Divine vs. Worldly

Scene: Last moments at an airport departure longue.

Dr. Agha to Umer: Remember. Divine thought/knowledge/Light is inversely propotional to your indulgence in this world.

The former, i.e., the religious enlightenment, is never in direct relation with the absorption in this world, or, in other words, with worldly progress.

So let this formula be your yardstick to judge who has Light and who doesn't have. You can easily discern with it between True and False Spiritual Master. But above all live and apply this formula.

I don't think that material progress is in conflict with spiritual, although both are diametrically opposed to each other in quality (see "Islam at the Crossroad," ch. The Spirit of West). And that spiritual progress may take place with the material progress simultaneously, although it need not be necessary, as M. Asad remarks in the suggested book. What supports the advice of my teacher is the evident reality that when our roots are strong in this world the contemplation of the divine becomes very difficult. It was only possible for Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to balance between this world and the one beyond. I cannot go to "Mirage"; he did. I can't bear the immense pain he had to bear. He nonetheless remained absorbed in the thought of divine through both contemplation and practice. I wish to assimilate at least one world that which is higher. What else can I desire than that which is eternal!

2 did criticisms:

Rhodora Online said...

I agree heartily with the idea that spiritual involvement is in an inverse relationship to material indulgences of the world. You can deduce the same by inspecting your own namaz. Say your prayers after reading Quran or hearing an inspiring lecture on Islam, and compare it with the time when you stand for namaz at the end of a busy scheduled day or after indulging in some pure worldly entertainment.
Even our Prophet's attitude to the affairs of the earth was spiritual rather than material. I remember a hadith in which he once visited Hazrat Fatimah and obseving some gay and merry pattern on the curtains on her door observed to her something to the effect that the world as such is not for the likes of us.

UT said...


Thanks for the thoughtful comment :)

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