Ramadan Reading: a Few Notes on the Eighth Juz

Note 1: The Lord’s Self-Prescription

… Your Lord has prescribed the Mercy upon Himself … (6:54)

This is part of a larger verse that would take days to unpack in any meaningful way. So we just deal with this particular aspect, as it returns again in the remainder of the Surah.

The sense of the Arabic for “prescribe” is in its root KTB: linking senses of both decree, prescription and inscription.

The Lord is Merciful Love, and a Love that loves to be known to the space of inscription (our space, the space of the loving slave) by inscribing itself.

Love is above all all Law, all differentiation, above all prescription, because Love is the originator of prescription. Prescription follows from Love as an impossibly “separate” surplus, a Love that would be known by impossibility, and so the perturbation of our Cosmos comes into being in Submissive Slavery to this Messaging of Love.

But Love does not exist in transcendence of this impossible Cosmos we call our home. Rather, because Love is in excess and “beyond” all containment, Love is beyond all limits, even the impossible, and so overflows to be rendered Present within our space of separation, our differentiated space of signs, inscription, language, perception (the slave’s impossible space).

That is,

  1. Love generates a space of prescription (differentiation, by virtue of the Love’s overflowing into that impossibility upon itself) and then
  2. runs through that impossible space as a prescription “upon” itself.

Note 2: Micro-deaths

And it is He who makes you die at night and knows what you do by day. (6:60)

Death as a final termination from this body into the afterlife appears to be the common sense of the term. But this verse is curious as the death here is cyclical. There are commentaries that suggest the state of dreaming is like a small death. We agree. But the fabric of perception/language is the unconscious (the unconscious is language) and so, as we move from sign to sign, navigating the signs of life, we are subject to cyclical, micro-deaths of existence. Dreams between the lines, so to speak. The verse should make us question our assumptions on what it means to “die” (including religious assumptions). And also what “night” and “day” are in the Qur’an.

Later verses in the surah describe the nature of death: a falling away of that which is bestowed, of relationships to intermediate (imagined) valuation placed between the subject and the Divine, to be in a purified space, the original form of the human.

… And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands, “Your souls come out! Today you will be given a humiliating hurt for what you used to say against Allah other than the truth and you were, toward His verses, being arrogant.” (6:92) And truly you have come unto Us alone as We created you the first time. You have left behind you all that which We had bestowed on you. We see not with you your intercessors whom you claimed to be partners with Allâh. Now all relations between you and them have been cut off, and all that you used to claim has vanished from you. (6:93)

The hands (as we have noted earlier) extended are a metamodel fragmentation/dislocation. When taken as a micro-death, this dislocation is one in which a soul comes out (the Arabic also has the sense of eviction) from the shell/house of one language/regime into another. This is a violent hand of the angels, and is terrifying in its casting away, its humiliating adha (hurt — the same hurt experienced by the husband according to the menstrual cycles of approach and distance from the wife, the “lie” of Yusuf’s garment stained with blood, all equivalent). It is these micro-deaths that are spoken about in 92. They are traumatic means of growth, of carrying over the blessing earned by the soul and discarding the sins.

But when understood collectively, this process is itself a higher-order movement into the ultimate death of 93. Verse 92 is cyclical judgment, relating to (6:60): but its cycles predicate upon an ultimate Omega point of Mercy in 93. (This movement, as Love loving to be known, is within the text of Qur’an itself a theomorphic proof of God prescribing Love upon Himself — 93 is the ultimate full stop to the cycles of 92 — 92 repeats deaths in re-reading, and is limited (the limit of the prescription made textual) by the full stop of 93).

And then this axis, established between of Cyclical Judgment of ruhanic violence of the hands at 92, into the original form of man (which we know from elsewhere is perfect) of 93, further “descends” into the following set of ayat, like a horizontal axis of Judgement-Love now opened up vertically into an emanating progressive dialectic of creation/life. From the movement into the full stop is the expanded anticipation of the verses that follow: the harvest of life as rainfall over land, the calibration of the journey over land and sea (according to sun, moon and stars), the cycles of life from death and death from life:

Allah is truly the Cleaver of the grain and the date-seed; He brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living. That is Allah; how were you perverted? The Cleaver of the dawn; and he made the Night a time of rest and the sun and moon a means of reckoning. (6:95-96)

And it is He who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for a people who know. (6:97)
And it is He who produced you from one soul and a place of dwelling and of storage. We have detailed the signs for a people who understand. (6:98)

The movement from 95 into 99 is the creation story in miniature. The grain and date-seed, the dawn and night and sun and moon are precedent to the single soul (and its “as a resting place and repostory” of the houses of the soul) emerging. Land and sea are precedent to our original form.

