Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

According to the Quran, spirituality resides in the mind and is achieved at a purely intellectual level. The Quran uses several terms to express it: tawassum, tadabbur and tafakkur meaning drawing lessons through reflection, thinking, and contemplation.

All things around us, from a tiny blade of grass to the vast Milky Way, and from the trees, plants, and mountains to the sun, the moon, and the sky—all are silent reminders of the greatness of the Creator. Everything that exists on this planet or in the universe is an amazing artistic marvel extolling the magnificence and magnanimity of the great Creator.

Spirituality is the elevation of the human condition to a plane on which the mind is focused on the higher, non-material realities of a godly existence. Spirituality in Islam is an intellectual activity. Its quest is two-fold; one is to give serious thought to questions pertaining to their purpose of life such as, “Who am I?” What is this world around me? What is the creation plan of God for man as well as for the rest of the world? And two is to solve the riddle of why all men and women undergo negative experiences in this world and to offer positive solutions.

The inner transformation of mind and soul translates into outer spirituality blessed with peace and blissfulness. The spirituality of one who is spiritual on the inside will also reflect on the outside. Peace inside will radiate peace outside. Such a person will become more content, tolerant, and respectful towards others. Anger, jealousy, and negativity will be converted into a positive attitude that radiates forgiveness and compassion, and instead of thrusting his viewpoint on others, he will be more considerate and understanding. He will talk less and listen more. Instead of pointing out the faults in others, he will spend his time in introspection. His focus will be on his duties rather than on his rights. He will live as a harmless individual, contributing to society in positive and meaningful ways.

It is, therefore, the responsibility of every individual to uplift himself spiritually and realise the Creator. And then lead his life in accordance with God’s creation plan. The main reasons for them not doing so are their forgetfulness of the Hereafter and their obsession with worldly pursuits.

The inner transformation of mind and soul translates into outer spirituality blessed with peace and blissfulness. The spirituality of one who is spiritual on the inside will also reflect on the outside.

Then man lives his life in the remembrance of God. He begins to feel the presence of God. Everything serves to remind him of God. God’s remembrance is never absent from his heart and mind. His mornings and evenings are spent as if he is living in God’s neighbourhood. Just as rain replenishes the crops, so does he remain ever immersed in the remembrance of God.

The concept of God in Islam provides man with an ideology in which loss is turned to gain and in which adversity brings with it good tidings. And it is in submission to God and living a God-oriented life that man finds complete fulfillment and purpose of life.  When he discovers God and worships Him, when he remembers Him, when his mind is turned towards Him with full concentration, when he makes a request or a plea, he establishes contact with his Creator. In the words of the Hadith, at that particular moment, he comes to whisper with his Lord. He has the tangible feeling that he is pouring his heart out to God and that God in turn is answering his call.

This is the beginning of living a God-Oriented Life and the development of a positive personality. It is, therefore, in submission to God that man and the rest of the universe find its purpose. While the rest of the world submits to God compulsively, without having a choice; God desires that man should submit to Him of his own free will, without being compelled to do so. This is the test of man. When man submits to God and starts living a God-oriented life based on the principles of life laid down by his Creator, he starts developing his personality on positive lines and becomes a purified soul. It is souls such as these, who, in the life Hereafter, will inhabit paradise. Our most compassionate Lord will say:

            “O soul at peace, return to your Lord,
            well-pleased, well pleasing.
            Join My servants;
            Enter My Paradise.”

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