By Amtul Kafi Yadullah Bhunnoo
Spirituality is “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things”(1). Prophethood is a status granted by Allah to an individual as an example for mankind to follow. This is an individual to whom Allah reveals great secrets and enables to guide mankind to worship one God. This individual is humble and caring as said in the Holy Quran, “It is not possible for a man that Allah should give him the Book and dominion and prophethood, and then he should say to men: ‘Be servants to me and not to Allah;’ but he would say: ‘Be solely devoted to the Lord because you teach the Book and because you study it’”(2). This individual invites mankind to do good and forbid evil. He spreads knowledge and wisdom granted by God.
What is the relationship of spirituality to prophethood? As the above verse shows, it is impossible for a prophet to fulfil his purpose without gaining knowledge and excelling in good deeds, which comes directly from Allah himself. A prophet is also not arrogant. He remains ever humble reminds the people who may start to rely on the Prophet rather than Allah to rely on Allah, alone, as He is Our Sustainer. The Prophets are kind, caring, loving, respectful individuals who, throughout history, have shunned materialism for spiritualism i.e. gaining closeness to God. How did they do it? Whoever shows great humility, selflessness will be rewarded with the status of prophethood, perhaps not himself but for his next generation. This was the case with Abraham (as). Many prophets were raised from his family including the greatest of all, the Holy Prophet (sa). Why? Abraham (as) was a firm believer in Allah and was ready to sacrifice anything for the sake of His Lord. He was ready to sacrifice his own son, how many can do that? These are signs of spirituality, showing peace within oneself and outside.
If we take the oxford dictionary definition of spirituality then it means that spirituality is our ability to sit still or be alone with our thoughts, without physically working on something or materialistically trying to make money. We live in stressful times with mental health problems on the rise, thus focusing spiritually makes sense. In fact, many counsellors recommend meditation which some would believe helps with spirituality. The Muslims are already commanded to do this five times a day to gain ultimate spirituality and nearness to God. If this is done with complete faith and righteousness one can achieve the same level of spirituality as a Prophet. According to Allah in the Holy Quran: “And whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. And excellent companions are these”(3).
Islam is the only religion that has set out rights of Allah and rights of people. To please Allah, one has to fulfil both rights. The five pillars of Islam fulfill all the rights for one to gain ultimate spirituality. These include belief in the Oneness of God Almighty; five daily prayers, fasting, giving alms and performing Hajj. One can gain spirituality like the Prophets since Allah has made them an example for us to follow. “Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, Thou hast not created this in vain; nay, Holy art Thou; save us, then, from the punishment of the Fire”(4).
- Holy Qur’an (3:80)
- Holy Qur’an (4:70)
- Holy Qur’an (3:192)
Last modified: April 2019