"To dream . . . the impossible dream . . ."
Like the good Don Quixote, I was looking over my books and writings this morning, checking details in my search for the ultimate meaning of the small mole on the great Don's back, trying not to make so big a mountain of a mole that the mountain won't come to me in a size that I can't handle . . . but perhaps I have faith enough to toss it into the sea.
Speaking of that mole, I spoke of it earlier in noting the mole on the back of the the Muslim conquistador Tarif, who invaded Spain during the initial stage of the Arab Muslim conquest, citing a scholar on this issue:
In the article "De la autoría morisca a la antigüedad sagrada de Granada, rescatada al Islam," Mercedes García-Arenal has noted the connection between the mole on Tarif's back and the 'mole' on Muhammad's back (but does not note a link to Don Quixote):I still have no solid hadith that places the mole on Muhammad's right shoulder, but I wonder if there are a few, for I have found that Khwaja Kamal-ud-din mentions the mole being on Muhammad's right shoulder in his 1925 biography of Muhammad:Luna introduce en su libro, . . . otro pronóstico claramente emparentado con las qisas al-anbiya’: una mujer se acerca al conquistador árabe, el capitán Tarif, recién desembarcado en la península y le reconoce como aquél del que habla un pronóstico que le había transmitido su padre, según el cual un hombre milagroso había de ganar la península y su seña había de ser «un lunar peloso, tan grande como un garvanco, . . . situado sobre el hombro de la mano derecha».:" Esta historia está claramente inspirada en la del monje Bahira, que aparece en todos los compendios de «historias de los profetas», un monje cristiano que fue el primero en reconocer la calidad profética de Mahoma al ver que tenía sobre el hombro derecho un lunar, la marca de la profecía. (García-Arenal, 564)García-Arenal notes the allusion in Luna's passage concerning the mole on Tarif’s back to the Bahira story of the 'mole' on Muhammad's back. Muslim sources, however, generally locate the mark not on Muhammad's right shoulder but on his left shoulder or between his shoulder blades. If any Muslim sources speak of the mole being on Muhammad's right shoulder, then I would appreciate knowing the sources.
In his book, Luna introduces . . . an omen clearly related to the al-qisas anbiya' [sic. qisas al-anbiya', i.e., "Stories of the Prophets," adapted from the Qur'an]: a woman approaches the Arab conquistador, the captain Tarif, who has recently landed on the peninsula, and she recognizes him as the one spoken of in an omen handed down by her father, according to which a miraculous man would gain the peninsula, the sign being "a hairy mole, as big as a garbanzo . . . located on the shoulder of the right hand." This story is clearly inspired by that of the monk Bahira, which appears in all compendiums of "Stories of the Prophets," the tale of a Christian monk who was the first to recognize the prophetic qualities of the Prophet Muhammad, for this monk was to discover a mole on his right shoulder, the mark of prophecy. (my translation of García-Arenal, 564; corrections would be appreciated)
[Muhammad's] back was broad, and near his right shoulder-blade was a mark like a seal, and in it there was a black mole, somewhat yellowish, around which there was some thick hair. (Kamal-ud-din, The Ideal Prophet: Aspects of the life and qualities of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Lahore: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at, 1996 ), page 12)Unfortunately, Kamal-ud-din provides only a general reference to Bukhari (page 11) as well as to Tirmizi (Shamdtail) and Ibn Hanbal (Musnad Muslim) (page 11, note 1). If anyone knows what hadith are meant, please post the information in a comment and thereby assist me in realizing my impossible dream of publishing a scholarly article on Don Quixote, despite being no Cervantes scholar.
That's all for today. The day threatens . . .