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Mourning the lost Ka’aba

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

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As sea levels rise, so also..

*

I am truly sorry to say this, but as
the globe warms, so warms the cube..

A heatwave emanating from a black stone
sweeps the desert:
will hit and kill pilgrims, is
already hitting and killing handfulls
among the millions of pilgrims
as they approach the stone,
but there will be –
I am truly sorry to say this,
may God forfend it —
there will be disasters at the stone,
hundreds, thousands dead of sheer heat exhaustion,
and the government will order
stricter controls on pilgrims,
that they be in best health,
physician verified,
that they carry much water
against dehydration,
wishing the sun itself were other
than it is, under the mercy,
where no legislation can forestall it,
attempting traffic control
against a myridad photons, light
in the niche for lights.

Pilgrimage is compulsory, thus
after the city has been shut down,
the last strays and hiders
pried from their places by special police,
some few from around the gasping
globe still will strive
with devotion
to make their way toward Mecca
and the cube on the globe,
the black stone,
some, after the last police have withdrawn,
still arriving, circling the stone,
holding tight to the thought that Ali
was born within the cube,
athirst with devotion, with dehydration
ablaze, pressing in to die
where Ali was born,
and one, one shall be the last to die there.

I grieve for that last, now,
some few decades ahead of the obvious,
to which we are oblivious —
the oncoming, blasphemous, wave.

Sunday surprise — emoji as selfie, with hijab

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — cute, controversial ]
.

Rayouf Alhumedhi, 16, from Saudi Arabia, now living in Vienna, wanted an emoji to represent herself and other women in hijab, and it has now been approved. Here she is, below right, with the emoji version of herself:

Unsurprisingly, there are some who view the hijab as an example of “patriarchal constructs that oppress women” == but Rayouf herself clearly feels both liberated and delighted.

Mileages will no doubt vary.

**

Source:

  • CNN, Teen behind new hijab emoji: ‘I just wanted an emoji of me’
  • Devotion, modeled in magnet and iron filings

    Friday, June 16th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — science and Islam, but not the creationist, the analogivcal approach — sufism and the nature of pilgrimage ]
    .

    I am apparenrly not alone in finding that iron filing surrounding a magnet resemble pilgrims cirucumambulating the Kaaba:

    The upper photograph depicts the work of the artist Ahmed Mater. A note elsewhere on his work notes:

    Ahmed Mater is a Saudi artist and qualified GP. Working in photography, calligraphy, painting, installation and video, Mater reflects his experiences as a doctor and the ways this has challenged his traditional background and beliefs, and explores wider issues about Islamic culture in an era of globalisation. In the series Magnetism, what at first appear to be pilgrims circling the Ka’ba, the sacred building at the heart of the sanctuary at Mecca, are in fact iron filings spiralling around a cube-shaped magnet. Mater refers to the spiritual force that Muslim believers feel during Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.

    **

    The lower photograph, portraying actual pilgrims circumambulating the Kaaba, is accompanied by the following tale of Junayd:

    A man came to visit Junaid Baghdadi, whose life reflected no change, even after having performed Hajj.

    Junaid asked him: “Where are you coming from?”

    “Sir, I have returned after performing Hajj of the House of Allah”, was the reply.

    “So, have you actually performed Hajj?”

    “Yes, Sir, I have performed Hajj “, said the man.

    “Did you pledge that you would give up sins when you left your home for Hajj?” asked Junaid.

    “No, Sir, I never thought of that”, said the man.

    “Then, in fact, you did not even step out for Hajj. While you were on the sacred journey and making halts at places during the nights, did you ever think of attaining nearness to Allah?”

    “Sir, I had no such idea.”

    “Then you did not at all travel to the Ka’bah, nor did ever visit it. When you put on the Ihram garments, and discarded your ordinary dress, did you make up your mind to abandon your evil ways and attitudes in life as well ?”

    “No, Sir, I had no idea of that.”

    “Then, you did not even don the Ihram garments!” said Junaid ruefully. Then he asked; “When you stood in the Plain of Arafat and were imploring Allah Almighty, did you have the feeling that you were standing in Divine Presence and having a vision of Him?”

    “No, Sir, I had no such experience.

    Junaid then became a liltle upset and asked: “Well, when you came to Muzdalifah, did you promise that you would give up vain desires of the flesh?”

    “Sir, I paid no heed to this.”

    “You did not then come to Muzdalifah at all.” Then he asked: 0?Tell me, did you happen to catch glimpses of Divine Beauty when youmoved round the House of Allah?”

    “No, Sir, I caught no such glimpses.”

    “Then, you did not move around the Ka’bah at all.” Then he said: “When you made Sa’i (running) between the Safa and the Marwa, did you realize the wisdom, significance and objective of your effort?”

    “Sir, I was not at all conscious of this.”

    “Then you did not make any Sa’i!” Then he asked: “When you slaughtered an animal at the place of sacrifice, did you sacrifice your selfish desires as well in the way of Allah?”

