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  • 12/27/2011

Jesus: An Islamic Perspective

part 2

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"God the Ultimate reality is One, and everything other than God comes from God and is related to Him. No true understanding of anything is possible unless the object in view is defined in relationship to the Divine. All things are centered on God." (Chittick, William. Article, 'The Concept of Human Perfection.')

All other things, seen or unseen, are his signs (ayat) and act as witnesses to His existence. All things in the universe are manifestations of His, all are from Him. God is "the Reality that is dependant upon no other reality, but upon Whom all realities depend, through Whose Will all realities have come into being, and Who has not Himself come into being through any other principle." (Mutahhari)  God is One and it is not logically conceivable that there is more than one God. Since God is an absolute, unlimited being it is inconceivable that there is more than one such being. If there were more than one then the adjectives absolute and unlimited could no longer apply. (Mutahhari)

Man enjoys a very important role in this cosmos. Although all things are made by God and identified with God in as much as their being created by Him, man is one who houses an aspect of God within him. In the Qur'an God says He has breathed His spirit into man.

"When thy Lord said unto the angels: lo! I am about to create a mortal out of mire, And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then fall down before him prostrate." (Qur'an. Ch 38- vrs 71&72)

This verse provides essential insights into man's position and nature in this universe. Firstly it says that man is made of a dual nature. He is part earth and part divine spirit. Of the portion that is earth, the Qur'an calls it a stinking clay. There are two opposing forces within man, one which is totally animal, material, carnal (clay) and the other is the purest essence - the spirit of God.

"Hence human beings represent a mixture of clay and spirit, darkness and light, ignorance and knowledge, activity and passivity ... all divine attributes are present in man, but they are obscured by those dimensions of existence that manifest a lack of the same divine attributes." (Chittick, William. Article, 'The Concept of Human Perfection.' from)

A lack of divinity would mean a lack of understanding and knowing what is divine. It is the innermost spirit that is the only part of a human that can in some sense perceive that divine Reality, as it is essentially a part of it. The rest of man is a curtain between him and God. It is a partition, a covering, a veil of separation cast between man and God. It is with these tensions within his nature that the first man (Adam) was created.

The "clay" aspect causes him to "incline towards the earth" (qur'an). The spirit aspect draws him towards God. For this reason the Qur'an says that Adam was created with the two hands of God's power. One hand represents the attributes (or names) of God that draw man near to God (e.g., mercy, love, compassion etc.). The other hand represents the attributes of distance and wrath (e.g., Majesty, Wrath, etc.), those qualities which separate man from God.


Other Links:

Jesus (A.S.) Rediscovered (part 1)  

Jesus (A.S.) Rediscovered (part 2)   

Jesus in Islam-part 1    

Birth of Jesus (A.S)    

Birth of the Soul of God   

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