The third talk in this series completes the extended commentary on Surah al Hadid - the Iron . Al Hadid is a Medinan Surah, revealed several years after the Qur’anic revelation began, after the establishment of the community of Muslims in the Medinan oasis. In this section, Shaykh Fadhlalla further explores the seamless interaction between micro and macro realities, bringing to focus subtle patterns and pitfalls of self-deception, false security, denials, and distraction in contrast to the way of Unity and Cosmic Mercy. Shaykh Fadhlalla persistently indicates the layered tapestry of good news and warning recurrent throughout this Surah. The dual nature of the self is reflected through multiple means and various maps are indicated in addressing these diverse conditions. This surah represents a universal model disclosing patterns that exist between Individuals and collectives and fundamentally between self and soul.
The emphatic theme throughout is the condition and purification of the heart. A detailed description of the stages in which the heart is deadened to its essence and how non-reality can solidify is presented. Equally, the classical model of steps to purification based on various teachings that engender and smooth this process is also provided. The various descriptions and prescriptions highlighted within the verses are brought into focus as means for deeper reflection and aid for inner constancy, awareness and sensitivity. The meaning of association and otherness (shirk) is a key point of consideration in conjunction with the condition of the heart.
The final section is related to understanding the deceptive nature of the world and the appropriate prescriptions and actions relevant to successfully establishing inner equilibrium and the nature and types of Guidance. Shaykh Fadhlalla also provides an extended description of decree and destiny. A vast array of Qur’anic references and teachings, spanning the horizons of the Semitic cultures and traditions, are included along with various pointed and sobering reflections on modernity and contemporary secularism.
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