The Doctrine of Flux, Al-Quran Chapter : 54 (The Moon)

The ‘Doctrine of Flux’ is a hermetic principle that drives the spiritual existence of humanity. It is associated with the physical characteristics of the elements (air, water, earth, fire), and the extent to which those characteristics are qualitatively expressed in human lives. The doctrine is a code whose value lies in its application, and whose power lies in its ability to manifest itself. The chapter 54 of Quran mainly deals with the ‘Doctrine of Flux’ by demonstrating its values and powers in human existence.

The ‘Doctrine’ and the ‘Authority’

The function of a ‘Doctrine’ relates to the symbolism of a seed, and the ‘Authority’ is the plant into which the seed grows. A particular plant requires a very specific seed, but the ground in which it is sown can vary. Thus, the choice of ground for the growth of a certain plant can be optional, but not the choice of the seed. Once the plant grows out of the seed, the climatic conditions of the land tend to affect the health of the plant. Those conditions include the availability of water, the quality of earth, the intensity of Sunlight, and the presence of humidity in the air. The intermingling of these conditions constitutes the ‘Flux’, and therefore Flux is the primary factor causing the manifestations of a Doctrine (seed) in the Authority (plant).

Astrologically, the Sun symbolises Doctrine and the Moon symbolises Authority. The Moon reflects the light of Sun in varying forms depending on its state and position. The Authority of the Moon fully reflects the doctrine of the Sun at the time of Full Moon, and it partially reflects the doctrine at other times. The Moon rules the sign of Cancer, which is also the sign of Authority. Hence, depending on the state of the Moon, the Authority can be legitimate only if it remains consistent with the Doctrine, or else the Authority would reflect vanity. For instance, it can be easily recognisable that the quality products of technology have to rely upon proper scientific investigations in order to be viable, as the technological devices that do not qualify the science mostly comprise of bogus and defunct products. Similarly, the Doctrine qualifies Authority to be the representative of either Truth or Vanity.

A doctrine is essentially the science that may give rise to different kinds of technologies or authorities in both constructive and destructive manners. Therefore, the ‘Doctrine of Flux’ is the doctrine that governs the applications of spiritual science in the realm of spiritual technology. The chapter 54 of Quran explains this doctrine by teaching its conditions to the authorities, and warns of the ensuing disasters if the humans attempt to ignore the ‘Doctrine of Flux’ by violating its principles.

The Fixed Signs of Astrological Zodiac

The Fixed astrological signs namely; Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are placed in the midst of their respective seasons. These signs are special because they represent the astrological seasons in their purest elemental forms. They are the most loyal signs to their respective seasons because they connect to the seasons in a very definite way by completely defying every other influence. The purity of specific elements that each fixed signs share in their characters make them very challenging for the humans. The relationship of the elements (air, water, earth, and fire) is something that gives birth to intelligence in every kingdom (mineral, plant, animal, and human). The intelligence acquired from the understanding of the physical properties of these four elements can resolve all kinds of problems in life. Just like plants need earth, water, air, and Sunlight in proper proportions to grow, so do the events that transpire in human lives require the involvements of these four dimensions of intelligence in an orderly fashion.

However, human beings usually find it difficult to withstand the elemental pressures of the fixed signs. It can be tough for the people who would depict the signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius to deal with the pressures of earth, fire, water, and air respectively. They may not manage to live in their own elements without disturbing or polluting the elements of the other fixed signs. Consequently, in order to preserve the purity of one element often the other three elements get corrupted and compromised. Therefore, the people of fixed signs must follow the Doctrine of Flux to exercise an appropriate sense of proportion in every aspect of their lives.

The Ministry of Prophet Muhammad

The major objective of the spiritual ministry of prophet Muhammad as indicated in the chapter 54 was to promulgate the Doctrine of Flux in the world. The Quran mentions the following symbolism for the affirmation of his Authority regarding this spiritual ministry.

The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain. And if they behold a portent they turn away and say: Prolonged illusion. They denied (the Truth) and followed their own lusts. Yet everything will come to a decision. (54, 1–3)

The symbolism of Moon here is very significant due to the traditionally attributed appearance of Moon as the Celestial Egg. The hatching of an egg giving birth to a fledgling organism is the most miraculous event of life in nature. The birth of prophet Muhammad’s ministry for the proclamation of Islam is symbolically depicted in these verses of Quran as such an event. Therefore, the cracking of the Moon would serve as a sign for the confirmation of prophet’s Authority to manifest the Doctrine of Flux. The Mention of the term “Prolonged illusion” in the text seems to represent the doubts of his opponents regarding the authenticity of his mission. The Quran suggests that if the prophet’s Authority represented the Truth then it would successfully reflect the Doctrine of Flux. Therefore, the following content of chapter 54 elucidates the Doctrine of Flux from the standpoint of Islam.

The Fixed Sign of Taurus, and the Ultra-Conservatives

The folk of Noah denied before them, yea, they denied Our slave and said: A madman; and he was repulsed. So he cried unto his Lord, saying: I am vanquished, so give help. Then opened We the gates of heaven with pouring water. And caused the earth to gush forth springs, so that the waters met for a predestined purpose. And We carried him upon a thing of planks and nails, That ran (upon the waters) in Our sight, as a reward for him who was rejected. And verily We left it as a token; but is there any that remembereth? Then see how (dreadful) was My punishment after My warnings! And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; but is there any that remembereth? (54, 9–17)

Taurus is a fixed sign associated with the element ‘earth’. It represents solidity, stubbornness, durability, and resilience. It confers upon people the behaviours of social conformity and ethics in their persona, and it relishes the adoption of traditional outlook in their culture. In the sign of Taurus, things perpetuate their mode of existence for a very very long time. All this on the surface might appear rather nice, but it does have a tragic downside of causing utter stagnation in life. The fixed earth sign of Taurus in the zodiac opposes the fixed water sign of Scorpio. Therefore, it must learn the lessons of fluidity from the waters of Scorpio in order to find a meaningful existence.

The folk of Noah had all the shortcomings of Taurus in their lifestyle. Despite of having a very high average lifespan of about millennia, the majority of them were neither smart nor promising. Their repugnance to reproductive acts had caused a great decline in population whereby new generations were born not in years, but in centuries. Thus, it would not be surprising to find the youngest member of the family there as being only a few hundred years old. Their extra devotion to vanity and meaningless traditions had made them haughty and superficial in character. They had to learn the value of innovative movements in living because their stagnancy had altogether ossified the spiritual growth of humanity. Consequently, the divine punishment fell upon them through the element of water. The verses in the text of Quran refer to the meeting of both the waters from heaven and earth for a predestined purpose. It symbolically means that both the Doctrine as well as the Authority of the element of water had contributed together to the destruction of Noah’s people. The Noah himself survived because of his intelligence and skill in building the vessel whereby he could navigate through the storms. This accomplishment actually made Noah a true Authority in the Doctrine of Flux.

The Fixed Sign of Scorpio, and the Ultra-Liberals

The folk of Lot rejected warnings. Lo! We sent a storm of stones upon them (all) save the family of Lot, whom We rescued in the last watch of the night, As grace from Us. Thus We reward him who giveth thanks. And he indeed had warned them of Our blow, but they did doubt the warnings. They even asked of him his guests for an ill purpose. Then We blinded their eyes (and said): Taste now My punishment after My warnings! And in truth the punishment decreed befell them early in the morning. Now taste My punishment after My warnings! And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; but is there any that remembereth? (54, 33–40)

Scorpio is a fixed sign associated with the element ‘water’. Water is a universal solvent whose main function is dissolution and cleaning. It is also the source of life, for no life may exist without water. Water supports life by quenching the thirst of living beings and keeping them clean. Despite of its indispensable significance for life, water has some flaws in its character. It recognises no boundaries, it carries no shape, and it can inundate anything in its way. Therefore, the main challenge of Scorpio would be to give direction and purpose to the flow of its water, and to allow its life bestowing properties to serve a productive end.

