Spirituality has a significant role in man’s life without which life will become monotonous and unsatisfying. Everyone seeks spirituality in his life, even though he may not be aware of this fact. A question rises at this point as to what can be achieved through spirituality.
The Quran being the word of the Creator of the universe is of great help in understanding the answer to this question. It can be understood from the Quran that the whole point in spirituality and piety is the purification of one’s heart and mind from all deficiencies and impurities.
The Quran, however, uses a special terminology about spirituality. There are verses in the Quran where God talks about moving from darkness towards light. This movement from darkness towards light, indeed, is the same reality as the purification of the soul. Once in the dark state, one is surrounded with impurities. The more he moves towards the light, the more pure he becomes.
Before discussing the concept of light, it is appropriate to have a reflection on these verses of the Quran. In the famous verse of sura al- Baqarah known as Ayat al-Kursi, God says,
God is the Master of the faithful (Quran 2:257)
Of course, God is the guardian of everyone. However, since the believers accept God’s guardianship and submit themselves and their affairs to Him, God provides them with His special guidance and support. Those who do not believe in God or do not believe in Him whole-heartedly do not really see themselves in need of God’s support. The Korah is a good example of such people. The Quran says about him,
We had given him so many treasures that their keys indeed proved heavy for a band of stalwarts. (Quran, 28:76)
According to the Quran, people used to tell him,
By the means of what God has given you, seek the abode of the Hereafter (Quran, 28: 77)
But his reply was “He said, ‘I have indeed been given [all] this because of the knowledge that I have.’” (Quran, 28:77)
It was at this point that God punished him and made him a lesson for others. The attitude of people like Korah and even many of the believers towards God is that they think they can do fine without Him and manage their lives. Sometimes they even think that they know how to handle their affairs better than God. This is why they do not listen to Him. These are the people that adopt the satanic powers as their guardians.
In other words, although God is the guardian of everyone, only the believers who submit themselves to God benefit from His guardianship. As the Quran states in Sura al-Baqarah,
He brings them out of darkness into light. (Quran 2:257)
The term zulumat (darkness) in this verse is used in plural form. This shows that there are different types of darkness. On the other hand, nur (light) is not plural or it would have been anwar. The reason behind this is that, as it will be explained later, light is only one. There is only one true and real light. However, several types of darkness exist.
In order to benefit from the light of sun, there is only one way: to remove any barrier in the way of sun’s light, but there are many ways to make a place dark. One can close his eyes, put a handkerchief on his eyes, put curtains, or do other actions that make him not see the light.
Nevertheless, there is only one way to reach the light. Thus in the Quran sirat al-mustaqim (the right path) is one. (To be continued)
Authored By: Mohammad Ali Shomali