Friday, May 12, 2006

United 93: Another Note on Muslim Practice

*sigh* We don't want to post this, but it is perhaps something We should say.

Those who have not watched United 93 are recommended not to read further. Consider the comments below to be spoilers of sorts.

Many of you who have watched United 93 will remember a certain scene, which has been seared at least in Our mind, stuck like an axe in one's back that one cannot extract. This is the scene when the flight stewardess, who was forced to let the terrorists into the cockpit, was executed (slaughtered? massacred? sacrificed? martyred? killed? what word can capture the inhumanity of the terrorists and the innocence of the woman?).

Very gruesome.

What hit Us was what the terrorist said before slicing her throat. "bismi-llaah" ("in the name of Allah"). There is something very unique and different about this. The full formula is "bismi-llaahi-r-raHmaani-r-raHeem" (in the name of Allah, the most merciful, the merciful). This is called the basmalah.

Sidenote: "raHeem" is a regular Arabic adjective that means "merciful." "raHmaan" in a unique word with its own unique definition, a super-superlative of the adjective formed from the root r-H-m (which has the connotation of "mercy"). There is a theory that Muhammad borrowed this word from the Jews. In Hebrew, "ha-rachaman" ("the merciful one") is a very common phrase used for God. Muhammad took the Hebrew phrase and Arabized it, which would not be difficult because Hebrew and Arabic are sister languages, sharing similar patterns, and often sharing the same roots, which applies to this case (raa'-Haa'-meem in Arabic, resh-chet-mim in Hebrew).

Back to the matter at hand: Did the terrorist forget half of the formula? After all, Islam mandates that everything must begin in the name of Allah, which is accomplished by saying the basmalah. No, the omission was deliberate.

We do not know how to say this except by saying it. Anyway, according to Islamic law, when one sacrifices an animal, instead of saying the traditional basmalah, one says a modified version: "bismi-llaah allaahu akbar" ("in the name of Allah[,] Allah is the greatest"). The reasoning is that because the Muslim is taking the life of an animal, invoking God's mercy would not be appropriate. How so very sensitive of them. (We do not remember if the terrorist said "allaahu akbar" while committing his perverted crime. If anyone recalls either way, please let Us know.)

We would posit that in the situation pictured in the movie, the animal is sacrificing the human. A perversion of what God certainly has ordained.

So, he believed he was sacrificing the woman, just like how a Muslim would sacrifice a goat or a cow or a chicken. Sacrifice. What an utter perversion of the concept. We finish this post now before rage overtakes Us.

innaa naHnu-l-a'lam.

O Father in Heaven, Almighty and Holy, I pray Thee to assuage my heart and relieve me of my rage. Open Thy heavens and permit me to see Thy divine and holy love. May my troubled mind be put at ease, and may horror from The Evil One not terrorize me any more. Forgive me my sin of hatred and rage. Bless with Thy mercy, compassion, comfort, and protection all who suffer because of terrorists and terrorism, and may the Age of Peace swiftly come. Before then, Most Just and Loving Father, strengthen our arms so we can fight against evil to protect the innocent and the good. Send Thy hosts before us, and may Thy victory be swift and complete. We are tools in Thy hands: help us to serve Thee. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's very illuminating. I wish I could say it was surprising.

I share your rage, and your prayer.

Dave in Texas

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Thank you for enlightening us on this.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Muslihoon said...

Thank you for your comments, Dave and Christine. It's a minor element, all things considered, but shows how much attention was paid to making the movie as well as Muslim attitudes to slaughter. Very unpleasant but, hopefully, relevant.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

It's relevant in this sense: the more we understand of the mindset of what we're up against the better we'll be able to prepare, react to, and deal with the problems we face.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Feisty Republican Whore said...

This is interesting of course; however, why end the post with a Christian prayer? I thought you were Muslim?

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Muslihoon said...

Thanks, Christopher Taylor.

Feisty: I am a Muslim depending on how one looks at it. Even though I renounced Islam, I am still considered to be a Muslim. I converted to Christianity a few years after renouncing Islam.


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