“The Noble Drink,” Week 2: Constructions of Islam

Our discussion during week 2 centered around the Qur’an and its influence on the construction of Islamic beliefs and traditions. Sardar mentions that the Qur’an, or the Holy Book, is often referred to as the “Noble Reading.” The majesty of reading the Qur’an lies in the deep internalization of the words, which El-Tom talks about in the reading Drinking the Koran. He claims that the highest form of the possession of the Qur’an is through memory whereby the words are internalized through the head and provide you with wisdom. By memorizing the Qur’an, you’re taking the sacred text and making it a part of yourself. Similar to communion in church, it’s as if you’re communing with the Divine and is thus an act of purification and centralization.

In addition to the figurative ‘drinking of the Qur’an’ through memorization, the Qur’an can also be internalized through the body by being drunk. The Berti do this through erasures, in which they drink the water washed off of a wooden slate that had written text of Koranic verses made of ink. This type of literal internalization of the Qur’an is believed to bring spiritual healing to the body as erasure was thought to cure diseases, protect against specific malevolent forces and to enable the consumer to achieve various desirable goals.

My drawing is thus a representation of the internalization, both figurative and literal, of the Qur’an. Engraved in the mug is the word “Noble,” showing that this is a drink meant to symbolize the Qur’an, or Noble Reading, itself. Written into the liquid that is pouring out of the mug are the words, “In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful.” Each erasure writing starts off with this line, which is frequently uttered to ensure blessings and ward off malevolent influences. So by drinking the liquid of the “Noble Drink” from this mug, you are internalizing the power of the Divine.

Published in:Uncategorized |on March 24th, 2014 |No Comments »

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