CULTURE OF ISLAM

108 SPIRTUALITY!
Imtiaz Muhsin 14-Dec-12

The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.

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Please Note
1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program ‘Culture of Islam’ [Every Friday 8 to 8.30 pm, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as ‘listeners’ 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say ‘Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam’, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and ‘Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;

‫ت‬ ‫ط‬

th TH

‫س‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ص‬

s Ss SW

‫ض‬ ‫ظ‬

DHL DHZ

‫ه‬ ‫ح‬

H h

‫ع‬ ‫غ‬

Gh GH

    

Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog (http://imtiazm.wordpress.com/) The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ImtiazMuhsin786) The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from www.ScribD.com (www.ScribD.com Author – Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel – Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at http://youtu.be/ei-J5sFxJd8

All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah!

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108 Spirituality
Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, The Quran contains 114 Surah’s or Chapters. The Opening Chapter is known as the Surah Fathiha and consists of just 7 Aayaths. The Second Surah is the longest in the Quran and is called Surah Baqarah. It contains 286 Aayaths. When looking back at what I have spoken on during the last 4 weeks, I first did a series of 3 talks on the topic ‘Ambitions, Goals & Distractions’ and then followed it up with a talk on why the 2nd Aayath of Surah Baqarah which begins with the phrase Zaalikal Kithaab, which means that book. I examined the question why Zaalikal Kithaab and not Haazal Kithaab or why ‘That Book’ and not ‘This Book’ I now find that over these 4 weeks I have begun with Surah Fathiha and then stepped over to Surah Baqarah. From Surah one to the beginning of Surah two. So I am now thinking why not continue the sequence and continue speaking on the first few Aayaths of Surah Baqarah. The material in these few Aayaths are indeed amazing, it just needs a little thinking and looking over – as I like to say ‘amazing material for our intellect’ Insha Allah discussing or talking on this material should take me through a few talks, so Insha Allah, the next few talks on this weekly Radio Program would be a discussion or an interesting study on the first few Aayaths of Surah Baqarah – Aayath No’s 2 to 5. Now, before getting on to reading and discussing these Aayaths, it is necessary that I must explain the facet through which I are going to read these Aayaths. The Quran is a Book of guidance, it is full of wisdom and there are many facets through which we can read the Quran. Everyone of them would be illuminating. So let me now describe the facet through which I would be discussing these Aayaths. Over the last few weeks the topic has been ‘Ambitions, Goals and Distractions’ and during those talks it became very clear that our ambitions and goals or you could even describe it as our success lies not in accumalating materials of this world. It is not in materialism but it is in spirituality or spiritualism. This is an important mindset that we must work on and then maintain right through our research of the Quran so that we could better understand the Quran. In an attempt to bring about that mindset, let me explain a few interesting points; The first point that I wish to present is for us to take another closer, a comparative look at materialsm and at spiritualism. Materialism would be a life devoted to the pursuit of material wealth and power. We live in a competitive world and all of us want to be successful. In seeking material wealth, we would, without even realizing, be building evil qualities within ourselves.

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We would not notice it, we would think that what we are doing is good, but then on reflection, that is if we can take time to pause and reflect, we would find that gradually, oh, ever so gradually, evil qualities are taking root and growing within us. Qualities that we can describe as greed, selfishness, ruthlessness, cunning, deceit, false promises, exploitation, false values, showing off, suspicion, jealousy, grudges, revenge – oh, there are oh, so many more evil qualities that arise through the pursuit of materialism, I could go on and on. I am sure every one of you listeners could add to this list. But then we just do not realize. We actually think that we are the epitome of goodness. We do not realize how much or how low we have deteriorated, how we are trapped in the very webs that we have spun around our lives. Our lives become stressful, we become suspicous of everyone and everything, we become insecure, we actually become paranoid – but then we just do not realize. Spirituality or working on acquiring good qualities is a very different effort or a very different kind of life. For a life of materialsim we have to work on the outsides, on the exteriors. But for spiritualism we have to work on our insides. On our ego, on our hearts, on our patience. Again there are so oh, many qualites to work on. The Quran describes this spiritual effort and decries the effort and scheming that we indulge in for the material world. That is the effort to acquire all that we desire. If we follow the instructions in the Quran then through our good qualities we would become, what the Quran describes as;
        The Muslimeen – those who submit to God The Mu’mineen – those who truly believe The MuHthadheen – those who are rightly guided The Swaaliheen – the righteous The MuththaQeen – those who fear to displease God The Mukhliseen – the sincere ones The Swaabireen – those who are patient The Khaashigheen – those who are humble

