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Islam and Spiritualism

Fasting is a unique moral and spiritual characteristic of Islam. Fasting means abstaining completely from foods, drinks, intercourse and smoking from dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year Muslims believe that during this month the gates of hell close — meaning the devil is unable to tempt them during a month of discipline, charity and self-control….

Blessings of the Night of Mid-Sha`ban (Laylat al-Bara’at)
Shab-e-Baraat
Blessings of the Night of Mid-Sha`ban (Laylat al-Bara’at)
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

To sum up, the virtues of this blessed night are established by ahadith and a group of the salaf (سلف "predecessor") is an early Muslim of the first three generations of proponents of the religion. It is highly recommended to stay up on it, and the opinion declaring it Bida’h (innovation) is a "Reprehensible" (munkar) opinion. Usually the Wahhabi/ Salafi/ Ahle hadith sect is seen claiming that all hadiths mentioned above are “Daeef” (Weak). First of all, the hadith of Ibn Habban is termed as "SAHIH" by classical scholars. Even now if someone following such groups does not believe in classical scholars then here is a proof from Salafi [Wahhabi] so called Mujaddid of the last century and a reputed scholar Nasir ud Din Albani who declared Hadiths of 15th Shabaan as authentic [Sahih]. See: (Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat ul-Ahadith-as Sahiha, Volume No. 3, Page No. 135)...

A lot of debate has taken place on whether Prophet (SAW) travelled to the Heavens spiritually or physically. And in this context the great Islamic Scholar, Maulana Maududi (RA) in his Tafheem-ul-Quran explains in simple terms that the journey was not spiritual (or a dream) but a physical one. He explains on the basis of the reference of the following verses of the Holy Quran that the journey was not spiritual but of physical nature.  Allah says in the Holy Quran,  “Glorified be He Who Carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Only He is the Hearer, the Seer.”   (Bani Israel, V, 1)...

O you who believe! Observing the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious) (Al-Baqarah 2: 183) Fasting is an act of worship and obedience to God. It humbles the human heart and makes conscience of God’s presence. Fasting also helps us to control our basic human desires such as thirst and hunger. The fasting person feel pangs of hunger during the fasting day and can empathize with the less fortunate who feel similar pangs due to poverty as a part of daily life. Breaking of the fast each day is also a great joy and mercy from God....

The Believer Must Also Be a Traveller
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The Believer Must Also Be a Traveller
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The believer, according to the Quran, must be a traveller (al-saihoon) (9:112). This is not just in the sense of one who goes on journeys: it actually means one who learns spiritual lessons through tawassum (15:75). Tawassum means to elicit spiritual lessons from material experiences. A believer is one who is always in a state of contemplation. When a believer is on his travels, his mind is always in the contemplative mode. ...

WHILE Islam stresses on strengthening the connectivity with the Creator through worship, it also provides valuable ethical ideals to bond humanity. A large portion of the Holy Quran and teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) engage with social issues and human responsibilities. The ethical dimension of Islam portrays an individual, who is socially active and morally responsible, striving for the betterment of society....

The Garden of Truth
Sadia Dehlvi
The Garden of Truth
Sadia Dehlvi

The decay in the human condition has made us forgetful beings, not knowing who we are and what our purpose in life is. Prophet Mohammad said, “Whoever knows himself, knows His Lord.” Based on this Hadith, Sufism teaches that self-knowledge leads to the knowledge of the Divine. The Sufi path provides the light necessary to illuminate the dark corners of our souls and facilitates the journey within.....

 
Characteristics of the Station of Awakening
Yasmin Mogahed
Characteristics of the Station of Awakening
Yasmin Mogahed

You become empowered, fully awake, fully alive, fully aware for the very first time. It is an unexplainable feeling. This is the spiritual high that comes with newly discovered Truth. A convert to Islam knows this feeling. A born Muslim who comes back to the Deen knows this feeling. Any human being, who lives their life away from God, and returns, knows this feeling. When a person first converts or starts coming back to Allah they are often full of motivation and energy that others do not have....

When Prophet Muhammad started to go through this process, to look for truth in fact, he got an answer once he reached 40 years of age which was the first revelation. The first revelation tells him: {Read in the name of God who created you…} (Al-Alaq 96:1) This is the very meaning of the whole mission, spirituality means to give meaning to life, in fact, to say “God” is to say “my life has a meaning;” that I belong to Him and will go back to Him. …

Meaning Of Love of God
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Meaning Of Love of God
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Love means strong affection. Love is a natural phenomenon; an elevated kind of positive response towards someone you feel is loveable. Love cannot be created in a vacuum; it requires a strong base of affection. Love of God is this same kind of strong affection. The basis of this love is quite natural when one discovers that one was created by God and that it was God who has given us human beings such bounties as planet earth, the life-support system, oxygen, water and food, for instance. ...

Mystical Prayer: Opening a Door to Silence and Love
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Mystical Prayer: Opening a Door to Silence and Love
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

However, the tradition of mystical prayer is another way to access the peace that belongs to our soul. It is born from a need to rediscover our heart's relationship with the divine, our own personal and most intimate inner connection. Mystical prayer is a place of deepening love, as well as silence and peace. My own journey in mystical prayer took place within the Sufi tradition, which describes our relationship to God as that of lover and Beloved. On this path of the heart, I was drawn back to the Beloved through the mystery of love, a love affair that takes place within the heart. ...

