Friday, March 13, 2009

Is and Is not

Surah 59 (Al-Hashr) verses 21-24
21. Had we sent down this Quran on a mountain , Surely you would have seen it humble itself and cleave asunder in awe of Allah. Such are the similitudes which we give to men that they may reflect.
22. Allah is he than whom there is no other God; who knows (all things) both secret and open; He, most gracious, most merciful.
23. Allah is he than whom there is no other God---the sovereign. the holy One , the source of peace (and perfection),the gaurdian of faith, the perserver of safety, the exalted in might, the irrisistible, the justly proud, glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to him.
24. He is Allah, the creator, the originator, the fashioner, to him belong the most beautiful names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth does declare his praises and glory, and He is the exalted in might, the wise.

Language is limited and inadequate. It cannot explain the unexplainable. It cannot fathom the unfathomable. It cannot be used to create a picture or image of the uncreated.

Lao Tzu says it well....
Since before time and space were, Tao is
It is beyond "is" and "is not"
How do i know this is true?
I look inside myself and see.

We cannot use the limited and inadequate tool of language to understand God....we must use our hearts and our souls....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mountains shall vanish

Surah 78 verses 1 - 20
In the name of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful.

1. Concerning what are they disputing?
2. Concerning the great news
3. About which they cannot agree
4. Surely they shall soon know
5. Surely, surely, they shall soon know
6. Have we not made the earth as a wide expanse
7. And the mountains as pegs?
8. And created you in pairs?
9. And made your sleep for rest,
10. And made the night as a covering
11. And made the day as a means of subsistance?
12. And built over you many firmaments
13. And placed (therein) a blazing lamp
14. And do we not send down from the clouds water in abundance
15. That we may produce threwith grain and vegetables
16. And gardens of luxurious growth?
17. Surely the day of sorting out is a thing appointed
18. The day that the trumpet shall be sounded, and you shall come forward in crowds
19. And the Heavens shall be opened as if there were doors
20. And the mountains shall vanish as if they were a mirage.

Science has advanced and with it our understanding of how our universe works. Knowledge has the potential of making us arrogant. Because we know how things work, we might presume that we can "control" everything around us. If things work according to "laws' such as the laws of physics for example---then if we understand these "laws" and learn to manipulate and control them, then we "master" our surroundings---or so we think.

But this feeling of superiority/control is only an illusion--everything around us works because of God. Even simple things such as growing a vegetable garden. We might think that because we water it everyday and take care of it---that the vegetables were grown by us---but this is an illusion. On the day of judgement--illusions will be washed away like a mirage and we will see reality.

Does this mean that we are powerless? Our free-will is a gift to be used wisely. If we recognize that all things are "submitting to God" ---be it a plant growing from the soil, or rain falling from the sky, Then perhaps we can learn to be more humble. When we give up our arrogance--we will better appreciate and respect all of God's gifts to us---and be grateful.

Some scientists are looking at nature with different eyes. They have begun to appreciate the awwsome efficiency and perfection of nature and are trying to copy it/use it for the benefit of humans and the environment. They call it biomimicry.