Rafed English

The Mercy of Qur'an and The Advent of Zaman

The Mercy of Qur'an and The Advent of Zaman - Commentary on Four Suras


Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri was born in the Holy City of Karbala, Iraq, a descendant of five generations of well-known and revered spiritual leaders. Educated in Europe and America, Shaykh Fadhlalla obtained undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, majoring in science and engineering. As a businessman, he established several manufacturing and consulting firms in the Middle East, primarily in the oil industry. Shaykh Fadhlalla traveled extensively, especially in India, in pursuit of the spiritual teachings of the East, before his eventual re-discovery of the pure and original Islamic heritage of his birth. In 1979, Shaykh Fadhlalla came to the United States to establish a spiritual foundation, the Zahra Trust, to enable serious students of Islam the opportunity of acquiring its basic teachings. The Zahra Trust currently publishes a wide variety of books through its affiliate, Zahra Publications, and has established several spiritual and medical centers in Asia, Europe and South America. The American Institute of Qur'anic Studies at Bayt-ud-Deen, the U.S. base of Zahra Trust, was inaugurated in December, 1981.

The Mercy of Qur'an and the Advent of Zaman is a commentary (tafsir) on four selected suras of the Holy Qur'an, namely: al- Ankabut, ar-Rahman, al-Waqi`a, and al-Mulk. This commentary is part of a series of discourses delivered by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri at the American Institute of Qur'anic Studies. These four Meccan suras were chosen because of a strong intercon­necting theme. Al-Ankabut is about the affliction of man for the sake of his own upbringing, so he is freed from his illusions and insecure foundations. Ar-Rahman demonstrates the direct signs and marks of the Creator wherever one looks. Al-Waqi`a reminds one of the next life so that the pursuit of knowledge and submission to the Creator in this life becomes urgent and vital. Al-Mulk shows that if there were such things as other deities, they would all ultimately have to be under the one and only God, in Whose hand rests total harmony and control. The commentary opens up some of the great vistas of the inner meanings of the Qur'an. While the reader is guided to the bounties of the Qur'anic message through allegorical interpretation of the Qur'anic language, he is at once shown the path of safe conduct in this world and the hereafter. The all-pervading message is of balance and mercy. The key to this attainment is self-knowledge. The commentary explicates man's station with reference to his Creator and how the entire creation sings the song of tawhid - divine unity. It compels the reader to reflect the inter-connectedness in all facets. These four suras show the way to the knowledge of the one Creator and warn man as to his failure and injustice towards himself by not adhering to the path of love and submission.


Whoever professes, confesses, or witnesses the one Creator of creation in all its diversity will undergo the strengthening process of affliction. Duality and association with the one Creator will gradually be worn away from him. In Arabic, the verb to afflict also means to become old and worn. Some of the early Muslims in Mecca could not withstand the pressure exerted upon them to return to the convenience of old habits. This sura historically reflects that situation in Mecca. The name of the sura refers to the flimsy, insecure home or structure on which we tend to depend, like the spider's web. The only structure which is inde­structible is based on the knowledge of God and His laws that govern existence.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1 Alif Lam Mim.

2 Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, we believe, and not be tried?

3 And certainly We tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars.

There is a purpose in creation, a visible, subtle, and deep purpose, which is to discover the meaning of existence. However, man must trust in Allah in order to fully commit himself to the quest. No matter how hard man may try to reckon and calculate the purpose of this existence, he will not succeed without iman (trust); which has its root in the heart. Deflection from this ultimate source will only result in fitna, which is trial, affliction and discord. Fitna implies superficial trial or affliction. It is a plot, that seems charming and captivating; but a plot can be easily discovered - it is not substantial. A fatin is a woman who decorates herself to attract a man, hiding what may be a most dreadful character. No matter how man reckons or calculates, he will be afflicted in a superficial way so that his Imam his trust, becomes more real and certain of the absolute and not of the relative. Trust begins in the outward and existential but leads to the inward. There is no separation of the deep inner reality and the outer reality because they are a continuum. There is no end to Reality. It is only for the sake of illustration that we talk about the outer and the inner. Fitna is derived from the verb fatana which amongst other things, means to prove. Dinar maftun is a gold coin that has been tested and proven to be true gold. Imam Has­san, `alayhi-s-salam ( upon him be peace), defined fitna as that which proves man's reality, his divine origin, by what appears to be affliction, turmoil and trouble. Divine mercy puts man through processes that appear to be undesirable and troublesome, showing man that he has no power over anything. Man has, in fact, no claim over anything except the witnessing and the recognition of the one and Only - La ilaha illa-llah

4 Or do they who work evil think that they will escape Us? Evil is it that they judge!

5 Whoever hopes to meet Allah, the term of Allah will then most surely come; and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

6 And whoever strives hard, he strives only for himself; most surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above (need of) the worlds.

7 And (as for) those who believe and do good, We will most certainly do away with their evil deeds and We will most certainly reward them the best of what they did.

Man in his arrogance and cleverness thinks that he can escape from the prescribed laws governing existence. He thinks he can cheat Allah and imagines himself as a separate entity, which is shirk (associating other-than-Allah with Allah). The nature of he who has complete and utter trust is that he does not see himself; he sees only one higher Self. He sees himself and his actions only as an outer mani­festation of oneness. He has absolute security, certainty, serenity and independence by having discovered dependence on Allah. The opposite of this tawhid (divine unity) is man's imagination that he exists alongside Allah. Full dependence on Allah brings about inde­pendence because man becomes independent of other-than-Allah.

Love of Reality guides and draws man towards tawhid. If he claims trust in Reality, that claim will be put to the test. It is Allah's mercy by which He helps man to recognize the degree of his sincerity and honesty. The iman of the early followers of the Prophet Muham­mad, salla-llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam was tested; pressure was exerted upon them by the pre­vailing system which saw this revolutionary message as a threat to its own survival. Many families urged their relatives who followed Muhammad, salla-lla`hu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam (peace and blessings be upon him and his family), to return to the traditional, inherited and ignorant ways. Some had one or both of their parents threaten to take their lives and the lives of their offspring in order to deflect them from diving deeper into their belief.

