Head Smashing in the Deen of Allah

There are a number of references to the punishment of heads being smashed (repeatedly) and to the boiling of brains in the Prophetic narrations.

For example, narrations concerning the Miraj and Isra refer to the Prophet seeing angels smash people’s heads with rocks. These heads would return to the shape they had been, and then the angels would smash their heads again–and so on. Jibril told the Prophet, “These are the ones whose heads felt too heavy to perform prayer–the ones who used to sleep without praying.”

There is also the following, regarding brains:

Narrated An-Nu’man: I heard the Prophet saying, “The person who will have the least punishment from amongst the Hell Fire people on the Day of Resurrection, will be a man under whose arch of the feet a smoldering ember will be placed so that his brain will boil because of it.”(Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 566)


I remember attending a hutba in South Ilford a few years’ ago where these descriptions were enumerated — with the Sheikh reminding us of how painful that would be, to have your brain leak out from your skull and then for it to be repeated — with the congregation being put under a palpable spell of collective fearfulness.

Now, just so people don’t mistake my intent, let me remind you that I respect traditional Islam’s responses to these stories. In particular, I remind my Western readers not to pre-judge the Muslims on their usage of these gruesome narrations: their purpose is to instill a particular mode of emotional comportment toward their Allah (fear and reverence), an embodied mode of feeling that entails a quite different form of subjectivity from, say, a 19th century pastor’s hellfire and brimstone sermon or a Medieval Christian conception, etc.

And we must be cautious in relating to the Islamic subjectivity of embodied piety — and, when tempted to criticise, must always ask ourselves — for what purpose do we wish to criticise? There’s always a political subtext to any critique, so what’s our politics? And if we can’t answer that sensibly, morally, then it is better to hold our tongue. So what follows is not Islam, has no colonial intent to affect or challenge Islam’s embodied practice: it is something completely separate without a political agenda other than to lay down what I believe.

The Tailorite Reading.

So now that’s out of the way (I ought to form a standard disclaimer), let me give you the Tailorite reading of head smashing.

The human being consists of a number of different aspects and has a meaning that runs across lives, forms of lives, forms of forms and formation itself. The relationship between one level and the next is one of events to forms of events.
At any point in time, the life that we have lived so far constitutes a (fractal) trace of events, a trace, form or set. This trace is called the “head”, while the life we have lived is known as the “neck”.

As we move through life, we encounter signs. When these signs are read (processed, rather than bypassed) light is unlocked into formative space (archetypes are encountered) and conduits of transmission are opened from neck to head. The head feeds from the neck-event, the neck provides nutrient of light extraction/processing, like a tree is sustained by its roots.

The Qur’an ordains necks being severed, because as nutrients are fully extracted from one lifetime, the head needs to pass onto another lifetime to continue its extraction/feeding process. Like a cosmic combine harvester: the head-neck-reading complex.

At the same time, the complex is not unidirectional between neck and head. The head itself provides revelatory dispersal, bidirectional sustenance and nutrients to the neck: like a mother feeds her children. When the neck reads shariah, in an awakened state, it stimulates the head with a call, that is then responded to, with milk of Wisdom which flows down to sustain our lives.

This bidirectionality of this flow is the meaning of Qur’an here:

When My servants ask about me, then I am near. I respond to the invocation of the caller when he calls me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me so that they will be rightly guided. (Qur’an 2:186)

And that’s what prayer is.

But we’re talking about this all from within the perspective of the individual soul, transmigratory though it is. So when we say “Wisdom”, it’s still indirect with respect to the wider matrix of forms of forms, and the core of formation itself. So here we need to speak of head smashing. Heads are smashed when this reciprocal circuit of head-neck-reading is in turn repeated, so that the soul does not merely transmigrate between bodies in one universe but, rather, entire universes are destroyed and recreated: transmigration of the self, not between lifecycles, but between world-cycles.

Reading is navigation through shariah, reading is reading shariah, and shariah is fire. The neck’s movement through fire is always by means of two feet: these constitute the diamond dialectic.

Reading of shariah provides the catalyst for a violent call upwards to the skull of the heaven: reading shariah is the fire against the arches of the feet. This awakens the subject who was previously asleep to prayer. The circuitry of the neck-head-reading complex is activated and the head is “smashed”, so that the brain (acquired/provided localities of immanent Wisdom), passed through all lifetimes in one moment and is both dispersed downward and its archetypes of archetypes are inscribed within the “higher head” of the Invisible Intellect.

