The Arabs and Islam 1


Riyadh Hammadi

The thing that most distinguishes ‘primitive peoples’ or those dubbed ‘pre-historic’ is the relationship of the unconscious that binds them to their social habits and institutions. Oral societies, according to Levi Strauss, are distinguished by their unconscious infrastructure, and the thinking that these societies produce from this constitutes ‘collective thought’, while literate societies exercise critical thought.[1]

Does this mean that Arab and Islamic societies are still primitive, in which oral culture enjoys prestige at the expense of written culture, in which the low level of reading and cultural productivity effectively equates them to oral societies? Does Qur’ānic discourse on the Jews and Christians, in their capacity as ‘People of the Book,’ have any connection to this issue? Is it possible to explain the cultural demarcation line experienced by Muslims any other way than in light of the migration towards book culture (authored or translated) or the link with the Renaissance and European civilisation other than through its continuing, intimate connection with it?

The following is an example of the Arab position on writing and records   استمر في القراءة

A stiff-necked God



A stiff-necked God

ترجمة لمقالي: إله راسه ناشف

Published in

and in Riyadh Hammadis English Blog


Riyadh Hammadi

In Arabic culture there is a commonly used phrase: “Even the whole Earth cannot change my word,”[1] which Arab men use to indicate that they will never change or alter their opinion, come what may. This is because, in the culture of the Arab male, changing one’s word or replacing it with another is considered to be the characteristic of a woman not of a man, and thus diminishes his authority and status.

By rendering the word of a man something celestial, it tuns it in effect into something sacred. If it comes down to Earth, it is defiled.

As a matter of principle, replacing a word with another has always constituted a negative value amongst Arabs ancient and modern, even if changing one’s word were to act to one’s advantage. For it is in the nature of the dominant, ancestral, masculine culture to turn the word of an Arab eastern male into something associated with heaven, something sacred that ‘the whole Earth cannot remove’, and to grant the male a value that higher than that of whatever is effeminate or female. The man’s position is in heaven while the woman’s position is on Earth. So these would naturally have been amazed at a god changing his word or replacing one ruling with another.

استمر في القراءة

Four poems

Riyadh Hammady - Copy


My Image

By: Riyadh Hammadi

Revised and translated into Arabic by: Ghassan Al-Sehnawi 


My image in your mind is not mine at all

It’s the black color of your thoughts

Painted by your dark soul

My spring in your view turns fall

Whatever great efforts I make  

In your eyes is a mistake

you see with their eyes استمر في القراءة

Translated Poems


Two poems by Ingrid Jonker and Rabindranath Tagore

Translated into Arabic by : Riyadh Hammadi


I am with those

By: Ingrid Jonker


I am with those

who abuse sex

because the individual does’t count

with those who get drunk

against the abyss of the brain

against the illusion that life

once was beautiful or good or significant

against the garden parties of pretence   استمر في القراءة

A new English Blog

 I have recently opened a new blog on Blogger 

here’s the URL

تم افتتاح مدونة جديدة لموضوعاتي باللغة الإنجليزية : مقالات مترجمة وقصائد . الرابط أدناه


A Solo for Rita


A Solo for  Rita

Translated into English by : Saba Al-suleihi

Click here to read the original poem in Arabic

I dream of you as a piano
My fingertips on your waist

Here’s DO

I dream of you as a guitar
My fingers on your neck
Here’s Re
I dream of you as a flute
Lips on lips
Here’s Mi
I dream of you truly – In my dreams you come true
Body on body
 Here’s La
We ascend the scale of our musical deligh
    Restoring our saga to its former note

استمر في القراءة

صلاة لمارلين مونرو .. Prayer for Marilyn Monroe


صلاة من أجل مارلين مونرو 

للشاعر النيكاراجوي الشهير إرنستو كاردينال

ترجمها عن الإنجليزية : رياض حمَّادي (*)


منشور في : صوت العقل  



(*) اعتمدت في الترجمة على ترجمتين من الإنجليزية بينهما اختلافات طفيفة وقد حاولت التوفيق بين الترجمتين قدر الإمكان . وهنا أشكر الصديق سبأ الصليحي لمساهمته القيمة في مراجعة الترجمة والتصحيح اللغوي.

(**)Rio de Janeiro  ريو دي جانيرو


اعتمدت الترجمة على هذين النصين

Ernesto Cardenal’s
Prayer for Marilyn Monroe 
 Translated from the Spanish 
by Jonathan Cohen

receive this young woman known around the world as Marilyn Monroe
although that wasn’t her real name
(but You know her real name, the name of the orphan raped at the age of 6
and the shopgirl who at 16 had tried to kill herself)
who now comes before You without any makeup
without her Press Agent
without photographers and without autograph hounds,
alone like an astronaut facing night in space.

