The Food of Paradise is a short story by Shihab al-Din Ahmad ibn Majid al-Najdi, commonly known as Ibn Majid. He is known to be one of the greatest and most illustrious Arab navigators of all times. He was born in Julfar (today’s Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates) in the early 1430s and became renowned during the last half of that century. The exact date is not known, but ibn Majid probably died in 1500. ibn Majid was the author of nearly forty works of poetry and prose.
The Food of Paradise is one of his work and an adaptation that tells of a man’s quest in vivid detail and rhyme.
It is a story that transcends time. Although it dates back to a period some would call medieval. In this story there are no sieges, no plagues, no monarchs, and no cathedrals, just a long journey of a man, for the ultimate truth that ends in a surprising twist of fate.
II. Summary The pious Mullah Ibrahim taught of himself not only to cast his life in the balance of fate, but to seek the means and reason of the provision of goods for man. He left the seminary and walked out of the City of Baghdad where he had lived for many years .
Waiting for the bounty of Allah, he fell asleep. When he woke early the next morning; Ibrahim wondered how he would be fed. But morning blossomed into day and day into night and still no miracle came. Still, he did not lose hope but prayed with usual fervor. He slept again without eating, and woke up too faint from hunger to stand. One afternoon, stifling from the noontime heat, Ibrahim saw something floating on the river. It seemed a pack of leaves with food inside. He waded into the water and reached for it. Back to bank with his prize, he opened it.
Inside was the most delicious halwa, that famous marzipan, the making of which only Baghdad knows the secret, a sweet-meat composed of sugar mixed with paste of almonds and attar of roses and other delicate essences. After satisfying himself with the delightful food, Ibrahim, drank deeply from the river, and lolled on the sward, sure that his prayers had been answered, and that he would not have to toil anymore. The ambrosial food was enough for three meals a day, and on each day after the hour of midday prayer a similar package of halwa came floating down the river as though placed there by hands of angels.
After some months, he started to wander to where his foods came from. So he followed the course of the stream for some days hoping he could trace the spot on the river where it is deposited. On the fourth day of his journey, he came upon a castle on an island in the midst of the river, it was from here, he taught, that the food of paradise originated. A hermit saw Ibrahim and they got acquainted. The hermit told him the story behind the Silver Castle and the princess who was cursed. The next day, while at the riverbank, Ibrahim saw the Princess on the castle façade overlooking the river.
She threw something into the river, and it was then he discovered it was the hawla which he had been receiving daily. So he decided to repay her with her kindness. He asked Adhem, of the Jinns, to help him free the lady from the spells that prisoned her in the castle. Ibrahim now see the princess and tried to explain his gratefulness. It was then he realized that the hawla ‘the halwa, as he calls it, is thrown down each day because it is in fact, the residue of the cosmetic materials with which he princess rub herself every day after her bath of asses’ milk.
It was then Ibrahim realized, “Allah surely gives food to everyone; but its quality and kind are dictated by what man deserves. ” III. Theme/ Moral * “Truth is illusive and always seems to vanish once in our clutch. ” * “The understanding of a man is conditional upon his capacity to understand. ” V. Highlights that You Like ? I like the part where he taught of finding the means whereby sustenance comes to mankind, and tries to learn something about how and why. “Why is it,” he asked himself, “that a holy man like me must toil so hard teaching a pack of blockheads, when others who have earned nothing through pious work eat sumptuous every day?
And without having to work! ” He went on, “O Compassionate one, isn’t this unjust? Why should Thy servant be burdened like an ass in the marketplace, which carries two panniers both filled to the top and stumbles at every blow of the driver’s stick? Isn’t it promised in the Koran, Allah will not anyone starve? ” It’s because, this is where it all started, because if he wouldn’t think of such things, he won’t be able to find the truth and the real reason behind his quest in life. ? I also like the part where he realize where the package of Hawla came from. There is only one thing which I seek, and that is truth. As it is the duty of all who have truth to give it to those who can benefit from it, I adjure you, Highness, to give me the truth which is my need” Instead of being ashamed, he thanked the Princess for the remains of her daily toilet, because for him, it is the Food of Paradise. ? And of course, lastly, the end part where he realizes that, “Allah surely gives food to everyone; but its quality and kind are dictated by what man deserves. ” This is where he realizes that Allah isn’t selfish because he provides.
It’s just that, sometimes, we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have. V. Your reaction Among the reflections I have done, it was one of my favorite. It’s kind of funny, but it certainly gives us the simple lessons in life. I agree in almost everything. I’ve learned a lot and one is to appreciate the simple blessings we received every day such our daily food. I’ve learned that food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. We must fed our soul with right thoughts and with that we can achieve the real satisfaction in life.
Cite this Food of Paradise
Food of Paradise. (2016, Oct 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/food-of-paradise/