And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees – of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe. (6:99)

By the waters from the sky (the masculine/bestowal aspect of the cosmic consciousness) there is the production of grains and palm trees (from the cleaving) upon the earth (the feminine/receptive aspect of the cosmic consciousness). Fruits of wisdom emerge upwards from the creation story’s downward emanation into the feminine reception of our reading. That is, the creation verses of 95 is the cleaving of the seeds and grain … so that 95 to 99 are rain that then ripens the fruits of wheat and palm trees within our reading.

Note 2: Consorts and Unity

Verse (6:101) emphasizes the fact that Allah has no child and no consort. It assures us of this by noting that the the heavens and earth follow from Him, and should not be identified with Gods or one or particular being treated as the God. It is helpful to remember that, particularly for our predecessors, the heaven and earth were understood as archetypes of the masculine and feminine — and idolatry is to isolate one or the other — rather than their resonating effect — and associate it with Allah. In a sense they are the masculine and feminine within the Scriptures, but should never be associated with the One: it is their effects (for example, those in verse 99) that are signs, rather than the signified.

Note 3 : Open and secret sins

There are verses about consumption in (6:118-121), emphasizing that believers are to eat only that over which “Allah’s Name is mentioned”.

But in between these verses is the injunction: “Avoid outer (zahir) and inner (batin) sins”.

This can be understood as sins that are public and private sin. But in our view, at least inasmuch as we speak about the sunnah and the eye of the believer freed of the Demiurge of Babylon (that forbids the sunnah and shuts the doors of prophecy in the 21st century), the sunnah does not involve a distinction between public and private. The inner and the outer are aspects of the signs themselves, rather than a personal interior psychology versus a public space of regulation (that latter distinction being the basis of the civilization of Babylon that we find currently practiced by many who call themselves religious.)

That is, we are speaking of the dangers of sin in transmission between signs. Between orbs of signs. (And macro-cosmically, between regimes of signs — in the house and outside the house into the next house). Because, as we have said, in transmission (communication of meaning/light) between signs in a lived sentence, the inner potential becomes a predication over the outer of the next sign (monadic transference). What is the potential for sin within this process? It is either

  • a blockage of the inner to the outer, so that nothing is transferred or
  • a promiscuity (the schizo-drunkardness that the Qur’an forbids) that comes from random connections being formed in abuse of language.

Note 4: Death and life

Is one who was dead, then We brought him back to life and gave him light to walk among the people, like one who is in total darkness and cannot get out of it. (6:122)

This deadness is the same deadness of the night, the life is the same as the day. A life given during the cycle.

It is very important to understand that the nafs is not a single unitary subjectivity, but, rather, a conglomorate or fuzzy collective of voices and situated modes of being in connected systems of power (a thing situated according to multiplicities of oaths):

Oh company of jinn and men, did there not come Messengers from among yourselvees to you, reciting to you My Revelations and warning you of seeing this Day of yours? They will say: “We bear witness against ourselves (NFS)” They were deluded by the earthly life and will bear witness against himself that they were unbelievers. (6:130)

Thus, at death, the company is the conglomerate of the self, “aspects” of the Messengers (as collected archetypes of our ruhanic trace) are parts of the soul that are present within our own, they recite back to us. And these parts bear witness against “ourselves” — the nafs-as-collective. The “they” is thus separate from the nafs-as-collective.

Another way of looking at the nafs-as-collective is to consider their container, which is a form, a model, a sign-regime, a type from the type system of the Malakutian level:

That is because your Lord would not destroy citiees on account of their people’s wrongdoing without warning them. (6:131)

Every self is contained in a city, a structure, a regime of signs. And every structure contains a prophetic conduit of warning.

Your Lord is the All Sufficient, the Mericful. If He wishes, He will destroy you and bring out after you, as successors, whomever He wishes, as He had produced you from the descendants of another (AKR) people. (6:133)

This verse concerns a warning regarding the day-night process of micro-deaths and micro-births: one nafsic conglomerate can be formed from a predecessor generation. This occurs all the time, but when the “rot” gets in deeper, the pruning can be conducted further up and an entire “race” or “line of being” can be deleted so that the ruhanic trace moves radically into an entirely different language, a different model, a different home, retaining nothing of the conglomerate. (It is worth noting that AKR has connotation of other people but also of last or hereafter.)

This is a movement from home to home:

… Will put you with another people in the home. (6:135)

This refers to movements of spirit between homes (hearts — caverns of the heart).

