By August 5, 2015 Read More →

In The Footsteps Of The Prophets – Part 4

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“And thus We gave Abraham insight into [God’s] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth – and [this] to the end that he might become one of those who are inwardly sure.” An’am (6):75

In this culture, we cannot come up with the exact translation to certain words. Malakut is used for everything (creation in heavens and earth). What we see in this universe is Mulk (property) of the Creator. Malakut is the aspect of the property of an object/event which points to the quality of its Creator. When you observe a painting, the outward (materialistic) side is canvas and paint; the malakut side is the “art pointing to the art quality of its artist”. The universe and creation altogether points to the qualities of its Maker (artist).

Do we see this universe as an art? If we look at the material construction of the universe without the malakut side, then all we see is just the object/event (material side). This universe is an art pointing to the Artist. Similarly, if we look at a small child, we see its Creator’s qualities manifested in him. The child demonstrates a lot of human qualities which are signs to its Creator’s qualities. Along the same line, if we observe a tree, we get mesmerized not only by the texture of its trunk but also the way it is forming and coming into existence. Manifestation aspect of the Creator’s qualities is the malakut side of the universe.

  • When we look at a building, we do not just see the stone. We should see the art of the Architect reflected on the stones.
  • When we hear music, we do not just hear the lyrics or the melody. We should hear the beauty of the music that is transferred to us by the Musician.

Somehow, our secular culture has indoctrinated us with looking at the physical side of matter only. We miss the qualities of the matter which reflects the art of the Artist (Creator). When we study a beautiful garden, we never get past the material side because we have not been trained (in our secular education) to study the inner qualities of creation which points to its Maker. Though when we sit in front of the garden and look at it, our human qualities enjoy the beauty manifested there.

God says that He has given Abraham insight into looking at the manifestations of the qualities of its Maker. What about us: Can we understand the artistic side of creation on our own? We need to identify ourselves with Abraham. The Creator of Abraham is our Creator as well. The Creator is talking to us about Abraham to teach us what we are expected to do. In the example of Abraham, I am expected to learn about myself.

  • We are also given the ability to see malakut of the universe (including ourselves).

When we eat anything, we should be communicating with the Creator of our senses (ability to enjoy the taste, chew, swallow…).

Muqinoon is the one who has yaqeen (certainty). It means a person who is absolutely sure about what he believes in i.e. I know what I see, I know what it means and I know what I am going to do with it. Belief is not a vague idea; it is an absolute certainty to what we confirm. Looking at a painting and just seeing the art in it leads us nowhere. Looking at a painting and appreciating the qualities of the artist makes us absolutely certain about the existence of the artist, which in turn makes us absolutely sure of our mission in this universe. That is Abraham: me, you and every human being. We have to reach that certainty through the ability our Creator has given us to see the creation as art pointing to the qualities of the Artist.

Why would the Creator speak to me about a particular person? The Creator is speaking to me because it has something to do with me. Abraham is not talked about for us to admire him; we do not even know how long ago he existed. Abraham is talked about as an archetype so that we try to be like him and reach the ultimate target (purpose of our existence). This is the best example for us i.e. Abraham is created with the qualities of a human being to communicate with the Creator. This implies that:

  1. I am created with the qualities of a human being. We all have the same qualities but we are not using it fully to benefit from it. Example: if a person does not study architecture, it does not mean that he does not have the potentiality. The potentiality is there but he has not used it.
  2. I am created in this universe in order to communicate with the Creator. We are all qualified to get to know our Creator through using our qualities. I am given the ability to look at the qualities in the art and refer it to the artist.

We are conscious beings and so we should not underestimate ourselves. Human beings have the qualities to acknowledge the Creator of this universe. Sadly, we are lazy and so the seed of our potentiality dies.

If I look at a mountain, am I expected to see the Creator’s beauty in it? When we look at creation, we can only see the qualities of the Creator as much as we have trained ourselves. When I look at a mountain, the Creator is introducing Himself to me through all my qualities. Beauty is everywhere, Power is everywhere, Knowledge is everywhere… Only the Absolute One can manifest all the qualities at every moment everywhere in the universe. He is omnipresent and I am the product of this Absolute One. As a result, we feel secure in our existence because we belong to Him. If I find the Absolute One, I find everything. When I realize that everything is a gift of art presented to me, I feel secure in my existence as well by realizing that even my existence is a gift to me.

