A Salmonella Outbreak (1988)

Yes indeed, I was there at the famous Whipround Prize of 1988 when Salmonella rushed in to announce his latest revelation from Mammon. “Nothing is off-limits, neither God nor Prophets…,” he recited. “Except your bank account Salmonella, my little bacillus”, interjected Satan (his literary agent) furtively. “O yes of course,” Salmonella recanted and chanted the famous Satanic Verses, “Except my bank account – so saith the lord my god Mammon.” At this the assembled literati prostrated themselves, for he had indeed abased himself to their god most profoundly. Satan had a good laugh afterwards remembering how he had picked up the little virus (as he would affectionately call him). Satan’s old friend Mammon, for a lark, had dressed himself up as The Muse, famous inspiration of poets, musicians and creative people and despite the fact that Mammon was a hopelessly grotesque, old miscreant they were both vastly a-mused to find out that Salmonella couldn’t tell the difference. I mean Mammon never had any delusions about himself being any great beauty and to see him dressed up as a tart and spouting dross…., well this little hum-bug starts writing it all down as if it was straight from the source. The laugh was on Mammon because with a bit of astute management from Satan (he never thought it possible) people started buying it up as if it were Manna from heaven. They were both a mite alarmed that the little bacteria himself actually believed it all. They hadn’t had such a perfect tool for literally onks and were a trifle worried that he might get ideas above his station – “I and Mammon are one” or “Whoever hath seen me hath seen Satan” – set himself up in direct competition so to speak.  Things worked out a real treat though. India (his home team) banned his pronouncements and – BOP – sales were doubled. A few people got a bit hot under the collar, burnt the book and, within  a week, the printers were on standby for a reprint. All that opposition allowed Salmonella to spout off a good bit of guff about the sanctity of his Muse-ings. He was even seen to be heroically defending civilisation against barbaric hordes of Islamic fundamentalists.  The story had a tragic ending though for it appears that despite all the warnings he  rashly allowed himself to be rushed into eating Curried eggs and so the poor man succumbed to a virus whose name you’ll probably guess. Coincidence? Divine retribution? Who knows?  No-one remembers Salmonella now at all. The great book muse-ums and micro-fiche archives that sprang up in 2010, when books went totally out of use, only had space for 42 million titles of merit so sadly they had to tell his executors there wasn’t room. They were a bit peeved because they accepted Joan Collin’s books. © Abdassamad Clarke, Dublin, 1988

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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics, and in Cairo in Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s imam khatib of the Norwich Mosque, where he is currently an imam and teacher. He has translated the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (jointly with Muhammad Abdarrahman), which was published by Turath Publishing at the end of July 2004 and a number of other works from Arabic: al-Qawl al-mu'tamad fi mashru'iyyat adh-dhikr bi'l-ism al-mufrad by Shaykh al-Alawi on the standing in Shari’ah of using the divine name in dhikr, which was published by Diwan Press as first part of The Two Invocations and since republished by Madinah Press, The History of the Khalifahs (the chapters on the Khulafa ar-Rashidun from as-Suyuti’s Tarikh al-Khulafa), the Complete Forty Hadith (translation of Imam an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith along with the Imam’s explanation of their fiqh and linquistic usages) and Kitab al-Jami’ by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (published as A Madinan View), Rijal – narrators of the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, all published by Ta-Ha Publishers of London, Kitab al-athar by Imam Abu Hanifah and transmitted by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (Turath Publishing 2006), The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (a translation of Jami' al-'ulum wa'l-hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, published by Turath Publishing 2007). In addition he has edited Aisha Bewley's translation of Ibn Hajar's abridgement of at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, Ibn Taymiyyah's al-Kalim at-Tayyib both published by the UK Islamic Academy, Dr Asadullah Yate's translation of al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, published by Ta-Ha Publishing and a number of other works. He is currently engaged with Suád Østergaard on a translation of the Qur’an into Danish, the first volume of which translated in collaboration with Jakob Werdelin, comprising Surat al-Fatihah, Surat al-Baqarah and Surah Ali ‘Imran, was recently published as Den gavmilde Qur’an: en fremlægning of de tre første suraer by Havens Forlag of Copenhagen. Translations yet to be published include Traditions of the Sunnah (Athar as-sunan) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali an-Nimawi (jointly with Mawlana In'amuddin), to be published by Turath Publishing Ltd. Among his unpublished translations are the Sciences of Tafsir comprising portions of Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi’s Qur’anic commentary at-Tashil li ‘ulum at-tanzil, in particular his introductory sections on the essential elements of the sciences necessary for tafsir. He is author of a number of children’s books, The Year of the Elephant, The Great Victory and The Last Battle all of which are on the sirah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as well as The Story of Stories about the Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, in which he drew a great deal on the commentary of Ibn Juzayy, may Allah be merciful to him. He has also a poem God is Dead published in the Minaret journal of Stockholm, Sweden, and an as-yet unpublished collection of short stories called Tales Are Like That, and a novel called The Wings of the Butterfly. Abdassamad is a teacher of both adults and children in Qur’an recitation (tajwid) and meanings, Arabic language and the deen in general, most recently having organised and taken part in a conference under the auspices of Islamic Events of London on the History of the Islamic Khalifate, and having given discourses in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Jena, Weimar, Copenhagen and the Midlands. 18 April, 2007 0:03

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