As the story goes Shahirazad is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights. Every day the Persian King Shahryar would marry a new virgin, and send yesterday’s wife to be beheaded – done in anger after having found out that his first wife was unfaithful to him. By the time he was introduced to Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter, he had killed one thousand such women. Scheherazade had volunteered, against her fathers wishes, to spend one night with the King.
Once in the King’s chambers, she requested one last farewell to her beloved sister, Dinazade, who she had secretly prepared to tell a story to during the long night. The King lay awake and listened with awe as Scheherazade told her first story. The night passed by, and Scheherazade stopped in the middle of the story. The King asked her to finish, but Scheherazade said there was not time, as dawn was breaking. So, the King spared her life for one day to finish the story the next night. So the next night, Scheherazade finished the story, and then began a second, even more exciting tale which she again stopped halfway through, at dawn. So the King again spared her life for one day to finish the second story. And so the King kept Scheherazade alive day by day, as he eagerly anticipated the finishing of last night’s story.
At the end of one thousand and one nights, and one thousand stories, Scheherazade told the King that she had no more tales to tell him. During these one thousand and one nights, the King fell in love with Scheherazade, and had three sons with her. So, having been made a wiser and kinder man by Scheherazade and her tales, he spared her life, and made her his Queen.
Being inspired by the courage of this young woman, and her flair for storytelling – lets just call me Shahirazad. I am a young twenty-something Muslimah, living in a westernized society. Aftermany wrong turns, and much soul-searching I have found myself passionate about two things: my Islam and Education.
Living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, I come from a very modern family, and although religion has always been a big part of my life it was never enforced upon me. I have relative freedom, and have been encouraged to follow my dreams.
For many years I was on the party circuit, until I came to the realisation that hedonism was leading me nowhere, and would not make the life I live in this Dunya worthy of one in the Akhirah in Jannatul-Firdous.
I do not pretend to be a saint, or a pious person; I am merely an abida, a slave of my master – trying to find my feet and do the right thing. Every day is a struggle against the temptation which shaitaan lays before me but I try my best to cling to my Imaan.
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me.