Is Wise Enough to be Inspired from Divine Guidance

Balanced Heart and Mind
Seeks Useful Knowledge
Adds Value through Nurturing Talents
Balanced Materialism and Spirituality
Works Hard Yet Never Forgets Family Obligations

Realizes that His Freedom is Bound by Responsibility of Preserving Others

Is Internally Balanced and Doesn't Act on Mere Impulses

Cares to Serve and Help Others for No Personal Return

Lives a Purpose-Driven Life

Prioritizes Duties and Directions in Life

Avoids Profane Talk

Lives with Love

Neither Weakens nor Sorrows nor Despairs

Manages Time by Focusing on Fundamentals

Learns from Past Mistakes

Lives the Now and Builds the Future

Has Inner Peace through Contentment and Spirituality

Personifies the Best of Morals

Has a Sound Heart
 
 
 

Questions such as why human beings were created, and why certain events occur as opposed to others, and why someone had to die and not another, can not be answered by the human mind in and of itself. A simple reason is the fact that human beings are not even able to uncover the mysteries of their own brain! The human mind is only able to identify existing rules, which Allah has put in nature, and use them to come up with new connections. That is why Allah,

  the One and Only Perfect Creator of the universe, has sent messengers, Prophets (peace be upon them all) since the beginning of time, from among the best of human beings, to guide human beings…
 

Balanced materialism and spirituality

 

According to Aristotle, the virtuous habit of action is always an intermediate state between the opposed vices of excess and deficiency: too much and too little are always wrong; the right kind of action always lies in the mean. He said,” avoid extremes of all sorts and seek moderation in all things”(1)

The Muslim society is described in the Qur'an as follows, “ Ummathan wasathan ” (a balanced nation). Allah (2) (God) ( SWT ) (3) says,

“And thus We have made you a middle nation to be witnesses over mankind…” (TMQ, 2: 143).

That is, a unified society that adopts a middle course, not diverging to extremes. Therefore, the teachings of Islam recommend balance in all the aspects of life. Among these aspects, is the the balance between the spiritual and the materialistic.

Islam stands, in many ways, between the formalism of Judaism and the spirituality of Christianity, although it is the latest religion chronologically speaking. It teaches Muslims to have the best of both worlds: the worldly life, and the world of eternal peace in the Hereafter. Allah ( SWT ) says in what can be translated as,

“And seek, in whatever Allah has brought you, the Last Home, and do not forget your assignment of the present (life)...” (TMQ, 28: 77)

Islâm rejects both excessive dream-like spirituality and excessive physical oriented life. Its teachings are also against purely self-serving materialistic philosophies that exist nowadays in both East and West. It came up with a balanced, coordinated program for man's development, taking into account his physical, intellectual and spiritual needs, based on the sound principle that man is formed of body, mind and soul.

The earthly and heavenly

Man was created by God from both clay and soul, Allah says,

“Your Lord said to the Angels, “Surely I am creating a mortal of a clay. So when I have molded him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then fall down to him prostrating!” (4), 38: 71)

This dichotomy in creation is bewildering; an earthly ingredient together with a heavenly one. These two ingredients make it evident that humans need both the spiritual and the material for a balanced and happy life. The ingredient of clay keeps Man attracted to the earth with its lusts, basic instincts and pleasures. Therfore, he needs to satisfy these worldly inclinations. On the other hand, the ingredient of soul earges him to satisfy his spiritual and moral inclinations. It puts limits to his earthly instincts and gets him spiritually elevated in a world of virtue.

Why the need for both the material and the spiritual?

Man was provided with material instincts in order to enable him to acheive the goals he was created for: Populate the earth and enrich it with life and civilization. Without these material instincts, there would have been no progress, no advanced technologies, and no civilizations. The human race would have disappeared a long time ago. At the same time, man was provided with spiritual and moral instincts in order to worship Allah ( SWT ), to fear Him and to obey Him.

A balance between body and soul is needed in order to acheive these goals. None of them should dominate the other. For instance, if the material ingredient dominates, man would regress to the rank of beasts; if not worse! Therefore life on earth would be a real chaos. If, on the other hand, the spiritual ingredient dominates, then, man would retrieve from mundane life into a kind of monasticism or mysticism. This would lead to a passive life, a withdrawal from all human effort. Therfore, man would fail to acheive the wellfare to mankind.

Moreover, Man is supposed to live a mundane life. He has many duties vis-a-vis himself, his family and social relations. He has to do his best to fullfil these duties. the Prophet (SAWS) (5) said: "Observe fasting and break it (at the proper time) and stand in prayer and devotion (in the night) and have sleep, for your body has its right over you, and your eyes have rights over you, and your wife has a claim upon you, and the person who pays a visit to you has a claim upon you."

Islam is against one-sidedness

Islam urges man to use both the material and the spiritual for the reconstruction of life. He condemns those who made Allah's earthly gifts illicit such as was the case with the Christians. They laid emphasis on the spiritual side of life and rejected its material and mundane side. Allah (SWT) says,

“Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment.” (TMQ, 7: 32 )

Materialistic ideologies, on the other hand, totally rejected all what was not materialstic, and considered the spiritual side as fictitious and imaginary. They

administered to the confort of the body and left the sirit impoverished. The resulted is but a catastrophy as humanity lacks peace, satisfaction and serenity; all the

ingredients for happiness. Aristotle said,

“Neither the ordinary notions of pleasure, wealth, and honor nor the philosophical theory of forms provide an adequate account of this ultimate goal ( ie , hapiness ), since even individuals who acquire the material goods or achieve intellectual knowledge may not be happy.” (6)

Islam even gives the material gifts an important role in the spiritual salvation. It clearly states that spiritual elevation can be better achieved by material means. For instance, those who seek earthly knowledge, or who work for the wellfare of mankind, or those who help the needy, work hard, build factories and roads, save lives...all these are far better rewarded than those who content themselves with acts of worship!

In short, the teachings of Islam aim at creating equilibrium between the material and the spiritual. They clearly state that all the material things on earth were created for man, but man was created for a noble purpose, that of fullfilling the will of Allah (SWT) through establishing a moral and just way of life.

 

 
 

(1) http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/2s.htm

(2) The word Allah is the Arabic term for God. Although the use of the word "Allah" is most often associated with Islam, it is not used exclusively by Muslims; Arab Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews also use it to refer to the One God. The Arabic word expresses the unique characteristics of the One God more precisely than the English term. Whereas the word "Allah" has no plural form in Arabic, the English form does, and the word 'Allah' in Arabic has no connotation of gender. Allah is the God worshipped by all Prophets, from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

(3) Suhanahu wa Ta'ala [Glorified and Exalted Be He].

(4) TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an.  This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah: Ayah) of the Qur'an.  Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

(5) Salla Allah alayhe Wa Salam [All Prayers and Blessings of Allah be upon him]

(6) From: www.philosophypages.com/hy/2s.htm.