And so on. I have just mentioned 8 such good qualities. I have counted 80 such descriptions of virtuous qualities in the Quran Similarly the Quran uses certain descriptive words to describe those who pursue a life seeking and accumalating materials. Some of them are;
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Kaafireen – those who cover up The FaasiQeen – the rebels The Mufsidheen – the mischief makers The MunafiQeen – the Hypocrites The Mujrimeen – the sinners

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6. The Mushrikeen – those who assign partners to God.

And so on. So when we read the Quran, when we are seeking guidance through the words or the wisdom in the Quran, we should be ever alert and ready to recognize the Aayaths that describe good qualities and think out how we could acquire those qualities and similarly we should be equally ever alert and ready to recognize those Aayaths that describe evil qualities and think out as to how we could purify ourselves from these destructive evil qualities. That was the first point. I am trying to present to you points that would make us differentiate between spiritualism and materialsim and thereby assist us to develop a spiritualistic mind set, which is ever so necessary to understanding the message in the Quran. Now for the second point. To understand this point we have to think, deep thinking. Let me present this point through a question. The question would be; How did we come to this earth and how would we go out? So think!! We came to this earth through the wombs of our mother. We are present in this world because we possess life. One day we would suddenly leave this world. This rather frightening phenomena is called death. It is difficult to understand. We all possess this thing called ‘life’ which entered our body whilst it was a foetus, just 4 months old, within the wombs of our mother. And then one day when we die, this thing we call life, leaves our body! Amazing! Now, what is this thing that we call life? We cannot see it, we cannot touch it, it has no weight nor smell. What is this thing we call life? For example if we have a dead body lying down, and a live person also lying down next to this dead body – what would be the difference or differences between the two? Every body part or organ that the live body possesses, the dead body possesses too. But then the organs or the systems that are functioning in the body of the live person is just not functioning in the dead person. Why? We say ‘because the body is not alive, it is dead’ So what is this thing we call life? Is it not obvious to all of us, or at least does not the thought occur to us, that this thing we call life is actually the person. That person entered this body, whilst it was a foetus in the womb of the mother and now this person or this life has gone. Gone where?? Gone out of the body. But then, again, gone where???

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Troubling thought isn’t it? It is so troubling that we do not even want to think about it!!! What a loss!! Should we not try to at least devote a little time from our busy lives trying to work out, trying to find out. And try to find out with arguments or points that make sense to us. That is very very important. It must make sense to us, these arguments or points must convince us. These arguments must be logical, they must be rational, they must be such that they satisfy us. These arguments must induce hope in us not create fear. We must be able to rationally and logically believe that these arguments are truly correct and that they are real. It must satisfy us, it must clear all doubts. Is that not very very important? This type of belief is what we could call a religion. Belief derived through any other method, would have to be termed ignorance or even worse, it would have to be termed ‘cult belief’ or ‘dogmatism’ Am I not correct? So, just think! Now for the third point. Let me present this point too through a question. What is it that would be useful to this life on its eternal journey? Again, just think!!! Our whole lives is trying to indulge in the desires of this world. In materialism. From our young days this is the goal of our life. We spend quite a few years of our life, learning the skills necessary to compete with the rest of humanity, to acquire materials, to accumalate wealth and to wield power. We call it a rat race. We describe it as ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ When we die, when we leave our bodies, what we leave behind, our bodies, our relatives, our dear and near, our wealth our bank balances, our houses, our vehicles, our qualifications, our friends, our colleagues, our assumed power, everything goes, and now comes the worst part, we all know that none of these things would accompany us. These things all remain behind, or just vanish. For example the wealth we once wielded would just vanish!! What do you think would accompany the soul of a person when he leaves this world? Don’t you think that if something were to accomany this person who has left this world, or in other words what would accompany the soul when it leaves the body, could only be the spirituality that he built or accumulated in this world? What if this spirituality consists of the evil he automatically, without even realizing, acquired becaue he was so intent, or was possessed with this mission to acquire worldy wealth? So his plight would be that he leaves behind everything he accumalated and takes along with him the evil qualities the evil spirituality that he nurtured and grew in his soul with the thinking that these are the qulaities or the skills or the attitudes that he needs to succeed in this world. Just think!! This is what the Quran describes, over and over again.

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It is not only in the Quran, but I am certain, that this same message is explained in the scriptures of all great religions, in all the globally accepted religions. Now for the fourth point. Let me present this point too through a question. How can we undersatnd the relationship between the body and the spirit? In other words, how can we realize the importance of spiritualism? We have to think of the relationship between the Spirit and the body, or the sould and the body as the relationship between a rider and his horse. A rider would mount a horse to go on a long journey. If he attends to only the needs and the comforts of the horse, whilst neglecting his own needs and comforts, then as the days progress, the Horse would gain in strength whilst the rider would weaken. It would come to a point that the rider becomes so weak that he can no longer control the horse. The horse now goes where it pleases. The rider becomes weaker and weaker and then when it comes to the time that the journey is over, the rider would find that he is too weak to attend to his mission and to make matters worse the horse would have strayed miles and miles away from his planned destination. This is the example of the sould and the body. If we neglect the needs of the soul and concentrate only on the needs comforts and desires of the body, then the body would take us away from our ultimate destination. The spirit too would be malnourished. So we have to bear in mind that the Sould needs attending to. The Soul does not need Dollars, Euro or Rupees. The soul needs spiritual nourishment. Good qualities. The Quran describes these qualities, so do all the great books of all great or globally accepted religions. I have in this talk, presented to you 4 points, so that we could understand what frame of mind we should be in when we are trying to learn from the Quran. We have to read the Quran as well as view life through the facet of spiritualism – Insha Allah! Now let us try to study these 4 Aayaths from Surah Baqarah, Aayath No’s 2 to 5. First, what would the reading of these Aayaths lead us to? Basically, it leads up to or explains the ingredients that contribute to divine guidance as well as to success. This is summed up in Aayath No 5. So let us begin by reading the 5th Aayath before returning to read and studying the 4 Aayaths. (2:5) It is these who are guided by their Rabb; and it is just these who are successful.

ِ ﴾﴿ ‫أُولـ َئِك عََلَ ٰهدى من ربِّهم ۖ وأُولـ َئِك هم اْلُفلِحون‬ ٥ َ ُ ْْ ُ ُ َ َ ْ ِ َّ ّ ً ُ َ ٰ ٰ

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That is what the Quran says. The persons described in the preeding Aayaths are those who would receive divine guidance and it is those who are successful. Interesting isn’t it? So, now let us read the preceding 4 Aayaths. Aayath No 2 of Surah Baqarah; (2:2) That Book has no doubt in it - a guidance for the God-fearing, Let me now read this Aayath phrase by phrase;

﴾﴿ ‫ذََلِك الَِْتَاب َل ريْب ۛ فِيه ۛ هدى لِّلْمتَّقِني‬ ٢ َ ُ ً ُ ِ َ َ َ ُ ِ َ ٰ
That Book has no doubt in it a guidance for the MuththaQeen (the God-fearing)

