Qur'an (Sura Saba)
Qur’anic Reflections - Sura Saba (34:1-54)
August 11, 2022
All of us derive our existence, our very being from God who sustains our being moment by moment. There are individuals whose close connection to God results in a more intense level of being manifesting within them. They exhibit a concentrated spirituality, a spiritual power which affects their surroundings and those around them. When they further concentrate that power through a supplication that glorifies God, nature itself responds and joins and that glorification, which is normally unperceived by people, becomes temporarily perceptible by them as they are in the ambit of the spiritual himma, and the concentrated spiritual power of the one whose very being exhibits an intensity not found in us....
The reflections in this contemplation on one short sura (Saba) emerged from notes made while reading the Qur'an. They have been compiled into an ebook (epub) format which can be downloaded and read in an ebook reader, as well as into PDF format....
September 30, 2021
We can seek to know our Prophet through history, through the hadith, through his circumstances, through what his family and companions have conveyed about him, through what historians have written about him. But in the end, most profoundly we come down to this: “His character is the Qur’an.”....So let him be your companion, this living Qur’an....
Divine Morality/Human Morality
Frameworks of Creation
September 27, 2021
A dissonant, unbalanced humanity that is disconnected from the qualitative aspects of existence and from the values and morality that must necessarily emerge from and be bound to the frameworks operating within creation, will deprive themselves of participation in a profoundly interconnected creation, every aspect of which descends from transcendence and offers a connecting link, a rope, to its Divine origin....
Remembering the Divine
We have sent down the Reminder - Sura 15, Verse 8
Nov 11, 2017 (originally May 17, 2014)
In a sense, all of creation is revelation, the specific religious revelations are to awaken us to our place within an unfathomably vast and profoundly deep creation. The reminder is then also an indicator that our innermost being is also a revelation, a guarded revelation that retains its original purity even as we stray and wander and turn away from it in our worldly lives. “What they do has become like obscuring rust upon their hearts.” (Qur’an 83:14)....
Relating the Narrative
The Divine Trust
November 22, 2012
There are in every generation those who betray a double trust. They betray the bonds of humanity to which Ali ibn Abu Talib alluded when he said “people are of two kinds, either they are your partners in faith, or they are your partners in humanity, so behave accordingly.” And they betray the archetypal “trust” infused (in potentia) in human nature at the beginning of creation, the turning away from which results in the spreading of injustice and unnecessary bloodshed, repeated in an ever compounding generational loop as new technologies emerge that exponentially allow us to leverage our reach and killing power....
Be and it is (Kun faya kun)
Creation and Evolution - separating the metaphysics from the mechanics of creation
January 10, 2013
Since God is beyond time and place (being the creator of time and place), His command enters from beyond these limited realms and manifests itself in this world of time, place, and form in the best, most appropriate manner. His creative command takes a shape, a form when it enters this universe we live in. It can enter into this world in multiple places and times (since His presence encompasses it all) as necessary to create what needs to be created....What we witness in time is simply the mechanics of the process of creation (the chains of cause and effect) - what we cannot witness is the invisible command that undergirds it all - the metaphysics behind it.
Inherited Beliefs / Experiential Awareness
June 10, 2010
The differing orthodoxies of the various schools are like localized illuminations, beams of light that reveal a useful and beneficial section of reality, not the whole, immeasurable infinitude of the ocean. They provide a template and a guideline which provides shape and form and boundaries so that one is not lost immediately in bewildering depths and diversity. They provide guidance, but they are not ultimate guidance...
The Hermeneutics of Takfir
Legalizing the Shedding of Blood
August 26, 2006 (Updated Nov 14, 2021) (First version - February 2002)
They go out with concealed explosives to the marketplaces and the masjids. And when the innocent Muslims gather together unaware, they set off their charges killing anybody who happens to be near. The people live in fear of them....
“Beware of blood and spilling it unlawfully, for nothing is more deserving of vengeance (from God), greater in its consequence or more likely to (bring about) a cessation of blessing and the cutting off of (one's appointed) term than shedding blood unjustly. God - glory be to Him - on the Day of Resurrection will begin judgment among His servants over the blood they have spilt.”
Danish Cartoons and the Sacred
Symbols, Texts, and Iconic Personages viewed as Religious Architecture
February 02, 2006
The modern process of desacralization and debasement of religious iconography is likely to strengthen and increase in frequency and is an unfortunate and unsavory aspect of a much broader, far reaching, long term philosophical shift....
A Children's Story
The Story of Us
February 09, 2005
There was once a King with a vast kingdom. He was a very great King, good, fair, just, merciful, loved deeply by all his subjects, by all the creatures in His kingdom. His was not an ordinary kingdom....
History and Perception
Illuminating the Present
December 23, 2004
At its best, our era is not graced with serenity. These are event driven times, full of motion, movement, turmoil - an antithesis to contemplation and careful consideration. For us, for our time, the future rarely extends its horizon beyond the next month, or week, or day. And so we tend to hang on every oscillation in stock prices, anticipate the turn of fortune that the next market update may herald, and, in troubled times, diligently follow the ever-shifting state of the world....
Prisoners of thought
Tafsir (Sura 33 verse 67)
May 19, 2004
To the extent that our minds are full of ambition, conflict, fragmentation, aggression, ego, thoughtlessness, self-interest, desire for gain, fear, paranoia, so also the world is full of such things. To the extent that they are full of compassion, concern, intelligence, wisdom, equity, justice, thoughtfulness, inclusiveness, the world has such qualities....
On the Blowing of the Trumpet
Tafsir (Sura 6 verse 73)
March 17, 2004
By use of our intellect we are able to penetrate to some extent beyond the forms of the material world. But our understanding of these matters is shadowy, vague, theoretical, speculative, filled with mystery. It is not a clear direct perception but a fuzzy, shadowy perception....
Tafsir (Sura 4 verses 135-136)
October 24, 2003
There is a strong possibility of a very easy slippage into tyranny, since a skewed judgement or a biased judgement is nothing other than a type of tyranny. Any favoritism, any partiality, any egotism is a destroyer of justice and spells the beginning of tyranny. So judgement and justice is a tremendous affair, requiring impartiality and a deep knowledge....
Marriage in Islam
Making Hearts Familiar
August 10, 2003
The term nikkah which is used for marriage is also used figuratively to describe the coming together of various aspects of creation. For example it says, in the Qur'an, that “the rain married the soil” and then it describes how, from this intimate mingling, something new springs forth - that the earth brings forth flowers and herbage, it opens to new creations, new life, new potentials....
A Most Dangerous Game
August 09, 2003
Some play this world like a vast, infinitely intricate strategy game. We are all resources in this game. Depending on our individual stances, we are utilized, mobilized, managed, positioned, deployed, manipulated, ignored, silenced, or removed....
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