The History of Terror in Islam
Fear is the only thing that keeps us from God. We chose to define it in other words, such as respect - respect for God, which keeps us intact as "respecters", respect for religion, which doers the same, respect for tradition, people, parents, etc. It all serves the same purpose of 'self' preservation. 'Salvation' of the soul has been put in second place to preservation of the self - even replaced by it. Yet the soul is not in need of salvation, it is safe with God and always has been. It is however in need of salvation from the grips of the self in fear. And that cannot be done from within the grips of fear, but only by dropping the fear entirely and living one hundred percent within our vulnerability, as very little children completely at the mercy of their environment. This is the super-human and genuinely spiritual task of Tasawwuf (purifying the Soul from the taints of the self), and not easily accomplished or even considered without help. It is for that, and only that purpose that Islam was revealed. And how is it that we have learned to see the environment as a hostile place? We have been taught, even from within the protective custody of love, that this childhood and protective custody will not last forever, and that someday we'll have to face a cruel hostile world for which we'd better start preparing ourselves now. Not so?
Why do we, as "Muslims" insist upon seeking only from within some supposedly authoritative body of knowledge for answers when even that authoritative body of knowledge tells us to seek outside itself even as far as China and from the cradle to the grave? The answer is fear (if of nothing else than being wrong or making a mistake, or being told so). Why do we want to be 'right' and why do we 'trust' only our particular body of knowledge? Where did this mortal fear come from - within a revelation that is supposed to liberate us and all humanity from fear itself? Why would the prophet himself have said that teaching the second knowledge would earn only a cut throat? Will his grandson the Mahdi be afraid to teach this truth? Why would he have to teach the truth again if it had not been lost? And why did he go into occultation in the first place? For fear of his life? (Well, kinda, but more for the preservation of prophetic truth.) And why would he feel it needed preservation? And why did Imam Hussein feel it necessary to sacrifice his life and those of his fellow adherents to the truth? What is this truth that is so feared that men will kill to keep it hidden? And did not Hazrati Sayyida Fatimah (`alaiha Salaam) suffer terror and persecution at the hands of the "ummah"? And who is it that the Mahdi will be (and is) standing absolutely along side of? And what truth will Christ be teaching, and to whom? And why was Hallaj really killed? Who really cares if a madman in God runs around proclaiming the truth? Whose interests were threatened? The Muslim Ummah's? Give me a break!
It was the structure of the "powers at be" that was, is and always will be threatened by the annihilatory Reality (haqiqah, Dharma) of la ilaha illa Llah. And yes, we must honor the world of nature as God's creation under immutable laws which can be mastered through learning, understanding and surrender. But when 'salvation' of the soul becomes the issue, then one seeks self preservation for the purpose of working on that problem, and very quickly the means becomes the end. But that whole artificially constructed paradigm, which is the basis of maintaining religious and societal power, is totally destroyed, as in annihilated, by the concept of free grace. (Is it really a predominantly Christian concept, or is it as ancient as Taoism itself? And so what? Is not the entirety of our existence from the Grace of God?) And what DO we Surrender to if not to the Grace of the Most Gracious, most Merciful? Did not the Prophet, peace be upon him, responded to the question of why, if grace were upon him, he continued to pray and the serve, with, "Am I not a GRATEFUL Slave?" Gratitude for Grace is what we owe, and a friend once told me that the word "deen" is related to debt and the payment of it.
Our egos are ever our defensive natures, yet they are not our realities, and in the annihilation (what is it that gets annihilated, anyway) of Pure Grace - where we know that there is only Oneness, Compassion and Mercy, and then pass even from that knowing - everything, power and the need for power, fear and the greedy and anxiety driven defenses against it, disappears, never to be needed again. Could this be the second truth? Is this the heaven that is promised to the Surrendered? Could this be the united Message of '!sa (`alaihi Salaam) and Islam's own promised one, al-Mahdi?
And there is no argument among the people of Truth. If the Sufis have it and Unity is the only true reality (la ilaha illa Llah), then all sectarian differences, with their own personal and vested interests are and will be the target, and they know this and are, like pharaoh, working day and night to snuff out any possibility of the prophesied truth (Moses) arising. They love and struggle for the life of this world with all their hearts and souls, and thereby lose their hearts and souls. Will not the meek and peaceful inherit the earth (if for no other reason than that they will live longer)? Why was the works of Rumi and Ibn `Arabi so persecuted and rejected in the time, and yet so obvious and even scientifically proven and accepted now? Are we not now way more prepared for Surrender and Unity (Islam and Tawheed)? It will come! It IS promised. Kicking and screaming or surrendered like lambs of God, it matters not to God. He will reveal His truth to those who have not seen it already, regardless of their stubborn refusal and endless unpreparedness. And yet unto the surrendered He is tender, merciful and endlessly gentle. Is this not so?
Why are we the attackers and not the defenders? There is so much to be learned from the truth teachings of other peoples, religions and languages.