Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quran Surah 2:22 The Earth and the Caliph

In Surah 2: ayah 22 of the Holy Recital the Archangel Gabriel revealed:

"Allah has made the earth your couch and the heavens your canopy, and Allah sends down rain from the heavens; And brings fruits from out of the earth for your sustenance. Then set not up rivals unto Allah after you have achieved gnosis."

This passage seems simple enough, but actually creates a number of difficulties. First, does the passage imply that humans are the center of the universe? Has God really created all things for mankind? Who are "the rivals" that we are warned not to set up?

Let us begin by recalling that all humans are the Kalifat Allah, or the representatives of Allah on earth. The title we bear upon our crowns gives us the sacred trust (33:72), the duty, to care for the earth and all of its inhabitants. We are the guardians of what belongs to Allah. It is our highest duty while on earth to protect the environment, the animals and other humans (especially the poor and the orphans).

Yet, 2:22 seems to privilege humans over the earth, placing us at the center. Throuhout the centuries Ahriman has attempted to convince us that we are, in fact, the Lords of the earth and that everything belongs to us. Ahriman’s ultimate goal is to destroy the earth. Judging from the state of the environment, global warming, pollution, over population, and the loss of species it becomes obvious that most people have fallen for Ahriman’s perspective.

So does the Qur’an support Ahriman’s worldview? On the contrary!

The key to interpreting the passage is God’s declaration that we not set up rivals? Who are the rivals? They are, in fact, ourselves!

Not only do humans have the power to affect changes on the earth, but our very thoughts can create forms that later manifest. By thinking positive or negative thoughts we can create harmony or disharmony. By giving someone the “evil eye” we can create illness. By wishing them peace we can benefit others. The passage reveals the powerful position of humans, both in the physical plane and in the astral world. However, it reminds us that, despite our position as “caliph,” we are not God. We are called to act as the representative of Spirit for the good of all and the furtherance of peace (the Kingdom), but to refrain from the error of privileging ourselves over others (e.g. the environment, animals and humans).

Perhaps this is an opportune time to comment on the difference between Islam/Sufism and certain New Age philosophies (particularly the Course in Miracles). Many New Age thinkers (and Hindu thought) would erroneously have us believe that all things are a manifestation of our own minds, and that you are God. Islam/Sufism takes issue with this. As stated above, we believe in the plurality of beings, that the Light is within all things, and that, as caliphs, we have a sacred duty towards the Other and the power to affect our surroundings. However, we reject the solipsism of the Course in Miracles. There are many factors, powers and influences in the universe beyond yourself and your ability to manifest events, including angels, demons, humans, jinn. Yes, we have magickal powers. But so do others. There is, in fact, a reality outside of yourself. Ultimately, nothing happens without the permission of Allah. Thus, it is not you but the Spirit that is All.

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


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