The activities of the people of Lot are both fascinating and repulsive at the same time. These people actually went Rogue in the true sense of the word. They recognised no traditions, and became dissolute beyond all limits. Their minds were constantly occupied with sexual perversions, and they would innovate every opportunity to excel in their malady. Therefore, when those people discovered that Lot had beautiful foreign boys as visitors, they intended to welcome the lads by sexually violating them. Just like any other trait, human sexuality is not ignoble as long as it serves its desirable objectives. However, when love becomes lust, and the lust crosses all boundaries then humans lose their distinction from animals or even become worst than the beasts. The people of Lot were the criminal counterparts to the people of Noah; and as the people of Noah got a storm of water, they were on the receiving end of stones. The elements of their opposite signs destroyed both the people because they did not appreciate the Doctrine of Flux.

The Fixed Sign of Aquarius, and the Ultra-Socialists

(The tribe of) A’ad rejected warnings. Then how (dreadful) was My punishment after My warnings. Lo! We let loose on them a raging wind on a day of constant calamity, Sweeping men away as though they were uprooted trunks of palm-trees. Then see how (dreadful) was My punishment after My warnings! And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; but is there any that remembereth? (54, 18–22)

Aquarius is a fixed sign associated with the element ‘air’. The name and symbol of Aquarius depicting a man bearing a pitcher of water is actually an anomaly. The anomalous character of this symbol is because men traditionally never bore the water pitcher in ancient cultures, as it always had been the job reserved for women. Therefore, the symbol actually suggests that the air of Aquarius has to be so pure as not to include the traces of any other element inside it. The air of Aquarius is completely devoid of humidity, warmth, and dust particles; which makes it a cold, clean, and heartless air. The air of Aquarius tends to sustain its purity despite of efforts on the human part to pollute it.

The tribe of A’ad as mentioned in the text of chapter 54, comprised of a large tribe of people living in a cold, desolate area similar to the Arctic. They were tough and sturdy people due to the effects of extremely cold weather conditions persisting in their habitat, and were quite adapted to survive under the harsh environments. The corruption happened when they started burning the wood in massive quantities to obtain lots of heat for their luxury and convenience. Not only they started cutting down all the trees and thereby affecting the conditions of earth, but also the pure air of Aquarius became heavy and polluted. It became less of the air and more of a black smoke. Since the tribe of A’ad betrayed their own element by polluting the pure air of Aquarius, the fury of a raging wind destroyed them. They had uprooted so many trees in their drive for excessive luxuries, and as a result ended up being like the very ‘uprooted trunks of palm-trees’. Even the tribe of A’ad failed to follow the Doctrine of Flux and then, suffered accordingly.

The Fixed Sign of Leo, and the Ultra-Fascists

(The tribe of) Thamud rejected warnings. For they said; Is it a mortal man, alone among us, that we are to follow? Then indeed we should fall into error and madness. Hath the remembrance been given unto him alone among us? Nay, but he is a rash liar. (Unto their warner it was said): To-morrow they will know who is the rash liar. Lo! We are sending the she-camel as a test for them; so watch them and have patience; And inform them that the water is to be shared between (her and) them. Every drinking will be witnessed. But they call their comrade and he took and hamstrung (her). Then see how (dreadful) was My punishment after My warnings! Lo! We sent upon them one Shout, and they became as the dry twigs (rejected by) the builder of a cattle-fold. And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; but is there any that remembereth? (54, 23–32)

Leo is a fixed sign associated with the element ‘fire’. The Fire is one element that can prove useful and harmful in equal measures because its primary function is always to destroy something. The fire of the fixed sign of Leo itself never dies out but keeps burning everything around it indefinitely. The fire is essentially a pure element, and it can work most beneficially for purification purposes. It requires only one person to light fire to huge piles of garbage and the stuff automatically burns to ashes. Fire also gives light in the darkness, and therefore is the element of enlightenment. Astrologically, fire symbolises individuality and authenticity because it burns down all vanity and restores the truth to its original beauty. Historically, many human cultures subjected their criminals to the test of fire in order to vindicate the accused of their judgements. Fire also serves as the most easily improvised form of energy, whose utilisation widely distinguishes the cultures of humans from animals. The controlled use of fire in every aspect of life is therefore, the hallmark of humanity.

Again, the Thamud was a large tribe of people but in contrast to the tribe of A’ad, the Thamud lived in the arid hot deserts. The heat waves caused by the high temperatures of the region would evaporate all the water reservoirs in the area, causing all creatures whether plants, animals, or humans to strive for their survival. Although, the Thamud were human beings in the possession of greater intelligence than the other creatures, they decided to use their mental prowess to keep all the water to themselves, and thereby let everyone else perish of thirst. Hence, the tribe received a symbolic test in the form of a she-camel, so that they might learn to share the limited quantity of water in a just and measured way among all the living beings. The corruption in their hearts made them fail in their test; as a result, they proved themselves weak and unworthy of the intelligence that was a privilege of humanity. They undermined themselves by rejecting the spiritual light of the fixed fire of Leo, and consequently the fire burned them to ashes. The Doctrine of Flux proved to be the nemesis for the tribe of Thamud as well.

The End Note

The Doctrine of Flux represents the intelligence about the sense of proportions that humans may rely upon for conducting every affair of their lives. The Knowledge of elements in the fixed astrological signs can be the key factor where the Doctrine of Flux may obtain the best results. The fixed signs are the most politically polarised in the zodiac, and thus require especially meticulous handling to produce beneficial outcomes. The stress and pressures of the fixed signs only exist to enhance the spiritual growth of humanity, and to accelerate the process of unveiling its hidden potential. It is a ‘Game of Thrones’, and it has a definite end. The Quran states,

Lo! We have created every thing by measure. And Our commandment is but one (commandment), as the twinkling of an eye. (54, 49–50)

The Esoteric Evolution, Surah Ar-Rahman (The Beneficent)

The 55th Chapter of Quran is Ar-Rahman, meaning the Beneficent. The term ‘Beneficent’ carries a profound esoteric connotation in Quran because it relates to the mysteries of planet Saturn. I had succinctly discussed some of them in my previous articles, ‘Saturn, the Beneficent One; Al-Quran Chapter : 43 (Az-Zukhruf)’ and ‘The Alchemy of Purification in the Quran’. However, the symbolic theme of chapter 55 has the mysteries of Saturn written all over itself, which I shall be attempting to cover in this article. The chapter 55 consists of 78 verses, whilst 31 of those are a refrain, “Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?”. The refrain metaphorically relates to the 31-year cycle of Saturn with reference to the lunar calendar because Muslims have traditionally preferred the lunar calendar in their religious rites and festivals. Furthermore, there is a symmetrical pattern between the orbits of Saturn and Moon due to the periodicity of these planetary cycles; Saturn’s 29.5 solar years cycle versus Moon’s 29.5 solar days cycle. These facts and the embedded esoteric contents of this chapter make it an ideal study for deciphering the hermetic mysteries associated with the planet Saturn.

