Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TOLERANT WAY OF TRUTH

1.
Waman ahsanu deenan mimman aslama wajhahu lillahi wahuwa muhsinun waittabaAAa millata Ibraheema haneefan? Waittakhatha Allahu Ibraheema khaleelan.

Who is better in faith than the one who surrenders his entire being to God, and be of ihsan (excellence), and follows the creed of Abraham who turned away from all that was false? For God took Abraham as a friend. - The Final Testament (Chapter of Women, verse 125)

2.
The beloved Abraham, whose station is to be the intimate friend of Truth, is a bearer of divine message whose eternal presence, subsisting with and within Allah, guides the mystical return of humanity into the transcendent Heart of Reality. The special responsibility of the noble Abraham is haqiqa, the realization of Truth alone. Here the path of religious duty, the sharia, the path of contemplative practice, the tariqa, both enter the pathless field of supernal radiance, plunging like rivers of love into the Ocean of Love. The magnificent patriarch Abraham, the embodiment of true generosity and hospitality whose tent is open in all directions, is spiritual father to the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic nations, which are his seed multiplied into galaxies of souls, according to Divine Promise.

Embodying the fundamental religion of humanity, the religion of unity, the Prophet Abraham, upon him be abundant and beautiful peace, is the hanifa, the upright one. Even before the Divine Revelation of Torah, Psalms, Gospels, and Quran, he demonstrates the original nobility of the human being in direct communion with Truth, without images or mediators.

As the Light of Prophecy intensified, approaching its culmination, through this most intimate friend, Allah revealed the meditation on Ultimate Unity. This contemplation transcends the entire spectrum of Divine Attributes. The Glorious Quran discloses that while he was deep in prayer and meditation during solitary desert retreat, the noble Abraham received the direct experience of Essence, alone and perfect, needing no creation and no Creator. This Essence abides beyond the Attributes of Allah - Star of Majesty, Moon of Beauty, Sun of Power - which are mirrored in creation. The sole existence of this formless, creationless, attributeless Essence as the only Reality is the mystic teaching that beloved Abraham brought to humanity as a further evolution of the understanding of One God, which has been repeatedly revealed by Allah since the Prophet Abraham, upon him be peace.

The beloved Muhammad, the final fruitation of the evolution of humanity's understanding, the final link in the lineage of revelatory Light, calls the spirituality innate to the human soul the hanifiyya, the way of Abraham. This station of maturity is wisely tolerant of all levels and dimensions of religious understanding, manifest through Prophets who, as Quran discloses, have been sent as Divine Signs to every nation without exception, demonstrating a clear path to the One Reality. This loving tolerance of hanifiyya takes as its symbol the Tent of Abraham, open to spiritual travelers from all directions, full of abundant Generosity of Allah poured out to all seekers of truth without exception.

Prophet AbrahamThe holy lovers on the way of hanifiyya inherit the original friendship of Prophet Abraham with living Truth. These lovers become friends as well to all expressions of Truth, to all precious human beings. Thus the haqiqa, the realization of Truth - the pure vein of gold inside the mountain of outward appearance, the translucent pearl hidden within the rough, dark oyster shell - accepts all human beings as who they truly are. The hanifiyya bestows inconceivable spiritual wealth - the golden radiance of Truth, the Pearl beyond Price - upon every human heart, from whichever direction it approaches the Tent of Abraham.

May humanity as a whole become conscious of the hanifiyya, allowing ineffable harmony to blossom among apparently diverse cultures, sciences, and great religious traditions. The perfect reconciler of the countless stars from the Universe of Souls who have become the children of Abraham, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, therefore declares: 'The religious path most beloved to Allah is the tolerant Way of Hanifiyya.'

- from the writings of Shaykh Lex Hixon Nur al Jerrahi, may God bless his noble soul, Quoted from his beautiful Book, Atom from the Sun of Knowledge

3.
What is the millata ibraheema haneefan, the 'creed of Ibrahim the true in faith (or upright)' as is sometimes suggested in translations of this verse [4:125]?

The Qur'an often mentions this word hanif in connection with Ibrahim, and as Sayed Idries Shah points out in The Sufis, the root HNF carries the connotations of 'leaning on one side', 'doing a thing accurately' and 'straightforwardness'. He says: "Such a variety of meanings would seem baffling if it were not realized that such ideas as 'to do a thing accurately' and 'to lean on one side' can be equated within a certain system - that of the Sufis. This is not to say, of course, that the root form was invented by the Sufis; or even that the words are not in everyday use in straightforward meanings. The important thing to note is that for the Sufis certain words are chosen to describe a complex of ideas which accord with a number of Sufi ideas and practices, and build up, on close examination, a word picture."

In the use of the word Hanif the Qur'an points to the predating of historical Islam by a mystical Way identical with that of the Sufis. In this verse, it states in the strongest possible terms, that there is no more excellent form of faith than the practice of this 'antique religion' (as it is sometimes described): the millata ibraheema haneefan.

What's more, at the end of the verse, the Qur'an tells us that this is explicitly a religion of Love: waittakhatha Allahu ibraheema khaleelan, "for Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate, beloved friend."

On this question of the millat, the 'creed', of Love, Rumi writes in the Mathnawi: ""The sect [millat] of Love (of God) is distinct from all religions [dîn-hâ]; the sect [millat] and doctrine [maZhab] of the lovers is God (alone)." [Mathnawi II: 1770, translation by Dr Ibrahim Gamard].

(Thanks to James for sharing)

4.
and take the station of Abraham as your station of devotion..
- The Quran 2:125

Abraham was blessed to be a blessing to others.
- Old Testament

Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to God, and he joined not duality with God. Lo! those of humanity who are nearest to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who believe (with him); and God is the Protecting Guardian of the believers. - 3:67-68

They say: "Become Jews or Christians if you would be guided (to salvation)." Say thou: "No way! (Ours is) the Creed of Abraham, the Hanif (pure monotheist), and he ascribed not duality with Divine Oneness."

Say: "We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any one of them, and unto Him we have surrendered."
- 2:135-136

Art Work: The Prophet Abraham
by Mahmoud Farschian from Iran
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