Friday, October 1, 2010

Isaac & Ishmael Project - The Notebook II


I opened the first page and found written in large red letters:

It is good for you to read this, even though it may cost my life...And if I perish, I perish.

The rest of the notebook had words written in black. They were smudged and faded and written in Aramaic (or some language that might-as-well be Greek because I couldn’t make out a single letter.) Smaller words written in red were above each line of black; and they were written in English; clear and legible. However, the words of the first line made no sense.

man great a be will I Abram is name My

Until I realized it was written right to left – then left to right.

My name is Abram I will be a great man

A journal of some kind I thought. Each entry was dated. The dates were sporadic, sometimes weeks, months or years passed between entries.

Ramblings about chores, games, studies, “dumb girls” and thoughts about life filled each page. If not written in Aramaic (or whatever) it could have been the mindless babblings of any American boy.

Suddenly an entry caught my eye not because of what it said but because of what was crossed out:

June 6th  1946

Today I’m twelve. Today I’m a man. Today I’m given a horse. I will ride to greatness. Praise Allah.

The words in black directly below the crossed out words were also crossed out, but not originally as the strike through was in red. Evidently he had crossed them out later when translating into English.

From that day the writings started to take direction. He started to quote the Quran. His writings enlarged to include more than just his day to day activities. He used the phrase “The Greater Good” as if it were his compass to measure good or evil. It seemed to me the definition was similar to the phrase: the end justifies the means.

He wrote of his responsibility to become a man, to honor family; his future wife and children and then his Ultimate Honor To Allah. That part was written over and over until it was dark and thick: Ultimate Honor To Allah. But then I noticed a red line drawn through it. It was faint and not visible at first but it was there you can be sure of it.

A shadow darkened the pages of the journal. Short – cold – lifeless – words.

The words “to Allah” were sloppily written, not dark and strong like the other words. I got the feeling as I read that his actions didn’t line up with his heart. He was having second thoughts about something. But what?

I have copied for you all of the journal entries starting with May 12th 1948. A turning point in the young man’s life – as he listened to his parents fight and prayed to Allah for help:

May 12th 1948

My Father :“He will! HE WILL! SILENCE WOMAN! This is MY house! He will honor Allah! He WILL obey – and you will too if you know what’s good for you.”

My Mother : “Honor? IT’S SUICIDE AND MURDER! And you know it!”

***SLAP! Crying… pain-filled weeping!

Oh great Allah, can you see my parents fighting? Please make them stop! Please Allah, protect Mother and I will perform my duty. I will perform my Ultimate Honor.

Can you not see? Can you not hear my father beating my mother to defend your honor? If you are any God at all why must you prey on the weak? I know my mother – she is kind and honors my Father. What kind of weak bastard are you to prey on one so kind! Are you so weak that you cannot defend yourself! How can you be a God at all? Show yourself to me and I will face you – leave my mother alone, she only is doing what a mother is suppose to do. She loves me. But, you don’t know what love is. I hate you!

The missionaries of Jehovah God – the ones you hate. They say God is love. I will talk to Him!

May 13th 1948

My mind is clouded. Am I cursed? Have I brought a curse on my family? Yesterday I cursed Allah. Today my mother is gone.

I followed her last night when she ran to the missionaries. I watched as they gathered around her. They held hands, men and women together. I think they must have been praying to Jehovah God.

My father was looking for her with murder in his eyes. I saw him headed toward the missionaries and I ran to meet him.

“Have you seen mother?” I asked.

“Go home boy.” He growled.

“Father, I heard you trying to teach her the ways of Allah. I thought she may have fled to the infidels to become more defiled. I knew you would want to know of her dishonor and so I ran and looked everywhere. But – she is not there.” - I lied.

The murder in his eyes turned to an evil grin. “I thought her perversion was about to poison your mind too.”

“Father, I must admit I thought this through and now I see Allah for who he really is.”

“I see.” He said as he looked toward the river. She must have gone to wash the bl--- to wash.” I think he started to say; “blood off her face,” but decided against it.

We walked home in silence.


1 comment:

S. Etole said...

looking forward to more ...