Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quran Surah 2: 21 (Islam, Pantheism and Spiritism)

Oh People! Worship, revere and praise Allah, Who created you, and adore those who came before you that you may be counted among the Al-Muttaqun.

Islam is traditionally misunderstood as being a strict monotheistic religion. This misinterpretation occurred when Islam came into contact with the Hellenic-Christian civilization and had to make apologetic adjustments in its public image.

The truth is that Islam (like early Judaism and esoteric "gnostic" Christianity) has been far more accomodating of a spiritual hierarchy of beings. Surah 2: 21 creates an equality of reverance of both Allah and "those who came before." This is because the doctrine of unity has us understand that ultimately we can only know Allah through creation, which is imprinted with the Spirit of Allah. In other words, rather than reject worship of the golden calf as opposed to worship of YHWH, Islam asks us to see Allah in the calf. Thus, we worship and revere Allah by adoring nature, viewing creation as sacred.

Theologically, Islam and Sufism maintain that Allah is both transcendent (and thus beyond comprehension) and eminent (knowable through creation - both physical and metaphysical).

Who are ‘those who came before’? They are the entire hierarchy of beings, including Elohim, Rasul-Logos, Spirit of Wisdom, Archangels, angels, spirits, elementals, ancestors, good Jinn, power animals and spirits of nature.

If we come to understand that the entire universe is impregnated with Allah, then we avoid setting up rivals to Allah. However, if we believe that Allah is strictly separate from creation (as many “fundamentalists” believe) than we make the mistake of setting up rivals. This is dangerous and leads to shirk. For example, every time a fundamentalist beholds an aesthetic moment (e.g. a sunset), s/he is in danger of creating a rival (e.g. the beautiful sunset) to Allah’s beauty. However, if we come to behold the sunset as imbued with Allah, providing us with a glimpse of the eternal Source, than there is no rivalry. There is only unity – that which Islam and Sufism strive to reveal.

The "fundamentalist" (viz. the Wahhabi), though, like Iblis (who refused to understand this and bow down before Adam), foolishly rebukes Allah for asking humans to adore “those who came before.”

The Rose Crescent advocates that in order for the individual human to move closer towards God one must establish a relationship with "those who came before" (i.e. angels, spirits and spirits of nature).

To learn more about Rose Crescent commentary on the Qur'an click here.
To learn more about Islamic Gnosticism click here.


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