A CHRISTIAN READING OF THE QUR’AN
Conference by Brother Bruno of Jesus-Mary given at the Permanence in Paris.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2014, ON THE FEAST OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL
A Christian reading is first and foremost a scientific reading, that is to say, one that is preoccupied with historical truth.
Frédéric Pons ‘deciphers’ ‘What everyone thinks but does not dare to say about Islamism.’ He states quite aptly that military and police measures will not prevail over it since they fail “ to go to the source of the evil and to understand that Islamism thrives in a particular breeding ground : Islam. ” (Valeurs actuelles of October 9, 2014, p. 40)
What is Islam ? “ The former French Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defence, Alain Juppé, avows : ‘Never during my long school and university career, was it suggested to me to open the Qur’an, about which I ignore almost everything.’ ” (ibid.)
Frédéric Pons admits the same ignorance when he adds : “ Today Islam has the challenge of recognising these few violent fountainheads where the Islamists quench their thirst, then of reforming or adapting whatever is required. This will be difficult. The Qur’an, a timeless, divine dictation (unlike the Bible,) is neither adaptable nor reformable. For eight centuries it has been forbidden to criticise it. ”
You call it : “ a divine dictation ” ? Really ? Which God dictated it to which man ? Is Frédéric Pons speaking seriously ?
He quotes the “ philosopher, Abdennour Bidar, in his Open Letter to the Muslim World, published in Marianne : ‘I see you giving birth to a monster that claims to call itself the Islamic State (…). This monster is born of you, of your wanderings, of your contradictions, of your being torn between the past and the present, of your too long-lasting incapacity to find your place in human civilisation.’ ” The sole aim of a Christian reading of the Qur’an is to remedy such an incapacity.
In our works as Christian scholars, we refuse to consider the Qur’an, and for that matter, the Bible, as “ a divine dictation. ” It is a document of the past that must be explained by the principles of the historical and critical method, which have long been in use in the study of the Bible. To apply oneself to doing this, as I have done throughout my entire life after my entry into the seminary in 1956, leads to marvellous and fascinating discoveries.
We were the first to have taken this liberty of translating the Qur’an and commenting on it in this way. We followed Fr. de Nantes in breaking not only with spiteful controversy but likewise with the servile fear of his predecessors and, in a perfectly irenic ton, in formulating the full magnitude of the scientific problem, by transposing from the Bible to the Qur’an the exegetical methods of our masters of the ‘French school’ : Cazelles, Feuillet, Trinquet, Robert and Osty… What are these methods ?
A DEFECTIVE TEXT.
In the study of the Pentateuch, for example, the exegetes began by establishing its original version using a text-critical method. Then they endeavour to determine how it came into being by seeking its linguistic, literary and religious sources.
Let us apply this method : the original text of the Qur’an is a scriptio defective. Not only does this “ scripture ” not contain short vowels but it also presents several consonants in one identical symbol, which does not allow the reader to distinguish one from the other. This is the case for the letters b, t, th, n and y; as well as q and f, or j and hard h, etc. Therefore the meaning of a word will change according to the value that is given to the consonants ! For example, the word balad, meaning ‘city’ is written b-l-d. It can also be read y-l-d, meaning “ child. ”
A scientific reading must be made from this “ defective ” writing form in order to determine what the word in question is. The Qur’an, however, reduced to its most primitive form, is the only literary document in Arabic that Islam has ever possessed from which the history of its own origin can be derived. A century ago, Fr. Lammens positively demonstrated the “ apocryphal ” nature of the ‘Muslim Tradition’ formed of the Hadîth and the Sunna, accounts and legal maxims recorded in collections composed in the 9th century by authors whose method consisted in going back through a series of “ authorities, ” the isnâd, or chain of traditions, to the so-called eyewitnesses of the events of the 7th century in the same way as the rabbinical tradition claims to go back to Moses in order to impose its post and anti-Christian law.
A TEXT WITHOUT ANTECEDENTS.
The Qur’an is, in reality, the only source because the sole foundation of the accounts of the so-called Muslim ‘Tradition’ is the Qur’an itself, which it endeavours to interpret, without contributing any independent historical information.
