How is it that the human soul can truly live Tawhid and embody this expression?
“Wheresoever you turn, then there is the Face of Allah” (2:115)
In my engagement with the Quranic concepts I have chosen to reflect and write about this Ramadan – all of them are related to deciphering the signs and symbols of Allah, by which we come to know intimately and trust completely in our Creator.
The universe is a book, our own innermost selves are a universe … these infinite ayaat are signposts – they point to something beyond the surface – which is why to exist at the level of “face-value” is meaningless, those facades veil us from “seeing the Face of Allah wherever we turn” … so we need to look, listen, taste and feel deeper, to turn inward as much as we navigate outwardly.
“Soon will We show them our Signs in the furthest regions of the earth, and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth.” (41:53)
Allah details many ayaat in the Qur’an : the very verses themselves – each a symbol, the creation of the universe, nature’s pulse, history, specific people whether blessed or wretched, diversity, ancient ruins, sacred spaces and the secrets of the human soul …. even silence is a sign. All of these can only be read, as Allah says, if we have imbibed Iman (6:99), taqwa (10:6), dhikr (16:13) sabr & shukr (14:5). If we make use of reason (15:73) and deep reflection (38:29) if we make time to ponder, to think and study (31:27) then the signs are meant to evoke and provoke responses from us (19:58, 32:15) … mental and spiritual shifts, however subtle or startling, we are to be ever-moving, never-static in our faith (7:173, 8:2)
Each of Allah’s infinite symbols are cosmic arrow-shaped insignia on which are inscribed the word “entrance” … were we to then merely stand transfixed at the arrow, reciting and repeating it over and over again, not caring to even glance to where it is pointing, mistaking the entry sign for the entrance itself, we would not be-able take that first step by which the doorways of Divine Forgiveness, Mercy, Light and Love are moved forward for us.
“Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who created them, if it is Him you wish to worship.” (41:37)
As sublime as many of the earthly ayaat are, we are reminded that the most magnificent representations of Allah’s Absolute perfection are still to come in the next life …Muhammad (as) was shown some of them on his heavenly ascension (53:18) … yet we are reminded that we must truly witness these earthly signs if we want to percieve those eternal heavenly realities.
“Those who were blind in this world, will be blind in the hereafter, and most astray from the Path.” (17:72)
And yet, even with our urgency to realize, we must be patient with the signs so they may fully unfold and unfurl in our consciousness,
“Soon I will show you My signs, so do not impatiently urge Me” (21:34)
Please share with me your reflections on signs and symbols.