A Post in Two Parts: Seeing is Believing & Remembering Sukayna

To make up for my lack of posting over the last few months, please enjoy this double-post!

~ Seeing is Believing ~

I just got glasses! I knew I needed them, but I had NO IDEA how badly! Its amazing how much more I can see! The doctor said my eyes are healthy, I’m just a little near-sighted and that my vision probably won’t get significantly worse. But when the nurse saw my prescription she said, “Wow, you really can’t see anything clearly if its across the room, can you?” I don’t know if the doctor was being blase or the nurse was overreacting… and I also completely forget what the number was, so I don’t know. I do know that not only can I see things clearer that are farther away, but I can see detail like I couldn’t before. It was actually overwhelming at first. Asphalt totally blows my mind – its not grey, its lots of different dots of grey ranging from almost black to near-white! I can see all the leaves on trees, but what’s really cool is I can see the different textures and shades of green on the leaves. I find myself staring at the light from passing cars on wet stones and beads of water on walls and grass (its been raining a lot lately). I gasp at buildings I’ve driven past for ages because I can see all the cracks and paint chips and patterns now – my boyfriend finds it quite amusing. I had no idea what I’ve been missing for years. I had no idea the world could be even more beautiful. I’m kind of glad its so dramatic a difference because I’ll be delighted by detail, for a little while at least. The downside is now I can’t help noticing certain details on people that I missed before. Like food bits stuck in the corners of lips, or mysterious stains on teeth and fingers. As if I wasn’t scared of crowds enough before.


~ Remembering Sukayna ~

Sukayna was the great-granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, the daughter of Hussain ibn Ali. Despite the fact that classical historians devoted entire biographies to her, her history has been shrouded in recent times. The following excerpt is from The Veil and The Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women’s Rights in Islam, by Fatima Mernissi.

“… she ended up marrying five, some say six, husbands. She quarreled with some of them, made passionate declarations of love to others, brought one to court for infidelity, and never pledged ta’a (obedience, the key principle of Muslim marriage) to any of them. In her marriage contracts she stipulated that she would not obey her husband, but would do as she pleased, and that she did not acknowledge that her husband had the right to practice polygyny.”

Sukayna also refused to wear hijab, to give up public life, to avoid speaking with men who weren’t her husband, and (again quoting Mernissi) “she claimed the right to be nashiz, and paraded it, like her beauty and her talent, to assert the importance and vitality of women in the Arab tradition”. But history is written by the victors, they say, and brave Sukayna has been killed, posthumously. In fact, here is what you’ll find about Sukayna on Wikipedia:

“She was very religious and enjoyed reading the Holy Quran and never missed her prayers. From a very early age, she took great care to make sure that her head and body were properly covered when in public.”

The article also says she died at age 4.


8 responses to “A Post in Two Parts: Seeing is Believing & Remembering Sukayna

  1. Interesting. She did not die at age 4 to my knowledge. She is very important in the Shia tradition, being the granddaughter of Hussein. Still makes me tear up when I think of her part of the story at Karbala.

    There are a lot of conflicting stories about the women in Muhammad’s family. Would be interesting to know whats true.

  2. So great to hear you can see! 🙂

    This is rather cute…

    “The downside is now I can’t help noticing certain details on people that I missed before. Like food bits stuck in the corners of lips, or mysterious stains on teeth and fingers.”


    I remember when I got glasses years ago. I was riding home and was amazed at the leaves on the trees! 🙂

  3. When I first got glasses over 10 years ago I too was amazed that it was possible to actually see leaves on trees without standing right next to them! I used to look at pictures of trees and thinking they had been photo-shopped cause “nature doesn’t look like that”! And yes, the world gets so much prettier and more interesting when everything isn’t floating together anymore! Looking forward to read more about Sukaina…

  4. oh how we take things for granted, it’s only when i read something of this sort that i realise i should take more notice of the beauty around me while i still can.

    • Sometimes I take my glasses off for awhile just to make it more dramatic when I put them on again. I don’t want the thrill of seeing to fade away!

  5. Hahaha!! I totally relate to this. I went 4 years with blurry vision because I guess I was in denial that my sight was getting worse. Last year I got glasses and was telling everyone I can see the world in HD now. I would go for runs and be amazed at the details of the trees and the flowers. I was told the same thing, that I don’t really “need” glasses.. Yea right! I would never go back to blurry vision, even if it is considered slight.

    Welcome to the world of glasses, only a hindrance when it rains 😉

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