It is also noteworthy that the prophet Muhammad had attributed many distinctions to the chapter 55 such as, ‘the beauty of Quran’, ‘the bride of Quran’, and the ‘adornment of Quran’. The titles seem justifiable especially in the light of the opportunities this chapter affords to employ the natural sciences alongside the occult sciences for its mystical interpretation. From a hermetic standpoint, it constitutes a strong and symbolically rich statement whose mysteries may keep unravelling indefinitely depending upon the potential of the seeker.

Saturn, the Limits (Law) and the Polarity (Wisdom)

Astrologically, the influence of Saturn is usually associated with limits and boundaries of a challenging situation. This does not mean that every limitation faced by human beings is due to the influence of Saturn; rather Saturn represents only those limits that are indispensable for the moral standards and quality of a human life.

In the study of physical sciences, there are qualitative or intensive properties of matter such as density, temperature, pressure, or velocity. These properties have the presence of limiting parameters within them that are very specific and considered as the identifiers for various substances. In the case of density, volume limits the mass of a substance; in pressure, the force is limited by the area; and in velocity, the distance is limited by the time duration of a locomotive. Therefore, the quantitative properties such as mass, force, and distance cannot vary without the complimentary variations in the associated limiting parameters that form the qualitative properties of a substance. The limiting parameters or laws of Saturn are not there to cause hindrances to human beings, as their only function is to preserve the human integrity. Thus, a person that enjoins many limiting parameters in life gets to attain higher levels of quality in his individual characteristics. Similarly, the refrain of chapter 55 symbolically represents the 31 limiting parameters or laws of Saturn that according to Quran form the significant moral constituents for the fulfilment of human integrity.

The limiting parameters of the quantitative properties (mass, force, distance) produce the qualitative properties (density, pressure, velocity); and likewise the polarity of a physical substance is the limit imposed by different qualitative properties of that substance on each other. For example, the density of a liquid decreases with the rise in temperature, but if the temperature rises too high so as to reach the boiling point of the liquid, then the liquid shall loose all of its density and turn into the gas phase. Therefore, the threshold points beyond which the variation in one qualitative property completely nullifies the existence of other qualitative properties represent the range of polarity. Metaphorically, it represents the extent of adherence to a moral creed whereby any coherent natural existence could be viable, and the human integrity would have any meaning at all. For instance, it should be morally appropriate to seek warmth and to preach the code of obtaining heat in extremely cold regions of the world, but to exemplify the same code as the word of God in extremely hot areas ought to be a gross misappropriation of morality. The significance of moral values or teachings is relative to the immediate working environment of the practitioner, and therefore morality must always guide humanity according to the principles of polarity. I had also noticed a subtle connection of the principles of polarity with the refrain of chapter 55 in the explanatory notes of Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. The note says,

[In the refrain: “Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?” ye and the verb are in the dual form, and the question is generally believed to be addressed to mankind and the Jinn.]

I find it very fascinating because the mention of ‘mankind’ and ‘Jinn’ in the text metaphorically does refer to the polarity. Therefore, the mystery of this refrain is very special as it symbolically suggests the presence of both the limiting parameters (law) and the principles of polarity (wisdom).
The planet Saturn occupies the highest orbit among the seven visible planets, and is symbolically indicative of the final stage of a human life. At the stage of Saturn, the full record of a human life expresses itself with all of its accomplishments and failures distinctly recounted and measured for their values. Hence, in comparison to the innocence of childhood, archetype of Saturn represents the full-blown maturity in the experiences of life. The journey of becoming something or other ends at Saturn, but this journey might not be in vain if it upheld throughout its course the limiting parameters and the principles of polarity. Conclusively, the esoteric evolution of humans can only be possible under the best influence of Saturn, the Beneficent.

The Jinn Phenomenon

Whatever I am about to discuss in this passage is not for the faint-hearted or weak-minded persons! At any other situation, I would have simply avoided this subject because it deals with hardcore occult concepts, but in the case of chapter 55 the anxious undertaking seems inevitable. The reason being that chapter 55 concerns itself as much with the Jinn as it does with the Man. Therefore, I think it befits the scope of our study that we know about the Jinn from an objective standpoint by stating plain facts about them and their relationship dynamics with humans. In fact, the fundamental concepts of ‘esoteric evolution’ and the ‘mysteries of Saturn’ can be exclusively associated with the relationship dynamics of Jinn with humans.

Jinn are the intelligent spirit beings whose essence of creation is ‘energy’. Humans on the other hand have ‘matter’ as their essence of creation. Therefore, the relationship dynamics between Man and Jinn is very similar to that of matter and energy. For instance, modern science has conclusively proven that matter and energy are not mutually exclusive of each other. Science has determined that Energy is the sublimated form of matter, whilst matter is the condensed or precipitated form of energy. Therefore, the association of man and Jinn is very much within the domain of possibility.

The Jinn population always number many times more than human population at any given moment, and they can appear in the human form. When in the human form, the elderly Jinn appear as young children and younger Jinn appear as old men. The digestive system in human bodies extracts energy from the food and discards the unnecessary material, whilst the very reverse of this condition exists in the digestion process of Jinn as it extracts material and discards the energy. Moreover, contrary to the humans who live on the earth’s surface, the Jinn prefer to live under it.

From the standpoint of occult, the humans consisting mainly of ‘matter’ is the reason why their vital drive tend to be always directed towards energy and that allows the Jinn to act as consorts to human beings. The occult implies that men and women may only support each other as mediums or connection points for the invocation of the spirits of Jinn. The relationship dynamics here are actually far deeper and subtle because according to the occult wisdom, the children that are born with humans have their original connection with the Jinn, while the children of the actual human origin find themselves effectively transferred to the ethereal dominion of the Jinn. It occurs because the humans in their material state can only find a life possessing drive towards the more sublime energetic form and hence, their true children end up entering the realm of Jinn. Conversely, the Jinn naturally precipitate themselves from energy into matter and as a result, their children find the place of welcome among humans. In addition to that, the older Jinn tend to find greater appeal towards young humans, while the young Jinn prefer older humans. This preference is due to the energy resonance factor; the older Jinn have higher energy levels in their essence very similar to the young human beings that possess more energy, while younger Jinn have relatively lower energy in them similar to the older humans. Unlike humans, the Jinn do not feel vitality in the excess of energy; rather they experience exhaustion from it, and enjoy strength with matter. Another fascinating point about the Jinn is that the occult societies of humans are quite fond of the Jinn phenomenon. They deliberately use weird sex rituals in their ceremonies and parties in order to influence the Jinn population of the ethereal sphere to do their bidding. Now that we have learnt something about the Jinn, we shall get on with our study of chapter 55.

The Chapter: 55, Ar-Rahman (the Beneficent)

In the following, I shall be explaining the chapter 55 of Quran by using the concepts from our preceding discussions in the article.

1. The Beneficent.
2. Hath made known the Qur’an.
3. He hath created man.
4. He hath taught him utterance.

‘The Beneficent’ in the verse 1 represents the influence of Saturn. The verse 2 states that Quran expounds the best guidance of the law (limiting parameters) and wisdom (polarity), and reveals the greatest expressions of Saturn’s archetype. The verses 3–4 indicate that man is the most evolved among the God’s creatures due to the sophistication and improvisations in his behaviours towards life. The most special part of humanity is the use of complex languages for conducting the business affairs of life. The human languages have the potential to transform the animalistic sort of existence into an altogether new level of living experience. Many of the insecurities and other self-conscious instincts are simply broken up with the advent of complex modes of communication. A strong culture of well being becomes possible owing to the sharing of noble idealism among humans through the medium of languages. The appropriate use of languages can literally cause the life on this planet to thrive and prosper.

