By Jamal Rahman, New Age Islam
4 June 2021
The Human Has A Divine Spark—Call It Christ Nature Or Buddha Nature, Or Essence Of Elohim Or Breath Of Allah
1. If we identify or define ourselves only by our outer reality we miss out on our inner reality.
2. May we awaken to our true Divine nature.
Mulla Nasruddin, well known in many Muslim cultures, is a fictional character, a sage and village simpleton rolled into one! Through his humorous stories, many valuable truths are made known. I love this story about the Mulla in which he travels as far as China for a business deal. He enters the bank, and after some discussion, the banker asks him, “Sir, could you please prove your identity to confirm who you say you are?”
So, what does the Mulla do? He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pocket mirror. He peers into the mirror for a long time. And finally, he says, “Yeah! That’s me alright! I confirm it!”
The story has many levels of meaning. One level of meaning is: “Who am I really? Do I know who I really am?”
The Quran says that God moulded the human being from water and clay and then infused that water and clay with Divine breath. And then, amazingly, God asked the angels to bow to the human. Yes, the human has water and clay personality but also has that Divine spark—call it Christ nature or Buddha nature, or essence of Elohim or breath of Allah. But then why is it that we do not recognize the real ‘me’?
Sufi sages explain that this is because we identify or define ourselves only by our outer reality. We miss out on our inner reality. So, for instance, we define ourselves by our name, our family, our religion, our ethnicity, our profession, the colour of our skin, our age, our geographical location, our bank account, the car we drive, and so on. But we completely miss out on our inner reality: our capacity to love and be compassionate, to forgive and restrain our anger, to grow in awareness and be mindful.
The great sages ask, “Does someone who inherits wealth understand the value of wealth?” Our soul, our Divine spark, was given to us at no cost. But sadly, we don’t value this precious gift; we take it for granted.
But the great sages say, “It’s alright. Don’t get overly anxious. Be gentle with yourself. This is why you are here: ‘Foredoomed to forget so you might remember. Foredoomed to slumber so you might awaken.’”
So, my prayer for you and myself is that in the course of this lifetime, may we—slowly, little by little, and with compassion for ourselves—awaken to our true Divine nature.
Based in the USA, Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker and author on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. Along with his Interfaith Amigos, he has been featured in The New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. Jamal is co-founder and Muslim Sufi Imam at Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He travels nationally and internationally, presenting at retreats and workshops. Jamal’s passion lies in interfaith community building and activism.
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