall love him forevermore. If love were in the flesh I would burn it out with hot irons and be at peace. But it is in the soul, unreachable. And now I would speak no more. Go question another woman more honored than the mother of Judas. Go to the mother of Jesus.” Hard words.

In contrast to “The Prophet,” which received few and tepid reviews, “Jesus, the Son of Man” was praised by critics, but these were mostly newspaper critics. While the literary journals paid some attention to Gibran early on, they eventually dropped him. This is no surprise. His leading traits—idealism, vagueness, sentimentality—were exactly what the young writers of the twenties were running away from.

Consequently, he did not make the scene with Manhattan’s better class of artists. He seldom turns up in literary memoirs of the period. Edmund Wilson, in his journal of the twenties, says that “Gibran the Persian” was at a dinner party that a friend of his attended. That’s the only mention he gets.

But, if the artists of the time were throwing off idealism and sentiment, ordinary people were not. They wanted to hear about their souls, and Sinclair Lewis was not obliging them. Hence the popularity of “The Prophet” with the general public. After its publication, Gibran received bags of fan mail. He was also besieged by visitors, mostly female. Interestingly, in view of his hunger for fame, he did not enjoy these attentions. He took to spending months of the year in Boston, with Marianna, and, though he was now making money, he didn’t change his way of living, or even his apartment. He remained in his one-room studio to the end of his life. Apparently, its monastic simplicity pleased him. He called it the Hermitage and lit it with candles.

His reclusiveness increased as his productivity decreased. After “Jesus, the Son of Man,” he was more or less played out. He produced two more books in English, but they were tired little things, and the reviewers said so. When Gibran was in Paris, he met Rodin, and he later claimed that the famous old sculptor had called him “the William Blake of the twentieth century.” This tribute was probably of Gibran’s manufacture, not Rodin’s, but people at Knopf liked it, and so it was bannered on Gibran’s publicity flyers. (Rodin couldn’t protest; he was dead.) After “The Prophet,” the critics, already annoyed by that book’s popularity, threw the phrase back in Gibran’s face. “Blake?” they asked.

By his forties, Gibran was a sick man. He had long complained of a periodic illness, which he called the flu. Now he decided that the malady was not in his body but in his soul. There was a great book inside him—greater than “The Prophet”—but he couldn’t get it out. He had another difficulty: alcoholism, a situation that may have developed soon after “The Prophet” was published, or while he was writing it. Robin Waterfield thinks that Gibran’s basic problem may have been a feeling of hypocrisy, in that his life so contradicted his pose as a holy man. In his last years, he stayed closed up in his apartment, occasionally receiving a worthy visitor but mostly drinking arak, a Syrian liquor that Marianna sent to him, apparently by the gallon. By the spring of 1931, he was bedridden, and one morning the woman who brought him his breakfast decided that his condition was dangerous. Gibran was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he died later that day. The cause of death was recorded as “cirrhosis of the liver with incipient tuberculosis.” Waterfield reports that Gibran’s admirers have greatly stressed the tuberculosis over the cirrhosis. “Nothing incipient kills people,” he objects. His speculation seems to be that Gibran drank himself to death out of a sense of fraudulence and failure.

A black comedy ensued. After mobbed memorial services in New York and Boston, Marianna took the body to Lebanon for burial, as Gibran had wished. In Beirut, the casket was opened, and the minister of education pinned a medal on Gibran’s chest. Then began the eighty-mile trek to Bsharri, with an honor guard of three hundred. The road was lined with townspeople, Jean and Kahlil Gibran report in their biography: “Young men in native dress brandished swords and dancing women scattered perfume and flowers before the hearse.”

Gibran’s will dictated that Marianna be given his money; Haskell his manuscripts and paintings; and the town of Bsharri all future American royalties on the books published during his lifetime. This last provision produced so many difficulties that it was cited in an American textbook on copyright law.

Who, among the people in Bsharri, was going to decide how this money would be distributed? Gibran had said that it was to be spent on good causes. To evaluate them, an administrative committee, with members from each of the town’s seven leading families, was set up, but this created further problems.

“Families split apart in the clamor to win a committee position,” Time reported. “Age-old feuds gained new fury, and at least two deaths resulted.” Meanwhile, the funds were disappearing.

The situation became such a scandal that in 1967 Knopf started withholding the royalties, which at that point amounted to three hundred thousand dollars a year.

Marianna eventually sued Bsharri to win control of the copyrights; the judgment went to the Bsharrians, though, in the process, their legacy was substantially reduced, because the fee that their Lebanese-American lawyer had negotiated with them was an astonishing 25% of future royalties. The Bsharrians then sued the lawyer, and they lost.

In the end, the Lebanese government intervened and, reportedly, put Gibran’s estate to rights. His coffin rests in a deconsecrated monastery—Mar Sarkis, in Bsharri—that he chose for that purpose.

Robin Waterfield has visited it. He says that he found a crack in the cover of the casket and that, when he looked into it, he saw straight through to the back—in other words, that the body had disappeared. This seems a fitting, if sad, conclusion. As Gibran’s mother said, “Hush. He’s not here.”

The Unpublished Unifying Book (April 10, 2009)

 

Note: I got the theme of this essay from the manuscript of “The Parson and the Prophet” that I have reviewed and posted.

 

Historical Context

 

            Before Moses there was no such religion as Jewish.  Abraham, Isac, and Jacob worshiped El, the all encompassing God of the Land from Mesopotamis, to Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.  Abraham, Isac, and Jacob paid the tithe to Melki Sadek, the highest grand priest and King of Jerusalem.  The mother of Melki Sadek had a revelation and her son Melki was dedicated to the temple; this story is repeated exactly through the ages such as with Hanna (mother of the Virgin Mary), Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), and to the Virgin Mary; they all dedicated their sons and daughters to the temples (nazeer, and thus nazarean). The title of Virgin given to Mary is an earned sacerdotal label to virgins who served the temple from age of 3 till marriage. The Bible mentions many prophets who were dedicate to temples as revelations descended on their mothers.  It was common to the noble and sacerdotal families to dedicate sons or daughters to temples.  Thr rank of Melki Sadek was the highest and it was for life and he could transfer that rank to anyone of his choosing by anointment (mesheeh), thus Messiah.

