Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flaming father of Islamophobia: Abu Lahab

9/11 unleashed a firestorm of Islamophobia in the USA. That firestorm is now being re-kindled by false-flag friendly fire at Ft. Hood, massive escalation in Af-Pak, the seizure of Iranian-linked shiite mosques, and an impending kangaroo-court prosecution of the demonstrably innocent torture victim Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. All of this seems to be laying the groundwork for a new 9/11-style false-flag operation in which Muslims will once again be framed as patsies.

Those fanning the flames of the war on Islam are the spiritual descendents of Abu Lahab, "Father of Flame," a red-faced rich man who with his wife was the premier persecutor of the Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him.

"In the campaign waged against Muhammad (sas), however, the Quran specifies his uncle Abu Lahab and his uncle's wife as two of his most relentless opponents. They thrust themselves into the lead role among the Makkan elite in their persecution of the Prophet (sas), and they pursued their ill-treatment of him with unnatural zeal. Abu Lahab focused all his energy on tormenting the Prophet (sas), and he directed his family and considerable influence toward this end. Moreover, he took it upon himself to deny the Prophet (sas) the freedom to convey his message publicly; he even tried to physically obstruct the Prophet (sas) from his personal worship of God. Abu Lahab remained for the rest of his life a central figure in the opposition to the Prophet (sas) among Makkah's chief clan of Quraysh. He died as a principle catalyst of the repression conducted against Islam in Arabia that lasted more than twenty years." - Ahmad Zaki Hammad, Father of the Flame: Commentary & Vocabulary Reference of Surat al-Masad

Here is my English interpretation of the Qur'an's Surah 111, Surat al-Masad:

Perish the hands
of Father Flame
and perish he!

Neither wealth
nor earnings
will ease him.

He'll kindle hellfire,
that flame-father!
And his wife
will haul his firewood

With a noose for a necklace!

* * *

This isn't quite as literal as some English interpretations of Surah 111. Literally Abu Lahab means "Father of Flame," a nickname engendered by a deviation from the Arabic system of naming a father after his firstborn son. And in the last line, a literal translation would have Abu Lahab's wife wearing a rough halter of palm-fiber, not a hangman's noose, while the well-known fancy necklace it replaces is left implicit. But I think these slight changes in literal meaning convey the sense of the original less poorly than more literal interpretations. "Around her neck a rope of palm fiber" is distinctly anticlimactic, conveying as it does very little meaning to the uninitiated modern English speaker, whereas "with a noose for a necklace" offers a sharp and succinct image of her disgrace.

Today, the raging, fire-breathing Islamophobes incarnate the spirit of Abu Lahab--the spirit of hellfire. Perish their hands, and may they perish!


  1. I like your translation better than all others I have read. But we are uncomfortable to one degree or another with those who disagree with us. If Abu Lahab was just pointing out the obvious, that Muhammed was a narcissistic plagiarist with tendencies towards sociopathy, manifested later by mass murderer, political assassinations and paedophelia, then maybe he was right to say something. If I were Mohammed, I would not like anybody pointing out those things either! Just because Muhammed lived and Abu Lahab didn't doesn't make Muhammed right. Where is Abu Lahab's side of the story?