5.23.2006

Smells Fishy

Tuna Brings Kenyans Blessings from Allah

from Sploid

Once again Allah has sent his followers a sign in the form of Arabic writing on the side of a fish. Last time it was two Oscars in a U.K. pet shop. This weekend a five-pound tuna in Kenya bears the message.

When Said Ali sold his day's catch to fishmonger Omar Mohammed Awadh, he had no idea the blessing he let slip through his fingers.

As Awadh was arranging the fish for sale at his Takaungu Fish Shop in Mombasa, his keen believer's eye spotted what was clearly a message from Allah, "Wallahu khayru razikiyna" - "God is the greatest of all providers" - on the side of a tuna soon to be known as the "wonder fish."

Arabic scholars were called to the shop. They quickly determined that the Koranic verse was in fact written in the scales along the fish's side.

"This has been confirmed as a verse from the Holy Koran," said Sheikh Mombasa Dor, the secretary-general of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya. "We believe that God brings these kinds of messages in many forms from time to time and that we should not only read the Holy Book, but practice what it says."

What's truly amazing is the quality of the penmanship, said Mombasa district commissioner Mohamed Maalim.

"It is so clearly spelt," he said. "That is why we believe that Allah is sending a message to mankind."

Yet, despite the clarity of the writing, there was some confusion over the message. A story in Saturday's "Nation," a local paper, reported that the message was "Walahu hairu raziqin" - "The Almighty God is greater than those who give arms".

Awadh's shop had been overrun with believers eager to witness the is miracle, some hoping to buy the "wonder fish." Now the state has decided he can't be trusted with such an important fish.

The Kenyan fisheries department has taken the fish into protective custody. It will be kept at cold house in Liwatoni.

Hassan Mohamed Hassan of the National Museum will be documenting the fish for use in religious education.

"There is no doubt that the almighty God is communicating with his people," said Hassan.

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