“ In the beginning of the 2nd century of the Hegira, ” Fr. Lammens writes, i.e., in the 9th century of our era, “ when the broad outline of the Sirâ had been set down on paper, the writers tackled the suras of the Qur’an, attempting to clarify the meaning, to put everywhere dates and proper names, ” concerning events that took place two hundred years earlier !
For example, when they read balad, they explained that the “ city ” in question was Mecca (Sura II, verse 126; cf. our Translation and Systematic Commentary, Vol. I, pp. 135-136.)
“ The product of this exegesis, carried out haphazardly, is that the Sirâ [the life of Mohammed] remains to be written, just as the historical Mohammad remains to be discovered. ”
In this instance, if we read yélèd, ‘child,’ which is obviously the case given the Abrahamic context, it refers to the son of Abraham, whom he is asking God to bless. That changes everything ! Which ‘son’ ? Ishmael ? ‘No !’ says God, ‘Not Ishmael.’ ‘Yes, indeed !’ says the Qur’an. That is the crux of the matter, just as it is in the Bible ! (Gn 17 :18)
The stroke of genius of the author of the Qu’ran was to steal from St. Paul his argumentation opposing “ the heavenly Jerusalem, ” i.e., the Church, to “ the present Jerusalem, ” i.e., Israel, assimilated by the Apostle precisely to “ Arabia ” (Ga 4 :24-26.) He, however, did so by turning the argument to the advantage of Ishmael, the eponymous ancestor of Arabia by means of a pun on this name in addressing his prayer to God : “ Our Master, answer our prayer ! I beseech You, You Who always hear ” (II, 127,) ’as-samîcu l-calîm. This is a ‘divine Name,’ derived from the Bible (cf. Gn 16 :11; 17 :20; 21 :17,) from the Hebrew šâmac, “ to hear ” and côlam, “ eternity ”.
In other words : God is an Ishmaelite !
In substituting for the fanciful exegesis of Muslim Tradition a scientific exegesis, which is the only useful and salutary form of “ dialogue, ” we are led to the only valid divine Revelation, one that has not been “ dictated ” but inspired : the Biblical Revelation. The author of the Qur’an rereads it as though it were a return to the Old Testament in favour of Ishmael. What is his reason for doing so ?
1. PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM !
Once the legend of Mohammed has been dismissed, ‘the author’ of the Qur’an is unknown. He begins his “ Writing ” kitâb, and not ‘Qu’ran’ by affirming in person that he is not announcing a new revelation, but only a “ a Way without quarrel, ” that is “ a Way ” capable of putting an end to the great “ quarrel ” that has opposed “ the Jews, ” ’al-yahûdu, to “ the Nazoreans, ” ’an-nasârâ, for six hundred years !
Sura II begins with a blessing that is taken from the initial prayer, Fatiha (Sura I,) a blessing that is traditionally called basmala, which is a berâkhâh, in Hebrew :
“ Blessed be the Name of the God of mercy, the Merciful, bismi llâhi-r-raḥmani-r-raḥîmi God of deliverances.
These last three words translate an acronym consisting of three mysterious letters : alm. For thirteen centuries it has frustrated the ingenuity of all exegetes, in the East and the West alike.
In the system of abbreviations used in rabbinic literature, these three letters form the abbreviation of an expression that announces the theme of the developments of this long Sura consisting of 286 verses : lemôshâ‘ôt, “ God for the salvations ” (Ps 68 :21.)
The initial A = alif, stands for ’el in Hebrew, ’ilâh in Arab : “ God. ” It is preceded by the definite article ’al : ’al- ’îlâh, which has become through contraction ’allâh : “ the God. ”
The initial L stands for the preposition “ for, ” expressing finality.
The initial M stands for môshâ‘ôt, in Hebrew “ the salvations, ” in the plural to emphasise the richness of the unique salvific plan of God throughout history. The author undertakes to relate to us the last stage which, according to him is nothing other than the establishment of a perfect religion, neither Jewish nor Christian, but “ perfect, ” in Arabic : muslim, derived from the Aramaic version of Yahweh’s words to Abraham : haweî šelîm, “ Be perfect ! ” (Tg Gn 17 :1) These are translated : ’aslim by the author of the Qur’an in Sura II, verse 131.
It is from the consonantal root ŠLM, which is common to the Hebrew and Aramaic, that the words islâm and musulman are derived.
