Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The anthropologist in me has always been fascinated by other cultures and religions. I have always found Islam interesting. I wish I knew a friendly Muslima to talk with, to sit down with tea and cookies and schmooze. Except now is Ramadan, so no tea and cookies during daylight hours. I wonder if there's leniencies for pregnant or nursing women? There must be.

I wonder if they have a religious "class" system like we Jews do. Like maybe the women in burqas are the Islamic chareidi. The ultra-orthodox. And maybe the women in hijabs are modern orthodox. Maybe those who don't follow traditions - but identify as Muslim - are reform. I dunno. I just wonder if they look at each other and classify like we do. Are there different flavors of mosques and imams? I read about a cleric in Egypt who was very positive and friendly, he made a lot of muslim ba'alei teshuva. They chased him out. The Islamic Shlomo Carlebach.

Here's a Muslim idea that interests me: The 12th imam.
Apparently, he is the Islamic messiah (according to Shi'a tradition). He disappeared around 868 c.e. when he was 5 years old. One account says he concealed himself at his father's funeral (The idea of the messiah concealing himself and awaiting his subsequent revelation rang a few bells with me). Anyway, when he reappears, it will be after several years of horrific global violence.

The problem is that the Iranian head honcho wants to help things along!


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