            Moses led nomadic tribes and the scribes of the Bible in Alexandria (in the second century before Christ) mentioned that Moses received a revelation and the ten commandements from Yahweh (Jehovah); thus (Yahood or Jews).  Again, it is the same repetition of revelations and the descent of written messages and commandements through the ages to the chosen prophets.  Moses’ commandements had to be given by a supreme being for ignorant nomads who constantly needed to rely on a supreme being to alleviate their fears; these commandements and hundreds more were already included in the civil codes of laws of the Land since before King Hamourabi of Babylon.  The relatively urban towns and cities in the Levant and Mesopotamia had more sophisticated abstract concepts that could sustain diversities in belief systems.

            Invariably, religions would like the believers to understand that their Prophets were illeterate in order to prove that only God could have interceded with the prophet for the message.  These allegations are pure fabrications. Abraham was educated, Moses was highly educated and a grand priest and Muhammad aided his uncle parson Warkat bin Nawfal in translating into Arabic the Bible and the special Aramaic version of the New Testament Mathew.  All the prophets had read in the Books of their times.  Jesus was highly educated and was a “nazeer” in the Great Temple of Mount Carmen since the age of six; but Jesus didn’t need translated versions of the Books because he was Aramean and a messenger of the Land.

            Translation of Books to another language was not done literally; the meaning was retained as honestly as desired but the context and style were compatible with the cultures and customs of the targeted people for better understanding and memorization.  That is why reading in Books was done by chanting (tarteel) so that musical intonation could support the retention process.

            Jesus mission was to win over “the lost sheep among the tribes” in Judea, Benjamin, and the Hasmonides because they staunchly continued to worship Yahweh, their unspiritual God for earthly dominion by the sword. Jesus wanted to unite all the tribes of Israel (Tribes of El) and not of Yahweh.

 

The Kuran of Mecca:

 

            The purpose of the Prophet Muhammad was to gather common denominators for the belief systems among the main Christian and Jewish sects in the Arabic Peninsula: they all worshiped One God, the Creator of all things, and they believed in Heaven and Hell.  In that direction, the Prophet accepted the premise that the monotheist sects shared Abraham (who was neither Jewish not Christian) as their first prophet who had the Orthodix “haneef” belief; Muhammad acknowledged all the prophets that succeded Abraham. Muhammad accepted in their integrality all the mythical stories in the Bible of the Creation, Noah, the Deluge, Joseph in Egypt and all the rest (these stories were indeed the myths of the Land for thousands of years before Abraham).  Muhammad was apprehensive that one of those diverse sects might think that he particularly sided with one of Israel sects since they are all Moslems in God.  The prophet said “You are not believers until you value the Bible and the New Testament and what were descended on you. The Book descended on two previous religions but we were not aware of them” (because not written in Arabic)

Muhammad proclaimed Jesus as one of the latest and most spiritual prophet of all because he carried the Holy Ghost of Allah. Muhammad avoided the corny issues of the Trinity, the Virginity of Mary, the crucifiction and death of Jesus that divided the Christian sects. Muhammad venerated the Virgin Mary as the mother of the prophet who received revelations as well as John the Baptist.  In fact, Mary is the only female name mentioned in the Koran and Jesus (Issa) was mentioned as “Son of Mary”, thus Issa ibn Mariam. In the Koran Muhammad proclaimed that the Christian-Jewish sects in Arabia were Moslems before he started his message and the teaching of the Koran was initiated because they relied on a unique God and didn’t admit that anyone else is part of him (shirik) such as Jesus or the Holy Ghost. The word Koran “Kuraan” has Aramaic roots “kuru” which means reading, reciting from a book.

            During the Mecca period of proselytizing (about 13 years), what is known as the Koran of Mecca, there were Jewish sects and Muhamad never mentioned the Jews in his verses. Only the Christian-Jews three main sects (Ebyonites, Cerinthe, and Elxai, see notes) were referred to as “Nassara” (those Christian nazeers who were dedicated to monasteries to pray, read the Books and meditate) and they read in the Book of the only and unique God.  In fact, after Muhammad settled in Yathreb (Medina) the Nassara sects would pay him visit from Mecca to mediate among them. The Prophet Muhammad was taken aback and said what amount to “They read in the Book that can answer all their questions and yet they come to me for mediation” The Prophet did not face any obstacles from the Nassara sects in Arabia simply because the Koran of Mecca was almost a cabon copy of the Books they read in and had translated into Arabic. It is to be noted that these Nassara sects were considered “heretics” by the Orthodox Christian religion in Constantinople because they would not admit the divinity of Jesus and followed the Jewish daily laws and customs.

The Jews in Yathreb and in Khibar revolted against the teaching of Islam who accepted Jesus as a prophet and got apprehensive of the growing power of Moslems in their midst.  The non-Moslem tribes of Mecca asked the Jews of Yathreb to cooperate with them and the Jewish leaders descended to Mecca to plot against the Moslems. Armed struggles decided the difficulties to the advantage of the Moslems.  The prophet considered the Jewish sects as tyrannical and not behaving with charity toward the orthodox religions, complicating the belief system, and blasphemic the Virgin Mary and Jesus.  “God created man weak and He wants to make it easy on him and not complicate his life. We have sent a prophet to every nation” so that nations can read the message of One God in their own language.

 All the sects in Arabia were united around one religion that was made easy (khefat) and reductive “moktassadat” to be comprehend by nomads and desert people who lacked knowledge of abstract theological concepts and it was easy to memorize by short rimed sentences and disseminated by chants.  Thus, Muhamad warned the Christian sects (such as the Jacobites, Nestourians, and Melkites) who believed in the divinity of Jesus, of the son of God, the trinity, and the resurrection to desist in their exaggerations and overestimation in religious beliefs (ghelou fi al deen) and accept the simple fact of One God as a unifying reality that unite the tribes of the believers in One God.