In fact, “ Abraham must re-establish the foundations of the Temple with Ishmael ” (II, 127). The key words are : the foundations of the Temple.
“ The foundations, ” ’al-qawâcida ! (sic !)
“ Of the temple ” Which Temple ? Not the one in “ Mecca, ” according to the gloss of the translators, but the one in Jerusalem as is written in black and white later on in verse 208 : “ O you who are faithful, enter Salem, ’as-silm. ” This word, which is derived from the same Hebrew root šâlam, “ to be perfect, ” as the words islâm and muslimûn, is the transposition of the name of Jerusalem, the city of “ peace, ” šâlôm, as the psalm (Ps 122 :6-8) hammers out : “ His tent is pitched in Salem, be-šâlém. ” (Ps 76 :3)
THE FOUNDING SACRIFICE.
This alleged return to the origins is profoundly antichristic. In fact, after a brief outline of Creation (II, 21-22,) Sura II summarises the whole liturgy of the Old Testament by the sacrifice of a “ cow ” stipulated by Moses, and explained to the nomads of the 7th century. They ask “ what it is, ” mâ hiya (II, 68,) as the Hebrews had done concerning the manna : “ What is it ? ” mân hû ’ (Ex 16 :15).
By replying that “ it is for sin, ” the author clearly states his intention of substituting this cow for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Victim of which is also an animal, but a symbolic one, “ the Slain Lamb ” (Ap 5 :6 and 12). The lambs of the liturgy of the Old Testament, immolated in atonement for our sins, were His prefiguration.
The same applies to the ban put on “ wine, ” ’al-hamr, and “ strong drink, ” ’al-maysir (II, 219; V, 90,). for it is not directed only at the secular use of wine by priests during the time when they are carrying out their functions, as in the Bible (Lv 10 :9). It is aimed at all use, thus including the consecration of wine into the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
Why then was Jerusalem chosen ?
This is because it is “ the Place of Abraham ” maqâm ’ibrâhîm (II. 125,) according to a tradition that places the construction of the Temple “ on Mount Moriah ” (2 Ch 3 :1), the very place of the sacrifice of Isaac (Gn 22 :2.) The expression maqâm ’ibrâhîm designates this supremely holy “ Place ” which, at that time in the 7th century had been transformed into a piece of wasteland since its destruction by Titus, and the failure of every attempt at reconstruction by the Jews. For example, the Qur’an alludes to one episode that occurred under Julian the Apostate. (III, 103)
This being the case, in order “ to recognise these few fountainheads of violence where the Islamists quench their thirst, ” it suffices to reread the account of the conquest of the Promised Land in the Book of Joshua.
THE CONQUEST : THE JIḤAD.
The objective was thus to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the “ gate of the God ” (II, 158,) indicated by two ‘outposts,’ ’as-safâ, the name of a small hill situated to the north of Jerusalem, ha-sôphîm, « the sentry » in Hebrew, and’al-marwat, a locality of Mount Juda.
The pilgrimage was armed in order to drive out the Christian ‘idolaters’ : “ Your God, the only God ! No God except for Him, the Living, the Subsistent, wa ’ilâhukum ’ilâhun waḥidun ! llâ ’ilâha ’illâ huwa r-raḥmânu r-raḥîmu. ” (II, 163) This is the transcription of the monotheist profession of faith that the Jews used from then on to oppose Christians as though the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit do not constitute one God, but three !
This conquest is bellicose ! Verses 190 to 195 of Sura II are unequivocal :
“ Combat on the path of the God, those who combat you. No, the God does not love those who attack. ” (190)
Let us note that this order not to attack first is the same as that observed by the chosen People on march towards the Promised Land.
“ Kill them everywhere you corner them, and drive them out from where they drove you [topical!]. For it is worse to let yourself be charmed than to kill. ”
This was the reason for the extermination of every living being, men and animals. This law of war was formerly decreed by God Himself :
“ When Yahweh, your God, brings you into the land which you are to enter and occupy, and dislodges great nations before you […]. Yahweh, your God, delivers them up to you and you defeat them, you shall doom them. ” (Dt 7 :1-2).