She dreamed when she was little that she was naked in a church

(according to the Time account)

before a prostrated crowd of people, their heads on the floor
and she had to walk on tiptoe so as not to step on their heads.
You know our dreams better than the psychiatrists.
Church, home, cave, all represent the security of the womb
but something else too …
The heads are her fans, that’s clear
(the mass of heads in the dark under the beam of light).
But the temple isn’t the studios of 20th Century-Fox. 
The temple—of marble and gold—is the temple of her body
in which the Son of Man stands whip in hand
driving out the studio bosses of 20th Century-Fox
who made Your house of prayer a den of thieves.

in this world polluted with sin and radioactivity
You won’t blame it all on a shopgirl
who, like any other shopgirl, dreamed of being a star.
Her dream just became a reality (but like Technicolor’s reality).
She only acted according to the script we gave her 
—the story of our own lives. And it was an absurd script.
Forgive her, Lord, and forgive us
for our 20th Century
for this Colossal Super-Production on which we all have worked.
She hungered for love and we offered her tranquilizers.
For her despair, because we’re not saints
psychoanalysis was recommended to her.

Remember, Lord, her growing fear of the camera
and her hatred of makeup—insisting on fresh makeup for each scene—
and how the terror kept building up in her
and making her late to the studios.

Like any other shopgirl
she dreamed of being a star.
And her life was unreal like a dream that a psychiatrist interprets and files.

Her romances were a kiss with closed eyes
and when she opened them 
she realized she had been under floodlights
as they killed the floodlights!
and they took down the two walls of the room (it was a movie set)
while the Director left with his scriptbook
because the scene had been shot.
Or like a cruise on a yacht, a kiss in Singapore, a dance in Rio
the reception at the mansion of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

all viewed in a poor apartment’s tiny living room.
The film ended without the final kiss.
She was found dead in her bed with her hand on the phone.
And the detectives never learned who she was going to call.
She was
like someone who had dialed the number of the only friendly voice
and only heard the voice of a recording that says: WRONG NUMBER.
Or like someone who had been wounded by gangsters
reaching for a disconnected phone.

whoever it might have been that she was going to call
and didn’t call

(and maybe it was no one
or Someone whose number isn’t in the Los Angeles phonebook)

You answer that telephone!


receive this young woman known to the world as Marilyn Monroe
though that wasn’t her real name
(but You know her real name, that of the orphan raped at the age of 9
and of the shopgirl who at 16 wanted to kill herself)
and who now stands before You without makeup
without Press Agent
without photographers

without signing autographs,

like an astronaut in the night of outer space.

As a child she dreamed that she was naked in a church

(so Time magazine tells us

before a prostrated multitude heads to the ground
and she had to walk on tiptoe to avoid treading on their heads.
You understand our dreams better than any psychiatrist.

Churches, houses, caves, are the safety of the mother’s womb
and yet also something more
The heads are her admires, so much is clear
(the mass of heads in the darkness below the stream of  light.
But the temple isn’t the studios of 20th Century Fox. 
The temple—of marble and gold—is the temple of her body
from which the Son of Man whip in hand
drives out the money-changers of 20th Century Fox
who turned Your house of prayer into  a den of thieves.

in this world contaminated by sin and radioactivity
surely  You won’t blame a shopgirl
who, like every shopgirl, dreamed of being a star.
And Her dream became a reality (Technicolor’s reality).
She only acted out the script we gave her 
—that of our own lives.

And the script was absurd.
Forgive her, Lord, forgive all of us

for our 20th Century
for this Mammoth Super-Production in whose making we have all shared.
She was hungry for love

and we offered her tranquilizers.
For the sadness of not being saints we recommended psychoanalysis

Remember, O Lord, her growing fear of the camera
and hatred of makeup

insisting on being newly made up for every scene

and her growing terror and unpunctuality at the studios .

Like any other shopgirl
she dreamed of being a film star.
But her life was unreal

like a dream which an analyst interprets and files

Her love affairs  were kisses with eyes closed
and when she opened them 

they were being played in the spotlight.
but the spotlight faded

and the bedroom walls were dismantled

(it was just a film set)
while the Director walked away

having finished shooting his scene

Or like a cruise on a yacht,

a kiss in Singapore,

a ball in Rio

a reception with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

viewed in the living room of a cheap apartment

The film ended

without the final kiss.

