Kellmeyer provides a reflection in every line of Sex and the Sacred City. Sardar aims to make us understand why this great city has been the focus for the prayers of so many billions of human beings through time and across the globe. The Saudi desecration of Mecca and the bulldozing of the old city is told in graphic and tragic detail: What Sardar gives us, instead, is a beautifully rendered account of the Muslim version of events, as told by a rational, likable, intelligent and mildly sceptical follower of the prophet. The tale opens with Abraham, and his concubine, Hagar.
It is also believed by some to be remembered as a place of pilgrimage in the Bible, under its earlier name of Baca: His revelations were said to have been dictated to him, through the person of the Angel Gabriel, in a cave on a mountainside high above the city. It is published in paperback by Bloomsbury Mecca: At the end of each chapter there are several questions for discussion, Bible verses for contemplation and references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This included destroying the tombs of descendants of the prophets in Mecca as well as wreaking devastation on the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala. Furthermore, it delineates how this love must be lived out in the body and how conjugal love mirrors God's love for us. We have to learn how to use it. We learn this by service. The tale opens with Abraham, and his concubine, Hagar. Kellmeyer provides a reflection in every line of Sex and the Sacred City. Having the power is not enough. If more and more of the Muslim world is now open to a newly intolerant and sometimes violent strain of Islam, no force has been more responsible for this than the ultra-orthodox tribal absolutism of Saudi Arabia. Yet while the city was coveted by a succession of the great Islamic dynasties that ruled the Middle East, Mecca never became a major cultural or political centre like Alexandria or Damascus: You are serving; you are not a servant. Then in the early 7th century the prophet Muhammad swept them all away and replaced the idols with the idea of a single almighty god, Allah. The villains of this story, throughout the second half of the book, are the ultra-puritanical Wahhabis and their Saudi patrons. Beginning with an explanation of the Trinity-a "communion of persons, a family whose life is love" cf. Serving is a supreme art. What Sardar gives us, instead, is a beautifully rendered account of the Muslim version of events, as told by a rational, likable, intelligent and mildly sceptical follower of the prophet. They bow to the sun. Quoting from the Italian movie, Life is Beautiful, Kellmeyer give an example of the uncle who explains to his nephew, a waiter who bobs up and down excessively, "Think of sunflowers. God serves man but He is not a servant to men. At the time, most Muslims regarded the Wahhabis as an extreme and alien sect, a perversion bordering on infidelity — kufr. Saudi-owned houses overwhelmingly dominate Arabic publishing. Adam, remembered in Islam as the first prophet, is said in Arabian tradition to have visited the city and to be buried there. Even if you know your catechism, Sex and the Sacred City will take you on a surprising journey through the mysteries of Divine love, marriage and human sexuality.
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