“ Do not combat them, however, near the devastated Temple, unless they combat you in this Place. For if they combat you, then kill them, such is the punishment of the apostates. ” (191)
As for the mention of the Temple, it situates the place of the combat in the Holy Land.
Who are the victims doomed to such a massacre ?
In the 7th century, it was not the pagans who occupied the area, but “ apostates ” (II, 6).
“ As for those who have apostatised, it is a matter of indifference whether you warn them or not : they do not believe. ”
Nothing remains but to kill them ! They are “ those who sully the Scripture that the God had sent down ” (II, 174,) Jews who misrepresent the law (II, 2,) and Christians who abolish the bans reinstated by the Qur’an and who above all, give God a Son ! (II, 116)
“ Of course, if they remain peaceful, the God mercifully absolves. ” (192) “ Combat them, however, until there is no longer any temptations [of apostatising] and that justice be done to the God. ” (193)
This is a religious concern, a biblical one !
“ Attack whoever attacks you insofar has he attacks you, placing your hope in the God. You should know that the God is with the predestined. ” (194)
It is Holy War, the jiḥad; the warlord enjoins his followers “ to gather into bands, jaḥada, on the path of the God, ” which is the road to Jerusalem :
“ As for those who have remained faithful, those who have assembled and gathered into bands on the path of the God, they will arouse the mercy of the God, for the God mercifully absolves. ” (II, 218)
The injunction of verse 195 is but a series of biblical reminiscences, with a powerful eschatological echo, appealing for a new return from exile : “ Go forth ! ” (Is 48 :20) “ Escape out of Babylon, flee from the land of the Chaldeans. ” (Jr 50 :8; Ap 18 :4)
“ So go forth onto the path of the God and strengthen your hands until the ‘procession.’ Be strong. Yes, the God loves those who are strong. ”(II, 195)
To go forth ? To enter where ? To enter Jerusalem ! This is indicated by the reference to the “ procession, ” ’at-tahlukat, derived from the Hebrew tahalukhâh, of Nehemiah (12 :31,) for a new dedication of the Ramparts, when the children of Ishmael gain possession of the Holy City.
2. THE FAILURE OF THE ASCENT TO JERUSALEM
What an enterprise ! Well, it was a failure !
Sura II is the author’s exhortation to his followers, inflaming their hearts for the ascent to Jerusalem, not as “ fools ” or as “ liars ” as was the case for Jews or the Nazoreans, but as “ perfect men ” !
This plan seems to have been achieved in 614 A.D. by the conquest of Byzantine Palestine and the capture of Jerusalem by the Persians. They were joined in this by the Jews from south Palestine and by a large contingent of “ Saracens, ” who were led, according to our interpretation, by the author of the sura in person.
Like the children of Israel in the times of Nehemiah, however, the hopes of the children of Ishmael were going to be dashed. It would seem that after the victory, instead of claiming a share of the spoils, the Jews demanded certain rights to autonomy in the Holy City. Woe to the weak who dare to lay down conditions : in 617, the Persians treated the Christians considerately and forgot all the promises they had made to the Jews, who were deported. As for the Ishmaelites, disgraced as well, they rapidly dispersed.
It was a failure ! The author attributes it to the defection of “ two families ” whom he has denounced from the onset : the Jews who were unfaithful to the Law and the Nazoreans who claimed to have received a revelation that eclipses all the rest, including the glory of the “ Place of Abraham ” itself (III, 69-75).
The author, however, would turn this defeat to good account by comforting his followers, rekindling their faltering courage and teaching them with a view to resuming the fight. Sura III takes place during this historical period that covers the years from 614 to 638 A.D., between the defeat and the victory of a party of Arabs of whom the author of the Qur’an indeed seems to have been the leader, like Moses in Kadesh-Barnea, after the failure of an initial incursion into the Promised Land.
It was a “ calvary ” qarḥun (III, 140). The word, chosen by reference to the Gospel, gives the meaning of a trial comparable to the crucifixion of Christ to these events. It is a trial whereby “ the God discerns those who are faithful and chooses his witnesses from among you. ” Here the word, šuhadâ’a, assumes the full signification of the word “ martyr, ” for the God “ crushes ” the faithful to amend them, while he “ annihilates ” the apostates.
