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Islam and Spiritualism

Of course I don’t want to ‘take advantage’ of Lord’s forgiveness and continue to wrong myself. But I do realize we are all humans and that I will err. When I do, I will never lose hope in his immense mercy and His forgiveness. That’s the biggest hope out there no matter what they say!...

Religion Requires the Humbleness to Adapt
Religion Requires the Humbleness to Adapt
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

Over a period, through practice under compulsion, man learned the great benefits of following the religion and became a willing follower.  Allah has civilized mankind through progressive revelations and finally revealed the Quran which contains the complete and perfected religion to Muhammad (pbuh), the seal of the prophets. Was the final revelation completely clear and understandable, or were certain parts still counter intuitive and required faith to follow? Adaptation is different from following based on reason. We adapt to our environment over which have no control, or to a religion under compulsion or to the religion because we have faith in it although not everything is clearly understood….

Acts of the imagination, then, are also acts of courage. And I believe that as we summon the will to awaken from the sleep of complacency and face what is painful and difficult, Insha Allah we will also start to perceive more of what is beautiful and true. As Maulana tells us...

And if My servants ask you [meaning Muhammad] about Me – behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way....

 

Islamic civilization has an abundance of human exemplars, most of them Sufis, who have been the living embodiment of this Fitra, this innate pure nature. Each Insan al Kamil (perfected or completed human being) brings forth the beauty and depth of true humanness. Sufism is something natural and innately human. ...

I would like to argue that if radical Muslims do three things that are in accord with their being Muslims, their radical Islamic ideology will be debunked. First is that if radical Muslims would contemplate or meditate on the names and person of Allah, then they would see that their radical ideology is very much opposed to the very person and names of God....

Perhaps in my metaphorical interior garden, that’s when whatever Divine Qualities are needed for my spiritual and psychological growth spontaneously burst forth from the fertile soil I’ve been tending; flowers that were always there behind the shadows, waiting to manifest their many hues....

 

The Qur’an teaches that God is a Judge and He also punishes, but God is not bound to punish. The justice of God, according to Qur’an is that God does not and will not inflict undue punishment on any person. He will not ignore the good of any person....

However, the most unfortunate and pathetic treatment has been meted out to the very concept of ‘Spirituality’, partly owing to its wrong conception and misinterpretation among common masses by pseudo-scholars....

There is a great deal of negativity in the world.  Choose to befriend people of quality character, purpose, and who will inspire and elevate you.  Be a difference maker and learn how to take the goodness in your heart and put it back into the world....

 

The image of a “good” Muslim is often one of a bearded man or a Hijabi woman praying 5 times a day and fasting all month during Ramadan. But is that really what a Muslim or a “good” Muslim means?...

Our perceptions do require management, and who better to do that than our very Maker Himself? He has given us the Qur’ān for that exact purpose, and one such Āyah that assists in managing such tendencies...

 

Surprisingly though, emotional suffering is necessary for our journey in life. Allah designed this world, enclosed with suffering and pain, not only as a test but also as a means to get to know Him and draw closer to Him....

 

Allah knows more than anyone else (including yourself) what is best for you. So do not get too attached to a certain result and get deviated with an expectation that was never yours to begin with. ...

 

At first I may still be reciting the words of the Qur’an by rote, and bowing and prostrating mechanically. But as I move through the Rakats, I find myself breathing more deeply, relaxing and opening up to the silence and spaciousness around me.....

 

A story tells of how someone who asked Ali ibn Abi Talib, “Did you come to know God intimately through Muhammad or did you come to know Muhammad through God?” Ali replied, “Had I come to know God through Muhammad I would not have served God, and Muhammad would have been more firmly fixed in my soul than God. God acquainted me with Himself through Himself.”....

 

The more I read about the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, the deeper I fall in love with his exquisite character, his sensitivity, his ability to acknowledge his own and others’ emotions. To me, the beauty of his personality lies in his transparency and honesty regarding his own feelings and of those around him. If he was happy, his Companions and his family members knew, and vice-versa. If he was upset about something, they could easily tell, and vice-versa....

Sufism is a spiritual psychology that calls on me to be a constant witness to my states. It involves zooming out of my thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations and observing them from a more objective vantage point. I acknowledge the grip that shame and fear had/has on me, as well as a mix of envy, pride and resentment. Then, slowly and gently, they are transformed in the alchemy that is Zikr, the repetition of Divine names and attributes that transports us into another realm of conscious awareness....

“Kibr is to knowingly reject Truth and to belittle other people.” This Hadith exposes two strains of this deadly disease, both dealing with our exaggerated ideas of self-importance. The first suggests that I am more important than the Truth. The second suggests that I am more important than other people....

 

The consensus between the scholars is that it is prohibited to interact casually with the opposite gender; men with women and women with men. However, if the situation calls for it, then interact on a necessity basis and do so with some respect and dignity. The guidelines mentioned above are only for our best interests. Whether it is to remove ourselves from dangerous situations if we feel temptation or to perfect our interactions to avoid marital discord; all of these instances just shine a light on the beauty of Islām and it is the traditions set from the time of our Prophet (Sall Allahu Alayhi w Sallam) that will help to safeguard us from problems that are increasing in our time....

In a world generally worried about violent extremism, it seems to be business as usual for at least some militant groups inside and around Pakistan. There are two kinds that exist—those who target the State, and others who are compliant with the State’s broader strategic goals. However, the implications of both types are dangerous for the country. A glance at some of the terrorism data—none of which is available in Pakistan...

Reading Rumi, we often come across the imagery of humans being akin to diamonds or rubies at our core, that is, our highest potentiality. Mining these valuable gems from the Earth requires drilling through layers of hard rock that settled over centuries and, frankly, are impossible to move without heavy machinery. Similarly, the inward spiritual journey demands burrowing through the embedded beliefs forced onto my psyche by family, religion and society that are blocking the radiance of my truest self....

 

To diagnose and treat the diseases of the heart normally requires the help of an expert mentor or Shaikh. Here are the qualities of a good Shaikh. (1) He possesses necessary religious knowledge. (2) His beliefs, habits, and practices are in accordance with the Shariat. (3) He does not harbour greed for the worldly wealth. (4) He has himself spent time learning from a good Shaikh. (5) The scholars and good mashaikh of his time hold good opinion about him. (6) His admirers are mostly from among the people who have good understanding of religion. (7) Most of his followers

 

Theology can be regarded as the science dealing with questions that deal with our concept of God, creation and humanity and the relations between them. Within this context, can Sufism be seen as an integral part of theology?

 

Rabi’a Basri is a classical example of how faith and love can set you free. She was the first female Sufi Saint of Islam, Rabia al-Adawiyya, also known as Rabi’a Basri. She made one of the greatest contributions towards the development of Sufism. She was a teacher of women as well as of men; a woman who called no man her master. Her reputation excels that of many Muslim men within the early days of Sufism....

 


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