ONCE a mother gave her son a candy to eat at a place where he would be all alone. The child went into his room, locked it from the inside and ate the candy as per the wish of his mother.
After a while when his mother inquired where he had eaten the candy, the son replied that he ate it in his room when he was all alone. The mother said we are never alone. Allah Almighty is always with us. He accompanies us, watches and supports us all throughout our lives. What we lack is His consciousness.
While visiting a book exhibition, a student tried to steal a book from a stall where hundreds of books were on display and the seller was busy with a group of customers. Then, immediately a thought came to him that this was not a good act as Allah watches us every second of our life.
Consciousness of Allah is an essential part of Islamic teachings.
Consciousness of Allah and feeling His presence is an essential part of Islamic teachings. It requires believers to be ever-conscious of Allah’s presence in every breath of life. His presence is ubiquitous and this has been amply mentioned in the Holy Quran. This kind of feeling makes one fearless, steadfast and strong in one’s righteous mission. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) was much concerned before going into the battle of Badar to defend Madina. Allah gave His assurance that He was with him (8:12).
Chapter 20 of the Quran mentions that when Moses and his brother were deputed with certain guidelines to the pharaoh, they were afraid, but Allah reassured them by telling them He was with them (20:46). This lessened their fear in conducting their mission. Therefore, those who undertake risky business to serve humanity with uncertain results need to be assured of Allah’s support.
Among the beautiful names of Allah is Ar-Raqeeb, which means the Watchful One; He watches our activities and not a tiny act escapes his sight. At one place Allah says “…And He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah sees well all that ye do” (57:04).
We live in a material world and are confined in a material body, therefore, feeling Allah’s spiritual presence within and without is not easy for everyone.
This requires intense introspection — a more soul-searching exercise at the personal level aimed at reforming thoughts, actions and attitudes.
There are two broad ways of leading the worldly life — one with a sensitive mindset guided by Allah’s consciousness, and the other with the absence of such consciousness.
The Islamic view of life is fundamentally based on the concept of the constant presence of Allah.
He is all-encompassing, all-accompanying and all-knowing. He is the origin of all and all are to return to Him.
In this world, we are different and our paths are also different but the goal is one, like Maulana Rumi explains in his Kitab Fihi Ma Fihi (‘A book which contains what it contains’). He says “...Though the ways are various, the goal is one. Do you not see that there are various roads to the Kaaba? For some the road is from Rome, for some from Syria, for some from Persia, for some from China, for some by sea from India and Yemen. So if you consider the roads, the variety is great and the divergence infinite; but when you consider the goal, they are all of one accord, and one. The hearts of all are upon the Kaaba. The hearts have an attachment, an ardour, and a great love for the Kaaba, and that there is no room for contrariety.
“The attachment is neither infidelity nor faith; that is to say, that attachment is not confounded with the various roads which we have mentioned. Once they have arrived there, that disputation and war and diversity touching the road ... once they have arrived at the Kaaba, it is realised that the warfare was concerning the road only, and that their goal was one” (The Discourses of Rumi by A.J. Arberry, p109).
This kind of sensitive mindset can be generated more easily in the early years of life when a person is nursed and nourished in an environment of spirituality. Our school textbooks should have stories on these topics, which can attune students towards God. There can be great impact if one is sensitive to these kinds of feelings. A person’s mindset keeps him pure in his imagination, thinking and acting and he does not commit sin, nor can he be easily deceived or defrauded by satanic acts.
All God’s creatures have their own spiritual relationship with their Creator; but human beings are highly developed and are far more advanced than the countless number of other beings in the universe. This realisation should bring man closer to spirituality.
The writer is an educationist with an interest in religion.
Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2016