For those who remain in iman is the promise that they will come to know Allah and the truth of the Resurrection. The more they exert themselves in this life, the closer they will get to this state of knowl­edge. The mu'minun (believers) are given a clear code of conduct. By righteously doing their utmost they will be amply re­warded.

8 And We have enjoined on man goodness to his parents, and if they contend with you that you should associate (others) with Me, of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them; to Me is your return, so I will inform you of what you did.

9 And (as for) those who believe and do good, We will most surely cause them to enter among the good.

The first thing a child witnesses is his parents. If he does not show loyalty towards them, he cannot show loyalty in a subtler way towards Allah. A child's rebellion against his parents is a rebellion against all those who have physical power over him and sustain him. If a child is rebellious against his parents, he is likely to be rebellious against anything. The parents may be, from a spiritual point of view, mis­guided, but the child can only be qualified to reflect upon or witness that when his own self-guidance begins to emerge. Irrespective of anything, the child should have compassion for them.

Under all circumstances, a person is advised to be respectful to his parents. It does not mean he is to be under their domination, but when their names are mentioned, he should ask for their forgiveness. After all, they were the means by which he had come about. Regardless of whether one is good or bad one still has the mercy of the Creator upon him. Allah is the invisible origin from which man has come forth through his parents.

There are various degrees of iman. A true mu'min regards every­thing that happens to him as his destiny. It must be, for it has occurred and is itself the proof of its truth and reality. It has occurred not out of a whim but from Reality. A mu'min takes knowledge from everything, whether it appears to be good or bad. If he has not identified himself with a specific, fixed viewpoint, he will derive knowledge and benefit from affliction.

10 And among men is he who says: We believe in Allah; but when he is persecuted in (the way of) Allah he thinks the persecution of men to be as the chastisement of Allah; and if there come assistance from your lord, they would most certainly say: Surely we were with you. What! is not Allah the best knower of what is in the breasts of mankind.

11 And most certainly Allah will know those who believe, and most certainly He will know the hypocrites.

The aspect most difficult for the nafs (lower self) to witness is hypocrisy. Most actions are justified in a hypocritical way. A man may say he is working fi sabili-llah (in the way of Allah), but may actually want to gain a high reputation, or become the imam of a community or the leader of a country. If his actions are for Allah's sake the afflic­tions from people will drive him more towards the source, into his innermost, into dependence upon Reality. The people themselves are not in awareness but they are nonetheless a reflection of Reality to the mu'min.

Because that reflection may not be seen clearly, those who are weak in their trust and do not derive wisdom and spiritual growth from events, may read afflictions brought about by the wrongdoings of man as being signs that Allah is punishing them, that Allah is not rewarding them for being on the path of iman. The weak at heart look for signs in order to weaken themselves further. The man of discrimination simply dismisses such occurrences as men's injustices. It is an imposition, a natural occurrence which strengthens those who are strong at heart, strong in iman, and weakens those who are weak at heart. It is nature's way of sifting out those without wisdom.

12 And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Follow our path and we will bear your wrongs. And never shall they be the bearers of any of their wrongs; most surely they are liars.

13 And most certainly they shall carry their own burdens, and other burdens with their own burdens, and most certainly they shall be questioned on the resurrection day as to what they forged.

The early people, when their iman was weak, when other people were causing them trouble, wanted to give up their belief in the Prophet Muhammad, salla-llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. They claimed that Allah was sending them messages in the form of afflictions, indicating that they should take the path of least resistance. But it was the path of expediency that they wanted to follow, and therefore, in time would become the more difficult path. Afflictions are the test of nature upon man. Those who turned away from the right path lacked discrimination and 'iman. They read into the signs the most obvious meanings, without considering the direction in which they were being led.

What occurred at the dawn of Islam is repeated- at all times. It is man who reads loss into afflictions. This has nothing to do with Real­ity. A sign is sent by Allah in order that the mu'min recognizes that the others are wrongly guided. Man reads into signs what he wishes according to the strength of his iman and the purity of his intention. Allah says: "My mercy encompasses everything." Man must try to see it. The law is there, written; it is up to him to penetrate into the sub­tleties of how that law operates at all times, under all circumstances, everywhere and for everyone. Allah's mercy is instantaneous and the degree of its being seen, felt and tasted is the degree of the sincerity of one's iman.

14 And certainly We sent N'uh to his people, so he remained among them a thousand years save fifty years. And the deluge overtook them, while they were unjust.

15 So We delivered him and the inmates of the ark, and made it a sign to the nations.

The Prophet, salla-llahu alayhi wa blihi wa sallam, said: "My ex­ample and the example of the close and selected members of my family is like the ship of Nuh (Noah): he who rides in it will be safe, but he who does not will flounder."

If man takes on the conduct of the Prophet and his family, car­rying a passport issued from their way, he will move safely from one port to another. He will pass from the port of mortality to the port of immortality. If he does not, he will flounder and at best be confused. That is the state of the majority of people whether or not they call themselves Muslims. They do not hold to His rope. The Qur'an says very clearly: Those of you that want to follow Allah and know Him, follow the Prophet, follow what he stood for and what he reflected. Follow in the footsteps of those who came after him. A hadith (tradition, saying) says: "Men of knowledge are the heirs of the prophets." What is there to inherit from a prophet but his knowledge and its application in one's life?

In existence everything we witness is based on duality, such as life and death, guidance and misguidance, leading and being led. Man experiences opposites simultaneously. He loves and hates simultaneously. If a man loves truth, justice compassion and generosity, then he is bound to hate injustice, tyranny and meanness.

By understanding and actually experiencing this concept man can guide his actions toward the higher opposites so that they emanate from the opposites that are closer to the attributes of Reality. He recognizes that he has travelled a great distance from the lower tendencies toward the higher tendencies. He has left fear and insecurity and approaches positiveness, secure in the knowledge that he will come to know and be able to improve the quality of life around him.

16 And (We sent) Ibrahim, when he said to his people: Serve Allah and be careful of (your duty to) Him; this is best for you, if you did but know.

17 You only worship idols besides Allah and you create a lie; surely they whom you serve besides Allah do not control for you any sustenance, therefore seek the sustenance from Allah and serve Him and be grateful to Him; to Him you shall be brought back.

