Articles tagged "Islam"


The Guest

She has become more like her grandmother than her mother, Hend thinks to herself. She remembered how she used to squirm in her grandmother’s lap, an angry child with a bare bottom. She was hard to…...

On Reviewing Translations: Lorraine Adams

Like many American-born English speakers, I have an unhappy story to tell about my ignorance of the rest of the world’s languages. It begins in my youth when I spent eight years studying Latin. This…...

Destitutes Compound

At the time I left home for good I must have been around twenty-two or twenty-four years old. What prompted me to leave was my father’s attitude. He complained that I’d developed bad habits.…...

Beyond the Fog

1 Throughout the day English sahibs, memsahibs, and their baba log cross the bridge on mules and horses or riding in rickshaws and dandis. In the evening, the same bridge becomes the site of milling crowds…...

The Saga of Jaanki Raman Pandey

Somebody should have gone and inquired from this Jaanki Raman Pandey, Advocate, why in the name of God did he have to go to Rasoolpur and die there when he was doing so well in Allahabad? And die, not…...

Pink Pigeons—Was It They Who Won?

An early August wind whispers through the lush green trees of Alma Ata. The tiny leaves break into applause. "What are these trees called?" I ask the interpreter. "Tuzhi," the ravishing, delicate Tatar…...

The Man With Three Names

He had three names: Majeeta, Majeed and Ma'i Dada. Those who called him Majeeta had given up the ghost during his lifetime. The few hoary old men who called him Majeed, or "Arey Maan Majeed," lingered…...

Do You Suppose It’s the East Wind?

The enormous weight of three hundred and sixty-five days once again slips from my hand and falls down into the dark cavern of the past. The windows in this desolate room are wide open. How improbably strange…...

The First Love

Once I happened to visit a fishing village in the Andaman Sea, west of the Malay Peninsula in the Indian Ocean. Unlike typical fishing villages, this one was not situated on shore, but floated in the sea.…...

Road to Heaven

When my mother died, her face changed. I was the first to notice. When other family members and friends came to pay their respects, what I saw in their eyes was doubt; none could believe that the deceased…...

from “Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded”

Yusuf al-Shirbini wrote his primary work, Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded [Hazz al-Quhuf bi-Sharh Qasid Abi Shaduf], in or shortly after 1686. His only other known work is a homily…...

from Wanderings

In the Country of Sands There are hours apart, very mysteriously privileged moments, when certain lands reveal to us, during sudden intuition, their soul, in some way their own essence, when we develop…...

Silence

Throngs of sound advance toward the little girl, each throng attempting to reach her ears first before the others, to come down on them like a gavel, and her ears take them all in. After her brother screams,…...

The Abolition of the Profession of Curser

Other rumors might have circulated widely in earlier periods, but without a doubt these new ones should have produced the greatest effect. The current reports concerned the abolition of the office of curser.…...

The Locusts

The village follows a never-changing script: Things are today exactly as they were yesterday, which is the same as they were the day before, and a year before that. There is Omran, dutifully executing…...

Omega:  Definitions

I am a Muslim feminist from the Fertile Crescent. I have a tattoo on my right wrist. It's of God. I designed it. Do you know where the Fertile Crescent is? One day when we were alone together Shah…...

from “The Perfect Novel”

Chapter Five We were working on "recording" the following scenes from my novel: the Sunday lunch in the garden at Manuel's house, where the two families part amicably, mothers and aunts included; Manuel's…...

Women Writers, Islam, and the Ghost of Zulaikha

In the history of Islam, perhaps no woman has been as widely (mis)interpreted as Zulaikha-the beautiful and perfidious wife of Potiphar in the story of Joseph. It was she who tried to seduce Joseph into…...

Damascus, What Are You Doing to Me?

1 My voice rings out, this time, from Damascus It rings out from the house of my mother and father In Sham. The geography of my body changes. The cells of my blood become green. My alphabet is green. In…...

from The Almond

Aunt Selma was in the middle of a gathering of women when I disturbed her. Later on, I learned that in Tangiers the afternoon was the time for women to congregate. All dressed up, fashionable and lighthearted,…...

Hameed Nylon

Hameed, who had yet to learn the nickname by which he would be known for the rest of his life, entered the house, which emitted a fresh country scent. With his foot, as usual, he shoved open the heavy…...

from Maryam of the Stories

The whole city gave up on sleep that night. Explosions sealed up ears and filled the city sky, turning the anticipated weekend into a nightmare. Then Monday came and the shelling calmed, so I goaded my…...

from Three Dreams on Mount Meru

Today, in the year 1170 of the Hegira, as I finish the narration of my journey to Mount Meru, I can't help thinking about Omui. He was the best storyteller in all Mombasa. The fabulous stories he would…...

Bloodred Dew

The two men were alone now. Or was it two women? The night stretched on endlessly. So did the mountain. And the frosted sky lying lightly over the mountain began to pale. The mountain stood facing them,…...

Epistle on Cosmic Unification

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Blessings upon our master, Muhammad, and upon his family and companions. . . . From my insufficiency to my perfection, and from my deviation to my equilibrium…...

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