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ibada or what is called worship..what is it? kufr or what is called denial or unbelief (and the disbelievers)…what is it? who are they? i should look at my life to understand what my maker means when he tells me to say ‘o deniers..i do not worship what you worship..’ in this, i assume, is guidance if i am looking for it…..and what is it? is it true?

the one to say it would be the soul as god wants it to be..as the soul, as if God is saying, really is and ought to be…the one addressed is the soul that is in denial and lost..

in the verses of this surah, real or true worship or the right object of worship is never mentioned..not directly…it is mentioned implicitly, via negation of what the deniers worship..

i think at this point in reading the book that the quran claims it is, one is expected to have some understanding of what ‘bismillah’, the summary of the entire revelatory message, means and some certainty of its truth..

when one is speaking about worship as a human being, one is speaking of adoration, seeing something as great, a source of help and benefit, something wonderful, desirable, worthy of praise, reverence, trust, love..and my situation as a human being is that i find so many things in my life that i adore and love and trust and see as beneficial and wonderful…to then invoke denial in this context is like saying: “when you love and trust and adore and praise and desire the things that seem to you lovable, trustworthy, beneficial, beautiful, desirable, lovable, you are denying something/someone..” but how? the verse seems to claim that the one in whose name i.e. by whose power, beauty, knowledge, order, wisdom, perfection that anything is adorable and praiseworthy for the soul (in reality) is being denied when those things themselves are adored…when i adore the thing itself as beautiful (lets say i admire and love the mercy and beauty in being able to provide comfort to my child), i ignore and cover up and deny that the One whose beauty it is and the One whose comfort it is and the One who sustains me and my child and our relation in existence is the One truly beautiful and beloved..i can either adore the thing itself or i can adore it in the name of the One who is adorable, in which case i am adoring and trusting and loving that One in reality…it is not in dispute that there will be something(s) that i will find beautiful and beloved and desirable..what is open to choice is whether the soul is happier to love the thing itself and thereby deny the source and sustainer of all that is beloved and beautiful about the thing/relation or is it happier and safer ignoring and denying the source of that beauty and perfection and instead holding on and adoring the things/relations themselves…

the verses claim that i can either feel obliged to and beholden to the things themselves..and place my trust in them for my needs for beauty and existence…or i can be someone who trusts the source of the beauties of those things for my needs and thereby surrender (hand over) all perfections to that source and bring all my needs and desires (as bestowed upon me by that source) back to him for their fulfillment now and for endless time hereafter..

i found the kafir of these verses in me…i found the possibility of saying ‘ i do not worship what you worship’ within me..i found in these verses a reminder to reflect about where lies my soul’s safety and wherein lies its loss and misery…what do i want to keep for myself and give to the things themselves (if anything) and what i want to return/surrender/sell to the One who must be the source and sustainer of all that i love and adore

Published by Faraz Sheikh

Faraz Sheikh

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