5. The sun and the moon are made punctual.
6. The stars and the trees prostrate.
7. And the sky He hath uplifted; and He hath set the measure,
8. That ye exceed not the measure,
9. But observe the measure strictly, nor fall short thereof.

The disciplined compliance of Sun and Moon in the verse 5 reflects the authority of Saturn. The planet Saturn rules the astrological signs that are opposite to the Luminaries (Sun and Moon), and thus it imposes the discipline upon them. Astrologically, Sun is the Luminary of day and Moon is the Luminary of night. Sun and Moon act as consorts to each other since metaphorically they are the King and Queen of the zodiac. The characteristics of Sun and Moon actually represent the range of polarity that shall symbolically recur many times in the chapter 55. The light of Moon diminishes as it moves closer to the Sun, and increases as it moves away from the Sun. The Moon at one end of polarity acts as a microcosmic seed of light for the Sun to nourish, nurture, and magnify that light to a dazzling state. Therefore, the perfect polarity establishes itself at the opposite ends of the spectrum of cosmic lights. In the verse 6, stars and trees form the same range of polarity because stars cover the heaven just as trees cover the earth. The verses 7–9 emphasize the need to respect the limiting parameters and the polarity for the observance of Divine authority in human affairs.

10. And the earth hath He appointed for (His) creatures,
11. Wherein are fruit and sheathed palm-trees,
12. Husked grain and scented herb.
13. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

The verses 11–12 refer to the two additional qualities of consorts. The sheath of the palm-trees helps protect the fruit because of their relationship. The husked grains and scented herbs are very different types of plant products; yet they act as consorts because the husked grain serves the need for food whilst the scented herb has the medicinal properties.

14. He created man of clay like the potter’s,
15. And the jinn did He create of smokeless fire.
16. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

Here Quran talks about the real consorts, namely Man and Jinn. They are the greatest manifestation of the symbolic relationship dynamics of Matter and Energy. However great they may be, still they have to observe the ‘limiting parameters’ and the ‘principles of polarity’ in order to continue in the path of ‘esoteric evolution’.

17. Lord of the two Easts, and Lord of the two Wests!
18. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

The ‘two Easts’ mentioned in the verse 17 are the two seasons of spring and summer. The days are longer than nights during these seasons and as a result astrologically they follow the ruler of day, the Sun. The ‘two Wests’ mentioned in the verse 17 refers to the two seasons of autumn and winter. As the nights become longer than days during these seasons, so accordingly they follow the ruler of night, the Moon. The ‘Lord’ of Easts and Wests in the verse 17 refers to the authority of Saturn and its power to control all the seasons and keep them in their proper characters.

19. He hath loosed the two seas. They meet.
20. There is a barrier between them. They encroach not (one upon the other).
21. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
22. There cometh forth from both of them the pearl and coral-stone.
23. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

These verses very nicely expound the principles of polarity through the examples of fresh-water seas and salt-water seas. There is a slight difference of density and polarity between the two types of water. Both density and polarity being the qualitative properties, and cause the two waters in sufficiently massive amount to maintain their physical constitution by creating boundaries for keeping their flows separate. It is like an invisible wall that symbolizes respect between the two very similar liquid substances. This example teaches that consorts should not lose a respectful distance despite the closeness of their souls; because on losing the individual respectability, they shall not be able to function as consorts anymore!

The verse 22 is also very significant because the symbolism of pearl and coral-stone here refers to Moon and Sun respectively. Both pearl and coral-stone are biological products that come from the sea, and therefore if the sea represents the zodiac, then the pearl (Moon) should rule the darker half of the zodiac, and coral-stone (Sun) should rule the brighter part of it. This symbolism would make even more sense in the next verses.

24. His are the ships displayed upon the sea, like banners.
25. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
26. Everyone that is thereon will pass away;
27. There remaineth but the Countenance of thy Lord of Might and Glory.
28. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

The ships can travel on the sea due to the specific gravity (qualitative property) of water keeping them afloat as well as sailing. The sea is a very appropriate metaphor for the zodiac because the water of sea reflects the above sky like a mirror. Additionally, when the ships sail on the sea they do not leave any tracks behind them as evidences of their journey, like the planets do not leave markings whilst passing through the zodiac. The verses 26–27 convey a similar logic that everything is constantly in the process of transformation towards the ultimate ‘esoteric evolution’, which in itself is the realization of Divine Plan resulting in the full expression of the Divine Countenance. We must notice that the Divine Countenance has two components to it; Might to punish the wrongdoer, and Glory to reward the righteous. These two characteristics of the Divine Countenance also have the relationship dynamics of consorts that shall become apparent ahead in our study.

29. All that are in the heavens and the earth entreat Him. Every day He exerciseth (universal) power.
30. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
31. We shall dispose of you, O ye two dependents (man and jinn).
32. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
33. O company of jinn and men, if ye have power to penetrate (all) regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate (them)! Ye will never penetrate them save with (Our) sanction.
34. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
35. There will be sent, against you both, heat of fire and flash of brass, and ye will not escape.
36. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

The verse 31 calls Man and Jinn as the ‘two dependents’ because they are still students in the school of ‘esoteric evolution’ and have not properly learnt the relationship dynamics yet. The word ‘sanction’ in the verse 33 refers to the ‘limiting parameters (laws)’ and ‘principles of polarity (wisdom)’. The verse 33 is actually saying that Men and Jinn cannot penetrate, populate, or explore all the regions of heavens and earth, and employ all the mysteries of the universe to their advantage unless they first abide by the true notions of morality. Fail the test, and they will experience the punishments from the ‘heat of fire’ (energy) and the ‘flash of brass’ (matter). This means that the very essence of a person works against him in the state of degeneracy.

37. And when the heaven splitteth asunder and becometh rosy like red hide — 
38. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? — 
39. On that day neither man nor jinni will be questioned of his sin.
40. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
41. The guilty will be known by their marks, and will be taken by the forelocks and the feet.
42. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
43. This is hell which the guilty deny.
44. They go circling round between it and fierce, boiling water.
45. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

I had described the symbolism of verse 37 as the Dawn of the Saturn’s Day in a previous article, ‘The Alchemy of Purification in the Quran’. The Saturn’s day is a metaphor for the event of purification that shall purge the corruption in all of its forms from humanity. The reference to Man and Jinn in the verse 39 clearly suggests that they are consorts to each other in every action including crimes. The verse 41 further interprets the relationship dynamics of consorts by associating them with the example of hands and feet. Just as hands and feet work together for achieving the goals of a person, the consorts always act for their common purpose.

There are many significant symbols in the verse 44. The ‘boiling water’ can contain plenty of heat energy without losing the quenching characteristic of water. This can be a strong punishment for Man and Jinn, as the process of precipitation for the Jinn would become impossible due to the excessive energy of water, and the process of sublimation for the humans shall become impossible as well because of the quenching property of water. The depiction of guilty circling round between the hell and the fierce boiling water conveys the idea that both the suffering and witnessing of punishments shall happen simultaneously. Consequently, both the physical and mental forms of pain shall become consorts to the guilty. The verses 37–45 actually depict the “Might” aspect of the Divine Countenance that would impart punishments to the wrongdoers.