The lower (visible) process of reciprocation is therefore mirrored in the upper (invisible) complex. Conceptually mirrored, from the perspective of the skull, not actually, from the hypothetical/fantastic perspective of the meta-skull. The skull is smashed and its nutrient (brain) is released from its form and piped upward to the meta-skull, which recognizes, maintains and corrects the meta-reading of your lifetimes, as they pass between bodies/ummahs, and as bodies pass between worlds, between entire cycles of the universe’s creation. The meta-skull in turn takes these refined calls and emits them upward into the secret of Your Being, Who in turns reciprocates downward through both circuits, a refined sustenance of the Single Tablet, downward into ordinal Qur’ans.

Both the Jesus of the visible order and the Jesus of the invisible order are therefore speaking when they say the following — appearing as he does between cities and villages:

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, “Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, “I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, “I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’

The visible Jesus does not know them because he’s a different Jesus now, that universe was terminated and while he looks the same, he’s entirely different without any memory of what happened earlier (parallel universe Jesus). The invisible Jesus does not know them because they are the residue of illusion through which the roots extracted and retained the nutrients: they were lost during the process as it evolves from his meta-perspective.

We are talking about 2’s and 3’s here, lives, skulls and meta-skulls, in relation to Jesus. This is why the following appears to contradict the former, regarding gatherings and recognition. Depending on what part of the self we are talking about, and what point in the cycles and cyclical cycles we refer to, there is recognition or not, though actually the lines of kinship are not severed.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)


The First Time I Prayed with Muhammed

It was some time in 2009. I spent the night praying in what is now the girls’ room.

At some point during my recitation, reality shifted, so that the Qur’an coming from my mouth became like a kind of tunnel, so that I was praying with (or within) Muhammed. Not a concept, but the man, the real man. I was standing in the room, now, but was also acutely aware of the trans-spatial-temporal nature of the contact. I was definitely standing in Seven Kings and yet, simultaneously, in 7th century Arabia. I was struck by how alien he was in form to me, and at the same time I comprehended his point, who he was exactly in relation to me.

I’ve spent a fair amount of effort trying to make sense of that experience – or, more accurately, enumerate it’s implications using the vocabulary at my disposal. It’s one of the reasons I was writing the Doctrine with such conviction, bordering on arrogance, particularly when it came to Islam (a religion I really know very little about). And that experience also sources my communication failure to Muslims.

Because these kinds of experiences are very personal, very subjective, aren’t they? And they are objectionable to religious people, for that reason: at least, religion in the sense of a normative, rationalist tradition (that denies the possibility of personal experiences). I’d certainly be fine with the truth of it being entirely subjective — an hallucination, brought about by a confined space, a day’s fasting, fatigue the repetition of the act of prayer, etc.

As I have learnt, “my” Muhammed, the one I met/hallucinated, the one I’ve been trying to enunciate since — he appears to be quite different from the one understood by the scholars of Islam. To begin with, that Muhammed, the scholars’ Muhammed, doesn’t time travel (though he’s an excellent and just statesman).

At least from the scholars’ perspective, if you have met Muhammed, you can’t be a Muslim. From time to time I find myself rather let down with respect to this irony.

Amy Winehouse and the Norway Tragedy: Being More Like God

Two tragedies are read out this Sunday, across the headlines of papers and the status update feeds of social media: the death of a pop singer and the terrorist attack in Norway.

It is interesting to compare my immediate reaction to both these events.

1. Norway.

In the case of Norway massacre, I was first shocked when I heard the initial reports. But I’m desensitized to news of violence, so this registered with me in the same way that, say, some ethnic cleansing in Kyrgistan might hit me: detached, quite mild, horror.

My first assumption was that it was a probable Islamic terrorist attack. And whenever these things happen, some part of my prays that it’s someone else perpetrating the attack. (“God, please let it not be Muslims this time!”) When it’s in places like India or Pakistan or Iraq, it’s almost a given. But in Western attacks, there is always a possibility of some other group or individual — diversity breeds a diversity of murderers. So when the Spanish bombing occurred, I’m sure part of me was hoping it was Basque separatists.

