Posted by: xeper | February 5, 2009

Beyond That Which Is Seen


“You didnt tell him about Imaan.”

I looked at the direction of the voice, and I saw a very serious-looking person, respecting but practically commanding Hotep to say more. “Imaan” meant “belief” in Arabic, and it was used in Quran a lot, addressing its followers as Mo’menuun; meaning “those of Imaan”. These days, though, it was used as a name too, for both girls and boys, though more for girls, despite the fact that it was a masculin word. Hotep’s silence took more than I expected, which grabbed my attention, and I looked at him, just to find him looking at me.

“Do you want to know anything more?” He asked me, half-ignoring the half-command of our unexpected companion. I knew better than to push for something Hotep did not think I was ready to know, yet didnt want to refuse the opportunity unnecessarily, so I asked, as if  a real question: “Is there anything more youd like to share now?” I had given him the time to make up his mind, it seems, and he decided there was: “The Prince wants you to know that your ancestors had a name for the higher plane of Life. Amen. Amen was the Name given to Him Who Could Not Be Seen But His Actions Are. They still say this Name in their prayers on the mainland, dont they?” I nodded. “Does anyone remember what it means?” He asked me. I had asked and they gave various unsupported meanings. “Now you know,” The Prince said, and left. Hotep watched him walk away then said “Imaan, Xeper, is the arabization of this term Amen, and means Belief in the higher planes of Life.” I noted the similarity, especially that in our languages the vowels are not considered real letters. Emaan, Emen. The etymology sounds authentic, too. Hotep continued “When you read the Quran, it talks sometimes to people in general, a few times to Muslims, but the vast majority of times to Mo’menuun. You might want to read those verses as addressing Those Who Believe In Higher Life, rather than Those Who Are Muslim. Indeed, there is a verse that tells people who called themselves Mo’mens that they are merely Muslims.”

“Who was this man?” I asked, “And why was this important to him?”

“Oh, I did not introduce you to The Prince? He rules our island. You just met The Prince of Alberraao.”

“What’s his name? And why was this important to him?” I repeated.

“It is important for you to know because you are important to him. He doesn’t want you to forget. That would be a shame.”

“I couldnt forget. I didnt even know.”

“That’s a bigger shame.”

“So what did you mean when you…” I started again but he cut me off: “Didn’t you say you had pressing matters on the mainland?”

I smiled in appreciation of the old man and prepared to leave. As I walked away, I heard him yell “AHMOSE!” I looked back at him, not really understanding. Were you talking to me, I thought. And as if my face spoke it out, he replied: “The Prince of Alberraao’s name.. is AHMOSE.”



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