Fitra, the Path of the Prophets

Lecture given on July 15, 2022 during the XIX Islam in Europe Meeting, at the Center for Islamic Studies of the Greater Mosque of Granada. The text that follows is a study based on the political works of Ian Dallas on the path to individual and civic renewal. This has always been the path of the prophets, a return to fitra.

Special thanks to Hajj Ahmad Gross who has translated it from Spanish to English. Si quieres leer la versión original en español, esta aquí.

When your Lord took out all their descendants from the loins of the children of Adam and made them testify against themselves ‘Am I not your Lord?’ they said, ‘We testify that indeed You are!’ Lest you say on the Day of Rising, ‘We knew nothing of this.’

Or lest you say, ‘Our forefathers associated others with Allah before our time, and we are merely descendants coming after them. So are You going to destroy us for what those purveyors of falsehood did?’

That is how We make the Signs clear so that hopefully they will return.

(Al-A’raf 7:172-174)[1]

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Peace and blessings be upon the best human being who ever lived, our Guide and Teacher, the Messenger of Reality, whose message is a clear testimony and precise guidance to remind the human being of his primordial nature. Peace and blessings be upon his family, his companions and all those who follow him and seek his guidance!

*** Part I ***

Any reflection on the fitra is necessarily a reflection on the human condition. And a reflection on the human condition is also a reflection on its circumstances. The human being, as such, is a locus of consciousness differentiated spatially and temporally by its material nature, and therefore we cannot separate a reflection on the human being from its spatio-temporal circumstances.

According to Carl Schmitt, nihilism is the dislocation of a fact from its spatio-temporal manifestation.[2]  To think of the human being without thinking of him in concrete terms, in his circumstances, is to speak of the human being in an abstract way; it is to speak of everything but not to refer to anything.

That is why, in order to talk about the fitra and for it to have relevance for us, we have to do so within the circumstances in which we find ourselves. I think there is no better guide to the human condition and its particular circumstances at the present time than Dr. Ian Dallas, especially in his last four works, known as his political works.

But before we delve into them and begin this investigation that will take us to the very limits of language, I would like to offer a definition of the term fitra based on the scholars of our Islamic tradition. I would like us to keep this definition in mind as we enter into the further analysis of the circumstances surrounding us.

The term fitra is found in the Qur’an when Allah, the Exalted says

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًۭا ۚ فِطْرَتَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّتِى فَطَرَ ٱلنَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلْقَيِّمُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

So set your face firmly towards the Deen, as a pure natural believer, Allah’s natural pattern on which He made mankind. There is no changing Allah’s creation. That is the true Deen – but most people do not know it –. (Ar-Rum 30:30)

Ustadh Abdelghani Melara says, in his annotation on this term: Although «mark» [Bewley: “natural pattern”] does not translate the Arabic term exactly, it allows us to keep the etymological figure of the text between the words «fiṭra» and «faṭara», «mark» and «has marked». The etymology of fiṭra, expresses the first indentation, the beginning of something. Its more precise meaning is the innate nature of man, the particularity with which he has been created, his genuine character; by which he recognises his Lord.[3]

This is in accordance with Al-Ghazali’s definition in his Ihya Ulum ad-Din that fitra is the innate capacity of human beings to recognise God. The Imam says that every person has the potentiality to recognise the Unitary Reality of existence by this «mark», this innate nature.

Ibn Arabi goes a step further and says that fitra is the original and unalterable essence of the human creature that enables him not only to recognise Reality, but to be a mirror of it.

According to As-Suyuti, in his Tafsir al-Jalalayn, fitra is the natural inclination of human beings towards the Truth, the inner guidance towards Reality.

Shaykh Abdalqadir Al-Jilani in his work Sirr al-Asrar says that fitra is the primal and natural state of the human being before being altered by external circumstances.

From all this we deduce that fitra is a state of recognition of Unity, of Truth, of the Divine, the primal state of the human being, his innate nature, his original form which is to be a mirror of Reality. We will return to this point later.

This concept does not fit with the postulates of modernist or postmodernist thought. Modernity was the unbridled race – illustrated by the brute force of the steam engine – to find an absolute truth, an ultimate reality in the universe, the basic stuff from which matter is constituted, outside the recognition of God.

This futile task came to an end when quantum physics unravelled any possibility by proposing the uncertainty principle. The more one refined one’s observation, the less one found.

