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Volume 2:272-276

In the Tenth Stanza, H.P. Blavatsky wrote about the Third Root-Race and its lack of "beliefs that could be called religion." The Lemurians had the "bright gods of the elements around them, and even within themselves." These "Elements"--often described as feminine--were the reflections of the essences of the "NOUMENOI" of the "Dhyanis of the Seven Heavens." But in the Atlantean age the acknowledgement of the "Elements" within oneself turned into "self-worship," a worship of "phallicism" with its "god of matter." Humanity began to separate between those who worshipped the "one unseen Spirit of Nature" and those who worshipped the "Spirits of the Earth" as "Cosmic, anthropomorphic Powers." The dividing lines were never entirely clear, but it is interesting to see how hints of this struggle have survived within the folklore of Islam.

There were many Islamic prophets who appeared among mankind urging it not to worship angels and jinn. The Atlantean races believed in many gods, and their descendants continued to believe in such deities as Wadd, Suw'a, Ya'uq, and Nasr. The deliverance of the Quran was one more attempt in a long line of attempts to warn humanity against worshipping the "Spirits of the Earth." There are significant passages in the Quran that outline a monotheistic vision of worship and warn against worshipping finite celestial bodies inhabited by angels as opposed to turning one's attention to Allah. For example, in Surah 41.37, "Adore not the sun nor the moon, but adore Allah who created them." The prophets Noah and Abraham both contend with the solar worship of their tribesmen. Frustrated, Abraham turns to the stars in Surah 37.3 and cries out, "Surely I am sick (of your deities)." In Surah 27.23, Solomon finds a woman ruling over a vast kingdom from a "mighty throne" whose people adore "the sun instead of Allah." With Solomon's assistance, she renounces paganism and submits. Like those prophets before him, Muhammad grows uneasy at the celestial worship by his tribesmen. He curses their gods, and they curse his god. Ibn Ishaq (8th century AD) recounted the story in The Life of Muhammad on page 162, "Abu Jahl met the apostle, so I have heard, and said to him, 'By God, Muhammad, you will either stop cursing our gods or we will curse the God you serve.'" Muhammad refrains from further cursing, instead giving direction to converting them based upon some middle ground on which they can agree. It is this fact that Muhammad tries to accommodate the surrounding people that accounts for the traces of paganism from its immense historical past which can still be unearthed in Islamic folklore.

Muhammad finds it difficult to reach an agreement between himself and his tribesmen. The main sticking point is the worship of female deities. Many of the angels are female deities or the "Elements" of the Dhyani-Chohanic "NOUMENOI." In Surah 43.2 in a passage in which polytheism is condemned, the complaint is that the tribesmen "make the angels, who are the servants of the Beneficent, females" and then proceed to worship them. So, Muhammad reiterates Allah's status as the "Best of the creators" in Surah 37.4. His competition is primarily Manat, Lat, and Uzza, regarded by some to be the daughters of Allah and the most beautiful swans. As to Manat, she is a goddess of fate and destiny who controls the circulations of the celestial stars. Lat is a sun goddess whose symbol is a quadrangular rock representing physical matter fructified by the solar divinity. Ibn Ishaq noted in The Life on page 24 that there was a temple in "al-Ta'if which they used to venerate as the Kabah is venerated." Uzza is a star goddess ruling over the heavens, represented in symbol through rock and tree. Lat and Uzza are initially under the direction of Manat, but over time Allah becomes the ruler of their destinies, guiding those whom he pleases in Surah 24.6 "to the right way." He assumes his place as the controller of fate and destiny over the heavens and the earths. In Surah 65.12, there are seven heavens and seven earths, "Allah is He Who created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof." In al-Tabari's The History 1:221, the creation process of these seven heavens is described as fashioned from "smoke" and the earth "split" into seven pieces from the dried-out water. The names of the seven earths are given by al-Kisai in his 12th century AD Tales of the Prophets on pages 8-9: Ramaka, Khalada, Arqa, Haraba, Maltham, Sijjin, and Ajiba.

