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The 5 Pillars of Islam Within Midaq Alley The five pillars in the Islamic religion play a large role in the novel Midaq Alley. Some characters exemplify their belief strongly while others seem to have no part in it. Their religious views seem to affect their life and have helped me better understand some specific characters and the struggles they face. For me, the most significant character that coincided with the five pillars was Radwan Hussainy. Right in the beginning of the novel he gives charity to the homeless man who comes into the café everyday to sing.
Another one of the pillars is prayer, in which one must pray five times a day. In the novel there are many mentions of Hussainy praying, whether it be for himself or others like when Mrs. Kirsha comes to him for guidance on her husband. At the time, I wasn’t so sure as to why everyone went to Hussainy for advice; he seemed to be so different from the others.
It seemed apparent soon that he was indeed different because he was closer to God then all the others. Alternatively, this might be because God was the only person he could turn to when his children died, his wife being useless so he beats her. This is similar to domestic abuse today because you usually can’t tell when someone is an abuserjust by looking at them. Like other characters in the novel, Hussainy shows darkness that’s cleverly hidden by religion. Having now learned about the five pillars I now feel as though the more you demonstrate your belief, the closer you are to God and the better your life is.
Radwan Hussainy followed all the five pillars, even going on the pilgrimage to Mecca, and that led him to being the most loved person in Midaq Alley. Additionally, I have learned that God never makes a “perfect” humant Hussainy’s flaw was that he beat his wife, even if he prayed, fasted, and gave to the poor it doesn’t cover his abuse. I have significantly improved my understanding of Radwan Hussainy’s actions and way of thinking. This understanding is useful to me as a learner because it shows that there’s a deeper meaning to the action of people then what is just written in black and white.
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