"May Adonai bless you and protect you! May Adonai deal kindly and graciously with you! May Adonai lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace!" (Torah, Numbers 6:24-26) And Jesus said, "Allow the little children to come unto me. Forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say unto you, unless you receive the Kingdom of God as a little child does, you shall not enter therein." (New Testament, Mark 10:14-16)
Sojourning at an Oasis Paradise
Most of what you will see here is the result of extensive personal study, combined with some careful speculation. Occasionally, I may simply offer some Scripture or an inspirational text. I am a wide reader, and the connection of some topics and ideas to matters of faith and religion may not seem immediately obvious, but perhaps I may spell it out in the end... or maybe, you will decide that it was just a tangent. Anyway, I hope that you will find my meanderings to be spiritually enlightening, intellectually stimulating, or at least somewhat entertaining.
In the coming weeks and months, I intend to transcribe a series of essays that I wrote about 20 years ago in the hope that I might get them published. They represent the nucleus of my spiritual life and the focal point around which my wanderings revolve like an electron in an atom. I hope that they might eventually serve as a springboard for discussions about the common spiritual heritage of humanity. May we come together and embrace each other in peace.
Friday, December 11, 2009
People of the Book
Mohammad (pbuh) became a prophet because he was discontent with the messages brought to him by those who claimed to speak for God (BhS). He retreated into the mountains to try to sort out the truth for himself. God (BhS) loves those who seek Him ardently with purity of heart, and often comes to them with visions. This time, He sent the angel Gabriel to teach Mohammad the Qur'an. As time progressed, the Qur'an became a new sacred Book. But Mohammad saw into the future and knew that even this Qur'an would eventually be covered over with humanity's dross, so he declared, "I shall be the Seal of the Prophets," and this shall be the last of the sacred Scriptures to begin a new religion. It is pointless to start any new religions when there is already enough guidance to be found by those who truly seek God (BhS).
But Mohammad (pbuh) retained his respect for the prophets who had come before him. Their Books held essential ideas and principles both necessary and sufficient to guide any one who would seek God (BhS) along the paths they marked. Mohammad (pbuh) only spoke against them in the places where they went wrong. He insisted that there can only be one God, and that He is a Unity, without any peer or divisions - which is true, and he declared that observing the 613 laws promulgated among the Jews would only succeed in making one into a Jew - which is also true. If one sincerely seeks God (BhS), it is enough to be a person of faith keeping the laws of Noah, to be strictly ethical and carefully rational, and to be devoted to God (BhS) through submission to His will and service to His plan. The People of the Book who follow in this way are of equal stature before God (BhS), even with the most pious and "good works" muslim. We all stand in need of His infinite compassion, mercy and grace.