Qidam and Judeo-Christian views

Salaam to Shakir and Salaam to Everyone

It is of paramount importance to cognize that life is ancient! That term ancient in terminologies of Muslims and Sufis called Qidam or Qadim, one of the Divine Names and Attributes of Allah. In language of modern English we coin Qidam as Infinite-Past or Deep-Past.

Fundamentalists of Judeo-Christians view the time within the range of the Jewish calendar of about 7,000 years.

The most significant discovery of Darwin was the age of life: ranges in 100s of millions to even billions of years!

The fundamentalist Christians of his time could not accept Darwin’s theories and discoveries about life, due to their dogmatic view of Jewish calendar being about 7,000 years old. To them accepting Darwin’s theory and scientific evidence meant God was wrong. We hear that today from Right-wing Christians in USA and still amongst some Jews.

The most important pillar of Sufi metaphysics is that life is from infinite past! Humans originated from infinite past.

There are two ways of understanding scriptures:

  1. Interpretation: Scripture interprets the cosmos and life, the believers read the words of scriptures and try to match their meanings to the surrounding world and life. This leads to what we now know as Dark Ages which cloaked Europe for centuries.
  2. Ishara (Pointing): The cosmos and life interpret the words of scripture! The reversal is the enlightenment which Interpretation falls short providing.

I might add to the above that Interpretation without placing limits for the words in scriptures occludes the light and hence the dark times that befall the believers. Interpretation used in moderation is just fine, but limiting.

Therefore the most correct way I know of reading scripture e.g. Qur’an, per Qur’an’s own guidelines, is to use the cosmos and life within us to interpret the Divine Words:

41:53 In time We (Allah) shall make them fully understand Our Signs in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within their own ­Selves, so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. [Still,] is it not enough [for them to know] that thy Sustainer is witness unto everything?

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

Therefore let’s make Ishara i.e. use the cosmos and what we know of the life to point at the scripture’s words:

Given the life-time of radioactive Carbon and given the molecular commonality of genomes we can point at the words in scriptures that life is infinitely old, Human is from deep infinite past.


Equipped with the latter understanding we can now cognize the concept of Qidam i.e. the infinite past and history of Humanity in that infinite range of time or timeless-ness.

The latter is a fundamental area of research and understanding amongst the Sufis.