The Tailor was selling his wares in the lands north of the city. These areas are populated by tribes of militant apostates.
A group of these northern people were discussing Islam’s notion of hell. One of their number said the following: “For me, one of the hardest things to get over was the fact that I might spend eternity in a skin-melting, 70-tier fire pit, filled with unbelievers and sinners. What an awful thing to torment little kids with. In fifth grade, I had horrible night terrors where I would wake up mortified of the idea of hell.
“Now, I just found out that the word Jahannam occurs in the New Testament’s Aramaic as Gehenna, which in turn is a rendering of the Hebrew Ge Hinnom. In the New Testament it refers to a hellfire very similar to that described in the Qur’an. But, following the Torah, we see that Ge Hinnom, literally the Valley of Hinnom, is an actual geographical location, that still exists by the same name outside the southern gate of old Jerusalem!
It is an actual place in Jerusalem. It’s pretty amazing how that was directly ripped off the Old and New testament. What’s even more amazing, is that almost every Muslim, Christian, Jew that I have talked to does not know about this.”
The apostates had much fun and mockery at the expense of this realisation: accusing the Prophet (astagfirullah) of all kinds of crimes, from plagiarism to “mishearing” or misunderstanding the Christians and Jews around him and transcribing the term into an Arabic rendition, ignorant of its origin.
After their mockery had died down, the Tailor came out to them from his caravan and replied as follows:
You have partially uncovered a treasure that has been concealed and buried by someone who loves you and cares for you, an inheritance of wisdom shared between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, a hyper-Temporal trace of Truth encoded within the derivation of the word for hellfire.
There is no corruption present within the derivation you stated: Jahannam is indeed identical to Ge Hinnom. Contrary to popular Islamic theological opinion, the Tanakh and Gospels are not a corrupted word of God, cleansed or factually corrected by the Qur’an. The succession is of a different nature to correction. The succession is simply one of revelation. The problem addressed at the moment of Qur’anic revelation was, and is, one of “concealment”: at the time, there was a tafsir and a wisdom that the religious authorities possessed, but concealed. A wealth that was not spent freely.
Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidence and guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.
Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. (Qur’an 2:159-160)
But that verse now applies to us: for we are also people of the Book. Within less than one generation of the beginning of Islam, the same situation (necessarily) occurred, and now there are the poor and there are a minority of wealthy folk who also horde their wealth and conceal the True Meaning from the rest of humanity.
But you, apostate though you may be, are close to your inheritance. May it be openly declared, and soon!
There are a great many other instances of Judaic tropes used throughout the Qur’an — and the Qur’an itself addresses their usage. Of course this should be the case: given the Author is the same! But still the authorities conceal. Like the Christianity of the middle ages, the authorities insist that any investigation or admission of these tropes are a no-go area, thus keeping a self-perpetuating cycle of ignorance from which the only escape (if you desire escape) is to become a misery hoarder (I’m guilty of this to an extent) or an apostate such as yourself. Because such a study is absolutely central to understanding the Qur’an: no can fully understand the Qur’an without having at least read the Tanakh first. For amongst other things, the Qur’an is a Divine meta-commentary upon (historically) preceding holy books.
I can see that you — as apostates, angry at some perceived deceit leveled at you — are letting off steam because you have encountered a clear lineage of terminology that has been kept from you.
But no one amongst you has yet dug deeper and asked the question — why is Jahannam actually the Valley of Hinnom? It is because it was a garbage dump, located below the southern wall of ancient Jerusalem. Jerusalem (the Real one, not the Imaginary one you find on your atlas) is the city of peace — it is the same city as Medina (when rocked and rolled).
As a collective movement of souls going through life, we accumulate a lot of baggage and garbage in our lives — some really evil stuff (a random look at today’s news will convince you) — and other more minor (for example, garbage that you guys collected during your Muslim days listening to ignorant hutbas). At the garbage dump of outside the southern wall of your city, you can burn that garbage.
None of you have committed murder nor operated a pedophile ring. Nothing truly abominable. So the evil you have picked up — a lot of it I am sure comes from your sheikhs. All that ignorance you are now reflecting upon. But what are you to do with this ignorance? You have erected nomadic encampments in the northern lands, encampments of apostasy, and are burning it, perhaps to clean your souls of that ignorance. By setting fire to those ideas (with just as much ferocity as the Qur’an itself describes that burning!). Your apostasy is a garbage dump, literally.
So you are all fulfilling the Prophetic unfolding, unconsciously.
Nevertheless, there is one point to remember. What city does Islam reside in? Not some Islamist Michael Jackson Neverland, destroyed by scandal, drugs and debt (apparently the Muslims are now saying he converted before he died). May you reside in a city of peace! And your garbage dump should then be situated at the southern gate.
Here: take this compass of symbolic functions to find your way through the city, if you choose to return:
The east that from which the Light of Prophecy emerges. The west is the Bride of language, perception, human representation. The North is Judgement, Logic and Deen. Judgement is fire: you are all burning here, you northern people, burning in your doubt and apostasy. But you may move south anon. For you would normally situate a garbage dump in the North, because the South signifies God’s Love and Mercy. Surely a garbage dump should situated north, to face completely the fires of Judgement.
No, if you construct your own Jerusalem (as I hope you are doing right now) — or build one as a swarm of bees for an ummah — then be sure to place your garbage dump — for example, locate this blog (wink wink) — close to Love, not to Judgement and Belief. This way Mercy will outweigh Judgement. And throw out your garbage, discard your loads of Islamism into those fires, so your Collective Soul may become illuminated, and abide within that city in peace and balance.
There are dangers inherent in the South, dangers in the Waters of Love: these can lead to unspeakable forms of idolatry (see, for example, Jeremiah 2:23 for what has taken place in that valley). Dhul Qarnain navigated this map, as have others, to walk on water. But again, this is achieved by the Law and Judgement follows southwards: fire crowns water and water crowns fire, though water outweighs fire.
This is not an instruction, even though I phrased it that way. It is a statement of inevitability, because this is happening all the time in your lives — this blog, the (real) discussion upon which it was based, my Tailor character, these imaginary apostates here and you, dear reader, are just a part of this process of distillation. May it produce a fine wine.
At the end of days, the detritus of the collective soul is burnt away outside the southern gates of the city of peace. May you then abide in the city, adorned in Robes of Light, speaking only perfect speech, with your loved ones on couches in gardens beneath which the rivers flow.