Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, “the Al-mi’raj,” a horned rabbit from Arabic poetry- with writing prompt

al_mi_raj_by_semirealistic-d8a3ul1
Photo Credit; http://semirealistic.deviantart.com/art/Al-mi-raj-500705173

Also checkout Jackalope, Wolpertinger, and Lepus Cornutus but the Al-mi’raj or Almiraj (Arabic: المعراج al-mi’raj) is known as a mythical beast from Arabic poetry, said to live on a mysterious island called Jezîrat al-Tennyn within the confines of the Indian Ocean. I couldn’t find much about this island…but there is a perfume, which I found interesting and is called Jezîrat al-Tennyn.

According to Wikipedia, Al-mi’raj is a large, harmlesslookingyellow rabbit with a single, 2-foot-long, black, spiraling horn protruding from its forehead, much like that of a unicorn.

Despite its docile appearance, Al-Mir’aj is actually a ferociously territorial predator known to be able to kill animals and people many times its size…with just a few stabs of its horn.

It also has an immense appetite and can devour living things several times its size without effort. Al-Mir’aj frightens other animals.

The people of the Jezîrat al-Tennyn island were so terrified of the Al-Mi’raj eating them and their livestock that they would turn to witches to ward them away as soon as they heard the Miraj was near. It was reported that only a true witch would charm the Miraj, rendering it harmless so the people could remove it from the area.

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Photo Credit; http://centuriespast.tumblr.com/page/617

It is possible this myth originates from observations of the effects of any one of several diseases in rabbits that can create horn-like growths upon the bodies of animals, most commonly Fibromatosis and Papillomatosis (SPV).
Papillomatosis is the result of a virus infecting the skin, causing a large, red, swelling growth on the skin of the subject. These red marks may have appeared to be where horns broke off or were shed. Fibromatosis is a similar virus which infects the skin and causes the flesh of the rabbit to mat with hair, hardening into long, hard horn-like protrusions. Both diseases could account for the appearance of wild, fierce (with pain) rabbits with “horns” as infected specimens have been found, catalogued and are well documented.

In Pop culture

List compiled by Wikipedia

  • Al-Mi’raj has been occasionally featured in video and role-playing games.
  • Al-Mi’raj has been adapted into Dungeons & Dragons, as part of the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Fiend Folio.
  • An enemy in the Dragon Quest Series (アルミラージ … arumirāji), first appearing in Dragon Quest III, where it is a low-level monster with a sleep attack used to render players helpless while it attacks. In U.S. it has usually been renamed to “Spiked Hare,” but its name is preserved in the Game Boy Color version. Unlike the normal legendary Miraj, this Mi’raj is purple with a white horn and white cheeks. Its standard treasure is a gold and a Leather Hat. In Dragon Quest VIII, it carries Medicinal Herbs and Bunny Tails.
  • According to lore, at the base of a unicorn’s horn is a ruby red jewel that is the concentrated essence of its power. With this in mind, it is possible that Ryo-Ohki from Tenchi Muyo! could be a reference to Al-Mi’raj, albeit dehorned and thus not dangerous to humanity.
  • Getting closer to the original mythology, the Devil Bunny game series by Cheapass Games is a game about horned, super-intelligent carnivorous evil rabbits that spend their time attempting world domination via an assortment of silly means and tormenting the Humans.
al_miraj_ambush_by_lyekka-d5hy6ll
Photo Credit; http://lyekka.deviantart.com/art/Al-Miraj-Ambush-332479209

– In Episode 10 of the anime game, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? the first floor of the mid level contains multiple white rabbits that walk on two legs. Two of the main characters Lilly and Welf claim that they are the protagonist Bell Cranel due to the matching red eyes and white hair. The rabbits are then identified as al-mi’raj by Bell before being interrupted as the rabbits attack.

  • – The behavior of General Woundwort, the antagonist of Watership Down, and the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail might have been inspired by Al-mi’raj.
  • In the animated short “Red” (2010) the little wolf-boy protects Red from an Al-Mir’aj that can grow to a monstrous size, and kills it.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh Breakers of Shadow booster pack has released a card based on this mythical creature called Al-Lumi’raj.
  • The game Rage of Bahamut (and subsequently the Shadowverse CCG which is based on it) contains a character called Moon Al-Mir’aj, a humanoid rabbit with a black horn called Ramina.
  • In the Donald Duck story Mythological Menagerie, written and drawn by Don Rosa, Donald tries to fool Huey, Dewey and Louie by painting a rabbit yellow and attaching a horn to it, but the nephews identify it as a the Mi’Raj.

img_0050Writing Prompt-

The Mi’raj, the American Jackalope, the Wolpertingers and the Lepus Cornutus are all the same animal in this prompt. SPVirus or no, that isn’t the concern of this writing prompt. Let’s look at the parable of The four blind men and the elephant, to get a sense of what this prompt is asking you to do.

(Adapted from David A. Horner) According to everystudent.com, there is a popular analogy used to illustrate how all religions are valid in their ways of describing God, the universe or the creator.

Theological professors especially love this philosophic analogy, because it equalizes all religions, making them “omni-true” in their description of the God force.

horned_rabbit_sketch_by_unita_n-d54y5qa

Photo Credit; http://unita-n.deviantart.com/art/Mi-Raj-sketch-310643074

The parable goes like this: there are four blind men who discover an elephant. Since the men have never encountered an elephant before, they grope about, seeking to understand and describe this new phenomenon.

One grasps the trunk and concludes it is a snake. Another explores one of the elephant’s legs and describes it as a tree. A third finds the elephant’s tail and announces that it is a rope. And the fourth blind man, after discovering the elephant’s side, concludes that it is, after all, a wall, a leather wall..at that!

Each in his blindness…describes the same animal: an elephant. Yet each describes the same thing in a radically different way.

According to many, and I love this sooo much…this is analogous to the different religions of the world — they are describing the same thing in radically different ways. Thus one should conclude that no individual religion has a corner on truth, but that all should be viewed as essentially equally valid.

The Mi’raj is not documented as being a benevolent, kind creature…but let’s make it one, because who is to say that it is not?

Your writing prompt is this…looking at different cultures, races, and religions, there are many legends and mythological stories which attempt to explain natural phenomena. Explain the rabbit with a horn. This is a character development prompt. Who is he or she? Why is he seen in so many cultures? If he is a divine, or at least “good,” creature…what does he bring to the cosmic, moral table?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

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