The Star of BethlehemQuestion: What was the Star of Bethlehem that led the Magi from the East to Jesus pbuh?
1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
Answer from Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن: The incandescent enlightening stars in the sky are few when compared to the other celestial bodies [kawkab lit. planets]. And the stars and the planets (which reflect their light) are small when compared to the vast space in which they swim. Each body has an effect within space, and perhaps its effect is great; thus some of the bodies located within the limits of its effect are compelled to orbit it as if they have submitted to it. Thus we find stars orbiting other stars, and planets orbiting stars, and moons orbiting planets, and large collections of dust and planets and stars and many solar systems orbiting a very large mass creating what is similar to a hole in the universe, called the black hole.
This physical universe that we can see is a word from the words of God. We can deafen our ears so we don’t hear it, or we can choose to hear it, and understand from it that the prophets and those who place themselves in service to their Lord are few, like the scarcity of the [incandescent] stars. Or we understand from it that there are successors of God who follow other successors of God—we find Aaron following Moses pbut and we find Ali following Muhammad pbuhap.
There are also suns that orbit suns, and sincere believers who follow prophets, just as the planets orbit suns. And we can understand that the effect of the human being on the world and the people is of an amount equal to his work and sincerity to God, just as the effect of the celestial bodies in the universe is of an amount equal to the energy they radiate or reflect. And we can understand that if the human being becomes sincere to God, he almost becomes light which is incandescent by itself, just as the suns are almost incandescent by themselves, meaning that he almost becomes light with no darkness in it, because he was created upon the image of God. (“God has created Adam upon His image”) [Al-Kafi, volume 1, page 134. Tawheed by Al-Sadooq page 103] (“So God created the human being upon His image, upon the image of God He created him”) (Genesis 1:27).
We see that a very large number of bodies orbit a very deep hole in their center called the black hole. Even though it does not stop devouring whatever falls into its mouth, these bodies do not stop orbiting it, as if they are passionate about their destruction, as if they want to devour it. They imagine that they are encompassing it and that it is falling into their mouth, precisely as we all orbit this world and imagine we are devouring it, while we live in it, passionate about it; while it devours us one after the other, sparing nothing from us. For the bodies are ground by worms and time, and nothing remains of the spirits which fall into the hole of this temporal world except the dark monster with no light within it. Only a few of us choose to stay far from the hole in order to escape the gravity of this temporal world with enlightening spirits and not fall into its dark hole, just as only a few of the bodies orbit far from the black hole. As I have said to you, the cosmos is a word of God, and therefore we can continue to hear from it until we fill books from what this word is saying.
Thus, if you have heard this word, perhaps I do not need to tell you which star those who came to Jesus pbuh had seen, because surely, you will understand that they were hearing the words of God, so they saw the star in their night visions. God guided them through visions to the fact that there had been a light and a blessed star that descended in the Holy Land, who is Jesus pbuh. And you will understand that they saw by their eyes the sky and its stars, guiding them to the direction in which the blessed star pbuh descended. They were hearing the words of God very well, which is why they saw this star in everything, and everything was guiding them towards this blessed star, Jesus pbuh.
You too can hear God in everything, in His words in the sky, in the stars, in all the events which you encounter daily, even in your depths you can hear God, because you are a human being, and the human being is the greatest word of God.
And may the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.
Ahmad Al Hassan