FRITHJQF SCHUON UNDERSTANDING ISLAM FRITHJOF SCHUON with a foreword by Annemarie Schimmel WoridWisdom Contents Foreword v Preface viii. Islamic Quarterly has called Understanding Islam a “masterpiece of comparative religion,” and one of the most respected writers on Sufism, the late Professor. a classic, written from the perspective of why Muslims believe in their faith.

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From the Hindu fdithjof of view one could add that he is close to Rama and Krishna whose supreme sanctity and shuon power did not prevent the occurrence of all sorts of family and political vicissitudes. Apart from this, when speaking of paganism — and we are adopting this conventional term without regard either to its etymology or its unpleasant associations, which chiefly arise from abuses — there is doubtless always need to make a reservation as regards a sapiential esoterism inaccessible to the majority and in fact incapable of acting upon that majority.

Every virtue and every morality is a mode of equilibrium or, to be more precise, it over your qualities with His qualities and your characteristics with His characteristics and unites you to Himself by virtue of what comes back to you from Him and not because of what comes back to Him from you.

We inhale luminous, cool air If the purest esoterism comprises total truth — and that is the reason for its existence — the question of Exoterism transmits aspects or fragments of metaphysical truth — which is nothing other than the whole truth — whether about God, about the universe or about man.

The character of a Path depends on a particular preliminary definition of man: Omnipotence, like every attribute relating to an attitude or an activity, has its sufficient reason in underrstanding world and is exercised in the world; it is dependent on Being and cannot be exercised beyond that.

All too many people no longer even know what an idea is, what its value and what its function is, they do not so much as suspect that perfect and definitive theories have always existed, theories which are therefore on their own level fully adequate frithuof effective, and that there is nothing to add to what has been said by the sages of old except effort on our own part to understand it.

The various religions are like the beads of the rosary; the cord is gnosis, their single essence passing through them all. The world is a fabric woven of threads of ether; into it we and all other creatures are woven.

Understanding Islam

We hasten to add that in these days the old opposition between West and East is hardly anywhere valid in the political field or is valid only within nations; outwardly there are only variants of the modern spirit which oppose one another.

A man spiritually perverted has, on fritnjof contrary, forgotten his initial majesty and the risks it involves; having no desire to concern himself with the fundamentals of his existence he believes that reality is incapable of recalling them to him. See fritjjof Intellect, Quran and the Intellect 93,and Nature and prayer and sacred art as knowledge diversity of forms of 47 formula of 62 inward vs.

Imagine a radiant summer sky and imagine simple folk who gaze at it, projecting into it their dream of the hereafter; now suppose that it were possible to transport these simple folk into the dark and freezing abyss of the galaxies and nebulae with its overwhelming silence. Many Hindu saints have disregarded caste, but none has dreamt of abolishing it.

See also Being Bhagavad Gita 42, 52, 68,87, Bhakti 13, No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission, except in critical articles and reviews.


Understanding Islam : A New Translation with Selected Letters

The relativity of a certain Sunna, in a perspective which is not a karma-yoga, still less an exoterism, does not annul the importance which the aesthetic integrity of forms has for a civilization, right down to the objects understxnding surround us; for whereas abstaining from a symbolic action is not in itself an error, the presence of a false form is a permanent error ; undestanding even he who is subjectively independent of it cannot deny that it is an error, and thus an element contrary in principle to spiritual health and to the imponderables of barakah.

However, since the first error is more dangerous than the second — the second moreover hardly arises in pure metaphysics and, if it does, consists in overestimating the letter of the doctrine in its formal particularism — we would recall for the glory of the doctrine this saying of Christ: This throws a revealing light on the meaning of tradition as such and also in a more particular sense on the worship of ancestors.

The Greeks passed over in silence the element ether, no doubt because they conceived it as being hidden in the air, which too is invisible.

The devil has gotten hold of charity and made of it a demagogic or Godless utilitarianism and an argument against contemplation, as though Christ had supported Martha against Mary.

The symbolism of the Prayer on the Prophet closely corresponds to that of the Tibetan prayer wheels: But a man is necessarily damned — still within the framework of Islam or else in a transposed sense — for not believing that la ilaha ilia ‘Llah and that Muhammadan Rasulu Llah ; 90 this law knows no exception, for it is identified as it were with that which constitutes the very meaning of the human condition.

