Tag Archives: the environment

THE ZEN OF IRON … between supernovae, faith and black magic

metals1The Zen of Iron
The molten iron filling into the mould
Asks no questions as to the form
It is taking.
……

Explosion of planet or starSUPERNOVAE. Do you know that not a single atom of iron can be produced by any natural event on this spaceship Earth? Yeah, every single atom of iron in whatever form it is in, many, many, many eons ago was born in the super hot centre of a star, just prior to the star perishing in a supernova explosion, scattering radioactive nickel (nickel-56, which decays into the most common isotope of iron) across the universe.

Iron is the most common element on Earth, forming a large part of the Earth’s outer and inner core, and the fourth most common element on the planetary outer crust (courtesy of Wikipedia), it is therefore not surprising that iron also exists in large amounts within bio organisms. And when you escape out into space, there is no escaping iron, for the terrifying meteorites flying perilously close to your spaceship are also made out of predominantly iron and nickel, in a very dense mass. That is why a meteorite will be a lot heavier than a similar-sized rock or stone.

IRON & ISLAM. The close relationship of the element iron in islam is exemplified by the 57th surah (chapter) of the Holy Quran being named as surah al-Hadid (The Iron). It is not a very long chapter, totalling only 29 verses. But in the oft-quoted 4th and 25th verses of the chapter, the celestial origin of iron is elaborated, many centuries before modern scientific understanding of iron;

“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.” (al-Quran 57:4, Yusuf Ali)

“We sent aforetime our messengers with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His messengers: For Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might (and able to enforce His Will).” (al-Quran 57:25, Yusuf Ali)

BLACK MAGIC. Iron forms an important part of our diet, an indeed it is present in almost all living organisms (Wikipedia). It is used as tools, cutleries and ultimately as weapons and defence not only against physical attacks but also metaphysical interferences through black magic and the use of djinns.suit_of_armo_27358_md

May we be guided to remembrance and fealty to our Lord and His Messenger. Like iron, our origin is far, indeed much further than the most distant supernovae that created the element of iron in the universe. For even the furthest stars at the edge of the universe are still within the territory of this physical ego-centric world, while our origin and our home is in a wholly separate plane of ‘existence’. Perhaps in the hereafter we shall have no further need for the worldly raiments and accessories made of iron. But until such day comes to pass when we leave our physical bodies, iron will undoubtedly continue to play a key part in our every day life.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the way

TO GOD ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS …but man is often forgetful

Sheep_with_their_shepherd,_mat01285The Lord of the Creatures We Eat
Thou think My love is only for thee?
For thy kin, thy friends and thy property?
What of the sky, the river and the valleys?
What of the birds, the earth and the trees?

When thou slaughter an animal
That I have made permissible for thee
That thou might eat and live,

How does thou think I feel?
Of all sadness am I free?
………..

The Zawiya. Last week I was at a familiar old zawiya (sufi tariqa establishment) in my neighbourhood. I am blessed that way, you see. I do not have to journey far to reach a zawiya, even walking would take me a mere 10 minutes tops. But I seldom go because alas, I am also lazy that way. May Allah Almighty cure me of this slovenly attitude. Pray for me, sunshine.

IMG_20160703_060212_resized_1The Five Sheep. Anyways, after the morning prayers and assorted supererogatory devotions, the visiting shaykh (master) of the tariqa proceeded to slaughter five sheep made ready by our resident farmer and shepherd. Throughout the ceremony, the shaykh recited the dzikrullah (words of remembrance of God) and I was aware of a poignant moment – That within this next few minutes, the worldly life of a living, breathing creature would, Godwilling, be terminated. To cease to breath the air that we humans too share, to cease to look upon the world that we humans also dwell in, to end its life for the sole purpose of feeding mankind. The solemnness of this ceremony gripped me and I am afraid that I let a tear or two break free from my cold hard eyes.

Divine Mourning. For in the midst of this emotional ride, a thought crossed the wilderness of my conscience – ” O’ Taufiq. If you feel this way, how do you think God Almighty feels, loving not only humans, but all of His creation with a love you can only imagine in its shallowest human manifestation. Do you think Allah (swt) does not mourn the demise of these anonymous sheep? Surely, mankind reckons and judges things by what he knows personally, but do you think the Creator All-Knowing (al-Alim) does not know these sheep that are about to be slaughtered for your sake? “

Oak_Tree_ComboMortal Error. It is our folly we are rarely aware of the value in Allah (swt)’s gift – That He permits his most favoured creation that is Man to slaughter and consume another of His creation. This gift, like all of Allah Almighty’s blessings is not one to the taken lightly. Alas, I do not think there is much room for ceremony in the factory-like abattoir that now serves our consumption-driven society. This lack of respect for God’s creation and our fellow being is not without its karmic backlash. Ergo, the prosperous diseases that now afflict us like high cholesterol, diabetes, gout and the like.

If we learn to respect animals and the environment as Allah’s own property, will this world not be a better place, and us healthier physically and spiritually? In the name of God and by the guiding lamp that is our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws), we can surely make good strides  by abiding to the holy Quran and the divinely inspired sunnah (traditions) of the Habibullah (Beloved of God s.a.w.s.) who wastes not and is hypersensitive to the smallest and meanest of God’s creation.

Shall we strive this way, sunshine? Is this month of Ramadan not  the best month to forge our intention?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way