Lalla Arifa

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What is Sufism? History of Islam

By |2017-07-26T23:49:20+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Religion|

Sufi dancers Not long after the foundation of Islam and the life of Mohammed, about 650 AD, there were people who became known as Sufis (SOO-fees). Sufis can be Sunni or Shiite. These people wanted a more direct relationship with God. Instead of just doing things like praying or good deeds, or the Hajj to Mecca, Sufis wanted to experience the greatness of [...]

Medieval Islamic women

By |2017-07-26T23:13:36+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, People|

Mohammed with his daughter Fatima (she's in the front) Mohammed loved and admired the women in his life. He tried to give women more rights than they had before in Arabia, or under Roman and Sassanian law. The Quran tried to make rules that would help women. In general women had more rights under Islam than they had had before. [...]

Medieval Islamic families

By |2018-04-09T10:35:28+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, People|

The Birth of Mohammed (Iran, about 1315 AD, now in Edinburgh) According to the Quran, Muslim men could have as many as four wives if they were rich enough to take care of them all. But most men in the Islamic world still had only one wife. In fact, most people in the Islamic empire lived the way people had in [...]

Islamic poetry – Medieval Islam

By |2018-04-21T13:19:59+00:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

The poet Rumi (1200s AD) Arabic poetry has a long tradition in the Arabian peninsula even before the development of Islam. People composed and recited long poems that they remembered without writing down. As soon as written Arabic became common in the 700s AD, poets began publishing in every corner of the Islamic Empire. One of the most famous of [...]

Lalla Arifa’s Sufi poetry – Medieval India

By |2018-09-12T11:54:20+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, Islam, Literature|

Indian food: rice, chapatis, sauces, lentils A second poem: When to this self I was firmly attached, from me, hidden You were still staying. While I was seeking You, time passed: looking in, You and I blissfully, uniting! And a third poem: By pandering to your appetites, you get nowhere; By penance and [...]

Lalla Arifa’s poetry – Medieval India

By |2017-07-20T17:41:43+00:00July 20th, 2017|Clothing, India, Literature|

Cotton bolls hanging from the plants I began as a bloom of cotton, outdoors. Then they brought me to a room where they washed me. Then the hard strokes of the carder's wife. Then another woman spun thin threads, twisting me around her wheel. Then the kicks of the weaver's loom made cloth, and on the washing [...]

Lalla Arifa – Poetry – Medieval India

By |2017-07-20T17:36:28+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, Literature|

Spinning thread in the garden (1400s AD) Lalla Arifa lived in the 1300s AD, in Kashmir, in northern India, where most people were Muslims and lived under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate. When Lalla Arifa was twelve years old, her family arranged for her to marry a Brahman, a rich man. At that time (and still [...]

Stories of ancient India

By |2017-07-20T17:16:54+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, Literature|

Harappan Seal One of the earliest known writing systems came from India, probably around 2500 BC. Unfortunately, nobody can read the Harappan writing yet. But we know people were using this writing to mark their property, so other people couldn't steal it, and to keep track of things. The writing was in pictographs, like Egyptian hieroglyphs. [...]