 

In Mecca, Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, and the parson Warkat bin Nawfal, the patriarch of the Christia-Jew sect of the Epyionites, transcribed Muhammad’s revelations and verses during his epileptic fits.  In Medina, Aicha bint Abu Bakr, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, was almost exclusively in charge of recording the revelations when the Prophet Mohamad had his bouts of seizures. She would cover him with warm blankets and write down the verses until he falls asleep.  Aicha has dedicated her life into gathering, organizing the revelations and meeting with scholars and close friends of the Prophet to keep a complete record. Aicha saved her copies very jealously until the third Calipahte Othman bin Affan ordered the archive to be handed over to him. Aicha didn’t trust Othman and she kept copies of all her documents.  At the time, only rich people could afford to write down documents because they were recorded on special leather in the Arab Peninsula. Thus, rich educated people had the task of transcribing the verses for better retention, memorizations, and an act of devotion.

By the time Othman decided to issue an official Book for Islam (The Koran of Medina) most of the Byzantium and Sassanide Empires were conquered; Egypt was part of the Arab Moslem Empire. The formal or official Book had to take these political realities into accounts, realities of victors and vainquished.  The Caliphate Othman sorted out the verses and selected what suited the political interest of the new Islamic Empire; many verses were burned and disappeared, others were tampered with such as adding “nassara” (Christian) after Jews though the sentence would break the rime (sajaa).  Othman arranged verses by order of length and the gathered book was considered the official Koran. For example, the shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years (The Koran of Mecca) before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633.  The longest came afterward and dealt mostly with civil management, daily routine, penal codes, and organization of the converts to Islam.

It is my contention that Aicha bint Abu Bakr had hidden and distributed copies of her complete archive.  If there is the will there is a way to reconstitute the message of the Prophet Muhammad in its historical and chronological contexts taking into account the fundamental principle of working on the common denominators in the belief system among the majority of the monotheist religions; and hopefully discovering a copy of the original archive as the work is in progress.

The Prophet Muhammad was crystal clear in his message: making the religion easy, light, acceptable to most sects, and readable by the language of every nation.  It is about time we focus on the value of life and let the abstract limiting and restrictive theological conepts (ideology) to the few power monger sacerdotal castes.

 

Note 1: The Epyonite Christian-Jew sect was discussed and commented on by the early Christian scholars and Bishops like Irene, Epiphane, and Origene.  The name Epionites refers to the “poor” in Aramaic such as “Blessed be the poor”; this sect considered Jesus one of the great prophets. Jesus was not God or Son of God who received the revelations after John baptized him and thus, the messiah spirit entered him till he was crucified.  Jesus message was teaching and preaching the revelation but didn’t include saving or forgiving our sins. The Aramaic Testament of Mathew is their only book in addition to the Bible; this New Testament of Mathew used by the Epionites was revised slanted and distorted according to Epiphanous. This sect persevered on frequent washing for purification, not eating meat, and to focus on aiding and feeding the needy, widowers, and people of passage.  After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, many of the priests in Komran immigrated to Hijjaz in the Arab peninsula.

 

Note 2:  The Christian-Jew Cerinthe sect proclaimed that Heaven resembled life on earth where the body will get its fill of every passion it needed to satisfy; that the role of Jesus was to free his people from the Romans; that Jesus message was political and social.

 

Note 3:  The Christian-Jew sect Elxai was Gnostic (knowledge).  It preached that Jesus is another human and the Mesiah in him vacated his body before martyridom.  The Holy Ghost is the mother of Jesus and the Angel Gabriel depending on events. Jesus received the Bible from the angel and Gabriel taught Jesus wisdom and the ability to foreseeing the future.

The greatest poet: “The man with the long curly hair” (February 6, 2009)

Baghdad in 809 is the largest metropolis in the world; it has over one million inhabitants. 

In comparison, Paris has less than 100,000 (the contemporary of Charlemagne reign), Damascus less than 400,000 (the former Capital of the Arab Umayyad dynasty), and Samarkand (in current Turkestan)  less than half a million; and most of the cities in North Italy average less than 50, 000 inhabitants. 

Baghdad was newly built less than 75 years ago by the Abbasid Dynasty.  The new Caliph is Al Amine; he is 23 years of age and the former student of poet Abu Nuwass. Al Amine is a learned man and very conversant in poetry.  The poet Abu Nuwass was in exile in Egypt on order of the Caliph Harun Al Rasheed.

Abu Nawass learned that his unique son had died and he hurried his return to Baghdad to join his student Al Amine. Four years of the ultimate in libertine life in the court of Al Amine awaited Abu Nawass. Al Amine had fondness for young eunuch; his mother tried to steer her son toward girls by promoting young girls in boys’ attire (a la garsonne) or whatever it takes.

 

Before the advent of Islam Iraq had been under the Persian Empire (the Sassanide Dynasty) for over 4 centuries.  The Arab tribes of the northern Arab Peninsula were mostly concentrated in the towns of Basra and Kufa in southern Iraq.

The main Capital of the Sassanide Dynasty (Sesiphone) was very close to current Baghdad that did not exist yet, on the other side of the Tiger River. Thus, the Iranians were far more numerous than the original “Arabs” and the culture and civilization of Persia was predominant. 

During Abu Nawass time, 150 years after Islam presence, Iraq was still mostly Persian and the most influential personalities had Persian relatives. There was a large minority from the Sind (current south Pakistan) known as “Tuz”; the European would later name them Tzigan.  

There were many Christian and Zoroaster Iranians, other Christian sects and Jews.  The non-Moslems ran the taverns and produced, imported, and sold alcoholic beverages and wine. The fundamentally Christian sect of Mani (Manichean) spread from Northern Africa to India.  The Abbasid Dynasty started the persecution of the Mani followers and then the Pope of Rome followed suit.

 

Four years later, Al Maamun, the half brother of Al Amine from an Iranian mother, would enter Baghdad and assassinate the Caliph Al Amine. Abu Nawass would be assassinated less than two years later, at the age of 56. 

The Shiaa Moslem sect predominated in Iran for political reasons: in order to have the upper hand on the Kuraich tribe of Mecca, from which all the Caliphs claimed their origins, they had to claim a more legitimate descendant to the Prophet Muhammad. They selected Ali, the fourth Caliph and his offspring Hassan, then Hussein and then the others descendants of Ali and Fatima (the Prophet’s daughter). 

Abu Nawass was comfortable with all sects and minorities, though he would satirize them in his poems as front for his proper belief system that agreed with them.  With the exception of his profound loathing of the Arab tribes originating from the Northern Arabian Peninsula, I think it safe to say that Abu Nawass satires on minorities and Jews are an exit scheme for displaying the “others” point of views.