This distinction is very similar to the one that we read in Saint John : the Father “ prunes ” the branches that bear fruit to make them bear even more, while he “ cuts out ” the sterile branches that are thrown on the fire.
A BELOVED (III, 144).
Death is the fate of everyone, even of the “ beloved one ” muḥammadun who “ is only an oracle ” (III, 144.) The author refers to himself in this way, just as Saint John called himself “ the disciple whom Jesus loved. ” The author thus claims the mission of “ the man of the predilections, ” ’iš ḥamudôt, in the Book of Daniel. The prefix mim replaces the substantive ’iš, “ man. ”
Here we have the etymology of muḥammadun, an Arabic translation derived from the Hebraic root ḥâmad. Everyone incorrectly translates it as a proper noun : “ Muhammad ”
Yet, the man of the predilections par excellence, of whom Daniel was only the prophetical figure, is Jesus ! Let us continue reading the verse : “ The oracle who had preceded him was already weak ” (III, 144) This, of course, refers to Jesus. When He is placed on the same level as the author, Jesus is thus reduced to being nothing more than the predecessor of this new and ultimate oracle. Therefore Jesus is only a simple mortal !
JESUS, SON OF MARY.
Verses 33 to 60 of Sura III portrays “ Christ-Jesus, son of Mary ” ’al-masiḥû ‘isâ bn maryama, but in such a way that His divinity is reduced to nothing.
Mary Herself is presented as the daughter of Amran who, according to the Bible, is the father of Aaron, Moses and Miriam (Nb 26 :59). Jesus becomes the nephew of Moses ! The entire royal lineage of Christ is effaced !
Is this gross ignorance on the part of the author of the Qur’an ? Certainly not ! The author shows so much knowledge of the New Testament and of the Gospels in particular that any confusion between the Mother of Jesus and the sister of Moses can only be intentional. In fact, this unprecedented novelty consists in applying to the Torah and the Gospel a rule of rabbinical exegesis according to which in the Torah, “ nothing is anterior, nothing is posterior. ”
The result is a violent, but deliberate anachronism that breaks the momentum of Sacred History, which is entirely oriented towards the coming of the King-Messiah, the Son of David.
At that rate, not only does nothing remain of Jesus’ divinity, but He also loses all historical substance.
If the Qur’an professes the virginal maternity of Mary (III, 47,) Jesus nonetheless remains a mortal who, according to the Qur’an, is formed like Adam, “ from broods, ” min tûrabin (III, 59). A parallel emerges here with Saint Paul, who describes Jesus as the new Adam (1 Co 15 :47). In the Qur’an, however, it is said pejoratively : the new Adam does not come from Heaven ! He comes from ‘the brood’ of the children of Israel as is implied by the use of turabin ; derived from the Hebrew tarbût, which occurs only once in the Bible to designate the “ brood of sinful men ” (Nb. 32 :14,) thus excluding all the glory that is attached in the Bible to the glorious prophesies concerning the Messiah, the Root of David
Jesus’ public life is summarised in one verse as a series of future miracles, which were obtained not by His own power, but “ the God fulfilling ” (bi-’idni llâhi; III 49).
The Passion is limited to the mentioning of Jesus being betrayed by “ His own ” after they had proclaimed that they would be faithful to Him. “ We are the Nazoreans of the God, ” ’ansâru l-lâhi (III. 52).
By broadening Judas’ betrayal to all those who followed Jesus, the author denounces the hypocrisy of the Nazoreans who have always betrayed islâm (perfection : Sura III, 19; cf. t. II, p. 31). This is the clearest lesson of the story of Jesus handed over, the harbinger of the historical incarnation of the veritable muḥammadun who was handed over in turn, by the betrayal of false brethren to a true “ calvary ” as we have seen above.
Not only are the death and resurrection of Jesus not clearly affirmed : “ In those days, the God said : ‘Oh, Jesus, yacisâ, it is I who will make you shine and will raise you up to me, separating you from the apostates’ ” (III, 55,) but His death is purely and simply denied : “ They did not kill or crucify him, and that is why he came back to them. ” (IV, 157)
After having meditated on the lessons of the failure and recorded the result of his sorrowful experience in Sura III, the author prepares the “ return, ” as the Hebrews long ago prepared their return from the Exile.
