He’s making a list…checking it twice…
Have you been naughty or nice? Santa wants to know. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s Al Halal wal Haram fil Islam — The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam — can be a useful guide, fitting for holiday revellers wondering what Santa will bring them. Qaradawi’s version of “Dating Do’s and Don’ts,” for example, is endlessly amusing. In Al Halal wal Haram fil Islam (it is in English, and can be obtained in the U.S. — I bought a copy at a library sale, with someone’s Arabic marginalia), for example, I discovered that a woman was forbidden from wearing her hair in the “shape of a camel’s hump.” I suppose that puts paid to those 1950s-style bouffant hairdos — well, they were not flattering, were they?
It could be a party game: Halal and Haram. That is, nice (halal) or naughty (haram) — permitted or forbidden according to Islamic law. One person reads out something, and everybody else has to guess whether it is Halal or Haram. Keep it simple at first, then progress to more difficult items. Great fun for the whole family, and very educational.
Drinking wine — halal or haram? That was easy.
Wearing your hair in the shape of a camel’s hump?
–halal or haram? (Hint: look elsewhere in this article).
Mutilating the body of an Infidel corpse — halal or haram? (Hint: see elsewhere on this site).
Wishing Infidels Merry Christmas in a Muslim land — halal or haram?
Wishing Infidels Merry Christmas in an Infidel land where, for the moment, you need some Infidel goodwill — halal or haram?
Taking seriously the oath of citizenship to an Infidel nation-state, even if it means fighting against fellow Muslims — halal or haram?
Beating your wife on the face so it shows — halal or haram?
Entering into a “temporary marriage” with an Infidel woman for the purposes of sex while you are studying in the dar al-Harb, and jettisoning her after your studies are complete — halal or haram?
Denying that Aisha really was six when Muhammad married her, and nine when he had intercourse with her, in order to protect Islam from Infidel critics — halal or haram?
Insisting to Infidels that Islam does not condone violence and that the behavior of Muslims is simply a reaction to the aggressive attacks on them by non-Muslims — halal or haram?
Wearing green and a leprechaun button on St. Patrick’s Day, and smiling back if somone says “Top o’ the mornin’ to you” — halal or haram?
Allowing your children to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands…” — halal or haram?
Allowing Hindus to be treated as full equals of Muslims in Bangladesh — halal or haram?
In Pakistan — halal or haram?
In Kashmir — halal or haram?
In India — halal or haram?
Allowing nurses renting a room in a Muslim house to sing, behind closed doors, Christmas carols –halal or haram?
And if the house is in Saudi Arabia — halal or haram?
Having sexual intercourse with a goat, or a sheep, or a camel, killing it afterwards, and then serving the meat at your son’s graduation party — halal or haram?
At an office Christmas party?
To a next-door neighbor?
To people in the next town?
Christmas is coming up. Families will be together. Supply your own questions, and of course, on the back of the card, give the answer and the authority: whether it’s Qaradawi himself or one of the accepted collections of hadith (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim will do fine), or the Qur’an.
It’s wholesome fun for the whole family (well, maybe not the whole family — you might want to keep questions concerning Aisha, or the rape and subseequent roasting of goats, to the special “Adult Version” of the game, the one you keep in your bedroom for those special guests). Fun — and educational too. Why, I can say without any fear of contradiction that if you have enough questions with answers, you can teach your loved ones, your party guests, even that special someone, more about Islam in an evening or two than they can possibly learn by reading all the books of John Esposito, Karen Armstrong, Michael Sells, or by taking any of the current courses on Islam offered at Harvard or Yale or many other famous universities.
This will not, I’m afraid, be coming out from Parker Bros. anytime soon. So you have a choice. You can do it yourself, with scissors and a nice Qur’an, and Internet access to the collections of hadith. If you do, I would recommend the kind of cardboard that comes with your gently-starched shirts. But use your own Yankee ingenuity.
If you don’t wish to go to the bother, I will consult with Mr. Spencer and see if he would like to go into the business with me. By the way, I hereby trademark, copyright, trade-secret, patent, and every other damn thing under the sun claim eternal and exclusive rights to this brilliant idea, and if enough orders come in, well — we’ll manufacture them.
Perhaps Ayaan Hirsi Ali can be persuaded to do some commercials for us. We’ll figure out a price — but first we need to do some market research here.