Spiritual Side to Islam ?

Friend

In the Name of God
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I try to read the Koran and thinking in the teachings of Islam from the humanitarian point of view...Far from the stereotypes and biases in thinking , and I began to understand the meanings of spirituality and humanitarian aspects of Islam and the relationship of the Creator towards His slaves or creatures.

Adopted to the question (why)?

Everything in Islamic teaching had the motives had reasons behind it ...I need answer about understanding why these teachings. After that I understand the spiritual side of these teachings and I knew it was not the duties of a rigid or movements and things without meaning .... I started to understand my relationship with my Lord (Allah) through Islam.

Quran surat ( Chapter 2) albaqra verse number 186
"186. When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way. "



--------

Surah 55. The Beneficent, The Mercy Giving


1. ((Allah)) Most Gracious!
2. It is He Who has taught the Qur'an.
3. He has created man:
4. He has taught him speech (and intelligence).
5. The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed;
6. And the herbs and the trees - both (alike) bow in adoration.
7. And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice),
8. In order that ye may not transgress (due) balance.
9. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance.
10. It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures:
11. Therein is fruit and date-palms, producing spathes (enclosing dates);
12. Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants.
13. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
14. He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery,
15. And He created Jinns from fire free of smoke: 16. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?


Sense of security through proximity of the Creator give man a sense of power and confidence close to happiness .. because you know that Rahman is the Almighty God take care of you before and after death, follow him and you will be among the winners.

As Muslims ,our relationship is directly with our lord (Allah) not with Mohammad(PUH)..Mohammad is our teacher and our prophet but not our lord .
 

Agnostic

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I try to read the Koran and thinking in the teachings of Islam from the humanitarian point of view...Far from the stereotypes and biases in thinking , and I began to understand the meanings of spirituality and humanitarian aspects of Islam and the relationship of the Creator towards His slaves or creatures.

Adopted to the question (why)?

Everything in Islamic teaching had the motives had reasons behind it ...I need answer about understanding why these teachings. After that I understand the spiritual side of these teachings and I knew it was not the duties of a rigid or movements and things without meaning .... I started to understand my relationship with my Lord (Allah) through Islam.

Quran surat ( Chapter 2) albaqra verse number 186
"186. When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way. "



--------

Surah 55. The Beneficent, The Mercy Giving


1. ((Allah)) Most Gracious!
2. It is He Who has taught the Qur'an.
3. He has created man:
4. He has taught him speech (and intelligence).
5. The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed;
6. And the herbs and the trees - both (alike) bow in adoration.
7. And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice),
8. In order that ye may not transgress (due) balance.
9. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance.
10. It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures:
11. Therein is fruit and date-palms, producing spathes (enclosing dates);
12. Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants.
13. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
14. He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery,
15. And He created Jinns from fire free of smoke: 16. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?


Sense of security through proximity of the Creator give man a sense of power and confidence close to happiness .. because you know that Rahman is the Almighty God take care of you before and after death, follow him and you will be among the winners.

As Muslims ,our relationship is directly with our lord (Allah) not with Mohammad(PUH)..Mohammad is our teacher and our prophet but not our lord .


I agree my friend. Islam has surely guided me, and what little spirituality I do have today is due to it. But, I'm only reading the Quran, I haven't finished it yet though. What I'm against is all these various Haddhits. I also don't have the same take as so many in terms of intolerance and what not. I look at the context in which the Quran was revealed, and at the time, Islam was an oppressed religion, and in almost every other Surrah, it is written that oppression is the greatest evil, so fight against oppression. I think the "Islamic" leaders have got it wrong, for oppression seems to be the most in Islamic countries. I think they are not following the peaceful Islam which was meant to be followed; every Muslim should first read the Quran and understand it for themselves first, if they get stuck at a point or can't make sense of something, only then turn to the various scholars and determine which one makes sense. But it doesn't happen that way, before even reading the Quran, Muslims grow up following one trend of school, determined by their birth. Praying to god, and all that is actually all written in the Quran, you don't need Haddiths to tell you that.
 

Muslimwoman

Coexistence insha'Allah
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Its a great religion for self discipline if one follows it personally, but in society, it is a heavily politicized religion, and as much as lot of Muslims like to think that Islam is true and unaltered, well, lets just say that every major Muslim society is influenced not only by the Quran but by people who came after the Prophet's time changing and interprating the Quran in various ways. Another religion with a significant man-made imprint.

Hi agnostic nice to meet you, found your posts interesting.

