Re: MD MOQ and Islam

From: David MOREY (
Date: Tue Feb 17 2004 - 19:04:49 GMT

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    Hi Khalil

    Thanks for info and thoughts. I hope you can
    add some new thinking to our discussion.
    I do not know much about Islam. Much of
    Pirsig's thought looks at our understanding of
    science, and whilst I am interested in religious thought,
    I think that this should remain in dynamic interaction with
    the scientific understanding of nature, espeically as science
    is very dynamic and breaks us out of exclusively human
    conversation and human authority. How does Islan relate to
    both science and authority? I think Pirsig's commitment to truth
    and freedom issues a challenge to religious thinking that it
    needs to take very seriously.

    David M

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Khalil
      Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2004 12:09 PM
      Subject: MD MOQ and Islam


      I'm new to the group so forgive me if this is a subject that has
    already had an airing on MD but I was surprised after reading Lila that
    apart from a couple of almost disparaging remarks about Moslems and
    mullahs no other connection was made.

      In my opinion, although I fall way short of being anything of a
    scholar on these matters, Sufism, the mystical element of Islam has much
    in common with MOQ.

      In a sense we of course shouldn't be surprised at this as all the
    mystical traditions come together into a unity, as that is their
    purpose, to transcend the multiplicity in search of the origin.

      Sufism talks of Islam as being a combination of Shariah and Haqiqah,
    Sacred Law and Truth. Sacred Law provides the framework and detail of
    the rituals, duties, & prohibitions etc of daily life while the Truth
    contains the Spirit. We see here a correlation between static and
    dynamic quality. Indeed the problem with Islam today is that it has
    become trapped in the Shariah and has lost the Haqiqah in much the same
    way as Judaism was trapped in the Law before the advent of Jesus.

      Contrary to what some in the West believe, there is no Sufism without
    the Law. There is no Haqiqah without Shariah

      In Islam God, Allah, who is One, Immanent, Transcendent, Immutable is
    described as Lord of all the worlds, the 7 heavens and the 7 earths. We
    see here the unification of the different levels of existence, sub
    atomic, atomic, molecular, biological, social, intellectual, spiritual.
    Apparently separate but held together in a seamless unity. Islam is
    first and foremost the religon of Unity, it makes no separation between
    secular and spiritual and hasn't suffered the same church/science split
    as Christianity. In fact there is no Church(or Mosque) as such to
    uphold a particular dogma.

      It is said that God Who is unknowable in His* Totality is known
    through His Signs and His Qualities. Although His Names and Qualities
    are infinite He is referred to by 99 Qualities. e.g the One, the Truth,
    the All-Seeing, the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, the Infinite, the
    Eternal, the Creator, the Living, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the
    Sustainer etc *(in Arabic the language of revelation Allah is neither
    masculine of feminine, but translating into an impersonal pronoun seems
    even less appropriate).

      It is widely recognised that the North American Indians were greatly
    influenced by early Muslim travellers see

      Also Fritchof Schuon, one of the foremost intellects in the field of
    comparative religion in the 20th century, of Swiss origin, who converted
    to Islam in his twenties and established with Rene Guenon the school of
    Religio Perennis which sought to unveil the essential unity within all
    the great religious and mystic traditions, spent the last years of his
    life in Indiana amongst the American Indians and wrote about them.

      The name Laila, which means night in Arabic, is also a name given
    amonst Sufis to the feminine essence of of the Divine Reality. There is
    a famous Persian allegorical love story known as Laila and Majnun.
    Majnun means the one who has gone mad. It is the story of Majnun who
    has become mad through his love of Laila!

      Lastly for a fuller understanding on Sufi metaphysics I can recommend
    The Sufi Path of Knowledge Ibn Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination by
    William Chittick. Chittick has written a number of excellent books on
    Islam and Sufism. His wife Sachiko Murata has written the Tao of Islam.

      Ibn Arabi (sometimes Ibn al Arabi) is known amongst Sufis as the
    greatest of the Knowers, while Jalal ad Din Rumi the Persian mystic and
    poet and founder of the Whirling Dervish order of Sufis is known as the
    greatest of the Lovers. Chittick has also written a book on Rumi's
    teachings called the Sufi Path of Love.

      Please forgive me if this is something that has already been noted and
    discussed at length. Otherwise I hope it has been useful.



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