Spirituality in Islam

What are Tafakkur and Tadabbur or Contemplation?

Man possesses a double personality. Therefore, two types of provision are to be constantly supplied for him to survive. One being physical provision, the other being spiritual provision. The centre of the acquisition of physical provision, according to the Qur’an, is this earth (14:32) and the centre of the acquisition of spiritual provision is the Being of God. That is why this provision is called ‘Lord’s sustenance’ (20:131) or ‘spiritual provision’ is, in actual fact, the result of a contact with the external source of sustenance – that is, God.

What is Spiritual Journey in Islam?

There is nothing mysterious about spirituality in Islam. It is rather the direct result of the kind of intellectual development that takes place when a believer ponders over the Creator and His creation: he gains something in the process that may be termed spirituality. The source, therefore, of Islamic spirituality is observation and reflection, rather than any sort of mysterious exercises.

It is difficult to describe the inner reality of spirituality in a chronological order; however, its method of attainment can be described to a certain extent. It is as follows:

How does Man Qualify for Paradise?

According to the Creation Plan of God, human beings are placed in situations where they have to face hardships from time to time at every moment throughout their lives as part of their test. Difficulty, sadness and unfulfilled desires are integral part of the creation plan of the Creator. This arrangement is to remind man of the fact that the present world has not been made as a place of luxury and comfort, but rather as a period of trial and as such as will help determine whether he is eligible or not for the eternal life in Paradise.

Islamic Spirituality & the Creation Plan of God

Man is an intellectual being. Being endowed with a mind – his greatest faculty – which is what differentiates him from inanimate things, plants and animals; true spirituality has to be able to address his mind. So, spirituality has to be based on contemplation or reflection or pondering – tafakkur and tadabbur as mentioned in the Quran – which has all to do with intellectual activity. Any kinds of spirituality attained at a level lesser than that of our minds is a reduced form of spirituality.