Almost a third of the way through, my Ramadan has led to some surprising and new (for me) bonds with the earlier parts of the Qur’an. Alhumdulilah, the revelation truly operates at all (4!) levels of existence. My (very subjective) feeling right now is difficult to articulate, but could be put like this. To recite it anew is to breath out the beauty of her strange intra-dimensional trace, in resonance with waveforms that run across the infinitesmal and the magnitudes, spanning the universe’s cyclical unfolding, intersecting the readings of life as horizontal plateaus of stories, law and archetypes, demarcating my (personal) heart’s progress in Time, making cellular my sight, each cell an ayah within my (personal) body, in network of transmission, multiplying and switching in local and global modes of inheritance and genealogy. As my breath runs through these pages, acquiring inheritance from each verse, each archetype-complex recognized as a Truth I had maybe been taught before but forgot or else realigned today into new harvests, I am grateful and astonished at the barakah from above, ceaseless in re-reading. My breath continues on in recitation, my breath itself its own trace and meta-record within my heart of gratitude.
And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. (2:143)
The direction of prayer is a coincidence between the corporeal body of the supplicant, the geology of the earth and the conduit to the Divine. To put our “face” in this direction is to align our crystalized surface of perception (our little face) in potential mirroring of the Greater Face of the Divine, according to a function of this bio/geo/spiritual synchronization. A face-to-Face conversation, so to speak.
A sister on the path asked the Professor: “What is the spiritual significance of the prohibition of pork in the Islam?”
The Professor replied thus:
It must be significant that the Religion becomes perfected with the verse regarding food and dietary laws: