Becoming a Realist; Realist Defined; Idealism Defined; A Different Approach to the Memorization of the Qur’an; Three English Translations of Guidance to the Straight Path; Back to Dr. Azeem’s Learned Discussion of the Status of Women in Islam; Then Some Humor From Andy Borowitz; A Pictured Unicorn

First,  let us examine what a realist is and what a realist is not.  It is a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly. Other words to describe realistic are: pragmatic, matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, sensible, commonsensical; rational, logical, reasonable, levelheaded, clear-sighted, hardheaded, businesslike, sober, unromantic, unsentimental, unidealistic, tough-minded, robust, hard-boiled, unemotional; with both/one’s feet on the ground, hard-nosed, no-nonsense. A realist is not unrealistic nor idealistic.

Began Ramadan 2022 with the intention of memorizing the entire Qur’an . I did, of course,  begin as I always do what I say I am going to do. But my goal, my intention has changed. I put both feet on the ground, became hard-nosed and no-nonsense. I abandoned Idealism. Idealism has its place, but not here. Idealism is the the practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically. It is utopian, visionary, romantic, quixotic, dreamy, unrealistic, impractical, castle-building. Its antonyms are realistic; cynical; defeatist. I became quixotic, perhaps visionary. I, fortunately,  did not become cynical or defeatist.

 Decided to go slowly, reflecting upon what I have memorized. This is an example of what I shall be doing. Beginning with the Introduction, the ( al-Fatihah)

  1. It is You we worship, and upon You we call for help
    6., Guide us to the straight path
    &. The path of those You have blessed, not of those against whom there is anger, nor of those who are misguided.

Faithful readers will know that I have been experiencing difficulties with individuals who tell me what to do, how to practice my faith. In some ways, you do not know the half of it because I refuse to deal with negativity. These words from the Qur’an were so helpful as I saw that the people who were advising me, telling me I was doing wrong were not blessed. They were either misguided or there was anger. Another English translation says: 7. The ways of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and those who do not go astray.. Another English translation of The Opening 7 says “The way of those on whom You have bestowed your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those those who went astray (such as the Christians).

Anyone can see how helpful this is, the words from the Qur’an.  It tells me who to avoid, the Jews, the Christians, the misguided, other angry people. To those of the faith who attempt to guide me by telling me what I am doing wrong, I shall merely say:
Me: Excuse me, I did not ask you for advice. Are you an Islamic scholar?
He: No I am a Christian.
Me: Oops the Qur’an expressly tells me not to listen to you
He: : No I am not an Islamic scholar but I read the Qur’an twice and I was raised in the faith.
Me: I shall ask an Islamic scholar for his advice if needed. Thank you.

This last translation leads me onward to Al-Baqarah (The Cow). 1. Alif-Laan-Meen. (These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an and none but Allah (Alone knows there meaning)
This translation was downloaded from Books on my Apple iPad, its author is Dr. Muhammed Muhsin Khan.

Back to The Status of Women in Islam, the profound research and analysis by Dr. Azeem, comparing the treatment of women in Judaism, Christianity and the Islamic faith. “The three religions agree on one basic fact: Both women and men are created by God. The creator of the whole universe. However, disagreement starts soon after the creation of the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve. The Judeo-Christian conception of the creation of Adam and Eve is narrated in Genesis 2: 4-3:24. God prohibited both of them from eating the fruits of the forbidden tree. The serpent seduced Eve to eat from it and Eve, in turn, seduced to eat with her. When God rebuked Adam for what he did, he put all the blame on Eve…..Consequently, God said to Eve. “I will greatly increase your pains in child bearing, with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” To Adam He said: “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree..Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all days of your life…”

Dr. Azeem looks to the treatment of the first creation  in the Quran and finds it in several places. 7:19:23 is quoted in its entirety, it ends in these words: ‘And their Lord called unto them:’Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that Satan was your avowed enemy?’ They said:’Our Lord we have wronged our own souls and if You forgive us not and bestrow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.”

He speaks of the differences . “The Qur’an, contrary to the Bible, places equal blame on both Adam and Eve for their mistakes. Nowhere in the Qur’an can one find even the slightest hint that Eve tempted Adam to eat from the tree or even that she had eaten before him.  Eve, in the Qur’an is no temptress, no seducer, and no deceiver. Moreover, Eve is not to be blamed for the pains of childbearing. God, according to the Qur’an punishes no one for another’s faults. Both Adam and Eve committed a sin and then asked God for forgiveness and He forgave them both.

There are  severe repercussions “as the image of Eve as a temptress in the Bible has resulted in an extremely negative impact on women throughout the Judeo-Christian tradition.” The implications will be discussed in a subsequent blog.

Awaking so early has its advantages. It is now 10:25. Most of this blog has been written. Not only that but went to the lobby of this Premier Inn, dropped off my laundry, recycled hangars and paid ahead. I have a long term room rate but must pay one month ahead – so I am paid up until May 10, 2022. Goodness knows what might happen next.  Well Allah knows but he has not revealed it to me yet – he shall when I am ready. I have placed myself in his hands.

 I shall throw some humor your way again. This from my hero Andy Borowitz yet again discussing the United States Supreme Court. WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Brett Kavanaugh is “upset” that the newly confirmed Justice of the Supreme Court Ketanji Brown Jackson has refused his invitation to a beer-pong initiation ritual he created for new members of the Court. “It’s a great way to bond with your fellow-Justices,” Kavanaugh told reporters. “And, if the game goes on long enough, you get a righteous buzz on.”

That is so extremely funny, if it goes on long enough you get a righteous buzz on. But, of course Andy continues on to the hilarious end. “Jackson reportedly told her fellow-jurist that she would be too busy studying the cases before the Court before to participate in the beer-pong initiation, but Kavanaugh said that such an excuse “just doesn’t cut it” “Amy Coney Barrett played beer pong when she joined the Court, he said. “It looks like Ketanji isn’t going to be much fun. She is probably going to skip Beach Week too.”

The photograph is of paper plates purchased at the Yas Mall Japan store.  It is a rather long story but I was previously mesmerized by unicorns. Had my Apple iWatch personalized with the cutest unicorn waving its horned head. I was known as the Unicorn Lady at my Marin County apartment, All those unicorns are in storage back there. But getting over that obsession. I guess I just might be growing up.

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