♫ i’m n luhh wit a turrbnnn

he wrappin
he tyin
he turnin
got me wrapped up
in his turrrbnn

“Reference has been made to the turban when speaking of the slowness of traditional rhythms, and on this point we wish to pause somewhat. The association of ideas between the turban and Islam is far from fortuitous: “The turban,” said the Prophet, “is a frontier between faith and unbelief,” and he also said: “My community shall not decline so long as they wear the turban.” The following ahadith are also quoted in this context: “At the Day of Judgement a man shall receive a light for each turn of turban round his head”; “Wear turbans, for thus you will gain in generosity.”

The point we wish to make is that the turban is deemed to give the believer a sort of gravity, consecration and majestic humility; it sets him apart rom chaoric and dissipated creatures— the dallun, the “strayers,” of the Fatihah— fixing him on a divine axis — as-sirat al-almustaqim, the “straight path” of the same prayer- and thus destines him for contemplation in brief the turban is like a celestial counterpoise to all that is profane and empty. Since it is the head, the brain, which is for us the plane of our choice between true and false, durable and ephemeral, real and illusory, serious and futile, it is the head which should also bear the mark of this choice the material symbol is deemed to reinforce the spiritual consciousness, and this is, moreover, true of every religious headdress and even of every liturgical vestment or simply traditional dress.

The turban so to speak envelops man’s thinking, always so prone to dissipation, forgetfulness and infidelity; it recalls the sacred imprisoning of his passional nature prone to flee from God.”

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