By September 23, 2019 Read More →

Chapter Ikhlas – Part 1

Chapter Sincerity (Ikhlas)
22nd revealed chapter (3rd year of revelation)

This is a concise chapter, a good foundation to help us understand and establish how to read the Quran as narrated by most companions of the Prophets (PBUH).

If I want to be sincere to any idea, then this chapter should help me get the core of the meaning of the message of the Quran.  Otherwise, I cannot be sincere in my belief.  “This is the truth, that is why I confirm it.”

  • If I want to have a sincere base in my understanding of God (belief), then I need to have the content of this chapter as a backbone.

None of the early chapters dealt with a comprehensive understanding of God is, just trying to establish what my reality is.  Questioning, is my existence dependent on something else?  Is there a Conscious Will behind my existence?  The early revealed chapters are disclosing nature of the existence of the universe.  The nature of the universe is such that it is subject to destruction because the universe is dependent on a Conscious Will.

Then the later chapters establish principles for relationship with created things given existence.  Every worshiper or abd is equal in front of the Creator.  There was no concept of worship in the pagan cultures, rather showing respect to their tribal affiliations.

112:1 “Say, He is God Absolute,”

“Say” means convey this message. An authority is delivering a message and if you listen to it, then every generation is to share it with others as a vibration.  In order to convey the message, you first have to digest it within yourself.  Establish confidence in the content of what is being said, and then share it with others.

  • If I am satisfied with it, then I have to spread the message.
  • Say is not only to utter.

Huwa means “It” or “He”.  Who is “It”?  I ask: “Who is It/He?”  You should have a concept of someone/something must be responsible for the existence of this universe and what it contains.  This question must be developed before defining It or S/He.

Huwa (It or He) means an unknown, this in my mind and I must wonder what that thing is.

  • There must be someone who established this universe.
  • What is the Source of Existence of this universe and myself? What is that?

The Prophet started sharing or saying the message to the Meccans (who were pagans) who were the primitive people at that time and were proud of the qualities of their tribes.  There was no civilization established among these tribes around that time.  Zoroastrian and some Christians were around the Arabian peninsula at that time.  Idols symbolized the great historical heroes and in their poems usually women represented their tribe.  There was no philosophy and thought at that time, just an inherited “Kabah” from Abraham.

The Quran says addressing to them that you do not know anything (jahaliyaa).  Pagans were mostly camel riders and herding goats.  Quran starts from the bottom of the qualities of human beings and then builds up.  In 30 years, the pagan Arabs became an empire.  And, the camel shepherd, Muhammad became the first establisher and administrator of that empire.

In Mecca, there was no education system but only the pagan Arabs who were living in Medina were admiring the educated Jewish people at the outskirt of city.

The following educative principle is what the Prophet was first alluding to:

  1. Describing nature of universe
  2. Foundations of social life and relationship with universe.
  3. Then after 3 years he started talking about “It/He”.

#1-3 is an invitation that you must wonder about the existence of this universe.  Who are we?  What are we doing?  The first revelation was to “read”.  But read what?  Since there were no books available in Mecca at that time, what am I supposed to read?  It does not mean to read a book, rather read the universe.  Read, in the name of your Lord who creates.  I must read creation. What is creation?  Mountain, camel, goat water…

Start from scratch.  You do not need anything, just your human potentiality is enough to read the “Speech” of the Creator through the things He creates.  I haven’t been to school is not an excuse as in order to be an addressee you do not have to have certain credentials.  Just use your human qualities and read creation.

I have to wonder about creation in order to open up to revelation.  Example: look into the creation of a dog.  “Please God increase my amazement and wonderment.”

  • Wonder about what?
  • Creation.
  • Isn’t one flower or one bird wonderful? What is it doing there?  Who is arranging all this?  There must be something.  Who is It?

 If I do not have my questions, then I cannot go further after concluding that there must be something.  What is that someone?

I have concerns about past/future, I worried about things…what are they, where did I get those feelings?  If I do not wonder about creation, then I cannot benefit from the Quran (verbal speech.)  What is this universe?  How can I make sense of this existence?  That is Huwa (He/It)

  • Without Huwa, you will not be concerned about your existence.
  • Example: the architect of this building did a good job. I need light and the switch is there.  I want to appreciate this architect.  When someone introduces you the architect, then you become interested in how to express your appreciation to the architect.  If you do not wonder who made this building, then you just pass by without noticing even if people are talking about the architect.

Similarly, knowing the word “Allah” does not mean anything.  The verse does not say “kul huwa Allahu” (Say God It/He is Allah) and stops. But it continues to describe the qualities of this proper name.  Allah, in and of itself means nothing, it is just a proper name at this stage. After learning the qualities then the name represents a Being with these qualities and reminds the reader about them.

You need to have certainty in whatever you claim.  Knowing the name “Allah” does not mean anything.  Without knowing what you mean by Allah, claiming that I know what Allah means is reduced to nothing.

Creator, Allah should be Absolute.  Absolute means peerless, nothing of this universe.  You cannot look into it within the universe.  Creator cannot be part of the created being.  That is why you cannot count it and put a number to it.

If you have a notion of God, then you will understand how similar all schools of thoughts in Islamic tradition are.  Everyone knows that there are no two absolutes.  We need to demystify our misunderstandings and know that people did not have the right understanding of God and so they did not understand what Torah was talking about, they brought it into their culture and made a mythology.

  • What I call God is not important, rather what I define as God is important.

“Ahad” means a realistic understanding of notion of God by going into the subject saying that He cannot be part of the universe.  That is, It/He cannot have qualities of the universe because It/He is the Source of the Existence of the universe.

What should I do with a One who is the Source of Existence of this universe?  Something like a ghost? 

There must be such a Being, how am I going to communicate with It/He and establish a relationship with It/He?  Since it is my Creator, then I need to know who It is so I can communicate with it.

I feel indebted to a One who gave existence to me, educated me and prepared me for life.  It is human as I want to communicate.  I want to communicate with someone who is not of the nature of the universe and gave me and the universe existence. I am now experiencing my existence, life and all other facilities prepared for me even before I was given existence as a conscious individual human.

I need to get to know It/He more. Who or what can help me?

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