 

The German Ewald Wagner published 5 volumes of Abu Nawass poems in the seven major genres of bacchanal (wine and drinking binges), erotic, libertine, hunting, panegyric (praises), satire, saturnine (mourning), and ascetic. .  Hamza al Isfahani (946 AD) published 1,500 poems claimed to be of Abu Nawass or a volume of 13,000 lines.

Al Hassan al Hakami, nicknamed Abu Nuwass for his long curly hair), was born in 757 AD in Ahwaz (south east Iran) of an Arab soldier born in Damascus and who was at the sold of the Omayyad Dynasty and a Persian mother Golban (Rose) originating from the Sind (south Pakistan). 

Abu Nuwass didn’t get to know his father and was orphaned.  He followed his mother to Basra and attended a Koranic school. The pretty boy joined his mature cousin Waliba al Hubab (who loved pretty boys) to Kufa.  Back to Basra Abu Nawass becomes the disciple of Khalaf al Ahmar, a “rawi” or transmitter of pre-Islamic poetry.  

Abu Nuwass spent an entire year in isolation with bedwins to correctly learn the Arab language.  By the age of 30, Abu Nuwass relocates to Baghdad during Caliph Harun Al Rasheed reign. Abu Nawass was the contemporary of the mystic Al Hallaj who was horribly executed and from whom Abu Nawass learned the message.

 

The power, smoothness, and loveliness of Abu Nawass poems are that they are solely from experience.  He self describes his life, feelings, the period, the culture, the social settings, the urban amenities compared to the arid and crude customs of the clans in the desert. 

He naturally used Persian words and slang, about 200 words in all, and you could view the kaleidoscope of the period dynamically strolling as you read. Thus, there are no romanticism, sentimentalism, or faked imagination and feelings. In fact, the weakest among his genres are the saturnine (poems of mourning) because he could not force non existing feelings for those who died, even for his closest drinking companions. 

For the panegyric genre Abu Nawass was sober in his praises and tributes and would just reserve the last six lines to that purpose after describing hunting adventures or the difficult trips to reaching the influential personality. Most of the people he praised got satirized anyway.  

The bacchanal and libertine genres are pervasive in almost all of Abu Nuwass poems and that is why this great poet is not taught in schools and his manuscripts relegated to the inaccessible sections of libraries.  The polygraph Al Jaahez (869 AD) wrote “I know of no one who knew the lexical of the Arab language as Abu Nuwass.  His expressions were very pure and soft and avoided disagreeable terms

 

The other great Arab poet Al Mutanabi (one hundred year later and a master craftsman in coining memorable verses) would say that the other poets toil on their work while his poems come to him easily and naturally; I feel that this statement apply exclusively to Abu Nawass who did not edit and publish his poems.  Al Mutanabi managed to gather and edit his complete work before he was assassinated.

Francois Villion (1498) published his “Testament” of forgiveness that is almost a carbon copy of Abu Nawass “God forgive me” piece.  No wonder, Medieval Europe and up to the Renaissance had vast knowledge of Arab literature and published works because Arab civilization was the “in thing”.

Abu Nawass clearly proclaimed his preference for pretty boy of 15 year-old with large thighs and oval faces. You may read my article “The Gods of beauty: Before the age of pimples” (February 7, 2009)

 

I have read Al Moutanaby, Al Maary, Omar Khayyam, Ibn Araby, and Hafez; they emulated Abu Nawass well, each one in his favorite genre; Abu Nawass is the Master; the other poets have did their best.

I have read Rimbaud, Verlaine, and Baudelaire; they are good poets; Abu Nawass is their Master; they have done the best they could

Islam: the two messages of Jesus and Mohammad (February 3, 2009)

A challenge to all theologians: Islam is one of the Christian sects.

 

 

            Islam means submission (to God, the one and only).  This is a challenge to all theologians, religious researchers, and philosophers of all religious denominations (monolithic or not).  My hypothesis is:  The religious message of the Prophet Muhammad, during the first 13 years of proselytizing in Mecca, is identical to one of the Christian sects.  Let me suggest the following procedure or protocol:

 

 First, select all the religious Christian sects from the first to the Nicee council in 425; then select the remaining Christian sects after Nicee to the split between Rome and Byzantium around the year 1000, then the Christian sects that were formed between 1000 to the Martin Luther schism, then all the modern Christian sects from Protestantism, Calvinism, Baptism, Methodism, Episcopalian, Armenians (Catholic and Orthodox), and all the sects in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.

 

Second, develop taxonomy of attributes in order to categorize all these Christian sects.

 

Third, allocate all the sects to one of six categories or more if need be.

 

Fourth, select the verses in Islam that correspond to the period before the flight of the Prophet Muhammad to Medina or Yathreb

 

Five, assign each verse in that period to the taxonomy of step two.

 

Six, allocate the message of the prophet Muhammad in one of the categories chosen in step three.

 

The foundation to my hypothesis stems from reading a manuscript titled “Islam in its two messages: Christ and Muhammad” The author of the book is late Antoun Saadeh, a Lebanese of Christian Geek Orthodox denomination; the book was written in 1942 and Saadeh proves that Islam is almost identical to the message of Christ when we analyze the verses of the Koran pronounced during Muhammad proselytizing of his message before the legislation period for the new community in Medina. 

 

Since Christianity is an amalgam of many sects that split into schisms in the last two thousand years, then I figured that, from a scientific perspective, it would be more appropriate to differentiate Christianity according to sects.  It would also be fitting to study Islam by analyzing the various Moslem sects; though the variations would be based more on the legislations and Hadith than the fundamental spiritual content during the first 13 years of the message.

Islam: Triumphal return to Mecca (Part 3, February 1, 2009)

Mohammad had a dream while sleeping with Aicha that he shaved his head and performed the pilgrimage to Al Kaaba (Black Stone) in Mecca.  Aicha encouraged him and Muhammad left Medina with 700 unarmed men to Mecca with his wise and matured wife Um Salama instead of Aicha.  The favorite camel of Muhammad named Qaswa parked in Hudaybiya, close to Mecca, and would not move any further. Qaswa was the same camel that selected the location for the Prophet’s house and the Mosque in Yathreb.  The Kuraichi’s tribes sent delegations and they reached a ten-year non-belligerence treaty with a promise that Muhammad would be permitted pilgrimage next year. 

