Iraqi Comedy

I was going to write about something completely different, but the young and restless are asking for comic relief, so here goes.

“O’ ye people! Women are deficient in faith, deficient in shares and deficient in intelligence. With regards to deficiency in their faith, it is their abstention from prayers and fasting during their menstrual period. With regards to deficiency in their intelligence it is because the evidence of two women is equal to that of one man. As for the deficiency of their shares that is because of their share in inheritance being half of men. So beware of the evils of women. Be on your guard even from those of them who might seem good. Do not obey them, even when they ask you to do good things so that they may not attract you to evils later.”

That is the English translation of sermon number 80 from Nahj Al-Blagha (path of eloquence). The famous collection of sermons by Imam Ali. Now, Imam Ali was married to Fatima, the prophet’s daughter. Considered to be the finest of the finest of women. If this is what Imam Ali has to say about women being married to the finest of the finest. Imagine what he would have to say if he was married to average nagging Iraqi wife. Ayayayeeeeee. The thought brings chills down my spine.

Whenever my husband is not talking to me, usually because I either did or said something stupid. I pick up my copy of Path of Eloquence and flip to sermon number 80. I proceed to read the Arabic text projecting my voice all around the room, making dramatic gestures with my hands and annunciating the words “deficient in faith”, “deficient in intelligent” deliberately. This theatrical display usually gets at least a smile from my dear Za’atrah. We laugh our heads off, kiss and make up.

I should thank Ameer al Mu’imeneen (prince of the believers – common nick name for Imam Ali) for saving me in a few tight spots when saying a simple “Sorry I didn’t mean that” seemed inadequate.

Yes, I know. I am going to hell for such brazen actions. But think about it. Where would you rather go? Hell or heaven? Think about all the people going to heaven, Ayatoallah Khomeny, Sistani, The Pope, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and mother Teresa. They will be all up there praying, chanting and meditating. Now think for one second about all the people going to hell. Elvis Presley, Merlyn Monroe, Madonna and all the other good sinners. Down there is hell we will be having a good disco party, dancing, good music, woohoo. Who would you rather spend eternity with? I think I would rather go to hell, thank you.


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