Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Divine Writ

The holy Quran consists of key phrases like references to creation of man "out of dust" and "out of a drop of sperm" . But the there is phrase that is "key phrase" of all key phrases:
It says that the Quran "contains messages that are clear in and by themselves (ayat-e-muhkamaat) as well as others that are allegorical (mutashabihaat)". allegorical or metamorphical or similies of symbolism.

Now an appreciation of what is meant by "allegory" doesnt help a person in fully understanding its true application. In order to understand this we must relate the quranic use of these terms to a concept-- namely the existence " of a realm which is beyond the reach of human perception" (al-ghayb).

This concept is basis of understanding the Quran and our religion. Infact any religion. All truly religious cognition arises from and is based on the fact that only a small segment of reality is open to man's perception and imagination and rest of it escapes his comprehension.

Now human mind is such that it can understand concepts only through previous experience. Now by virtue of religion how can Allah explain these concepts which are beyond our realm of imagination.

So Allah mentions in the Quran:
13:35 - "through a parabolic illustration, by means of something which we know from our experience, of something that is beyond the reach of our perception."

It follows, therefore, that if we were to take every Quranic passage, statement or expression in its outward, literal sense and disregard the possibility of its being an allegory, a metaphor or a parable, we would be offending against the very spirit of the divine writ.

And so, when the Quran speaks of Him as being "in the heavens" or "established on His throne (al-arsh)", we cannot possibly take these phrases in their literal senses, since then they would imply, however vaguely, that God is limited in space: and since such a limitation would contradict the concept of an Infinite Being.

We know immediately, without the least doubt that the "heavens" and the "throne" and God's being "established" on it are but mere linguistic meant to convey an idea which is outside all human experience, namely, the idea of God's almightiness and absolute sway over all that exists.

So taking the real sense of the metaphor would actually lead in commiting kufur.

So , we can persume that its only with people with divine powers who have powers to imagine beyond the realm of normal human being. Someone like Aqa Moula TUS who has that powers to think and interpret the meaning of those metaphors.

Hence we cannot and should not try to make a meaning out of a metaphor, and leave it our Moula TUS who can comprehend its correct meaning.