Surely the hypocrites (seek to) deceive Allah, and (it is) He who deceives them. When they stand up to prayer they stand up sluggishly; they do it only to be seen of men and do not remember Allah save a little.
Allah’s effect is as Revealer and Concealer, felt theophanies of Disclosure and Closure. But hypocrisy is born from a failure to perceive this dual effect and to fixate solely upon (and immanentize) the Closure.
At first, it would seem that the hypocrite, in seeking to deceive the Most High, is working with the assumption that Allah is an entity that can be situated within the space of deception.
This is not completely accurate. Perhaps surprisingly, the hypocrite’s character is of one who equates Allah with (not within) the entire space of differentiation, with an immanent deity in reality.
Their equation is God=Cosmos. The equation is entirely masculine, considering the ayat of this space as Closed, never open. The hypocrite considers an ilah-Cosmos that is pure, harsh Power, relativized variations in immanent power across a field of reality. Importantly, he denies the possibility of the individual felt “touch” of a personal God, disclosed in personal speech to a subject within the signs. His is an almost materialist (or naively animist) theology, a God-as-Nature.
Regarding the second part of the verse, we must be careful in reading this verse not to be anthropomorphic as such and imagine Allah as a deceiving agent in the same sense that a human deceives. Rather, this deception upon the hypocrites is their very nature, it is a sealing that is their definition, a side effect of Allah’s Love being experienced always as theophanic resonance with Disclosure/Closure in Love (what might also be called the mother-father complex). The hypocrite is grounded in an imbalanced relationship to this, fixating and immanentizing the theophany of Divine Closure (sealing) across the entire fabric of differentiated signs. The hypocrite claims of the signs: “There is no God apart from the Real of Signs in Powerplay.”
Hypocrites stand lazily: standing is a position of uprightness, of channelling truth (to stand is to spend). They are lazy in this position because they deny the possibility of channeling truth from “above” — they deny the nature of an “above” in relation to the disclosure (denying that disclosure could ever be felt within the immanence of their masculine God-Cosmos, denying the possibility of an impossible feminine personal Sophia-effect). They do no channel light from above, because their conception of God is pure materialism (or perhaps a naive animism of God=Wild impersonal Nature).
The hypocrite has a peculiar relationship to the journey. Because they view all the signs as closed, and God as the set of all signs in relationships of power, they consider their individual movement within this space as insignificant, a lie, essentially insincere to the immanence of Power. It almost sounds like Islamic submission, but the key difference is that from Islamic submission there follows a descent of disclosure, of the personal touch, of individual communion (harvest, the feminine, we can call it all kinds of things) that is immanent but also impossibly transcendent in its felt effect.
The hypocrite does not have this so, instead, wanders between forms of (almost Foucaultian) powerplay between signs (the believer knows that the signs are related according to power by virtue of their theophanic property of closure, but importantly desires disclosure through powerplay):
Wavering between that (and this), (belonging) neither to these nor to those; and whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall not find a way for him. (4:143)
Hypocrisy is self-denying insecurity: insincerity of movement that stems from a conviction in the inherent insincerity of all movement. To give up hope of Grace. It is the inability to “lock in” and taste the Love present within discourse, between polarities, between power play. To read between the lines. Instead, the hypocrite wanders between one position of power and another in eternal dialectic of closed signs, in eternal plays of authority and authorization of power.
A good example of hypocrisy: a person who only accepts a religious truth if it has been “authorized” by an appropriate figure of power within the religion, in awareness of the fact that this discursive authorization is itself a negotiation of power … followed by an ultimate equation of God’s actions with that discursive negotiation of immanent reality at all levels, the belief that there is “nothing more” than this. Or someone who believes in a Guru’s deification because of that Guru’s varying unpredictable behaviour (from wrath and destruction to kisses and hugs) in emulation of nature’s unpredictability.
We emphasize of course this is just an macro example: the hypocrisy runs through all levels, not just inter-personal religiosity. We all have hypocritical components and moments in our daily lives.
The hypocrite embodies polarization upon their face, their face’s position — a face that is ultimately structurally unstable.
O you who believe! do not take the unbelievers for friends (awliya) rather than the believers; do you desire that you should give to Allah a manifest authority (sultanan) against yourselves? (4:144)
The simplest understanding here is that we (“believers”) should not take hypocrites as awliya because our belief (our entrustment, because Love requires trust in disclosure to follow closure) will become dampened and trust will be lost.