Postmodernity is the desperate attempt to find meaning in nothingness. Where there is nothing, nothing can emerge. Everything is relative. The paradox of postmodernity is that there is no absolute truth – and therefore no truth at all – but this in itself is an absolute truth.

In any case, the definition we have outlined of fitra tells us that this is not so. That there is a truth inalienable to the human being. That he has a primal nature that ultimately does not belong to him, since it is given to him. And this requires a Giver, a Creator. This is the basic fact that neither modern nor postmodern thought wants to accept.

I would like to add one more nuance to this definition of fitra. It is the social aspect which Dr. Dallas mentions when he defines fitra in the work The Interim is Mine. He says:

(…) ‘FITRA’ or primal nature, or that culture pattern of early men which functioned because in harmony with nature or rather the natural process.[4]

Dr. Dallas qualifies the definitions of the previous authors and adds an important aspect that we do not find in these definitions. The cultural pattern. The cultural pattern is the way of life shared by a group of human beings. This does not mean that the scholars mentioned were wrong or lack in perception, but that they lived in times when the deen was an established pattern of life shared by a group of human beings, whereas Dr. Dallas does so in circumstances where it is almost extinct.

Elsewhere in the same work, Dr. Dallas says:

It follows from this that a social fabric is dependent on the societal individual and his programme stems from himself. Yet he is a product as well as producer of the social nexus. In other words we cannot trace the social malaise to a psychological manifestation. What we now know is that the web of civic practice affects the genetic design of the individual.[5]

In order to get a glimpse of what is this primordial and luminous nature of the human being that leads him to recognise the natural pattern of the universe established by the Creator and to see himself as part of it, and not outside of it, and therefore to live in harmony with the rest of creation, we must start from the assumption that this pattern of behaviour, whose most sublime example is the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, is not applied in its entirety at the social level in our historical moment.

If this pattern is not established, and the proof of this is the critical situation in which most human beings and the planet itself find themselves, on the verge of psychological and natural collapse, we have first to see what the social pattern and its individual consequences are. Or, put another way, what is the individual condition that results in this social pattern.

Dr. Dallas begins his work The Time of the Bedouin with the following statement:

A version of reality has been instituted which accords with the power elite’s programmes of the expropriation of personal wealth, and its relocation in inter-connected corporate and statal structures. To further hide the venal truth of this oligarchy it has proved propitious to borrow the evaluations and vocabulary of the emergent scientific method of materialist evolutionism. As a result the world’s ignorant masses have been presented with a model of reality that in itself is fictive and determinist at the same time.[6]

From this we can understand that there is a reality, which in the historical context we could say are the events that have occurred, but this reality of the events that have occurred can be interpreted in different ways. That is, history can be told using a language, in this case, the vocabulary of the emerging scientific method of materialistic evolutionism, so that historical events can be seen in one light or another.

In this case, they have been presented in such a way as to hide the change of hands of wealth and property, to propose that what has really happened has been a liberation of human beings from the yoke of physical and psychological slavery that oppressed them. The event we are talking about is the French Revolution and its aftermath. Dr. Dallas says in his work The Interim is Mine:

The lie of modernity is that men lived in primitive social structures bonded by tribal allegiances and enmity, moving across the earth in search of new resources while today men live in structurally designed states, called nations, decision-making in the hands of an elite chosen by the mass of the populace, the pragmatism of survival having been displaced by the mathematical structuring of social processes.[7]

Dr. Dallas places the beginning of this interpretation of the reality in which we live and from which the current social pattern emerges, in the French Revolution. We have to remember that, as we have said, a social pattern will result in a specific individual and that in order to get to know our fitra we have to know what elements may be covering it up. To be able to do this we have to know our circumstances.

There are three elements that have undergone a radical transformation and resulted in a new social model, as proposed by Dr. Dallas. I am aware that I am oversimplifying and may leave important points unmentioned, but I ask your forgiveness for the sake of argument.

The first of these elements that underwent a transformation was religion. Dr. Dallas says:

The ‘laicité’, the secularisation of the State abolishes religion, since religion can only exist as a social entity under Divine orders. ‘Religio’ means to-bind-together. Once religion is redefined as a personal belief system it has actually been reduced to a mere psychological condition.[8]

For this to be possible, the doctrine of humanism, which removes God from the centre of the human project and puts the human being in His place, had to be adopted.  