3. THE FORMING OF A PEOPLE
First, Sura IV establishes a group of institutions with a theological rather than a legal complexion. By dealing with the fate of orphans, widows and families, the author concerns himself with restoring and adding to the numbers of this new people that is “ destined for a great deliverance, ” hayran katîran. Likewise, he gives the people a patrimonial base by dealing with inheritances. All of this is done with insistence on the fragile and contingent nature of human life, opposed to the absolute existence of God “ who is, ” ’allâha kâna (IV, 13).
The author is also concerned with teaching a morality to “ those who are faithful. ” It is not a new revelation, but a “ call ” from the God “ who judges mightily, ” a call that must be heeded, on pain of being “ roasted in the fire. ” It is a matter of conducting oneself with honesty, of respecting the life of others as though it were one’s own, and of guarding oneself against pride in order to see a “ door of grace, ” mudhlan karîman (Jerusalem,) and to receive the “ favour, ” faḍl, of the God.
From this point of view, what counts is not so much circumcision – the God had rejected the circumcising Jews (IV, 33) – as the fact of having the same faith. Let us point out that this faith does not extend as far as Saint Paul’s universalism ; it exists only between the Jews and the Arabs, and to the advantage of the latter.
This exhortation ends with a summary of the Law, with a return to the original Mosaic letter : cubudû l-lâhu, “ serve the God, ” immediately followed by the interdiction : “ and do not mix anything with him ” (IV, 36).
If the unicity of the God is constantly recalled, hammered home by the author, “ believe in the God and in his oracles, and say no longer ‘three.’ Turn away ! That will set you free ” (IV, 171), devotion to the Blessed Virgin is also the object of his interdictions : “ Do not be misled into idolising ‘among women,’ ” bayna n-nisâ’i (IV, 129). The same reprobation extends to devotions to saints whom the author calls “ mediating angels ” :
“ Christ is not humiliated by the fact of being a servant for the God, nor for the mediating angels. ” (IV, 175)
THE RETURN TO THE PATH OF GOD.
The author does not lose sight of his objective : the conquest of Jerusalem. Like a new Moses, he wants to lead his followers “ out of this city the inhabitants of which are in darkness. ” Thus he evokes several times the exodus of the children of Israel for the Promised Land and their permanent rebellion : “ they ruined their delights ; we cursed them ” (V, 12,) and also (V, 20, 26). The aim of this is to teach faithfulness and submission to the children of Ishmael.
What matters is to fight, without concern for one’s own life, “ precarious rooting in this world…, ” for the only thing that is certain is the reward after death, “ … deliverance in the other ” (IV, 77).
The author attacks the ‘pacifists’ among his followers who refuse to fight. “ As soon as they are ordered to fight, some of them begin to fear people as one fears the God. ” (IV, 77) They have not understood that it does not suffice to fold hands in prayer and to do justice, one must fight : this is the novelty of the “ proclamation, ” qur’ân. (II, 185).
This term is coined from the Hebrew qâra’, “ to cry out, to proclaim, ” but also “ to recite, to read. ” It occurs only in verse 185 of Sura II, a sura that the author designates under the name of kitâb in the second verse :
“ Auspicious was the moon during which the Proclamation (’al-qur’ân), descended, a Way for men, and an understanding of the Way and Redemption. ”
Although we are forced to conform to universally accepted usage by continuing to refer to “ this Writing, ” kitâb (II, 2) as the “ Qur’an ”, this word actually designates the biblical “ verses, ” ’ayat (II, 39) on which “ this Writing ” gives a commentary and provides “ understanding, ” bayyinât.
The inner force coming from the God motivates the “ jihadist ” combatant who becomes aware of this “ novelty. ” It is his only “ unassailable rampart, ” rather than the one offered by the “ fortified towns, ” burûjin (IV, 78,) built by the Romans from Trajan to Justinian to keep watch over the caravan trails.
Combat is of utmost urgency. The God assists it, “ more shrewd, ” tankîlan, than the combatants themselves can be ! (IV, 84)
“ Toward the sincere, sincere ; but to the perverse You are devious. ” (Ps 18, 27)
The former Jewish ally is to be mistrusted as much as the Byzantins. What will distinguish a friend from an enemy is not so much verbal adherence as effective participation in the conquest of Salem !
