1000-year old Muslim joke book shows 'Bohemian' side of Islam
An 11th-century book written by an honored Baghdad Muslim scholar, Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, has revealed the Bohemian side of the supposed austere image of Islam in that period, according to the researcher who translated the book into English.
The book, which was originally authored by Al-Baghdadi, a well-known scholar of the Prophet Mohammed's teachings, turns out to be a tongue-in-cheek guide for party crashers
According to Emily Selove of the University of Manchester, who did the translation, Al-Baghdadi wrote the book to remind readers that every serious minded person needs to take a break.
"This book, which contains flirtation, profanity, and even a little drunkenness, is a lot of fun and offers a rather different perspective to the austere image Islam has from that period," the Discovery News quoted Selove, as saying.
"The reality is that the Baghdad of 1,000 years ago was actually rather Bohemian -- it wasn't perfect by any means -- but not the violent and repressive society you might imagine it was," she added.
"Such ignorance is probably down to the fact that so little of the huge body of literature produced at that time has been translated into English. There's so much more to do," she said.
Selove added: "Though it's light and really quite an enjoyable read, there are serious messages too. The book is about generosity and encouraging individuals to express themselves eloquently and clearly."
Some of the jokes in the book
Once a party-crasher walked in the house of a man who had invited a gathering of people. "Hey, you!" the man said. "Did I say you could come?" "Did you say I couldn't come?" the party crasher replied.
Once a man crashed another man's party. "Who are you?" the host asked him. "I'm the one who saved you the trouble of sending an invitation!" he replied.