Islamic Spirituality





Islamic Spirituality

The sayings of Imam ‘Ali and the poetry and prose of Jalal al-Din Rumi teach that Islamic spirituality is based on having the knowledge to discern between right from wrong. In fact, they assert that Allah is pleased by individuals who exercise their mental capacities in doing good rather than engage in pointless actions that do not further their cause of going to heaven. In the texts, they claim “…a man is concealed under his tongue…” thus signifying the essence of making wise decisions in words and deeds. While acknowledging that every man has the choice to live his life, the authors claim that judgment awaits everyone hence the need to live according to the will of Allah by internalizing his teachings. They do so by identifying certitude, struggle, justice, and patience as the pillars of faith in the higher being. As such, they advocate for humility among believers while championing the need to abandon earthly pleasures as a prerequisite for going to paradise. In making these assertions, Ali and Rumi lay an emphasis on wise counsel as the basis for identifying the spirituality of an individual. It is thus evident that Islam is a discipline-based religion that places numerous conditions on its believers for them to avoid sins as well as temptations in order to have a chance of going to paradise.

Islam is thus mindful that some people may be reluctant to follow the teachings of Allah hence it reminds such individuals the presence of the fire in hell and its painful agony. As such, its spirituality advises the believers to practice piety in their day-to-day activities in order to escape the many temptations in the world. Rumi’s advise of communal living shows that Islam premise the true nature of a believer in his/her actions towards a fellow man. For example, the wealthy are implored to help the poor since material possessions are a blessing and not meant for self-aggrandizement. It therefore becomes evident that just as Allah keeps His promises, so should His followers. The concept of spirituality espoused by the two scholars provides a warning towards the mockery of Allah because the latter “…commands what is right.” It is a subtle reminder that devotion to Islam is not reversible since God is unforgiving to such behavior. Muslims are required to yearn for knowledge thereby gaining real understanding. Mutual responsibility is another feature of Islamic spirituality in which the search for mutual benefit and social justice is supreme rather than enriching oneself. It also cautions people against serving any other person apart from Allah as well as living a positive life whereby one will be admired and remembered upon death. It aims at instilling virtues thus promotes morality within the society. It is noteworthy that this phenomenon disregards the ideology of an individual by stating that it is a religion meant to promote coexistence and common good. As such, it entails people choosing it either through community tasks or as a lifelong mission. Avoidance of evil is a common theme in this regard by committing deeds out of love. They too need to be done in a sincere manner, as Allah cannot be deceived. It also notes that such acts should be done voluntarily using strong faith that protects the soul in order to distance oneself from the temptations of the world. By so doing, it is projected that as the protector of faith, God will thereby reward the person for the good deeds too.

Notably, the texts indicate that people who are close to God are those who persevere despite the hardships they face. Whereas they may be weak due to their humanity, they are people of integrity who treat others affectionately. Such individuals are also meant to be sensitive to the plight of others therefore do not want to get into confrontations with them. It is evident that these individuals should not lust for money nor should they display any forms of anger even when provoked. Rather, they need to be content with what God has given them and refrain from mixing with sinners lest they be judged harshly. Rather, they have been given a duty to advise sinners from committing such actions thereby drawing them closer to God. In fact, they are mandated to do the will of God. Such people also need to gain encouragement from reading the Koran. Such enjoyment needs to be sincere and they strive to implement God’s teachings in their daily lives. In offering encouragement about withstanding struggles in life, people who are close to God are deemed conquerors because they are able to overcome such tribulations. Such a quality is drawn from their strong belief in Allah’s power as the Supreme Being to deliver them from any difficulty. Therefore, their closeness to God offers them unique strength to face adversity since he/she “…will be defended by God.” Additionally, such people are patient, faithful, and fruitful because they understand that God is in control of their lives. All they require is to submit to His will and remain devoted to the teachings.

Non-Muslims can benefit from the above Islamic teachings because they too believe in a higher power. Other religions also have the distinct believe in the supernatural world hence the desire for God’s grace and blessings is not limited to any religion. Anyone who is genuinely interested in seeking Him can find encouragement, faith and hope even in this Islamic teachings since religions are meant to act as guides to the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is expected that people need to be concerned with becoming servants of God, wherever He may be and follow His directives, especially by making sacrifices that deny them earthly pleasures. By committing to God’s commandments regardless of the religion, it is possible for them to gain favor and is drawn closer to Him as well. As such, religion in itself is not an indicator of a person’s spirituality and that would facilitate the acquisition of valuable knowledge for non-Muslims too. Spirituality is therefore the most powerful aspect of divine intervention and it is not limited or constrained to specific religions. Whereas some cultures have an opposing opinion, it has become widely acceptable that people can be spiritual without being religious. In most instances, that would entail service to God, devotion to Him and espousing the virtues described above. For instance, helping the less fortunate in the society is common among all religions while avoiding sin or evil is evenly spread too. Regardless of a person’s religious affiliation, being faithful is another common feature hence non-Muslims can find the above teachings beneficial.

















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