2013, An-Nahar, Articles

Read / 27.07.2013

“Read in the name of your Lord, Who created: He created man from a clot. Read by your Most Generous Lord, Who taught by the Pen. He taught man what he did not know.” (Sura Al-῾alaq [The Clot] 1-2) Your reading of this text, which is considered as revealed [sent down], and if we realize that the ‘name’ in Hebrew means power or presence, your reading of the name of the Lord is a way of reading the Lord, since He lets you to penetrate His being in order that you might know Him through love. For the Hebrews the name refers to the being, hence, the aim is that you read the Lord Himself, namely that you know Him to the extent that He gives you from His being, and that you do not project upon Him whatever you say about Him, rather He projects His being upon you.

You read about Him in the reality of your weakness, while it is desired that you read Him in love. Any explication, which does not reveal to you His Love, is incomplete or deficient. To read means that you become that which you read or that you become contiguous with Him, as if you become Him.

Read the past, where God has been manifested. Do not read the sin since in it there is staleness. Read God in whatever has elapsed and in whatever has befallen you today and in whatever you expect from God tomorrow and at all times. Read, i.e. seek every truth that has been manifested in the past and is manifested upon you in love. Do not fear books. In them there is the meager and the abundant, since it is possible that the truth might be manifested in you. What matters is the eternal [nature] of Truth, and not the vanities of what has passed and what is becoming. Do not read merely whatever pleases you, but whatever pleases God, in order that you become from the truth that has been manifested, since you also are manifested in it now. You do not come from the ancients, as they have passed away, but from the truth that they have revealed to you. And here there is no difference between that which has elapsed and that which is forthcoming. [This is to say that] it is not admissible that you receive the truth from whatever has passed, since Truth does not pass away. It stand firm and makes you its servant in the forthcoming days. There is truth and falsity in those who have anteceded us. Hold on to the truth and renounce the falsity, since you live by the truth that you receive through faith. You do not come from those who passed away, but from the truth that they carried, since Truth does not fade away with time.

Do not sanctify the past for any reason, other than that it has carried the truth. There are much beauties and much falsity in the past. Do not let falsities allure you. You are abiding by whatever you have inherited from your Lord. The ancients are not necessarily a reference. There are in them sins as there is splendor upon them. Whenever you know that this is from God take it over. And then we shall read it in you. You are not the heir of the past unless you want it immediately in you. You are the heir of the eternal, who never changes. [Thus] read only the holiness. Its values never alter. Whenever you do this, the mockers might make fun of you, since they despise the truth, which unmasks them. They are to be extinguished like the dust which is ablated by the wind from the face of the earth, while the truth, which you carry, endures and you endure by it. Truth is not subject to the passing garments of the time. You become divinized whenever you surmise the times toward that which descends upon you from above.

Read the good people who have passed away, but their good [deeds or thoughts] have not passed. Accompany [be coeval of] the people of truth, upon whom time has no authority. Then, in God’s eyes you are eternal similar to God’s Word. And God makes you God’s word, namely a creature of God. The truth that is within you transcends you above all time.

If we speak in the church about tradition, this does not meant that we are ruminating the past. We have rather been only delighted by it. There is no value in whatever has passed unless when it carries an eternal truth. Time is not an element of Truth. It [rather] takes all its value from Truth. Truth is not Truth because it comes from some time that has anteceded you. It is so since God has directly spoken it, or through those to whom God has entrusted to speak it.

The past carries the beauties of the saints or of the intellectuals, whenever they are well-established [or orthodox]. We do not sanctify tradition merely because it has predated us. We sanctify the truth in the tradition.

We do not read [intellectual] studies other than to keep the good that they carry. Since the good is the truth. However, you are obliged to read everything, in order that you do not bypass any good [thing] that the nations have safeguarded.

Read as much as you are given to read from the tradition, since the truth is in much of what the ancients have left for us. Nonetheless, tradition is not limited to whatever you have inherited from your fathers. All the great ones of history are your fathers. And the holy ones of them are of much significance.

Rectify your thought through whatever the righteous ones have said. This is the true legacy. Our fathers come from everywhere, whenever they were the people of the truth. God has left God’s traces in the minds of all nations. Do not develop partisanship toward neither your nation nor to the people of thought who belong to your nation. The truth is alone your home and it is the source of your thought and life.

Beside our faith-tradition take the truth from wherever you can, and hold it completely, although you might taste the beautiful things in every tradition. You have to love the truth wherever you find it. Let it own you since [all] ownership is to God and to the Truth which proceeds from God. Seek Truth in all what you read, rather than the vanities of words. Every true saying is from God. Hold fast to it so that you may not die spiritually. Truth is the face of God. Seek God, [since] in God are your existence and your glory. Through God you read all that is beautiful, true and good, and without God there is nothing.

Translated by Sylvie Avakian-Maamarbashi

Original Text: “إقرأ” –An Nahar- 27.07.2013

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