To befriend is to be intimate with a “headspace”.
To befriend the hypocrite is to enter into the hypocritical “headspace” and, consequently (even though remaining a believer) find oneself subject to the manifest authority (Sultan), a theophanic crystallization of the harshness of playing solely within the hypocrite’s game of immanent Closure. By playing their game of immanence, the believer plays a game of masculine power distribution, of raw natural Names, Names of unloving power alone, devoid of personal Love, a power that is directionless. The believer’s internal belief in Disclosure followed by Closure means that they will experience this reality of the hypocrite in a personal way, and a Sultan will appear. The “authority” that governs the hypocrite’s negotiation of sign will become embodied as the Sultan.
A longer way to approach this verse is as a cosmic play.
The Awylia (the Friends of Design) are guardians and protectors of our state, of our movement. They are a form of protection that derives from the unseen, that navigates others’ journey through the unseen, humanity’s journey. They are “real people” that are in a sense “separate” from us, though not necessarily people or saints in the prosaic sense of a religious icon or even in the sense of particular flesh-and-blood teachers sent to humanity, publishing books and giving seminars/dhikr sessions and so on.
Rather, they are a headspace that has a literal reality. In the case of the Friends of Design, a headspace of guardianship.
They then literally stand before us, accessible and we can choose them to drive the chariot by becoming intimate with their headspace.
This verse shows that believers have a choice in who drives the chariot. If they make the mistake of selecting unbelievers or hypocrites, deniers, then an “authority” (sultanan) will be brought by Allah against themselves. This Sultan is like a particularly harsh King, the crystallized King of the Closed, materialist immanence of the hypocritical headspace, appearing in disclosure. He will stand before us in our mistake and bring the full force of his authority against us.
Even though we might be believers, we can still enter, coalesce to hypocritical, valuative, deceptive systems (of mind, being, life, macro or micro). Then friendship’s guardianship is transformed into a Sutan’s powerful authority over us. For the believer, this means that they will be in a different state of being in relation to God, from comfort and security to being on trial before the Authority.
The awliya and the Sultan are dramatis personae of the drama of our unfolding, whose dramatic character, whose enterable/known/chosen characters constitute the manner in which God speaks to us, depending on whether we wish to engage (as believers) with a believing system or descend into an untrustworthy hypocritical collaboration.
There are very serious cases of hypocrisy, we could indicate any number of them.
But within the seeker, there are, during the day, many moments and opportunities for small allegiances with the Friends of the Fire, of moving us away from fidelity and into a declaration that there is “only” closed immanent power play. Friends that don’t transmit in their stance, friends that alternate between continuously, denying disclosure, performatively affirming their insincerity by being insincere in their assumption of what sincerity is.
And these moments are ones where we are unprotected and God brings a clear Authority against us by the very virtue of these friends and what their system of infidelity leads us to. Othello stands trial, his play is his immanent trial, surrounding him and crystalizing into Iago, the drama itself is authority of tragedy of denying the feminine over the war-God of impersonal discourse.
In contrast, the Friends of Design are chosen as believers that guide us into fidelity: and through fidelity, into a happy ending, the Taming, the impossible transcendence of power play through marriage/disclosure with the immanent field of power play.
The Friends are almost a rhetorical device, but everything in Qur’an is Real and literal: so they are literal in their rhetoric, the Real embodying the metaphor of human friendship as a literal fact of existence and choice.
Note 2: Inheritance: wives, husbands, children, brothers and sisters
We spoke a little bit in the previous note about rules of inheritance (and marriage) between generations being essentially about what is “carried over” from one cycle of life to the next. We emphasized that this property of Law is significant and contiguous with the other narrations and injunctions contained within this surah: specifically, those relating to the People of the Book (4:47), the House of Abraham (4:54), the people of Moses (4:153) and the hypocrites (see above).