46. But for him who feareth the standing before his Lord there are two gardens.
47. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
48. Of spreading branches.
49. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
50. Wherein are two fountains flowing.
51. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
52. Wherein is every kind of fruit in pairs.
53. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
54. Reclining upon couches lined with silk brocade, the fruit of both the gardens near to hand.
55. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
56. Therein are those of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them.
57. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
58. (In beauty) like the jacynth and the coral-stone.
59. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
60. Is the reward of goodness aught save goodness?
61. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

The ‘two gardens’ of verse 46 refer to the positive influence of spring and summer seasons. The ‘spreading branches’ of verse 48 reflect the availability of the sunlight, which is normal for these seasons. The ‘two flowing fountains’ of verse 50 are symbolic of the good relationship dynamics of matter and energy. They represent the two processes; precipitation (for Jinn) and sublimation (for Man). The phrase ‘every kind of fruit in pairs’ of verse 52 represents the good auspices of spring and summer. Trees produce all kinds of fruits during these seasons due to the presence of sunlight. The verse 56 really communicates the ‘esoteric evolution’ by emphasizing at the novelty of consorts. It means that the interactions among consorts will be very stimulating and full of passions and excitements that shall lead to the ‘esoteric evolution’. In verse 58 ‘the jacynth and the coral-stone’ means that the people of those gardens shall have the influence of the Sun due to the spring and summer seasons. The coral-stone is a biological product formed in the seas, thus very much akin to the humans. On the other hand, the jacynth crystal forms deep inside the molten earth under extreme heat and pressure, which makes it akin to the Jinn. Both jacynth and coral-stone are red and that makes them akin to the Sun. They may also represent the tanning or pigmentation of skin that can produce darker shades on constant exposure to the sunlight. In any case, Man and Jinn in the gardens of spring and summer shall become consorts like jacynth and coral-stone.

62. And beside them are two other gardens,
63. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
64. Dark green with foliage.
65. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
66. Wherein are two abundant springs.
67. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
68. Wherein is fruit, the date-palm and pomegranate.
69. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
70. Wherein (are found) the good and beautiful — 
71. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? — 
72. Fair ones, close-guarded in pavilions — 
73. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? — 
74. Whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them — 
75. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
76. Reclining on green cushions and fair carpets.
77. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
78. Blessed be the name of thy Lord, Mighty and glorious!

The ‘two other gardens’ of verse 62 metaphorically refer to the autumn and winter seasons. In contrast to the ‘spreading branches’ of the earlier gardens, in verse 64 we have gardens that are ‘dark green with foliage’. Because the gardens of autumn and winter do not get much sunlight and the leaves are mainly for decorations and ornamentation of those gardens. The ‘date palm’ and ‘pomegranate’ of verse 68 is again in contrast to the ‘every kind of fruit in pairs’ of the previous gardens due to the lack of variety in the fruit productions during autumn and winter seasons. The verse 72, “Fair ones, close-guarded in pavilions -” is truly fascinating; Fair ones, with no tanned or skin pigmentation representing the lack of sunlight, and furthermore, ‘close-guarded in pavilions –’ because it is dark and cold outside. Nevertheless, the verse 74 clarifies that the relationship dynamics between the consorts in autumn and winter gardens are no less warmer compared to those of spring and summer gardens. Finally, in verse 78 the Divine Name now is ‘Mighty’ and ‘Glorious’, which means that neither the Countenance nor the Name really matters as these are just modes of communications for human understanding. What really matters is for the creatures to observe the Divine Law and Wisdom, whilst the Divinity to exercise the Divine Attributes of Might and Glory.

The End Note

I found a very peculiar fact about the verses of this chapter that deal with rewards and punishments. The punishment portion comprises of the verses 37–45, a sum of 8 verses; whilst the reward portion comprises of verses 46–78, a sum of 32 verses. Therefore, the Glory aspect of Divine Attribute is probably four times greater than that of the Might aspect, and that definitely is something to celebrate. I should conclude this article with the following statement of Quran.

O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (49, 13)

The Hermetic Principle of Gender in Quran

The gender related issues that are described in the traditions of Islam have been heavily discussed in the modern times by many scholars as well as the critics of Islam. The opinions among people concerning this subject vary greatly, ranging from ‘best’ to ‘worst’ in the topics ranging from marriage and divorce to the punishments for adultery. In this article therefore, I should investigate the laws of Islam pertinent to the matter from a hermetic standpoint, and demonstrate some of the key features of the Quranic teachings in this regard.

The Hermetic Principle of Gender

The hermetic wisdom defines gender as, “Gender represents those actions of opposing forces that result in the generation of Light”. The light here can refer to mean as the light of truth, wisdom, intelligence, or any other noble characteristic in a human being. However, before we get to the humans, let us start with animals in order to put down the groundwork for our study. The Quran states,

(Take) eight (head of cattle) in (four) pairs: of sheep a pair, and of goats a pair; say, hath He forbidden the two males, or the two females, or (the young) which the wombs of the two females enclose? Tell me with knowledge if ye are truthful: Of camels a pair, and oxen a pair; say, hath He forbidden the two males, or the two females, or (the young) which the wombs of the two females enclose? — Were ye present when Allah ordered you such a thing? But who doth more wrong than one who invents a lie against Allah, to lead astray men without knowledge? For Allah guideth not people who do wrong. (06, 143–144)

The verses (06, 143–144) I had discussed at some length in the article “The Symbolism of Animals in Quran”. Briefly I should explain here that the four types of animals mentioned in the text represent the four seasons, namely sheep (winter), goat (autumn), camel (summer), and oxen (spring). The Triad of male, female, and the unborn youngling in the text represents the cardinal, fixed, and the mutable signs of the zodiac. It is interesting to note here that out of twelve animals, only eight are counted in the text, i. e. the unborn younglings are mentioned but not counted, or they are counted as a part of the female. At another instance in the Quran the same eight animals are referred in a very symbolic manner.

He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no Allah save Him. How then are ye turned away? (39, 6)

Again in the verse (39, 6), eight animals are counted and not twelve. The “threefold gloom” is a metaphorical allusion to the triplicity of the zodiac: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. The mysterious style and the theme of the verse such as “creation after creation”, and “wombs of your mothers” suggests that the creation happens thrice for every person in the stages of cardinal, fixed, and the mutable signs. Another verse of the Quran underscores the same point.

They say: Our Lord! Twice hast Thou made us die, and twice hast Thou made us live. Now we confess our sins. Is there any way to go out? (40, 11)

The people in the verse (40, 11) are those whose creation have already happened twice in the cardinal and the fixed signs, and thus they become alive for the third time in the mutable signs. To illustrate these three stages of living, I had explained the gnosis of trinity in the article “Shiva, the Great; and the Abrahamic Traditions”. From there I should copy the following passage because of its relevance.

“The creation of physical organs such as eyes, arms, and legs can only happen inside the mother’s body, because that is the realm of the creator god. If the mother receives proper nourishment and care, the baby comes out to be of healthy and vibrant state; or otherwise defective in some way. Once in the world, the human body gets in the realm of the sustainer god, who makes the body to grow, enlarge, and reproduce but no new organs are added into the body at this stage. Here, according to the gnosis of trinity, this human body acts as a gestation organ similar to the mother’s womb for the creation of a new ‘Spirit’. Just as the creation of human body occurred during the stay in the mother’s womb, the human spirit undergoes its creation during the stay in the physical world, to be finally transferred to the spiritual world. And just as carelessness on the part of mother might cause lasting defects or deformities in the child, similarly, actions based on inequity might cause permanent weaknesses in the spirit, so as to render the spirit incompatible to the higher spiritual world. Also, the child had no need for the physical organs like eyes in the mother’s womb, but he still manufactured them for the next proceeding stage; and therefore, the righteous actions of a human being would bring to him the spiritual sight to exist in the spiritual realm. Thus the journey that started with the conception of a baby, ends in its integration with the divine spirit.”

