Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Peace, one and all...

Upon opening my Quran this morning, I saw the following verse:
'Whether you reveal anything or conceal it, indeed Allah has full knowledge of
all things'
(Surah al-Ahzab 33:54, A. Yusuf Ali trans.)

The idea behind this verse is an important part of Islamic doctrine. That is, the idea that God has complete knowledge of everything, both hidden and manifest, is an important one. God, within the Islamic Tradition, is omnisicent (all-knowing), as well as all-powerful (omnipotent).

Internally, as I read and reflect on this verse, it reminds me of several things. Firstly, Allah is aware of my faults, secret and open. Therefore, if He is aware of them, I should own up to them myself and ask for His forgiveness (and I do). Secondly, God is fully aware of the subtleties of human speech and action: there's no fooling Allah Ta'ala. Thirdly, God is aware of things within us, of which we are ourselves unaware. That is, our own knowledge is limited by ability and also intuition: we are not aware of all of the hidden motivations which drive us. God, by contrast, is - in a complete and perfect sense. He thus knows our secret motivations and intentions (which, I suppose, is why He alone can judge by them), better than we do ourselves.

The Prophet (saw) is reported to have asked God to 'show me things as they truly are', which casts an interesting light on this discussion. In other words, the Prophet seems here to be asking to have clarity with regards to his intentions and understandings. Subhan Allah, a penetrating and insightful comment to say the least.

Furthermore, in understanding the import of this particular ayah, we also need to consider its wider context. This part of the Surah is referring to conduct with regards to the Prophet and so its important to consider this aspect. However, I'm not qualified to undertake such work; so I'll leave it here.

May God show us the truth as it really is and help us to follow it and may He show us falsehood as it truly is and give us the grace to avoid it.

wa akhiru da'wana an il hamdu lillahi rabbi al-alameen

Ma'as salama,

Abdur Rahman


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