Prof. Mary Grace Ferrer
Afro-Asian Literature 3043
February 26, 2013
I. Background of the Literary Piece
The Food of Paradise is a short story by Shihab al-Din Ahmad ibn Majid al-Najdi, commonly known as Ibn Majid. He is known to be one of the greatest and most illustrious Arab navigators of all times. He was born in Julfar (today’s Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates) in the early 1430s and became renowned during the last half of that century. The exact date is not known, but ibn Majid probably died in 1500. ibn Majid was the author of nearly forty works of poetry and prose. The Food of Paradise is one of his work and an adaptation that tells of a man’s quest in vivid detail and rhyme. It is a story that transcends time. Although it dates back to a period some would call medieval. In this story there are no sieges, no plagues, no monarchs, and no cathedrals, just a long journey of a man, for the ultimate truth that ends in a surprising twist of fate. II. Summary
The pious Mullah Ibrahim taught of himself not only to cast his life in the balance of fate, but to seek the means and reason of the provision of goods for man. He left the seminary and walked out of the City of Baghdad where he had lived for many years .Waiting for the bounty of Allah, he fell asleep. When he woke early the next morning; Ibrahim wondered how he would be fed. But morning blossomed into day and day into night and still no miracle came. Still, he did not lose hope but prayed with usual fervor. He slept again without eating, and woke up too faint from hunger to stand. One afternoon, stifling from the noontime heat, Ibrahim saw something floating on the river. It seemed a pack of leaves with food inside. He waded into the water and reached for it. Back to bank with his prize, he opened it. Inside was the most delicious halwa, that famous marzipan, the making of which only Baghdad knows the secret, a sweet-meat...