Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I know it is a bit late for me to be reading this amazing book by Khaled Hosseini but who cares. It is a very good book that it evokes many sides of me. Hey, arts are supposed to stimulate the senses, to affect emotions, and to evoke ideas, right? ;-)

Khaled Hosseini did another amazing job with this book. It is again set in Afghanistan, in Herat at first and then it moves to Kabul. But this time, instead of the heroin fleeing the country like what the hero in The Kite Runner did, they stayed for the three decades when Afghanistan was under the Soviets, The Mujaheddin, and then lastly the Taliban before the United States army landed. But I'm not going to talk about the beautiful way Khaled Hosseini narrates this historical fiction but instead of the symbolic messages behind it all.

This is a story of Mariam and Laila. Mariam is a love-child, an 'anak luar nikah', or simply put in the book as a harami. Laila on the other hand is this beautiful young girl who was crazily in love with her boyfriend, Tariq, and ended up giving birth to their child, Aziza, out of wedlock. At first glance, a conservative Malaysian might not like the idea of it all. But I do. This is a real fictional story of the real world. There is no denying of it happening, both in the 70s and also right now. But as the story unfolds you can see that neither of the girls is bad. Laila just...slipped. And their lives intertwined when both were forced to marry an old man who lost his wife and son in a freak accident.

Now about this man. He beats up his wives as he wishes. He FORCED them to wear the burqa. He is a drinker and has no respect for woman. And as I was reading I can't help but to associate this with how most ignorant people view my religion. Most people see Islam as unfair. Why do women have to cover up and not men? Why do men can marry four women whereas the same 'privilege' is not given to women? Why does a woman have to go out with a mahram but a man is free to wander off alone? Well, I'm not here to explain one by one of these questions because I'm no better than any other ordinary slave of God to explain to the curious. I'm going to leave these questions to those who are interested to seek for themselves because the TRUTH will portray itself.

I just have a few questions myself. We trust the law because it is supposedly written by better-known people, right? Then why is it so hard for us to trust the law from the Almighty that knows EVERYTHING? Why have we, humans, become so obnoxious to think that we are so good that we don't need guidance anymore? Why do we think so highly of this life we have now but if we look back in history we are actually turning back the clock of time to days when there is no religion, when uncivilized people buried their little girls?

Sigh... I guess reading this book reminds me of how I used to be. I used to stand for what's right, both spiritually and rationally. But I've lost sight of it for a while. I don't want that to happen again. I don't want to lose my faith and myself especially when I know I'm going to the land of 'the free' next year. I may have side tracked for a while but God Almighty helped put me back on it, where I absolutely belong.

Believe me, I'm not the person to condemn 100% what Laila did with Tariq. They were humans, and especially they were kids (okay teenagers). But the thing is, they have shame so that's why they turned back to the humble prayer rug they have. For that, I salute them both. About the old man Laila and Mariam was forced to marry, let me say this: He was a hypocrite. He forces his wives to wear the burqa but beat them half dead behind closed door. Islam never teaches that. Yes, you may teach your wives to cover up but Islam has the highest respect for women. No man is supposed to lay his bare arms on his wife like that. Islam is beautiful. Even to teach your wife or kids a lesson, there are rules, ways, and strategies we can use. They are people too and who else knows the best way to control humans beside the creator of humans Himself? But instead people nowadays are obsessed with psychologist because supposedly they know everything. Who are they above God? Think of this my fellow brothers and sisters.

However, the only think I don't like about the book is the name of the antagonist: Rasheed.


p/s: believe it or not, my laptop 'rosak' again so that's why I haven't been online for quite a long time :(


Anonymous said...

this why i like u. u r religious in your own way.

btw, i knew u u can accept poligamy, but i never knew u rela dimadukan?

(kanak2 pintar yg comel)

eliza said...

rasheed hahahahaha.

itu la i told you dah kan?

diana said...

eww no more csc please.

ChEsZa said...

thank u kanak2 pintar.

baiklah elly, i think i have to take ur advice this time.... haih...

Annah said...

My favorite book :) That and Kite
Runner. Dr. Khaled is a brilliant man.

Syaza said...

He is, definitely :)