Although Muhammad was not allowed to enter Mecca, he wanted to perform the rites in Hudaybiya but the Companions refused. Um Salama then encouraged Muhammad to perform the sacred rituals and shaved Muhammad’s head and he slaughtered his sacrificial camel; then the believers hurried to follow suit and the party returned to Medina sanctified.

 

Mohammad conquered the fortified Jewish town of Khibar, North West of Madina in the year 630.  The lands were turned over to Mohammad and his closest Companions and the Jews agreed to relinquish their treasures and to cultivate the land as serfs for 50% on the return for their subsistence.  Um Salama escorted the Prophet in this raid and recounted to the harem that a Jewish girl roasted a lamb for Muhammad that was poisoned; when asked why she poisoned the lamb she replied: “You killed my father, brother, and husband. If you are a King then good riddance; if you are a Prophet then you must discover the plot.”  The girl was not punished for the rational that she will spread her conviction that Mohammad is indeed a prophet for discovering that the food was poisoned. 

Mohammad married Safiya, a Jewish beauty and of high grace from Khaibar who was married to a brute of a husband that died during the battle. Um Salama said that Mohammad liked his new wife very much: he didn’t wait the customary 40 days grievance and married her on the way back to Medina and spent four whole days and nights with Safiya.  With virgins, the husbands spend 7 whole days and nights!  Aicha thought that Um Salama could have spared her so much anxiety.

 

Mohammad married Um Habiba, the daughter of Abu Suffyan, his arch enemy of Kuraich; she was one of the first Moslem converts to flee to Ethiopia after the Kuraich persecutions.  Muhammad married Maria, a Coptic slave sent as gift by Egypt’s Christian Governor. Maria became immediately the concubine of the Prophet until she converted to Islam and he spent most of his time with Maria, raising a revolt within his harem. Maria gave Muhammad a male son called Ibrahim who also died at age of two as his first son Qassem with Khadija,

Aicha took a definite advantage over the remaining wives. Prominent dignitaries who wanted to offer the Prophet gifts learned that the best moments were when Muhammad was with Aicha.  Aicha thus enjoyed the best fabrics and gifts and the other wives revolted again wanting fair distribution of the gifts.  Mohammad told Um Salama that his revelations descend when he is with Aicha, but the revolt went on and the Prophet decided to retreat from his harem for a whole month, sending fear and frustration in the community of the believers.  After a month, Mohammad revealed a message placing men as superior to women and admonishing wives to obey their husband, and permitting husbands to punish their wives if they disobeyed.  Mohammad re-conquered his authority in the harem; wives had to pay the price of this revolt for centuries after.

In 630 or the 8th year of Mohammad emigration to Yathreb, the Prophet assembled ten thousand fighters for his pilgrimage to the Kaaba and entered Mecca and destroyed the pagan Gods and became the uncontested leader of all the tribes in the Arabia peninsula.  The prophet’s arch enemy Abu Suffian converted to Islam before the troops of the Moslems entered Mecca.  The famous Hind, wife of Abu Sufian, reluctantly converted to Islam. Hind is the woman who opened the chest of Muhammad’s uncle Hamza in the Battle of Ohud; she ate raw Hamza’s liver in order to avenge her father’s death in the battle of Badr; Hamza had killed Hind’s father in a singular fight before the battle of Bard and had also killed her two “masked” younger brothers ten years ago in Mecca. Hind secluded herself in one room for the duration of two years.

The 360 idols were destroyed and the prophet kept the same old worshiping ceremony at the Black Stone with different connotations to the meanings in the procession.  The Persian Salman had fled Yathrib incognito back to Mecca.  Salman was the official scribe to Muhammad who got suspicious with the increased rate of rules issued every day to organize and manage the lives of the Moslem followers.  Salman had 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. 

The poet Al Aasha took refuge in the famous whorehouse called the “Curtain House” or Hijab for over two years.  The Prophet had taken the suggestion of Abu Sufian not to close the Curtain House right away because the conversions of the citizens of Mecca were at best skin-deep. The poet Al Aasha had 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 brisk and the 12 whores then got the crazy idea of asking the blinding poet to marry them all as the Prophet did. 

 

Mohammad married Maymouna, a relative of both tribes of Abi Taleb and Hashim to the fainting and shock of the harem.  A revelation descended that the messenger is allowed all the women he desires.  Besides his nine wives, Muhammad had two concubines, Maria and Rihana, and uncounted numbers of women who wanted to offer themselves to him to gain Paradise.  Once, Fatima told the harem that her husband Ali wanted to take another wife and she intervened with the Prophet and Ali refrained to carry out his desires.  Aicha was beside herself to learn that Fatima, the plain woman and not as educated as she, could enjoy one husband and generate four offspring, two of them males.  Aicha realized that she could not get pregnant with all her gained expertise.

    The Prophet’s adoptive son Zaid was killed at a battle in the north against the Byzantium Empire. Muhammad organized an army of 30,000 fighters in the year 631, recruited from all over Arabia and marched to Tabuk, a city within the Syrian borders, to avenge the death of his adoptive son Zaid; he took Aicha with him on this campaign.  The Governor of Syria didn’t deign to challenge the Prophet for a battle. Muhammad returned to Medina after securing many treaties with the neighboring tribes and oasis in Syria.  The whole of Arabia was converting to Islam.

Ibrahim, the son of Mohammad from Maria and aged 18 months, died.  The Prophet cried and lamented, a behavior which was not the custom of the male believers. The Prophet went on pilgrimage to Mecca the next year with 30,000 pilgrims and the entire harem went this time.  Mohammad gave a speech alluding that it might be his last pilgrimage. The prophet closed the Curtain House.  The whore girls were incarcerated.  For 12 days, the former polemist Al Aasha 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’s wives and the poet was taken prisoner. The girls were stoned to death. 

During the trial, the public would not believe Al Aasha’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 Al Aasha 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.” (Extracted from Salman Rushdi’s manuscript)

When the Prophet 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!”

