The title of my unfinished MA thesis in Jerusalem Studies was: Muslim women in Jerusalem, between Tradition and religion.
A title that I look back at as modest. An attempt to hide behind my real intention, that by the time I started to write, was totally hindered. It even disappeared by the time I started researching what I wanted to write was non-existent.
My intention was to talk about sex. This taboo subject that we hide behind. I always had this belief that what our society needs is a sexual revolution by girls. I still have this hope in the generation of my daughters. As much as it is still hard to apprehend it, I feel proud to see the production of my daughter represented by my daughter herself more aware of her sexuality. Still, though, a cowardice awareness that this generation found a way to play around it in the social media. We have the real life and the virtual access to life. Which of course makes us more of a schizophrenic society, but yet, there is this place of self-expression that is taking place and is important.
Handling a book like the one I just closed “Sex in Quran” for a Syrian writer, whose most of his works are banned in many Arab countries, makes it more of a dangerous curb. The man and his thoughts are probably into scrutiny and heresy accusation. Which makes me like him even more.
I have great respect for writers and thinkers, who decide to fight their wars from their battlefields, not take the West as their ground for fighting their beliefs back home.
The book came back to life today, because of a chapter in it that speaks about old sexual rituals before Islam, and the Hajj, Pilgrimage that in these days millions of Moslems are participating in. Millions of Muslims wait their turn to have the chance to be part of this ritual.
What would Muslims do when they know that the origin of this holy ritual is a massive sex ritual that was inaugurated for the celebration of fertility?
A practice that continued from the beginning of time. From the first humans on Earth, Eve and Adam and continued until the early times of Islam. Islam, however, genius-ly, Islamized the ritual and changed the practice into a celebration of God’s Creation.
In both cases, it is a celebration of God’s Creation. Of this power of life given to us men and women in making life stay and prosper.
How much of a taboo is it to say all this?
But how much of a surprise is it, as the writer puts the question of the half nudity appearances in the ritual around the Ka’ba and the march towards Asaf and al-Marwa (mountains). The myth says that as-Safa is the mountain where an ancient god Asaf statute was placed, and al-Marwa is the mountain where the goddess Naila was set. The old Arab myth says that Asaf and Naila were cursed into laws and set each on a different mountain as a result of their sin inside the Haram. And later Arabs worshiped them.
The whole ritual of semi-nudity (which used to be full nudity in the past) was nothing but a preparation for a massive sexual act to celebrate fertility.
Thinking about it, thousands of years back, when life was about, Adam, Eve and a few others. Such a ritual was essential in creating an atmosphere for desires may be and hence, an act that will result in reproduction.
It shouldn’t be a secret to our minds that creation is based on this very act “Sex” that we still consider handling and mentioning as a taboo, forbidden and illicit.
I am still giggling to this image of all those masses of people that will be gathering in the coming few days to commemorate an act that they are clueless about. Doing it for an entirely different purpose. A goal in our minds that is affiliated with Sacrifice. How sacred would it remain in our minds to realize that Sex is the ultimate state of Holiness? It is a bit of bewildering to connect our minds to the value of sacrifice rather than the value of making a life.
The concept of Sacrifice also has another meaning in ancient traditions, in which circumcision as a custom started. Circumcision was originally about the replacement of full sacrifice, by sacrificing (circumcising) a vital part of the body that helps reproduction, to sustain Creation.
Another scholar mentioned in the book, who elaborates on the subject of the ritual in what we call today Hajj, in which the myth, in the Torah, says that when God sent Adam and Eve to Earth, they were separated, and they were roaming around until they met again, and Adam (JAMA) (as in performed sex) Eve on the Mount of Arafa. From this point on, the Arafa standing position became holy. Arafa standing was one of the major parts of the Jahili Rituals. Men and women used to go there as pilgrims and stay overnight.
All those myths may destroy the holy effect of the most religious ritual in Islamic teaching to most minds…
But I insist that knowledge is the first and only step into faith.
Faith is not about blindly following … it is about understanding the meaning and circumstances behind and around, and remains faithful to that faith …