Midaq Alley Themes

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Religion

Midaq Alley is superficially full of religious language, which Western readers may find coming from every character, from the most pious to the most debauched. This is typical of Arabic, however, and is as much a reflex as when a Westerner automatically says "Bless you" when someone sneezes. Beneath this, Islam is shown embedded in the lives of these people. Young Abbas Hilu is said to be conscientious about his religious duties but is occasionally lazy. These duties (the "Five Pillars" of Islam) are: 1) profession of faith, 2) ritual prayer, 3) giving alms, 4) fasting during Ramadan, and 5) pilgrimage to Mecca. In addition, Shiites, which these Egyptians clearly are, given their devotion to "Lord Hussain", also pay special attention to jihad (holy war), living virtuously and encouraging others to do likewise, and refraining from evil actions and to encouraging others to do likewise. Holy war is not mentioned, but Radwan Hussainy...

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This section contains 1,162 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Midaq Alley Study Guide
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