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Why We Don’t Understand the Quran

Why do we suffice with simply repeating the metaphors and symbols in the Quran without actually feeling the need to recognize the truths they point to?

Why can’t we free ourselves from having to think within the limits of our ‘five senses’ and escape our cocoon?

Why is it so difficult for us to discern the reality that:

The level of strings, which comprises a SINGLE frame picture, is what Sufism refers to as the dimension of “the Names”. This is where “forms of knowledge” are made. Beyond this is “Absolute Nothingness”!

Why We Don’t Understand the QuranWhy do we think that by simply jumping into the shower we can suddenly become purified of the “filth” the Quran refers to in pertinence to the filthy thought system based on “duality”?

Let’s remember the following verse:

“Verily the dualists (who claim the existence of their ego-identities alongside the Absolute Oneness) are contaminated (filthy)!”[1]

“None but the purified (from the dirt of shirq – duality – animalistic nature) can touch it (i.e. become enlightened with the knowledge of the Absolute Reality)”[2]

For the longest time, these two verses have been construed and understood as “you’re dirty if you don’t have wudu and therefore you cannot touch the Quran!”

Whereas what they really mean is:

“If you are of the opinion that there is this world that you can perceive, and then there is also a god up beyond in the heavens somewhere that you can’t perceive, then clearly you have a dualistic view. In this case, you should stay away from this magnificent Knowledge (the Quran) that accentuates and constantly reinforces the reality of the Absolute Unity and Oneness of existence, for with a dualistic view, it’s impossible for you to recognize and evaluate the profound knowledge contained within it.”

Let me give an example to shed some light on why metaphors and symbolic language have been used in the Quran, Hadith and Sufism.

Imagine you were beamed five hundred years back into time and your mission was to explain to the people of that time the concept of the Internet and where its boundless data was kept, and how computers and televisions worked… How would you explain it to those people? How much would the examples you give them reflect the actual reality?

Allah’s Rasul and final Nabi, who lived more than 1400 years ago, had observed all of the mechanics of the System and Order, referred to as the Sunnatullah, to the extent they were revealed to him, and then he had to explain them according to the mental capacity of the people of his time. How else could he have expressed these truths?

It is unfortunate that albeit mankind has advanced tremendously in many fields, when it comes to evaluating the realities revealed by the Rasul of Allah (saw), we don’t refrain from thinking like the people who lived centuries ago, subject to the limited conditions of their time! Those people are excused, for they did not have access to the information that we do today. But us???

Why does the Quran want intellectual people to reflect on and decode the metaphors and analogies it uses?

Let’s reform our system of thought!

Let’s systematically question and really try to decode the secrets revealed to us by the Rasul and final Nabi of Allah (saw) instead of getting stuck on their surface like those in the past were bound to…

Let’s make the best of the Nur of Risalat (the disclosure of Allah’s Knowledge) and be of the grateful ones.

If you recall, I had said earlier, that the Rasul and final Nabi of Allah had READ  (iqra) the system and narrated this using metaphors and symbolic language.

What was the reality that he read? What exactly is he referring to with these metaphors and symbols?

Why We Don’t Understand the QuranWhich is more real? The things we see or the things we READ? Is READING merely perceiving and pronouncing a string of letters or is it the decoding of internal and external data by the brain? Is consciousness about what the brain “sees” or the data it synthesizes (READS - processes)?

First and foremost, if we really want to discern certain truths, we have to let go of the genetic habit we’ve inherited of separating the metaphysical realm from the material realm. That is, we need to stop thinking “There is matter, which I perceive with my senses, and then, beyond this matter-based physical dimension, there is also a spiritual, metaphysical realm.” On the contrary, they are one and the same thing. We call the part that we perceive with our five senses “matter” and the part that we don’t, “metaphysical” or “beyond matter.” In reality, we’re not talking about two different dimensions or formations, we’re really only talking about the same thing!

In reality, there is no “SEEING” only “READING”!

The brain does not see, it manifests what it reads.

The brain reads and processes all internal and external data it receives, some of which are converted to images, and thus “seen.”

In fact, the brain itself doesn’t even exist the way you think it does, its essence is data – energy. In other words it’s no other than a composition of Names.

What’s more, what you call “matter” is not even real; the only thing that’s real is what you call “beyond matter”. Matter is merely a conditioning and a constriction of the brain based on the five senses.

Everything we perceive as 3D, from what we reference with expressions such as “space” and “multiverses” or in Sufi terms afaq (the outer dimensions), all the way down to the single frame picture we call the level of strings, or the anfus (inner dimensions), comprise a single dimension. They are all one and the same thing!

