Ismail Ragi A.al Faruqi

  • Whereas Jesus demanded of the Jews the rejection of the tribalist Jahweh whom they identified with Israel, the race, the community the political state as object of worship and desire, the Sufis, born in an atmosphere of pure monotheism, demanded what Jesus of the first century A.D. would demand if he were to relive his early life again in present-day monotheistic Christendom. This does not mean that Jesus did not demand, like the Sufis, the cleansing of the soul from the personal deities it may worship besides God, but it does mean that the main weight of his teaching centered around the Jewish preoccupation with the tribe as God.""The object and deal of Sufism is, therefore, identically the same as that of the radical self-transformation of Jesus. Both aimed at the state of consciousness in which God is the sole subject, the sole determiner and the sole object of love and devotion. The tradition of both later influenced each other and succeeded in developing the same kind of preparatory disciplines leading towards the end. Finally, both referred to the final end of these processes as 'oneness' and their reference was in each case exposed to the same dangers of misunderstanding, indeed to the same misunderstanding. The oneness of Jesus was misunderstood as unity and fusion of being, and thus gave rise to the greatest materialization of an essentially spiritual union history has ever seen. The oneness of the highest Sufi state was likewise misunderstood and gave rise to the worst crime perpetrated on account of a supremely conscious misunderstanding...The destinies of the two misunderstandings, however, were far apart. The Christian misunderstanding came to dominate the Christendom; the Muslim misunderstanding performed its bloody deed and sank away in front of the Sufi tide which overwhelmed the Muslim world. The success of Sufism in Islam was therefore the success of the Jesus' ethic, but devoid of the theological superstructures which this Christian misunderstanding had constructed concerning the oneness of Christ with God, or of men with Christ. In the Middle Ages, the intellectual disciples of Jesus were the sufis of Islam, rather than the theologians of the Council or Pope-monarchs of Christendom

    Ismail Ragi A.al Faruqi
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