Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Essence of God and the Nature of Knowledge - God's profile and persona

WHO IS GOD? We are not talking about God per se. We are talking about representations of God as how God deems it fit to disclose to us. And I think that God, in His Wisdom chooses to disclose to us according to His Plan, however good or bad, wise or stupid we think we may be.

HE IS WHAT HE SAYS HE IS. Such disclosure is not of His Essence, such disclosure is as how He chooses to build His profile. You know, its like Facebook. Your profile and your internet persona is not you. Simply what you choose for people to know. Same thing with creation and the knowledge within creation, it is whatever God chooses to fill in and any Divine information outside creation remains forever unknown, unless of course, God decides to 'update' His profile or to make public (at least to you). We have no choice about this, really. His world, His rules...

IMAM GHAZALI AND THINKING GOOD. In Imam Ghazali's great opus, the Ihya Ulum-id-din, the great soul referred to mankind's innate curiosity about their Maker. And so we are invited to reflect and contemplate upon the immeasurable magnificence of God's handiwork in our world, and the many, many Divine Attributes that is reflected in the wonder and mystery of creation. But there is a threshold which we are unable to cross. In the words of Imam Ghazali himself (May God sanctify his secrets)...

"The Almighty enjoined us to do good and He Praises those who think good. He says; They remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on their sides and think of the creation of the heavens and earth : O God, Thou hast not created this in vain. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said : A party of man were thinking of God, when the Prophet said : Ponder over the creation of Allah, and don't ponder over Allah because you cannot realise His power."

YOUNGER ME. When I was younger I considered this rule to be a little demotivating. Of course, I would like to know God. And if it means to know the very Essence of God, why not? Ah, the passionate young. What a fool I was.

OLDER ME. Now, much older, and perhaps less foolish, I am more accepting of the Prophet's caution. For the more I appear to learn about people, about society, about the natural world and the workings of the human ego, spirit, conscience and heart, the more certain I am that I in fact know very, very, very little about anything really.

THE RIGHT QUESTION TO ASK. But the good thing is that even this vague acknowledgement of not-knowing-anything-really has given fruit to some pretty darn good thoughts and emotion about this world, its inhabitants and of course, ultimately about God and His Prophet. This is my kernel of an echo of knowledge, me, a sinner. For you, sunshine... ah, such sublime knowledge and pleasure is yours for the asking. You need only to know the right questions.

What are the right questions to ask yourself? Well, we have to start with the basics, of course. Try asking yourself this..

Who am I?

You? You are an uber-cute baby, Emina.
May your day today bring you self-knowledge and a better understanding of the Lord.

wa min Allah at-taufiq.

Hate has no place in Islam.
Love will show the Way.

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