Islam through the lens of Drama 

 “Faten Amal Harbi” represents my Egyptian dramatic discovery of this year. The events of the work revolve in a dramatic social setting, around the tragedy of „Faten“, with her husband and her marital problems with him, so she decides to separate from him, thinking she has managed to eliminate her problems, but she faces other crises with certain provisions of the Personal Status Law, which decides under the name of law derived from Sharia to deprive her of her two daughters if she remarries another person.

Faten’s struggle continues in the court of Judge David, who has always been a supporter of one side (Sharia), and who always insists on telling her that his job is to apply the laws and not to make justice.  Faten, after making sure that the source of this law is human, resorts to the Qur’anic text, proves the illegitimacy of this law, and even succeeds in sending it back for revision and modification. 

In general, both Drama and cinema are faced with rejection and hostility from many jurists, who keep on making fatwas regarding the forms and contents of works. However, both Arts continue to stimulate the Muslim realities and many works moved on from treating the topic of the Muslim history and victories and tried to break the silence on other topics that touch on the details of the sensitive reality within Muslim societies. The Drama embraced thorny issues, overlapping and clashing with the hottest of these topics; such as differences in religions, the relationship between Muslims and Christians, issues of religious extremism, violence, terrorism, and other propositions that used to be the preserve of news bulletins.

“Faten Amal Harbi” is a work that sparked a lot of debates not only in Egypt but also in many other Muslim countries, not only because it succeeded in reviewing a law that is derived from Sharia, but also because it succeeded to trigger the Muslim awareness to reconsider the divine laws which are set in the Qur’anic text and the human laws which are based on al-‚ijma’, al-ijtihad, al-iastihsan, or al-qiyas and to differentiate between what is variable and what is invariable. And how many Davids, who apply the rules and not justice, still exist in our courts?

Nadia Saad ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Paderborner Institut für Islamische Theologie.

#Drama #Islam #Justice