This website, and the essays herein, are about mystical realities that are hidden in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), the New Testament, and the Qur’an.
There are very many connections between the Bible and the Qur’an. We have the same God, who inspired (in the case of the Bible) or gave us directly (in the case of the Qur’an) our Sacred Scriptures.
And many of these connections are mystical. Some are clear, and some are exquisitely subtle: they are delicate tapestry threads, or massive veins of pure ore hidden within the mountains that run through the Sacred Texts of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
A bit about me:
As an adult I became interested in the Bible, and in all true religions, and spirituality. I was a Catholic monk for 6 years, which I loved, and was fortunate to be sent to Italy for studies. But when my first, temporary vows ended, I felt I was being called by God, Allah, to a more active life. I told God not to bother me, and that I liked being a monk. God won.
I came back to the states, and became an inner-city schoolteacher in New York City. It was the best job ever, except for that I got no writing done. After 5 years there, I came to California (mostly Berkeley) to write.
Before I became a monk, I felt a strong attraction to the Psalms of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). The New Testament has many references to the Psalms, and Jesus (Isa) had them memorized. The Qur’an also speaks of the Zabur of Dawood (the Psalms of David) three times, and there are many connections between the Psalms and the Qur’an. Besides the obvious references, the more subtle Quranic references to the Psalms number in the thousands, or more.
There are 150 Psalms.
They form a book.
There are many authors of the Psalms, which were written in various places through multiple centuries. (David is the fabled author of the Psalms, but in actuality he probably wrote none of them. We don’t even know if David actually existed. However, the character of David is of immense importance to the storyline of the Psalms, and to the entire Bible and Qur’an, as we shall see.)
Usually, nobody would read a songbook from cover to cover, looking for a plot. Instead, we might choose a few songs, and sing them in a liturgy, gathering, or music practice.
But like amazing postmodern art, the disparate Psalms come together to form an ordered whole, a book. This Book of Psalms has many qualities and features, once one learns to see the hidden treasures within it. Perhaps Luke’s Gospel is the first time that the Psalms are called “The Book of Psalms” (see Luke 20:42).
Here’s a shocker that I discovered when I was a monk: There are mystical structures hidden in the Book of Psalms. There is a Ladder with 12 steps, and with plural angels ascending and descending the Ladder in precise choreography. A mathematical formula hidden in the Psalms reveals the angelic flying and climbing.
There is a pair of interwoven 9-Branch menorahs, the Jewish Hanukkah candelabra, also hidden in the Psalms. It is interesting that the Arabic word “minaret,” which means “house of light,” and the Hebrew word “menorah,” are in the same language family, as Arabic and Hebrew are both Semitic languages. The center and the root of each word is LIGHT. Isn’t that beautiful?
These menorahs celebrate human family and the love between wife and husband. They also celebrate human community, and the one single global human family.
The Ladder celebrates the human person as the new temple of God, and the new dwelling place of the Spirit of God; this is related to the Jewish concept of the “Shekinah.”
The mystical Ladder hidden in the Book of Psalms has some topical relations to Jacob’s Ladder, of Genesis 28. The place where Jacob had this revelation, for which he was very happy, was in Jerusalem, where the old stone temple used to be.
Jesus (Isa) was at that very site many times, himself. The first time he was there was on the 8th day of his life, when the Holy Family was together in the temple. This is recounted in Luke 2, in a passage laden with mystical Realities.
And the vertical portion of the Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey, the famous Mi’raj, occurred at precisely this same location, at the rock where the Dome of the Rock is, so close to the wonderful al-Aqsa Mosque. The Prophet Muhammad ascended through 7 heavens during his fabulous voyage, and met great saints from the Bible, including Abraham, John the Baptist, and Jesus.
So Jacob’s vision of the Ladder, the teaching of Jesus in the temple, and the Prophet Muhammad’s famous Mi’raj journey all happened at precisely the same place!
Therefore, it is obvious to all that the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the earlier visits of Jacob, temple, and Jesus to the same place, are of central importance for inter-religious dialogue between the three great religions of Abraham. The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque are sacred for us all, and to be treasured by us all.
In a separate essay I shall present the actual pictures and diagrams of the mystical structures hidden in the Psalms.
The authors of the Hebrew Scriptures seem not to be aware of the presence of the Psalm Structures that exist within the Psalms. However, the authors of the New Testament have conscious knowledge of the Psalm Structures: The Beatitudes, the first public words of Jesus in the Scriptures, are a picture of the Mystical Menorahs. John 1:51, John 5:1-9, Revelation 22 (the final chapter of the Bible), Luke 2, and many other places speak of the Ladder. More Psalm Structures are hidden throughout the New Testament.
The Glorious Qur’an
And the Holy Qur’an is brimming over with knowledge of the hidden Psalm Structures.
And there are other relationships between the Qur’an and the Book of Psalms:
Surah 1 and Psalm 1
Surah 1 and Psalm 1 are both short and have many shared words and themes.
