Desires for Accumulation – Surah Takathur

Kabir leads a tafsir* experiment.  Participants listen to and are encouraged to contribute their understanding of the surah Takathur (Accumulation or Boasting).  To deepen understanding of Surah Takathur, Kabir shares a Mahmoud Mustafa translation of the tafsir of Qashani, a disciple of Ibn Arabi.  Two Rumi poems tell us it’s God’s mercy that we have the desire for Grace in our hearts so that we can truly know and experience Him/Her.  There is significant difference between a superficial understanding of God and a profoundly deep knowledge and experience of God.  Various personal examples and anecdotes—some from people both living and passed, others from those in the Circle, including Kabir—characterize the Quran as a text that sets us straight by speaking to the essence of things and doing so in the moment that a message is needed.  If you are sensitive, and not veiled by too much, you are able to “taste” the psychic state from which a text or experience of any kind comes.  The meaning comes through kashf, a certain type of unveiling.

To unveil Surah Takathur, Kabir defines, translates and explains Arabic words.  Takathur refers to accumulation/pursuit of material and sensual things, including boasting about status, possessions, credentials, ancestors and lineage.  He explains conceptual and linguistic connections of this surah to other surahs, as well as messages in the Quran about the evolution of knowledge and certainty in the heart through direct experience.

Surah Takathur and Surah Kawthar have the same root and are related to the Arabic word, kathira (many).  Many-ness can be a blessing when you see the oneness behind the many-ness.  But there is great suffering when you only see the many-ness and it’s tearing you apart in a thousand different directions, depending on the moment and the circumstance.

Surah Takathur tells about knowing naeem (true happiness) and the yaquin (certainty) with which we discern what is naeem.  Surah Takathur’s yaquin is open-mindedness and a certainty from which we can operate—seeing what is naeem and living our lives in a new and open way.  It’s not dogmatism.  The resulting certainty moves through the spiritual levels of ‘ilm-ul-yaqin (knowledge of certainty), ‘ain-ul-yaqin (eye, fountain or essence of certainty), and haqq-ul-yaqin (truth of certainty).

Yaquin is heart-based and similar to iman, a higher state than islam (surrender).  Iman is certainty about Divine Reality and Order that comes after verifying for ourselves that Reality can be trusted, is meaningful and not arbitrary.  Iman leads to amina (security) through verification.

Surah Takathur confirms that the Quran guides us to an open-minded spiritual perception that is the source of our happiness.  We see it and that motivates us to something different.  Two Rumi poems show our desires are God’s mercy.  It’s all quite extraordinary, really, and not to be taken for granted.

* The uncovering of meanings and exposing of the secrets of the Quran to gain greater, and deeper spiritual perception.

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