By December 14, 2016 Read More →

Reading the Quran Here and Now: Chapter Muzammil – Part 1

The Enwrapped one or Chapter Muzzamil is the 3rd revealed chapter of the Quran

73:1 “O you Enwrapped one!

When one observes the universe from macro to micro level, it is inevitable to realize that you and I cannot control anything. The enwrapped one refers to feeling suffocated when worries and distress engulfs us. This feeling is similar to being swallowed in the stomach of the whale where you feel helpless and in a desperate situation. We mostly feel this way when we face some difficulties in life. If we are not aware of our distress, then we ignore our feelings and that is why we do not feel distress. We cannot get out of suffocation by ourselves. Also, we cannot get help from anything in the universe. Why? Because human capacities desire endless things but the transient nature of the universe cannot satisfy any of them. In fact the whole universe cannot satisfy human needs. As far as our creation is concerned, we are totally helpless if we restrict ourselves with the universe only.

  • Nothing here that can satisfy us (lailaha), including spouse, job and family…
  • We may pretend to be happy through temporary things but they do not satisfy our humanity.

Human expectations cannot get satisfaction from this world but human expectations use this world to search for what can satisfy them. We are created in this world but we are not created for this world. Doesn’t that sound like a contradiction? We may try to run away from our reality but sooner or later we are bound to face it. Enwrapped one is everybody at every moment. That is, this verse is valid for any human being at every time.

  • The enwrapped one is the one who realizes that there is no source of satisfaction within this universe.

73:2 “Keep vigil the night, all but a small part.”

Night is the time when sun sets i.e. darkness overspreads. That is, you observe it as a time when things come to a halt after a day’s work. However, in the verse above, night refers to a moment when we are made to feel distress. Then our consciousness realizes the temporary nature of this universe i.e. nothing can satisfy us here (which is the “vigil”). As a result, human consciousness, searches for a Source that can provide satisfaction in one’s existence.

The Quran addresses human soul by defining the responsibility of human freewill to direct the body. Example: stand up and pray at night really means to utilize the consciousness of ones’ reality and freewill as the driving factor of the body. That is, under the leadership of the soul, the body bows down. When you are bowing down, you have to be conscious that you are in charge of your body movement. Prayers should not be reduced to reciting certain verses by tongue and moving the body in certain motion. One’s use of freewill is required to reach a certain level of consciousness.

Human freewill needs to be used in a way where the soul gets to control the body. The soul acknowledges the One taking care of its needs. It acknowledges the compassion of a Lord taking care of its needs. We need to train our soul. Example: When we eat, we should serve our Creator through acknowledgment, instead of serving our body only. When we fast, our soul should be fasting from not indulging into other things but just to connect with the Creator. We should not become the slaves of the body and the food. ASK yourself: What does it mean that it is not the food that satisfies my stomach? You are just making your body to experience food.

Soul keeps remembering that my Creator takes care of my needs. Soul is there to utilize the physical side (food), which is nothing but a sign pointing to the Compassionate One. Human soul has to benefit from these signs pointing to reality.

Quran does not address the human body. It helps our humanity attain a certain level of conviction about our reality i.e. belief. Do not reduce the Quran to a book of law organizing the lives of people of a country and distributing properties to others. Also, do not reduce the message of the Quran to ritualistic activities only (which makes up about 5% of the message). Ritualistic rules need to be applied to one’s physical life under the umbrella of one’s consciousness. That is to say, the Quran first addresses one’s human side and then lets one’s consciousness know how to adapt the body within the physical world according to the requirements of this consciousness provided by the Quran.

Example: If I say stealing is wrong but my hand goes stealing something, then that act altogether is wrong. That is, if one’s consciousness says something, then the body has to follow suit. We cannot ignore our body, we have to command it. This means that if one is convinced that they should not steal, then they should have control over their hands i.e. body. We cannot reduce the meaning of stealing to one’s unjustly obtaining another person’s property only. One’s humanity should not steal from anyone’s property. Analogy: If an essay is not cited properly with the accurate references, then that is considered an infringement of copyrighted material. Similarly, if we are not acknowledging the Owner of all our senses and feelings, then we are in violation of our given humanity. Aren’t we all stealing in this universe?

  • Do not steal from the property of God i.e. don’t appropriate anything (feelings, senses…) to yourself or to something which has no quality to claim it, such as “nature.”

73:3 “Half of it, or a little less.”

Keep vigil the night= Think about your own reality.

ASK: What is my soul in need of?

Since we are physical world obsessed, we do not question the above. Physical side and our feelings with it is a sign for us to find out the Absolute Creator.

Half of it or a little less really means that we need to at least focus on our human side as much as we can. This means that we should not get disappointed when we do not grasp the reality fully. We need to use our human side to realize who our Lord is. It is not that easy but we can start for one second and then gradually increase the amount to two seconds and so on. As long as we are on the way to realizing our reality is what matters.

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