The manifestation or the condescension of the meanings of this absolute unity called the world of JABARUT forms the world of MALAKUT (angelic realm), which comprises the observation and the experience of existence.

All thoughts become non-existent at the level of LAHUT. It is the world of nothingness, referenced as Ahadiyyah.

The world of strings have come about with the two hands of Allah, i.e. Rahmaniyyah and Rahimiyyah, or data and energy (the dimension of the Names). The ever-changing manifestations of this dimension at every instance is what forms the multiverses and everything that’s perceived within and through them at the level of Malakut (forces). This has also been expressed as “the worlds are the forms of knowledge within the Knowledge of Allah” in Sufism.

The reason why it is said, “the essence of existence is non-existence” is because everything exists in one instance, then becomes non-existent in the next instance, and then become existent again, continually…

Those who think the Sufi word “wujud” means the “physical body” obviously can’t comprehend this. “Wujud” means existence, or the perception of existence.

The infinite phenomenon called the dimension of strings is an ocean of “power and knowledge” – an endless flow of energy and information  (data).

Because the essence of existence is comprised of the Names, it derives its existence from Allah, and thus, due to the infiniteness of Allah’s Names, the dimension of the strings is continually and infinitely transforming, ad infinitum…

Strings are the final and most latest point theoretical physics has been able to reach pertaining to the reality of existence.

But in actuality, the essence of what string theory aims to depict is non-existence. Of course, new theories can be surmised as alternative explanations in the future.

There is no path beyond this for those who have become “existent” from “non-existence” in the Knowledge of Allah, for there is no multiplicity in the ocean of meanings comprising existence.

The Divine Names and Attributes are Whole, and Holistically they manifest themselves differently at every instance, thus all meanings that become manifest merely constitute the projection of a single point in the infinite field of Allah’s Names.

This projection is nothing other than the output of an instance of Allah in the realm of strings, or the “point”.

The One denoted by the name Allah is free from the worlds means this infinite existence is free from becoming restricted to the manifestations of this point, no matter how vast and limitless they seem.

The word “yawm” which means “the present moment” is actually this very instance in which the innumerous and the ever-changing projections of the point are reflected.

When Ibn al-Arabi said, “The universe continually and sequentially becomes non-existent and then existent again at every instant…” he was pointing to the constant and infinite renewal and transformation of the strings, for he too was among those who READ.

The prayer of the Rasul of Allah (saw), “O Allah, reveal to me the reality of things (forms-manifestations)” he was actually requesting access to the unperceivable knowledge pertaining to the essence of the things that are within the range of our perception.

The description, “Allah was, and nothing existed besides Him. No air was under him, no air was above him” to which Hadhrat Ali (ra), the zenith of Sainthood, added, “And it is still so…” i.e. “It is still that moment”, points to the dimension of Names within the sphere of Divine Knowledge. In other words, despite all perceived phenomena in reality there is only the One whose name is Allah, all else is essentially non-existent.

So let those who can think and who claim “matter exists” grasp something with their thoughts instead of their hands for once! If they can… Whatever you try to grasp from the macrocosm to the microcosm you are bound to fall into void. For when you try to grasp that which you call matter you’ll be faced with the non-existence of the body at the molecular level. And when you try to hold on to the molecular level you’ll find yourself in the emptiness between its atoms, and when you try to hold an atom, you’ll fall into the vast space around it’s nucleus, and if you try to grasp the nucleus you’ll only find more empty space, and just when you think you’ve reached the quarks, you’ll fall into the mysterious world of the strings, an abode in which you can only be a silent observer…

Ibn Arabi had claimed “I am the Reality” when he reached the Station of the Inspired Self. He described the Unity of Existence as a system and claimed, “Wujud (life) and existence are ONE, only He exists! So whether you say He exists or I exist (He is, or I am) the one who is making this claim is ultimately the Self.”

Imam Rabbani, on the other hand, talked about the Unity of Witness. That is, the existence that Ibn Arabi talks about is a divine form within divine knowledge, and that it is only a shadow or imagined existence. Both scholars and all others who claimed similar truths, articulated the realities that were expressed from their core ‘kernel’ according to their individual unique programming.