ِ َ ٰ َ‫ذََلِك الِْتَاب‬ ُ ِ َ‫َل ريْب ۛ فِيه‬ َ َ َ َ‫هدى لِّلْمتَّقِني‬ َ ُ ً ُ

Now when we read Aayaths from the Quran, we find a number of what I call ‘reflex questions’ popping up in our minds. When we browse the Web, we sometimes see a number of advertisements popping up. These ads are designed to grab our attention. Now that makes me think that Quran Aayaths too are designed to create these reflex pop up questions. So whilst reading the Quran, we should give weight to these questions and then take time to find the answers, to sort out the thinking in our hearts, and that too through the many other Aayaths in the Quran. That would be obeying what the Quran induces in us, the readers. So I ask many questions. Like, Zaalikal Kithaab. That Book? What Book? Why not this book, the one I am holding in my hand? What book did the Prophet and his companions read or hold? Then how did they read the Quran? What were the social machinations in place for reading ‘that book’ what are the social machinations we have established now? What are the differences? And so on and so on. Then the next phrase – Laa Raiyba Fee-hi. No doubt in it? What doubts does the Quran mean? Is it all doubts, all forms of doubt? Wow!! That is rather a big claim, a big statement. Insha Allah we would be going in to this in the next few talks – Insha Allah it will be very interesting. Now the next phrase. Hudha(n) lil MuththaQeen. Guidance for the MuththaQi Who is the MuththaQi? Am I not a MuththaQi? And so on.

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I am trying to explain these Aayaths through phrases and we have 3 phrases in this Aayath. Let us read the other Aayaths and see the total number of phrases that we come up with. The next Aayath; Aayath No 3 of Surah Baqarah; (2:3) who believe in the Unseen, and establish Salāh (prayer), and spend out of what We have provided them;

ِ ِ ِ ‫الَّذين يُؤمنُون بِالْغَيْب ويُقِيمون الصَلةَ وِمَّا رزَقْنَاهم‬ َ ْ َ ْ ُ َ َ َ َّ َ ُ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫يُنفقون‬ ٣ َ ُِ
who believe in the Unseen and establish Salāh (prayer) and spend out of what We have provided them;

This Aayath describes three qualities of the MuththaQi and thus we have another 3 phrases. These phrases are;

ِ ِ ِ َ‫الَّذين يُؤمنُون بِالْغَيْب‬ َ ْ َ ََ‫ويُقِيمون الصَلَة‬ َ َّ َ ُ َ ِ ِ َ‫وِمَّا رزَقْنَاهم يُنفقون‬ َ ُ ْ ُ َ َ

I am sure that as we read these phrases a number of reflex pop up questions arise in our minds. Insha Allah we will be going through them in the future talks, as we go along. Now, let us read the next Aayath. Aayath No 4 of Surah Baqarah. Now in this Aayath the Quran describes another three qualities of the MuththaQi. So we now have a description of the MuththaQi – what is it – that he would possess 6 qualities. Qualities of the heart. Qualities of the spirit. Let me now read this Aayath. Aayath No 4 of Surah Baqarah; (2:4) and who believe in what has been revealed to you and what has been revealed before you; and they have conviction in the Hereafter.

ِ ِ ِ ِ ‫والَّذين يُؤمنُون ِِبَا أُنزل إِلَيْك وما أُنزل من قَبْلِك‬ َ َ َ ْ َ َ ََ َ َ ِ ِ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫وبِاْلخرة هم يُوقِنُون‬ ٤ َ ْ ُ َ ْ َ
and who believe in what has been revealed to you and what has been revealed before you; and they have conviction in the Hereafter.

Now me read this Aayath, this time phrase by phrase;

Interesting isn’t it?

