Bismillahir Rahmānir Raheem.
Fiction, and its links with the sub-facets of timeless, primordial, universal Pure Monotheism. Allow me to explain:
Inspired by an article I came across on Islam21c.com, regarding the links that can be found between Islam and… the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Values such as justice, comradeship, saving and defending the weak and helpless…
Today I am thinking about fiction. And how much of it I have consumed over time, and how it functions: a sort of vicarious experiencing. And how I think ‘real life’ has now taken precedence instead (Alhamdulillah). But, looking back, for example, at my love for the world of Harry Potter (minus the strong, strong themes of Sihr): Hermione’s smarts, and her courage, and the friends’ loyalty, and their teamwork to overcome evil, and to instate and encourage good.
The Avengers are not dissimilar, are they? Persevering, to overcome trials; holding dearly to moral principles. The falling, the… flying. Fiction has taught me more about myself as a human being. What it is my soul knows to seek.
Personal backstories; deep and complex emotions, human nature. Bruce Wayne, and the rest. Master Shifu’s wisdom, and teaching his students… the Way. Discipline, mind over matter.
Princess Merida, and being brave. Elegance, beauty, and nobility. Action, decisiveness, and adventure. Challenging situations, and characters’ strengths, and the poignancies of their weaknesses, and flaws. Character arcs: development. Princesses going ‘against the grain’, if they must, in order to reach their goals. Potential (Moana, staring at the ocean, wondering ‘how far she’ll go’), and inspiration. Loving what they love, and whom they love; what they will go to great lengths to protect. Princesses, superheroes, warriors: their journeys. Their teachers, their trials. The friends, the lovers, they meet along the way. It’s just… concentrated humanity, and human impulses, and ideals, in moving pictures.
All of it is here, certainly, also, in real life. Always things to be overcome; always lofty Qur’anic, Islamic principles of justice, goodness, truth, and the rest, to pursue and uphold. Fiction is designed by… real people, living real lives. It’s inspired by the stuff of reality, albeit with… a lot of (the more mundane, ‘messier’, etc.) parts snipped away, to make for an at least somewhat-sustainedly riveting two-hour-or-so cinematic experience.
Superheroes and warriors are cool and all. Princesses and clan leaders and Hermione Grangers too.
But Maryam (AS), mother of Jesus (AS). Moosa (AS), for whom the sea split (Masha Allah). And brave and astute Ibrahim (AS), and the rest: they were real. Really real, and not only in a screen-designed, manufactured-in-that-sense sort of way. And we’re (fortunate enough to be) real like this too. What have our stories been, thus far? And what are they going to – Insha Allah – be?
Is there a fictional character/story that you’ve really admired? Why do you think this is?
With Salaam, Sadia, 2021.