What was expressed as a metaphor in the past, such as “nothing exists besides Allah” (la mawjuda illa HU) is now being scientifically confirmed and expressed as “all perceived and unperceived phenomena are nothing other than the constantly changing various expressions of the strings (energy-data field) of which we are a part” Like the constantly changing shapes and colors of a kaleidoscope, at every instance It manifests Itself in yet another different way…

The Quran explains this truth with metaphors and symbols, the intimates of the Reality perceived this truth and tried to explain using the language of their times.[3]

Why We Don’t Understand the QuranThink of a computer…

Obviously you know the screen isn’t the computer itself, though there are some who actually think it is…

The infinite data comprising the Internet is nothing other than an endless sequence of zero’s and one’s in a hard disk… Or, you’re actually seeing pixels on the screen for example but you perceive it as a picture. If you can go inside the hard disk of a computer you’ll find nothing other than zero’s and one’s! In fact, beyond the zero’s and one’s, there is only a pulse of electricity, that’s all…

Similar to the points that come together in a sequence to form letters and pictures; if you were to zoom enough into a letter or a picture you’ll see an array of points or ‘dots’.

In my writings I often talk about “knowledge” as the primary building block or the quintessential element comprising existence. Some have understood this as “acquired knowledge” whereas I’m referring to “data” or in other words, bits of information that constitute a meaning. Just like a novel or a movie script for example is really only a compilation of data in a computer…

Everything that we perceive and can think and conceptualize within the multiverses is essentially a wave of energy or “data” at the level of strings…

This reality was conceived by all the Intimates of Reality and the Saints of Allah throughout history and expressed according to the understanding of their time, often with metaphors… nevertheless it is always the same truth being expressed in different ways, based on the programming of the perceiver and the conditions to which they are subject…

The bottom line is, all saints and scholars who have reached the reality claimed the “this world is essentially a dream” in fact some claimed it is “a dream within a dream.”

Some noble scholars said “The Divine Reflection took place only once (The Single Reflection); it didn’t occur again.” Again, this is to point to the same reality; that the Angelic Realm (Malakut), formed by the condescension of the Names (the perception of meaning) is merely a dream, essentially non-existent.

“The worlds have not even smelt the fragrance of existence” is also to accentuate this truth.

The fact is, we’re all living in a completely virtual reality, albeit we perceive it as solid and real. And it will continue to be this way, through various dimensional transformations, indefinitely…

Some are going to realize this truth and experience its outcome, while others are going to change dimensions in a “blind” (aamah) state and remain forever blind (of knowledge).

The state of Absolute Unity and Oneness (Wahidiyyah), to which we often refer as the Dimension of Names, or the single frame picture, encompasses the innumerous qualities denoted by Allah’s Names. All of this however, refers only to the fact that all forms of existence are “forms of knowledge” i.e. virtual. In fact, because these qualities denoted by the Names of Allah address mankind, they correlate directly with man’s perceptive ability.

Within the dark substance that we call “dark matter” comprising 96% of what we cant perceive and of which we have no definite knowledge, there are innumerous qualities of Allah, unbeknownst to mankind.

The Dimension of Names, with its infinite vastness, is simply a collection of divine qualities formed in the projection of a single point within the knowledge of Allah.

There are infinite such points, all of which are projections and manifestations of Allah’s infinite incomprehensible knowledge!

It is because these worlds are all forms of knowledge within divine knowledge that we say the One denoted by Allah is an absolute unknown in terms of His essence and thus it has been said “Do not ponder on the essence (dhat) of Allah”.

His single manifestation, what we call a single frame picture, encapsulates all of the 3D multiverses. It is merely a single “point” of manifestation within His infinite knowledge. It is the whole of existence constantly manifesting itself in yet another way at every instance. And it is also what we refer to as the Station or Dimension of Divine Names. In scientific terms we may call it the level of strings; essentially we’re really only referencing the infinite database of energy-data (power-knowledge).

To be a little more clear, the “point” that I keep referring to, is one dimension of Names amongst other dimensions of Names pertaining to the One referenced as Allah, which in our world, we call the “strings”.

Sufism refers to the inner dimension (batin) of this “point” as aamah and to its outer dimension (zahir) as wahidiyyah (Oneness). It’s also known as “jabarut” and its personalized virtual state is referred to as “malakut”. All of this is in respect to the Creator.

The name “HU” points to the quintessence of the point.

The actual essence of Allah (dhat) can never be known or conceived, as I have already noted above. It is in this respect that it is said, ”Allah is al-Ghani from the worlds (beyond being labeled and limited by the manifestations of His Names)”

How can it be possible for the human consciousness, which only has a virtual existence within the dimension of Names inside the projection of the point to conceive and comprehend the One in whose sight there are infinite points!?

