March 8, 2012

Week 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — mandi @ 1:25 am

Week 2:

It is believed that a cure for any sickness can be found by taking in the Qur’an, literally. Many remedies of the early Islamic days — that still thrive today – call for believers to drink the words of passages from the Qur’an.  The Berti people of Darfur are notorious for using erasures and medications for a wide range of illnesses, and for purification purposes. Fakis comprise around 1 to 2 percent of the entire Berti population, and their job is to serve as spiritual doctors in their communities. They have a process where they write passages from the Qur’an onto a wooden slate in a special type of ink and then water is poured on to it to wash the text into a bowl. The water is then called mihai, or erasure.

This brings me to the political-like cartoon that I have drawn. It depicts a pitcher that is pouring out the word Allah into a puddle of water, in this case, mihai. On the pitcher I have written the words Kalam Allah, which means God’s word or speech. It represents the Qur’an and all of the passages that are traditionally used in erasures like Sura 3:6 and Sura 18. Parents will often request that their children takes erasures if they feel that they need them. They have wide uses throughout the Berti community and it is their way of “baptism” almost. It purifies them and brings them closer to God in ways that no other tradition can.

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