    “Sir, I failed to give any attention to that!”

    “Then, in fact you offered no sacrifice whatever.”

    “Then when you cast stones at the Jamarahs, did you make a resolve to get rid of your evil companions and friends and desires?”

    “No, Sir, I didn’t do that.”

    “Then, you did not cast stones at all”, remarked Junaid regretfully, and said:

    “Go back and perform Hajj once again, giving due thought and attention to all the requirements, so that your Hajj may bear some resemblance with Prophet Ibrahim’s Hajj, whose faith and sincerity has been confirmed by the Qur’an:

    Ibrahim who carried out most faithfully the Commands (of his Lord).” (53:37)

    **

    A similar point is made by an anonymous Celtic source, who admonished pilgrims in his own time and circumstance:

    Coming to Rome, much labor and little profit! The King whom you seek here, unless you bring Him with you will not find Him.

    Anything self-defeating is an ouroboros

    Thursday, June 8th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — Tankel’s take on Trump’s CT ]
    .

    Mostly the self-devouring snakes I track here are a little more subtle about the circular nature of their logic — the phrasing often hides the fact that man bites self, or dog chases own tail. This example, however, is just so blatant, presented in so large and darkna font, with its accompanying image just so dazzlingly colored, that I just has to bring it here.

    Self-defeating, self-eating — it’s the self- part that signals trouble. Stephen Tankel is a fine researcher — his book Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba is recommended readng on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

    He is not a happy chap:

    The emerging Trump counterterrorism strategy appears to be a dysfunctional combination of repurposed elements of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama approaches infused with some of Trump’s worst impulses

    You may wish to read him.

    **

    Meanwhile, as an ad to accompany CNN’s Iran’s Revolutionary Guards blame Saudis for Tehran attacks, I got this:

    Okay ouroboroi!

    I did not lead a busload of others down a path

    Monday, May 29th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — the unrealities and realities of dream and vision, sensitive compartmented information, zahir and batin, bin Laden and the Mahdi, more ]
    .

    I did not lead a busload of others down a path to a hotel.
    I did not arrive near my childhood home by bus.
    I was not a member of a CIA team meeting for a conference.
    I did not attend breakfast in the hotel.
    I did not have a pen clipped inside my trousers.
    My attention was not called to my pen having leaked by a female friend.
    I did not have a female friend.
    I did not manage to remove both pen and leaked ink from my trousers.
    I did not wonder how I would climb hills or trees if ncecessary during the conference exercises.
    I am in no condition to climb hills or trees, nor to lead others down a path.
    There is, however, a conference center very close to the house I used to live in during my childhood.
    I dreamed these things.

    **

    The De Vere Horsley Estate, just a couple of fields away from my childhood home, now a conference center:

    Google images thinks of it more as a marriage location. This particular photo is from the Hetty Hikes album.

    Ada, Countess of Lovelace, who intuited the operational utility of punched cards of the type used in Jacquard looms for retaining information generated by her friend Charles Babbage‘s Difference Engine, prototype of today’s computers, lived at Horsley Towers, built by the same architect, Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament..

    My own more modest childhood dwelling was within the grounds, just a few hundred feet inside the Horsley Towers Gates.

    **

    Dreams are, in a sense, occulted from waking life: there is a secrecy to them.

    When the time comes that we can reliably scan and record the visual and verbal imagery of dreams, perhaps even at a distance from and without the consent of their dreamers, questions will arise as to whether their contents should be classified, indeed perhaps deemed Sensitive Compartmented Information, and dreaming permitted only in SCIFs?

    Various occult, psychological and imaginal theories suppose that dreams can touch upon a subjective yet absolute realm, Jung‘s collective unconscious with its archetypes, Shia Islam’s ‘alam al-mithal, termed by Henry Corbin the mundus imaginalis

    there exists an inner world, which lies ‘outside’ our personal minds, and in which they are contained in exactly the same way as our bodies are contained in the outer world revealed by the senses

    writes D Streatfeild in Persephone.

    And Corbin, writing of the Suhrawardian mundus imaginalis:

    Essentially the relationship involved is that of the outer, the visible, the exoteric (in Greek ta exo, in Arabic zahir) to the inner, the invisible, the esoteric (in Greek ta eso, in Arabic batin), or the relationship of the natural to the spiritual world. Leaving the where, the ubi category, is equivalent to leaving the outer or natural appearances that cloak the hidden inner realities, just as the almond is concealed in its shell.

    Zahir and Batin are, respectively, the literal or apparent meanings of Quranic verses, and their hidden or spiritual meanings, known only to those who have eyes to see, ears to hear…

    **

    For a dream in which the young bin Laden is instructed to carry a black flag (“similar to the flag of Saudi Arabia” and with “something written on it in white color”) to the Mahdi at the gates of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, see A “Big Dream” attributed to Osama bin Laden.

    I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours — Bob Dylan said that.


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