The issue of contiguity is thrown into sharp relief with the final few verses of the surah. First there is a description of the Messiah and Mary (and a correction regarding the trinity) :
O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Mariam is only a messenger of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Mariam and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His messengers, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one Allah; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector. (4:171)
But then, after three successive verses concerning the nature of belief, the entire surah ends with a final Legal injunction regarding inheritance:
They ask you for a decision of the law. Say: Allah gives you a decision concerning the person who has neither parents nor offspring; if a man dies (and) he has no son and he has a sister, she shall have half of what he leaves, and he shall be her heir she has no son; but if there be two (sisters), they shall have two-thirds of what he leaves; and if there are brethren, men and women, then the male shall have the like of the portion of two females; Allah makes clear to you, lest you err; and Allah knows all things. (4:175)
To move from a description of Christ to a very specific instance of law (inheritance when the departed does not have children or parents) might seem quite arbitrary.
It is all, however, perfectly contiguous:
What follows is a short description of this process of inheritance/transmission: in order to keep it short we will employ some shorthand: let us say, for the sake of argument,
We note that this (decidedly Kabbalic) diagram, like any cosmology of the self (from Lacan to the Mi’raj to Tibetan Buddhist) is still “just” a set of signs arranged and contemplated by a subject within an inescapable symbolic space, within a sign-regime that is local to (and in fact situates) that subject who inscribes it. Another form that is part of a particular local language game. So it is “just” a map in and of itself: but, self-referentially, this map is not merely a closed set of symbols, but has a potential for disclosure when married to prophecy, when its active meditation or reading is corrected leading to marriage/productivity in relation to the transmission of light from the face into its receptive symbolism.
Correct reading is self-awareness of the read signs’ ultimate reference to correct reading itself. Correct reading is the unlocking of the Light of deferral to God, contained within the read signs, by virtue of the realisation of the signs’ reference to reading and unlocking, by virtue of the understanding that the sign complexes ultimately are nothing more than conduits of Prophecy into the darkened, fragmented space of the shards (conduits into the daily life we inhabit). In my case, this reading is brought about through comprehending the self-reference of the sign complex within this particular cosmology: they are read as referring to my reading. Light (L_1) enters the face through the Prophetic conduit of the crown and is negotiated (N) according to a number of symmetric principles, including life (L_2) itself — a journey in Time from logic/differentiation to the Loving Other — and “dialectic” — the jihadic discourse (D) between martyrdom/submission and victory/messaging that underlies all negotiation (N) of Light (L_1) into life (L_2) — D = N(L_1, L_2).
And the Grace of God is above this process — the process itself, described in the rules of inheritance, involves 2′s and 3′s — but God is above the 3, God’s effect is Grace experienced through the transmission (the Adamic child breathed/constituted) rather than a player in the actual mappings of triads and duals (which is entirely human).
So let us sketch some observations regarding the injunctions of (4:11):
The generational injunctions concern transmission of meaning between individual signs in a person’s body.
Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females;
When we consider children and inheritance, we are thinking about a movement from one face-immanence plane complex, now itself acting in repetition of its parents, into a new child, a new masculine/feminine face/immanence plane configuration (operating over a new, possibly wildly different localized language). So the laws here consider what was produced from the old coupling and how that can be retained into the next cycle — which is nothing more nor less than considering how the old coupling’s harvest can be preserved within the new plane of immanence (specifically, how the male face of the child can preserve the harvest as potential to produce further, and how the successor female sign-regime can preserve the harvest as an immanence of transmission kept safe — an experiential Disclosure that she is as beautiful as her mother).
So, male inheritance is that potential it has to produce further (when the child himself marries). Female inheritance is what potential it has to keep/secure/veil (when the child herself marries).
The verse says that when we speak about a plane of immanence in reception of light from a face, the face must be conceived as having an “above” and a “below”, a “crown” that receives its gnosis by a line of kinship to the above, and a “below” that passes this Light to the feminine. But this above and below — at first appearing to us as a dialectic of transcendence and immanence — must necessarily become immanentized completely by the transmission: this occurs with the result of two females from one, of an upper and lower aspect to the plane of immanence. This immanent upper and lower (felt, experienced, signed, personal sense of Divine as upper and lower, Fadak and Medina) is what is, self-referentially, drawn as transmissive potential of the masculine face. Two thirds transmissive potential for immanence are present in the face, making it “equal” to the two females.
The masculine face thus carries 1/3 within it and is productive with 2/3 of its Light on its “dark side”. The transmissive potential is what makes the face (as a map) a masculine inheritance, so its inheritance is 2/3.
If they are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased has left, and if there is one, she shall have the half;
She has half because a single female — as a plane of immanence (now no longer considering its upper and lower) — receives half of what is shone down upon it from its precedent face (half the face being an intensification of light that is transcendent, the other half being a light that can be fully received by the female). She receives half but considers it whole.
