Inner Meanings of the Qur’an

But they called him a liar and slaughtered her, therefore their Lord crushed them for their sin and leveled them. (91:14)

They denied the truth, even when there was a visible physical miracle. Something came from the unseen to the seen and they denied and acted against it, therefore they were destroyed.

And He fears not its consequence. (91:15)

Allah is not concerned about what we may consider to be an appropriate outcome. This means that it is of no consequence if a whole nation or nations are destroyed in order to restore equilibrium. And God says in the Qur`an:

And you shall not find any change in the course of God. (33:62)

Illness is a manifestation of mercy, so that one’s physical balance is restored, so that one seeks help, cognizance and reasoning to bring oneself back to physical balance. Then the body, which is the container of that subtle reality, the spirit, is fit to contain the spirit. The body is basically the vehicle upon which the spirit rides during it’s journey on earth, the few years of upbringing to prepare the spirit to inhabit, once again, the infinite reality from which it came. If the body is not fit, the inner subtler aspect cannot be fit. Therefore, our priority starts from the outer. We must be fairly well physically and content mentally so that we are balanced. Then we can reflect the true light within us, taking from reality what is useful and beneficial. From this balanced state we can then study branches of science which are analytical and divisive. Such studies require an observer and an observed. That is another system, one of causality with its laws and conditions. And it is important as part of our existence.

In a sense, we are born deficient in order to be able to develop our scientific, causal attitude. But this aspect of ourselves is encompassed within another reality which possesses a unifying factor. If we do not allow our causal knowledge to operate in conjunction with this unifying factor, then we will merely have a great deal of outer knowledge but no inner vision.

We find in nature that a child’s simple, physical disposition is accepted, because all he understands is physical unification. When an older person, however, possesses no inner wisdom or spirituality we tend to dismiss him. In our eastern societies the youngsters traditionally kept company with the elders for this was the right balance. The child physically has few limits, where as the old man is physically limited but inwardly almost limitless, because he is approaching the Limitless. The two are in the right balance. Increasingly in western societies, the older people are shunned, put away in old people’s homes. They do not see children, it is a separatist or compartmentalized society. I am not condemning the West or upholding the East, for the East is now becoming like the West. What matters is that everything must be in its rightful place.

As we cannot allow our causal knowledge to operate without unific knowledge, so we cannot exclude causal knowledge, for the causal realm is the realm of God’s means. Let us examine an Islamic tradition about the Prophet Musa. On one occasion he was very ill, and refused to take medicine from the Jewish doctors because he was so disgusted with them. He made a vow that he would only accept God’s direct intercession, for he was in direct communication with Allah. The doctors felt sorry for him and were dimly aware of how much trouble they had caused him, so they came with their medicines, but he refused. He became increasingly ill and was on the verge of death when he asked Allah: “Oh Allah! What shall I do? I was depending on you.” God answered him saying: “Just because you are near to Me, do you expect Me to abrogate the means of My wisdom? Those who came to you are My means.” So Musa accepted the help of the doctors.

This is how God unifies outwardly. This is how God softens people’s hearts towards each other. If we do not recognize the means, we will never recognize the source behind the means. Our Prophet says: “If you do not thank those who have given you something, you have not thanked the real Giver.” So we must thank God for giving us this incredible gift called life, which manifests in so many lives and yet is one life. We must thank God for having given us the opportunity to share amongst ourselves. We must ask God to give us the opportunity to ignite that inner flame whose lamp already exists within us, for He says:

The heavens and earth do not contain Me, but the heart of a trusting believer contains Me.