Thursday, July 21, 2005

Signs.

Bismi'llah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim...for the sake of Prophet Muhammad saws and Sheikh Nazim may Allah protect his secret.




21st July 2005. La Herradura.Granada Spain.13.48.Hrs.

Bismi'llah arRahman arRahim.

For the sake of Prophet Muhammad pbuh and Sheikh Nazim qs. (may Allah protect his secret).

SIGNS.

Yesterday I tried to write something that made a link between something that Annabanana has said in a comment on my blog and a hadith of the Prophet pbuh.
Some people may have thought it was a bit complicated, as I also went into a bit of a discussion about authenticity of hadith, even though, to a Muslim at least, that was just a pertinent aside.

As I thought about that piece and the remark/s on it there kept coming to my mind the analogy of someone who loves something or someone trying to find complicity with others in that love.
If one loves something, or someone, there is joy in just the mention of that thing. It may be motorcycles or pop idols or nature in all its glory. Lovers enjoy sharing thoughts and feelings about the beloved.
When the Beloved is God Himself very few people are going to be able to share their personal sightings and experiences of Him. What most of us have are signs, traces, footprints and indications.
If believers discuss these signs then it is easy to share praise for the Creator of those signs, but if a believer shares the joy of those signs with a non-believer, then it is a rather different thing.There will be a tendency for the non-believer to take joy in the sign for its own sake rather than see it as a sign of something greater hidden behind appearances.
If, however,through a poetic sensitivity, there is any hint from a self confessed non-believer that the signs may be signing anything other than just what they are, that is a source of happiness to the believer. Hence my happiness when Annabanana said;

" this is what seems like The Illusion to me (now that i think about it). not that cherry trees and grass and concrete don't really "exist" and are maya, but that they sing to us of their nature and experience and we won't hear it. and this perception of separateness from all things turns us into selfish meanies."(emphasis mine)

We weren't talking about exactly the same thing, but we got pretty damn close I think.

Again, as she said;

" i'm utterly interested in the deeply subjective. hearing other people's experiences has been a life raft at times for me. not in a vampirical sort of way, but because they make me feel less alone. when i rediscovered poetry as an adult, hoo boy, i felt like i found a friend in humanity. experience tends to defy description, but poetry can come pretty close to evoking it."

There was something along these lines in the "Pillow Talk" selections put up by Kitlulu, where the writer communicates her perplexity at the joy she had when seeing dew sprinkled spider's webs on a bamboo fence and the failure of others to be moved by that experience when she tried to describe it.

This morning I "discovered" surat (chapter) number 40 in the Koran, called " Ghafir " (Forgiver) or " Al Mumin " ( The Believer.) It is generously sprinkled with references to signs, or "Ayats " in Arabic, which is also the name for the verses of the Koran, it being said that there are two Korans .. the book full of ayats which one may read, and the Creation, likewise full of ayats (signs) which one may (or may not) be able to read.

A selection of ayats from Surat No: 40;

040.004 YUSUFALI: None can dispute about the Signs of Allah but the Unbelievers. Let not, then, their strutting about through the land deceive thee!

040.013 YUSUFALI: He it is Who showeth you his Signs, and sendeth down sustenance for you from the sky: but only those receive admonition who turn (to Allah).

040.023 YUSUFALI: Of old We sent Moses, with Our Signs and an authority manifest,

040.035 YUSUFALI: "(Such) as dispute about the Signs of Allah, without any authority that hath reached them, grievous and odious (is such conduct) in the sight of Allah and of the Believers. Thus doth Allah, seal up every heart - of arrogant and obstinate Transgressors."

040.056 YUSUFALI: Those who dispute about the signs of Allah without any authority bestowed on them,- there is nothing in their breasts but (the quest of) greatness, which they shall never attain to: seek refuge, then, in Allah: It is He Who hears and sees (all things).040.069 YUSUFALI: Seest thou not those that dispute concerning the Signs of Allah? How are they turned away (from Reality)?

040.081 YUSUFALI: And He shows you (always) His Signs: then which of the Signs of Allah will ye deny ?

I have purposely only included those verses (ayats) which actually use the word "sign" or "ayat" in the original and not those numerous others where Yusf Ali has translated "bainat" as "signs" but others ( Pickthall and Shakir, for instance have chosen "clear proofs" or "clear arguments").
You'll se what I mean if you look here .

I wonder if anyone who reads this may now see a little differently when contemplating a sunset, or a baby's smile, or a frollicking kitten, or indeed an ornamental apple bobbing in the wind against the darkening sky ?

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