Sunday 26 January 2020

Batman and the Joker helped teach these two kids a lesson about Hajj, Islam’s holiest pilgrimage

The Joker’s got gems.

Two children's Hajj recreation
Two children's Hajj recreation

By Kameron Virk

With the Islamic month of Hajj soon to begin, two children’s interpretation of the ritual, involving some of DC’s most famous characters, is receiving a lot of attention.

Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, and is one of Islam’s five pillars. Muslims are required to complete the pilgrimage at least once in their lives if they can physically and financially afford it.

Musa, five, and Maryam, three, were tasked by their parents with recreating the Hajj landscape to learn not only its basic rituals, but also “the spirituality behind the entire journey”.

“My wife made salt dough which my son fashioned in to mountains and pillars. My daughter took elements of her doll house and decorated the remaining parts of the Hajj landscape,” Faraz Ali, a medical doctor and film-maker from Wales, said.

Hajj landscape made by kids

Millions of people across the world complete the Hajj pilgrimage each year, “for spiritual rediscovery and forgiveness”, Faraz said, usually covered in just two pieces of white unstitched cloth – leaving “no distinguishing between rich and poor”.

Faraz and his wife Reja, who home-schools the kids and is also a business graduate studying for a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies, wanted to show how Hajj “is not only a physical endeavour, but a method for deeper reflection through which people develop their characters”.

And that’s where Batman and the Joker came in.

Batman, one of the most famous DC Comics superheroes, is right there holding the Joker’s hand as they seek repentance together – and people loved that.

Faraz said: “Kids have innocent hearts and it’s the beauty of this truth that struck my wife and I. My daughter took her Disney princesses and my son took his action figures, Batman and Joker included. He wanted to make a special point that whether you’re the most evil of villains, or the most righteous of heroes, it’s never too late to repent. God’s proverbial arms are always open.

“The idea that God’s mercy is greater than His wrath is prevalent in Islamic theology and the innocent interpretation of this was incredibly endearing to watch.”

He added: “Amalgamating the worlds of fiction and fact made teaching our children so much easier and relatable. They understand now that though world law and order exists, on a spiritual level even Joker can be as good as Batman.”

So there you go, maybe Ben Affleck’s Batman can be rescued after all.

PA Media

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