Childhood Sleep

Our house was in an old alley, an alley between two main streets. On the days the school was off sleeping was the sweetest of all things in the world because I could sleep in without the stress of waking up early and getting ready for school. But there was always a problem.

There was an old mosque in our alley and another one in the above main street and another one, which was almost newer, in the down street. Elyas, the muezzin of the mosque in our alley, broke the heavy silence before the dawn when he began to call the people to prayer with his Azeri accent, and so smothered Hypnos, the god of my sleep. A few minutes passed, the other old mosque in the above main street began to broadcast the morning a-zān through radio, and finally the young muezzin of the newer mosque in the down street called people to prayer with his unique accent, similar to that of the Egyptian muezzins’, and so altogether they hacked the god of my sleep in the religious slaughterhouse of that neighborhood. Therefore, my holidays, that I was enamored with, were not different from the rest of the days in my life: I always had to wake up early.

In my childhood, whenever I passed by those three mosques, I always asked myself why there should be one mosque in our alley and two others on the main streets while all of them were too close to each other? Mosques are so big that if all the people of our neighborhood gathered just in one of them, there was still space for other people to come! Maybe it didn’t make too much difference for the laity where they worshiped their god, but for the people who were responsible for a particular mosque, from its janitor to its clerics, it made a great difference if their mosque was crowded or not and one could sense their competition during the feasts or mournings by considering the sound of their speakers that suffused that neighborhood.

Human beings have been always after spirituality and religion tries very hard to tell them that it has programs for the spirituality they are so thirsty for. So, religion changes to a cure for some, a mere repetition for others, and a mean for earning a living for the rest, and therefore, true spirituality is got lost in between. Religions train radical people who consider spirituality as the exclusive product of their religion, and so they are always in a clash with other religions. Even many branches which may form in a single religion are in a rift with each other. This schism will only result in the slaughter of the true spiritually, like Hypnos, the god of my childhood sleep.

Childhood Sleep

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© 2023 BY REZA MILANI