۞۩۞ ريكويسيتيلي -[Requisitely] due to particular circumstances commanded for achievement ۞۩۞

Paradise, the New Muslim Utopia

ORAN, Algeria — Future writing project: a topography of paradise in the medieval Muslim imagination. But not only medieval, for among Muslims today paradise is also at the center of political discourse, sermons and the contemporary imagination. Paradise as a goal for the individual or the group has gradually replaced the dreams of development, stability and wealth promised by postwar decolonization in the so-called Arab world. These days, one imagines happy tomorrows only after death, not before.

 By KAMEL DAOUD

wwwpages: nytimes.com/2016/08/02/opinion/paradise-the-new-muslim-utopia.html

“Paradise decks itself in delights,” an editorial writer mused in an Algerian Islamist newspaper during the most recent Ramadan, the month of fasting. The declaration was followed by descriptions of the charms, the delights, the joys that await the faithful after death. This fantasy of paradise, amply depicted as a place of pleasures, with sex and wine, golden adornments and silk apparel, is the opposite of earthly life — and of the frustrations experienced in Arab countries afflicted by economic failures, wars and bloody dictatorships.

International Hijri Calendar Union Congress wrapped in Istanbul, hopefully marking the end of a long-standing conflict dividing the world’s Muslims. Scholars from across the globe convening for an event hosted by Turkey’s state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) agreed to adopt a single Islamic lunar calendar. The landmark move is particularly important regarding the observance of religious holidays and especially concerns the fasting month of Ramadan.

wwwpages: dailysabah.com/nation/2016/05/31/islamic-scholars-agree-on-a-shared-lunar-calendar-for-muslim-world

Dhul Qa’dah : is the eleventh month of the Islamic Calendar. It is a month amongst the months of Hajj. It is the first among the four sacred months (Ash’hur al Harum). Literal Meaning: Qa’dah means to rest. The Arabs used to stop fighting when this month set in and stayed home. This is from among the sacred months. However, no specific rules are prescribed for this month, except for those persons performing Hajj and are in the Sacred Cities of Makkah Mukkaramah and Madinah tal Munawwara and are required to follow the Rules of Hajj.
Some Muslims are more willing to believe that the Stone itself has some supernatural powers. They believe that this stone fell from the sky during the time of Adam and Eve, and that it has the power to cleanse worshippers of their sins by absorbing them into itself. They say that the Black Stone was once a pure and dazzling white and it has turned black because of the sins it has absorbed over the years. wwwpagws: crystalinks.com/blackstoneofmecca.html
Some Muslims are more willing to believe that the Stone itself has some supernatural powers. They believe that this stone fell from the sky during the time of Adam and Eve, and that it has the power to cleanse worshippers of their sins by absorbing them into itself. They say that the Black Stone was once a pure and dazzling white and it has turned black because of the sins it has absorbed over the years. wwwpages: crystalinks.com/blackstoneofmecca

Firdaus (a remote ancestor of the word “paradise,” derived from the Persian) was promised by the Quran and has been abundantly described in religious literature for centuries. But in recent years, paradise has also become the country dreamed of by the poor, the unemployed, the believer — and the jihadist, thanks to certain religious elites who promote it as a means of recruitment.

This is a fascinating renewal of the concept of happiness that was dominant a half-century ago. Back then, the countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East — born out of decolonization often violently wrested from occupying forces that had imposed on them war, poverty and misery — advocated for a vision of the future based on independence, egalitarianism, development, wealth creation, justice and coexistence.

That vision of utopia within human reach, which was taken up by the socialist or communist elites and even some monarchies, was a shared political dream, and it gave legitimacy to those new regimes in the eyes of both their own peoples and foreign governments. Decolonization was the era of grand slogans about the advancement of peoples and modernization through massive infrastructure projects.

But that dream has aged badly, because of the bloody-mindedness of those authoritarian regimes and the political failures of the left in the Arab world.

Today, one has to be a Muslim – by faith, culture or place of residence – in order to experience the full weight of the new post-mortem utopia of the Islamosphere circulating on the internet and the media. It conditions people’s imaginations, political speech, coffee-shop daydreams and the desperation of the younger generations. Paradise has come back into fashion, described in mind-boggling detail by preachers, imams and Islamist fantasy literature.

Bassam Almohor. No description provided. Wadi Qelt, Jericho, Jordan Valley: Rawabi Amphitheatre.

Its main selling point: women, who are promised in vast numbers as a reward for the righteous. The women of paradise, the houris, are beautiful, submissive, languorous virgins. The idea of them feeds a barely believable form of erotico-Islamism that drives jihadists and gets other men to fantasize about escaping the sexual misery of everyday life. Suicide bombers or misogynists, they share the same dream.

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What about the women allowed into the eternal garden? If men can have dozens of virgins, what of the women, especially considering the machismo of those earthbound dream-makers? The preachers’ responses can be amusing: The woman’s heavenly reward is to be her husband’s happy wife throughout eternity, the two of them destined to enjoy perpetual conjugal felicity, at the symbolic age of 33 and in good health. And if the woman is divorced? A preacher replies that she will be remarried to a dead man who was also divorced.

On the third day of Hajj each year, Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha. Hajj begins on the eighth day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and ends on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. For Muslims, Eid al-Adha commemorates the day when prophet Abraham was going to sacrifice his son but was instructed by God to offer an animal instead. Eid al-Adha in Arabic literally means “festival of the sacrifice.” Hajj 2016/1437: Saudi Arabia introduces bracelets for safety; water-resistant and connected to GPS, the devices will also instruct worshippers on timings of prayers and a multi-lingual help desk to guide especially non-Arabic speaking pilgrims around the various rituals of the annual Islamic event. wwwpages: worldreligionnews.com/issues/electronic-safety-bracelets-to-be-issued-to-hajj-pilgrims
Hajj at a Glance
Hajj at a Glance

Curiously, this dream of a Muslim paradise finds itself confronted with another dream at once antagonistic and similar: the West. Generating passion or hatred for the Muslim believer and the jihadist alike, the West and its indulgences represent another facet of the post-mortem Muslim paradise. One dreams of going there, whether as migrant or as martyr. One dreams of going to the West and of living and dying there, or of subjugating and destroying it.

basic-articles-of-faith-by-islamic-posters teachings-of-the-final-messenger-pbuh-poster-by-islamic-posters1

The new Muslim utopia weighs heavily on today’s Arab world. What motivates the masses, gives sense to their despair, lightens the weight of the world and compensates for sorrow no longer is the promise of a rich and happy country, as was the case after decolonization; it’s a vision of paradise in the afterlife. But this fantasy of eternal bliss also causes uneasiness: For however much one wishes to ignore this, the fact remains that in order to get to heaven, one first has to die.

Kamel Daoud, a columnist for Quotidien d’Oran, is the author of the novel “The Meursault Investigation.” This essay was translated by John Cullen from the French.

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An Islamic economy is a sustainable solution to the world’s issues. Currently featuring at wwwpages: salaamgateway.com A global reference for industry intelligence, news, information, and data needed by Islamic Economy professionals to advance their businesses and fuel their innovations.
An Islamic economy is a sustainable solution to the world’s issues. Featuring wwwpages: salaamgateway.com A global reference for industry intelligence, news, information, and data needed by Islamic Economy professionals to advance their businesses and fuel their innovations.

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