The second element that underwent a transformation was finance. Finance had been – at least in the time preceding the Revolution – in the hands of the clergy. Dr. Dallas says:

Christianity, by their hands, was abolished. The clergy which had, certainly since Richelieu, been the financial class, were swept aside and massacred enthusiastically. In their place came a new financial élite with a new currency. The bankers, who had been slowly gaining power since Louis XIV, emerged with a new evaluation of money. In place of the dyad, gold and silver coin embossed with the monarch’s head, came a new currency, paper money. In place of intrinsic ‘real’ wealth – gold, came the new wealth, worth in real terms only the paper it was printed on – in practice valued by the numbers on it, workable, yet doomed to fluctuation and inflation depending on what backed it up. One day it would break free of the ties of collateral and remain an abstract numerical system disappearing even from its paper form to be the world tyrannising web of a wealth system itself reduced to flashing electronic signals of information passing between computer terminals.[9]

The third element was the elimination of femininity, of womanhood, since the mere existence of a woman threatens the agenda of the rationalist male rhetoric on which humanism is based. It allows God to be abolished and which permits the change from a system based on money with intrinsic value to another one with no value at all. Dr. Dallas states in The Time of the Bedouin:

The legalist and absolutist State, the political democracy, spawned by the Revolution had no place in it for ‘woman’, already she had been subsumed under the term ‘citizen’, as such she was unsexed and deposed. The trial and execution of the Queen was the end of man’s long vulnerability, helplessness, dependence and even domination by women. Now the rules were to rule. Rhetoric, that terrible male weapon, was to silence once and for all that unlicensed gaiety and delight and pleasure that was womanhood.[10]

The end of the Ancien Régime also resulted in the abolition of individual responsibility and the ability of the individual to direct and act on events, represented in its highest expression by the figure of the king.

Dr. Dallas tells us that far from seeing all this as events distant in time and to think that they do not affect us, we must be aware that:

It is nearly impossible to de-construct the present situation without a historical recognition, an identification of Ur-forms which were not just set up in the French Revolution but have repeated themselves with such clarity in later Revolutions.[11]

What we are trying to show, in a rough and ready way, is that in order to discover what our fitra is, we must know what it is that is covering it up.

We have said that the individual is both the result and the effect of a pattern of social behaviour, that one is the reflection of the other. The changes that have occurred in and since the French Revolution have established a social pattern, based on a version of reality, and this has created a particular individual. Dr. Dallas says about the doctrine underlying the changes in the social pattern:

The doctrine which underlies the system is that, arrived at from a primal cause, the ultimate purpose for mankind is as follows: Man as a social animal, once free of blood ties, family and tribe, was forced to find a method of living together with his kind. The struggle to arrive at a social model that could let man live forever in peace and harmony with his neighbour, each equal and free, has taken centuries of failed projects, punctuated by terrible wars, famines and disease. Finally, as it were, thanks to the convulsion of the American settlers and the French citizens, after the Americans had slaughtered the Indians and the French the Vendéens, they at last evolved a means of living in perpetual peace. The end was in sight. All that was required now was to impose this system on a resistant and aggressive mankind and save them from them- selves. If peoples irrationally in their ignorance rejected this system (they had called it democracy after the Greek city state method of direct representation alongside a slave-underclass) then they had to be taught a lesson, until the survivors submitted to being granted this liberty. The world imposition of democracy of course meant the struggle of the centuries was over. The future was free of conflict, in its place came shopping and limitless sexual practice, meaningful and guiltless. History had come to an end.[12]

This doctrine, which underlies the current cultural pattern, results in a specific individual. An individual who according to Dr. Dallas:

Men are inhibited from confronting the Leviathan. Conditioned and prepared not to resist let alone overthrow the system, it is now openly realised that contemporary man experiences himself as helpless. Told that their freedom lies in individuality, they have been convinced that their isolation is the gift of the social order. Do not make waves. Stay in the middle, the extremes destroy. Philip Rieff, a leading Freudian psycho- analyst, openly committed psychoanalysed modern man: “to an active resignation in matters as they are, to a modest hope, and to a satisfiable desire. … Psychological man … like his predecessor, the man of the market economy … understands morality as that which is conducive to increased activity. The important thing is to keep going!” Liberty has been reduced to an active resignation. Equality has been confirmed by a universal granting of credit. Fraternity is assured now we are all debtors. Your debt is personal. Your religion is personal. Your ballot is secret. History, your history too, has come to an end.[13]

