The Inner & The Outter

The words of the Qur’an have both an outer and an inner meaning, the latter overpowering. Do not regard the surface alone, for the devil never regarded Adam as mere clay. The surface meaning of the Qur’an is like a human torso, features visible, but the spirit hidden.

– Rumi, “Mathnawi”


  • Nas

    The issue of mystified hidden meanings of Quranic verses (or any scripture with this regard) troubles me a little…

    obviously Iâ??m not fond of Sufism (though I dig the discipline some of itâ??s school teach), but the irritation stems from the very fact that Quran (or the Sunnah of the Prophet -pbuh-) should be relevant to the utmost simple-minded of people, though you need to have a scholarly discipline to interpret it, no less than the essential pre-knowledge required to read a medical journal!

    on the other hand, it’s not only the pacified bunch wearing funny head-gear circumvolving around themselves who entertain such premises, ill-minded sects such as terrorists use similar elaborations to render “peaceful” verses as exclusive to a criteria that fit their sick minds.

  • Nas, thanks for posting this; something for a Westerner to think about.

    Basem — also very smart comment, and another angle to ponder. With Christianity, every single time somebody tries to tell people how to think about the Bible, there’s usually trouble, at least historically. Also, historically, elites want to tell people what to think about scripture for their own power grabbing purposes. The politically oriented Catholic church of Europe’s middle ages comes to mind.

    I think God allowed the Bible, the Koran, and the Torah to be written so that He could speak to the human spirit, not to be a springboard of manipulation to stroke human ego’s.

  • Basem, this doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around sufism, you have to step back and look at what Rumi is saying in the broader context. The holy Quran has a surface meaning, the one which we see and the one which we have the ability to read. But it also has a deeper meaning, a spirit, which is very true. What Rumi is therefore saying is that in order to truly understand the Quran you must take into consideration both the inner and the outter meaning together. Otherwise we are just looking at the surface and that is the main problem that people face with interpretation. For people who hate Islam and try and prove how “evil” it is, they quote the exact same verses the AlQueda uses to brainwash its members. Both sides regard only the surface because the outter is just words and you can change their meaning to suit your agenda.

    Caren, yes I agree with you. I personally don’t believe God created religion to serve people’s own agendas through manipulation of the masses.

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