Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 4 USERS: A+
There's Beauty In The Breakdown

He's going to trade our shirk for tawheed, always a dangerous political move. Shirk is the Islamic sin of polytheism specifically, but more generally worshipping other than Allah. Shirk is not a forgivable sin; dying subject to this sin means you never see paradise. Tawheed was the reason for Islam's early political struggle, because it denounced so much of what had gone before. So much beauty, and love, and control. There are two parts of tawheed. Tawheed Rububiyyah is the belief that Allah is One, without any partners or associates. Tawheed 'Ulluhiyyah says that Allah must be worshipped alone in everything, total obedience is owed to Allah alone in everything, from the spiritual to the political."

So central to Islam is this tenet, "no partners or associates," that mere discussion of the three daughters of Allah, allowed and negated by Mohammad's early pen, brings Rushdie death threats every Valentine's Day. But it's not just Islam that fought for our shared God's unity: Meanwhile, this same God, in both Testaments, insists on his unity and uniqueness, unto war and deaths innumerable; the Shema, the greatest of our prayers, whose recitation is a mitzvah, ends with Adonai Echad: "The Lord is One." Coke will always win over Pepsi, but nobody knows anymore if that's because Coke spends more on advertising than Pepsi, or if it's really better -- as if people's taste buds, or souls or experiences, have shaped them such that one really is better, if just for them alone. Monotheism makes sense in today's world, or today's world wraps itself around monotheism: either way, our God wins. God is Great, Elohim Gadol, Allah Akbar: either way, He's bigger than yours. And -- sorry, ladies -- He's male.

So the display that Gaius is about to play out, treading on somebody else's territory, putting guns of a sort in somebody else's Temple, dancing on the Gods he still doesn't entirely recant, doesn't really remind me of Jesus, in this instance. Jesus didn't have to fight polytheism, Abraham did that for him, and I don't see Gaius speaking out against moneychangers anytime soon. It does remind me, however, and beautifully, of tawheed. Muhammad's call for tawheed provoked the anger of the political authority, because they realized of the threat it posed to their society. They were right. Ja'afar ibn Abi Talib writes how he "summoned us to worship the One True God and to reject the stones and idols we and our fathers had been worshipping in addition to Allah. ...We deemed him truthful and we believed him, and we accepted the Message he brought from Allah." And it was good, and it was right, and dangerous as any other discovery.

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Battlestar Galactica




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