Agree completely with much of what you have said above, yes cultural practice and personal interpretation has influenced Islam over the centuries .... but surely if someone not brought up in Judaism or Christianity converted or studied their faith they would say the same and yet the mass majority of Jews or Christians can and do insist their religion is unaltered and true. It is human nature but we all have to interpret (as a society) what we read given our education, culture, scientific knowedge of the times, etc.

None of this of course means there is no spiritual side to Islam but it doesn't matter how you dress or pray, your connection to Allah (swt) comes from inside and you either make the effort to find that connection or you don't.
 

Mahmoud

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Is there a spiritual side to Islam ?

Sufism (Arabic: تصوّف‎) taawwuf,(Persian: صوفیگری) also spelled as tasavvuf and tasavvof according to the Persian pronunciation, is generally understood to be the inner, mystical dimension of Islam.[1][2][3] A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a ūfī (صُوفِيّ), though some adherents of the tradition reserve this term only for those practitioners who have attained the goals of the Sufi tradition. Another name used for the Sufi seeker is Dervish.

Classical Sufi scholars have defined Sufism as "a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God."[4] Alternatively, in the words of the renowned Darqawi Sufi teacher Ahmad ibn Ajiba, "a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one’s inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits."[5]

Sufism - wiki

I am particularly drawn to the whirling Dervishes.
 

NiceCupOfTea

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I think I am starting to get it now, at least what Mohamed intentions were not what much of Islam has become today.

5 Daily prayers ritual washing and all the rules like which foot should be first through the door, its all designed to promote a sense of devotion throughout your day and life.

However where I feel it gets ruined is when it is enforced by fear of punishment like burning in hell, if its done out of fear then its ruined, if its done out of love then it gives you peace.

My experience of Islam at least the Islam I was exposed to was legalistic poison, I am not saying that all of Islam is like that but a lot of it is.
 

Out There

Servant of God
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Is there a spiritual side to Islam ?

I am only aware of lots and lots of rules but deeper than that is there anymore to it than that ?

Assalamu'alaikum,
Yes, of course Islam has a spiritual side. Islam calls for the 5 daily prayers which is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is not merely ceremonial movements and postures, but involves much contemplation and reflection on the part of the practitioner. Further more, there is an exclusive science or branch of knowledge in Islam that is totally dedicated to spirituality. That branch of knowledge is called TASAWWUF. Many people know it as Sufism. Tasawwuf or Sufism is the heart of Islam. Without Tasawwuf a Muslim will probably be corrupted and filled with arrogance and pretension. As Imam Al-Shafi'i said in Kitab Al-Diwan on page 40, "Faqihan wa sufiyyan fakun laysa wahidan fa inna wa haqqillahi iyyaka ansahu" which means "Be both a jurist(expert in jurisprudence) and a sufi. Do not be only one of them. Verily, I am advising you in truth." Tasawwuf is the science of purification - purification of the heart from ills such as arrogance and boastfulness. According to one of the top scholars of Tasawwuf Imam Zarruq, the definitions for Tasawwuf abound to about 2000 definitions. All of them may be reduced to one which is that Tasawwuf helps the believer to become mukhlisoon i.e. truthful ones. It is concerned with inculcating sincerity in the heart and soul of the believer which is the prerequisite to be a true Muslim whereby his actions and deeds will be accepted by Allah. And Allah knows best.
 

Ahmed Farhan

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Islam requires the 5 day by day petitions to God which is one of the five mainstays of Islam. It is not only stylized developments and stances, but rather includes much examination and reflection with respect to the expert. Further more, there is a select science or branch of information in Islam that is completely devoted to most profound sense of being.
 

Muslimwoman

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5 Daily prayers ritual washing and all the rules like which foot should be first through the door, its all designed to promote a sense of devotion throughout your day and life.

Correct. From Allah we come and to Him we return. One of the most important concepts in Islam is the understanding and remembering of Allah in everything. Every morning we wake up and say Alhamdulillah (thanks to Allah) for another day of life, when something good or bad happens to us we say Alhamdulillah (even the bad is a blessing) every time we pray we pray for success in this life and the next. All day we make choices, should I buy yet another pair of shoes or should I give that spare money in charity? By remembering Allah in everything we do and in our 5 daily prayers it helps us to make the right choices, reminds us to work for a successful afterlife and yes it gives us a spiritual connection. Every time I open my balcony doors and see the view or the birds sitting in the trees I say SubhanAllah, I am reminded Allah is the Creator and I feel grateful for the beauty he surrounded me with.

5However where I feel it gets ruined is when it is enforced by fear of punishment like burning in hell, if its done out of fear then its ruined, if its done out of love then it gives you peace.

