Miracles in The Wedding of Zein

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This pastel and ink representation of the dates falling from the palm tree is a representation of the auspicious dates that fell that fateful night in The Wedding of Zein. In the specific line that the Imam reads from the Koran, the person is directed to “shake towards thee the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop upon thee fresh dates fit to gather’ from the Chapter of Mary, a verse which is a particularly auspicious and blessed one”. After this reading, a comet appears and Haneen says an evening prayer. In the period of time following the “auspicious night”, “supernatural events came in quick succession, miracle following miracle in a fascinating manner”. The year is known as Haneen’s year and the townspeople all recognize that “miracle after miracle” was all attributed to the events of that fateful night.  I felt it important to capture this line of the Koran because it is the moment of revolution that begins the transformation in which Seif ad-Din corrects himself from a sacrilegious womanizer to a pious man, the personification of everything that the Imam lives for. The Wedding of Zein was a story that polarized religion and sacrilege or secularist ideals. The dates falling from the palm tree represent pieces of God and religious responsibility falling from the sky. This image from the Koran, coupled with the lines Haneen reads and the comet’s appearance combines to create a religious intervention for Seif ad-Din. Additionally, the dates falling from the tree were an interesting contrast with the forbidden fruit of Adam and Eve. In the Christian story, the consumption of the forbidden fruit immediately disconnected the couple from God. In The Wedding of Zein, the “gathering” of dates is a “particularly blessed verse” suggesting that the gathering of dates is a reaffirms one’s connection with god.

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