The End

… After after a long silence, Si Hamoud placed his hand on my arm and spoke: “There is a story told about the end of the world–how it would be. The vast numbers of the planet’s population were sunk in ignorance and violence and frenzy. In one of the great mega-cities, throbbing with directionless, explosive activity, two withered, ancient women, forgotten, dying beggars, crouched in a corner watching the endless, terrible spectacle. One of the women turned to the other and said, ‘It is awful. Look at them. Look at us all. I understand nothing. Why? Why this vast creation, this planet, these millions of people in misery? What is the meaning? Did anyone ever know’

“After a long silence, the other woman placed her hand on her companion’s arm and said, ‘I remember, when I was a young girl, a long , long time ago, a strange man came to our city, begging. He was in rags like us and he wore a pointed cap. I can still remember the peace in his eyes as he put his hand on my arm and whispered to me , La ilaha il’Allah.’ ”

(Dallas, Ian. The Book of Strangers: A Novel, New York: State University of New York Press, 1988)

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Filed under Islam, Poems/Quotes, Religion

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