18 And if you reject (the truth), nations before you did indeed reject (the truth); and nothing is incumbent on the apostle but a clear delivering (of the message).

Follow those who possess 'ulu ul- amr, those who possess that command by idhn (permission), hold the order in their hands and can interpret it. The order of Allah is the way of Allah, which is the recognition of the truth and reality that comes by abandonment and submission into the one and only Reality. Outer order and command brings about physical order. The order of Allah is in the purpose of His creation which is that His highest creation, man, should come to know His will as it manifests in His laws which govern existence.

Man stumbles on in his life with the purpose of knowing the laws that govern right and wrong action. Affliction and turmoil are only the natural means for man to come to know the boundaries so that he does not transgress them, so that he knows .at what point he is be­ginning to cause himself harm. The ulu ul amr are the people who know the order of affairs, who have wisdom and the innate, innermost knowledge that there is only Reality and that It manifests in every man and form. Taking on their knowledge is bound to lead one to suc­cess and not to self-harm.

Man has no control over what he may inherit. It may be that a people must pay back a debt accumulated by those who came earlier. If a man has abused his land, his children will start off with a handi­cap which they can do nothing about except seek to overcome it over a period of time. That again is the Reality. If they had knowledge, they would recognize their difficult situation and make allowances for it and not be disappointed.

Ulu' ul- amr is often misunderstood. Tyrants throughout the history of Islam, acting selfishly and despotically, simply interpreted it as `those who are in power'. It is generally recognized that those who are in power do not deserve to be. They do not represent the highest in man.

According to the true followers of the Muhammadi light, as exemplified by the holy Ahl ul-Bayt ( the Prophet's family) and illustrated amply by Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq, alayhi-s-salam, the ulu ul amr are those who deserve to be leading us to the knowl­edge of Allah. They have gained authority first and foremost over their lower tendencies and have knowledge that can lead others to ultimate bliss, in this life, by correct conduct, working and living in a manner that befits man, the highest of creation.

People who have often strayed off the true path use taqiyya (dissimulation of one's religion) to excuse themselves from jihad (utmost exertion in the cause of righteousness) or from exercising energy and doing their utmost as part of the will of Reality. Everything is evolving towards the higher. Man must also reflect that by doing his utmost to change circumstances that are wrong and cast dark shadows of ignorance.

Life is based upon dynamic movement. It echoes the meaning of samadiyya, foreverness. Perpetuity manifests from within us. Often man is fearful of dynamic movement, but he is much better off guard­ing against downward movement within himself and his conscience. A man of taqwa (fearful awareness) fears only Allah while showing complete fearlessness in his actions. Yet he is not disrespectful nor does he promote chaos. Everything has its boundary and its adab (courtesy).

19 Do they not see how Allah originates the creation, then reproduces it? Surely that is easy to Allah.

Creation follows the cycle of beginning, maturing, ending and then recreating. Recreation is the reflection of creation in the timeless zone. The brief flicker of creation is a hint of the state of being frozen in absolute non-time in the next life.

Man loves the `beyond time.' He cannot do without sleep which is the nearest he can taste of timelessness in this life. Some people have had the opportunity of a near fatal accident and have experienced a similitude of death. Also, in the state of dhikr (remembrance), in what the sufis call fana' (self-obliteration), there is a death of meaning. Life is a cycle of creation and recreation. As this creation came and went, so will another creation begin with a resurrection (ba'th). As man rose into wakefulness, so will another form of rising occur in a purer energy form without the physical matter which belongs to this little speck called earth.

20 Say: Travel in the earth and see how He makes the first creation, then Allah creates the latter creation; surely Allah has power over all things.

21 He punishes whom He pleases and has mercy on whom He pleases, and to Him you shall be turned back.

22 And you shall not escape in the earth nor in the heaven, and you have neither a protector nor a helper besides Allah.

The nature of existence is that of a journey. Everything is based on movement. The electrons journey around the nucleus and the earth journeys through space. The first thing a newborn child does is to move. The entire creation is a journey from Allah, to Allah, by Allah, and the highest benefit for man comes if he emulates it by journeying into the land.

In every way it is a blessing to travel. In the Shadhili tariqa (a Sufi path), the masters never slept in one place for more than three weeks, so as not to take what was around them for granted. Haraka ma al-baraka: movement is with blessing. Man must change, he must move on so that he does not become a slave of outer habits and become fixated. Man is attracted to fixation because he loves the permanent, the ever-fixed within him. But to desire preservation of outer fixation is ignorance. The outer can never be fixed. No sooner does man try to control an event than he finds it beyond his power to do so.

Man wants to know the permanent but he mistakenly tries to bring it about in his environment by establishing rigid habits. At the lowest, most superficial level, travel disturbs this tendency. The earth would be sterile if it were not disturbed, if it were not plowed. The same thing applies to man's heart. If it is not disturbed, if it is not cut off from its desires and attachments, how can it resonate and keep turning? At first one resents being cut off, but the purpose of one's life is to move both outwardly and inwardly; outwardly by having dynamic attitudes toward the world and the earth, and inwardly by being willing to turn away from what the self desires.

Travel fi sabili-llah is a very blessed outer activity. A sa`ih at one time meant a man traveling for Allah, calling people to the din (life-transaction). He was a mubashshir, (deliverer of good tidings) following the way of those who give the bushr the good news). Now siyaha, which used to mean travelling fi sabili-llah, means tourism. Tourism today is synonymous with irresponsibility, as it enhances outer greed and appetite, whereas previously travelling from one culture to another promoted inner growth and fulfillment.

23 And (as to) those who disbelieve in the communications of Allah and His meet­ing, they have despaired of My mercy, and these it is that shall have a painful punish­ment.

24 So naught was the answer of his people ex­ cept that they said: Slay him or burn him! Then Allah delivered him from the fire; most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe.

25 And he said: You have only taken for your­ selves idols besides Allah by way of friendship between you in this world's life, then on the resurrection day some of you shall deny others, and some of you will curse others, and your abode is the fire, and you will not have any helpers.

The creation of Allah, having come from Allah, must already intrinsically know Allah and therefore already have met Allah. But He is forgotten by man, hidden by the visible and solid. The sharia (outward path) of existence overwhelms the haqiqa (inner truth). The shahada (testimonial witnessing) is said aloud in the belief that its reality will be witnessed. Everything one sees is from Allah. If it can be named, its essence is derived from the mercy of the Latif (the Subtle, the Kind); its kathif ( thickness) is derived from subtlety.

