Wednesday, September 18, 2013


According to Al-Tuhfa, it is unlawful to wear clothes that have pictures of animals, even if the picture is of an imaginary creature, such as horses with wings. The condition for the unlawfulness is that the pictures include what the creature cannot live without, such as the top half of the body. However, if the picture is of some part of the body that does not normally support life, such as the picture of a head, a head and chest with no abdomen, a hand, a foot or the lower part of the body, then it is not unlawful to wear. This is according to the relied upon position of the great scholar Ibn Hajar, in disagreement with the great scholar Al-Ramli.

So II’ve been trying to figure out how to dismantle all the heads from the bodies of my bird things. As the years go by I seem to have less of them. Soon stuff like this won’t be a problem.
We are back in Amman and still in a temporary space while they finish the new apartment. It is across a dirt path from the school where I teach and the shop where I buy my vegetables and milk. The masjid will be under construction for the next couple of years, across the street diagonally backwards, if you are facing the Qibla. From my bedroom on the roof I can see the whole city, or what I imagine to be all of it. It’s all there somewhere, just some of it blurry.

My nephew likes to stop by and watch the progress as things start to neatly fall into place to resemble a future home. Hinsists that he wants to marry a construction worker, because “they’re so important.” My sister reminded him that he has to marry a girl, and so he’s changed his tune to “No, I meant I want to BE a construction worker when I grow up.”
Then the younger one said, "I want to be a doctor like mama."
Then the littlest one chimed in, "I want to be a tissue." Then he poked me.

I’m not teaching math this year and so I’m officially just an English teacher, now that I’m grown up. I usually tell my Kindergarten class that they aren't allowed to draw animals, but yesterday during art time I told them it's okay to draw just the heads. The children did not respond well to this unfamiliar position on the matter. Hands shot up to tell me what baba says. Then looking back into the horrified eyes of little six-year olds, I recanted. No bird heads allowed, I said. But you know what I love more than anything in the world?  ... SHIPS! Let's all draw ships!
So we did. World order was restored, and they are slowly starting to trust me again...