Depends what you mean, if you mean the guy with the stick shouting "pray or you will burn in hell" .. you horrible little worms ... yes I agree with you, that does not promote a sense of spirituality. But if you mean the instruction from Allah to pray and work hard for our next life, then I disagree. It's not about fire and brimstone to me, I do not feel threatened by it, it's simply a reminder from my loving Creator that my choices in this life will lead me to heaven or hell, to reward or punishment, that this life is a test.

5My experience of Islam at least the Islam I was exposed to was legalistic poison, I am not saying that all of Islam is like that but a lot of it is.

I had this feeling about 6 months after I converted. Until then I only had Quran and life was simple and felt very spiritual. Then I was introduced to the sunnah (from Hadith) and life suddenly got very complicated and felt like the spirituality had been sucked out of it. I suddenly didn't sleep, eat, drink or even go to the bathroom correctly. It took a while until I met someone with knowledge who explained that the Quran is what we must follow, the 5 pillars of Islam followed by the social aspects of the Quran. When I perfect that and feel I want to do more I can begin to add sunnah actions but they are not obligatory, so drinking with the right hand is a sunnah action and not obligatory. When you understand the historical aspect of this sunnah (ie people ate with their right hand and cleaned themselves in the bathroom with their left) it becomes clear it's about hygiene and not religion per se, so it makes sense to follow this.
 

BigJoeNobody

Professional Argument Attractor
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I had this feeling about 6 months after I converted. Until then I only had Quran and life was simple and felt very spiritual. Then I was introduced to the sunnah (from Hadith) and life suddenly got very complicated and felt like the spirituality had been sucked out of it. I suddenly didn't sleep, eat, drink or even go to the bathroom correctly. It took a while until I met someone with knowledge who explained that the Quran is what we must follow, the 5 pillars of Islam followed by the social aspects of the Quran. When I perfect that and feel I want to do more I can begin to add sunnah actions but they are not obligatory, so drinking with the right hand is a sunnah action and not obligatory. When you understand the historical aspect of this sunnah (ie people ate with their right hand and cleaned themselves in the bathroom with their left) it becomes clear it's about hygiene and not religion per se, so it makes sense to follow this.
I believe all Converts go through this, while many that are born into Islam (as in both parents are Muslim and practicing Islam) don't seem to grasp the confusing nature of this revelation to those of us who weren't told this from the beginning. What I find interesting is that when you ask why they are doing things a certain way, they cannot specify (in general). One of my better friends is a man I used to work with named Hosam. His father is a Sheikh here in Houston, and when I converted he couldn't tell at first (I had kinda converted over time, given that I had accepted Islam to be true but wanted to find why the differences in Christianity existed... meaning as I rejected the teachings of Christianity I considered myself a few % more Muslim). To this day if we are hanging out he will suggest things that he thinks I should do differently or not do at all. Then I ask a simple question about something somewhat debatable in Islam, such as Music. He quoted a translation of the Hadith about the Prophet (PBUH) telling his companions to hurry past the Jewish party when he heard the music. So I asked what the rest of the story is. He had none. To him this means that avoiding music (instrumental) is more righteous. So I posed the Questions "What if he knew the celebration would contain subject matter that was inappropriate (like a ladies dance) for them to see. What if it was that he simply decided he didn't like the music, or what if the lyrics expressed things that he deemed to be horrible by our laws, What if he just didn't want to be seen as associated with the party due to things Allah told him would be there?" And This is where I get something from him I respect a lot, he admitted he didn't know, and said that he hasn't ever wondered these conclusions. He and Many Muslims forget we have a book of Laws and examples and that anything outside of that should be explained if it were truly from the Prophet (PBUH) to become further law. Now I see wisdom in avoiding music, but that isn't enough for me to say IMO that it shouldn't be listened to, and it would need to be backed up (which it may be, but I've never heard anyone else say it). The Quran talks about using dogs in hunting yet a common interpretation of some Hadiths is that we shouldn't own Dogs, being as how I am a dog Owner, I inquired. He disagrees, but as far as I can tell him nor his father can deny that it is just a thought that we shouldn't have dogs, and probably is derived from cultural backgrounds.

In short, we must always strive to follow Sunnah once we have mastered Quranic teachings. But we must also make sure we are following what was intended and not just adding burden.
 

Muslimwoman

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Many of these issues are a mixture of Hadith and culture. For example there is a Hadith which says divorce shakes the throne of Allah. Talk to people from Pakistan who would rather see a woman stay married to an abusive husband or a man who abandoned her 10 years ago than 'shame the family' and shake the throne of Allah. Yet this Hadith is fabricated, so how many women have suffered due to a fabrication. It also goes against the many Hadith which talk of divorce, even the Hadiths where the Prophet (pbuh) was considering divorcing one of his wives ... would he have considered an action that would shake the throne of Allah?! So this Hadith not only oppresses women, it also insults the Prophet (pbuh).

