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Islam and Spiritualism

The Heart and Religion Are Two Human Domains
Jan-e-Alam Khaki
The Heart and Religion Are Two Human Domains
Jan-e-Alam Khaki

THE ‘heart’ and religion are two human domains that accommodate each other well. It thus may not be wrong to say that the heart is the ‘heart’ of religion. The heart is seen as the repository of human emotions, and emotions relate to religion in a very personal and profound way. Some use these emotions more powerfully to delve deep into the oceans of meanings, using them to generate knowledge and gnosis, while many others float on the surface restricting the meanings to only the literal domain.

Islam came to set all our relationships right. This includes our relations with Allah as well as with other human beings. Today, unfortunately, these teachings can mostly be found in Muslim societies in their violation. The best we do today is reciprocate; more commonly we backbite, cheat, and hurt our relatives and continue the spiral of hurt and humiliation as they respond. And we just abandon those of our relatives who are economically unfortunate. There are three reasons for this sad situation....

 

The best among all people, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is sinless, repented to Allah more than 70 times a day. Hence we should be hasty to genuinely seek repentance and forgiveness for all our mistakes, misdeeds and sins that are committed overtly or covertly. Today, with the dominance of technology, some or a few of us can commit mistakes intentionally or otherwise....

 

Through centuries the heart-breaking events of Karbala are remembered every Muharram. Imam Hussain’s values of justice, truth, courage and sincerity to God are commemorated. Throughout Muharram and particularly in the first 10 days, Muslims have religious gatherings at homes and in public spaces to remember the story of Karbala. Elegies are recited where listeners are moved to tears.... 

 

Days before his murder, Alauddin recorded a video of himself reciting the passage from the Quran known as An-Naba. Its 40 verses capture the wonders of the earthly world, but they also describe how all of Allah’s creations will be accountable for their transgressions in life after their death....

 

Zulhijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Literally, it means ‘hajj.’ Obviously, this name of the month indicates that the great annual worship of ‘hajj’ is performed in this month, which gives it special significance. The 9th day of Zulhijjah is called ‘Youm-ul- Arafah’ (The Day of ‘Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Haji pilgrims, plural of Haajj) assemble on the plain of ‘Arafat, six miles away from Makkah al-Mukarramah, where they perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of hajj, namely, the ‘Wuqoof of’Arafat...

The Quran asks us to see signs of God’s Qualities in the book of nature, and it’s worth contemplating the spider a little further in order to get a better perspective on patience. Web-weaving spiders patiently wait for their prey to come to them – they are receptive in a deadly way. Females are generally the most prolific web-weavers, and are also more deadly than the male. Interesting to note, too, that like patience itself, spiders are often something we would prefer to overlook.....

 

The notorious “sex education” and “family welfare education” schemes are just one example of this effort. The NGO’s (Which are in fact FGO’s or Foreign Government Organisations), the international “aid agencies”, and the UN have been working feverishly to introduce all the wrongs in the name of “rights”. Together they act as one big Commission for the Elimination of All Forms of Haya and Morality from the World....

 

The hearts of those who have never known truthfulness, humbleness, generosity, compassion or struggles in the way of God are what are referred to spiritually dead hearts. When the heart becomes pure, serene and sound, it is able to hear the call of God, the call of the Prophets, Sufis and sages....

Related Article:

 'Only In the Remembrance of God Is the Solace of Hearts' (Quran13:28)


Who dare rebel against God when He appears before one? Everyone will submit to Him then. But the only creditable submission to God is that which comes before He makes Himself manifest. Those who do wrong will bow to God when He reveals Himself before them. But a sincere person bows to Him while He is still invisible....

 

A final thing you should know about Muslims who do get radicalised (literally no more than 0.01 percent of us) – they tend to know little or nothing about the faith (as above) and would just as easily leave the faith (also as above). These are highly unstable individuals who are very easily manipulated and find some emotional crutch for being the ‘toughest kid on the block’. I have had the unpleasant experience of debating some of this lot....

 

Ever wonder if your heart gets filled with so much kindness and compassion, then how could the Most Kind and the Most Compassionate allows it happen? After all God is All-Powerful and certainly can prevent it if He wanted to. Does He want to punish someone’s sins? If so, why do the rest of us have to suffer? Moreover why can’t He wait till the Day of Judgment to serve justice?...

If the Book is studied and its meanings are pondered upon in an authentic quest for truth, all the veils of darkness shall be lifted from our heart, and the inner self – the soul – will get illuminated by the light of true faith.  Note that faith is not something that can be planted in us from the outside. It is an embodiment of fundamental truths that already exist inside us; the practice of pondering over the ayahs of the Qur’an serves to bring them to the surface of our consciousness....

 

It should be borne in mind that just as rewards are multiplied in a holy month, punishment is also increased if a sin is committed in a holy month. Respect the month of Ramazan because it is the month of Allah. In this month, Allah has ordered His servants to emulate His practice by abstaining from food and drink. Allah has given you eleven months in which you can eat, drink, and indulge in other Halal pleasures. He has set aside just one month for Himself in which He has ordered you to abstain from food, drink, and other Halal pleasures.....

 

If one attends to Ramadan in letter and spirit (fasts as Ghazzali would define its highest degree, goes in seclusion, seeks/accesses Lailat ul Qadr or opens his heart to the saving Word or the Quran) one has virtually completed important stations in Tariqah and one is saved. What a reward! It is a love letter written from a waiting God that few can truly read and respond to. One wishes such letters were written too frequently and not just once in a year....

 

Ali bin Abi Thalib, a cousin and son-in-law close to the Prophet Muhammad, once said that those who are not your brother/sister in religion are brothers/sisters in humanity. Now we can say that those who are your brothers/sisters in humanity are brothers/sisters in carrying out the core mandate of all religions.  Fasting during Ramadhan has improved our ability to keep a safe distance from various physical pleasures, and sharpen our spiritual eye, so that we can be more critical in carrying out our faith and hold steady onto our values of humanity.....

There are groups of people who fall in the category of the exalted. These groups shall be blessed with Allah (SwT)’s mercy and shall be immensely rewarded. Those who fast fall in this category, as ordained: ‘’Muslim men and Muslim women, believing men and believing women, obedient men and obedient women, truthful men and truthful women, patient men and patient women, humble men and humble women, ....

What Ramadan Teaches Me Every Year!
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
What Ramadan Teaches Me Every Year!
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

Religious fasting traditions- from Ramadan to Ekadasi to Yom Kippur and Lent -are meant to relieve believers from many avoidable mundane compulsions, helping them replenish their spirituality, remember the poor, give up bad habits, make amends for moral deficiencies and get closer to their faith. The most prominent among these spiritual fasting customs is Ramadan. Islam does not have a tradition of monasticism. Instead observant Muslims become ascetics during Ramadan every year. For them it is a month of sacred abstemiousness….

 

The importance of good behaviour is not only limited to when dealing among Muslims. The following verse is a guide I keep in mind during my interfaith work with everyone, though this particular passage pertains to dialogue with Jews and Christians.

And do not argue with the People of the Book except in the best manner, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which has been revealed unto us, and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we (peacefully) submit....

Charity beyond Mere Economics
Sheesha He, New Age Islam

And charity doesn’t have to stop at human beings. We can be charitable to other forms or species of life too. Giving a biscuit to a hungry dog, watering a thirsty plant or picking up an insect on a path so that no one stamps it are some ways for us to be charitable. Deciding to eat a little less for one day a week or consciously reducing our electricity consumption can be an act of charity towards the Earth by consuming less of its bounties....

There is a manifest Mizan (balance) between the heavens and earth. The proportions, dimensions and sizes of physical objects lead us to wonder about the hand of the merciful and compassionate Maker. None of the heavenly objects — be it the sun, moon, planetary system and beyond, the luminous galaxies — can escape this inherent cosmological conformity and order. The prevalence of the cosmic order is nothing but the expression of divine mercy.....

 

Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibadat when he seeks Halal income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family. However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibadat, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibadat — worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah....

Islam perceives every Muslim to be a corporal for the cause so that the regular army is small. Quranic scholars consider that the main idea behind fasting and prohibitions was to instil self-discipline along with acquiring and revival of martial skills. Therefore, a refresher time for military exercises was entailed upon them once a year. This was also mandated an Ibadat — the real meaning of which is to go ahead according to the guidebook (Quran). “Fasting men and fasting women, God has prepared forgiveness and a splendid wage for you”....

In Ramzan, man becomes closer to God by controlling his actions in all aspects and takes special care of his intentions. In other words, he focuses more on the latent side of his deeds by linking each of his thought with God. He does not eat because, in fasting, he is not permitted to eat before Iftari. He does not quench his thirst despite having water in front of him. He controls his anger and takes extra caution in his social conduct just for the sake of Allah. Moreover, he reduces his sleep timing and stands in front of his Lord in night....

 

Muslims need to demonstrate through observance of ‘Roza’ (in its totality), Islam’s relevance in today’s world. Let us make clear once and for all that any type of violence has no place in Islam. One of the greatest advantages of observing the month of fasting is that its true observance inculcates in a person the habit of speaking the truth, remaining patient, practising the concept of hospitality and neighbourhood and give charity to the needy....

 


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