Note 5: The Love prescription and Pagan Law

Recall our first note above, that Allah prescribes Merciful Love upon himself: that Allah’s surplus Love gets in everywhere, including the impossible fabric of creation born of Love, so that Love might be heard, spoken, recited, recognized, felt.

This inscription/prescription of Allah is the very essence of Divine Law. It is the reason why Divine Law “gets in everywhere”, like heavy rain soaks all our clothes, it totalizes all Law. The Divine Law is the differentiated fabric of reality, but upon that, we find local laws that are sometimes pagan or Satanic. But those local laws are subject to Divine Law (not as a meta-law in this case, but as an immanent Presence of Love within all differentiation, all logical formulations, all edicts).

What is the nature of a Satanic local law? Its basis is a denial of the immanence of Divine Law within itself:

And the polytheists assign to Allah from that which He created of crops and livestock a share and say, “This is for Allah ,” by their claim, ” and this is for our partners [associated with Him].” But what is for their “partners” does not reach Allah , while what is for Allah – this reaches their “partners.” Evil is that which they rule.. (6:136)

An example of a pagan law here is that there are parts of the land and of the cattle (the immanent plateau of language and its carriers of meaning) that are “inner” or purely “for” Allah, while there are also cattle and land that are “external” and local. To form laws that, in valuative semantics, situate the Divine as separate from the law.

One of the extraordinary things of this part of the Qur’an is that a list of such laws are then given. Pagan laws are placed within the Qur’an — obviously negated, but still located and preserved within the text — in such a way that the light of the Divine Law (the Divine Love Prescription) that runs through even these laws — is unlocked and their subjecthood is shown.

The three main pagan laws are listed in 138-139: 1) The taboo of cattle and tilth, restriction of eating, regulation of cattle and land by priest police. 2) Forbidding the backs and not mentioning the Name 3) Wombs/what comes from within of cattle … that which is alive is for the male not wives, but both male and female can share this produce when it is dead:

And they say, “These animals and crops are forbidden; no one may eat from them except whom we will,” by their claim. And there are those whose backs are forbidden and those upon which the name of Allah is not mentioned – an invention of untruth about Him. He will punish them for what they were inventing. And they say, “What is in the bellies of these animals is exclusively for our males and forbidden to our females. But if it is [born] dead, then all of them have shares therein.” He will punish them for their description. Indeed, He is Wise and Knowing. (6:138-139)

The last law is “unlocked” by the Divine Law as follows. Cattle are carriers: they are either to be consumed (opened up) or else burden bearers. They are at the macrocosmic level herds constituting the nafs (amongst other things), but within the microcosmic level of predication/archetypes, they are carrier signals, carrier signs, with an inner and outer. The inner is a channel of milk (milk as Wisdom), moving out from the womb and, in generative (monadic) predication, reconstituting itself as the masculine outer shell and reformed feminine womb of the successor, anticipated, predicated sign. If the milk does not carry through then it is not permitted to carry through as potential within the shell of the next sign, then we have a masculine shell only, without an inner feminine. So the pagan law blocks feminine Wisdom of milk passing through and retains only the shell. (Predication is a reverse consumption, but is bidirectional, and the predicated sign “consumes” that feminine Wisdom that is generated by its precursory predicate.)

This last law is very much in the sin of the secret and the public, we spoke of above. Because it entails a cessation of generation/transmission, it is related to the pagan practice (as they operate through all levels of existence, including the literal) of killing children.

The second sin, about backs, is related, as the back of each predicate sign contains a residue that we are permitted to consume (recall the hadith from Sahih Bukhari of the the residue that the Tailor served to Prophecy, a food served upon the shells of the gourds, a food taken from the backs).

These pagan laws are encoded as anti-laws within Qur’an, specifically so that their negation can be proven, specifically to performatively demonstrate the nature of the Love Prescription that prescribes Love upon all law, all difference, all space. By incorporating other people’s laws within the Law, framing prescription within prescription, its meaning is captured by Love, Mercy is prescribed through.

That is, these pagan laws are not arbitrary innovations, they involve a particular cosmology that has theomorphic significance for us today by virtue of being encoded (albeit in a negative way) within the Quran.

The pagan prescription is one that would differentiate law itself (land) from god, a part only for God. But Allah’s prescription (the nexus of which is Qur’an itself) prescribes over all prescription, including this falsity. This is why pagan law is included even in negation within the book, because that reverse law has light unlocked by its correct reading in the context of Qur’an’s negation of it. By prescribing over the pagan prescription, we are given an understanding of the nature of Divine prescription and its awesome inescapability.

The pairs of sheep/goats and camels/cows that follow this verse are a more complicated clarification of this point, regarding orders of cosmology.


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