Aug 13, 2015

Soul tied to Halal

Soul is the holder of human destiny. In BiH it is believed that Allah in the first 40 days of inception in the mother's womb determines what the destiny and life of the child i.e. future man, shall be. This is why it is considered that only when the soul enters the embryo it can develop into a fetus and begin its formation.

When a man is terminally ill his family and neighbours come to say goodbye - halale (forgive), in order to ease his death throes. Forgiveness is a very important segment of Islamic tradition, which shows mercy but also ensures an easier passing of the soul from the body. Namely, it is believed that the diseased dies in great pain and agony if someone who he has hurt won't forgive him. His parents, if alive, need to say their indulgences and by that comfort the diseased in his last moments.

How necessary halal is for the tranquillity of the soul is best described by a folk song. Sister in law while dying curses the bride Alibegovic. Time came for the bride to die, but she cannot separate from her soul which is why she asked to be carried to the tomb of her sister in law:

When they were close to the tomb,

From the tomb a small voice came:

Don't bring hither the cursed,

Until she has suffered enough!

They took her to the mountains, the mountains  didn't want to take her, they took her to the water, the water threw her out. They brought her again to the sister in law. As soon as she forgave her, she immediately separated from the soul. How important halal (forgiveness) for the Bosnian people is, is testified by the custom that the person wronged by another says: "I shall die but I will not halaliti (forgive)!"

Bosnian people believe that the one who dies in the eve of Friday or during Eid is freed of all his sins, since then, it is believed, only the noble people die. Harbingers of death are numerous. In Velika Kladuša it is believed that when an old man starts to be dirty, no longer takes care of personal hygiene, or his favourite drink or food o longer tastes good that death is close by. Similarly, people give a lot of meaning to interpretation of dreams since through them one can foretell someone's imminent death. In dreams taking out a tooth and feeling pain, is a sign of death in the house, if the pain is not felt death will take place to other relatives. It is not considered favourable to plough or dig in dreams, and generally overturn earth, or see that the ground has cracked, at some location, since it foretells death in the family. Similar meaning is represented by a sunken foundation of the house or fallen beams from the roof. Such dreams are often disregarded or not shared for fear of them coming true. Usually as a counter measure it is said: "Dream is a lie and god is the truth" or, even, "Hey, let it be, thank Allah!"