This is the version of reality that has been imposed to hide what is really happening: The usurpation and concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. And these hands are not abstract. And this is what is really happening. Dr. Dallas continues:

This has been the legend of a hyper-capitalism that has turned the Napoleonic modern pyramidic State from a political entity into a financial one, in the process systematically destroying the world’s eco-structure and, with mathematical inexorability, reducing the masses of the world to a statistically increasing community of slavery while at the same time elevating an ever-diminishing and tiny élite to an ever-increasing super-wealth, such as history has never recorded before.[14]

Our purpose is to find the path that leads us to find our fitra. Fitra understood as the cultural pattern of the first human beings that worked because it was in harmony with the natural process. This harmony with the natural process leads man to be able to connect with his own innate nature. Therefore, the process of returning to fitra has two interconnected strands. On the one hand, the establishment of a social pattern and on the other hand, the establishment of an individual one.

Dr. Dallas says in his work The Interim is Mine:

The horror of this age is the somnambulistic helplessness of the masses to ACT in order to stop the global holocaust. It is this unarguable condition of mankind which permits us to define the technic society as a psychosis.[15]

Therefore, the end of collective psychosis lies in action. Dr. Dallas proposes a knowledge-based model of action which he calls the micro-cycle. He calls it so in order to move away from the fatalism of the macro-cycles, without denying those. We could say that it is like looking at the universe from the perspective of Newtonian mechanics and observe the macro-cycles, while from the perspective of quantum physics we see the micro-cycles.

Dr. Dallas defines this new science of the microcycle as consisting of two parts. The first considers the active group, or to be more precise, the activating group.

The second part considers the appearance of the active individual in the event, or to be more precise, the empowered individual. That is, on the one hand the cultural pattern of a human group, and on the other, the behavioural pattern of the individual.

As for the activating group, Dr. Dallas says that the fundamental quality of the activating group is Ibn Khaldun’s concept of asabiyya. Dr. Dallas defines asabiyya as “esprit de corps” (group spirit) but says that it contains a moral valuation similar to that of the term futuwwah, chivalry or nobility of character:

Asabiyya unites men to find the power to act and transform and command. If its motor power is high, its brotherhood is raised higher. If the binding factor (religio – to bind together) is there, that is Divine religion, it is, that being its highest possibility, assured a triumph.[16]

For this asabiyya to be possible Dr. Dallas adds:

At its core must be found a couple, that liberating couple which finds the woman upholding her beloved spouse’s project for mankind and womankind.[17]

Says Dr. Dallas in The Interim is Mine:

The marital bond is foundational to social harmony and survival. This must not be taken in a bourgeois or Victorian sense. This recognition of marriage is based on a society taking on and respecting its pattern.[18]

And he goes on to say:

It is because marriage as an institution, for it is essentially a financial institution, has been abolished that modern men, while they may fight as slave mercenaries, cannot fight wars. Corporations make wars. Men have been rendered passive as consumers and miners. In other words, un-manned, lacking a societal group identity. This is the atheist global situation. Only a Divine-worshipping society can recover the categorical imperatives of the human species in evolution again.[19]

Here we have the two fundamental elements of the natural social pattern that is conducive to the individual being in a state of fitra. A human group whose bond is the highest asabiyya, the recognition of the Divine, and whose centre is the union of a liberating couple in marriage. As Dr. Dallas says:

The new nomos has not vanished from the earth. It has survived. Now it is ready, yet again, to emerge into the wider arena of civil revival.  

It is by the networking of groups of the noblest of youths, and the finest women, bonded together in worship of the Lord of the Universe, that the plastic and polluted cities will be cleansed. The political class will die away – it will not even be necessary to assassinate them. They are unnecessary. Their mere two hundred year rule is over. The nihil currency of numbers and scraps of endebting paper are blowing in the streets outside the deserted bank buildings. Some will be transformed into clinics and shops and even mosques, once washed clean.  

Those still toxic from the miasma of capitalism will ask, “How is that possible? We do not have the strength!”  

The noble youths, the Companions, newly emerged from the Cave of the 21st Century, will reply:  

“‘How Many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah’s permission. Allah is with the steadfast.’”[20]

This is the nature and quality of the activating group. Let us now see what is the nature and quality of the empowered individual.

