Just a thought…



For the nitpickers, yes it is true that members of lots of religions do not actually follow the tenets of the religion (maybe some Christians are not charitable, for instance), but (from Wikipedia):

In Islam, consumption of any intoxicants (specifically, alcoholic beverages) is generally forbidden in the Qur’an through several separate verses revealed at different times over a period of years. At first, it was forbidden for Muslims to attend prayers while intoxicated.

O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say, nor when you are under an obligation to perform a bath—unless (you are) travelling on the road—until you have washed yourselves; and if you are sick, or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.

— Qurʼan, Sura 4 (al-Nisaʼ), ayah 43[9]

Then a later verse was revealed which said that alcohol contains some good and some evil, but the evil is greater than the good:

They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder.

— Qurʼan, Surah 2 (al-Baqarah), ayah 219[10]

This was the next step in turning people away from consumption of it. Finally, “intoxicants and games of chance” were called “abominations of Satan‘s handiwork”, intended to turn people away from God and forget about prayer, and Muslims were ordered to avoid.

O you who believe! Intoxicants, gambling, al-ansāb, and al-azlām (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shayṭān’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.

— Qurʼan, Surah 5 (al-Maʼidah), ayah 90[11]

In addition to this, most observant Muslims refrain from consuming food products that contain pure vanilla extract or soy sauce if these food products contain alcohol; there is some debate about whether the prohibition extends to dishes in which the alcohol would be cooked off or if it would be practically impossible to consume enough of the food to become intoxicated.[12][13] The Zaidi and Mutazili sects believe that the use of alcohol has always been forbidden and refer to this Qur’an Ayah (4:43) as feeling of sleepiness and not to be awake.

Substances which are intoxicants are not prohibited as such, although their consumption is.[14] For example, alcohol can be used as a disinfectant[15][16] or for cleaning, but not as a beverage. For people who will enter paradise, in Sura XLVII Verse 15 it states that,

(There is) a Parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised; in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink;and rivers of honey……etc.


But that isn’t the point.

Details 3: Egypt

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art there’s an amazing collection of ancient Egyptian Art. The most imposing is the Temple of Dendur:


It is easy get overwhelmed by sarcophagi and mummies, and amazing stone statuary. Last summer I saw yet another large fragment of an ancient wall tucked away in a small gallery off to the side of the Temple of Dendur—pretty much at the end of my Egyptian tour route, full to the brim with Egypt. I could easily pass it by—and probably have done so dozens of times.

FBK Egypt

BLOG Egypt wall label

But then I notice something really amazing:

BLOG Egypt

Look at how the artist, working 3,000 years ago, managed to depict in stone the light translucency of the garment! OK, that really amazes me.

(BTW, if you click on the image it gets bigger so you can see it better.)