Boreal

Little Mosque On The Prairie

Mercy Beet

When Toronto Maple Leaf's star Darcy Tucker endorses a brand of beet juice made in Mercy, the company's stock goes through the roof. Sarah helps the Mayor re-brand the town as beet capital of Canada. But will the "beet train" lead them to riches or derail the whole town. (CBC)

In Beets, the imam tells Rayyan that a Muslim can not earn money from interest, but it's okay for a Muslim to invest in the stock market (one has to assume not bank stocks for believers would be compensated by dividends earned by the charging of interest which is still a mortal sin).

That being said, Allah has been known to increase the capital of loans made to Him i.e. the religious leadership of Islam e.g. Bin Laden.

57:11 Who is he that will lend Allah a fair loan, that He might double it for him; and he will have a generous wage.

That off-the-cuff remark about the charging of interest, as usual without context,  is about the only thing we learn about Islam in this episode.

With so much off limits when it comes to discussing the perfect religion – the Prophet being the most conspicuous by his near total absence which is understandable as even a mild inconsequential joke at the expense of the perfect human being can have devastating consequences – it was inevitable that the second season of the Little Mosque would quickly degenerate into irrelevant, infantile slapstick.

Having exhausted the shallow pool of what the timid consider permissible when discussing Islam, without risking life and limb, there was no other choice.

I don’t intend to go today where the Little Mosque fears to tread. However, in the interest of making Little Mosque On The Prairie reviews a true learning experience – their raison d’être – since the subject is mostly beets, a discussion of what the Koran and God's Messenger has to say about fruits and vegetables might be in order.

The Israelites were obviously fond of vegetables. They would even ask Moses to ask Allah to send down some veggies with that quail and manna; a demand which infuriates Moses and causes Allah to reminisce about the punishment He has had to inflict on an unruly lot.

2:61 And when you said: “O Moses, we will not put up with one kind of food; so pray to your Lord to bring forth for us some on what the earth produces: green herbs, cucumbers, corn, lentils and onions.” He said: “Would you exchange that which is better for that which is worse? Come down to Egypt where you will get what you asked for.” Humiliation and abasement were inflicted on them and they incurred Allah’s wrath. That was because they disbelieved in Allah’s Revelations and unjustly killed the Prophets, thus committing disobedience and aggression.

When discussing Paradise, Allah make no distinction between fruits and vegetable – everything is a fruit.

47:15 The likeliness of the Garden which the God-fearing have been promised is this: rivers of water not stagnant, rivers of milk whose taste has not changed, rivers of wine delighting its drinkers and rivers of distilled honey. Therein they have every variety of fruit and forgiveness from their Lord too. Are they to be compared with those who dwell in the Fire forever and are given to drink boiling water which will rip up their bowels?

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43:71 “Platters and cups of gold shall be passed around them, and therein shall be whatever souls desire and eyes delight in, and in it you shall dwell forever.”

43:72 That is the Paradise which you were given as an inheritance for what you used to do.

43:73 Therein you have abundant fruit from which you will eat.

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56:12 In the Gardens of Bliss;

56:13 A throng of the ancients,

56:14 And a small band of the latecomers.

56:15 Upon beds interwoven with gold;

56:16 Reclining upon them, facing each other.

56:17 While immortal youths go around them,

56:18 With goblets, pitchers and a cup of limpid drink.

56:19 Their heads do not ache from it and they do not become intoxicated.

56:20 And with such fruit as they care to choose;

56:21 And such flesh of fowl as they desire;

52:22 And We shall supply them with fruit and meat, such as they desire.

56:22 And wide-eyed houris,

56:23 Like hidden pearls;

56:24 As a reward for what they used to do.

56:25 They do hear therein idle talk or vilification.

56:26 Only the greeting: “Peace, Peace!”

56:27 As for the Companions of the Right; and behold the Companions of the Right?

56:28 They are in the midst of thornless (sic) Lotus trees,

56:29 And braided acacias,

56:30 And extended shade,

56:31 And overflowing water;

56:32 And abundant fruit,

56:33 Neither withheld nor forbidden,

56:34 And uplifted mattresses.

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55:68 Therein are fruits, palm trees and pomegranates

In the hadiths* that I have found concerning the Prophet's diet, he too makes no distinction between fruits and vegetables. From the hadiths we know that God's Messenger was fond of gourd, recommended figs as being good for preventing many ailments including hemorrhoids and piles, and that he liked the taste and fragrance of citrus fruits.

"A tailor invited the Prophet to a meal that he had prepared, and I went along with the Prophet. The tailor presented barley bread and soup containing gourd and cured meat. I saw the Prophet picking the pieces of gourd from around the dish, and since then I have kept on liking gourd." (Bukhari)

"If I had to mention a fruit that descended from paradise I would say this is it because the paradisiacal fruits do not have pits ... eat from these fruits for they prevent hemorrhoids, prevent piles and help gout." (Bukhari)

"The parable of a believer who reads the Koran regularly is like that of a citrus it has a good taste and a good fragrance". (Bukhari)

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* A hadith is a first or second-hand recollection of what the Prophet said or did gathered over a period of about 200 years after the his death. More than ten thousands of so-called authenticated hadiths out of a collection numbering more than 70,000 are considered authentic and part of the Sunni Canon. The Koran and these “hadith collections” inform every facet of a believer’s existence.

Bernard Payeur, November 9, 2007