The seeker is the one who follows the path of abandonment and submission. Giving in unquestioningly, he finds that there is no ques­tion and only Allah. He gets to the root of his affairs. His transactions in .life become correct, provided there is the recognition that all has emanated from one merciful Source. He is then on a straight path, acting and not reacting. He is not reacting to something that is within himself, such as insecurity. Yet even insecurity is Allah's love, forcing man to seek the ultimate security. It is the love of Allah that he finds when he moves from one object of security to another. He thinks it is in the wife, mother, father, children or money, but it is in none of them. This is the true shahada.

Awakening starts with rejection of what is not: there is no God -la ilaha. When the seeker, the witnesser, has excluded all, he says: but Allah - illa-llah. After negation comes confirmation. It is "The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Your wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray." (al-Fatiha: 7)

AI-Liqa' (the meeting) is with Allah, as promised by Him, as will be witnessed by all in the next phase of life, after death. The resurrection, ba`th, is the meaning of the meeting. Everyone will then know that there was only Reality acting throughout his previous life. That knowledge will be untarnished or uncolored by emotional connotation or attachment. If knowledge of Allah is attained before death then the being, the soul, will embark onto the next life in that state. If it is not, and the soul is still entrapped by what it has spun in its previous life, then the being will be afflicted in the eternal fire.

"So naught was the answer of his people except that they said: Slay him or burn him!" Ibrahim, alayhi-s-salam, was put through the fire in this life. Because he had knocked down their idols, his people came to him in anger, asking for an explanation. He said: If they are gods, ask the big one which I have spared to remake the small ones which I have broken. Furious, they made a fire and threw him in. Ibrahim, alayhi-s-salam, -knew that-the key to the garden was within himself. He already knew the meaning of the fire in its absolute form. He had saved himself from his inner fire so he was not afraid of the outer fire. Similarly it has been documented in our time that in the state of complete fearlessness, people have been seen to walk great distances on hot coals. This is true iman.

Man is given a long life in order to seek its purpose; and every time he questions he falls into a hole. This life is Allah's madrasa(a school) within which man is constantly enrolled, in order to grow and learn. If he can reflect on his life he will find unending lessons.

What we may consider as supernatural, such as walking in fire, is natural. It is exceptional but it does occur. Because man is so dis­tracted, he considers those events to be unnatural. How often do events unfold in which someone is miraculously saved? A man is saved every second by the fact that he is given air by breathing in and out. He is hanging on air but he does not remember. He takes it for granted because he is gross.

"And he said: You have only taken idols besides Allah..." People who have denied themselves access to the path of mercy, who have denied themselves movement or direction towards that which man has been created for in this life, will be in denial in the next life. If he denies now, he will in time be cut off and disconnected. Whenever one does not see the mercy of Allah in a situation, he has fallen. It is a taste of the fire, of anger or disturbance. It is a taste of something that never takes root. The fire is constant agitation and it does not allow anything to hold fast or grow.

But everyone has tasted bliss and momentary contentment. Those who want to have joy in this life will have access to it. They will be in their nafs-workshop, cutting and filing the key to joy. The cause of one's trouble is expectation and attachment: this is the key to the door of hell. Since life is dynamic, you are preparing either one of the two keys. You either progress or regress, deriving spiritual nourishment or deficiency.

26 And Lut believed in Him, and he said: I am an emigrant to my Lord. Surely He is the Mighty, the Wise.

27 And We granted him Ishaq and Ya'qub, and caused the prophethood and the book to remain in his seed, and We gave him his reward in this world, and in the hereafter he will most surely be among the good.

28 And (We sent) Lut when he said to his people: Most surely you are guilty of an indecency which none of the nations has ever done before you.

29 What! do you come to the males and commit robbery on the highway, and you commit evil deeds in your assemblies? But nothing was the answer of his people except that they said: Bring on us Allah's punishment, if you are one of the truthful.

30 He said: My Lord! help me against the mis­ chievous people.

The Prophet but, Ibrahim's maternal cousin, 'alayhi-s-salam, did his best for his community. His people had transgressed in their actions and were ultimately cut off from the way of nature, of procreation, by their homosexuality. This community was finished. He had tried his best among them, failed and could move no further. There is a limit to what man can do.

Lut, alayhi-s-salam, said: "I am an emigrant to my Lord." His Lord is everywhere. His Lord is the Lord of destruction, the Lord of creation, the Lord of all. The Prophets and their followers and seekers have to emigrate from what they are used to, to what is better - from good to better, from old habits to freer ones. Hijra (emigration) is, in meaning and form, the heritage of seekers of truth. A hadith from the Prophet, salla-lla'hu 'alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, relates that if someone has emigrated fi sablli-llah, even if it is only a foot, he is already in the garden.

After doing his best amongst a people and finding that the stream is moving against him, a man should not stay, for the society may collapse upon him. Once a situation has fossilized no one can be helped. No healing is possible and the only thing left to do is to jump out. Allah says: Do as Ibrahim did - make hijra. All the great Prophets followed his example.

If the hijra is truly fi sabili-llah, then the muhajir (emi­grant) will be in such a state that Allah will unveil for him His mercy, making his emigration easy. Allah bestowed upon lbrahim, alayhi s-salam, the pure gift of Ishaq, and from Ishaq, Ya'qub, alay hum­us-salam. Both Ibrahim and the mother of Ishaq were old, she having previously been barren. Isma'il, 'alayhi-s-salam, is not mentioned here because he is from a wife of Ibrahim who was not barren. Ishaq and Ya'qub were gifts given to the Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi-s-salam, when he began his emigration fi sablli-llah, and a provision for future gener­ations.

The Prophet Muhammad, salla-llahu 'alayhi wa allhi wa sallam, had many newcomers to Islam whose iman was not strong; they feared for lack of provisions. They were accustomed to a narrow way of survival, living on the edge of life. The miraculous expansion of Ibrahim's family, alayhi-s-salim, when his hijra began, is a demon­stration to Muhammad's followers that if one calls upon the powers of Reality by treading the prophetic path, one will receive openings.