How can one not confess his helplessness and nothingness in the sight of this “Akbar” One?

The point is the Grand Spirit in respect to the infinite meanings it entails, and the Reality of Muhammad in respect to its identity.

Since all that is perceived is essentially comprised of data (forms of knowledge) within divine knowledge inside the “point” manifesting as the dimension of strings, coming into existence from non-existence, all units derive their existence from a composition of Names (a composition of qualities denoted by the Names).

The holographic principle eludes to the fact that though seemingly various and different, all forms are essentially from the same source. Hence the One denoted by the name Allah and its creation are not mutually exclusive or independent of each other, on the contrary the verse “when you threw it was Allah who threw” shows us they are one and the same thing. Likewise, there are many denotations of Allah “getting angry, feeling happy, sad” etc. amongst religious literature, all pointing to the same truth.

All concepts pertaining to our world of perception is due to our cognition that Allah exists as a result of His ever-changing manifestations within the single frame picture, which consequently leads us to identify existence as Allah, forming an opportune plane for multi-faceted perception.

To decode this reality in the Quran one should evaluate the verses in which the name “Allah” is mentioned either in respect of the name az-Zahir (The self-evident One, the explicit, unequivocal and perceivable manifestation) or the name al-Batin (The unperceivable reality within the perceivable manifestation! The source of the unknown).

When one says, “Allah is forgiving” they are actually referring to the quality of forgiveness in humans. This is a manifestation in respect to the name al-Batin.

Or when it is said, “Allah is Aziz’un Zuntiqam[4] the reference is to the mechanics of Allah’s System, whereby no action is passed over without making the committer face its consequence.

I mentioned above the name HU points to the quintessential depth (al-Batin) of the point. This should not be understood as different dimensions. There is no such dimensions (internal-external depth or surface) to the “point” as we understand, for the source of the point is the attribute of “Samadiyyah[5]

Only HU (the Absolute Essence of Existence) who “at every instance manifests Himself in yet another way”[6]exists!

There is another sublimity to take note of here:

While the Rasul of Allah (saw) explained the essence of existence via the knowledge of Risalah (the disclosure of the Knowledge of Allah), with all its intricate details based on the understanding of the people of his time, at the same time, as a result of Nubuwwah (the function of enabling people to read and apply the necessary practices of the system of Allah) he revealed the practical knowledge of Sunnatullah - the how’s, do’s and don’ts of the mechanics of the System.

All recommended practices such as salat, fasting, alms giving, are based on the mechanics of the System of which man is an integral part.

Whatever deed is committed, whether physically or consciously, its consequence will be experienced due to an internal force embedded into the essence of man. The grateful one will enjoy the fruits of being grateful, and the ungrateful one will suffer the results of his ungratefulness…

Those who fail to enter through the gates which the Rasul of Allah (saw), the magnificent being, opened for us -whatever their excuse may be- will suffer the consequences of their failure. For, while he cautioned the people against conceiving Allah as a god in space in order to protect them from the consequential suffering of this duality, he also admitted and expressed his own nothingness with his words, “he who has seen me has seen the One”…

If we can interpret some of the verses of the Quran in light of today’s scientific knowledge I believe a very unique construal of the Quran can be attained, much different to those interpreted so far.

Hopefully I’m able to present a new perspective to some degree…

Note: Some think by copying and pasting the information in a physics or medicine textbook and claiming ‘this is the knowledge of Allah’ is how they can make the point that religion and science are asserting the same truths. For some who are far from science or the essence of the message of religion my teachings are a misrepresentation of religion. They say, what if the things you’re writing about today change with time, then what? Are we to change our religion too? The answer is in another writing…


 Ahmed Hulusi

7 January, 2007

[2] Quran 56:79

[3] Please read Al-Ghazali’s work “Mishkat al-Anwar (The Niche for Lights)” and Ahmed Hulusi’s book “The Great Awakening”.

[4] Al-Aziz: The One who, with His unchallengeable might, disposes as He wishes. The One whose will to do as He likes, nothing can oppose.

Al-Muntaqim: The One who makes individuals live the consequences of their actions that impede in the realization of their essence. To ‘avenge’ (zuntiqam) is to make one ‘pay the price’ i.e. face the consequence of their doings without exception or pity.

[5] The Pure Whole One! Free from the concept of multiplicity! Not formed of adjoining parts. Far from conceptualization and limitation. The self-sufficient One, in need of nothing!

An authentic hadith narrates: “As-Samad is such that it bears no space or emptiness within it (all, whole, one).”

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