The Knowledge of Self
KNOWLEDGE of self is the key to the knowledge of God, according to the saying: “He who knows himself knows God,” and, as it is Written in the Koran, “We will show them Our signs in the world and in themselves, that the truth may be manifest to them.” Now nothing is nearer to thee than thyself, and if thou knowest not thyself how canst thou know anything else? If thou sayest “I know myself,” meaning thy outward shape, body, face, limbs, and so forth, such knowledge can never be a key to the knowledge of God. Nor, if thy knowledge as to that which is within only extends so far, that when thou art hungry thou eatest, and when thou art angry thou attackest some one, wilt thou progress any further in this path, for the beasts are thy partners in this? But real self-knowledge consists in knowing the following things: What art thou in thyself,
[1. Traditional saying of Muhammad.]
and from whence hast thou come? Whither art thou going, and for what purpose hast thou come to tarry here awhile, and in what does thy real happiness and misery consist? Some of thy attributes are those of animals, some of devils, and some of angels, and thou hast to find out which of these attributes are accidental and which essential. Till thou knowest this, thou canst not find out where thy real happiness lies. The occupation of animals is eating, sleeping, and fighting; therefore, if thou art an animal, busy thyself in these things. Devils are busy in stirring up mischief, and in guile and deceit; if thou belongest to them, do their work. Angels contemplate the beauty of God, and are entirely free from animal qualities; if thou art of angelic nature, then strive towards thine origin, that thou mayest know and contemplate the Most High, and be delivered from the thraldom of lust and anger. Thou shouldest also discover why thou hast been created with these two animal instincts: whether that they should subdue and lead thee captive, or whether that thou shouldest subdue them, and, in thy upward progress, make of one thy steed and of the other thy weapon.
The first step to self-knowledge is to know that thou art composed of an outward shape, called the body, and an inward entity called the heart, or soul. By “heart” I do not mean the piece of flesh situated in the left of our bodies, but that which uses all the other faculties as its instruments and servants. In truth it does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible, and has come into this world as a traveller visits a foreign country for the sake of merchandise, and will presently return to its native land. It is the knowledge of this entity and its attributes which is the key to the knowledge of God.
Some idea of the reality of the heart, or spirit, may be obtained by a man closing his eves and forgetting everything around except his individuality. He will thus also obtain a glimpse of the unending nature of that individuality. Too close inquiry, however, into the essence of spirit is forbidden by the Law. In the Koran it is written: “They will question thee concerning the spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit comes by the command of my Lord.'” Thus much is known of it that it is an indivisible essence belonging to the world of decrees, and
Beyond Orwellian: Liberty and technology today
By: Robert Scheer
For democracy, privacy is the ball game. Without the assurance of a zone of inviolate space, both physical and mental, that a citizen can inhabit without fear of observation by others, there is no guarantee of the essential sovereignty of the individual promised in the First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution. That should be clear, as it is to most people who have been oppressed by the tyranny of authoritarian regimes. Indeed, as Aldous Huxley and George Orwell brilliantly established in their classic writing on this subject, the totality of societal observation over the individual is the defining antithesis of freedom, even when that observation is gained through hidden and subtle persuasion.
Why Should Muslims Apologize for Other Peoples Crimes?
Topic: Charlie Hebdo Attack in France Talk show host: James O’Brien
Any of the views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily represent the views of The Merciful Servant or any other projects it may have or intend to do. The Merciful Servant and it’s affiliates do not advocate nor condone any unlawful activity towards any individual or community.
Devine Carama Presents: “Power of Words” – Hiphop & Poetry (Video)
My presentation focuses on poetry and hiphop and how those forums can be used as an alternative outlet in expressing their feelings (as oppose to lashing out or fighting) as well as a way to inspire others. I also talk about how students talk to each other as well as certain names that they call each others. My main focus is how the words we use have power so its up to us to choose whether we use that power in a good way or a bad way. My presentation varies depending on the age group and/or specific things individual teachers or principles want me to touch on.
Omar Suleiman: Is Life Fair? What is the Reason to Live? (Video)
877-Why-Islam presents Sh. Omar Suleiman who asks important questions about our goal in life. Is the enjoyment of life the ultimate goal worth living for? Can a blind and homeless individual be more content than a famous actor? Explore why individuals display such varying levels of contentment.
How the Messenger of Mercy (pbuh) fought
Billions of Dollars, Euros, Pounds, Shekels and other currencies are used by the enemies of Islām to smear and tarnish the name and the image of the Deen of Islām and the person of Nabi Muhammad (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). The media moguls and the promoters of Islāmophobia, through electronic as well as press media, are hell-bent on misleading people into believing Islām to be a terror-oriented religion. Millions of anti-Islāmic websites and blogs have been initiated to criticize, insult and make fun of Islām and the noble personality of Nabi Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). The anti-Islāmic nations and their governments are diplomatically and militarily leaving no stone unturned to hinder Islām’s progress. However, being DeenulHaqq (the True Religion), Islām continues to be protected by Allāh Himself since time immemorial, as He protected His Majestic House (the Ka’bah) when Abraha dared to attack it.
Extremism: Isn’t It Everybody’s Dilemma?
By: Rasha Mohammad
Extremism — what a shackling word we are used to hearing over and over these days!
Mass clashes, assassinations, protests, and violent attacks are manifestations of an extremist way of thinking or believing.
To many, extremism is linked to religion. To be religious often labels a person as an extremist — or, as average people call it, a “terrorist.”