After studying the symbolism of animals in connection to the eight cardinal and fixed signs, and before we may discuss humans at a greater depth, we must take some notes on the angels. The Quran states,

And the angels will be on the sides thereof, and eight will uphold the Throne of thy Lord that day, above them. (69, 17)

In the verse (69, 17), the eight angels that will uphold the Throne represent the noble accomplishments of the cardinal and fixed signs, and the mystery would suggest that the Throne itself represents the mutable signs because it shall be the third stage of creation. In addition, it should be fascinating to note here the depiction of ‘the Throne upheld by the eight angels’ in the emblems of many European countries and secret or sacred orders. Most pronounced depiction for it can be recognized from the eight pointed ‘Maltese Cross’ of the Order of the Knights of Malta. Specially, the Orders aspirations that are supposed to represent the eight points on the Cross actually reflect the cardinal and fixed signs in the precise astrological order. Following is the passage taken from Wikipedia stating the aspirations of the Order alongside the astrological signs in the brackets included by me.

“The eight points also symbolize the eight obligations or aspirations of the knights:

to live in truth [Spring, Cardinal, Aries]

to have faith [Spring, Fixed, Taurus]

to repent of one’s sins [Summer, Cardinal, Cancer]

to give proof of humility [Summer, Fixed, Leo]

to love justice [Autumn, Cardinal, Libra]

to be merciful [Autumn, Fixed, Scorpio]

to be sincere and wholehearted [Winter, Cardinal, Capricorn]

to endure persecution [Winter, Fixed, Aquarius]”

The Active and Passive Principles

The mystery of the active and passive principles can be investigated from the chapter 89 (The Dawn) of Quran. It says,

1. By the Dawn.

2. And ten nights,

3. And the Even and the Odd,

4. And the night when it departeth,

5. There surely is an oath for thinking man.

The Dawn of the verse 1 occurs after the ten nights of the verse 2. The Even and the Odd in the verse 3 are the numbers One and Ten, because in the hermetic wisdom it is the number Ten and not the number Two that represents the Even for the Odd number One. The reason being that the number Two symbolizes Duality, whilst the number One symbolizes Unity, and thereby they cannot serve as Active (Odd) and Passive (Even) for each other. One and Two do not have any common grounds to stand together, and therefore the number Ten which is Even and also symbolizes unity because 10 = 1+0 = 1, serves as the Passive or Even number for the Odd or Active number One. Also, the relationship between the Ten Nights and the One Dawn following them accentuates their characteristics as being Active and Passive for each other. It is worth noting that from a philosophical standpoint, the Passive does not mean Inaction but rather the Desire for Action. Just like a persistent hunger and thirst may create a powerful desire for eating and drinking, the persistence of Passive characteristic similarly shall cause a stronger desire for the relevant Action. The quality of Passive in other words only results in the reinforcement of the Active, and thus supports the active through its presence. The Ten being the Passive for One, implies that all the multiples and exponents of Ten like 20, 30, 40… and 100, 1000, 10000… respectively serve as the Passives for One to even a greater extent on account of their magnitude. Moreover, since we are talking about gender here, I think it was at least the original intent behind the use of fashion and cosmetics by human females, but humans are known to have subverted it, just like they have been known to subvert many other natural phenomena. The chapter 97 of Quran conveys a very powerful message,

1. We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

2. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?

3. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

4. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:

5. Peace!… This until the rise of morn!

The verse 3 indicates that one night with the message of Quran may create a hunger for truth and a thirst for knowledge that can surpass the work of a thousand months. The verse 5 communicates that the actions ensuing from its message would be truly grand in their potential to produce an enlightened world. The Quran further says,

The likeness of those who spend their wealth in Allah’s way is as the likeness of a grain which groweth seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah giveth increase manifold to whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (2, 261)

The Human Factor

The Quran says,

Vile women are for vile men, and vile men for vile women. Good women are for good men, and good men for good women; such are innocent of that which people say: For them is pardon and a bountiful provision. (24, 26)

It is fascinating to observe the outrightness of Quran regarding the philosophy of gender. If the gender has to function physically, it must be equally effective spiritually. The spiritual resonance of both active and passive forces is essential to generate the light that may lead their paths. Nevertheless, in the real life there are always exceptional cases, such as mentioned in the chapter 56 of Quran.

10. Allah citeth an example for those who disbelieve: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot, who were under two of Our righteous slaves yet betrayed them so that they (the husbands) availed them naught against Allah and it was said (unto them): Enter the Fire along with those who enter.

11. And Allah citeth an example for those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh when she said: My Lord! Build for me a home with thee in the Garden, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work, and deliver me from evil-doing folk;

12. And Mary, daughter of ‘Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient.

The wives of Noah and Lot in the verse 10 did not commit adultery or any such act, and thus had not violated the Active and Passive Principles. However, they did violate the Hermetic Principle of Gender, or in a simpler language, they had betrayed the Mutable Signs of zodiac. The Pharaoh’s wife in the verse 11 had not violated either of the principles, but her husband had betrayed the mutable signs. In the case of Mary, she did not have a husband but was dutiful to the Mutable Signs and as a result got rewarded by the birth of the son Jesus. Therefore, the conclusion from this passage should be that the Mutable Signs are the most essential factors in the fulfillment of the gender roles. In the Christian trinity, the Holy Spirit metaphorically represents the Mutable Signs. Therefore, it should be worth quoting the following verse from the New Testament.

Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:32

What happens to those who would violate all the principles? The following verses from chapter 24 speak of such cases.

2. The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.

3. The adulterer shall not marry save an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress none shall marry save an adulterer or an idolater. All that is forbidden unto believers.

4. And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony — They indeed are evil-doers -

The punishment for violating the Active and Passive Principles shall be the scourging with a hundred stripes; hundred being the double exponent of Ten. And the punishment for betraying the Mutable signs shall be the restriction from marrying the righteous people because those people can only live with sinful people in a sinful environment. The verse 4 mentions the kind of people who would spread bad rumours or stories against honourable women, and find some sort of prideful gratification in sinful conversations completely disregarding the moral values by debasing the women in their absence. Such type of persons has no integrity, and though they might not be guilty of physical harm to others, but their evil mentality and vile nature creates a very negative atmosphere for human dignity. Therefore, they must be scourged with eighty stripes because eighty is the multiple of eight and ten, i. e. eight for betraying the Mutable Signs, and Ten for violating the Active and Passive Principles.

This should be enough for the punishments for now. Let us cheer up by reading a story of Moses from the chapter 28 of Quran.

22. And when he turned his face toward Midian, he said: Peradventure my Lord will guide me in the right road.

23. And when he came unto the water of Midian he found there a whole tribe of men, watering. And he found apart from them two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: What aileth you? The two said: We cannot give (our flocks) to drink till the shepherds return from the water; and our father is a very old man.

24. So he watered (their flock) for them. Then he turned aside into the shade, and said: My Lord! I am needy of whatever good Thou sendest down for me.

25. Then there came unto him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: Lo! my father biddeth thee, that he may reward thee with a payment for that thou didst water (the flock) for us. Then, when he came unto him and told him the (whole) story, he said: Fear not! Thou hast escaped from the wrongdoing folk.

26. One of the two women said: O my father! Hire him! For the best (man) that thou canst hire is the strong, the trustworthy.

27. He said: Lo! I fain would marry thee to one of these two daughters of mine on condition that thou hirest thyself to me for (the term of) eight pilgrimages. Then if thou completest ten it will be of thine own accord, for I would not make it hard for thee. Allah willing, thou wilt find me of the righteous.

28. He said: That (is settled) between thee and me. Whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there will be no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say.

