IshmaelOnRamadan

A conjunction of coincidences --- in particular, this being the month of Ramadan, and my being in the throes of re-reading Herman Melville's Moby-Dick after ~35 years --- made my eyes open a bit wider when I reached Chapter XVII, "The Ramadan". It begins with a bit of humorous social commentary:

As Queequeg's Ramadan, or Fasting and Humiliation, was to continue all day, I did not choose to disturb him till towards night-fall; for I cherish the greatest respect towards everybody's religious obligations, never mind how comical, and could not find it in my heart to undervalue even a congregation of ants worshipping a toadstool; or those other creatures in certain parts of our earth, who with a degree of footmanism quite unprecedented in other planets, bow down before the torso of a deceased landed proprietor merely on account of the inordinate possessions yet owned and rented in his name.

The narrator ("Call me Ishmael....") continues in good comic style to describe his growing concern over Queequeg's lengthy observances, until he gets to the wise conclusion:

Now, as I before hinted, I have no objection to any person's religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don't believe it also.

And then, of course, he can't help himself and commences a hilarious lecture to Queequeg over precisely the issues which he said he would ignore ....

(see also My Religion (6 Nov 2000), ReligionAndReverence (8 Jul 2001), Cardinal Newman (4 Oct 2001), Tolerance and Pacifism (8 Nov 2001), ...


TopicLiterature - TopicFaith - Datetag20021121


(correlates: FreeRides, ThreeThoughts, OnTheLine, ...)