Shortly after his return to Medina Muhammad suffered from terrible headaches; he asked Abu Bakr to preach in his place when he was bed ridden.  Muhammad was mortally sick for at least a month and he knew his days were counted because Angel Gabriel gave him a choice between this world and the Other World and the Prophet opted for the Other World.  Muhammad had time to think about the succession of power and the appropriate processes but no revelations were forthcoming.  The Prophet dies on June 8 in the year 632.  The prophet Muhammad was 63 years old.

The tribal spirit was to dominate the political landscape, the same spirit that Muhammad intended to re-direct toward a Unique God and unite the “Umma”.  The Arab and Moslem World were tribal in structure and ended up with a caste system when the newly converted Central Asian tribes overpowered the Kuraich tribal rights for leadership.

The remaining direct blood family of the Prophet consisted of his two grandsons Hassan and Hussein, and his two grand daughters from his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali (his nephew). The prophets three other daughters Zainab, Rukaya, and Oum Kulthum had died; I have no information so far if they left any offspring.

Islam: Legislating in Medina (Part 2, February 1, 2009)

Note: This essay is mainly a historical account of Islam during the Prophet Muhammad life; it does not intend to delve into any religious belief system since I am not a theologian and don’t want to be. The essay is of four parts: Genesis, Legislating in Medina, return to Mecca, and successors of the Prophet.

We are picking up the story at the time the Prophet Muhammad had to flee Mecca; he was about 54 of age.

In the previous 13 years of proselytizing, the Prophet Muhammad’s fundamental message was almost identical to a particular Jewish-Christian sect based in Mecca: One of Muhammad’s uncle was the Patriarch. 

Given the various Christian sects at the time and even today (including Protestantism, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Orthodox and on) it is very probable for a Christian theologian, after serious analysis, to classify Islam into one of the Christian sect categories.  Islam of the early period was a synthesis or one of the coherent monolithic belief systems.

 

Mohamamad ibn Abdullah ibn Hachim was an orphan brought up by his uncle Abi Taled,  who was the father of Ali.  Ali would became the fourth Caliph. Mohammad was not illiterate as the Muslems would disseminate.

Khadija was widowed twice and hired Mohammad to lead her caravans to Damascus.  Khadija was almost 7 years older than Mohammad when she asked him to marry her and gave him a son Al Qasem who died at age of 2 and four daughters Zainab, Rukaya, Oum Kulthum, and Fatima.  

Two of Mohamad’s daughters were repudiated by their husbands because they refused to be married to girls who converted to Islam. Muhammad had adopted Zaid ibn Haritha, aged 12, who was Khadija’s slave. Zaid later became Muhammad’s personal messenger to his 8 formal wives after each battle. Zaid was very learned and translated and interpreted the Jewish Books to Mohammad and was devoted to his adoptive father.

Khadija was the first person to believe in Mohammad prophesies and for 13 years protected him from the mockeries and sarcasms of the inhabitants of Mecca and cared for him during his fits of epilepsies when Archangel Gabriel used to appear to him. Mohamamad had to marry Sawda (Black) after Khadija died because he needed an experienced woman to run and maintain the household.  Sawda was widowed to an Islam convert who fled to Ethiopia from the Kuraich tribes’ persecution.

At the death of Khadija at 70, Mohammad realized that he won’t be protected anymore from certain death.  After foiling an assassination attempt on his life Muhammad fled Mecca to Yathreb (Medina) in the year 622 in company of the influential convert Abu Bakr

It took Muhammad and Abu Bakr almost four months to arrive at Yathreb, a mere six days travel in normal time, to avoid the head hunters of the tribes of Kuraich.  Most of the Prophet’s followers had preceded him to Yathreb and welcomed him as a hero.

The Moslem emigrants in Yathreb were suffering from miseries. First, they were not used to the humid climate and the existing marshes and many died of the malaria fever.  Second, the emigrants could not find suitable employments and had to accept temporary jobs at the Ansar (supporter) tribes and Jewish households and farms.  Consequently, the emigrants had to revert to what the tribes did when they were hungry and penniless. 

They decided to raid a major caravan coming from Damascus that was lead by Abu Suffyan, a most powerful person in the Ummaya clan. The caravan was to stop at an oasis called Badr.  The Moslems won the battle of Badr, their first.

Sawda’s father and brother were killed in the battle of Badr fighting against the Moslems. Sawda was greatly grieved and lambasted the prisoners parked in front her house and told them that they should have fought instead of being taken prisoners. Mohammad repudiated her for a while until she asked forgiveness and she opted not to have intercourse with him as the tradition regulated Mohammad’s permutation nights among his wives.

 Muhamamad married Aicha (Abu Bakr’s youngest daughter) in Yathreb; she was then ten years old.  Abu Bakr was one of the first to convert to Islam and was Mohammad’s closest Companion and guide, and later became the first Calif.  Aicha had a vast memory and was well educated to read and write and she was the person who transposed most of the verbal messages into written verses during the revelations.

 The Jewish tribes in Yathreb (later called Medina) were apprehensive of the growing power of the new Moslem community and started scheming to clipp its wings. Mohammad encircled the fortified castle of the Jewish tribe Banu Qaynoqa because the tribe decided to break the treaty with Mohammad rather than pay the ransom for a murdered Moslem emigrant.  The Jewish tribe capitulated when it realized that the succor from the Arab clan of Banu Khazraj was not forthcoming.  The clan of Bany Khazraj was one of the clans in Yathreb that invited Muhammad to settle in it and thus its members were called Ansar (supporters).  

Muhammad had set his mind to beheading all the males of the defeated Banu Qaynoqa tribe as the revelation dictated but the chief of the tribe of Khazraj prevented him saying: “I am a man who fears the reversal of circumstances” The Jewish clan of Banu Qaynoqa were allowed to leave the city and it settled in the Jewish town of Khaibar, around 20 miles north west of Yathreb.

 The Kuraish tribe of Mecca wanted revenge for the battle of Badr. The Moslems lost the battle of Ohud. The forces of Kuraich did not pursue their objective to entering Medina and retreated to Mecca.  Khaled Ibn Al Waleed was leading the cavalery of Kuraich at Ohud; after conversion, Khaled would defeat the Byzantium Empire in Yarmouk.  The Jewish tribe of Banu Nadhir had secretly supported Kuraich in the battle of Ohud.  Muhammad directed his angst against this Jewish tribe and ordered it to leave Medina; the eye witness accounts related that the citizens in Medina never saw a leaving caravan as opulent, rich and luxurious in their lives. 

