To: Sufis
Subject: Re: Image of God
From: []
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 11:05:31 -0800 (PST)

49990126 IIIom

assalam alaykum, my kin.

nurjahan atai:
#>  How do you imagine God ?

as a crazed black woman with multiple arms holding weapons and
heads, wearing a skirt of arms and dancing upon a corpse.

Robert Ellerton_Masters :
#        Some people find it difficult to deal in abstractions,
#        and that is understandable..

the difficulty can cause us to imagine something tangible, a form
for the formless. the difficulty can cause us to stop imagining
anything at all, until at times we merely have a word for the
wordless, until if we are not careful Allah merely becomes a word.

#  The popular misconception that God is seen to be an
#  old man with  white beard  comes from our tendency to
#  anthropomorphize   and  to  seek  a tangible target for
#  our thought.

not just that, but because religion tends to authorize old
men with white beards as its agents and describes God this
way in its scriptures. the religious can be understood to
merely be following along to the rhythm of the establishment,
and we are kind to inform them that this is against Shariah.

#   Of course    we remind ourselves why  we , humans , look
#  the way we do .. its 'cause we need to walk from here
#  to there and grasp things.. and we are in gender coz of
#  procreation and propagation of the species...

another way of looking at us is that this is just how we are,
not because we needed something. that is, it isn't like there
is a reason for everything being the way it is, as if some
godlike human conceptualizer designed it all and set it in motion 
like a big mechanical model. this just perpetuates the godfather
motif and leads to alienation from kinimals (nonhuman animals).
#  Allah is the name God has given himself.. we would not
#  know it is His Name otherwise...

God gave Hirself many names, Allah is one of the most blessed.

#  Allah in his Essence  is   unknowable...

the Absolute, as kindred on this email list has termed Hir.
#  Our Prophet and Messenger Muhammad ( SAS ) has enjoined
#  his followers not to think of the Essence of Allah.. for
#  if we do .. we shall stray .... But rather , to think of
#  his Attributes..  in the manner he has made himself known
#  to man in Scripture.. and the Koran abounds with Allah
#  describing himself...

how has the Essence made Hirself known to humans except
through attributes, forms, events, and phenomena?

why do the Buddhists say

	essence is not different than form
	form is not different than essence


#  "The sufis are agreed that God is One, Alone, Single,
#  Eternal, Everlasting, Knowing , Powerful, Living,
#  Hearing, Seeing, Stong, Mighty, Majestic, Great,
#  Generous , Clement, Proud, Aweful, Enduring, First,
#  God, Lord, Ruler, Master, Merciful, Compassionate,
#  Desirous, Speaking, Creating, Sustaining; 

Many, Accompanied, Multiform, Temporary, Ignorant, Weak,
Dead, Deaf, Blind, Infirm, Meek, Humble, Small, Stingy,
Stormy, Hidden, Ordinary, Convenient, Last, Servant,
Subject, Slave, Merciless, Wrathful, Sated, Mute, 
Destroying, Debilitating.

these are "not God"?  I do not believe it.

#  that He is
#  qualified with all the Attributes wherewith He 0 has
#  qualified Himself, and named with all the names whereby
#  He has named  Himself;  that since eternity He has not
#  ceased to continue with His names and attributes, without
#  resembling Creation in any respect;  

this is it, Allah has all names, all attributes.

#  that His Essence
#  does not resemble the essences , nor His Attributes the
#  attributes; that none one of the terms applied to created
#  beings, and indicating their creation in time, has currency
#  over Him : that he has not ceased to be Leader, Foremost
#  before all things born in time,Existent before everything;
#  that there is no Eternal but He,  and no God beside Him;

for She is Time.

#  that he is neither body, nor shape, nor form , not person,
#  not element, nor accident: 

for She is all of these.

#  that with Him there is neither
#  junction nor separation, neither movement nor rest, neither
#  augmentation nor decrease;  that he has neither parts nor
#  particles nor memebers nor limbs nor aspects nor places;

for She is all of these.

#  that he is not affected by faults, nor overcome with slumbers
#  nor alternated by times , nor specified by allusions: that
#  He is not contained by space, nor affected by time; that He
#  cannot be said to be touched, or to be isolated, or to dwell
#  in places:  that  He  is  not  encompassed by thoughts, nor
#  covered by veils, nor attained by eyes."

and yet She is all of these.
oh Beloved how we adore You.
there is no God but my God
and the Glorious One is Her Final Prophet