(seventy four) or snow day part two

Yesterday I was able to enjoy the second snow day of the year! We were expected to get a pretty nasty snow storm, so the school decided to make the decision to cancel classes. I had planned to wake up super early and get a bunch of work done, but when I woke up I looked outside and couldn’t muster the emotional strength needed to get out of bed. It was just so warm under my blankets, and the snow was coming down heavily, so I made the wise choice to remain wrapped up watching the storm progress. Last snow day I learned how to ski, but this snow day was probably the most stationary I’ve been all year.

I’m finally taking my own advice to slow down and enjoy things as they come. I’ve began reading Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses after having finished his Midnight’s Children and enjoying it. I think the premise of Satanic Verses is super interesting- what if instead of receiving prophecies from God, prophets were being intercepted by Satan instead? I had never thought of that as an idea, so I’m excited to read his interpretations of it.

Apparently his story was based upon The Story of the Cranes, which I had never heard about. I’m taking it all with a grain of salt, however, and recognizing the Rushdie’s work is a production of fiction and that the Story of the Cranes is highly disputed among theologians. Also if you google it you get a bunch of apocalyptic literature and hateful topics so I would highly recommend not doing that.

The Story of the Cranes goes as follows according to the As-Sunnah Foundation of America;

“Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – saw rejection coming from his people, so he sat in isolation, wishing to himself: Would that nothing is revealed to me that would drive them away from me. Thereafter Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – approached his people again and made overtures to them, and they responded to him. One day he sat with them in one of the usual public gatherings around the Ka`ba and he recited to them “By the Star when it setteth” (Sura 53, al-Najm). When he reached the words:

19. Have ye thought upon Al Lat and Al Uzza?
20. And Manat, the third, the other?
the devil interjected two phrases (kalimatayn) upon his tongue:
“Those are the elevated cranes: truly their intercession is dearly hoped!”

Allah’s Messenger spoke these two phrases then went on to finish the entire Sura, then he prostrated and all those in attendance prostrated. Al-Walid ibn al-Mughira took a handful of earth and [applying it to his forehead] prostrated on it, for he was an aged old man who could not prostrate. It is also said that Abu Uhayha Sa`id ibn al-`As was the one who did this…. and some say both did it.

They [the Quraysh] were elated at what Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – had spoken, saying: “We definitely know that Allah gives life and gives death as well as creates and sustains, but these our gods intercede for us before Him, so if you give them their share, we are with you.” This statement of theirs bore heavily on the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – and he withdrew to his house. When evening came, Gibril came to him and rehearsed the Sura with him, whereupon Gibril said: “Did I bring you those two phrases (al-kalimatayn)?” Allah’s Messenger said: “Have I said on Allah’s part something He never said?” Whereupon Allah revealed to him [p. 206] the verse: { And they indeed strove hard to beguile thee (Muhammad) away from that wherewith We have inspired thee, that thou shouldst invent other than it against Us; and then would they have accepted thee as a friend.} (17:73)”

The moral of this story is I don’t know anything about this, but I find it super interesting, and therefore am hoping to learn more about it. If you’ve read this book and have thoughts please feel free to share!

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