signs, rasul, mockery


وَإِذَا رَأَوْكَ إِن يَتَّخِذُونَكَ إِلَّا هُزُوًا أَهَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ رَسُولًا

Hence, whenever they consider you, they but make you a target of mockery “Is this the one whom God sent as rasul? 


ثُمَّ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسَـٰٓـُٔوا۟ ٱلسُّوٓأَىٰٓ أَن كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَكَانُوا۟ بِهَا يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ

And then, evil is the end of those who do evil by giving the lie to signs of God and deriding them


يَـٰحَسْرَةً عَلَى ٱلْعِبَادِ مَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا كَانُوا۟ بِهِۦ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ

OH, THE REGRETS that slaves bear!  Never has a rasul come except that their deriding him

I love to mock what I mock when I mock it! In that moment, it is immensely empowering. If I can mock it, I am not afraid of it, I am not bound by it, I am not beholden to it, I am free from it, I am in charge, I am better, I know better than it and so on. And so I am quite intrigued by Quran’s reference to mocking and deriding. Deep in me it is my weapon of choice against something I want to utterly discredit in my own eyes, something that, perhaps secretly, I am threatened by so that either I must win against it by mockery or risk taking it seriously and risk losing to it.

The reason I put these three verses side by side is to simply notice that the “you” who is rasul/messenger, the he/she/it/they who is rasul/messenger and the ayat/signs of God share something when revelation speaks of them to me (the listener/reader) – they are what I mock! Signs and messengers and messenger – these are not distinctive in their function in my life and my possible (terrible) attitude towards them. If I am learning what rasul/messenger is from revelation, it is easy to see that whatever I see as sign, it is what I recognize as message-bearing (hence messenger) and whatever I don’t see message-bearing (with a message to me about my creator) I do not see as sign. If you see a sign, you see the messenger. If you don’t see the sign, you dont see the messenger. When I mock the sign, I mock the messenger. When I mock the messenger, I mock the sign. I could not separate the sign and the messenger unless I ignored what revelation was telling me.

As to the mocking, I love it that the act that I think can elevate and release me from what the sign tells me is the act that deprives me of my only way of escaping non-existence and meaninglessness. So that after I have mocked to my heart’s contentment, that same heart finds no escape but to return to what it mocked for refuge and succor. When I mock, the joke is on me alone. And I love it!

Published by Faraz Sheikh

Faraz Sheikh

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