They found her dead in her bed

her hand on the telephone.
but the detectives

didn’t know who it was she was trying to call
it was

like someone who deals the number of a last friendly voice
only to hear a pre-recorded tape and a voice saying : “WRONG NUMBER

Or like someone wounded by gangsters
who reaches out towards a disconnected telephone

O, Lord
whoever she may have been trying to call
but didn’t call

and perhaps it was no one at all
or Someone whose name was not in the Los Angeles phone book

Lord, please answer that phone


Marilyn Photo source 

Hadith, the biggest scam in Islamic history – 2



Published in : 

Also in: Riyadh Hammadis Blog


 Riyad Hammadi

While the ‘ulamā’ have placed the condition of ‘non conflict of the content (of the Text) with reason, that is, the necessity of what is handed down to be in accordance with what is reasonable, and that the Text should be rationally acceptable and not demonstrating any weakness in the meaning (even if there is no associated weakness of expression), despite the importance of this condition Muslims have cancelled it out by limiting the evaluation of its agreement with reason as something to be carried out solely by the hadith collector.  


It is strange that some of us should approve these works like empty trumpets


As a result the question becomes closed when the hadith are included in one of the books of Sihāh, Masānīd or Sunan, or others. Reasonableness is thus considered to have been established for these included hadith, so that no one else is henceforth able to apply his own reason to the matter and must content himself with justifying it and rationalizing it. If not, he would be considered by others to be a rejector of the hadith and to have left the faith.[1]

2) Cases of conflict with reason, logic, and common sense   استمر في القراءة

Hadith, the biggest scam in Islamic history – 1


Verifying the merchandise, not the seller: 'The Silk Merchants' by Edwin Lord Weeks (circa 1883)

Verifying the merchandise, not the seller: ‘The Silk Merchants’ by Edwin Lord Weeks (circa 1883)


Published in :  and Riyadh Hammady’s blogspot

Arabic source : Ahewar SSRCAW Thawralogy  


Riyad Hammadi

 “Every attempt to make two contradictory things agree is wasted effort; it amounts to no more than tapping on the shoulder and can only delay perhaps the moment of collision.” “Is it reasonable to believe that [the hadith collectors] al-Bukhārī and Muslim and all the other collectors of hadith did not realise the reality that many of the hadith that they had collected conflicted with other hadith and other Qur’anic texts?”

A perplexing issue indeed. All the criteria for accepting the validity of a hadith focus upon the chain of transmission – that is, the narrators of the hadith – rather than their content. Their watchword in this respect is “the soundness of the justice of a man and his truthful character is an indication of the soundness of the hadith that he narrates!”   استمر في القراءة

The path of deviation and distortion – 2


Translated by & Published in

also published in: Riyadh hammadi’s blog

Riyad Hammadi

In its beginnings Islam represented a revolution against injustice and corruption, and a corrective movement against many practices of Arab society. But what this revolution started with at the outset was not what it became at the end. For just as soon as things were established among the Muslims, when lands were conquered and metropolises occupied, their funds were exhausted and they were left in dire need of those whom they had revolted against and reformed.

This disintegration occurred in the Islamic community a short time after the death of the Messenger, so that “one form of Caesarism was replaced with another and one form of Chosroism with another. After Muhammad bequeathed his followers his words along with a state, one class began to propagate his words while another class occupied itself with extending the state. Over time, matters of the state pre-occupied them to the detriment of his words.”

The contradictory relationship that marks the two sources of legislation cast a shadow over morals; ethical considerations became entangled, with one caught up with aspects of the other. All of this had an impact upon how these ethics were adopted by the Muslims and upon how contradictions became generated at the behavioural level. All of this was in addition to the laudable ethical standards which the two sources – the Qur’ān and the Sunna – promoted but which the majority of believers have nevertheless proved unable to apply over the course of Islamic history. Several factors combined to prevent these ethics being applied, the most important perhaps being the rise of wealth and mundane pleasures, the concentration on private, as opposed to public, interests, and the absence of political role models. The initial role models that appeared only served to promote moral derailment and deviancy, and began with a series of conflicts over political and religious authority, conflicts which since the death of the Messenger have persisted to this day.

Muhammad the Messenger did not aspire to idealism or perfection in his moral task, yet we find precisely this objective present and promoted in his monotheistic cause. This point is strengthened by a verse that is cited twice in the context of a single sūra, the sūrat al-Nisā’استمر في القراءة