We ordained therein for them: "Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal." But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers. — Quran 5:45
In my research I come across a lot of interesting things. This verse from the Quran caught my eye. Of course there are different English translations for this verse, but I was struck by the phrase “But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself.” In some English translations of this verse “atonement” is written as “expiation,” both of which are synonyms.
Atone is from Middle English (originally in the sense ‘make or become united or reconciled’, rare before the 16th century): from “at one” in early use; later by back-formation from atonement. Expiate is from the late 16th century (in the sense ‘end (rage, sorrow, etc.) by suffering it to the full’): from Latin expiat- ‘appeased by sacrifice’, from the verb expiare, from ex- ‘out’ + piare (from pius ‘pious’).
This came up when I researched the Arabic term Qisas. According to Wikipedia,
Qiṣāṣ (Arabic: قصاص) is an Islamic term meaning "retaliation in kind", "eye for an eye", or retributive justice. In traditional Islamic law (sharia), the doctrine of qisas provides for a punishment analogous to the crime. Qisas is available to the victim or victim's heirs against a convicted perpetrator of murder or intentional bodily injury. In the case of murder, qisas gives the right to take the life of the killer, if the latter is convicted and the court approves. Those who are entitled to qisas have the option of receiving monetary compensation (diyya) or granting pardon to the perpetrator instead.”
According to this verse, if the victim of a crime remits retaliation, it is regarded as atonement for his or her own sins. I know next to nothing about Islam and the Quran, but this seems like an acknowledgment of karma, and a way to dissolve karma. In an “eye for an eye” society where retribution is common, an individual has himself or herself likely committed harmful acts toward another, so the act of forgiveness of similar acts done to him or her cleans up the victim’s karmic ledger. Even if the victim has led a blameless life, the act of remittance is regarded (so it would seem) as a counting against the ledger of the victim’s sins – if he or she chooses to exercise this option – and says nothing about the perpetrator.
Of course the victim can choose punishment that fits the crime – in the case of murder, death to the perpetrator. But the option is open for monetary payment or even complete forgiveness. By atoning or expiating the crime, one becomes united or reconciled to the act by suffering it to the full.
This is the meaning of forgiveness. One cannot truly forgive (as opposed to mouthing affirmations of forgiveness) unless one has fully and completely confronted and resolved the emotions generated by the harmful act. If one “suffers it to the full,” it is possible to completely release the negative emotions associated with the incident. One then becomes united, or reconciled, to the harmful act. This is forgiveness on a very deep and spiritual level. It is the type of forgiveness taught by the Christ. It is also what happens in Traumatic Incident Reduction, which has the client go over and over the incident (suffering it to the full) until all negative emotion has been dissolved and the client can forgive.
I was pleased to see this in the Quran. Islam has been twisted by the dark and has been demonized in the West, but so have other religions. Twisting and de-legitimizing religion (and spirituality) is one of the primary goals of the dark, for the light of God is at their foundation. The dark is mired in materialism and cannot see past the biology, or contact the Higher Self. But forgiveness and remittance is common to all religions and spiritual practices.
Qisas, Iran, and Recent Events
Media reported (see previous blog posts) that Donald Trump authorized, then pulled back an attack on Iran in retaliation for Iran’s shooting down a U.S. drone in the Gulf of Oman. Who knows who did what to whom; some have speculated that the shooting down of the U.S. drone was a rogue element of our own military. Nevertheless, Trump’s tweet about this was interesting:
Notice he said, “10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportional to shooting down an unmanned drone.”
Here we have a president who apparently understand the doctrine of Qisas – “wounds equal for equal.” The drone is property; the Iranian tankers and the Iranian port and the Iranian ships that were set ablaze in early June were property. Interestingly, the refinery that blew up in Philadelphia shortly after the Iranian port was set on fire is also property (See NBC News, “Massive Fire, Explosions at South Philadelphia Refinery Contained, But Not Yet Extinguished,” https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Massive-Fire-Reports-of-Explosions-at-South-Philadelphia-Refinery-Philadelphia-Energy-Solutions-I-76-Closed-511615281.html.)
In each of these incidents no lives were lost. Are the drone shooting, the refinery blazes, and the tanker attacks a form of Qisas? The Shiite leaders in Iran understand this concept very well, and it seems that President Trump does as well. Calling the attack on Iran off can be regarded, from the Quran definition, either as a "remittance," or as a strict following of the "wound for wound" doctrine. If it's a remittance, then according to Qisas, Trump's calling off the attack would be regarded by the Iranians as an atonement for Trump's own sins. Wow. Human relations are complicated! This battle between dark and light isn't for wimps.
There is way too much disinfo out there for citizens like me (who get info from publicly available sources) to state definitively who is behind this destruction of property in Iran and in the US. I sure as hell don't know whether the two refinery explosions are connected or not. But it looks like these events are following a strict program of retributive justice.
Before 2016 I thought Donald Trump was a moron. Now I think he might be a lot smarter than anyone thought.