Who is Allah?


In 2015 we witness a growing imbalance of imagery, perception and practices of Allah sweeping across the Atlantic, from Western Europe to North America. Charlie Hebdo inaugurated the New Year with death and carnage in Paris, then Copenhagen.

Read the OpEd in the Washington Post

Allah is beyond knowing but not
beyond contact. Though we can
never know Him in His essence,
we can contact Him through His
names, His beautiful names, portals
of light into the Unknown. The portals
are like pearls, strung together in
the Noble Book, the Holy Qur’an.
They number 99, each glistening,
each beckoning, each exceeding
human imagination, at once engaging
its depths while challenging its limits.

And so the quest for Allah remains,
and will always remain, unbounded.
At the end of the ocean, I stand on
one point of shore. My inquiry is
emblematic, not exhaustive, of human
efforts to experience the Thing, the One,
the Absolute.

Say, “Even if the ocean were ink
for [writing] the words of my Lord,
the ocean would be exhausted
before the words of my Lord were exhausted,
even if We were to add another ocean to it.” (Q 18:109)

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