Knowledge & Nearness

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Allah (s.w.t.) Deposited within us knowledge of all things, and then we were Blocked from perceiving it.  This is one of the Divine Mysteries that reason denies.  People think it impossible.

“When I have Fashioned him (in due proportion) and Breathed into him of My Spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.” (Surah al-Hijr:29)

One Breath from Allah (s.w.t.) is all that Sustains all us.  And with it came knowledge of the Qur’an.  The Qur’an is Kalamullah.  It is Uncreated.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says, “Neither My heavens nor My earth can hold Me, but the heart of the believer, can contain Me.”  And that is where the Qur’an is.  It is actually in the heart.

When Jibril (a.s.) came and asked the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) to recite the first Revelation, he said he could not recite.  And the same for the second time and on the third, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) asked, “Recite what?”  And Jibril (a.s.) said:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Proclaim! (or Read!) in the Name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who Created -  Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim!  And thy Lord is Most Bountiful - He Who Taught (the use of) the pen - Taught man that which he knew not. (Surah al-‘Alaq:1-5)

It was in the Name of Allah (s.w.t.) that a key was turned and our Prophet (s.w.t.) who was ummi could recite.  And that is why a person in a state of Nearness can suddenly remember the Qur’an, if only for a moment.  He would behind the imam when he is reciting and he would know the words, it seems, at the edge of his memory even though he ‘knows’ he has not memorised that particular portion of the Qur’an.  We do not memorise the Qur’an.  We remember it.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
(Allah) Most Gracious!  It is He Who has Taught the Qur’an.  He has Created man: He has Taught him speech (and intelligence) (Surah ar-Rahman:1-4)

Here, we notice that Allah (s.w.t.) Says He Taught the Qur’an before He Says He Created ‘insan.’ ‘Insan,’ which is normally translated a ‘man’, comes from the same root as ‘to forget’, ‘nunsa.’  Man is ‘an-naas’, ‘the one who forgot.’  We are those who have forgotten Allah (s.w.t.) in this world.  All mankind that is, except Rasulullah (s.a.w.).  He alone never forgot Allah (s.w.t.).  He was always cognisant of the Divine.  Rasulullah (s.a.w.) is not and was never numbered amongst al-insan.  He was the one who was Given the Qur’an before the Creation of Adam (a.s.) and all the Children of Adam.

And remember We Said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam”; and they bowed down: not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: he was of those who reject faith. (Surah al-Baqarah:34)

Rasulullah (s.a.w.) said, “I was a prophet when Adam was between water and clay.”  Here, Allah (s.w.t.) Says, “Remember”.  He was speaking to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  That Allah (s.w.t.) Told him to remember implies that Rasulullah (s.a.w.) was there.  In all the parts of the Qur’an, when Allah (s.w.t.) Says, “And remember when…” He is not Addressing us since we were not there.  He is Addressing the Prophet (s.a.w.) since he was present from the very beginning.

And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He Placed them before the angels and said, “Tell Me the names of these if ye are right.”  They said, “Glory to Thee: of knowledge we have none, save that Thou hast Taught us: in truth it is Thou Who art Perfect in Knowledge and Wisdom.” He Said, “O Adam!  Tell them their names.”  When he had told them their names, Allah Said, “Did I not Tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I Know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?” (Surah al-Baqarah:31-33)

Not only were we Given the Qur’an, Adam (a.s.) was taught laduni.  He was Given knowledge of Creation.  And yet, man has lost that for that knowledge can only be possessed when one is in a state of unity.  When Adam (a.s.) forgot for a moment, that knowledge was lost then.

He will say, “O my Lord!  Why hast Thou, Raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)?” (Surah ThaHa:125)

What was lost was the greatest knowledge of all, the knowing of the Nearness of Allah (s.w.t.).  It is the sweetness of faith.  And since Man has forgotten that, he has forgotten his role.

And be ye not like those who forgot Allah; and He Made them forget themselves souls!  Such are the rebellious transgressors! (Surah al-Hashr:19)

The nearness of the mystery to those who do not know it is like Allah’s (s.w.t.) Nearness to His servants, as proclaimed in His Words:

But We are Nearer to him than ye, and yet see not (Surah al-Waqi’ah:85)

… We are Nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (Surah Qaf:16)

Despite this Nearness, the servant does not perceive or know anything of it.  There is no one can know what is within himself until it is Revealed to him moment by moment.  And that can only happen with the cleansing of the heart.  And the final cleansing is the removal of self for the Divine cannot be Present until the self is absent.


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