*** Part II ***

What we have proposed is that fitra is the innate nature of the human being and is therefore always there, underlying it. In order to discover it, there needs to be a social pattern that is conducive to it. There must also be an individual on whom this social pattern is built who is predisposed to discover it. We have seen the social elements that hinder this discovery and what are the qualities of the group that favour and facilitate it. We have called this, according to Dr. Dallas, “the activating group”. Now we are going to explore the condition of the individual predisposed to discovery, the “empowered individual”, and those who are preventing its emergence.

We began by saying that an interpretation of reality has been imposed. It is the acceptance of this interpretation as reality that leads to the current psychosis in which modern man lives. Dr. Dallas says in The Engines of the Broken World:

The unfolding of this ultimate nihilism in which not only is nothing (the oligarchy) and nobody (the Emperor) what it presents itself as, also requires that people (the Empire) believe that the charade and the actors are genuine, while also aware that all is false. Accepting the pretences (oligarchy, Empire, Emperor) as the real world demands a dislocation between nature and event which implies that survival depends on transforming a psychosis into a reality.[21]

To accept this version of reality, according to which we live in a free, egalitarian, brotherly society, when in reality we are passive debtors trapped in a political system that eliminates agency based on an invisible chain of electronic impulses, is to live a lie. Dr. Dallas explains:

Something had happened. It was not the events. It was not even the individual actors on the scene. It was not immorality. An inner dislocation of the experiencing self had – over the long time-span from Sulla to Augustus (from the primal dictator to the absolute dictator) – taken place that was deeper than the acts of enslavement. The Roman citizen, son of the Republic, had been enslaved, but it was not the gladiator’s enslavement. Spartacus could rebel, but the citizen could not. This was a quite new achievement, the forging of an obedient slave, to all accounts free, enjoying the circus and the spectacle. Here, our contemporary species was born.[22]

This is the situation of modern man that leaves him incapable of action, since he lives in a fiction that he has believed, and one cannot act based on an illusion. If one tries, what happens is that this illusion just becomes bigger. Says Dr. Dallas in the same work:

In my lifetime the emerging oligarchy of financiers started right from the beginning of their reign at Bretton Woods. They laid down a necessary ideological position to protect their hidden position in modern society. History, their scriptwriters decreed, was not, could not be narrative. Events were too complex. People did not make history, history made history. Flux did it![23]

We have said that the empowered individual is one who is able to act, and thus has to be an individual who acts on the basis of what things are, and not on what they pretend to be. A man who is able to see the version of reality that is presented to him as the fiction that is. Dr. Dallas defines for us the reality of the system in which we live:

The world system, which is an abstract mathematical grid dominating all transactions and based on an irrational fantasy of perpetual increase run by a hidden, not secret but well hidden, handful of utterly worthless, amoral gamblers and thieves – a group functioning as high priests of the numeric itself – that system is doubly doomed. It is doomed, mathematically, as system. It is doomed because these Titans, as Jünger called them, are in reality despicable dwarfs.[24]

The action of the empowered man, therefore, cannot be to act by giving reality to a condemned and fictitious system, but he has to create an alternative model. But to achieve this, to get out of psychosis, we must call things as they are. Says Dr. Dallas:

Naming is the link between the creature and creation. It is the differentiating faculty. It indicates thresholds, limits, indications. The name itself is the primal signal of language. By language the human social group are able to give both order and meaning to lived existence.[25]

Order and meaning are the opposite of nihilism. Order and meaning are sanity. It is a way out of collective psychosis. Says Dr. Dallas:

The passivity of today’s masses results from the helplessness of a life in which a non-existent money system has seen them born into debt, life enslaved by it, and future never free of it. It is not even metaphysical, having no physicality to transcend. It is number but abstract, cumulative, totalising. It is not a thing. It has, if sanity is to return, no name.[26]

The first step of the empowered man is to come to his senses. The first step of regaining sanity is the discernment of being able to call things by their name. When man can call things by their name, he can recognise his Creator. Dr. Dallas writes:

The reality of man is that he has a dynamic opening to the Divine. Language itself. (…) And the speech is the door to wisdom.[27]

Wisdom is the quality of the empowered man, of the man capable of action. We have seen that the differentiating quality of the activating group, in this science of the micro-cycle proposed by Dr. Dallas – which is nothing other than the science of liberating action – is asabiyya based on futuwwah. The differentiating quality of the activating individual, the empowered individual, is wisdom. To access this wisdom, man has to understand:

(…) what happens in life occurs simultaneously on three levels, the outward, the inward, and the hidden.[28]

This is the sentence by which Dr. Dallas begins his final work The Entire City. This text, which I will not do justice to today, is the beginning of wisdom since it is the beginning of self-knowledge. This work, being the commentary of three texts, proposes that everything that happens does so on three different simultaneous levels.

