AL-BAATIN: The Hidden One, Knower of the Hidden

The One who cannot be seen in the way creation can be seen. He is the One from whom nothing is hidden and who surrounds all things. He knows the inner state, yet He is veiled from the creation’s perception.

99 Names of Allah (number 76)

‘We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.’

– The Qur’an, Fussilat 41:53

‘And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostrate to Allah who created them.’

– The Qur’an, Fussilat 41:37

‘Whoever doesn’t know what God is, will never be able to know. In the past is when the God was learned of. It’s something already known.’

– Clarice Lispector, Água Viva

‘Religion had plummeted into their lives as unexpectedly as a meteor, and created a chasm, separating the family into two clashing camps… Alert and compliant, Peri was witness to the vendettas, watching how her loved ones would tear each other to pieces. Early on she learned that there was no fight more hurtful than a family fight, and no family fight more hurtful than one over God.’

– Elif Shafak, Three Daughters of Eve

‘We just been to Sunday School and church. Baby, say the verse from the Bible you learned for your Uncle Biff.’
The kid hung back and pouted. ‘Jesus wept,’ she said finally. The scorn that she put in the two words made it sound like a terrible thing.

– Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

‘But the room was actually dominated by a huge plaster crucifix on the far wall, fully four feet high. Momma had mail-ordered it special from St Louis. The Jesus impaled upon it was frozen in a grotesque, muscle straining rictus of pain, mouth drawn down in a groaning curve. His crown of thorns bled scarlet streams down temples and forehead. The eyes were turned up in a medieval expression of slanted agony. Both hands were also drenched with blood and the feet were nailed to a small plaster platform. This corpus had also given Carrie endless nightmares on which the mutilated Christ chased her through dream corridors, holding a mallet and nails, begging her to take up her cross and follow Him. Just lately these dreams had evolved into something less understandable but more sinister. The object did not seem to be murder but something even more awful.’

– Stephen King, Carrie

‘John’s heart was hardened against the Lord. His father was God’s minister, the ambassador of the King of Heaven, and John could not bow before the throne of grace without first kneeling to his father.’

― James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain

‘Peter said to Mary, Sister we know that the Saviour loved you more than the rest of woman.

Tell us the words of the Saviour which you remember which you know, but we do not, nor have we heard them.

Mary answered and said, What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you.

And she began to speak to them these words: I, she said, I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to Him, Lord I saw you today in a vision. He answered and said to me,

Blessed are you that you did not waver at the sight of Me. For where the mind is there is the treasure.

I said to Him, Lord, how does he who sees the vision see it, through the soul or through the spirit?

The Saviour answered and said, He does not see through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind that is between the two that is what sees the vision and it is […]’ (next part missing from the manuscript)

– Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Mary (extract from Chapter 5)

‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.’

– John 8:44, NIV Bible

‘I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase Satan out of Earth
I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase the devil out of Earth
I’m gonna send him to outer space to find another race’

– Max Romeo, I Chase the Devil 

‘People have crushes on priests all the time, you know. It’s exciting to have to deal with God as a rival.’

– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus

‘And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’

– Revelation 22:17, King James Bible (quoted in Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin)

 

‘Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire’

– Graham Kendrick, Shine Jesus Shine (Lord, the light of your love is shining)

‘Christ would never have spoken those words, had he known how they would be misused! They are the only words in the Gospels that seem to be remembered. However, I am not saying what I think, but what I feel. I have a horror of fallen women.’

– Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

‘He would be led into darkness, and in darkness would remain; until in some incalculable time to come the hand of God would reach down and raise him up; he, John, who having lain in darkness would no longer be himself but some other man. He would have been changed, as they said, for ever; sown in dishonour, he would be raised in honour: he would have been born again.’

– James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain 

‘Baldwin’s career as a novelist was spent walking over old territory with ghosts. Things became new to him this way. ‘Mountain is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else,’ he said years later. ‘I had to deal with what hurt me most. I had to deal with my father.’

– Andrew O’Hagan, Introduction to Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

‘I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don’t think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don’t even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it.’

– Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit 

‘Pastor Finch said that the possessed are given to uncontrollable rages, sudden bursts of wild laughter, and are always, always, very cunning. The Devil himself, he reminded us, can come as an angel of light.’

– Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit 

‘Her mind, swaying back to the protection that religion has afforded her, almost she wished that it had not failed her. An illusion. Yes. But better, far better, than this terrible reality.’

– Nella Larsen, Quicksand

“I used to have religion, did you know that? A long time ago, when I was a little girl… It’s funny, I haven’t thought of church or any of that type stuff for years. But it’s still there, I guess.” She smiled and sighed. “Nothing ever goes away.”

– James Baldwin, Another Country