Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

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Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A saintly lady

Rabi'a -al- Adawiyya, often called Rabia Basri, since she was from Basra, Iraq was probably the first female saint of Islam. She lived a few decades after the passing of Prophet Muhammad. She was firmly against rituals, and believed in cleansing oneself of egoistic thought. She was also a vegetarian.

Said she:
I carry a torch in one hand
And a bucket of water in the other:
With these things I am going to set fire to Heaven
And put out the flames of Hell
So that voyagers to God can rip the veils
And see the real goal.
She was very Meera-like in her absolute love for the creator.
O my Lord,
if I worship you
from fear of hell, burn me in hell.
If I worship you
from hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.
But if I worship you
for yourself alone, grant me then the beauty of your Face.
Also see 1, 2 and 3. There's also a book on her on Amazon, and a much cheaper version in Overstock.

Incidentally, while digging up info on Rabia Basri, I came across a site for Muslim vegetarians.


Blogger Suhail said...

Good site. They hit nail on head with this one:
"There are various shadings of desirable and undesirable, and in the middle there is the neutral (al-mubâh). The choice of what halâl food to eat is a neutral one—-it doesn't have any direct bearing on what is forbidden or obligatory. I'm not making meat "harâm." I just don't wish for any, thank you."

The point is, many Muslims already know this(yes, even illiterate ones)..but nobody says it. Also many non-Muslims have this misconception that all Muslims eat mutton/beef almost daily, which is again untrue(Rs120/- per kg mutton is no joke). I don't know how many times I have explained this to my nonM school friends(the age when we simply believe what elders say, or hearsay) in Bbay to their astonishment.

There are references of Prophet enjoying a good mutton dish and ref'ces of "suggesting" Muslims to wear yr best clothes and cook good food atleast on two Eid days and in general have a merry time, and ensure that yr neighbour enjoys Eid too (hence the entire 'fitra' concept - a form of donation)..but it's never perforce or mandatory. One might as well live on zunka bhaakar.. and he won't become a lesser Muslim.

Some Muslims take these pro-mutton references and overdo it taking it to the other extreme to justify their meat addiction.

Thanks for Rabia Basri links.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Quizman said...

Thanks, Suhail. That was very informative.

11:28 AM  

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