Why do I feel this way? Partly out of attachment and tribal empathy for my Muslim friends and to the general immigrant populations in the West. Partly out weariness at this decade long enumeration of Muslim atrocities: I am tired of the cloud of violence hanging above the ummah of Islam, and (petty mindedly) wish it was blown to some other, more distant ummah (like Neo Nazis or the IRA, for instance).

So some distant component of me felt almost victorious — at least vindicated — as the news trickled in that the criminal was, not Muslim, but a far right extremist. Ha! And the media was so quick to assume! The political-propaganda machine bias runs deep … Yeah, all those initial soundbites immediately so quick to blame the Muslims, guilty until proven innocent because to be Muslim is to be guilty. The Norwegian prime minister himself seemed to be talking immediately about some foreign Islamist agency in his defiant first speech after the event — “They will never succeed in changing Norway from being Norway”.

Oooh, the hypocrisy of it all! The criminal calls himself a Christian and has links to the British Nationalist Party. But, predictably, the media does not label him a “Christian Terrorist”. There will be no calls for the Church to better police itself this Sunday! And, unlike extremist Muslim organizations in the UK, there is not call to shut down the BNP for its tangential involvement in this crime. Then I turn on the BBC and hear some talking head academic from a certain War Studies department arguing that this event shouldn’t be classified as terrorism, tragic though it is. The subtext being: terrorism is a war between east and west, it has a different status from a mentally ill man with guns and an ideology. But Mr Professor — why are you drawing that distinction other than to prop up your own funding, man, other than to legitimate a discourse of violence based on an orientalist distinction of east from west, a discourse whose primary purpose is not to tackle the evil that men do but, rather to maintain control of symbolic capital. (Symbolic capital ranging over everything that can be represented — money, commodities, labour, land, but also university lectures and talking head soundbites.) Mr Professor, why are they funding your research on terrorism, your ownership of the term — other than as a means to control power?

Surely a distinction between the mentally ill/alienated and the peaceful/lovers would be a more useful basis for any genuine approach to really tackle the problem of terrorist acts (in all countries).

But stop.

This way of thinking cannot be a good thing. Think of it from a God’s Eye view, or at least think about how the Tailorite Jesus would react. The violence has happened, for whatever reason, and the first reaction of the Tailorite ought not be one of smug self-righteous indignation at the politicians and media — it ought to be one of complete loving sympathy to the victims.

Would Jesus be blogging some Foucaultian diatribe about the nature of power and media in such an instance? No, not at all — he’d take on this sin — all of it, onto himself — and he’d weep.

If we are made in the image of God, we ought to cultivate a Godly reaction to all news, good or evil. We are better than this.

2. Winehouse.

I was more emotionally involved in the news of Winehouse’s death. I felt a more direct, personal and human sadness at this, not an abstract sadness.

And that is interesting: the nature of technology has fooled our (still very animal) primate systems into feelings of intimacy with celebrity. This woman has sung for me these years — sitting with my family in my car, her presence has accompanied me on the tube, closer to me than my fellow commuters, she has worked alongside me at my office desk, and in the kitchen as I cook. Of course consciously I’ve just been playing mp3s. But my unconscious primate system is still fooled to the aural illusion at play here: and so this woman is as close to me as any friend or relative.

Hence my genuine sadness at her death, my only abstract distant mourning of the Norway massacre. It’s also the reason why people will get more upset with deaths in one country over deaths in another. A typical Pakistani Muslim will be more upset over children dying in Palestine than in Rwanda or China — simply because they have subjected their primate systems to a stronger information stream from Palestine than the other countries — and so at the very deepest unconscious level, they are more physically intimate with the one information presence than the other.

This is not to say they don’t love or feel mercy equally: I’m talking about the actual level of emotional sadness here, that physical level of mourning.

It’s the same principle behind all deaths and representation: it’s where our stone age selves are most obviously not able to keep up with the toolkits of information transmission we have developed.

But stop.

What I’ve written is true. But what about the morality of it all? Sadness for something that we know is small in the cosmic scheme of things: it’s still sadness. Someone passed away: it’s not an illusion.

What would Jesus do in the case of Amy? He carries her mistakes upon his cross, he carries her sins so that she is saved. And he’d weep.

If we are made in the image of God, we ought to cultivate a God like reaction to all news, good or evil. We are better than this.

