By Sadia Dehlvi
Dec 27, 2013
With the year 2013 drawing to a close, it is a good time to reflect on one’s deeds and actions. Apart from worldly achievements, a reflection on the spiritual aspect of our lives is well worth the effort.
The question to ask ourselves is that as servants of the Almighty, have we behaved in a responsible way towards our families, neighbours and society at large?
We need to reflect on the spiritual condition of our heart. Every human being is born with a pure heart, but with age we often slip into a state of heedlessness and forget our essential nature. People with impure hearts tend to oppress others, forgetting humanity’s ultimate destination; the infinite world of the Hereafter. Remembering that we are all here for an appointed time is a good spiritual practice that cleanses the heart of frivolousness.
Quran constantly asks us to reflect on the nature of the world and on the signs of God. “Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; here indeed are signs for a people that are wise.”
Reflection is the light in our hearts, which helps us discern good from evil, the beautiful from the ugly.
Reflection brings us closer to understanding the deeper meanings of the spiritual texts, the lives of the Prophets and the righteous ones. It is for these reason that many Sufis have said that no act of worship is as meritorious as reflection. The Sufis and scholars ask the seekers to reflect on God’s bounties but never on His essence because that is not possible for the human mind. Seekers of God are encouraged to reflect on God’s attributes that include His power and majesty. This reflection deepens one’s love for God.
Reflection as a regular practice is a good resolution for the New Year, so one can make amends before it is too late. Prophet Muhammad said, “Be vigilant of Allah, wherever you are and follow a misdeed with a good deed”. In another tradition, he said, “Every child of Adam errs and the best of those who err are those who seek to redress them”.
Sadia Dehlvi is a Delhi-based writer and author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam.