I’ve been going over my tafsir. Some of it’s fantastically creative if I do say so myself. Disappointingly, at other moments it becomes clumsy and apologetic. Like in this instance:
… the Christian identification of Christ with God:
In blasphemy indeed are those that say that God is Christ the son of Mary. Say: “Who then has the least power against God, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every – one that is on the earth? For to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He creates what He pleases. For God hath power over all things. (5:17)
How should we take this verse, coming, as it does, from Love? Is it a kind of threat? Love does not threaten, though if we don’t understand it or have trust in it, then it can seem so. The verse is a statement of fact: that Allah precedes the womb and the original form of man (a word said “Be”) as well as the earth itself (the ultimate space of immanence). Allah, as Love, precedes this because it is generated by an impossibility of “differentiated Love” that arises from the overflow or surplus bounty of the Love itself. Love loves so much that the impossible difference emerges: this is the nature of the Power — not a threat but an absolute reality beyond everything, “even” the Christ. (It is not so much a negation of the importance of the womb, the Messiah nor their theomorphic embodiments in Mary and Jesus, rather the verse should be read with their key importance in mind.)
It was a longstanding project of Tailorism to reconcile a very Christian Logos/Man-God/Christ with Islamic monotheism. That Christ-as-Word is beyond Prophecy, and occurs as such in the Prophet’s book.
It’s not convincing: Christ is “just” another man-prophet in the Quran, not a unique pre-fall primordial being. Either the standard Muslim reading (all prophets are simply the most righteous of men) or the standard Sufi reading (prophets are each Logos, theophanic Truth, primordial insan kamils) is easier to maintain.
My motivation? To my western eye, Muhammed seems very pre New Testament, albeit Kabbalic. While Christ seemed distinct: the Adam Kadmon to the fragmented thrownness of prophetic sephirot. When my wife and I were first reading the Quran, she always remarked how un-Christlike Muhammed seemed to be. We put it down to Western conditioning, which was correct.
But why the attempt at rapprochement? That’s the bio-theological crux: being half western, half eastern … Of course both halves ought to be combined.
My mistake? Not to combine. But to think of these figures as more than totems within my own story, my own truth. Totems of east and west: when I, myself, am the Truth of my journey.