From the book "Islamic Sufism" published by A.S. Noordeen G.P.O. Box 10066, 50704 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
From The Gospel of Islam by Duncan Greenlus:
"The nobility and broad tolerance of this creed, which accepts as God-inspired all the real religions of the world, will always be a glorious heritage of mankind. On it could indeed be built a perfect world religion."Northrop Stoddard PhD from The New World Of Islam says:
"The rise of Islam is perhaps the most amazing event in human history. Springing from a land and a people alike, previously negligible, Islam spread within a century over half of the earth, sheltering great empires, overthrowing long established religions, remoulding the souls of races, building up a whole new world -- the world of Islam. The closer we examine this development, the more extraordinary does it appear. The other great religions won their way slowly, by painful struggle and finally triumphed with the aid of powerful monarchs, converted to the new faith. Christianity had its Constantine, Buddhism its Asoka and Zoroastrianism its Cyrus, each bending his chosen cult by the mighty force of secular authority. Not so Islam. Arising in a desert land sparsely inhabited by a nomad race, previously undistinguished in human annals, Islam sallied forth on its great adventure with the slenderest human backing and against the heaviest odds. Yet Islam triumphed with seemingly miraculous ease and a couple of generations saw the fiery crescent borne victorious from [the] Pyrenees (France) to the Himalayas (Tibet) and from the deserts of Central Asia to the deserts of Central Africa. Muhammad, an Arab of the Arabs, was the very incarnation of the soul of his race. Preaching a simple, austere monotheism, free from priesthood or elaborate doctrinal trappings, he tapped the wellsprings of religious zeal [that was] always present in the Semitic heart. Forgetting the chronic rivalries and blood feuds which had consumed their energies in internecine strife, and welded into a glowing unity by the fire of their new found faith, the Arabs poured forth from their deserts to conquer the earth for Allah, the one true God... For the first three centuries of its existence (A.D. 650-1,000) the realm of Islam was the most civilized and progressive portion of the world.
Translation of above calligraphy by Yusuf Ali: Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp [is] enclosed in Glass: the glass [is] as it were a brilliant star: lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil is well nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men and Allah doth know all things. Qur'an 24:35
SCIENCE AND SUFIC
(ONENESS OF BEING)
"Let us admit what all idealists admit - the hallucinatory nature of the world. Let us do what no idealist has done - let us search for unrealities that confirm that nature. I believe we will find them in the antinomies of Kant and in the dialectic of Zeno."In this quote, Borges presents a view normally held by mystics: the hallucinatory nature of the Universe. "We have dreamed it", says Borges simply.
Michael Talbot voices the same concept in his book, Mysticism and the New Physics. He says:
"Our concept of time and space, the very structure of the universe, are more intimately related to problems and phenomenon of consciousness than we have seriously suspected.... There is no strict division between subjective and objective reality, consciousness and the physical universe are connected by some fundamental physical mechanism. This relationship between mind and reality is not subjective or objective, but 'omnijective. An omnijective concept of the universe is by no means new ... There is a vast philosophical and metaphysical tradition behind the philosophy that the universe is omnijective The mystics tell us this is true. The idealists tell us it is true. Most exciting of all, the physicists tell us it is true."Talbot goes on to say:
"In 1927, Werner Heisenberg presented his famous 'Uncertainty Principle' and started a philosophical debate among the quantum physicists that still has not resolved itself. In vastly simplified terms Heisenberg stated that the observer alters the observed by the mere act of observation ... The implications of the confluence of mysticism and physics are that all of our notions about the absoluteness of the physical universe are wrong. As Heisenberg has stated, 'The violent reaction on the recent development of modern physics can only be understood when one realizes that here the foundations of physics have started shaking, which has caused the feeling that the ground would be cut from science ... Both physics and metaphysics have reached a point where language no longer imparts any information. For instance, in quantum mechanics identical particles are said to be 'indistinguishable'. Two electrons that are indistinguishable can therefore be thought of as either the 'same' or 'different' ... One of the major revolutions in the realm of physics has been the increasing role of indeterminism - or the realization that it may be impossible to predict the outcome of an experiment. Before the advent of quantum theory, most physicists believed in a universe that was totally causal ... On the level of quantum mechanical events, however, nothing even approaching causality has been found to exist ... This is where the puzzle of indeterminism steps in. In certain circumstances Schrodinger's wave functions predict the behaviour of a given particle up to a point and then describes two equally probable outcomes for the same particle. On paper as well as in observation no reason can be found for the particles varying behaviours."The Sufis of Islam believe in the oneness of Being. And by being they mean God's Being. They maintain that everything is in God. Even space and the whole universe is included in God's Being (Wujud). Newtonian physics was based on the notion that reality is comprised of basically two things: solid objects and empty space. But science had to bend down to Sufism on the advent of Einstein's theory of Relativity and Bohr’s quantum theory. Says Talbot in Mysticism and the New Physics:
"However, empty space has lost its meaning in light of the findings of Einstein and the concept of solid objects has been virtually destroyed by the investigation of quantum theory ... It was not until the turn of this century that science got its first peep into the structure of the atom. With the discovery of X-rays, a virtual window was created into the world of the very small ... The phenomenon of radioactivity provided positive proof that atoms are not the basic building blocks of matter, but composites, built of entities even smaller.
