The term “Garden” is used or alluded to, in various chapters of the book “Ground Zero Mosque.” The following journal entry (from August 2009) provides the basis for such usage. Note that this entry is of a dark spiritual nature.
The Quran promises Paradise for those who believe in God. The word Paradise itself, if traced back to its Persian roots, refers to a “walled enclosure.” The same holds for the word Garden, which is another way of referring to Paradise. Garden, at its core, alludes to an “enclosure.” The Arabic word for ‘garden’ is Jannah, which again, also bears the connotation of enclosure and shelter.
Those who believe in God will enter the Enclosure, where they are protected from the terror of their existence and the evil of their selves. Belief in God keeps your mind off of who you really are, and sedates you with the serenity of the vegetation and the shade. But know O dweller of Paradise, that the shade is but a shade of darkness and the Enclosure, is the abode of darkness!
The Quran teaches that the garment of God-wariness is the best garment to wear. Clothes are the uniform of the Enclosure. You need your garments lest you see your nudity, lest the odor from your flesh spreads into your nostrils. Your garments protect you from seeing who you are. On the surface, your garments are your garnish, but at the root it is your “protection.” You wear your garments because you are wary, and the best of wariness is the wariness of God, such is the teaching of the Quran.
Your wariness of God (your taqwa) is your defense, and Paradise is your fortress. What are you afraid of O dweller of the Garden? What are you hiding from? What are you trying so hard not to see? Know O dweller of Paradise, that its shades are but a shade of darkness … and the Garden, is the abode of darkness. Why do you seek the darkness?
In Paradise you do not see, for in the dark our eyes become blind. You no longer have any faults or deficiencies, for the shades of trees block the light, you are now pure, pious and white. To see “you,” is to face horror and to taste the bitterness of terror. That is why there is no light in the Garden, but rather, the light is kept for the Fire!
The Fire is blazing and raging. Jahannam is hungry and insatiable. The Fire is the abode of those who do not believe in God. But know O blessed dweller, that it is the abode of Light. Only those with the courage to see their faults, to smell their stench, only those are honored with the caress of the Fire. There are no shades in the Fire! There is no hiding from your horror! To reject God is to deify you. One does not truly see God unless they see themselves clearly, and enter the Fire!
The flames make you flamboyant … the heat puts you in heat. Your desires erupt and eject … your lust oozes like lava. You see the flesh that makes you … the beast that you are. You smell the foulness of the rotten meat deep inside your dark self. For the blazing fire illuminates all, and eliminates none. There are no garments in the Fire! Only sheets of boiling tar, and chains to pin you down.
Look at you O blessed dweller of the Fire. This is who you are! Do not run, for there is no escape, but sit and meditate about your god … meditate about you. See how low you are, O dwelling god? You deified yourself, you are now a god, but look at you … nude and exposed … melting in the Fire.
You continue to descend in the depths of the Fire; the pressure is mounting and the burden increasing. The reality of yourself is unbearable … You are low and you continue to descend. Look where your mind has led you! You could not submit to God the way they submit, you had to think and doubt and infer that indeed God was your creation, which you made in your image. But look at your image! Look at it up close in the light of the Fire!
Your inference that God is your creation led you to the infernal depths of the Fire! Behold the inferno! But give glad tidings to the dweller of the Fire, for with the pressure of clarity … with the burden of creating god, you burn until you give birth. In the depths of the inferno, a new infant is born.
The stench of your flesh no longer exists, for it was burned to ashes. The lava of your lust no longer oozes, for it has hardened and formed a wall that protects you. Within the fertile ashes, seeds of wisdom give root and rise. In the lush of this new Paradise the infant grows; truly pure and sincerely pious. From the midst of rebellion and submitting to desires, was born a child, with innocent eyes looks up and sees … heavenly bodies.