The first level is theoretical, that of ideas, exemplified by Harold Laski’s introduction of the historical text entitled Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos. Laski’s introduction begins as follows:

All political systems are the natural reflection of their historic environment, and there has been no influential political work that is not, in essence, the autobiography of its time. That does not mean the absence from it of a flavour of universality. Ideas beget a progeny which soon outstrip the narrow concepts of their creator.[29]

What this text proposes, in essence, is that the political manifestation at any given time is a reflection of its very time and the men in it.

Dr. Dallas says:

Once it has been grasped that a society changes through the faces of the Polybius model man himself changes, so also in evidence of this it can be seen that language changes. Language is the instrument of truth- telling but it can also devolve – not into lie-telling, but something much more dangerous – fiction-telling, the narration to other men of a view that in itself precludes the liberating action.[30]

What Dr. Dallas says is that, in order not to get stuck at the level of ideas and theories, we have to understand that society changes according to Polybius’ model: monarchy, tyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, ochlocracy. This will lead us to understand the moment in time in which we find ourselves and not to believe the fiction we are told. It will allow us to keep our sanity and give us the capacity to act.

The second level is that of the individual’s action and motivation. This is represented by Christopher Marlowe’s play The Massacre at Paris. The intention of this text is to show how individual action affects the historical event. Dr. Dallas explains:

Marlowe as classicist, poet and dramatist is in all his work unceasingly forced to confront the nature of political power and its source in the individual whether pursuing a personal concern or a social ambition.[31]

If freeing ourselves from attachment to theories in order to see the facts themselves is necessary to undertake liberating action, what Dr. Dallas is now proposing is that we must also be aware of another imposition on action, and this one is internal, that of personal goals and social ambitions. We need to be aware of how these affect our action and that of others and how they relate to the level of the external, to ideas. It is also a way of showing us that historical events are not only explained by the ideas that surround them, but by the people who execute them and their goals and ambitions.

This, in itself, is a liberating insight. History is not made by history, by the flow, but by the people who act in it. Our action can be decisive. Dr. Dallas says:

Marlowe had opened a door onto a world up until then denied. A world where men took on the full weight of their actions in a present with a now to be confronted past, both memory and the forgotten.[32]

Finally, the third level is that of the passions and myths that underlie ideas and goals and which remain largely unconscious. This is why Dr. Dallas calls it the “power matrix”.

For this, the author proposes a work written by himself, Oedipus and Dionysus, and he tells us:

The dramatic version of what happened is not on a lesser level than the theoretical or political narration of the event, rather the philosophical view is, as it were, beside the point, while the dramatic version reveals what the protagonists hide in their rhetoric and their actions.[33]

Here it is important to mention that Dr. Dallas rejects that psychology and psychoanalysis can help us to carry out a liberating action, which is the result of the empowered man. And for this he mentions the surrealist painter Max Ernst, who told him:

‘You see, Freud had not isolated the Unconscious located in the cortex of a man, what he had done was stumble only half aware on a whole domain. He had discovered anew, the Unseen.’[34]

In contrast to this, he quotes D.H. Lawrence as saying in his book Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious:

We have actually to go back to our own unconscious. But not to the unconscious which is the inverted reflection of our ideal consciousness. We must discover, if we can, the true unconscious, where our life bubbles up in us, prior to any mentality. The first bubbling life in us, which is innocent of any mental alteration, this is the unconscious. It is pristine, not in any way ideal. It is the spontaneous origin from which it behooves us to live.[35]

That the empowered man’s action may be liberating he must return to this unconscious. Only then his actions are not enslaved to his passions, as Dr. Dallas explains:

The passions try to force the present to be an arena of revenge, finally working out the ancient crime at the same time as the awakened self tries to construct a fresh and future reality.[36]

The man empowered for liberating action must live in a state of fitra. Dr. Dallas says:

Since we cannot choose which zone is to be preferred or even which kind of man really we should be, fated to a particular time and a particular parenthood we then must fulfil or go beyond the given lived moment of the cycle.[37]

The only way to do this, says Dr. Dallas:

It is that circle of men and women bounded not by blood or station, but by a shared quality of life which demands pure worship of the Lord of the Universe, an on-going competition among its members in generosity, support, nurture, learning and mutual concern.[38]

Asabiyya based on futuwwah is the defining quality of the activating group, wisdom based on fitra is the defining quality of the activating man and woman. It is this symbiosis that can create a new nomos.