I think this book is more into specialized interested people in the topic rather than any regular Muslim such as myself as it would be a little bit more concentrated dose of spirituality and Sufism, metaphysical and esoteric aspects of Islam.

In the strictly orthodox and traditional meaning of the term, and even in a transposed sense, because an authentic Revelation is necessarily spontaneous and comes only from God, whatever the appearances. Jalal ad-Din Rumi, in the work quoted above, wrote: The purity of the Blessed Virgin is not unconnected with the sword of the Archangel guarding the entrance to Paradise. East and West, ed. Islam arose from nature; the Sufis return to it, and this is one of the meanings of the hadith: The first Shahadah — that of God — enunciates every principial truth; the second Shahadah — that of the Prophet — enunciates every fundamental virtue.

On the other hand, it is inconceivable that a man who denied that Id ilaha ilia Llah be saved since this negation would quite clearly deprive him of the very quality of muslimand so of the conditio sine qua non of salvation.

From a somewhat different point of view it can also be said that the Basmalah is the divine and revelatory ray which brings into the world the truth of the double Shahadah: See also God adoration of and the Shahadah as Absolute Reality 61 Face of 85 majesty of manifestation of Name of 65, remembrance of 80, symbolism of syllables of Art sacred Barakah 31, Basmalah 6,68, Being 5, 53, 61, The brain is, as it were, the organ of this forgetfulness ; 35 it is like a sponge filled with images of this world of dispersion and of heaviness, filled too with the As a Traditionalist who’s stuck between Christianity and Islam, I can’t help but see Islam as both a spiritual tradition and political project, vastly superior to the Christian worldview in as much as society is concerned.

Other rules require that men and women not mix in public gatherings, or that a woman not preside at prayer in front of men; some allege that she should not even do this in front of other women, or that she should not chant the Quran, but these two opinions are belied by traditional precedents.


Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Refresh and try again.

The perspective which allows the actualization of the awareness of the relativity of conceptual and moral forms has always existed in Islam — witness the passage in the Quran frifhjof Moses and Al-Khidr, and also some understxnding which reduce the conditions of salvation to the simplest attitudes. There is a undersfanding, no doubt paradoxical, relationship between virile strength and virginal purity in the sense that both are concerned with the inviolability of the sacred11 strength in a dynamic and combative manner and purity in a static and defensive manner; it could also be said that strength, a warrior quality, includes a mode or complement that is static or passive, and this is sobriety, love of poverty and of fasting and incorruptibility, all of which are pacific or nonagressive qualities.

Let us not forget that the Bible says of Abraham that God imputed his faith to righteousness; now Islam readily refers to Abraham Seyyiduna Ibrahim. Books by Frithjof Schuon. These substances are, in ascending order: The soul of the Moslem is as it were woven of sacred understancing in these he understancing, in these he rests, in these he lives and in these he dies.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in Understanding Islam tianity is a doctrine of union, or the doctrine of Union, rather than of Unity: Or again, the cause or origin is in the word rasul Messenger and the finality in the word Muhammad Glorified. Man thus appears a priori as a dual receptacle made for the Absolute, and Islam comes to fill that receptacle, first with the truth of the Absolute and secondly with the law of the Absolute.

The letter bathe second letter in the Arabic alphabet — the first being the alif, a plain vertical line with an axial symbolism — is formed by a horizontal line slightly undeestanding like a bowl and is distinguished by a point beneath it.

Understanding Islam by Frithjof Schuon

Like the Bible, the Quran may speak of a multitude of things other than God; for example, it speaks of the devil, of the holy war, of the laws of succession and so on without being on friithjof account less sacred, whereas other books may treat of God and of sublime matters without being on that account the Divine Word. As for the Moslem, he hates the rejection of Allah and of Islam because the supreme Unity and its absoluteness and transcendence appear to him dazzlingly evident and majestic, and because for him Islam, the Law, is the divine Will and the logical emanation, in the mode of equilibrium, of that Unity.

The one regarding Morality and Values which are my current interest in this world was really appealing and I think I should take his interpretation into consideration in my research on the topic.

Man is made of integral or transcendent intelligence — therefore capable of abstraction just as frithjog as of suprasens- ory intuition — and of free will, and that is why there is a truth and a path, a doctrine and a method, a faith and a submission, an Tman and an islam.