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Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Muslim Inquisition [poem]

A Muslim Inquisition (In a Keighley Pub)

He questioned me in a way I’d never been questioned before.
Questions fired by certainties.
He knew what was Right and what was True.
His head sniffed well my moral failings.
It was his job, he thought, as a da'wah-ist for the One True Religion,
To make sure I knew what I should believe and what I should do.
To him, there could be no debate.
All he wanted was to implant the Truths of his chosen religion – the One True Faith.
Such truths could never be questioned.
Only stated in their purest form.

When I rejected his Truth, I was simply wrong.
There was nothing else I could be, but wrong.
More than that. To reject such sacred truths was to betray a culpability
That in other societies, or at other times, would simply not have been tolerated.
Such unbelievers would have tasted the Sword of Truth.

He couldn’t even grasp my contra-points.
Let alone accept them.
The possibility of an alternative was a possibility he couldn’t accept or allow.
His truths were of the purest white.
My untruths were black as sin itself.
No in-between greys were admitted by a mind that couldn’t grasp the world’s complexity.
(Or the complexities of the un-leashed mind.)
Such greyness would have extinguished the fire in his belly.
And stopped him from being the pious man he thought he was.
Life’s complexity would have halted him on his journey
To the Paradise that promised him so, so much.
Which made all his good deeds worthwhile.
Allah demanded this rejection and denial of life’s complexities.
Allah wanted a pure, rigid relation to the Truth He’d given him.
If Allah himself cannot abide copouts or fudging,
Then how could my man, a mere servant of Allah,
Arrogantly accept them?

He knew that my answers would be wrong – whatever form they took.
He knew this before they were uttered.
The conversation, if that’s what it was, was only a pretext
For the exposition, and then the imposition, of his own pure truth.
He thought my answers would simply betray their own turpitude.
They were false and they were wrong.
His iron exactitudes, buried beneath his questions,
Would show me the Truth and the Way instead.

I knew all along, by the fire in his eyes, it was his hard faith
Which fuelled his every question.
Which urged him on.
I was but one more lost soul to save.
One more to put on the Right Path.
One more to save from himself.
To rescue from the sordid life I simply must have lived.

He was the Word and the he was the Truth –
Even if a paler reflection of the Prophet’s purer Word and purer Truth.
Through him the Sacred Book spoke.
Therefore the voice of Allah spoke to him direct.
I was chalkboard on which he wrote truths
Which could never be substituted with egregious alternatives.

1 comment:

  1. This has become my fav poem off all time, stand aside EE cummings