What is spirituality?
What is spirituality? What is it’s relation to religion? What are its boundaries in Islam? Spirituality exists only in Islam or is it found in other religions too? Do other religions encourage spirituality or not?
All these questions and related questions arise in the minds people but these questions are darkened by the luxurious of the material world and people forget them. They get lost in the pleasures of the world and never strive to look for answers to these questions.
The irony is that the more the person sinks in the pleasures of this world and crave for the desires of the inner self the more he becomes anxious and loses peace and tranquility in his life. People go into depression more and more.
The prime example of this can be found in movie stars and showbiz celebrities. They are one of the most depressed people on earth. They have everything in life, money, girls, booze everything yet they are missing the inner peace of mind that ensures a peaceful healthy life. They turn to drugs to find that peace but they fail again and again. The reason is simple.
The reason is that they lack the spirituality which is the basic requirement of living happily and contently in this world.
Spirituality is that which gives a person a happy life full of contentment without wealth, luxuries, women, cars, bank balances.
A person with spirituality can have everything but he can never have the peace and contentment in his life.
A human is made of two entities, his body, and his soul. To feed the body you need physical food and drinks full of nourishment. You need to go to the gym to get your body muscular. You need a proper diet plan to get your body into the right shape.
Then there is our soul. Poor neglected soul. When the soul dies due to malnutrition, the peace dies with it. Just as the body needs nutrition, the soul needs nutrition too.
Today all importance is given to the cosmetic body while the soul is neglected which gives birth first to the inner destruction of the mind and soul and then it manifests into outer crimes which affect the society. Criminals are not born criminals. They grow up in a society where they get no spirituality which leads them to look for peace and happiness in crimes, rape is an example of a crime which stems from the unsatisfied mind and soul.
So what is Spirituality?
Just like our bodies need nourishment so do our Souls need nourishment. Without proper nutrition our souls become dead. And a dead soul is the home to all evil. So spirituality is basically providing our souls with “nutrition” to make it strong so that it can combat all internal and external evils.
Spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with Our Creator Allah, which helps in destroying negative emotions and cultivate good emotions such as peace, awe, contentment, gratitude, and acceptance.
Allah ta’ala says in Quran:
أَلا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
Our Prophet Rasool Allah sall Allahu alaihi wasallam (peace be upon him) said:
عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى رضي الله عنه قَالَ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم: مَثَلُ الَّذِي يَذْكُرُ رَبَّهُ وَالَّذِي لَا يَذْكُرُ رَبَّهُ مَثَلُ الْحَيِّ وَالْمَيِّتِ
“He who remembers Allah and he who does not are like the living and the dead.”
What is the Soul and what is its definition? No one knows the definition of Soul. The Qur’an talks about the Soul but the interpretation of that verse differs from one scholar to the other. The verse [17:85] says: “They ask you, Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), about the Soul (Ruh). Tell them: ‘This is confined to the knowledge of God. Whatever knowledge you have been given about that is a very little portion.’”
No one knows the characteristic of the soul but what is known is that all the living things have souls and at the time of death the soul leaves the body which makes the body dead.
This same soul is what needs to be strengthened to the point where it can combat all kinds of evils, the inner self (nafs) which commands a person to commit crimes and disobey Allah ta’ala and the outer evils which are present in the form of Jinn (Devils) who try their best to lead humans astray so that they end up in Jahannam (Hell).
The ways to strengthen the Soul is to give it its “food”. The most basic food is to stay away from all the sins that are forbidden by Allah ta’ala. This is the basic necessity of spirituality. This builds the foundation on which a strong building can be then erected.
The foundation of spirituality is staying away from sins and the building is made from Zikr (remembrance) of Allah ta’ala in different forms like reciting His names, or by reading His book ~ Quran. Sending blessings (durood) on His messenger Rasool Allah sallAllahu alaihi wasallam is also one way to gain spirituality.
In the end, all this makes a person spiritual in the sense that his soul becomes strong, he gains peace and tranquility of the heart and soul and his life becomes peaceful and content although he does not have materialistic value in his life still he will be content with what he has.
Along with this, in this age we are living, a person gains the power to fight with the Jinn, magic and the devils that surround us and affect us in a way encompassed in the past because of the sinful environment we are living in which fuels the devils.
Insha Allah, we will discuss in great detail everything related to spirituality and the ways to gain it.