3. Being more like God

But of course it is impossible to carry all that is occurring, to process each and every tragedy of humankind, to catch, carry and process each and every wave of suffering that ripples across the surface of the universe.

It isn’t possible process the totality of all human suffering. Because suffering is a form of knowledge and the totality of knowledge belongs to Allah alone. Those waves, each one of them, they constitute the Body of the Messiah: that’s what it means for him to carry them. And only Allah knows that Body, though it’s our Body, we cannot know it in totality. The Body itself — when understood as Love Loving to be Known — is in a state that moves toward total stillness, total correction of these ripples. And that’s where we come in — it is through our individuated processing of suffering that this eventual stillness will be achieved, and the Messiah will return.

And so we filter our information streams and we process what comes naturally to us, we feel some events more strongly than others. Some are more effected by an event in Palestine than an event in China, some are more effected by a Islamic terrorist attack in New York than by a right wing attack in Norway, some feel a celebrity’s passing away more strongly than the deaths of thousands.

There is nothing wrong with feeling some things more strongly than others: the problem comes about when we fail to read the information streams with divine literacy, when we become trapped, enslaved to the information being presented to us so that it creates a false sense of self containedness. So that we fail to grasp what Allah is saying to us, when we see tragedy in front of us.

Technology and multimedia feeds do not help: a complexity of information feeds only serves to highlight our primate sensory overload, our inability to read.

But while the primate system hasn’t caught up with technology of information transmission, (Tailorite) Islam provides the means to evolve ourselves to process (iqra).

We are on the cusp of a new point of human evolution. The potential is there for the primate system to catch up, right now, by comprehending the (individuated, non-total) information streams being presented to it and reading/processing these streams. This process involves leaving behind the primate shell and living life in a way that enables us to grasp the different forms of tragedy put before us — from the smallest kind to the largest — in a mode that is self-aware of its own reading, that reads the information horror and its own eye reading, horrified by the information. This is a way of locating Christ.

Such a way of reading allows us to become what we are, underneath the dust of our bodies — beings of light, beings of information. The (Tailorite) Islamic reading allows us to shift rapidly, from one stream to the next, from one people to the next, from one media context to the next, from one lifetime to the next, immediately: and rapidly deploy corrective modes of empathy and absorb waves of tragedy with counteracting waves of loving-kindness. To correct and process each hurt without becoming fixated on any particular point in your timeline, in your lifeline. This is called carrying the Cross, and necessarily has the character of “switching” from one stream to the next.

It’s not a question of what would the Messiah do — we know what he would do/does — as much it is a question of how we individually carry the Messianic correction.

Random Hadith Commentary: Distances and Jummahs

Tailorite Devotional Exercise: clear your mind, open the Sahih Bukhari on a random page and write down what is immediately apparent.

Narrated Aisha: The people used to come from their homes and from Al-Awali (the outskirts of Al-Madina). They used to pass through dust and used to be drenched with sweat and covered with dust, so sweat used to trickle from them. One of them came to Allah’s Messenger who was in my house. The Prophet said to him, “I wish that you keep yourself pure and clean on this day of yours.” (Sahih Bukhari, the Book of Friday, 10:50).

Al Madina is the city into which souls return, after each cycle of birth and death. As the Qur’an says, the muhajirin (emigrant soul aspects, little faces who leave their home/necks to journey into the Nothern City) are welcomed by their co-respondent ansar (helper soul aspects) in that city: and, at all levels of life and reading, this is a continual process of hijrah (emigration), welcoming/netting of the emigrant by the matching ansar-shape.

The cycle of this process — or procession is given to us here:

And the forerunners, the Muhajirun and the Ansar and also those who followed them exactly: Allah is pleased with them as they are pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success. (9:100)

As we have said before, the forerunners are those souls emigrating fully along the circuit model of consciousness, from Muhajireen as migrating-thought/temporal ennoia/procession to Ansar as welcoming foreknowledge/pronoia/providence.

And jummah is the nexus of this procession.

The souls pass through dust in this journey of return: they pass through bodies of dust intermingled with sweat. A soul passes through a world of dust and water as it proceeds toward nexus meeting.