… and as for his parents, each of them shall have the sixth of what he has left if he has a child,
If the face is productive, then the face has multiplied (in marriage): so what has come from the parents (what was transmitted) has flowed down completely into the wife’s plane of immanence. The residue of intensification left upon the face always resides in its “crown” or its prophetic conduit to the womb: this conduit is bidirectional, allowing light to be received down into the face, but also maintaining a tie of kinship back to the womb via praise. When the face has laid in marriage with the wife’s plane of immanence and reaped a harvest of children, then the circuit has been completed and so only one sixth of the face keeps its inner residue as its conduit back to the womb.
… but if he has no child and (only) his two parents inherit him, then his mother shall have the third;
However, when there is no child born, no harvest from marriage of the face to the plane of immanence, then the circuit is still premature (it is not a man in years). The lower three modes of transmission (matyrdom/victory and spending/righteousness) are not fully extended downward, but still are implicit within the upper three modes of the face (differentiation/logic, love and the prophetic conduit). There are only three explicit parts to the face (it is not fully drawn, the legs have not extended) — in terms of the picture above, the face only has the upper triad, not the lower — and so the prophetic conduit, the human “transcendent” reflection of the supernal transmission is a third of the current state of the face.
… but if he has brothers, then his mother shall have the sixth after (the payment of) a bequest he may have bequeathed or a debt;
There is an alternative to full productive transmission (from face to wife/plane of immanence with child/harvest) and that is where the plane of immanence is not married/does not lay with the face, but the face nevertheless “has brothers”, the face become fully grown, with the legs extended down (the brothers of matyrdom and victory, of Harun and Musa) emerging and a consequent capacity to spend also emerging above them to transmit the light of prophecy into their diamond dialectic. In such a case, the face is grown and consists of six functions, again with the prophetic crown, as the point of immediate intensity deriving from the womb, now only one sixth of the face maintains this transcendental intensity in conduit back to the womb in praise.
Such a face is that of an ascetic who is complete, in a mode of transmission-as-praise, but not in a mode of transmission-as-generation/production/creativity.
… your parents and your children, you know not which of them is the nearer to you in benefit; this is an ordinance from Allah: Surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.
Transmission occurs upwards and downwards across the face and its plane of immanence, upward retroactively to the womb and downward productively to the child. We don’t know which is “nearer in benefit” because the proximity of transmission is ambiguous.
The surah concludes, however, with laws concerning a situation where there is no parents nor offspring. This kind of inheritance is not a temporal, historical evolution of inheritance but instead a sideways jump between regimes (a sort of homomorphism between parallel universes, parallel languages instead of a time-travelling movement into mutated, accumulating universes).
But another way of saying that (because parallel universes always within the same language-game, within the same sign-regime) is that it concerns micro-transmission of wealth between individual signs of the map of the face, individual conduits of transmission within our crystalized masculinity (that is built up of conversations between brothers and sisters, so to speak).
They ask you for a decision of the law. Say: Allah gives you a decision concerning the person who has neither parents nor offspring; if a man dies (and) he has no son and he has a sister, she shall have half of what he leaves,
Even when we are working within the same language, not transmitting between languages, only half the light is received by the feminine because the masculine keeps the remainder intensified at his crown.
but if there be two (sisters), they shall have two-thirds of what he leaves; and if there are brethren, men and women, then the male shall have the like of the portion of two females;
And again, at the micro-cosmic level of sign exchanges within the little face, within out body, the same laws of inheritance rule.
Our face itself, fantasized as separate from its plane of immanence, consists of masculine and (non-immanent) feminine principles: logic and martyrdom are feminine, while love and victory are masculine. And these principles regulate the various ways in which we perceive and live life in the signs. The laws of inheritance explain here how this regulation flows. For example, the movement from logic (differentiation) into Love — that we have said before constitutes Becoming — is one limited by the sister’s provision of all her wealth to the brother, total bestowal of immanent comprehension to that “transcendent” love. On the other hand, a single movement from the Musaic principle of Victory/Messaging to the (feminine) Harunic principle of Martyrdom/Submission will take the form of a half the wealth transmitted down to the Harunic aeon of fana-in-immanence , while the other half retained as rarefied “God speaking directly”.