I did not quote the Moses story merely for fun, but also to note that the two terms of Eight and Ten mentioned in the verse 27 has esoteric implications; namely that they allude to the Hermetic Principle of Gender and the Active and Passive Principles. Here again, the Hermetic Principle of Gender is compulsory, whilst the Active and Passive Principles is considered to be optional. However, the rewards of fulfilling both the principles are described in the following verses of chapter 24.

35. Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things.

36. (This lamp is found) in houses which Allah hath allowed to be exalted and that His name shall be remembered therein. Therein do offer praise to Him at morn and evening.

The verse 35 is truly the most beautiful verse of the Quran as it is full of metaphorical and mystical significance. The niche in the verse is the chest cavity of a human being, the lamp is the heart, and the glass represents the chest of a noble being. The verse says that this chest is like a shining star because only the most benevolent and beneficent feelings ever occur to it. The heart in this chest beats with the mirth and joy of the truth, and loves all the humanity without any bias or discrimination. The very presence of such a heart causes all good to transpire spontaneously without any need for encouragement in the forms of fame and fortune, or the fear of law enforcement. The hearts that shine with the light of God, and they embrace the presence of ever-loving God in the spiritual blessedness.

The End Note

Despite the researches of modern psychology and the application of technological devices, the humans have failed to find the right solution for gender issues through their mechanical logic because that type of logic is essentially faulty. If humanity ever has to emerge from the abyss of their own making, then they must first discover and apply the right tools. Those tools they may well find in the wisdom of the ancients, and the ever-living traditions of the wise. I shall conclude this article by stating the following verse from the Quran.

And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing. (33, 33)

The Hermetic Wisdom of Quran - Part 4 (The Communion)

This article continues the series of “The Hermetic Wisdom of Quran”, and here it deals exclusively with the mystery of “The Communion”. There are many sections in Quran that refer to the mystery of Communion directly as well as implicitly in their teachings, and require thorough investigations through the lens of hermetic wisdom. The most prominent chapter in Quran regarding this mystery is the chapter 41, called the “Fussilat (Detailed Explanations)”. Therefore, we shall examine the features associated with the mystery of Communion and some of its esoteric aspects as described in the chapter.

The Communion essentially represents the great works performed by a person for the spiritual growth of his body and mind in the path of the Lord. The celebration of Communion rites in Christianity for instance, involves partaking of bread and wine that metaphorically refers to the body and blood of Christ demonstrating the same mystery. The mystery of bread being the solid food causing the spiritual growth of the body, and the wine being more subtle fluid causing the spiritual growth of the mind. The mystery suggests that such a growth is the very objective of living, and it can only be achieved whilst working for the Lord. In the Quran however, the Eucharist itself is mentioned in the chapter 5 (The Table Spread), but the inherent mystery of Communion is most profoundly expressed in the chapter 41; and by studying that we shall try to look into the deeper aspects of the Communion mystery.

The law of Symmetry and Proportion

The hermetic wisdom suggests that for anything to grow without getting deformed or distorted, it has to follow the law of symmetry and proportion. The pattern has to be followed in every symmetrical growth similar to the physical process of crystallization, or else deformation will occur. Therefore, in order for the body and mind of a human being to grow, it has to follow the path of the Lord. This path from the standpoint of hermetic wisdom represents the path of the Luminaries, the Sun and the Moon, representing the body and the mind respectively. The Sun represents the body because it is always visible and prominent, and the Moon represents the mind because it can vary in its visibility from very prominent to totally invisible. But the orbits of the Luminaries (Sun and Moon) are always constant, meaning that they do not extend or stretch themselves continuously in order to grow in a symmetrical fashion. Thus, a pattern of extending the Luminary orbits according to the law of symmetry and proportion is required to be recognized and followed in order to achieve a symmetrical growth. This objective can be accomplished by following the orbital patterns of Jupiter and Saturn. There is a proportional symmetry between the paths of Sun and Jupiter because the orbit of Sun takes 12 months to revolve around the ecliptic, and the orbit of Jupiter takes 12 years to follow the same circular path. Similarly, the time period required for the Moon to revolve around the ecliptic is 29.5 days, whilst in Saturn’s case it is 29.5 years. This indicates that Jupiter represents the higher symmetrical proportion of the Sun, while Saturn represents the higher symmetrical proportion of the Moon. Together in comparison though, the Sun/Jupiter proportion (month vs year) is lesser than that of the Moon/Saturn proportion (day vs year). This difference nonetheless is consistent with the notion of Sun representing the body because the growth in a human body can only occur to a lesser extent owing to its many limitations, whilst the growth in its mental faculties can be much quicker and greater with comparatively less efforts. The law of symmetry and proportion is also consistent with the mystery of the Christian Communion since partaking of the body and blood of Christ is meant to become the extension of the body and mind of Christ himself. Also in the esoteric understanding of the scriptures, the human body is usually equated to be symbolically analogous to the earth, and the human mind to that of the heaven.

The Chapter 41 of Quran, Fussilat (Detailed Explanations)

Now, we shall read the chapter 41 in the context of the Communion and the law of symmetry and proportion.

1. Ha. Mim.

2. A revelation from the Beneficent, the Merciful,

3. A Scripture whereof the verses are expounded, a Lecture in Arabic for people who have knowledge,

4. Good tidings and a warning. But most of them turn away so that they hear not.

5. And they say: Our hearts are protected from that unto which thou (O Muhammad) callest us, and in our ears there is a deafness, and between us and thee there is a veil. Act, then. Lo! we also shall be acting.

6. Say (unto them O Muhammad): I am only a mortal like you. It is inspired in me that your Allah is One Allah, therefor take the straight path unto Him and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe unto the idolaters,

7. Who give not the poor-due, and who are disbelievers in the Hereafter.

8. Lo! as for those who believe and do good works, for them is a reward enduring.

The chapter begins with the mystery letters ‘Ha. Mim.’ that can be implied to mean “The Speech for Justice”. The first verses state that this chapter offers detailed explanations for the people who have knowledge, but the ignorant people turn away from it because they want to avoid the Communion. Their hearts are protected, in their ears is deafness, and in their eyes is blindness, all to keep them from the Communion. The verse 7 suggests that the charitable attitude of a person is an important constituent for the Communion, which we shall see described more specifically in the chapter again. The next few verses are very important from a symbolic standpoint.

9. Say (O Muhammad, unto the idolaters): Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days, and ascribe ye unto Him rivals? He (and none else) is the Lord of the Worlds.

10. He placed therein firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured therein its sustenance in four Days, alike for (all) who ask;

11. Then turned He to the heaven when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or loth. They said: We come, obedient.

12. Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days and inspired in each heaven its mandate; and We decked the nether heaven with lamps, and rendered it inviolable. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Knower.

The ‘two days’ mentioned in the verse 9, in which God had created the earth imply the symbolic connection of the Sun/Jupiter proportion or the body part of the Communion. Similarly, the ‘two days’ mentioned in the verse 12, in which God had ordained the seven heavens symbolically correspond to the Moon/Saturn proportion or the mind part of the Communion. But the ‘four days’ of verse 10 comprise of both the Sun/Jupiter and Moon/Saturn proportions together because the ‘firm hills’ connect both the earth and the heaven and the life between them, thus representing the Communion of the body and the mind. There is also a very profound symbolism in the verse 12 about the phrase “and We decked the nether heaven with lamps, and rendered it inviolable.” meaning the nether heaven to be consisting of the lamps like the Sun and the Moon forming the inviolable baseline from which the growth towards the higher heaven of Jupiter and Saturn might transpire. This symbolism suggests that God had created the whole process of conscious life on earth for the reason of accomplishing the Communion. The chapter further reads,

13. But if they turn away, then say: I warn you of a thunderbolt like the thunderbolt (which fell of old upon the tribes) of A’ad and Thamud;

14. When their messengers came unto them from before them and behind them, saying: Worship none but Allah! they said: If our Lord had willed, He surely would have sent down angels (unto us), so lo! we are disbelievers in that wherewith ye have been sent.

