Tuesday, May 10, 2005

humour and religion

Orthodox religion frowns on humour but the more esoteric forms do give space for fun, for laughing and clowning around. I thought it might be time for a funny story here about Mo. It relates in part to an Arab custom of the time of drinking camel's urine as medicine. The custom comes up in a story with a gruesome ending that is told several times throughout the ahadith or traditional stories about Mo. I've chosen one of the briefer versions here. The second hadith provides the background regarding Mo's views on fly wings. These elements were combined into a story and posted on the forums at Islam.com by "truthbeknown". I enjoyed the story very much and reproduce it (with permission) here below the two ahadith.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 590:
Narrated Anas:

The climate of Medina did not suit some people, so the Prophet ordered them to follow his shepherd, i.e. his camels, and drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). So they followed the shepherd that is the camels and drank their milk and urine till their bodies became healthy. Then they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels. When the news reached the Prophet he sent some people in their pursuit. When they were brought, he cut their hands and feet and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 537:
Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said "If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease."

SCENE: Mohammad is sitting a table with his Companions. To Mohammad's left is a Companion wannabe named Abu. It is Mohammad's custom to initiate new Companion prospects with a little prank (like early hazing). Today, the Companions are having a little difficulty hiding their smiles under their beards. They know that Mohammad has a good prank in store for Abu.

A moment ago, in full view of Abu and the Companions, Muhammad had added some camel urine to a jar of camel milk. He now slides that jar in front of Abu.

MOHAMMAD (sounding very sincere): "Here Abu, drink this. It's medicine!"

The Companions are now starting to have a REAL hard time containing themselves. Jafar let a little snort escape, but he covered it up nicely by acting like he had to cough. (Mohammad gives Jafar a reproachful glance, but then winks.) The Companions all marvel at Mohammad's ability to keep a straight face. Surely he was the master of tricks!

ABU (looking just a little doubtful): "Well...Okaaay."

Abu reaches out his hand toward the jar...
But then disaster strikes! A passing fly, attracted by the smell, plops itself into Abu's drink!

ABU: "Eeeeuww! Curse my fortune! I cannot drink it now with this filthy fly!"

But Mohammad was a fast thinker, and his wits did not fail him on this day.

MOHAMMAD (happily): "But no! That's a good thing! You see, the fly has disease on one wing, but on the other wing is the cure!"

You never saw so many faces turn so purple so fast. The Companions were on the absolute brink of disintegration! Jafar turned his head to spurt out a few more "coughs". Umar rested his head on his fist to stop his chin from quivering. To hide his tears, Ali turned his head away, pretending that he heard something. Abdul knew he would need a new loincloth right afterwards.

Would Abu really drink it?!! He lifted the jar and held it in front of his face. He contemplated his decision. Mohammad smiled innocently.

The Companions were beginning to crumble. Little noises were coming from all around the table: "mmmpf"... "thhututut"... "hurummf"... "wheeeez".

But after just a couple seconds (it seemed like an eternity), Abu leaned his head back and gulped down a big slurp of the drink. Finally, Mohammad and the Companions exploded.

ALL (except poor Abu): "BWWAAAAAA HA HA WAA HA HA HAA HA!!!!!!!!....."

After a few days of enduring jabs, Abu's camel breath subsided and he was admitted as the newest member of the Companions. And they all had another great funny story to tell!

...Unfortunately, at some point, Muslims lost their sense of humor, and the funny stories were taken seriously. In a sense, they all fell for the joke.

'Tis Allah writes the holy books
From Torah to Koran
And truth be known he has his hooks
In Star Wars and Batman.


At Monday, 28 December, 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. Greetings to Arizona (she was from Australia as I recall). It's funny for me to stumble upon this little bit of "literature" I wrote about 10 years ago. I used to be known as "truthbeknown" on islam.com.

Then one day, the old islam.com died, and all the regulars were locked out. As its slogan said: "A Site Worthy of its Name!"

At Monday, 28 December, 2015, Blogger Arizona said...

wow .. what a blast from the past!
yes, i'm from australia :-)
and as you can see i don't write here much anymore
omg, it's so sad to contemplate how politically correct we've become and remain ...
ah, those were the days on the old islam.com ... lol ...


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