Question: I attended your recent hutba where you laid down the principles of Tailorite “True islam”, and your dogma of the Prophet Muhammed’s immaculate pacifism: he shed no physical blood, yielded no physical punishment, etc.
No doubt you have a number of esoteric techniques to extract a Tailorite tafsir of peace and love from even the most difficult verses and narrations. And yet on the point of “harsh and cruel laws”, “exterior appearance of cruelty”, etc, I can’t help coming away with the impression that you’re deluding yourself. Esoterism can only get you so far, surely. There remain many aspects of the sharia that can’t be explained away so easily.
For example (one example amongst many I could give you), there are sound hadiths in which the Prophet says that those who don’t come to pray deserve to have their houses burnt down! This certainly appears to be a “harsh punishment”, if ever there was one, and I puzzle at how this threatening Prophet of his time and culture could possibly be reconciled with your immaculately peaceful image of Prophecy.
The Lord bless you and keep you on you, maintaining you on the sirat al mustaqeem by the cyclical radiance of the Loving Countenance, resonating through the shells of appearance, running outward, seeping inward, the core Truth of your lives and loves.
I certainly agree my efforts hare futile with respect to ever convincing mainstream Islam as practiced down south in the City. I’m preaching to the converted up here in Fuadfordshire — a comfortable, middle class Tailorite elite. Remember, my move to this northern village was forced upon me after I spent a number of years preaching to the wealthy and the poor of the City, efforts that were ineffective and lost to the majority. Even outwardly moderate and progressive Muslims eventually object at what I have to say, once they sit down, really listen and digest its implications.
I despair of the City and don’t for a moment believe that anything I say will convince anyone who hasn’t already had an experience of Allah (in which case they will not need to read what I have to say anyway).
Nevertheless, your hadith example is a good illustration of how I read the outwardly harsh and cruel stuff in Islamic and Judaic revelatory literature.
The hadith is indeed authentic and goes like this:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “No prayer is harder for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the Isha prayers and if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves even if they had to crawl.”
The Prophet added, “Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses. (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 11, Number 626)
The important point is the nature of what a “house” is in the Qur’an (and Torah, Talmud, Injeel, those scriptures that must be read and understood before engaging completely with Qur’an and Prophetic hadeeth, because the child’s DNA is comprehended by analyzing that of its parents).
When you read the scriptures, know that “house” always means a shell, wherein life dwells. And know that life is Love, life is the breath, the ruh of Allah. And know that shells, houses, occur everywhere: each sign you perceive, word you read before you here, each idea you have had, each action you make, each event that effects you — these are shells, houses, wherein life dwells. Your very notion of selfhood — of who “you” are — is a shell.
And your identity is a house, a shell housing the spirit of your truth, your human soul. Every house has a front door and a back door, and the spirit of a human soul (its ruh) enters from one house to another via these doors.
The process of departing from one house to another — transmigration of this ruh, this spirit, this life — from one set of signs to another, from one identity to another: this is a sanctified cycle. It is sanctified because it is God’s will being done. And it is a cycle because it is like a wheel of Light running through signs by a process of entering and exiting, transferring the Truth from one set of signs to another: transmitting the First Intellect, transmitting Understanding, Gnosis, the Knowledge and Wisdom — the things that the Tailorite Muslims call Love.
This process of departing from one house to another — a cycle of God’s ruh entering the house to dwell and departing and exiting the house to transmit — this process is called Salat — Knowing, Witnessing — God Loving to be to be Known through Love. And Salat is a cycle from Fajr to Isha:
If you have read Qur’an, you might know there is a lot of peculiar shariah relating to when you can enter someone’s house, when you can occupy a house that is left empty (cosmic squatters rights!), etc. These laws are all about the transmigration of the soul between these shells. They are not some eccentric ancient Arabic etiquette guide (though they do define a greater, absolute etiquette).
Now, this process of Salat — this process of entering/exiting — the process of Knowing — this all takes place across metonymies of signs/sign complexes. (Whether we are talking about the ruh moving from one identity/life to another, or the ruh moving from one sentence of this hadith into the tafsir I give now, it’s still the ruh moving from one set of signs to another, from one house to another.)
Signs are linguistic, and language is judgement/perception: to speak is always to make a logical judgement, to perceive is always to make a logical judgement. And “fire” signifies judgement, it signifies speech (“cloven tongues like as of fire” in the Pentecost, etc).
For Prophecy to suggest the burning of the houses means two things:
1) it is an ironically self-reflexive statement (all statements are burning houses, built as they are of signs/shells arranged),
2) it is a piece of Cosmic Shariah — to discard the shells via burning is a process of Reading (from the right of water to the left of fire), of annihilation of shells — but an anhilatory Reading that unlocks and frees the spirit to passes freely back into the cycle of Salat.
The Cosmic Shariah is in place at all times: to Read is the burn away shells (one axis) but also to transmit (the other axis of entrace/exit to Salat).
But the Shariah also applies to a pathological case: fascism of the kind located in the City. Within the City you will find some houses have doors that cannot let the spirit freely pass in and out — some houses act like prisons to the Divine soul, keeping it sealed and locked in, unable to participate in the greater Cosmic Prayer cycles of Loving God. Those houses are burnt away violently, so to speak (though not a physical violence) — like chaff separated from wheat, their burning will free the pure spirit of the human soul, facilitating its release from the burden of its shell of appearance and speculation, moving forward towards realising the goal of the nation, the Mind’s emanation, the transmission of First Intellect.
Sufis like ibn Arabi repeated this understanding — as did the Christian Gnostics and Jewish Kabbalists. But the tropes are aeons old, from an historical perspective, long predating their occurrence in hadeeth and Qur’an.
Standing in witness to the certainty that Allah is Love, I am prevented from reading Qur’an and hadeeth in any other way mode. But I don’t anticipate anyone to follow my reading or be convinced by my understanding of these texts. I might be mad, but I’m not crazy.