Regardless, pagan idol worship existed in the ancient Islamic world and the prophet Muhammad sought to control it. Now, jinn perform duties that Allah prescribes to them, but the problem is that they can get distracted and seek to interact with the human world. A human being who knows how to interact with the jinn can command them to do his bidding. He can usurp Allah's role as commander of the unseen world and dominate it for his own self-interest. This leads to the rise of the "Demon of Pride, Lust, Rebellion, and Hatred" attributed to the "appearance of physical conscious man" in The Secret Doctrine 2:274. Humanity "contaminated the indwelling god in himself, by linking the pure spirit with the impure demon of matter." Magicians in Atlantean times could force the jinn to associate with a stone idol and animate it as though it had a soul; the idol would provide revelations to the worshippers. The 14th century AD Islamic traditionalist, Ibn Tameeyah, denounced the mischief caused by these potentially malevolent creatures in The Jinn on pages 35-36, "The Jinn also enter idols, speak to those who worship idols and fulfill some of their needs. They often help star-worshippers when they perform acts of worship which the Jinn consider suitable, like singing praises to idols representing the sun, moon and the planets, dressing the idols in luxurious garments, and burning incense in their presence. The devils may appear to these servants of theirs in forms which humans mistakenly identify as heavenly spirits and the devils may fulfill some of their requests by killing some of their enemies, making others sick, attracting someone whom they desire, or bringing them some wealth." In this passage, the danger of idol worship exists in the possibility for un-evolved entities such as the jinn to masquerade as heavenly angels when in fact they act as a source of destruction. Religious worship, through the science of conjoining jinn with an inanimate object, can lead to homage of the dark side of nature. The Quran is given to Muhammad to abolish this trend. Allah alone has the power to reward or punish, per Surah 7.4-5, "And how many a town have We destroyed! So Our punishment came to it by night or while they slept at midday."

Numerous examples of idols operated by jinn abound in Islamic literature. The story of Moses and the golden calf is one of the more popular ones. In The History 3:72, the story is told of how the Israelites, upon the departure of Moses, "clung to the calf and worshipped it, for it could bellow and walk." Surah 7.148 recounts how the Israelites "made of their ornaments a calf after him--a (lifeless) body, having a lowing sound." This Surah warns against the legitimacy of an idol's power, "Could they not see that it spoke not to them, nor guided them in the way? They took it (for worship) and they were unjust." In Surah 20.88, the story of the calf appears agin, with the idol making a "hollow sound" that encourages the people to bow down before it.

While idols that draw attention away from Allah are condemned, Islamic literature shows that the activities of jinn are so widespread that it was a part of daily life. Ibn Ishaq in The Life on page 38 noted that "every household had an idol in their house which they use to worship." Ibn Arabi (12th-13th century AD), likely the greatest Islamic philosopher, tells of the "stone in Mecca which used to greet me," per The Meccan Revelations on pages 36 and 240. For him, it was common knowledge that "a stone, or the shoulder of a lamb, or the stump of a date palm, or a wild animal" spoke to the prophets. The palm tree story is the most interesting. In the beginning of his lecture, Muhammad uses the stump of a palm tree for his pulpit, but later he begins to use a newly built platform. When Muhammad mounts the new pulpit, the "stump was heard to moan by all present. Then the Prophet stroked it with his hand until it became quiet." With stories like this, it becomes evident that the operation of jinn was an accepted way of life; there was no rule against them unless they distracted the worshipper away from Allah. If the jinn supported the message of Allah, they were accepted. For example, the jinn belonging to Abdullah bin Ka'b and Umar revealed the coming of Islam in The Life on page 93, "We were standing by . . . when I heard a voice more penetrating than I have ever heard coming out of the belly of the calf (this was a month or so before Islam) saying: O blood red one; The deed is done. A man will cry Beside God none."


Sources:

Maulana Muhammad Ali, trans., The Holy Quran (Dublin: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore Inc., U.S.A., 2002).

Muhammad ibn al-Arabi, The Meccan Revelations, Vol. 1, trans., William C. Chittick and James W. Morris (New York: Air Press, 2005).

H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).

A. Guillaume. The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ishaq's Surat Rasul Allah (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, trans., Ibn Tameeyah's Essay on the Jinn (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002).

Franz Rosenthal, trans., The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 1 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989).

(Photo by Sean D on Unsplash)

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