It's quite sad to see Islam used to back up cultural traditions and beliefs. A few years ago I visited a young imam from Pakistan and I began by apologising because I was a convert so asked a lot of questions. He said he loved to speak to converts for that very reason, they will question and explore, not just blindly follow without knowing if what they are told is even part of Islam. He actually became an imam because he had once asked a question as a child and his aunt hit him and said never question Islam and of course that led to him asking why he can't question Islam. SubhanAllah
 

Irfan

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One way to look at the 'rules' is a guide to mindfulness.

Mysticism or spirituality is not the totality of religion, nor is everyone a spiritualist or a mystic in the common sense. The purpose of religion to to connect to God, and one way of keeping that connection open is in being mindful of the Divine in everything one does.

Islam is often translated as 'submission to the will of God' which doesn't go down to well in ego-orientated societies that tends to put 'me' as the priority ... other and equally viable translations of Islam are, as I understand them, submission to the will of God, which leads to obedience to the will of God, which leads to purity of being with regard for what God wills for man, and peace with God when we are in conformity with what He wills for us.

The Big Lesson for us all is to put God's will before our own, in the loving acceptance that what God wills for us is nothing but our own eternal good (often seen as opposed to our own temporal well-being, freedom and autonomy) and the rewards of God are greater than we could ever imagine for ourselves...

... so the faithful Moslem who, for example, goes to the toilet as instructed does so in the belief that the yoke of discipline is not a burden, and as such signifies a healthy spirituality, even if that spirituality is something beyond the individual's power of comprehension.

That is not to say one should suspend every critical faculty and never ask why ... but rather opts for the wise and prudent decision in assuming that there is a viable and valid reason for why one should shoulder the yoke, a reason not always visible in all its immediate implications.

Every tradition tells the follower that he or she should inquire, seek and question ... but often a refusal to answer is not because there isn't one, but that the disciple has to learn where the question comes from. One never outgrows humility.

A story from my own tradition, the Paradise of the Desert Fathers, but it's from a place the Sufi would recognise instantly:

Now, supposing the one thing we were instructed, on entry into a spiritual discipline, was to pray every day in the certain knowledge that everyone will get to heaven but us ... how welcome would that be?

Thomas
I would agree with you up to a certain degree, but when it comes to Will of God Muslims just like christians are quite divided upon this issue, submission to God actually means the aknowledgment of already existing submission and when you became aware of it then you will find peace ( that's from my personal spiritual experience). To God everything is submitted from the Islamic pint of view. Islam has its great esoterical (spiritual) dimension but unfortunatelly majority of today's muslim pay attention only to its exoterics which is less important. Regarding the Submission it means that everything is submitted to that ineffable ultimate "super perfection" in the entire cosmos as well as within the human being, so you submit all parts of your being to your spirit, spirit in turn is that what is perfect within us and worships God and strives only to return to God in other words it drags you "up". How ever becouse we are not only spiritual beings we have also the outer shell(s) (layers or veils) and hre and now we live in the exoterical world we need certain guidelines and rules how to get to to become spiritual as much as posibble) i.e to connect to God.
 

Irfan

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I believe all Converts go through this, while many that are born into Islam (as in both parents are Muslim and practicing Islam) don't seem to grasp the confusing nature of this revelation to those of us who weren't told this from the beginning. What I find interesting is that when you ask why they are doing things a certain way, they cannot specify (in general). One of my better friends is a man I used to work with named Hosam. His father is a Sheikh here in Houston, and when I converted he couldn't tell at first (I had kinda converted over time, given that I had accepted Islam to be true but wanted to find why the differences in Christianity existed... meaning as I rejected the teachings of Christianity I considered myself a few % more Muslim). To this day if we are hanging out he will suggest things that he thinks I should do differently or not do at all. Then I ask a simple question about something somewhat debatable in Islam, such as Music. He quoted a translation of the Hadith about the Prophet (PBUH) telling his companions to hurry past the Jewish party when he heard the music. So I asked what the rest of the story is. He had none. To him this means that avoiding music (instrumental) is more righteous. So I posed the Questions "What if he knew the celebration would contain subject matter that was inappropriate (like a ladies dance) for them to see. What if it was that he simply decided he didn't like the music, or what if the lyrics expressed things that he deemed to be horrible by our laws, What if he just didn't want to be seen as associated with the party due to things Allah told him would be there?" And This is where I get something from him I respect a lot, he admitted he didn't know, and said that he hasn't ever wondered these conclusions. He and Many Muslims forget we have a book of Laws and examples and that anything outside of that should be explained if it were truly from the Prophet (PBUH) to become further law. Now I see wisdom in avoiding music, but that isn't enough for me to say IMO that it shouldn't be listened to, and it would need to be backed up (which it may be, but I've never heard anyone else say it). The Quran talks about using dogs in hunting yet a common interpretation of some Hadiths is that we shouldn't own Dogs, being as how I am a dog Owner, I inquired. He disagrees, but as far as I can tell him nor his father can deny that it is just a thought that we shouldn't have dogs, and probably is derived from cultural backgrounds.