We are trained, rather brainwashed, by the present education system to pay attention to the material side of matter and develop certain concepts about our findings. Language is the result of our concepts developed according to our perception of the universe. Every concept is expressed by a word. If we don’t have a concept, we don’t have a word for it. We need to develop our own concepts by communicating with the malakut aspect of the universe and use the proper language to represent our worldview.

In this regard, we cannot really translate any scripture, if the worldview has not been realized by people. We have to paraphrase as much as possible as it is done here. Just as “mighty dominion” is one word “malakut.” The above verse is talking to me saying that I have to discover all this within myself.

Does establishing a worldview first help me with understanding creation? Speech of the Creator guides me to establish my worldview. Just as a tour guide shows us around, we are the ones taking pictures and experiencing the moment. The Creator just guides me but it is I who will experience the universe. Similarly, in every scripture, God’s speech paves the way to our experience of existence and shows us how to utilize our human qualities i.e. how to use ourselves.

Since almost 500 years, we have been drawn away from the reality of our existence. It is as if we are hypnotized not to think that we exist. In this civilization, existence has been taken away from our intuition and we are dragged away from the reality that this universe has meaning. We are not created to exploit our materialistic (animalistic) side; we are here to get in touch with our humanity. The universe is full of means to address our humanity that feeds off from the message from the Creator. Our animalistic side blocks the message from the Creator. Example: when we look at some gizmos, we immediately think in terms of benefitting from it for our materialistic side. We do not use it to feel the Merciful One or even establish an everlasting relationship with Him through the gizmos. We are made blind by present day materialistic civilization that this universe is a permanent abode.

We are brought here, we are not born here. We construct our language according to our worldview. Example: it is raining. What does “it” refer to? In reality, the rain is sent. Rain doesn’t come by itself. Similarly, we say the universe exists. Scripture comes and says it is We who created the universe; it does not exist by itself. Additionally, we are accustomed to saying: I am X years old. In reality, we are created as a X years old person. We are not fair with our relationship with the universe. I have my hands: this language is totally materialistic and secular. We need to be aware that everything is given to us. I am given the ability to think.

  • Language is the means of communicating our worldview.
  • All qualities are given to us to get to know our Lord.

We are created with the capacity to know the Creator though ourselves (our qualities) through the universe. These qualities are “trust” from my Creator which are to be used (in my relationship with the art in the universe) to get to know the Source of the art (Artist) I am experiencing here. We do experiments here to discover the qualities of the Creator.

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“It is not fitting for a man that God should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil or by sending of a Messenger to reveal, with God’s permission, what God wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise”. Shura (42): 51

There are three categories of communicating with the Creator:

  1. Inspiration: All qualities in creation are the inspiration of their Creator. We need to understand what inspiration is. Everything in creation mentioned in the Speech of the Creator is a representation to other creation. Example: a bee has a perfect structure; it is given qualities to produce honey. How do the bees develop these qualities? Can we explain their ability to find the best pollen? All qualities of bee are inspired by its Creator. Bee is a representative of all animals. Similarly, earth is a representative of all planets and stars.
  2. Prophet: Another way of the Speech of God is through Prophets. Word of God is transferred to us from a person in the form of a language that we human beings can understand. Prophets represent the message (Speech of God) in the best of human form.
  3. Behind a veil: A form of perceiving an object/event in the universe. Example: the material side (biological structure) of a bird is the veil; behind the material side of the bird, all messages we get is the speech of its Creator (such as joyful feeling while watching the bird fly…). My very own being (through my own physical existence) is a veil to God’s speech; I have to see behind my own veil that my Creator speaks to me. From within ourselves, our Creator is speaking to us: at a given moment, we may feel happy, angry or sympathetic…By giving us these feelings, the Creator is speaking to us letting us know that He takes care of us. The veil is not a mystery. If we think about it seriously, we understand it. “Wherever you turn, there is God’s countenance.” (Fa aynama tuwalloo fa thamma wajhullah.) Physical body of the cosmos is a veil, behind the cosmos the Maker is speaking to us. Our sight (eyes) look at the veil but our insight (human perception) sees what is behind it.

We have to educate our human perception to be more cognizant of the speech of God inspiring us everywhere. Even if we are in a small box, we can still hear the Creator speaking to us. Some of the language and concepts that we discussed here may seem alien to most of us but we have to remember not to disassociate ourselves from this universe. After all, we are the guests of the Creator here.


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