“I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate; so whoever desires knowledge,
let him enter the gate.”
“The secret of the Quran is in al-Fatiha, the secret of al-Fatiha is in the Basmalah,
and the secret of the Basmalah is in the letter B (ب).
And I am the POINT beneath the ‘B’ (ب)!”
( Ali ra)
When Hadhrat Ali (ra) made this statement he was probably not referring to a cryptograph. Nor was he presenting a code or a cypher in the literal sense. He was, however, shedding light on a paramount code – the encodement of existence.
By positing that the entire Quran is contained in a single letter, and depicting himself as a point comprising it, Hadhrat Ali (ra) effectively alludes to what modern science has come to theorize as the ‘holographic universe.’ In other words, the whole is contained in the part; each and every iota of existence potentially contains the whole, and what we label as the ‘whole’, or the ‘outside world’, is our hologram. That is, we live in the virtual projection of our own perceptions and beliefs, which consequently nullifies the concept of ‘other’, thus endorsing the non-duality of existence.
So, if the universe is contained in the Quran, and the Quran is contained in the ‘point’, we, every single one of us, are encrypted ‘points’ of micro universes, containing within us the infinite vastness of endless potentiality.
It is this principle upon which Ahmed Hulusi establishes his interpretation of the Quran, drawing the attention to the self and the Self rather than things or god/s ‘out there.’ Taking special note of words that begin with the letter B, he construes their meanings introspectively, directing the reader to turn inward for their rendition.
Although the masculine pronoun ‘He’ was unavoidable, it is needless to say ‘Allah’ – the infinite consciousness beyond all preconceived and preconditioned ideas – transcendentally and indubitably surpasses any gender or form. As such, it is important to keep in mind that ‘Allah’ is a name that encompasses all the Names, qualities and attributes – the manifest and the unmanifest – pertaining to existence and nonexistence.
Though some key words such as Rabb and Rasul have been used in their original form, as no English counterpart adequately captures their meanings, I have devised a glossary (included at the end) explaining what they mean according to Ahmed Hulusi, in hope of aiding their correct understanding.
When Ahmed Hulusi shared with me a copy of his Turkish Quran four years ago at a ‘coincidental’ meeting, my first response was to ask him if there was an English version, to which he answered, “Perhaps you will translate it!” At the time, I had no such intentions or any involvement in literary translations, so I laughed his comment off. Two years later, fate had me translating his book, The Observing One. Since then I have had the honor of translating five of his books, followed by Decoding the Quran, which took just over a year to complete. I am unable to express my gratitude enough to have had the blessed opportunity to work on such a unique interpretation of the Quran with such a fabulous team, especially Guner Turkmen and Onder Tuncay, whose exceptional support has been invaluable to the completion of this project.
As I write this note on this revered night of Ramadan, I ask that you forgive me for any inadequacies and/or mistakes I may have made, for all imperfections pertain to me, while it is the countenance of the eternal One who is perfect.
May the key of the letter B unlock our selves to our Selves…
“Indeed, when He wills a thing, His command is ‘B’e… and it is!” (36:82)