15. As for A’ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: Who is mightier than us in power? Could they not see that Allah Who created them, He was mightier than them in power? And they denied Our revelations.

16. Therefor We let loose on them a raging wind in evil days, that We might make them taste the torment of disgrace in the life of the world. And verily the doom of the Hereafter will be more shameful, and they will not be helped.

17. And as for Thamud, We gave them guidance, but they preferred blindness to the guidance, so the bolt of the doom of humiliation overtook them because of what they used to earn.

18. And We delivered those who believed and used to keep their duty to Allah.

The people of A’ad and Thamud are the only two people who are mentioned in the context of destruction in this chapter. They both were strong in their physical built, both used to carve magnificent dwelling places in the hills, and both had the great arrogance in their power. There are definite indicators from the symbolism of A’ad in the Quran suggesting that they had defied the mind part of the Communion, i. e. the Moon/Saturn proportion. Also, the A’ad were destroyed by the ‘raging wind’ which is the more subtle element for destruction, thus representing the mental part. The Thamud on the other hand had rejected the Sun/Jupiter proportion of the Communion, i. e. the physical body part, and consequently they were destroyed by the earthquake that seized their dwellings. Also the phrase ‘from before them and behind them’ in the verse 14 has occurred more than once in the chapter, and can be symbolically taken as the body and mind parts of the Communion. The approach from before effects the body of a person, whilst the approach from behind effects the mind of a person. The Thamud’s betrayal is being described very beautifully in the chapter 91 of the Quran called “Ash-Shams (The Sun)”. It is a relatively brief chapter but replete with exquisite symbolism, particularly describing the earth part of the Communion. Hence, in the interest of a deeper comprehension of the subject, I must quote the chapter 91 (The Sun) in the following.

1. By the sun and his brightness,

2. And the moon when she followeth him,

3. And the day when it revealeth him,

4. And the night when it enshroudeth him,

5. And the heaven and Him Who built it,

6. And the earth and Him Who spread it,

7. And a soul and Him Who perfected it,

8. And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it.

9. He is indeed successful who causeth it to grow,

10. And he is indeed a failure who stunteth it.

11. (The tribe of) Thamud denied (the truth) in their rebellious pride,

12. When the basest of them broke forth,

13. And the messenger of Allah said: It is the she-camel of Allah, so let her drink!

14. But they denied him, and they hamstrung her, so Allah doomed them for their sin and razed (their dwellings).

15. He dreadeth not the sequel (of events).

The ‘she-camel of Allah’ mentioned in the verse 13, is the metaphorical reference to the Sun. By denying the drink of water to the she-camel of God and injuring her, the Thamud had rejected the Communion of the earth. Hence, the earthquake destroyed them. The following set of verses from chapter 88 of the Quran are very representative of the significance of the Communion, and indicative of the strong emphasis the subject has received in the book.

17. Will they not regard the camels, how they are created?

18. And the heaven, how it is raised?

19. And the hills, how they are set up?

20. And the earth, how it is spread?

21. Remind them, for thou art but a remembrancer,

22. Thou art not at all a warder over them.

The physical outlook and attributes of a camel makes it a very interesting animal. Although a denizen of desert where the lack of sustenance is a common condition, the camel seems to stretch itself to grow higher and higher from the ground. Not only it has the great capacity to endure the severity of extreme weather conditions and scarcity of water supply, but also serves as a beast of burden for travelling in areas where no other transporting agent may survive. Its ability to stretch the limits of perseverance without breaking down makes it an ideal candidate to demonstrate the value of Communion. Even if it does happen to breakdown, it is slaughtered and consumed as a nourishing sustenance for the humans. Though there may well be many animals with outstanding talents for survival under harsh conditions, but their instincts are mostly limited to the good of their own selves. The camel is especially useful because its talents serve the humans both whilst it stands, and ultimately whence it succumbs. The Communion requires humans to serve the Lord in a fashion similar to the camel.

Another very interesting symbolism of Communion relates to the hills. Hills can be symbolically considered as the features of earth that have outgrown the earth and afterwards are eagerly trying to reach out to the heaven, and the heaven too as it appears trying to reach out to the hills as well. Thus, the hills symbolize the Communion of both the earth and the heaven in a very romantic way. Now that we have seen the basic theme of symbolism regarding the Communion, we may return to the chapter 41 for further exploration of the mystery.

34. The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.

35. But none is granted it save those who are steadfast, and none is granted it save the owner of great happiness.

The most essential element of Communion is to practice charitable conduct towards ones enemies. It is considered by far the most potent component because it imparts the great spiritual heights to a person by exalting his station to a level of true grandness. The nobility of attitudes in the human interactions is the prime characteristic that distinguishes the humanity to be associated with the divine essence.

37. And of His portents are the night and the day and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon; but prostrate to Allah Who created them, if it is in truth Him Whom ye worship.

38. But if they are too proud — still those who are with thy Lord glorify Him night and day, and tire not.

39. And of His portents (is this): that thou seest the earth lowly, but when We send down water thereon it thrilleth and groweth. Lo! He Who quickeneth it is verily the Quickener of the Dead. Lo! He is Able to do all things.

The verse 37 is very significant because by describing ‘the sun and the moon’ as portents of God, it turns them into the instruments of human growth. In other words, the physical and mental talents of humans are not there to be worshipped or celebrated but to be used for their spiritual growth. A strong beautiful person does not have to be appreciated for his wonderful body, but for the wonderful works his body gets to accomplish for the good of humanity. Being a human is a privilege that needs to be earned through constant application and hard work, so that humankind may not linger in stasis but unfolds its tremendous potential of growth. As I had observed earlier that the orbits of Sun and Moon only serve as a baseline, a solid ground for humans to launch themselves into the universe, but they by no means represent the great human destiny. It is the growth of humankind guided by the law of symmetry and proportion that will determine the human destiny.

51. When We show favour unto man, he withdraweth and turneth aside, but when ill toucheth him then he aboundeth in prayer.

52. Bethink you: If it is from Allah and ye reject it — Who is further astray than one who is at open feud (with Allah)?

53. We shall show them Our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things?

54. How! Are they still in doubt about the meeting with their Lord? Lo! Is not He surrounding all things?

The process of growth is actually a hard experience. A person has to use a strong will to move against the gravity, against the friction, and against the slope. The hedonistic attitudes only lead to the spiritual destruction of a human being, and never lead to his spiritual growth. The verse 53 explains the hermetic law of symmetry and proportion in a very comprehensive and thorough manner by connecting the grand macrocosm with its microcosmic essence, the humanity. Thus, humans must find their ascension to the plane of Communion through indomitable will and indefatigable efforts to realize their true potential.

The End Note

We may be living in the world of vanity and deception, but the deception can only last for so long before the reality reasserts itself. I have noticed that in those magical moments of reassertion of reality, one may discover for oneself the most ecstatic state of Communion. I should conclude this article with the following statements of Quran from chapter 18.

109. Say: Though the sea became ink for the Words of my Lord, verily the sea would be used up before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof to help.

110. Say: I am only a mortal like you. My Lord inspireth in me that your Allah is only One Allah. And whoever hopeth for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work, and make none sharer of the worship due unto his Lord.