The Counter Crusade

Friday, January 06, 2006

In the footsteps of Hagar

I'm not done yet with the "Warrior Muslimas" series, but since the days of Hajj are almost over and I'm in them middle of this whole women's theme, I thought I'd post this:

The Tawaf is about Abraham, the Sa‘y is about Hagar. Only in Islam is a woman the initiator of a form of worship. [1]

One thing all pilgrims must do in the hajj is the Sa'y (Running). It takes place in a corridor called the Masa'a (the place of Sa'y), which runs between two foothills. Here pilgrims walk back and forth seven times at a brisk pace in a rite that imitates the steps of Hagar, Ishmael's mother in the Torah, who rushed between the hills in search of life-giving water for her infant son (or a caravan passing through to help them). The story and the rite express the effort required in a person's search for salvation. The sudden appearance of a well in this desert landscape is the core of a miracle that Muslims believe saved Hagar and saved a branch of Abraham's family in Mecca. Not accidentally, this rite places a mother's story at the heart of the Hajj.[2]

It's also interesting that according to the Bible, Sarah was angry at Hagar and drove Hagar out into the desert. In the Islamic version of the story, Hagar and Sarah were friends and wives on equal terms. However God commanded Abraham to take Hagar and her son to the desert, and to leave them in His care.

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1. Contentions, by Abdal-Hakim Murad.
2. Virtual Hajj

4 Comments:

  • Religion is foreign to me. But then I'm a man who signs the things I write with the name my parents gave me.

    By Blogger Mikkel, at 12:49 AM, January 07, 2006  

  • When I sat down to read the Old Testament two years ago (having never really read it before), one of the things that shocked me was how the women were portrayed. They are almost universally portrayed in the Old Testament as devious, scheming and jealous. It obviously was propaganda inserted by the men who transmitted the Torah through the generations...and of course people read this stuff and think it's the literal truth.

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 2:11 AM, January 07, 2006  

  • i remember reading during the bosnia war of female bosnian muslimas who were fighting agaisnt the facist serbs. they were wonderful.

    By Blogger Edward Ott, at 5:31 AM, January 07, 2006  

  • elizabeth- you're probably right, i think it started with "saint" paul who seems to have despised women. btw do you sitll have that problem accessing my blog directly? i think you just need to press enter again at the address bar, and it works the second time. that's what usually happens with me.

    edward- interesting blog you got, hehe. i'll see if i can find stuff about the bosnian women muslimas to mention.

    By Blogger Silencer, at 3:10 PM, January 07, 2006  

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