Some Muslim jurists even proclaimed that the ruler was sanctioned to kill two third of the people to protect his rule. Such fatwa rulings could only be termed ethical, political and judicial deviations, he said. He said Islamic leaders who emerged after the uprisings could help the Umma solve its centuries-old problems if they followed the correct Islamic course and returned to the true understanding of Islam. ... The Mutaezla (Islamic school) depended excessively on reason while other schools went far in belittling its role….

On one occasion his mother forgot to place the sugar next to Fareed's prayer mat; when she realized this, she prayed to God for help. According to the legend, when Fareed completed his prayers, there was a pot of sugar next to him. This is the popular explanation for the name of Shakarganj. 'Shakar' means sugar in Punjabi whereas 'ganj' is a Persian word that means treasure….

 

Two things are clear: many religious teachings are beneficial to humans – and there are a great many atheists who deny this truth. While religion has been in steady decline since the early 20th century, particularly in the West, it still plays a prominent part in many countries and will do so for a long time. So instead of completely rejecting it, we need to work with it and, more importantly, redefine it…..

 

Motivating Your Child
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari
Motivating Your Child
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari

Motivation and theory is very important in academic research and organisational performance. What motivates some to altruistically serve others with time, energy and hard-earned money? What is it that motivates people in their actions; is it an urge for personal fulfilment, a desire for fame or just benevolence to others? Does this urge come from one’s human instinct, sympathy for others, patriotic fervour, ideological commitment, religious zeal or spiritual solace?...

 

This stands in stark contrast to more thoughtful accounts of the veil. Leila Ahmad, for example, in A Quiet Revolution, documents the role of the hijab as a tool for women engaged in Islamist social justice movements to assert their power in contexts as diverse as the United States and Egypt. Saba Mehmood, in Politics of Piety, also describes that among Egyptian women, the hijab is both a symbol of traditional piety and lends its wearer broad political agency. Yet, these stories find no space within the Orientalist frame.

This is in fact the Islamic view of al-Qadar, or predestination. There is no doubt that Allah has decreed everything that happens in the universe from the beginning of time to the end, and that Allah has written it all in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz (the Book of Decrees). “Know you not that Allah knows all that is in the heaven and on the earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooz). Verily, that is easy for Allah” (Quran, al-Hajj 22:70)…

The Islamic Concept of God
Nezar Hamze is Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations - South Florida
The Islamic Concept of God
Nezar Hamze

In the 112th chapter of the Quran, Surah Al-Iklhas, God explains to humanity how to believe in him. This chapter is so important that some narrations of the Prophet Mohammed say, if the Quran were to be divided into three sections, the meaning of Surah Al-Iklhas would represent 1/3 of the overall content of the Quran. The Meaning of Surah Al-Ikhlas Say, Allah is ahad (unique/one). Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like unto Him. …

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, The Dervish And   a Dacoit
Sadia Dehlvi is author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam
Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, The Dervish And a Dacoit
Sadia Dehlvi

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani. A direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad, he is universally acclaimed as the Master of all Masters, and called Pir Dastgir and Ghaus-ul-Azam for his ecstatic utterance, “My foot is on the neck of every Sufi,” which established his rank as the foremost amongst all Sufis. . Countless miracles attributed to Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani include the crushing of mountains, drying of oceans and raising the dead to life. …

DREAMS are a fascinating experience of daily life. Psychologists, in trying to understand the symbolism and meaning of dreams, have come up with various theories. During sleep the soul is supposed to leave the body temporarily and roam around in different spheres. Its experiences are seen and felt by the body in the shape of dreams, which sometimes convey information from the unknown. The more elevated the soul, the higher its sphere of spiritual experience. …

One has to keep one’s mind and thoughts towards Allah to earn His blessings. Similarly, Islam encourages us to maintain happy relationships with other fellow beings. It urges civility, humility, tolerance and straight dealing with fellow beings. These values subordinate the self and emphasise the others, and are essential for cordial and peaceful coexistence in society. Islam is a religion of peace which can only be realised when an individual has happy relations with others. …

 

Ask any preacher or priest, one who makes religion his day and night preoccupation, whether he loves God, and his instant reply followed by a frown will be, “why, of course, I do!” It is all very easy to say that we love God with all our heart and all our soul, but as I asked earlier, what is the measure of your love? What proof can we give, not to other people, but most vitally to our own persons, that we love God? …

Contemporary Muslims are in Need of Spirituality
Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University
Contemporary Muslims are in Need of Spirituality
Tariq Ramadan

As far as Islam is concerned, it must be noted that Arab and Muslim majority societies are seriously lacking in spirituality. There is not a deficit of “religion” but of spiritual life. It can be encountered among Islamists, as well as among secularists and ordinary citizens. There is a need to rediscover and reclaim the spirituality that permeates Eastern cultures, and that lies at the heart of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions….

God: Just a Call Away
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, an Islamic Scholar
God: Just a Call Away
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Suddenly a thought came to my mind. God Almighty is also just a call away from every man and woman. There is a relevant verse in the Quran: "When anyone asks you about Me, say that I am near. I respond to the call of one who calls, whenever he calls to Me." (2:186) It is a source of great hope for everyone that God is with us. There is no distance between man and God. …

I believe timelessness of his message can only be found by going beyond the perfunctory review of his teachings. Only then we discover his true legacy that is his revolutionary spirit, his courage to challenge the status quo, his audacity to question the traditions, which were unjust, inhumane and exploitative of the weak. This is the essence of his message that will live forever, that will be applicable in all times to come….

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