It is after the battle of Ohud that Muhammad reversed his instructions: the Moslems were to pray toward the Black Stone in Mecca instead of Jerusalem.

This was a political decision meant to send the clear message to the Moslems that the focus in to be on Mecca, and first on how to conquer Mecca

Muhamamad married Hind, a recent widow of the convert Abu Salama who was mortally injured during the battle of Ohud.  Hind or Um Salama was about thirty of age and had many children and declined to marry Abu Bakr, Omar and even Muhammad.  Muhammad asked her hand a second time and promised to care for her many offspring.

 Othman Ibn Affan, later the third Caliph and husband of Muhammad’s daughter Rukaya, ran away during the lost battle of Ohud and had vacated a strategic position held by the archers.  After Rukaya died, Muhamad offered Othman his other daughter Um Kulthum as wife because he needed Othman’s clan on his side. Omar Ibn Khattab, later the second Caliph, wanted Othman to marry Afsa, his widowed daughter, but Othman declined the request repeatedly.

Consequently, Mohamamad married Afsa aged 18 because he needed Omar’s total loyalty.  Aicha, the beloved wife of the prophet, was crestfallen and suffered her first jealousy attacks. Kuraich returned the next season with a fresh attack as the Moslem community was gaining new alliances. Muhammad repulsed the attack by following the suggestion of Salmane the Persian convert. Salmane supervised the digging of a large and deep trench around Madina that the cavalry could not jump over.  A violent wind followed by a torrential rain convinced the Kuraichi armies to retreat.  Then, Mohammad surrounded the hold up of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah for 25 days because they were tacitly allied to Kuraich.  The Prophet beheaded 700 of the male captives and dumped their bodies in a large ditch and ordered Ali (his nephew) and Zobayr (the husband of Aicha’s sister Asmat) to perform the executions.

After this mass cruel beheading, the troops of Muhammad had easier tasks convincing the neighboring tribes to join Islam and they frequently plundered the caravans arriving from Damascus and Alexandria. Mohammad asked the hand of Rihana, a Jewish captive girl, to marry him but she declined. After she converted, Mohammad asked her hand again and she preferred to remain slave than marry someone with several wives; Rihana became Muhammad’s concubine.

Zainab, one of the daughters of Mohammad, was married to Aboul-Aas whom she loved so much that she preferred to stay with him in Mecca; Aboul-Aas fought against Mohammad at the battle of Badr and was made prisoner and later decided to convert in order to keep Zainab. 

.Mohamamad married Zainab, the daughter of the clan leader of Bani Assad, who was widowed and 30 years of age. Zainab died three months after her wedding. Mohammad then married Zainab bint Jahsh, a great beauty and the former wife of Zaid ibn Haritha, Muhammad’s adoptive son. 

Zaid had to separate from his wife because she welcomed Muhammad almost nude “to entice him and throw trouble in his heart”.  Zainab then harassed Muhammad reminding him that she separated from Zaid because of him.  The Koran was very strict on the top number of only four wives for the believers if they could afford equitability among the wives.  This time Muhammad received a message from Gabriel telling him that Zainab is an offer from God that cannot be rejected.  The aggrieved Aicha interjected that God has a tendency to accord his Messenger all his desires.

  Aicha joined a raid against the Harith tribe; she lost her favorite collar that the Prophet had offered her during their wedding. The Moslem fighters were utterly upset for wasting precious time searching for the collar because the time for prayer was close and they were far from the nearest oasis. Mohammad had to receive a message allowing ablution with sand when water is not available:  This most important revelation allowed the Moslem armies to expand their raids far in the deserts. Mohammad married Juwayriah, the daughter of the chief clan of Harith. The Harith tribe and their allies converted to Islam.

  Aicha lost the same collar a second time and was left behind while she was searching for it.  Safwan, a young and handsome convert, found Aicha alone and returned her to the camp.  Rumors spread saying that, while the sixty years old prophet is resuming his mania of marrying far more than the four allowed by the Koran, his younger wives are cheating on him.  Aicha fell dangerously sick and was moved to her folks’ domicile and Mohammad didn’t pay her a visit for 28 days because he started to believe the rumors.  When Muhammad finally decided to see Aicha the Angel Gabriel had showed up and revealed to the Prophet that Aicha was innocent. Um Roumane told Aicha to welcome the Prophet and Aicha retorted: “By God I will not!  I will praise but God who finally decided to declare me innocent

17 revelations were dedicated to these awful circumstances; calumny was revealed a crime as dangerous as adultery and specific penalties prescribed.  Mistah (a cousin of Aicha), Hassan ibn Thabit (the poet of Islam), and Hanneh bint Jahsh (the sister of one of the Prophet’s wives) were flogged 100 times for their crimes of calumny without having four witnesses for their accusations.  Aicha regained her position as the most favored “Um al Mu’mineen” (Mother of the believers).  

Since then, the wives of the prophet were asked to wear the veil when going out and to stay in their residences unless accompanied.  The independent minded women of Yathrib could divorce their husbands by just turning their tents around; the custom in Medina was for the husbands to settle in the wives’ clans, contrary to the customs in Mecca. 

The prophet had to issue many verses to reduce the women of Medina into submission and follow the customs of Mecca and obey their husbands and seclude themselves in their homes and wear the veil when out.  

Entering Mecca was not a problem: In order to tame Mecca it was imperative to emulate the customs and traditions of the “noble peopl”e in Mecca, and women were to pay the price for this political decision.

Muhammad and the new Moslem immigrants had a hell of a time submitting the women of Yathrib.

Islam: The Prophet Mohammad (Part 1, January 31, 2009)

Note: This essay is mainly a historical account of the genesis of Islam and does not intend to delve in any religious belief system,

Mecca at the time of the prophet Muhammad was built four generation ago to cater for desert caravans bringing goods from Zafar and Yemen. After resting in Mecca and delivering the merchandize to the four major clans, fresh new caravans took the relay and headed 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 out.  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. For example, 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 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.  Thus, the pilgrims were trickling to Mecca because they realized that they were being milked from every penny they had and young girls were abducted for ransom. 

