Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Qur'an Surah 2: 1-7

It has often been said that the first six verses of Surah II serve as a “confessional statement” of sorts in the Glorious Qur’an. How does the Rose Crescent interpret these verses?

According to the Rose Crescent tradition, Surah II: 1-7 presents the core basic teachings of Islam. Islam has only one confessional statement - the Shahada. Let’s go through them together:

1. A.L.M (Click here)

2. "This is the Book. It is a reliable guidance for those who are initiated into the Love of Allah."

The passage begins by telling us that The Qur'an is a reliable reflection of the Umm al-Kitab. It is, however, closed to those outside of the initiates, the mystics, gnostics and Sufi Masters, the so-called "Al-Muttaqun."

3. "They (the Muttaqun) are the ones who know the reality of the Unseen worlds, who enter into direct connection with the Spirit through salat and give of what we have provided for them."

There are several keys here: First, the Muttaqun are ones who know that the other worlds exist through salat, which, for us, includes prayer, meditation, contemplation, Sufi dancing, chanting (e.g. zhikr), mystical singing and art, recollection and shamanic journeying. Second, all of our bounties, the material and spiritual gifts we enjoy, originate with the Spirit (Allah). The Muttaqun use these heavenly gifts for the service of others. Service to others varies on the individual Muttaqun, his/her spiritual gifts, the specific needs placed before him/her by the Spirit. Examples may include, but are not limited to, the following: healing an ill person (without pay or exchange); giving of one's wealth to the poor; advocating on behalf of those who are experiencing injustice; caring for animals; counseling; planting trees; cleaning the earth of toxins (etc.).

4. "And they are the ones who trust in the Revelation given unto Muhammad as well as to those before his time, and in their hearts they have the assurance of the Hereafter."

The revelation given to Muhammad through the Archangel Gabriel is laid upon the earlier foundations. As such, Islam is a universal religion and to follow the revelation given unto Muhammad is to believe in all preceding revelations (e.g. Torah, Gospels, Tao Te Ching, Buddhist scriptures, Vedas, etc.). Through these revelations, and through direct knowledge of the other worlds, the Muttaqun know that the Hereafter is a reality, that this earthly plane is only one universe amongst many, and that death is only the outer shedding of the skin and does not affect the soul. This certain knowledge leads to union with divinity.

5. "They are on the right path, and blessings will be heaped upon them."

Along with their service to humanity, and their respect and study of all of the world’s faith, they will enter the Light as the citizens of the Kingdom.

6. "As for those who reject the Light, it is the same to them whether the Prophet warns them or not. They will not believe. 7. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing. And on their eyes is a veil. Great is the penalty they will receive."

Who are those that reject the Faith? At first glance we might suppose the Recital is casting judgment upon the Other. However, according to our Sufi interpretation, we must look within our own hearts. Verses 6 and 7 convict all of us. We are the enemies. We are the ones who have rejected the Light. Unless we are free of anger, hate, judgement, egotism, etc. it is we who have the seal upon our hearts. We cannot hear or see the divine that surrounds. We are cut off from the Spirit, the Source, the Light. How sad is our state.

And what is "the penalty"?

According to the Rose Crescent, the "penalty" is the penalty of transmigration. If we have the seal on our hearts and the veil over our eyes then we have been cut off from the Source. The result is that we are continually reborn in this world of illusion (maya - Surah 6:32). Unless we have come here as a Muttaqun (Bodhisattvas) to help others, then we are under "the penalty." The great secret is that this world is not the place we are led to believe that it is. Being born here again and again is the penalty we have all reaped a thousand times because of our rejection.

Let us endeavor to all enter the Light, to achieve liberation, and become citizens of the Kingdom. So mote it be!

In summary, the six core teachings of Islam as presented in the first seven verses of Surah II include: (a) a contemplative appraoch to the Spirit and the other realms; (b) the recognition of the universality of God's revelation (both the Qur'an and the preceeding revelations); (c) an active engagement with the earth (the middle realm) to promote justice and alleviate suffering; (d) a recognition that all blessings originate with Allah; (e) a recognition of the enemies of Allah (both internal and demonic); and (f) a recognition of the "penalty" (i.e. transmigration of the soul).

For more Rose Crescent commentary on the Qur'an please click here.


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