Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Quranic Wisdom
The Quran advocates the culture of spirituality. Quranic spirituality has nothing mysterious about it. It is a well-known discipline. It is only an alternative name for intellectual development. The formula for Quranic spirituality is expressed thus in a Quranic chapter:
Become men of God. (3:79)
Becoming a man of God means adopting a God-oriented life. The God-oriented way of life is a complete way of life. It calls for the use of all human faculties. It means God-oriented thinking, God-oriented speech, God-oriented behaviour, God-oriented morality, etc.
The God-oriented life is another term for the spiritual life. In this verse, the Quran uses the word ‘al-rabbani’. It means a spiritual person or a rab-oriented person. In fact, Islam is a religion of spirituality. It is a discipline that can be explained in terms of reason. Islamic spirituality is based on thinking.
Islamic spirituality is based on contemplation rather than meditation. It is mind-based rather than heart-based: it arises from the awakening of the intellectual faculty. When you think about the truth and you discover it, then you become a spiritual person.
When you ponder over the world around you, when your thinking goes beyond your immediate surroundings; you discover the truth that is beyond you, beyond time and space. You become conscious of yourself as well as your Creator. This is the beginning of the spiritual process in your personality and this process will continue to evolve.
Islamic spirituality is, in essence, God-centered and not self-centered. When you discover your Creator, you instantly establish communication between yourself and your Creator. It is like establishing a connection between the electric bulb in your room and the powerhouse situated outside your room. Just as the electric connection illuminates your room, so also does the divine connection illuminate your whole personality. Then you become a ‘rabanni’, or a man of God.
The formula for Quranic spirituality is quite simple—simple living and high thinking. Simple living prevents you from succumbing to distractions, thus allowing you to find more time to engage your mind in meaningful arenas. Simple living and high thinking are interdependent. Simple living gives you more time for high thinking, and high thinking makes you a man capable of simple living.
Spirituality is the essence of divine life; spirituality leads to a life where there is no tension, no negative thought. In other words, spirituality makes us positive human beings.