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The Goddess remains the esoteric heartbeat of Islam

"The secret veiled power of the Divine Feminine is thus actively at work within Islam. Its esoteric forms uncompromisingly address the Divine with the masculine pronouns, but its esoteric qualities are all feminine. The Goddess remains the esoteric heartbeat of Islam. She is the beloved of Sufis, 'the ultimate image of God the Beloved — the breaker of all images in the shrine of the heart. She is the form leading beyond form, the obstacle to the Way and the Way...'"


"Light of the East

Iran and Saudi Arabia are not normally associated with the Divine Feminine ... we have to remember that militant Islam, like muscular Christianity, is only one side of the coin. The reverse is a dazzling mirror-image of Sophia who, in the persons of Fatima and Mary, upholds the Divine Feminine within Islam...

Sophia is the mystical companion, the soul within each body, seeking the Divine Beloved. It is she who causes the mystic to proclaim that he belongs to no race or direction of the earth: 'My place is the placeless, my trace is the traceless. 'Tis neither body, nor soul, for I belong to the Soul of the Beloved.'40 Certainly, the Divine Feminine is so marginalized in Islam, that one might be forgiven for believing it to be totally absent.

Both Mary and Fatima are reverenced within esoteric Islam, for they are both mothers of the Logos, the Word. Fatima inherits the role of Spenta Armaiti, within Shi'ism, for she is The Mother of a lineage of imams. She is seen as symbolic of the 'supracelestial earth.'41 She is considered to be the source of the imam's wisdom because she is lawh mahfuz or 'the hidden tablet; upon which God has written.'42 One of her titles in Ismaeli Shi'ism is Fatima Fatir, or Fatima the Creator, which recalls the Sophia Ergane of Proverbs.43

Ibn Arabi states that Universal nature (Tavi't al-kull) 'is the feminine or maternal side of the creative act. She is the"merciful 'breathing-out' of God" (Nafa ar-rahman).'44 We may compare Sophia as the Divine Sigh of Compassion in Sirach: 'I came forth from the mouth of the Most High.'45 This breathing out has the effect of manifesting Sophia to the world, yet Sophia is also the dwelling place of God for, as Ibn Arabi says: 'Where was your Lord before creating the Creation? He was in a Cloud; there was no space either above or below.'46

The nature of both the Black Goddess and Sophia are brought out in Islam. The exoteric fulminations about women, so similar to those found in Christianity and Judaism are, of course, negative polarizations of the devouring Goddess, yet this exists side by side with the positive image of the Ka'ba, Islam's Black Madonna. within Islam, the Divine Male and female principles are typified by the Pen and the Guarded tablet. The Pen is God writing upon the tabula rasa of the World-Soul, which preserves the veiled tradition of Sufism.47

The quotation which leads this chapter is the paradoxical foundation of Islam's veiling of the Divine Feminine. Ibn Arabi's exposition of this paradox may help us to understand it better. 'The Absolute manifested in the form of woman is an active agent because of exercising complete control over man's feminine principle, his soul. This causes man to become submissive and devoted to the Absolute as manifested in a woman. The Absolute is also passively receptive because, in as much as it appears in the form of a woman, it is under man's control and subject to his orders. Hence to contemplate the Absolute in woman is to see both aspects simultaneously, and such vision is more perfect than seeing it in all the forms in which it manifests itself. That is why woman is creative, not created. For both qualities, active and passive, belong to the Essence of the Creator, and both are manifested in woman.'48

This defination must be taken in its mystical context. For Moslems, the feminine principle is active, and the masculine principle is quiescent, in the manner of Christ within the womb of Mary. After proper preparation by spiritual practices, the masculine principle grows and is born. 'Once birth is given to the spirit, this (feminine) principle remains as Fatima, the Creative Feminine, the daughter of the Prophet, in a state of potentiality within the spirit reborn.'49

The secret veiled power of the Divine Feminine is thus actively at work within Islam. Its esoteric forms uncompromisingly address the Divine with the masculine pronouns, but its esoteric qualities are all feminine.

The Goddess remains the esoteric heartbeat of Islam. She is the beloved of Sufis, 'the ultimate image of God the Beloved — the breaker of all images in the shrine of the heart. She is the form leading beyond form, the obstacle to the Way and the Way...'50

Sophia is herself the 'interpreter of ardent desires.' The mystical vision of Ibn Arabi portrays the longing of all for Sophia: The aspirations and desires of all seekers are attached to her, yet she is essentially unknown to them; hence they all love her, yet none blames another for loving her. Similarly, every individual soul and the adherents of every religion seek salvation, but since they do not know it, they are also ignorant of the way that lead to it, though everyone believes he is on the right way. All strife between people of different religions and sects is about the way that leads to salvation, not about salvation itself.'51

But Sophia is also the reconciler of differences, for her love belongs to everyone: 'She manifests herself everywhere, like the sun; every person who holds her deems that she is with him in her essence, so that envy and jealousy are removed from their hearts.' 52"

Caitln Matthews, Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom,
The Aquarian Press, 1992, p. 179-90.

Notes:
40. p. 74 Cragg;
41. p. 63 Corbin, 1977;
42. p. 65 ibid;
43. p. 66 iIbid;
44. p. 116 Burkhardt;
45. Sirach 24:3;
46. p. 185 Corbin, 1969;
47. p. 28 Bakhtiar;
48. p. 22 Bakhtiar;
49. p. 23 ibid;
50. Letter of Ya'quib bin Yusuf, Gnosis vol 5, p. 5, Fall 1987;
51. p. 81 Wilson, Scandal;
52. ibid)


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