Consequently, the Kuraich tribe encouraged vile entertainment activities during the pilgrimage season to attract more customers to Mecca.

A climate of uneasiness prevailed among the “puritanical” souls and the majority of the city inhabitants who could not afford to participate in the merriments, luxuries, and the debauch of the festivities.

           

The Black Stone enshrined about 360 idols brought from around the neighboring civilizations to entice pilgrims in from all around the regions of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and India.  For example, The Black Stone housed the colossus idol Hubal, representing the shepherd, the idol Kain was the patron of musicians and blacksmiths, Astarte (He-of-Shara) of the Nabataen, the saturnine Nakruh; Manaf was the sun god, Nasr of the eagle-form, See Quzah that held 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.

           

The all powerful Ummaya clan owned the three most famous goddesses of Al Lat, Manat, and Uzza.  Young Muhammad was an orphan and his clan Abi Taleb, a clan of lower stature and thus was not represented in the city council. The business woman Khadija had hired Muhammad to lead and manage her caravans heading to Damascus.

           

Mohammad had the opportunity during his commerce ventures around Damascus to meet with many Christian and Jewish sects.  Many Christian sects in Syria were persecuted as heretics by the Byzantium Empire. Their monolithic belief systems were rooted in what we call Christian-Jews religion; they believed that Jesus message was a continuation of the Jewish religion and they abided by the Jewish traditions, customs, and Laws in their daily life.  They were monophysists in the sense that some of these Christian-Jews sects believed that Jesus was spirit and the son of God and others that Jesus was plain human and the last prophet before the end of time. Marie, the mother of Jesus, was not honored as a viable interceder to God via Jesus.

Khadija was barely 10 years older than Mohammad when she married him; she later was the first person to believe in the predication of Muhammad.  By the age of 41 Muhammad message of “no God but Allah” was not making any major breakthrough among the city dwellers.  The young and most prominent poet lampoonist nicknamed Al Aasha (the near sighted) had pinned up all over town his poem “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’s revelations. 

Among those poor individuals who were staunch believers in the new monolithic religion 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.

           

As Muhammad got richer, his message attracted more followers and the squeeze was tightened his followers were harassed on a daily basis. Many had to immigrate to Christian Ethiopia to make a living. The preeminent leaders of the larger tribe tried to strike deals with Mohammad in order to keep the peace for the flourishing industry of the City, and not to alienate Khadija. 

Mohammad could keep preaching his message for 13 years in Mecca without major disturbances. Maybe one of the deals was for the Prophet Mohammad not to focus his attack on the three major idols of the clan of Ummya through the verse “Have you thought upon Lat, Manat, and Uzza, the third, the other?  They are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”.

           

Probably, Muhammad’s found harsh resistance from his devout followers for his concession.  Muhammad hurried 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 and he recanted the previous verse by the verse  “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.”

It happened that the uncle of Muhammad, Hamza, killed two masked young men during one night of the festivities; they were the brothers of the powerful Hind, the wife of the most powerful Ummaya leader. In the same period his wife Khadija died and Muhamad had no protection anymore in Mecca. The Kuraish tribe decided that it was an excellent timing to eliminate Muhammad.  A new period is beginning and that they would have to leave Mecca pronto.

While Muhammad was mourning Khadija for 40 days in seclusion he ordered his disciples to leave to the northern city of Yathrib in small groups.   The prophet Mohammad managed to flee Mecca and his trip to Yathreb (later named Medina) lasted a month in order to confound the search party of the Kuraich assassins. The satiric poet Al Aasha composed a valedictory ode: “What kind of idea does “Submission” seem today? One full of fear.  An idea that runs away.”

If the Koran can be published in chronological order then the true message of Islam in the first 13 years of proselytizing would be discovered to be a cohesive blend of the monolithic belief system of the “heretic” Christian-Jew sects in Syria.  At that period, the Moslems were to face Jerusalem for prayers.  The next 10 years of Islam were mainly the period of legislating for a community of Moslems.

Relentless Therapeutic: Ariel Sharon’s case (January 26, 2009)

The topic of relentless medical attempts to keep a dying person physically alive, though technically brain dead, was exposed by Bernard Debre in his French book “Amorous dictionary of medicine“. 

The term relentless therapeutic is not appropriate because a therapy means hope to a healthy survival state of a patient, and the relentless endeavors connote a feasible resolution within a short limited duration.

            Keeping an individual artificially alive is generally for political reason. 

In 1970, the Spanish dictator Franco was kept alive for a month in order for the Spanish to resolve a peaceful transition of power. 

The case of Ariel Sharon, Israel ex-PM is past a political transition of power since he has been in coma for over three years; (I am under the impression that the Zionist State is expecting the emergence of another “Biblical Prophet” before they decide to put Sharon to rest). 

I don’t know what happens to a person artificially living; is he seeing nightmares of Hell? In that case Sharon has done his well deserved punishment. 

Is the person experiencing heavenly dreams?  In that case Sharon is not entitled to such recompense.  Either way, Ariel Sharon has to go morally and ethically.

            There are many kinds of “relentless therapies”. For example:

Therapies for the conscious terminally ills are interesting in their problematic.  The excuses for alleviating sufferings in euthanasia requests should be non-issues anymore: medicine has a wide gamut of pain killers for every kind of suffering. 

The choice for the conscious terminal patient is whether he prefers to abridge his life with massive doses of pain killers or lengthen life a while longer with suffering. 

Ultimately, it is a matter of dying in dignity; especially when excretions are no longer voluntary acts and the support system is totally lacking for caring to a person who is no longer functional. 

Patients on pain killers die suddenly and generally with high morale because, after a while, they forget that they are terminally ill and live a euphoric period.

The great breakthrough in these cases is that lines of communications are open among the family members, the patient, the physicians, and most importantly, the nurses who are in frequent touch with the patient.

Opinions are shared and the last decision is for the patient if he is still conscious.

What is most needed are specialized centers or “units for the terminally ills” where the patient can live in a “normal facility” and supported by skilled nurses and personnel.

What was not natural is a pretty common occurrence: Elderly children walking as slowly as their parents.

“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!”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Blog Stats

  • 1,407,885 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 758 other followers

%d bloggers like this: