Harry Potter in Godric’s Hollow

My daughter asked me to read something to her. So I borrowed my little sister’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Kids like magic and fantasy stories, so why not read this famous children’s book to my little sweetheart. After the first chapter, I felt there was something wrong in it. Although my baby fell asleep but I simply couldn’t out the book down. JK Rowling had cast a reading charm on me it seemed. Next few weeks my girl saw less of me reading to her and more of reading for myself silently until I got all seven books completed.

The story begins with an orphan, whose parents have just been murdered in their very home in God-ric’s Hollow. Its not a mystery novel because that’s not how its presented. The identity of the murderer is not at all relevant but the thought behind the man is what really matters. All through out JK Rowling has the reader thinking about the purpose and motive behind this double murder. Why kill the Potter family?

Let me talk about my girl again. HP’s author is asking an 11 year old to walk into the mind of a “murderer”. What could my daughter say, “dad, tell me, why did you-know-who murder Harry’s parents? what was their fault? Why does he want to kill Harry so badly?” It makes me wonder, since when do children’s books target the lives and works of murderers and serial killers?

The murder scene at Godric’s Hollow is central to all the 7 books. Again and again we are reminded how the Dark Lord kills James and then moves towards HP. Lily pleads for Harry’s life. Move away you silly girl…as if to say “I just want the boy, not you, so just step aside”. Lily is murdered. Voldemort approaches Harry and wham. The Dark Lord falls. Harry rises.
Because the sacrifice of Lily was supremely cast in blood, being the purest form of miracle, it was stronger than anything any Dark power could ever muster. It was the power of pure love from a “Mugblood” that destroyed Voldemort when he was at the very top invincible, undefeatable, all powerful. It was SACRIFICE that brought the Dark Lord down to his knees. In Islam its called Shahadat, martyrdom.

Godric Hollow, James and Lily’s home town, was also the birth place of Godric Gryfindor, the Lion. Tom Riddle on the other hand is a descendent of Slazar Slytherin, the Snake. Godric, Slytheirn, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff founded Hogwarts. The Lion and the Snake were always at odds at almost everything, including Quidditch. Hogwarts was setup 1000 year ago. James and Lily died in 1981, so the school’s founding date must be around 1000 CE. Interesting, that was the time of the Crusades. It is well known that the European crusaders came into contact with an advanced Islamic civilization in Jerusalem (Al-Quds). One of the interesting areas where Arabs claimed world leadership was in their knowledge of Sciences like Physics, Biology, Medicine, Astrology, Mathematics and ofcourse – Chemistry (which they called Al-Kemia).

A particular branch of Al-Kemia dealt with transmutation, that is the study or research of how to turn lead into gold. Alchemy as it turns out had two aspects, physical and spiritual. The spiritual alchemy desired to transform ordinary men into purified souls. In Islamic terminology its called Tazakkah, to purify. The one who is purified is the one who is successful and is the one who will be accepted and received by the Lord of the Universe. Purification of the soul disregards obstacles such as blood, color, language, race, identity or any other prejudices.

The Knights Templars brought back with them newly found treasures from Jerusalem at the end of their missions. Some of those treasures were ancient books, wisdom, science and technology and ofcourse philosophy. It may just be a wild guess, but God-ric Gryfindor might have been a Templar who brought back the sword from the Arabs alongwith the ideological knowledge of Alkemia. Slytherin must have not liked very much to see his race loose power to half bloods and Mugbloods. For the preservation of his race he went the other way, over to the Dark side. This ideological conflict must have carried on down to the present age when Harry and Voldemort face off just like Dumbledore and Grindelwald did earlier.

Lets come back to Godric’s Hollow. This is where the story begins for this age, with roots that go back more than the crusades, even before the time of Christ (PBUH). It goes back to the Pharaos, especially to one known as Akhenaton, the first monotheist Pharaoh of Egypt. They say, Alchemy started here in Egypt. I don’t doubt that because Egypt (Misr actually) being the birthplace of civilization should have had world religious influence as well. The very idea of resurrection, return to God and submission to God’s will captures the essence of God-ric Hollow if seen through the Alchemist’s eyes. I that room, Lily represents Light, Life, Faith and Goodness while Voldemort brings the face of ego, envy, greed and hate. This war between the two sides started back in Eden and haunts us this very moment. How we respond to it, the choices we make, define us and our souls.

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Why do they convert to Islam

My mother comes from a Hindu Brahmin family. She changed her religion when she married my father. Why did it not happen the other way round? Although dad died 18 years ago mother did not switch back to Brahminism. I could think of few friends who had converted to Islam in the US and the UK. I find it quite strange that at a time when Muslims are on the receiving end in just about every corner of the world, citizens of the most advanced nations on this planet are getting attracted to switch over to Islam. What is the secret behind this attraction? How would I view Islam if I were a non Muslim?

If I were a non Muslim, my first impression of Muslims would be a critical assessment and here is why. A lot of Muslim immigrants find shelter in the west away from the murderous dictators back in their police states. Unfortunately, immigrant Muslims look at the land of refuge with hate. Contradictions in personality are difficult to hide, no matter how hard one tries to fake it, it simply shows up in minor details in body language, behaviors and overall attitude towards others. For instance, Jews like Muslims also harbor some attitude towards their host communities. Migrant jews may be credited for this phenomenon which does not earn much praise. Here is small comparison between these two communities from the eyes of a non Muslim non Jew observer:

Jewish community is probably more rigid in segregation than Muslims. For instance, the idea of sticking close to ones own religious community is more serious amongst Jews than in Muslims. Isolating children from the greater society also is stronger in Jewsih residential areas, with special emphasis on their particular community style education. Add to that the ideological training given to kids to dominate society by the accumulation of wealth, education and power, as a regular curriculum. It should be no surprise that the most influential persons in the west are of jewish origin. Their most preferred trade is ofcourse interest based banking. Jews over thousands of years mastered the art of interest-usury game more than any other community in the world. Its the signature profession of the jewish community.

