Thursday, April 21, 2005

what is fake

Today's Rumi quatrain came from a search for words related to "fake" (the last word of my last post).
They say love means crying out her name. Lies.
They say love's hope will never ripen. Lies.
A universe of joy lives within us.
They say it lies beyond the sky. All lies.

#1058: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

I have been in pain of late (health problems) and a strong voice inside me has been saying: "What a piece of worthless shit this is, a leisurely pastime with no purpose!"

And here is Rumi saying: "Lies! Lies! All lies!"

Luke 17:21 (KJV)

Neither shall they say,
Lo here! or, lo there!
for, behold,
the kingdom of God is within you.

Rumi was aware of Christianity: after all, his second wife, Kira Khatum, was one. To my knowledge, the Qur'an has no comparable passage to Luke's. The closest that I could find was one that reminds the believer that Allah is always around, but in a watchful role rather than joy-giving.

Qur'an 57:4 (Yusufali)

He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and is moreover firmly established on the Throne (of Authority). He knows what enters within the earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well all that ye do.

Rumi's reference to a heaven (or "universe of joy") that "lies beyond the sky" is surely a parallel of Luke's heaven (or "kingdom of God") that lies (over) here or (over) there, far outside ourselves. The Qur'an clearly places the heavenly paradise well into the future, after an individual's death and probably not until the actual day of reckoning.

Of course, on that day of reckoning the unbelievers will go to hell (as vividly depicted in several places in the Qur'an) while the faithful will go to a paradise famously populated with modest but willing virgins. It is abundantly clear that these faithful are men in kingly roles and the women are there merely as concubines. I can only guess that Muslim women identify with these concubines and see their ultimate glorious purpose therein.

Qur'an 37:40-49 (Yusuf Ali)

But the sincere (and devoted) Servants of Allah,-
For them is a Sustenance determined,
Fruits (Delights); and they (shall enjoy) honour and dignity,
In Gardens of Felicity,
Facing each other on Thrones (of Dignity):
Round will be passed to them a Cup from a clear-flowing fountain,
Crystal-white, of a taste delicious to those who drink (thereof),
Free from headiness; nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.
And besides them will be chaste women, restraining their glances, with big eyes (of wonder and beauty).
As if they were (delicate) eggs closely guarded.

Heaven is so definitely far away, so emphatically beyond our life on earth, so clearly depicted as lying "beyond the sky".

Ah, Rumi, Rumi, surely you were accusing the Qur'an itself of telling lies!


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