Thus the author is forming a people in arms in order to govern it, “ to judge ” it, like a new Samuel. It is a people intelligent enough to know that prayer must be cut short to take arms, contrary to what certain ḥassidîm did in the time of the Maccabean Revolt.
A reward awaits these followers “ who are gathered together in bands, ” ’al-mujâḥidûna (IV, 95), in order to “ join the God and his oracle ” : it is Jerusalem, designated by the “ gardens in which the rivers flow underneath, where they remain in thanksgiving forever ”; it is a “ promise of the God ” wacda llâhi (V, 119).
THE RESTORATION TO THE KACBA
Before enjoying the reward, however, the Kacba, “ Sacred House ” must be rebuilt. At Mecca ? Non ! In Jerusalem, where it is associated with the maqâm’ibrâhîm, due to the fact that they are both linked to the “ Sacred House ” ’al-bayta l-ḥarâma of the God.
After having gathered his followers in Nabataea and provided them with a law, their leader, i.e., the author, brought them back to conquer the Holy Land. This is when they found, at the gates of Jerusalem, a small shrine, kubos in Greek, dedicated to Mary that the Christians had just erected as a tribute of reparation for the impious act committed by Jephonias during the burial of the Virgin, kacba in Arabic (according to the meaning of one occurrence in Sura 78, 33).
For the time being, the author has the mission of rebuilding this “ house ” with the help of the God, strong and rich in mercy, by the extermination, balâgu (V, 99,) of all those who are marked in advance for this ruin. He must have experienced resistance among his followers since he exhorts them to be obedient : the fulfilment of one’s duty is not always pleasant, but he who, in the end, finds his pleasure in it, becomes a true servant of the God (V, 100).
Guided by our Father, I ascertained that this book contains nothing that bears the characteristics of inspiration. Even less is it a divine dictation ! I nevertheless demonstrated that it draws its inspiration from the Bible, extracting from both the Old and the New Testament, the force of the Revelation. This force is put at the service of a powerful ‘heresy’ : the restoration of the divine Covenant in favour of Ishmael and his descendants. What is the purpose of this ? The aim is to conquer, or rather to reconquer the Land, ’al-’arḍ, the inheritance of which Ishmael had been deprived to the benefit of Israel. How more topical can it be !
In his postface to the translation of Suras I and II (Volume I of our translation,) our Father, Georges de Nantes, analyses the thought of the author of the Qur’an :
“ The ‘perfect’ religion was born. Of course, it was not an absolute beginning. It had been kept in the secret of the obscure God, of the hidden God, in the hollow of His hand for the future time when He would establish His reign. Nevertheless, it was born of Abraham, was in the heart of Ishmael, and now it was bound to supersede unfaithful Judaism and ‘apostate’ Christianity, ” both irremediably ‘confused,’ and to impose peace from Jerusalem, this holy place par excellence of the sons of Abraham, of those whom Christians also call sons of God. ”
Fourteen centuries later, what remains of this great plan ? We can only see the inexpiable struggle that pits the sons of Ishmael against the sons of Isaac for the possession of the Land. This is leading to the outright extermination of the Christians, who alone are the true sons of the Promise, not only in the Holy Land, but in the entire Middle East.
Who will re-establish peace in Jerusalem ? Who, other than the Daughter of Abraham, can reconcile Israel and Ishmael ? She was kept in the bosom of our very dear heavenly Father for our Apocalyptic times. It is through devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that He will establish His reign and that of His Son, after the Pope has consecrated to It Russia, the protector of the Christians of the Middle East. After seventy-four years of ‘Exile,’ the faith is experiencing an extraordinary revival in this country. Frédéric Pons devotes a long chapter to it in his courageous and masterly book : Putin (Calmann-Lévy).
Vladimir Putin is working for a return to the Christian virtues of ‘Holy Russia’ and for a multipolar world guaranteeing a balance of power. This already demonstrates great wisdom. Yet when the Pope deigns to obey the Blessed Virgin, Russia will become, through her consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an instrument of salvation for all the other peoples who have fallen into anarchy, immorality and apostasy. Then the world will experience peace.
Brother Bruno of Jesus-Mary.
He is risen ! n° 146, december 2014