On a journey, the intelligent man will leave behind excess baggage, values that are inadequate. The life one leaves behind could only get one deeper and deeper into trouble. In this way hijra is both inward and outward. Inwardly, a man recognizes and avoids what he knows will cause him trouble. Outwardly, he leaves any situation that is not beneficial to him, until he has enough knowledge to re-enter it without harm coming to him. By then his tree of knowledge has put down such roots that the winds that shake it can only make it drop its dead leaves.

Something that may be useful now may not be right in ten months' time. Movement and struggle must be based on spiritual capacity. At first man should go where he is most familiar. He would be completely devastated if he were to travel in south India, having before that never left Chicago. First one travels to Europe and then onward to the jungle, changing the level of struggle slowly, naturally, a step at a time. It is a dynamic process, cybernetic and self-feeding. Biologically man is continuously moving on and growing. If he does not grow inwardly, he will end up having a white beard and the mentality of a small child.

Man brings difficulties upon himself by his own actions. There is no separation between one's outside and inside. The outer gloom or collapse is a reflection of an inner collapse. A derelict house reflects the inward state of its dweller. The pulsating heart of the man or family that inhabits the house has become static, so the house collapses. It is an outer symptom of an inner collapse. If one is not inwardly willing to uphold what is appropriate for human values, it will show outwardly. One can only prop up the outer facade to a limited degree.

31 And when Our messengers came to Ibrahim with the good news, they said: Surely we are going to destroy the people of this town, for its people are unjust.

32 He said: Surely in it is Lut. They said: We know well who is in it. We shall certainly deliver him and his followers, except his wife; she shall be of those who remain behind.

The Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi-s-salam, demonstrates the highest use of aql ( ass , intellect) and tawakkul (trust) - com­bining haqiqa with sharia. He is visited by angels and recognizes their mission and their station. He knows that the people of Lut are to be destroyed and in his concern for Lut, alayhi-s-salam, he sends a mes­sage to him. Ibrahim's trust in Allah assured him that Lut, `alayhi-s­ salam, was blessed and that no harm would come to him. But his love and concern for this being in the next town took an outer expression. However great a man of tawhid may be, his human love is bound to express itself so that others may receive the solace of his humanity. His concern is to connect himself with other beings because he is a man living in unity with Reality.

There are many examples in which the Prophet Muhammad salla-llahu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, behaved in a particular way only for the sake of other people. It was real behavior, not acting, but it was not a reflection of his inward state. It was purely an outward expression for those around him. If one is in tawhid, it is not for oneself but for others that one acts. The man of tawhid simultaneously shows concern and yet is completely certain that all will be well. Those who know his inward state well, know that he is in absolute certainty. Those who do not, still benefit from his concern and charity. It is tawhid, it is not duality.

The worshipper's love for Allah assumes an outer expression in prayers by the formality of bending. His love for his wife takes a formal outer expression in a gift or kindness. There cannot be an inner without an outer. There can be no haqiqa without a shari`a. You tether your camel then place your trust upon Allah. One cannot trust in Allah by sitting like a lump of dirt. Allah has given man life, a tongue and limbs in order to act - to act for Allah and by Allah.

As a non-separate entity from the one and only Reality man has to exercise his part in the all-encompassing, ecologically connected situation. This is the meaning of `shaking the palm tree.' Man has to shake the tree of mercy. In a hadith it says that the supplication of those who call out for provision, yet remain in their homes, will not be heard. Man is a part of the total Oneness. If he intends something, he has to lend himself to be the instrument of its execution. He cannot be in separation from it if he expects well-being to come to him; it will operate consistently through him, in him, above him, below him and beside him.

33 And when Our messengers came to Lut he was grieved on account of them, and he felt powerless (to protect) them. And they said: Fear not, nor grieve; surely we will deliver you and your followers, except your wife; she shall be of those who remain behind.

34 Surely We will cause to come down upon the people of this town a punishment from heaven, because they transgressed.

35 And certainly We have left a clear sign of it for a people who understand.

The pure messengers, the angels, complete their mission by visit­ing the Prophet Lut, alayhi-s-salam. He is concerned with their safety, for they are surrounded by the disgraceful nation of Sodom. They reassure him that they are safe and inform him of the imminent natural affliction that is going to befall the people who have transgressed nature's way. The sign of that destruction can be visibly seen today. The city of Sodom is one of the major archeological sites in the south­eastern part of the Dead Sea.

36 And to Madyan (We sent) their brother Shu'aib, so he said: O my people! Serve Allah and fear the latter day and do not act corruptly in the land, making mis­chief.

37 But they rejected him, so a severe earthquake overtook them, and they became motion­ less bodies in their abode.

38 And (We destroyed) `Ad and Thamud, and from their dwellings (this) is apparent to you indeed; and the Shaitan made their deeds fair-seeming to them, so he kept them back from the path, though they were endowed with intelligence.

39 And (We destroyed) Qarun and Fir'aun and Haman. And certainly Musa came to them with clear arguments, but they behaved haughtily in the land; yet they could not outstrip (Us).

Lut, alayhi-s-salam, migrates physically and the destruction occurs. Again in these ayat people are warned, remain heedless, are afflicted, annihilated and destroyed. It is a warning for this life and the next. Destruction occurs in this life because in Allah's love and mercy for His creation He wants everyone to be made fit for the garden. And that can only happen' if it begins now.

Other prophets have gone through the same experiences with dif­ferent intensities, locations and forms of affliction. The recurring pattern is that of a man of knowledge warning his people, trying to deflect them from misguidance. His success lies in unconcernedly performing his duty towards himself and his Creator. The ultimate reward is his contentment with himself and the fulfillment of his duty towards his conscience. If there is an outward fruition of his efforts, he is grateful. If he does not see it in his lifetime, still he is grateful. His gratitude comes from the fact that he is in this existence and is fol­lowing the prescribed path that is ingrained in his heart.

There are not two laws but one law that governs all. There are two states, the state of wakefulness here, which is relative, and the state of eternal wakefulness in the next world, which is absolute. The laws of Allah do not change for anyone. The Qur'an says that you never find the laws of Allah changing. The essence and the laws that emanate from Him are absolute and unchanging. If man does not want to be subject to change then he dives into the essence.

