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Diary of a Beardless Rumi - Fishy Business

Diary of a Beardless Rumi - Fishy Business

Issue 79 April 2011

After my last adventure with my weeping brothers, I had decided not to go out for a little while. I thought I’d take some precaution just in case anybody recognised me as the brother without sin and asked for my autograph or gave me tips.

 But I couldn’t stay inside the house all the time, and I still needed to make progress on my desire to have a spiritual experience. The whole problem is that it is very difficult to make a connection with the soul. In the Holy Qur’an, it states that God takes up our souls at night. But where are they during the day? Wherever they are, they keep so quiet you wonder if they were ever there in the first place.

 I decided to go to the market. I love going to the market and watching everybody haggle and fight over every penny. It used to puzzle me why no item ever had a consistent price during the day. I remember asking my brother’s best friend Babarr about this as he ran a market stall. He told me that he bases the price of his items on the interest rate of the Bank of England which is always going up and down. When I told him that interest was deemed haram, he replied it depended on what you were interested in, which I suppose makes sense to some people.

 Anyway, I was in the market stall and the first thing I saw was Babarr. He was bare-chested and grabbing a huge fish by its tail and slapping it continuously around his back. Babarr is very muscular with a chest that looks like a pair of sofa cushions. So watching him beat a fish in this manner was quite a sight to see. There was a crowd around him and they were loving every second of it.

 A movement caught my eye. A guy was standing in a corner with his eyes closed and spinning around with his arms wide open. He looked really happy. I went up to him and asked him if he was okay. He opened his eyes and looked at me with a huge smile across his face.

 “Can you hear it?” he asked. “Hear what?” I replied. The guy pointed at Babarr and said, “Can you not hear the music of the fish?” I looked at Babarr and shook my head. The guy looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Can you not hear the words la elaha ella’llah?”

 I asked him to wait a minute. I walked across to the crowd and pushed my way through to get closer to Babarr. I walked up close, stuck my neck out, and closed my eyes so I could listen more intently. Unfortunately, I underestimated the length of the fish and got smacked so hard in the head that I fell unconscious. When I came to my senses the guy was looking down at me. His smile was beginning to annoy me.

 “Did you hear it?” he asked gently. I shook my head. He bent down and I’m not sure whether or not it was the after-effect of being knocked out by the fish but his eyeballs seemed to be spinning around their sockets. “Would you like to know how you can hear it?” he whispered.

 I nodded the way people do when they’re hypnotised. He handed me a card, got up and said, “Make sure you wear a white dress.” I blinked and he was gone. I had a look at the card. “Shaykh Farhan. Master of the Heya Heya Order” it read.

 I got up slowly and thought hard. This Shaykh guy most definitely had charisma. He had spirituality whistling from his ear drums. I had never heard of the Heya Heya Order, but that was not really surprising. There were so many sects and derivative sects these days that it was very hard to keep track of them all. The Heya Heya Order may have had a name that sounded like people doing a Mexican wave but it was undoubtedly very spiritual.

 The only problem now was getting a dress. I had never ever shopped for clothes but I suppose there was a first time for everything. I decided to hire a dress from Haji Clothes. The owner was a friend of my brother’s and would not mind me borrowing a dress for a day. I went into the store and made my request to Masud who was the owner. “Who for?” he asked. “Me,” I replied. “I need it for an experience,” I said innocently. Masud stared at me blankly for a while. He then laughed and gave me a dress. “As long as it’s not drugs, kid,” he snorted.




This new section of the magazine is based on the lead character of the best selling novel by Sagheer Afzal, The Reluctant Mullah (which we reviewed in April 2010). You can read the review here.



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