Sunday, September 25, 2011

Surat al Baqara 2: 55-56, Ibn Arabi/ one kind of Death

And mention when you said: "O Moses! We will never believe thee until we see God publicly". So the thunderbolt took you while you look on. But We raised you again after you had been as dead, so that you might have cause to be grateful.

Ibn Arabi: You told Musa: "You would not succeed in guiding us to Real faith, until we reach the abode of Witnessing and Seeing". So, you were taken by the thunderbolt and lightening of Death, that is the annihilation of the self (Fana’) in the Manifestation of the Divine Essence, while you were observing / witnessing It. We then raised you back with Real life in the state of Subsistence (Baqa’) that follows Annihilation (Fana’), in order that you may be thankful for the gift of the realization of Unicity (Tawheed) and that of arriving after having walked the path In Allah.
The Real is God (al-Haqq), only what comes close to Him has Reality, hence Real faith and Real life.

Tawheed (a verb noun (masdar)) is best translated as realizing Unicity and not Unicity alone.
** English Qur'an translations of Laleh Bakhtiar and Muhammad Asad