The laws of gravity do not change for a prophet. The laws of mechanics did not change for Muhammad, salla-lla'hu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. At `Uhud the arrows flew and broke his teeth. The Prophet, salla-lla'hu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, saw the laws which his people did not obey; it was, in a sense, for their sake that he outwardly acknowl­edged his affliction, so as to make them rally around him and follow his knowledge; but the laws did not change for this great and highly tuned being. The laws continued as did his slavehood, which inspired his followers to travel the path of correct behavior.

Man cannot claim to be above the natural laws for they operate at all levels. He cannot overcome the laws that govern life, especially regarding reaction. Action and reaction are equal and opposite. If he commits an act it has its effect and its effect is. its reaction, which is as good as the intention behind the action.

40 So each We punished for his sin; of them was he on whom We sent down a violent storm, and of them was he whom the rumbling overtook, and of them was he whom We made to be swallowed up by the earth, and of them was he whom We drowned. And Allah did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves.

"So each We punished for his sin." Nature obliterates civilizations once the culture and path of correct moral conduct degenerates and decays. Some peoples were drowned, others were swallowed up by great earthquakes or floods, and still more had the affliction of disease and pestilence.

41 The parable of those who take guardians besides Allah is as the parable of the spider that makes for itself a house; and most surely the frailest of the houses is the spider's house - did they but know.

42 Surely Allah knows whatever thing they call upon besides Him; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

The spiderweb is totally exposed to the elements of heat, cold, wind and rain. In fact, the web does not protect the spider from any thing. Its main function is to provide for the animal its biological continuance by capturing other insects for food. It is the least secure and the least stable of mechanisms. Any human being who believes he is secure in what he has inherited in terms of cultural habits which are not in line with the divine decree, is then dwelling on as flimsy a premise as that of a spider's web.

One's attachments, phobias and habits are as brittle as the thought that repeatedly brings them about. The ultimate refuge is with Allah. And man takes refuge in Allah if he pursues the knowledge of Reality by realizing that everything other than Allah is relative and unsatis­factory -like the house of the spider; when the rain comes, the web becomes heavy and breaks apart.

Taking refuge in Allah, man leaves what is relative and insecure and orients himself towards what he knows to be the source of every­thing. He makes himself a refugee from ignorance to knowledge of Allah. The closer he gets to that knowledge, the more he discovers the relativity of everything. Discrimination and wisdom enable him to handle the laws that govern existence more correctly. He finds them simple to deal with and therefore has the least trouble in this existence.

The easiest way to become familiar with the laws of existence is to try to step out of what one is emotionally enmeshed with in one's spiderweb. The web is what a person may weave and consider to be of importance to his heart. If he leaves all of that then his heart has no connection to the illusions. The heart's function is then natural; it is fitra (innate). Someone who finds he has become too at­tached to a place or situation, will feel as though his heart has been stripped from him when it is taken away. This is only his imagination.

The spider leaves the torn web behind and spins another one with little trouble. Man will sit and weep and claim bad luck. He has, how­ever been given the additional faculty of consciousness. With it he can become aware of being afflicted. He can be conscious of being con­scious. If he delves into pure consciousness he can then dwell with the pure Source.

From traditions we know that one hour's reflection is better than the worship of seventy years. Reflecting upon creation is one of the highest actions one can perform in this existence. Prayer, fasting, and all the pillars of the life transaction are necessarily helpful in the same way as the structure and foundation of a house are helpful to its occupant. Living in the house joyfully is the ultimate purpose and is attained by deep reflection. The best time for one to reflect is when one has been jolted, when one's spiderweb has been torn by the affliction of leaning for support upon something that has disappeared.

Observing the lives of the Prophets, Imams and the awliya' (friends of Allah), one finds they were much afflicted. But in their states they recognized their nearness to Allah. It was for them a great blessing and joy. The Prophet, salla-llahu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, on his death bed had only a handful of people around him. The majority of his friends and companions were involved in the arguments and discussions of succession. His affliction was truly great. For people of haqiqa, for people who want to see the inside of things, his inward state is what was important. Was he dependent upon the flimsy net­work of the so-called sahaba (companions) or was he de­pendent upon the Creator of the network?

43 And (as for) these parables, We set them forth for men, and none understand them but the learned.

The further one moves along the path, the greater are the afflic­tions that come from the outside. It is the sunna (way) of Allah. The purpose of afflictions is to make man dependent only on Allah and to thereby increase his knowledge. In a sense, Allah is the most jealous. He does not want man, even occasionally, to think that he is benefitting or depending upon anybody else. Yet the courtesy is to thank one who is the vehicle of help, knowing that at any moment he may become his enemy. This is the state of the arif (one who knows Allah). This is the true inner meaning of one's din. All the outer practices are a preparation for inner sight. When the inner sight is correctly set, the outer practices become the reflection of correctness. If the inner is right then the outer is right. If the outer is right then the inner is right.

"And these parables ... none understand them but the learned." They seek to see Allah behind everything. Whenever something mani­fests they want to know its root, they want to see its cause and not to be taken by its effect. For example, if a dear friend turns out to be your enemy, can you be immediately grateful or not? Think of how merciful Allah is that He has caused you to discover this new enemy now, rather than ten years from now. But if you have considered the friendship as a house of `ankabut (spider), as an abode of safety, then the discovery tears you. As a positive human being you admit your error, otherwise the ankabut is better than you, because it goes on without looking back and builds another place of safety while you continue to establish friendships with wounds and negative mem­ories.

The laws of Reality are to be lived by and made into a life pattern, not simply to be talked or written about. Submission is only meaning­ful for the people of submission, not for those who talk about it. Islam is for those who are in the dar (house) of Islam, not for those who study it. If he allows himself - if he is alim (knowing, wise), if he is acquiring knowledge, man can fit into the pattern of submission because its essence is within him.

44 Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth; most surely there is a sign in this for the believers.

"Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth." There is a sign in every creational entity. Every breath is a stepping stone along the path of knowledge. Everywhere one looks there is a sign from which to learn.

45 Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer; surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest, and Allah knows what you do.

"Recite (read) that which has been revealed to you of the Book."