The foundation of fitra is self-knowledge. And as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, he who knows himself, knows his Lord.

This is only possible when we are on the path of self-knowledge and share this path with other human beings who confirm to us that we are not part of the collective psychosis, that we are sane.

The way of self-knowledge is the way of knowledge of the Unseen and this is the way of witnessing reality, which is the basis of fitra. Allah says in the Qur’an:

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِنۢ بَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا۟ بَلَىٰ ۛ شَهِدْنَآ ۛ أَن تَقُولُوا۟ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَـٰذَا غَـٰفِلِينَ

When your Lord took out all their descendants from the loins of the children of Adam and made them testify against themselves ‘Am I not your Lord?’ they said, ‘We testify that indeed You are!’ Lest you say on the Day of Rising, ‘We knew nothing of this.’ (7:172)

Some commentators place this event immediately after Adam’s creation, others place it before or after his descent from Jannah to Earth, but most recognise it as occurring before – being a contradiction in terms – the creation of time.  

If we take the latter view, the most widely recognised, then we can say that the genesis of the human being, the first moment of his existence, individual and collective, is a timeless event of recognition of Reality. This, in turn, leaves a mark on each individual, like a watermark on a blank sheet of paper, no matter what we write on it and how much we cover it, it will still be there. We could consider this as the foundation of the fitra.

This fitra, or this mark that we bear, is not something that happened in the distant past, that we cannot remember. This is the argument of those who cover up their own reality, the kuffar. It is also one of their main confusions. The Day of Alastu is each of our days. It is a covenant that is renewed every moment.

In every moment of our lives we have the capacity to witness this covenant. This is what frees us from all illusions, our own and others, and allows us to contemplate and be a reflection of Reality. This is what frees our action from theories, personal goals and passions.

This is the foundation on which we meet with other human beings and on which our personal and civic project must be based.

[1] The ayat of this document are quoted from The Noble Qur’an: A New Rendering of Its Meaning in English by Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley, 2011

[2] Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth, 1950

[3] Annotated translation of the Noble Qur’an in the Spanish Language by Abdel-Ghani Melara Navío, Madina al-Munawwara, p. 405.

[4] Ian Dallas, The Interim Is Mine, 2010, p. 19

[5] Ibid. p. 12

[6] Ian Dallas, The Time of the Bedouin, 2006, p. 13

[7] Ian Dallas, The Interim Is Mine, 2010, p. 18

[8] Ian Dallas, The Time of the Bedouin, 2006, p. 58

[9] Ibid. p. 105-106

[10] Ibid. p. 115-116

[11] Ibid. p. 61

[12] Ibid. p. 238

[13] Ibid. p. 242-243

[14] Ibid. p. 229-230

[15] Ian Dallas, The Interim Is Mine, 2010, p. 136

[16] Ian Dallas, The Time of the Bedouin, 2006, p. 276

[17] Ibid. p. 272-273

[18] Ian Dallas, The Interim Is Mine, 2010, p. 21

[19] Ibid. p. 21-22

[20] Ibid. p. 127-128

[21] Ian Dallas, The Engines of the Broken World, 2012, p. 41

[22] Ibid. p. 31

[23] Ibid. p. 35

[24] Ibid. p. 144

[25] Ibid. p. 161

[26] Ibid. p. 162

[27] Ibid. p. 166

[28] Ian Dallas, The Entire City, 2015, Introduction

[29] Ibid. p. 7

[30] Ibid. p. 95-96

[31] Ibid. p. 133-134

[32] Ibid. p. 238

[33] Ibid. p. 233

[34] Ibid. p. 302-303

[35] D. H. Lawrence, Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious, 2004, p. 15

[36] Ian Dallas, The Entire City, 2015, p. 305

[37] Ibid. p. 307

[38] Ibid. p. 307

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