Elevating The Quran
Where they are inscribed on buildings or hung on walls, Quranic verses are generally elevated, in keeping with the superiority of God's Word over the words of humans. The idea that ontological superiority is implied by physical elevation, while dishonor can be signified by literally lowering a thing or placing it under one's feet, may be universal. This accords with an anthropocentric perspective, for as a human develops in strength and maturity, he or she rises from the floor to become tall and erect. It is also the experience of sages of many traditions that sacred insight can best be found on the mountaintops. The Quran was first revealed to Muhammad in a cave on a mountain, Moses spoke to God, on Mount Sinai, the transfiguration of Jesus took place on a mountain (peace be upon them).
Drill and Upbringing
The most striking and wonderful things that old books can offer us are the stories about conversion and moral revival. The worst sinners and tyrants turned overnight into humble martyrs and defenders of justice. It is always a spontaneous event; there is no process of reforming or influencing. The question is one of a move in the depths of the soul, of an experience existing together with an energy of a completely inward nature which by its own force completely changes a man. This transformation belongs to man and that is why there is no process, casualty, conditionality, causes, and consequences, or even a rational explanation. The essence of this drama is freedom and creativity.
Dominance vs. Prestige
In our species, the attainment of social status, and the mating benefits that come along with it, can be accomplished through compassion and cooperation just as much (if not more so) as through aggression and intimidation. Scholars across ethnography, ethology, sociology, and sociolinguistics believe that at least two routes to social status — dominance and prestige — arose in evolutionary history at different times and for different purposes.
The dominance route is paved with intimidation, threats, and coercion, and is fueled by hubristic pride. Hubristic pride is associated with arrogance, conceit, anti-social behaviours, unstable relationships, low levels of conscientiousness and high levels of disagreeableness, neuroticism, narcissism, and poor mental health outcomes. Hubristic pride, along with its associated feelings of superiority and arrogance, facilitates dominance by motivating behaviours such as aggression, hostility, and manipulation.
In order to evaluate the authorial enterprise behind the fitnah traditions, we need to examine the totality of the evidence including the rhetorical dynamics of these traditions along with their functions and potentialities. For instance, among the traditions that some jurists frequently cite in support of their argument for the exclusion of women is one which was reportedly transmitted by Ibn Umar. In this report, Ibn Umar narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Do not forbid your women from going to the mosque, but praying at home is better for them." A version of this report purportedly transmitted from the Prophet by Abd Allah b. Umar, becomes more extreme. It states: "The prayer of a woman in her room is better than her prayer house and her prayer in a dark closet is better than her prayer in her room" [Fath al-Bari]. The same message is then conveyed but this time through the involvement of a woman who reportedly goes to the Prophet to tell him that she loves to pray in the mosque with him. To this, the Prophet responds that he knows that she loves to pray with him but gives her the same advice as above. As a result, the woman went home and prayed in the most isolated and the darkest area of her house until she died [Musnad]. The least one can observe about these traditions are their remarkable vindictiveness — the more removed and inaccessible a woman is, the better, and even the love of the Prophet cannot change that fact.
Some great sacrifices are such as are made once in life, like that of life. Some are very minor but must be made continuously. Their continuing nature makes them important because of many intangible aspects: