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Posts Tagged ‘Shaykh Seraj Hendricks’

Do not envy one another, do not vie against and undercut one another, do not hate one another, do not turn your backs on one another

(Sahih Muslim)

Bigotry, prejudice, exclusivity and hostility – phobias in a variety of shapes and hues – appear to have emerged as the hallmarks of large tracts of humanity. They are no less evident in those who harbour a visceral hatred of Islam than amongst some of our own Muslims who mistake the grist for the wheat – the exoteric contingencies for the cardinal verities. It is one thing to maintain a detached and confident distance of objective criticism; it is quite another to collapse an entire world view – founded upon a universal edifice of purposive spirituality – into an obscurantist pit of regressive rigidity.

To be fair and objective is a divine imperative: “Do not let the hatred of a people cause you to swerve from justice; be just! For that is nearer to God-consciousness (taqwa).” (Q, 5: 8). To be reactionary, on the other hand, is satanic and a mark of spiritual dementia. It is what happens to reductionist ideologues and conspiracy theorists who conflate oceans of human complexity into shallow and tiny puddles of delusional certainty. And so they sit and stare at their little puddles with the full complacency that they have discovered the vastness and diversity of an ocean. Richard Dawkins, in my opinion and paradoxically so, is part of this “god delusion”. We know it all. Yet the Qur’an tells us – and I do not quote this for the edification of those who do not believe in Him (I am not a missionary) – that “Of knowledge we have given you but a little!” (Q,17: 85).

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Of the accepted and established principles amongst the people of knowledge (ahl al-‘ilm) is that a particular moment in time is made remarkable or auspicious by the events associated with it. The event, in other words, forms the source of the values and the estimation ascribed to that moment.

The magnitude of the event determines the magnitude of the occasion; likewise, the ascribed blessings of the event determines the ascribed blessings of the occasion.

Moreover, the stronger the identity, and the greater the impressions made by the events on people, the stronger and greater will they identify with the time during which the events occurred.

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Beyond the forbidden fruit

There is the sweet  taste of love.

Beyond the taste of love there is exile.

All that is satanic desires estrangement, desires separation.

Segmented verses that float and flow

Through the weft and warp

of our imaginal worlds –

worlds darkly contoured in fire and flame,

and we suck at their seams to spew our own –

A rush to die and dream

Our dreams of Promethean holiness;

But God’s exile was ordained

long before the forgetfulness of the forbidden fruit;

long before the fire of the ego proclaimed its superiority over clay;

Long before one imagined world

proclaimed its superiority over another inspired;

Long before Prometheus stole the fire of the gods.

And so Adam prayed for the presence of Eve…

And Eve prayed for the presence of Adam…

A prayer that yearned for Union

United in the singularity of a single essence.

And the prayer became presence.

Upon a mount called Mercy

Upon a plain of wisdom sanctified,

the womb of All was honoured

So that All might come to know one another

In a symphony of harmony and grace;

A symphony that celebrated the sacred origins of all things;

A symphony that celebrated Allah…

the common origin of All

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