Sunday, July 1, 2012

We are not seeking knowledge, we are seeking to remove the barriers to knowledge - dear old Rumi

"Is that the Quran you are reading, little boy?" asked the Angel.
The Holy Quran is also known as the Holy Furqan, meaning the Criterion or the Standard by which one judges right and wrong, and what deeds that God prohibits, discourages, recommends or makes compulsory upon Muslims .

In the old days, when I used to think about the hukums (rules / laws), I get blurry-eyed and bored, thinking, “Rules, rules and more rules! Is God only God of Rules?!” Well, God is still the God of Rules (the Sharia), and obedience is frankly, the best and straightest path to happiness and grace. But, as others have informed me much to my happy delight, God is also the God of the Tariqa (the spiritual path/journey), a God of the Haqiqa (the Absolute Reality), and God of the Maqrifa (gnosis or direct spiritual knowledge of God).

Rumi always had a lot of things to
share with us. He was like a stream,
pouring forth love and wisdom.
All these technical terms sound terribly complicated, but as dear old Rumi once said, “We are not seeking knowledge, we are seeking to remove the barriers to knowledge.” And really that makes all the sense in the world, for God is not putting an ardous quest for you. For where is knowledge if it is not with God in the divine presence, and where is God if He is not closer to you that your jugular(vein)? - there is a veil cast over your eyes that you do not see Him. So to paraphrase Rumi, “We are not seeking God. We are seeking to remove the barriers to God.” And indeed as one Indonesian analogy once described, the sought end that is the Maqrifa is the ability to see the true God from the false gods manufactured by our own egos, Nafs (base desires) and the whisperings of the Devil. Perhaps you may think that all these fine subtle differences are a waste of time, but God is not anything if not God the Most Fine and the Most Subtle One. For verily, the meaning of al-Furqan goes deeper than only 'the Criterion' or 'the Standard' by which we may evaluate and improve our individual lives. At a more intricate and intimate level, al-Furqan suggests discernment

I would like to end this posting on this lovely Sunday morning in reference to the Godly bit about the jugular vein as mentioned in the Holy Quran (50:16) –

We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, 
and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Marmaduke Pickthall)

Have a lovely day, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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