The command applies to all who follow in the Prophet's footsteps; take what comes to you of knowledge and apply it so that it becomes internalized, then move towards Allah. If one tries to take more than one step at a time one is likely to fall. Missing a step on the path is always a weakness. The seeker should move with what is in front of him in the belief that it is the best for him. Then he will benefit from the step or the state and his movement will be as fast as his sureness and absorption. Prayers are a proof and an acknowledgement of glorifi­cation and gratitude to this magnificent gift from the Creator.

"And certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest." What­ever state man is in, he punctuates it with Allahu akbar (God is most great). He may be in absolute exultation of Reality when he is in ruku` bowing in prostration) saying, subhana rabbi-l-`azimi Wa bihamdih, seeing beyond his frailty and forgetfulness the magnificence of the Creator through His creation; but when he stands up he says, Allahu akbar.

There is always Allahu akbar. No matter what openings man has, Allahu akbar. Allah is greater than what you imagine. No matter what knowledges come to man, Allahu akbar, because it is still only within Allah's ocean of knowledge. Allah's remembrance of man is greater than man's remembrance of Him and Allah's remembrance of the believer is greater than the believer's remembrance of Allah - Allahu akbor.

46 And do not dispute with the followers of the Book except by what is best except those of them who act unjustly. And say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him do we submit.

This is enjoined upon the Muslims not to argue or discuss with the people who have had a book revealed to them, such as the Christians or the Jews. The Prophet, salla-llahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, recommended that his followers neither confirm nor deny what they say be­ cause his message, the Qur'an, would eventually become evident and supercede the knowledge of the Christians and Jews.

An example of this is the simple case of the stoning of the adultererwhich was enjoined by the Prophet lbrahim, `alayhi-s-salam, and recon­firmed by the Prophet Musa, `alayhi-s-salam, and then by the Prophet `Isa, alayhi-s-salam. But in the traditions of questionable authenticity that have been handed down to the Christians, the Prophet `Tsa, alayhi­-solam, dismissed the adulteress who was brought to him by witnesses. He asked them: Which one of you is righteous and has no sin? When none of them could answer, he dismissed the woman. `Isa's criterion for freeing the woman was not complete.

The Prophet, salla-llahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, clearly estab­lished the law that there is a need for four sinless, righteous men to have actually observed the act. Recognizing the law transmitted by Muhammad, salla-llahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, as the perfect law, there is no question of discussion or argument. The Muslim follows what he regards to be the ultimate and perfect law. All that he can do is to say that his Lord and their Lord are one. Diving into the ocean of tawhid, he hopes that they will recognize the perfection of the path of submission.

A book is not necessarily contained within pages. Muslims and seekers must not judge against other paths which do not have one visible book or one visible prophet. A book means a way of conduct.

From this point of view the Buddhists may be considered people of the book, (ahl al-kitab). A book reveals the nature of Reality and indicates the way towards understanding it. Many cultures of the world have a book, such as the people of China and India. The Christians and Jews are mentioned in the Qur'an while the Buddhists and Taoists are not, because the former were there at the time and in the region in which the Qur'an was revealed.

The correct behavior towards the people who believe or have had a message from a Prophet is that one should discuss things with them in the best possible way. There are no differences in what the Prophet Muhammad, salla-llahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, brought and what the other Prophets brought before him. The message is one but it may be distorted or ignored.

The Qur'an says to tell the people who follow other religions, other books, that all the paths are but one path. There has been only one path and that is the path of Islam, which is unquestioning sub­mission. By questioning, one cannot get to the source of the question; one remains at the level of hearing the question and decoding its outer manifestation.

47 And thus have We revealed the Book to you. So those whom We have given the Book believe in it, and of these there are those who believe in it, and none deny Our communications except the unbelievers.

The first stage of getting the book is physically receiving the message through the ears. Today getting the book is taking out some thing called a book from a library, getting an outer appearance, an outward message. Man will not get it unless its seed or essence is within him. He will acknowledge an outer experience only if he has the faculty and the ability to comprehend it inwardly. If the ability is not there, no matter what sound is made outside, it will not make an impact on him. If the essence is not within his conscious faculties, the Book or any book for that matter, will not make sense to him. He must unify with the message.

Those who have been given the book are those who have received the message and understood it. They have unified the outward message or teaching with their inner reflection and awakening. Their belief cannot be taken away from them. An outer sound has connected to an inner resonance. An outer message has connected with an inner call that had been dormant. The outer message activated the inner light and made it obvious to them. It was Allah's gift to their fitra (innate nature); it was in their genes.

Once man comprehends the message of tawhid, he sees the one connecting factor in everything and it ends his confusion. Thereafter he will always connect the cause and the effect of events. He will have contentment because he perceives meaning in events. The seeker who has had a taste or a glimpse of the fact that that which he sees outside of him is also inside him, is helped until he discovers this phenomenon in every aspect of existence. He becomes more confirmed in the science of tawhid and thereby moves closer to the real awakening in his heart.

The majority of people who say that they believe in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, salla-llahu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, are hopeful believers. They have consciously put themselves in a situation where real belief is likely to occur. They say: ashhadu an la ilaha illa-llah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasalu-llah. They have accepted the hypothesis. The proof of it will only come when belief is actually experienced. The path is about Allah and nothing changes this. The purpose of creation is to enter into belief. Nothing is wrong with action in the world provided it does not cause harm, but rather leads one closer to higher knowledge.

Once one comes to know the laws that govern creation, nothing comes as a surprise. No event is bewildering anymore because the essence of `peace of mind', that is already ingrained in man, has been brought to consciousness. Man does not like to be disturbed unneces­sarily or unjustly. The natural laws themselves are, in fact, a continuum 'of action and reaction. They are one ripple after another, one cause leading to another effect.

The nature of this world is to be in upheaval, and if you do not recognize the basis upon which the final revelation to mankind de­scended in its complete form, you will be in continual upheaval. The nature of Reality that is beaming within man makes him desire to be timeless, eternal, forever-living, ever-sustaining, ever-independent. These are attributes of God. If he acts according to his capacity, why should he be afflicted with upheaval? The nature of dunya (world in a negative material sense) is to repeatedly be torn like the house of the spider. There is no end to the dynamic rise and fall of the move­ment of events.