In short, we must always strive to follow Sunnah once we have mastered Quranic teachings. But we must also make sure we are following what was intended and not just adding burden.

You are Right.
Many stories or Hadiths are later on fabrication or ascribed sayings and certain thruths from the ancients
(what's not bad but still its not good to lie on Prophet savs) althaough we look at the chain of transmitters and we consider it authentic instead of looking at the content and context of the narration. A good example is a dog as you already mentioned in the Qur'an nothin is wrong with dogs but black dog was somehow sacred to Zorastrians i.e. Persians. Dogs guarded the fire place in their temples and when muslims wanted to mock and humiliate them they invented the story. If you would take all hadith collections and believe that their all authentic it is very undigestable soup which many times contradicts Qur'an they contradict each other and many of them are just stories and not something that we can trully follow today. I think this is a large problem today so I think that we need a detailed revision and reorganisation of hadith tradition.
 
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SufiPhilosophy

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Spiritual aspect is known as Sufism or Irfan.

It is interesting to note that there are verses here that symbolize the cross in Sufism.

"The path of those Thou art gracious to" is the ascending point, "not of those Thou art wroth with" is the descending point, and "nor of those who err" is the horizontal point for those who go astray. The person on the spiritual path seeks to ascend.

That is a spiritual side right thurr! Verse 1 is also interesting too.

Seriously nice insight but crosses are explicitly anathema to us.
 

SufiPhilosophy

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A quick google only brought this up: https://islamqa.info/en/answers/121170/guidelines-on-forms-of-the-cross-that-are-prohibited

I was sure there was something more substantial though. There's the eschatological hadith that when Jesus returns he'll break the cross and kill the pigs. I guess the latter might refer to a world overrun by pigs (already happening in southern USA, feral hogs wreaking havoc).

Cross is an ancient pagan symbol. Always used by hardened pagans. Something in that l guess.
 

SufiPhilosophy

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Maybe it's a sun symbol and we are very much against sun, moon, planet and star worship, which l gather were the staples of old world paganism. There are times of day we aren't even allowed to pray (sunrise, high noon, and sunset) because the sun rises and sets between the horns of Satan. I think the pagans revered those 3 times.
 

RJM

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I was sure there was something more substantial though. There's the eschatological hadith that when Jesus returns he'll break the cross and kill the pigs. I guess the latter might refer to a world overrun by pigs (already happening in southern USA, feral hogs wreaking havoc).
Yes. It quite well known.
http://www.inter-islam.org/Biographies/Hazisa135.html

"By Him in Who’s hands my soul rests, surely Jesus, Son of Maryam (Mary) will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind judiciously, by the law of the Quran, as an honest ruler. He will break the cross, kill the pig and abolish jizya. Money will abound in such excess that no one will wish to accept it. A single prostration to Allah, in prayer, will be better than the whole world and all it contains."

Abu Hurayrah, the narrator, added, "If you wish, you can recite this verse from the holy Quran :" "And there is none of the people of the book, but must believe in him (i.e. Jesus as an apostle of Allah and a human being), before his death, and on the Day of Judgement, he will be a witness against them."
 

SufiPhilosophy

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Note how gravitational lensing is the distortion of light. Light - Nur - is one of the 99 names of Allah in the Qur'an. But l think the main thing is, the cross is indeed a solar symbol. We don't worship that which sets.
 

RJM

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Cross is an ancient pagan symbol. Always used by hardened pagans. Something in that l guess.
Maybe it's a sun symbol and we are very much against sun, moon, planet and star worship, which l gather were the staples of old world paganism. There are times of day we aren't even allowed to pray (sunrise, high noon, and sunset) because the sun rises and sets between the horns of Satan. I think the pagans revered those 3 times.
Note how gravitational lensing is the distortion of light. Light - Nur - is one of the 99 names of Allah in the Qur'an. But l think the main thing is, the cross is indeed a solar symbol. We don't worship that which sets.
Of course, it is also the main symbol of Christianity?
 
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