Jewish schools do not teach Christianity. They say that an imposter by the name of Saul of Tarsus made up the doctrines of Christianity by giving divine attributes to Jesus Christ, therefore they see no reason to learn a religion based on fake premises. It seems that Jews do not have respect (let alone acceptance) for Jesus Christ, Yahya, and the disciples and helpers of Christ.

On the other hand, I see that the Christian community looks at Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) somewhat detached from the continuity of the Abrahamic faith. I don’t understand why they do this or more importantly how they manage to get away with this. Revelation, Prophethood, Day of Judgement, Resurrection, Heaven, Hell, Forgiveness, Mercy, Love, Compassion, Struggle, Kingdom of G-d, they are all rooted in the Abrahamic monotheistic religion. Islam just happens to be the last in this line and Prophet Muhammad PBUH is the last of the long line of prophets.

From the family of Abraham comes the family of Ismael and Isac, from Isac comes Jacob and from Jacob (also known as Israil) comes the twelve tribes of Israil. Prophets Joseph, Moses, John, Jesus, and Mu
hammad (Peace Be Upon All of Them) are part of the same line of prophethood, revelation, and divine help. To reject the revelation given to Christ is same as rejecting the revelation given to Moses or Muhammad (PeaceBeUponThemAll). To reject the sacred Injeel (Bible) would be the same as rejecting the Holy Torah or the Majestic Quraan. To reject one is like rejecting all others as well, similarly, accepting one is like accepting all others as well.

However, established religious institutions don’t want to think like that. As a result of this, Judaism ends with Moses, Christianity ends with Jesus Christ, whereas Islam seems to say something completely different than the first two.

Muslims say that firstly Islam is not the name of a religion as understood in the west. Islam is a way of life which has in it spirituality, economics, politics, law, society, education, healthcare and all other branches of human life that together make us civilized. It wants its followers to make rational understanding of religion, G-d and Prophethood in such a way that human life gets directed to the natural path which satisfies both the heart and the mind so that life of human beings can be regulated in the material as well as the spiritual world. The result of this simplistic concept is that it appeals to the poor farmer in a rice field in Bangladesh just as it makes an impact on the Chairman of a corporation in USA. There is no complicated concept of one in three or three in one, divinity versus human form, or original sin versus redemption of man. Islam is all about simplicity. This is where it seems to differ most with all other world faiths.

In Islam, a Muslim does not need to please any priest to enter Jannah (heaven). One does not have to be a millionaire to be worthy to his family´s love. A medical doctor or a school teacher or a street cleaner, all are equal in honor and dignity. Muslims pray shoulder to shoulder with other Muslims regardless of their social and racial diversities five times a day, bowing and prostrating before G-D as a mark of their submission to the Most Powerful.

Anybody can become a Muslim. Rich, poor, white, black, tall, short, whatever the mix may be, it doesn’t matter in Islam because the best of man is the one who has the awareness of G-d in him. Muslims call it TAQWA. Man with TAQWA is the successful man. His reward will be decided by the Most Merciful. Such a man will place his hope for the permanent good life in the Hereafter over the temporary good life of this world. This simplicity based worldview is an anti-depressant for many people whose lives have become victims of a materialistic greed filled rat race in the world of corporate shareholder value creation mania. its the type of world that turns a spiritual being into a simple material being which exists only for the pursuit of happiness, forgetting such concepts as morality, ethics, righteousness, God-consciousness and spiritual piety. Islam´s concept of Taqwa provides a meaningful solution out of this dark side.

For someone who comes from Christian or Jewish background Islamic belief system should be no surprise. The Majestic Quraan is the word of G-d just like Torah and the Injeel (Bible). prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a prophet, so were prophets Noah, Abraham, Isac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, John, and others, peace be upon them all. Its the same family tree having one simple mission, to guide mankind towards goodness.

For Hindus, Budhists and other faiths, Islam offers a way out of their complicated race driven in-human caste and class system. For those millions of Hindus who are considered low caste, untouchable, meant to perform only menial garbage cleaning jobs, Islam is their solution to live a life of honor for themselves and for their future generations. A Dalit untouchable Hindu will no longer continue to be a Dalit under Islam. His children will not be allowed to become victims of racial discrimination by the upper caste. Every human being was created by ALLAH SWT and to HIM we return, no human has the authority to degrade and dehumanize another human. This is a principle faith of Islam and it will not accept any compromise from Hinduism regarding this issue. Brahmins and Budhists also find this quality of Islam as truth from the Divine Creator. Submission to such doctrine is naturally easier than submission to racism.

The secret to Islam I think lies here. It is multi ethnic, multi racial, multi lingual and it appeals to rational thinking. It is simple in its creed, it has its original source safely secured in documentary evidence, and it has its spiritual and material appeals for just about every type of person. My friends who converted to Islam were impressed by its non racial doctrines the most. my mother was most likely convinced by its concepts of equality. For many others there might have been different reasons, which means there exists not one but many secrets in Islam which act as keys to our hearts.