ِ ِ َ‫والَّذين يُؤمنُون ِِبَا أُنزل إِلَيْك‬ َ َ ِ َ ْ َ َ ِ ِ َ‫وما أُنزل من قَبْلِك‬ َ َ ََ ِ َ‫وبِاْلخرة هم يُوقِنُون‬ َُِ ْ َ َ ْ

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Amongst the many reflex popup questions there would be this one, asking; ‘What has that, that has been revealed to the earlier people, have to do with being a MuththaQi? or for that matter with spiritualism? Believe me, there is a lot. But then, Insha Allah we would be going onto it in our future talks. Just a small point that I thought I should draw your attention to. You may have noticed that;

ِ ِ َ‫والَّذين يُؤمنُون ِِبَا أُنزل إِلَيْك‬ َ َ ِ َ ْ َ َ ِ ِ َ‫وما أُنزل من قَبْلِك‬ َ َ ََ ِ ِ َ‫وبِاْلخرة هم يُوقِنُون‬ َ ْ ُ َ ْ َ

and who believe in what has been revealed to you

Refers to the present, and;

and what has been revealed before you;

Refers to the past, and;

and they have faith in the Hereafter.

Refers to the preordained future.

So in short we are told that those 3 qualities, along with true knowledge that ties up all time – the past the present and the future, would give the MuththaQi guidance from the ‘Kithaab without doubt’ Now returning again to the 5th Aayth, it is what we read before, and it describes what the earlier 3 Aayaths were leading to; Aayath No 5 of Surah Baqarah; (2:5) It is these who are guided by their Rabb; and it is just these who are successful. The 2 important phrases is this Aayath are;

ِ ﴾﴿ ‫أُولـ َئِك عََلَ ٰهدى من ربِّهم ۖ وأُولـ َئِك هم اْلُفلِحون‬ ٥ َ ُ ْْ ُ ُ َ َ ْ ِ َّ ّ ً ُ َ ٰ ٰ
Those who are guided by their Rabb; Those who are successful

ِ َّ ِّ ً ُ ۖ ‫هدى من ربِّهم‬ ْ

َ‫مفلِحون‬ َ ُ ُْ

So to sum up. We are going to study 4 Aayaths from Surah Baqarah. These Aayaths consist of phrases. We would be discussing these Aayaths through these phrases. We have identified eleven phrases, they are; Let us first list out these phrases;

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From the 2nd Aayath we have 3 phrases, they are;
1 2 3

ِ َ ٰ َ‫ذََلِك الِْتَاب‬ ُ ِ َ‫َل ريْب ۛ فِيه‬ َ َ َ َ‫هدى لِّلْمتَّقِني‬ َ ُ ً ُ

That Book has no doubt in it a guidance for the MuththaQeen (the God-fearing)

From the 3rd Aayath we have 3 phrases, they are;
4 5 6

ِ ِ ِ َ‫الَّذين يُؤمنُون بِالْغَيْب‬ َ ْ َ ََ‫ويُقِيمون الصَلة‬ َ َّ َ ُ َ ِ ِ َ‫وِمَّا رزَقْنَاهم يُنفقون‬ َ ُ ْ ُ َ َ

who believe in the Unseen and establish Salāh (prayer) and spend out of what We have provided them;

From the 4th Aayath we have 3 phrases, they are;
7 8 9

ِ ِ َ‫والَّذين يُؤمنُون ِِبَا أُنزل إِلَيْك‬ َ َ ِ َ ْ َ َ ِ ِ َ‫وما أُنزل من قَبْلِك‬ َ َ ََ ِ َ‫وبِاْلخرة هم يُوقِنُون‬ َُِ ْ َ َ ْ

and who believe in what has been revealed to you and what has been revealed before you; and they have faith in the Hereafter.

And finally, from the 5th Aayath we have 2 phrases, they are;
10 11

ِ ۖ ‫هدى من ربِّهم‬ ْ ِ َّ ّ ً ُ

Those who are guided by their Rabb; Those who are successful

َ‫مفلِحون‬ َ ُ ُْ

May Allah Ta’aalah guide us all and accept us all Jazza Kalla Khairan Assalamu Alaikum
Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka crescent786@hotmail.com

You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman

The YouTube Link to this talk is at http://youtu.be/ei-J5sFxJd8

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