Arguably, we should not stir up between fundamental doctrine and the historically-maintained ignorance, even if both came with a similar appearance. Thus, we must be prudent enough to shed light on the modus-operandi of tribalistic excuses that encourage our ignorance.
Historically speaking, Muslims once had a profound imaginative tradition and reached scientific cosmopolitanism hundred years ago. And for sure, The Arabian Nights will always be remembered as the pinnacle of this tradition.
However, the first tale demonstrates an extreme position against conventional Islamic morals through the Hikayat of Shahrazad and Shahrayar, an epic about sexuality, murder, and gender-based manipulation.
In the middle of the page of The Arabian Nights, we will encounter a multi-dimensional love story between a human and the supra-rational creature fighting for eternal togetherness, Hikayat Prince Jansyah. Other tales tell about human assassination conducted by a bunch of animals.
In the scientific cosmopolitanism realms, the name worth mentioned is Ibnu Al Muqaffa, a Persian-born translator who contributively converted a Hindi’s remarkable tale, Hikayat Kalila and Dimna, a fable written by Baidaba, a royal intellectual under the Anusyirwan’s throne. Before noting that, although Muqaffah had a significant contribution to Islamic literature, he loves to drink and ignore the mandatory sharia.
The extreme moral positions on The Arabian Nights infer the bravery of exploring, even, the most potent or eerie probability of life; wondering its consequences; and ignite further reflection on where life supposedly leads. In its preface, The Arabian Nights say, “the best people are those who learnt from the story of the odd.” At the same time, Muqaffah’s biography indicates that scientific or knowledge cosmopolitanism enlarge the vision, horizon, and even the trajectories of where a particular people could dream universally.