Here are some of them:
-Both discuss choices we are to make.
-Both discuss the good path, and the unhelpful path.
-Both discuss the Day of Judgment.
-Both discuss negative types of behavior that are good to avoid.
-Both make interesting use of the word “and.”
-The name of the Book of Psalms in Hebrew is Tehillim, which means, “the Praises”; and the second verse (Ayah) of Surah 1 of the Qur’an mentions “all praise is due to Allah/ God”; meanwhile,
-The word “Qur’an” means “the Recitation,” and the verb in Psalm 1 that we are encouraged to practice, “ve-higeh,” means to recite, murmur, repeat, ponder upon, and wrestle with.
-Therefore, the title of each Sacred Scripture, the “Qur’an” and the “Tehillim,” is mentioned, translated into another sacred language, in the first verses of the Other sacred text!
It is absolutely clear that Surah 1 and Psalm 1 are connected with each other. The Divine loves this sort of deep and meaningful wordplay and relationship between the sacred texts.
This powerful connection between Surah 1 and Psalm 1 gets our attention and makes us ask: Are there other connections between the Qur’an and the Psalms?
There are 114 Surahs, or chapters, in the Qur’an.
Each Surah has a parallel relationship with the Psalm of the same number.
Surah 1 has literary links with Psalm 1, Surah 2 with Psalm 2, Surah 3 with Psalm 3, all the way to Surah 114 and Psalm 114.
This is a huge discovery.
And there is much more.
Each Surah, or chapter, has verses, which are called an Ayah, or plural Ayat.
Surah 2 has the most Ayat, with 286 Ayat/ verses.
In the same way that the Surahs of the Qur’an have a direct parallel relationship with the Psalm of the same number, so do the Ayat of each Surah have a direct relationship with the Psalm of the same number!
Again, this is a shocking discovery.
Some of the connections are clear to see once one knows to look for them; others are more subtle.
In a forthcoming book and future essays I look forward to exploring these connections. For now, although it might seem premature, I’m letting people know about these profound and mystical connections between our sacred texts.
Because our religions should be great friends, not enemies.
The Mystical Ladder in the Qur’an
The Qur’an is overflowing with angels, ladders, and angels flying vertically, up and down, between heaven and earth. Some of the places that quite clearly, yet understatedly, refer to the Mystical Ladder of the Psalms are:
-Qur’an 6:35, fairly early in the Qur’an, has many connections to the Mystical Ladder of the Psalms:
“And if their turning away is hard on you, then if you can seek an opening (to go down) into the earth or a ladder (to ascend up) to heaven so that you should bring them a sign and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have gathered them all on guidance, therefore be not of the ignorant.” (emphasis added)
-6:8, 37, 44, 50, 84, 99, 111, 143, and 158 are all Ayat in Surah 6 that refer to the Mystical Psalms Ladder. It is interesting that Psalm Six is the first of the 25 Psalms that form the Ladder in the Book of Psalms, and here in the Qur’an we have a plethora of Mystical Ladder references.
-7:40 discusses the “doors of heaven.” When Jacob had a vision of the Ladder in Genesis 28, he called the Ladder the “door of heaven.”
-Likewise, 12:67 speaks of a “gate” and “gates,” and 15:14 has another strong reference to the “gateway of heaven,” again intentionally echoing Genesis 28.
-17:1 discusses the Mi’raj of the Prophet Muhammad, when he travelled on a winged steed from Mecca to the “Farthest Mosque,” which is al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. And at the same spot where Jacob had his vision of the Ladder, and where Jesus stood many times, the Prophet Muhammad ascended through 7 heavens.
-17:92-96 refer to the Ladder, and 17:106 describes the revelation of the Mystical Psalms Ladder over time, among other realities.
-Jumping over a great deal of Scripture, Ayah 25:25 has a powerful reference to the Ladder.
-43:33 and 34 have striking imagery that describes the Ladder.
The Qur’an has many more references to the Mystical Psalms Ladder.
The Interwoven Menorahs in the Qur’an
The Mystical Menorahs of the Psalm Structures are hidden in the Qur’an as well.
One of the texts that refers to the Lampstands is the stunningly beautiful “Verse of Light” of the Qur’an, 24:35.
There are many, many more connections between the Qur’an, the New Testament, and the Hebrew Scriptures.
The three religions of Abraham are meant, by God, to learn from each other, to teach each other, and to exist in harmony—and Love—with each other.
This is deduced from the now obvious fact that the three Scriptures of our three religions share THE SAME MYSTICAL STRUCTURES. God planned this. And humanity is only now discovering it, although some souls may have known about these Realities. God having planted this in our Scriptures, now we human beings are the ones who now need to live by this amazing Truth.
This sharing and learning with and from each other is not an accident; it is part of God’s plan. For us.
So let’s get to the Godly work of transforming our world into a peaceful and loving one.
© 2015 Richard Murray