The souls acquire two things: 1) permanent Truth extracts, gathered along their journey back into Al Madina 2) and an impermanent wastage of dust intermingled with sweat, as the Qur’an says, like foam that rises up from a blacksmith’s heated ore.

He sends down water from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure, but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface – and from that which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it, thus does Allah show forth truth and falsehood . Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables.
(Qur’an 13:17)

The end of the routine being narrated here is one in which this soul-body entered the house of the 6 year old wife. Like a grain of pollen floating in the wind, passing into the window of the wife’s house. Why the 6 year old’s house? Because it desires a premature verdict mediated by Prophecy’s wife: an immanentization of the process we describe, but prematurely stated (in other words, an anticipatory enunciation of the rite’s climax). Which is: the process demands purification of the soul from its body, extraction of Truth from dust-sweat/foam … because the process is a washing away of that body, a pure extraction of scattered Truth/Love by means of the hijrah-City nexus called Jummah.

Suficore versus Islamic Piety

(Really need to get Sally to sing this song, it’s a weak draft from 2 years’ ago that might make its way onto the second album.)

Islamic Piety: How is this Islamic? Music´╗┐ is haram, right?

The Tailor: Correct, there is a strong opinion within the Fiqh of Islam is that music is haram. This opinion cannot be disputed by myself — it may be disputed by people who live within the ummah though, because the fiqh is a constantly evolving and often self-contradictory group negotiation. But this video — and all the videos I have authored are not Islamic — because they fall outside of the scope of that group negotiation, they are made in ignorance of fiqh, not in negotiation (retaliatory or amicable). This is Suficore, which is something else entirely.

Islamic Piety: If this is “something else entirely”, then kindly remove your tags that associate your videos with Islam and Muslims — and employ a different tag which correctly corresponds to what this is meant to be. This is not even Sufi qalam/music. If you have invented a new musical movement please´╗┐ give it a new name and don’t defame Islam and Sufism in order to bring fame to you movement.

Tailor: I’m sorry. Those tags are now deleted.


In the spirit of honesty, I should add that I composed that song after my first little “break” from Islam in 2009 — I wrote it the day I found I couldn’t take another jummah prayer. Up to that moment, for more than a year, I’d tried hard to maintain a serious practice of the religion of Islam. This included praying 5 times a day, finding a jamat prayer whenever possible and never missing a jummah group prayer, including listening to the entire hutba (sermon). But it become increasingly difficult to maintain this practice, because the hutbas were so awful and — to my ears — the exact opposite of the religion of my soul. Don’t get me wrong, non-Muslim reader: the sermons were not preaching some kind of radical violent jihadist Islam, as the tabloids might want you to imagine. They were always focused on issues to do with fiqh, with how to live, how to cultivate a particular piety that is alien to me, unnatural to me. They worked to create an image of God — and a comportment of piety towards that image — that was not so much fearful as uncomfortable — not a personal Love that comes comforts (even if its descent/withdrawal is fearful) — but perhaps, at best, an benevolent King’s Mercy balanced with other Kingly attributes, including a wrath/irascibility that curiously appeared to resemble a kind of judgmental cosmic south east asian uncle.

Anyway I’d been torn because I wanted to keep that practice up, I had fallen in love with the idea of a jummah prayer — and with the spirit of a group congregational rite.

But I couldn’t go on and so I spent the night in retreat, really quite worked up about things. I recited and meditated and worried. And then I felt hit by a wave of comfort, of personal Love that reminded me … it’s all alright, all systems are a masjid. And that wave constituted my fajr prayer, the birds outside my window calling an azan.

And so that song really is as non-Muslim as you can get — not so much un-Islamic as straightforwardly not Muslim, the exception to Islam’s rule: it is a song in which I felt Love’s personal comfort descend upon me … a reassurance that I no longer had to worry about the physical masjid and the rites of jummah (I’m talking about a personal comfort mind you — I no longer had to worry — of course the ummah of Islam must preserve and maintain and guard these rites). Hence the objections I quote above — are very much genuine concerns and in the spirit of accuracy — she was quite right — it was wrong to tag the video with Islam.

When reading the continual emails and complaint feeds I have been receiving since I started this blog with its video and facebook portals, I am constantly amazed at how perceptive Muslims within the piety movement are when it comes to policing their territories. To the ordinary viewer this sounds like a silly, kind of hippy song. But piety hears and immediately springs to action.