Some years ago I thought a man named Sardonic Scholar into existence. He would be my alter ego, The man behind whose face, I would lurk and hopefully say what was really going on in my mind. Hopefully say these things without too much of a consequence. I was, after all, a writer for The Muslim Woman.
His posts would go out as e-mails to people on my mailing list. The responses I received were often interesting. Sometimes damning. Occasionally amusing. And at time confrontational.
At this point, perhaps I ought to explain why I chose a ‘male’ to tell my tale. Even then, in my not- fully- conscientised- pseudo- feminist mind, I understood that a man could get away with much more than any woman could, especially on the religious front. So I chose to hide behind him, Mr Sardonic, who, even if I dare say so myself, was damn sexy ;)
But the time has come to merge these various personas. In the words of Zain Bhikha, “this is me”. Deal with it.
This was his first ever post:
Okay, so the word scholar is loosely used here. In the sense of : one seeking knowledge, since I don’t have the complete qualifications, sanad, right length of beard, right lineage peppered with uncles with waist length baardjies and turbans that could double as kafns. But, still, I’ll keep the name.
You’ll be hearing from me somewhat regularly, so keep an eye out.
What’s my pet peeve today? Wellllll, it’s a beeeeeg one. But I will keep it brief. See, from my time spent at Daarul Uloom trying to claim the illustrious title, I had lots of people telling me what was Halaal and Haraam – in the food department. And somehow, looking back, I feel their behaviour was not…halaal. Really.
See The Prophetic tradition is clear : Da’ ma yureebuka ila ma la yuribuka.
Meaning, Leave those things which you have doubt in, giving preference to that which you have no doubt in.
So this is a largely individual thing. One man’s doubtful, and hence ‘yellow light food’ could well be another man’s halaal, ‘green light goodie’. But somehow, we fail to make the distinction between doubtful and haraam. So the number of people telling me that I can’t eat jelly babies grows all the time. Like, duh, I have no issues with gelatine, just like the many ulema who have passed this verdict.
I’m not saying that I’m right and the Don’t- eat- that,- it’s- haraam’ brigade are wrong, but I’m simply saying, allow me to eat that which I have no doubt in and you stay away from what is doubtful for you.
And most important, respect that. Don’t look scandalised when I whip out my not-certified- by- your- authority- of- choice- marshmallows to roast at my braai. I would not be eating them and passing the packet around if I had these doubts, and I’m sure, neither would you…