Spirituality in Islam
There are numerous verses in the Holy Qur’an that indicate the need for spiritual repentance and purification. Human beings are constantly struggling between the goodness of their hearts and the pull of their nafs (soul or ego). There is always a struggle between action and thought and the basic dynamic of our life of action and thought is our spiritual life. Our spiritual life is based upon our religious values.
According to Islamic teachings, there are two dynamics that keep religious life alive. The first being enjoining good and forbidding evil and the second being raqaiq, or matter that soften the heart. When you look to the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) you can see that they would gather frequently for sermons or weekly gatherings to speak about the different issues concerning enjoining good and leaving that which is not. Doing so, allows for the vitality of spiritual life to stay fresh. Raqaiq, or matters that soften the heart, are things that remind one of the afterlife, such as death and the life of the grave (barzakh).
“As We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, reciting to you Our Revelations, and purifying you (of false beliefs and doctrines, and sins, and all kinds of uncleanness), and instructing you in the Book and the Wisdom, and instructing you in whatever you (must but) do not know.” (2:151) (1)
An individual’s relationship with God-Almighty is the focal point of spirituality. The statements found in the Qur’an show that God-Almighty was always with His prophets and His servants. This is articulated in the following hadith, God-Almighty says, I am present in my servant’s thought of Me, and I am with him when he remembers me, and if he approaches Me by a hand’s length, I draw near to him by an arm’s length, and if he draws near to Me by an arm’s length, I draw to him by a fathom. If he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.
Islamic rituals such as the daily prayers, recitation of the Qur’an, supplication, fasting, etc. are outward manifestations of demonstrating and maintaining this close relationship with God-Almighty. Loving others, giving in charity, and other selfless or altruistic acts are also examples of ones relationship with God-Almighty. “My Prayer, and all my (other) acts and forms of devotion and worship, and my living and my dying are for God alone, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partners; thus have I been commanded, and I am the first and foremost of the Muslims (who have submitted to Him exclusively).” (6:162-163). (1)
Daily reminders of God-Almighty through prayer and reflection will provide one with the willpower to overcome even the most formidable obstacles. We must persist on hope in order to enlighten our minds and awaken our souls.
Unal, Ali. “The Miraculous Quran.” The Miraculous Quran.