"When Rutherford attacked the atom with high speed alpha particles he found something totally unexpected. Far from being the solid and physical particles they were believed to be since the fifth century B.C. atoms turned out to consist of vast empty regions of space in which incredibly tiny particles - electrons - orbit around a nucleus... subatomic units of matter simply do not behave like solid particles. Indeed, they appear to be abstract entities ... Depending upon how we took at it, a subatomic entity displays the properties of both a particle and a wave … In an attempt to understand a reality which does not easily accommodate words, Heisenberg proposed that physicists should simply accept the complementarily or paradoxical aspect of subatomic entities and view them as wave/particle – entities ... By doing so Heisenberg was making a statement that belonged as much to mysticism as it did to the new physics. That is, the ultimate nature of reality is beyond verbal description. The greatest commonality in both mysticism and the new physics is that both point to the inadequacy of language ... Because electrons possess both the properties of particles and a wave packet, they cannot be said to have distinct geographical locations. No physicist will ever "see" an electron or touch it. Not only is the universe queerer than we think, but it is queerer than we can think, confusion was further confounded when W.K. Clifford came out with the theory that matter was nothing more than empty, curved space. John Wheeler agreed with him. According to Wheeler the nothingness of space is the true building block of matter."To sum up, Talbot says: in Mysticism and the New Physics, " ... matter and empty space thus become one and the same.” This is what the Sufis say in regard to Wahdat-ul-Wujud. He says further:
"But the matter does not end here. As particles were discovered to be more wave-like, phenomenon such as light, which had always been interpreted as a wave became more and more particle-like. The German physicist Max Planck suggested that light was discontinuous and consisted of small energy units called 'Quanta'."Einstein brought us closer to figuring out the fundamental building blocks of matter when he discovered that light and matter are ultimately interchangeable. The primordial substance of the universe appears to be these wave particles and quanta (light units).
The riddle is solved by the following verse of the Quran:
"Allah (God) is the Light (soul) of the heavens and earth."Now, since God's being is pure light (Nur) and since according to the cult of Wahdat-ul-Wujud (oneness of being), God's Being penetrates everything in the universe including space, the building blocks of the universe, which are nothing but God's Light which, on devolution, appeared in the form of wave-like particles or particle-like waves (as observed by the recent tests) penetrating the entire field of matter and space whose oneness has already been established by both the scientists and the Sufis.
It is this light of the one Being which pervades everything like life or spirit in the body, acts as the gravitational force and holds the universe together. The Russian scientists have also established the oneness of matter and space and are now in search of the "Uniting Tissues", as they call it, which hold this vastly diverse universe together. This view of God's light (life, spirit) holding the universe together is perfectly in accord with the Quantum theory, [the] theory of Relativity and the findings of renowned physicists like Rutherford, Heisenberg, Wheeler, Max Planck and others; and reconciles all these apparently irreconcilable theories and tends to weld them into one harmonious whole. In the Quran there are many passages which throw a flood of light on the secrets of creation, which is the subject matter of scientists. Apparently the "uniting tissues" could be the force of gravity which so far nobody has been able to know the source of. Michael Talbot has quoted some Hindu source according to which "Siva's (God's) hairs" are holding the universe together. But it is an extremely vague proposition and cannot appeal to reason unless someone comes out to elaborate it. Whereas the doctrine of Sufic Wahdat-ul-Wujud (Oneness of Being) stands established both from the logical, scientific and metaphysical points of view. Moreover, it is not only a logical proposition. It is actual experience and spiritual perception and is within the reach of every human being to have it, not through intellect but actual vision and experience of the Immanence of God in every thing through Ain-ul-Yaqin (visual perception) and Haq-ul-Yaqin (Union or identification with the Divine Being).
The gist of Talbot's book, Mysticism and the New Physics is that the present state of uncertainty of science is the result of [a] one-eyed observation of the universe, and the moment both the eyes (physical and spiritual) are utilized, the secrets of creation automatically unfold themselves.
This is what Sufism claims. It aims at opening the inner spiritual eye. When the inner eyes are opened, as [was] done partially in Russia, contact is established with the Divine Being, and the secrets of the universe, mysteries of God and His attributes are known, and the purpose of human life together with the laws of human behaviour are revealed. This sets at rest all the disputes and conflicts of the inhabitants of [all] the earth, and universal peace and harmony is the result. It is then, that the belligerents realize that they were really striving for the same destiny, but were fighting with one another in ignorance. Islam tells us that [at] heart everybody is Muslim, [and is] a lover of truth. Those who are nonbelievers are non-believers by brain not [at] heart. The moment truth is presented, it is accepted. Says the Holy Quran:
"There is no compulsion in Islam.”In fact compulsion is not needed.