Rebirth Surah 22:5 Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage)

Mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection,
(Consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm,
Then out of leech-like clot, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you;
And We cause whom We will to rest in the womb for an appointed term.
Then do we bring you out as babes, (then foster) you, that ye may reach your age of full strength;
And some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age,
So that they know nothing after having known much. [2776]

surah 22:5 Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'n, Amana Corporation, 1989.

Here the subtle message of reincarnation is hidden in the last line: "So that they know nothing after having known much.”But all the Muslim theologians could muster is this: "Here it is used to illustrate Allah's power in giving us a future Life of even greater promise.”Yes, that's all the illumination they could give to a billion Muslims!

The stages human growth begins with the spring of childhood that takes us through many, many enriching experiences where innocence is bliss, and life an unending Divine Dream. Adolescent and a good education expand our vision of the world and enable us to grasp and penetrate the constantly unfolding mysteries of life. The zest of youth — the raging desires for the summer of life — overcomes most barriers, taboos and restrictions. Caution is a fool's fear and blunders become landmarks on the landscape of Life to be avoided in future. The transition into adulthood quickens the pace of learning as added responsibilities increases experience, vision and application of past knowledge. Life revolves around marriage, children and the pursuit of wealth and happiness. The learning process is in full swing. Then friends dwindle. Relatives disappear. Children leave. Increasingly the stark realities of a mature world bring about bittersweet lessons, bestowing an autumn maturity not found in youth. There is little left to learn. One becomes wise. Slowly age starts to sap the vigor, and the fires in the loins begin to flicker and fade. The world passes by, hardly stopping to pay attention. Old friends fall and are swallowed by the earth. Life-partners depart without a parting kiss, a final goodbye, a few last words of thanks. The solitude of life's cold winter silences. A million memories are relived. Countless experiences are remembered. There is nothing more to learn, only to be reflected. Knowledge of life is complete.

So why does the Qur'n accuse humans of knowing nothing despite knowing all? Why this deliberate contradiction in the same sentence? What is the baffling paradox of"They know nothing after having known much"?

But we know nothing after having known so much. We know nothing of our past lives. We know nothing of our past existence as spiritual beings. We know nothing of our past experiences in His Dominion. We know nothing of The Almighty Creator. We know nothing. We know nothing despite knowing so much.

The Signs of Allah are everywhere for us to see and learn by observance. We must know that spring will again burst forth in all its splendor of hope, rejuvenation and renewal. We must know that whatever we learn from all the seasons of this life will be the seeds of rebirth. We must know that good deeds produce good seeds.

"Could you describe the process of reincarnation?

Reincarnation, known in Sanskrit as samsara, is a very openly discussed subject these days. Shirley MacLaine went"out on a limb"on this subject and made popular throughout the United States. Now nearly every television script has standard statements written into it such as"See you in the next life," or"I must have known you in a past life.”The TV serial"Quantum Leap"Is a great example of a program that is bringing this knowledge of a one soul inhabiting many bodies to the forefront of mass consciousness. I talked with Shirley a few weeks ago in San Francisco and told her what a fantastic job we all thought she is doing in spreading this knowledge, and assured her that she has the full support of Hindus....

Answer #1: Reincarnation, yes, carnate means flesh. The word reincarnate means to"reenter the flesh.”We Hindus believe the soul is immortal and keeps reentering a fleshy body time and time again in order to resolve experiences and thereby learn all the lessons life in the material world has to offer.

Answer #2: There have been many recorded out-of-the-body experiences. These have been researched by scientists, psychiatrists and parapsychologists during the last decade and documented in some very good books. Even science is discovering reincarnation.

Answer #3: Yes, we Hindus believe in reincarnation. To us, it explains the natural way the soul evolves from immaturity to spiritual illumination. I myself have had many lives before this one and expect to have more. Finally, when I have it all worked out and all the lessons have been learned, I will attain mukti. This means I will still exist but no longer be pulled back to incarnate in a physical body.”

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Related Articles:
1. Surah 2.28 Al Baqarah (The Heifer)
2. Surah 4:97-99 Al Nisa (The Women)
3. Surah 22:5 Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
4. Surah 23:12-15 Al-Mu'minum (The True Believers)
5. Surah 39:42 Al Zumar (Crowds)
6. Surah 56:60-61 Al Waqi'h (The Inevitable)
7. Surah 71:13-14 Nuh (Noah)

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