No bird has ever gone up but that it has come down. No one gains affection but that soon he gains hatred. No one builds a house and family but that he loses them. If he does not lose them during his life, he will lose them at his death - this is the cycle. Man has come to die. Experiencing death in the now is the final and absolute confirmation of the message of submission. If man submits to it totally, he finds nothing wrong with the secondary reality or that which has come from Reality.

If man does not submit, he finds anger and disappointment within himself. It is an expression of ignorance of existence. He wants to make the rules of this world, but because he is not God, he cannot. The din tells him to stop his anger now because its nature is fire. One does not simply suppress anger allowing it to manifest later. Anger is sup­pressed in the hope that the reason for the anger will be reflected upon.

48 And you did not recite before it any book, nor did you transcribe one with your right hand, for then could those who say un­true things have doubted.

The Prophet, salla-llahu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, did not copy anything. He could not physically read that which came before through other prophets. He was an orphaned desert boy who, early on in his life, had cared for his own existential needs. But he was endowed with discrimination and soon realized that the ways to knowledge existing around him were actually ways of transgression and loss, so he avoided them. Then, through the purest of hearts, the tree of knowledge bore fruit within him and gave provision to everyone around him. Out­wardly, he did not have access to historical information and knowledge that came before him, but in his breast he had the heart of a man of knowledge able to contain the final glorious message to mankind.

Following the Prophet, salla-llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, is the path of Islam. It is a pure, easy and direct path, if one does not complicate it by intellectualizing. If one claims to follow in the Prophet's footsteps then it is up to him to cleanse his breast of debris and make it available to receive that which it is fit for, the root of which is al­ready there in its fitra. Guidance does not come from outside. Allah permeates everything: He is Muhit (the All-Encompassing). Anything in man's breast which he considers important, is an idol, and clearing it from the heart facilitates the growth of original, innate knowledge.

49 Nay! these are clear communications in the breasts of those who are granted knowledge; and none deny Our communications except the unjust.

50 And they say: Why are not signs sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner.

The Beneficent


This sura is attributed to the early Meccan period. There is a tradition related to the Prophet, salla-llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, in which he says: "For everything there is a bride, and the bride of the Qur'an is surat ur-Rahman." It is the only sura which begins with a divine name. It contains aspects and contrasting parts of creation in pairs: visible man and invisible jinn; heaven and earth; land and sea; happiness and wretchedness. All are signs and effects emanating from the one Cause.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1 The Beneficent God,

2 Taught the Qur'an.

3 He created man,

4 Taught him the clear evidence.

Ar-Rahman (the Merciful) is one of the key attri­butes of Allah. Every attribute is an aya a sign indicating the oneness of Allah. Everything in creation is permeated with and connected to Him.

In order for the rahma (mercy) of the Rahman to be understood, appreciated and experienced, knowledge has been given to man. One cannot understand something unless it is experienced. The most valuable knowledge in life's journey is the knowledge of the Qur'an. Man's link to God is through the Qur'an, through the Book, through the knowledge that will enable him to see the all-encompassing mercy. The meaning of the hadith (tradition) that Muhammad, salla-llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam (peace and blessings be upon him and his family), was created before the creation of Adam, is that the light of the path existed before Adam. After the Qur'an, man, bani Adam was created. So knowledge - the light of Islam, the light of the Qur'an - existed before khalaqa-i- insan (He created man).

The Creator contains the knowledge of what He will create. The highest creation is the Muhammadi being, the perfect being. The knowl­edge of this final product, the ultimate being, the khalifa (deputy) of Allah, was with the one and only Knower, with the Alim. The light of Muhammad was there when Adam was still between water and clay. The purpose of creation was to create the per­fect man, the last of the prophets, the one after whom nothing new could be added.

Every aspect of the Creation has the label of the Creator on it. Creation is in His name. By His decree His rahma is manifested as the knowledge of the Qur'an. His rahma then becomes the creational act - khalaqa-l- insan - making wider ripples through the `evidence'. Bayan is the clear evidence which emanates from what is most subtle, penetrating the gross physical manifestations towards which rnan orients his perception. This is the knowledge of witnessing. Every­thing that is seen bears witness to the cause of its creation and to its being subject to the decree of the Beneficent.

The knowledge of the Qur'an is the knowledge of tawhid (divine unity), In this instance, rahma may also mean the tawhid of the Wahid, the One. Access to Him is through the knowledge of His decree, which is the Book. Creation took place according to the decree. The bayan is an outcome of the nature of that creation.

Man seeks evidence for everything. He is always seeking knowledge. He seeks to know the cause, effect and proof of things. Nothing is haphazard, everything- leaves its trace. Man is the trace of the Creator; he is His evidence. Everything in His existence is an ayatu-llah (sign of Allah). If man knows himself, then he has known the meaning of guardianship or lordship, rububiyya. Man arafa nafsahu fa-qad arafa rabbahu. "He who knows himself has known his Lord" (hadith)

5 The sun and the moon follow a reckoning.

6 And the herbs and the trees adore (Him).

The physical vehicle of man depends upon the mixture of minerals, proteins and all other elements subtly interconnected with the entire cosmic balance. Life cannot exist without the sun. When the sun begins to disappear, life will begin to cease in its different forms, and after a short period of time will end totally. The sun is self-effulgent while the moon is a faithful reflector, though it too has its influence over life.

As Reality is self-evident, so is Allah self-evident. Reality's reflector is the Prophet, salla-llahu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, Both the sun and the moon have a beginning and an end, like the two sides of a coin. The cosmic journey had its start and will have its end. But beginning and ending have one nature - the coin is one coin. The subject is one subject but there are two aspects to it, facing each other. This is the condition of the journey in this universe; it is also the condition of the self-generating light and its reflection.

"And the herbs and the trees adore (Him)." Najm means herbs or grasses, and also means a star. Najama is to appear, to become clear, evident. `Ilmu-n-nujim is the science of astrology, of predicting the future. Najjam is an astrologer, Shajar is a plant that has a saq, a trunk or stem. The plants themselves do sajda ( prostration). All of creation does sajda - those that have a visible body supporting them and those that are creeper-like; those that have the characteristic of uprightness and those that do not; those who do iqama, who stand up acknowledging their Creator, and thos

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