Islamic Garden

Islamic Garden
Islamic Garden in Lausanne, Switzerland

Monday, October 15, 2007

Divine Anger (1:7)

"It is to be noted that God's Anger is not specifically mentioned in the last verse; it is those who are the objects of anger, those who elicit the anger that are referred to; the subject of the anger can be either God or the soul or both, the one being an aspect of the other. On the contrary, the divine Mercy is stressed again and again, and the sole act directly attributed to God in this prayer is blessing: The Muslim seeks to be guided along the straight path, the path of those whom God has blessed. One is drawn into the mystery expressed more directly in this verse: "Whatever good comes to you is from God, and whatever evil comes to you is from your own soul." (4:79). And, more explicitly: "We have tied every man's augury to his own neck, and We shall bring forth for him on the Day of Judgment a book that he will find open wide. (It will be said to him:) Read your book. Your own soul suffices this day unto you as a reckoner" (17:13).

In the light of these and several other verses, one is able to move from an anthropomorphic conception of divine Anger to an ontological one: Rather than picture God as some gigantic man in the sky who punishes and forgives at will, one is drawn into the mysterious depths of the true nature of being. Ruptures in being must needs rectified, not by some arbitrary act by a capricious individual, but by the immutable principles of justice and peace, truth and love, principles of which the ultimate nature of Reality is woven. In the mystical tradition of Islam it is said that the "Anger of God" is nothing but the extrinsic consequence of the lack of the soul's receptivity to the mercy that eternally radiates from the very nature of being. This mercy is calling out to the soul in every moment, and it is for the soul but to respond in order to be given beatific life in the Real: "O you who believe, respond to God and the Messenger when He invites you to that which gives you life" (8:24)."

~ Excerpt from Reza Shah-Kazemi's My Mercy Encompasses All, pp. 9-10

No comments: