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Islam and Spiritualism

In Madina, there was a group that was declared hypocrites or Munafiqun by the Quran. This group opposed and criticised the Holy Prophet in the wars of Uhad and Tabuk and were disobedient to him on several occasions. Although the Quran strongly condemned their activities, they were allowed to live in peace as part of the Muslim community. Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy was the leader of the hypocrites. On his death, the Prophet led his funeral prayer at the request of his son.....

Let’s Be Humble, We Come From Him
Sadia Dehlvi
Let’s Be Humble, We Come From Him
Sadia Dehlvi

The 13th century Sufi master Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani of Baghdad said, “All the doors of God are crowded except one, the door of humility and humbleness.” Moses once asked Allah, “Oh my Lord! Who is the most deserving of your wrath and displeasure?” He said, “It is one whose heart is filled with arrogance, tongue abusive, eyes lustful, hands miserly and whose character is doubtful.”...

 

The Book says Hajj is meant for the benefit of mankind. The planet earth as a whole was and is populated by mankind. To suggest that Makkah, the ‘city of peace’, ironically having been attacked often should be a center on the surface of the globe is to say the least insulting human intelligence and limiting the universality of the Creator.  2-177 dispels this fixation…

So let us begin with such questions as “Who am I?” and what is the difference between/hierarchical relationship believing and seeing, knowledge and gnosis, reason and intellect, soul and spirit, God and Godhead, theology and metaphysics, Shariah and Deen, Fiqhi Akber, Fiqhi Awsat and Fiqhi Asger, Quran-i-Takweeni (cosmic Quran), and Quran-i-Tadweeni (textual Quran), Sulooki Nubuwwat (prophetic way) and Suloooki Wilayat, (way of the saints), Islam and other religions at metaphysical and esoteric plane from other Semitic and Non-Semitic religions, religion and philosophy and religion and ideology.

 

Traditionally the word Zakat, which appears in the Qur’an repetitively in the expression Aqimus Salata Wa Aatuz Zakata is translated as ‘mandatory charity’ or the institutional Zakat that is collected and disbursed by the Islamic state. The Qur’an, which largely pre-dates the formation of Islamic state under Caliph Umar, connotes this word with care and concern for humanity. Accordingly, the Meccan Muslims (23:4, 31:4), the ancient prophets (21:73) the wives of the Prophet (33:33)and the persecuted followers of Prophet Moses (2:83), who lived prior to the introduction of mandatory Zakat, were asked to exercise Zaka…

Modesty, not inspired by fear or inferiority complex, is a preeminent component in the Muslim's character. That is so because the Shariah loathes arrogance, condemns the arrogant, and warns them of awful consequences on the Day of Recompense as shown in the Hadith: "Paradise is out of reach of anyone with a grain of arrogance in his heart" (Muslim). Pilgrims in Haj, especially on the Day of Arafah, the central event of the pilgrimage, appear so like one another that all seem brothers....

 
Edicts for Humanity’s Betterment
Dr A Q Khan
Edicts for Humanity’s Betterment
Dr A Q Khan

Deal gently with people (3:159). Restrain anger and pardon all mankind (3:134). Be good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, neighbours, the needy, strangers and the wayfarer (4:36). It is not for you to be arrogant because man is the meanest of creatures (7:13). Hold to forgiveness, command what is right and turn away from the ignorant (6)....

 

In sum, the populist model of Zakat in this era is liable to gross manipulation or rationalistic interpretation by the rich, who can become richer and richer without sharing their wealth with the poor in any substantive way. This has created virtually an Islamic Capitalism that frustrates the Qur’anic message on social justice, and widens wealth gap and income disparity between the rich and the poor in practically all Muslim countries. Hence, there is an urgent need to redefine the base and arithmetic of Zakat to bring it in line with the economic order of this era…..

 
Reflections on Qur'anic Message - Part-10: Spending For Others in Need – Or In Charity
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
Reflections on Qur'anic Message - Part-10: Spending For Others in Need – Or In Charity
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

The Qur’an that dominated the social, commercial and civil ethos in early Islam must have greatly reduced the income disparity of the times but the remoteness of the era and from the Qur’anic ideals has turned the clock back by many centuries in the Islamic societies. This is reflected in rampant poverty, rising income disparity, lack of social securities, growing number of beggars and child labor, and an increasing availability of cheap industrial and domestic labor in most 3rd world Muslim countries. Hence, the rich and resourceful Muslims who recite the Arabic Qur’an or listen to its beautiful recitation from U-Tube must also heed what it says…

 

Human mind is constantly stalked by evil thoughts and there is a perpetual tug of war between depravity (Fujurah) and moral uprightness (Taqwa) in man’s sub-conscious mind (Nafs) (91:8, Reflection 7). The depravity of mind can trigger a whole series of mental defilements such as anger, jealousy, greed, arrogance, hatred and contempt of others, cruelty, vengeance, and other negativities, and disturb the equanimity of mind and keep it locked in futile thoughts with adverse impacts on personal, social and family life and in the overall well-being of the community….

The lead verses represent an extended oath of the Qur’an to the truth of its pronouncement regarding the polarity of man’s inner self (Nafs) between Fujura– that tempts him succumb to his base desires, and Taqwa that is a watchdog against his base desires. The Qur’an also refers to them as Nafs al Ammara, (12:53) - the Nafs that draws man to evil, and Nafs al Lawwama, (75:2) – the Nafs that restrains him from evil.....

Reflections on Qur'anic Message, Part 5 - Primacy of Good Deeds in Islam
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
Reflections on Qur'anic Message, Part 5 - Primacy of Good Deeds in Islam
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

Most Muslims regard the five pillars of faith as the essence of Islam’s message with Salat as the key to Paradise.  When they meet each other, they generally ask ‘have you done your prayer’. But they never ask fellow Muslims or next of kin, have you done any good deeds….

Ironically, most Muslims argue that those who are regular in prayer and spend in charity (2:3) are the Muttaqin and will receive the guidance of the Qur’an (2:2). Such an interpretation shifts emphasis from Taqwa to prayer and charity and transforms the din of Islam from one that is designed to promote Taqwa to one that is devoted to prayer and charity (2:4). The Qur’an clarifies the primary role of Taqwa in the concluding verse of the passage (2:5):“the Muttaqin are on true guidance from God.” Across it text, the Qur’an repeatedly declares: it is “guidance and counsel for the Muttaqin” (3:138); it is “counsel for the Muttaqin” (24:34)….

Throughout the Qur'an, people are encouraged to look around them, observe and reflect on the beauties and wonders of the natural world as signs of Allah's majesty and the inter-connectivity of all of creation.  This type of reflection is especially critical during times as these when forces seek to deny the truth that is anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change and obfuscate our moral responsibility as Khulafa’al-Ard (Stewards and Caretakers of the Earth). These are often the same forces and drivers of evils of racial hatred and religious bigotry the end result of which is chaos, wanton destruction and death and destruction of human life....

 

It therefore follows that human conscience is imbued with a polarity of good and evil and unless one guards himself against all that is evil, he cannot be a champion of goodness. Since guarding against evil – the base temptation or animal instincts is a major theme in the Qur’an…

There is no denying the fact that prayer instills the fear of God among great many devotees and restrains them from evil and thus imbues them with Taqwa (29:45), but there are many others who take Salah no more than a routine duty to God without the awareness that just reciting Qur’anic verses and assuming the postures of prayer without any conscious effort to exercise or cultivate Taqwa falls grossly short of the stated objective and solicitation of Salah…

 
Violence and Hate Have No Place in Islam: Islam Requires Positivity
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, New Age Islam
Violence and Hate Have No Place in Islam: Islam Requires Positivity
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

I think that peace is the Summum Bonum, the greatest good, because peace has no limit. We all say that we want peace. We never say that we want ‘limited peace’, because peace has no limit. Peace is indispensible for every sort of progress. Without peace, you can’t do anything properly, not even walk on a street with peace of mind. All positive activities will come to a halt if there is no peace. Whether it be in religion or in secular affairs, in every sphere of life peace is essential for progress. That is why it is the Summum Bonum.....

Human beings need to extend their mercy and kindness to the whole of creation, regardless of people’s race, religion or colour. Mercy is not only limited to the human being, rather it goes beyond that, hence the rights of the animals, trees and environment, in general, have been mentioned in the divine teachings of Islam. This verse alone is sufficient to illustrate the essence of the divine message found in the Qur’an and the holy prophet, which is filled with infinite love, mercy and compassion.....

 
Repentance of Sins– the first Station of Islamic Mysticism
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
Repentance of Sins– the first Station of Islamic Mysticism
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

Repentance [Tauba] in Islamic mysticism is regarded as the first station of travellers on the way to the Truth, just as purification [Taharat] is the first step of those who desire to serve Allah Almighty. This is tantamount to a piece of land needed for laying foundations; so the person who has no piece of land cannot lay foundations for a building. Similarly, the person, who has not repented of his sins and asked forgiveness of Allah, can never march even a single step towards Islamic mysticism.....

 

A Muslim can’t afford to lose heart or sight of Mercy and lives in a heaven that prayers create. Gestures of blessings, salutations, meeting and parting wishes are all punctuated by irruptions from the Sacred. Who says and really means God is dead in the Muslim world? Anyone who can afford to truly say Assalam u Alaikum...

 

It is narrated that during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), there was a solar eclipse on the day that one of his sons died. Some people suggested that the sun eclipsed because of the young child’s death and the Prophet’s sadness on that day. However, the Holy Prophet corrected this for the people and said: “The sun and the moon are two signs among the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse because of someone’s death or life. So when you see them, invoke Allah and pray till the eclipse is clear.”....

 
Transcendence towards a Synthesis of Spiritualities: Spiritual Insights from my Travel in India
Belinda F. Espiritu, New Age Islam
Transcendence towards a Synthesis of Spiritualities: Spiritual Insights from my Travel in India
Belinda F. Espiritu, New Age Islam

“They tend to put more stress on looking inward than outward, on contemplation over action, spiritual exercise and development of the self over dry legalism, and cultivation of the soul over social, worldly interaction with people”. Sufis aim to attain a direct knowledge of God and a personal experience of the Divine. As the Sufis believe that the heart is the centre of spirituality, it is the heart that needs to be activated by turning to the practice of meditation.....

One of the tenets of Tawheed (Allah’s Oneness) is to believe that He is the source of all action in this Universe. Without His leave, nothing can pass and with His might, everything is possible. Upon Him is the sustenance of every being (Quran, 11:6). No matter how high on Maslow’s hierarchy our needs may fall, He is able to fulfil them. When we realize His oneness in this manner, our fear and anxiety evaporate....

 

Asked how a single man converted a large population of Arabs belonging to different tribes into Islam without using force, he quoted Holy Quran's verse 'La Aqra-fi-Al-Din' (there is no place for force/compulsion) and said that Arabs were never coerced to accept Islam, rather, those who embraced it had undergone hardships and borne cruelties like being made to lie down on smouldering sand with heavy stones put on them; placed in burning coal; murdered; made to leave their country and property etc., by their rulers/headmen, but they remained undeterred from their faith in Islam....

 

Whatever you think is what you will feel. It’s inevitable. Far too often we blame the state of our mental and emotional health on others, on the situations we are placed in or how we were treated, but it’s all psychological. With the help of Allah (swt), you are in control of your thoughts and therefore in control of your feelings and mental wellbeing. It’s you. If someone awakens fear within you, it has nothing to do with them. It’s how you perceive whatever they did that scared you, it’s the accumulation of your thoughts....

 


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