Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Spirituality in Islam
God-oriented life begins with the discovery of God. When individuals, whether men or women, discover God, it means that they have found the truth. And this truth pervades their whole being. This feeling of having discovered the truth becomes such a thrilling experience that it fills them with an everlasting conviction. This everlasting conviction removes all frustrations from their lives. Therefore, losses are no longer such for in spite of them, they never lose the feeling that their greatest asset, i.e. God, is still with them.
Man experiences this realization by pondering upon God’s creations. The truth is that the present universe is an expression of God’s attributes. In this respect, the present universe is a complete introduction to God. God is visible in His creations, just as a human being sees his own reflection in the mirror, without having any doubts about it.
The vastness of space tells man that God, its Creator, is boundless. The observation of the sun and the stars shows us that God is all light. The heights of the mountains show us the greatness of God. The waves of the sea and the flow of the river tell us that God is a storehouse of boundless blessings. We see God’s bounties in the greenery of the trees. Man’s existence becomes a proof of God’s existence. In the waft of air man experiences a Divine Touch. In the chirping of the birds, he hears God’s songs.
God is a spiritual focus for man. One whose heart is attached to God undergoes spiritual experiences at every moment. Belief in God becomes a source of spiritual development for him. Filled with the love of God, he does not need anything further. God becomes a vast ocean for him to continue to swim in without ever experiencing any limit. In the form of spiritual awakening, he receives such great wealth that he does not feel any need for anything else.
For one who discovers God, the entire universe becomes an open book of God for him. Every leaf of a tree becomes a page of the Divine Book. When he sees the sun, he feels as if God is lighting His heavenly torch so that he may read His book clearly. The Universe becomes, as it were, a supernal university and he its student.
Finding God is to find his centre of love. Man by birth is a seeker of a Supreme Being Who is far above him, Who is free from all limitations and Who may form the centre of his feelings, in short, a Being after finding Whom the grown man becomes as satisfied as a child after being held in the embrace of his mother.
This discovery of God saves one from regarding something other than God as God and mistakenly and unrealistically thinking it to be the answer to the urge inherent in his nature. The discovery of God is to fulfill his or her real urge to find God. And the failure to discover God means failing to find that which is man’s greatest need.
One who fails to find God is compelled by his natural urge to give the place of God to something other than God. This place is sometimes accorded to a certain human being, sometimes to a certain animal, sometimes to a phenomenon of nature, sometimes to a certain material power, sometimes to a certain supposed concept and sometimes just to the self.
Even if one fails to discover God, or he becomes a denier of God, it is not in his or her power to stifle the urge in his nature to find God. That is why those men and women who have not found God inevitably come to hold something other than God as God. And this supposed god is always some creature or the other of God.
By nature, it is possible for man not to accept the real God as God, but it is not possible for anyone to save himself or herself from granting the status of divinity to something other than God.
Making God one’s object of worship raises man’s position. On the contrary, regarding something other than God as God amounts to descending from the level of humanity.
God is therefore indispensable to man. His life is incomplete without God. A philosopher has aptly remarked that had there been no God, we would have had to invent one. Fortunately, God exists in reality. We can believe in God with conviction, not as a supposition, but as a fact. And we can accord Him the place He deserves in our lives.
God-oriented life for man thus starts by his remembering 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.