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3. Primary Written Sources of the Mystical Qabalah

H. The Qu'ran

The Qur'an is the final revelation of the Lord YHVH (as Allah) to the children of Abraham. It was transmitted through the Prophet Mohammed, the "Seal of the Shemite prophets." The only prophet yet to come is the reappearance of Eliyahu (Elijah), who will herald the final messianic advent of Allah as "The Last," which the Qur'an calls the "Day of Judgment" (Yom Ah-Din). The Qur'an encompasses 6,666 verses in 114 titled surahs (chapters) of varying length. Master Mohammed lived at a time when a substantial number of Jews, Christian, and Sabaeans lived on the Arabian Peninsula among a general population of idol worshipping Arabs. Master Mohammed is thought to have had significant interaction with religious teachers from all of these groups, as well as, from the Hanifites, and the highly educated Persian Zoroastrians who ruled many parts of the peninsula. A large amount of critical evidence, beyond the scope of this book, concludes that this interaction substantially impacted the content of the Qur'an.

The Jews had immigrated to the Arabian Peninsula long before Master Mohammed was born via the well-traveled trade routes across the Red Sea. They were largely centered in Mecca and Medina, and included a substantial number of religious teachers well versed in Talmudic halacha (interpretations of verses in Torah) and Midrashic commentary (i.e. on the halacha). The Sabaeans are thought to have been among the earliest inhabitants of Syria, and only a little is known of their history, culture, and spirituality. The Christian inhabitants consisted largely of the descendants of "heretics" who had been expelled from the Roman Empire. These Arabian "desert fathers" possessed numerous apocalyptic and pseudo-epigraphic texts. But it is suspected that they had limited knowledge of the Peshitta, and that the bulk of the material related to the Prophet Isa (Master Yeshuvah) and Miryam (Mary) in the Qur'an was derived from Jewish sources. The Hanifites were an Arabian faith community largely concentrated in Mecca, Medina, and a few other cities, who had rejected idolatry previous to the birth of the Prophet. They professed to be in search of the original religion of Abraham. In the Qur'an, Master Mohammed repeatedly applies the term "hanif " to the disciples of the religion of Abraham. Before and during Master Mohammed's life, Persian kings ruled many parts of the peninsula. The Persian inhabitants were generally well educated, and their tales and songs became widespread among the Arabian tribes.

The poetic and narrative style of the Qur'an is strikingly different from the Tanakh. The Tanakh is a diverse anthology whose component pieces were written at different times for religious instruction by a number of different consummate storytellers. Their work was selectively preserved and handed down as the best of their kind, culminating in their inclusion in the Ezra redaction of the Tanakh. The Qur'an was a totally new work, delivered in a very short period of time in a specific historical climate and cultural milieu. It was an inspired scripture delivering a fresh transmission of the universal mystical spirituality of the religion of Abraham. It was intended to bring the descendants of Ishmael out of their long decline into idol worship, as well as, lead the Jews and the Christians back to the spiritual truth that had become buried under orthodox conventions, fictionalized narratives, forced meanings, and outside cultural distortions. While characters in the Torah are highly developed and distinct, those in the Qur'an come forth with little development and repeat the same fundamental axioms. While biblical narratives are complete stories rich with dramatic action, the narratives in the Qur'an are fragmentary, with incidents and scenes from Jewish and Christian history introduced abruptly, with little dramatic sense, and often lacking important points that would enhance the reader's understanding.

However, the unique and complex circumstances into which the Prophet brought forth his new dispensation didn't require that he repeat the entirety of the biblical narrative. There was a long history of hostilities and distrust among the various Arab tribes. The Jews and the Christians had been estranged for centuries. His fragmentary approach was enough to give the Arabs a sense of ownership of the religion of their ancestors, while providing a vehicle to carry the core mystical concept of the absolute unity of all existence at the roots of all the traditions. The 114 surahs of the Qur'an are typically divided into those revealed in the early period in Mecca, those revealed in the middle period in Medina, and those that came in the later period in Mecca. As a rule, the shortest and most mystically potent surahs are associated with the early period in Mecca. Longer surahs from later periods were more loosely structured, allowing the Prophet to make changes as circumstances unfolded, and insert new verses as he deemed appropriate. Thus, the Qur'an presented both an opportunity to reestablish the unitive mystical spirituality of the children of Abraham in general, as well as, gave the Prophet the guise of revelation to resolve many tribal disputes.

The core mystical ideas of the Qur'an and Sufism are essentially identical to those of the Torah and the Mystical Qabalah. As the Mystical Qabalah is predicated upon the negatively existent "Mysterious Unknown at the Roots of All Things," called Ayn ("Nothing") and Lo (i.e. "The NOT"), the Qur'an refers repeatedly to the Divine Essence as La (also "The NOT"). Like the Qabalah, the Face of God is a prominent component in Sufi mysticism, and like the Torah (as well as, virtually all other mystical traditions), the Qu'ran has allusions to both Vast and Small Face. For instance, in "The Light" Surah, an allusion is given for the Tree of Life, for Small Face as "light upon light," and for Vast Face as "darkness upon thick darkness.Relative to the darkness verse, the reader is encouraged to compare its allusions to those found in the first chapter of Torah B’reshith 1:2, "Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness upon the Face of the Deep.""

"Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth.
The similitude of His light is that of a nicheThe niche is the Tzimtzum (Contraction); also called Tohu in Torah B’reshith 1:2., within which is a lamp.The lamp is the Inner Court of the Tree of Life.
The lamp is within a glass orbCompare this with the verse from Sifra Detzniyutha 2: "The Supernal Vav, a lamp of heavy darkness that is adorned by its sides.".
The glass, as it were, a shining starThe shining star is the six-pointed, double-pyramid Tree.,
Lit with the oil of a blessed olive tree,
NOT of the East, NOT of the West.
Its light luminous even though fire touches it not,
Light upon light"Light upon light" is an allusion to Small Face.."

and, later in the surah,

"Or like darkness upon a vast ocean"Darkness upon a vast ocean" is an allusion to Vast Face.,
Covered with waves upon waves,
Over them clouds,
Darkness upon thick darkness"Darkness upon thick darkness" alludes to the condition of Small Face turned inward toward Vast Face i.e. the Ayn..
And whoever Allah gives NOT- Light, has NOT- Light in all."

In Islam, Judaism and Christianity are regarded as revealed religions, and therefore given protected status. In the Qur'an, there are a number of references to the Jews as the "People of the Book (i.e. Torah)" whom Muslims are exhorted to honor and respect. In the "Most High Surah," the Torah is called the "Book of Mosheh" and the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation) is referred to as the "Book of Abraham." The Qur'an also has beautiful surahs devoted to the Prophet Isa (Master Yeshuvah), to whom is ascribed the exalted stature of rasool (prophet of the highest degree), and to Isa's mother Miryam (Mary). It is interesting to note that in the history of Miryam, Master Mohammed speaks of Miryam, sister of Aaron the High Priest and Master Mosheh, as the same Miryam who became the mother of Master Isa 1570 years later. Scholars frequently point to this as an erroneous ascription. However, from the perspective of reincarnation, was Master Mohammed inferring that the later Miryam was a reincarnation of the former, much in the same way as John the Baptist is identified as a reincarnation of Prophet Eliyahu in the Peshitta?

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