In an earlier post, I’d wondered what a column on Sex and the Umma would have to say. The answer is plenty: Mohja Kahf’s first two columns (short stories, to be precise) for Muslim Wake-Up were hilarious, touching and provocative in equal measure. If you missed them, do yourself a favour and catch up now. And don’t miss the Comments section on each column: those are mini-novels in their own right!

Mohja opened with Lustrous Companions: “Do we get dick in heaven?’ my best friend’s Aunt Maryam whispers to me during the ladies’ Quran study halaqa at the Jersey City Mosque. We are doing ‘The Merciful,’ the chapter of the Quran where all the sexy virgin babes are promised to men in paradise. ‘Men get pussy. Do we get dick?’ Maryam says. I snort laughing, but turn it into a coughing fit and cover it with the scalloped edge of my headscarf.”

This week’s offering is Exquisite Parts: “Maryam comes home with a big leatherbound Arabic book tucked in her canvas bag. ‘Got something a little more high class than that magazine of yours,’ she announces. ‘This girl who just came from the B’lad brought this for her sister who’s about to get married. She’s letting me borrow it.’

It says ‘Tuhfat al-Ursan’ in gilt lettering: The Bride and Groom’s Treasury. I open randomly. ‘Advice for the Groom on the Wedding Night, based upon the Sunna of the Prophet, Peace and Prayers Be Upon Him: Caress her and finesse her, but do not distress her.’ Good, good, but we’re way past that.”

I’m sitting here wondering why it took me so long to discover Mohja Kahf. After eons of reading politically correct women writers whose books fall into the “oppressed, depressed, repressed” category, as a friend of the Babu’s puts it, it’s sheer relief to find someone who can write with humour and sharp wit about sex.

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