Friday, June 25, 2010

two faces of justice

Elsewhere, I have touched on how Islam sees truth. Here, I find a reference to how it sees justice.

Depending on whether Islamists address Americans or fellow Muslims, the same exact words they use often relay diametrically opposed meanings. One example: when Americans hear Muslims evoke "justice," the former envision Western-style justice, whereas Muslims naturally have Sharia law justice in mind.

Islamists obviously use this to their advantage: when addressing the West, Osama bin Laden bemoans the "justice of our causes, particularly Palestine"; yet, when addressing Muslims, his notion of justice far transcends territorial disputes and becomes unintelligible from a Western perspective: "Battle, animosity, and hatred—directed from the Muslim to the infidel—is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a justice and kindness to them. The West perceives fighting, enmity, and hatred all for the sake of the religion [i.e., Islam] as unjust, hostile, and evil. But who's understanding is right—our notions of justice and righteousness, or theirs?" (Al Qaeda Reader, p. 43).

Raymond Ibrahim
The Two Faces of the Ground Zero Mosque


Thursday, June 24, 2010

quatrain 419

From sunlight, a version of quatrain #419:

Soul of all souls, life of all life
you are That.
Seen and unseen, moving and unmoving
you are That.
The road that leads to the City is endless;
Go without head or feet
and you’ll already be there.
What else could you be? --
you are that.

Version by Jonathan Star
In the Arms of the Beloved
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1997


Thursday, June 10, 2010

quatrain 534

From sunlight, a translation of quatrain #534:
Who says that the Eternally Living is dead,
Who says that yonder Sun of Hope is dead -
He is the sun's enemy; climbing onto the roof,
He veiled his eyes and cried: "The sun is dead!"

Translation by Annemare Schimmel
"I Am Wind, You are Fire"
Shambhala, 1992


Friday, June 04, 2010

quatrain 912

From sunlight, a version of quatrain #912. The Houshmand version is discussed at teacher and taught. The versions are so different that it's hard to believe they stem from the same original Farsi (Persian). I suspect an error in the numbering.

This silence is worth
More than a thousand lives,
This freedom worth
More than all the empires on earth.

To glimpse that truth within yourself,
For even just a moment, is worth
More than all heavens, all worlds,
All this, and all that.

Version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva
A Garden Beyond Paradise
Bantam Books, 1992

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