One of the few pleasures to be had from reading about Islam is in observing how its rules plummet from the sublime to the ridiculous. Not that there's much of the sublime - Islam is a very earthbound religion - but what is not ridiculous is deadly, deadly serious.
The juxtaposition of hell fire and shoelaces puzzles, but we need to consider that what we might see as bathos is quite logical in Islam, which doesn't distinguish the serious from the trivial, only the Islamic from the un-Islamic.
Today's Hadith is a case in point:
Every Muslim has five rights over another Muslim: to return the greetings, to visit the sick, to accompany funeral processions, to accept an invitation, and to respond to the one that sneezes.
How unlike the home life of our own dear snufflers:
Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.
Sublime or ridiculous? Who knows, but there's glory for you.
Posted on 02/27/2010 2:19 PM by Mary Jackson