Every human being connects to his/her soul in one way or another. “The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as compared to the material world is called spirituality.” This is the definition of spirituality you will find on the internet and this is not all, in fact, this is nothing. Spirituality is a big term and often people have their own definition of spirituality in their life.
Historically, we used the term spiritual and religious in the same context, today many people call themselves spiritual but not religious. For a Muslim religion directs his/her spirituality in the right direction and both are meaningless without each other. In the true sense, when you contemplate on the world and the purpose of creation you can clearly see that the material world may give you happiness for a fleeting time. On the other hand, real happiness and contentment rely in developing a spiritual connection with the Divine Being.
It is inherent in our nature that we want to seek knowledge of the Creator and the purpose of our creation. It is also true that fame, fortune, family, and other worldly matters make us sometimes far from it but sometimes it is the opposite. Some people feel emptiness and lack of meaning in their life regardless of how rich or prestigious they are in their life.
The feeling of emptiness and a desire to know the Creator and what He wants from us is a blessing. Also, it is a blessing to go through a hard time and as a result of this hardship understand the real purpose of creation. Then, to live a life that has no meaning but indulgence in the material world.
In the Quran, Allah says it in many verses that the creation of the heavens and the earth is not in vain but in reality it has a purpose. For example, in one verse Allah says that “in the creation of the heavens and earth and in the succession of day and night there are certainly signs for those who reflect. Those who remember God while standing, sitting, and laying down and ponder on the creation of the heavens and the earth, saying: Our Lord you have not created this in vain. Glory be to You. Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. (3: 190-191)
The hustle bustle of life and the rush in which we are living today sometimes is in itself a motivation to stop and reflect. On other occasions nature calls us to stop and contemplate. What is the purpose of this hustle and bustle? Is there meaning in your life? Are your struggles in this life meaningful? If not, why all the struggles and hard work?
This, however, does not mean that spirituality calls for only meditation and mysticism. Spirituality is far more than this widely understood notion. Spirituality is mindfulness and conscientiousness in actions. But sadly we often apply spirituality to zikar, prayers, and solitude but we fail to understand that there is no meaning of zikr and prayers if we do not learn to apply their meanings in real life actions. Islam is an action-oriented religion and it asks us to live a meningful life.
It means that every action we take in our life should be guided by the teachings of the Quran and our conscience. No action is small and every action has some consequences. Consequences go a long way and that makes the action bigger than it initially is. For example, what you are going to eat in dinner may be a small act to some but if you see the consequences of what you eat it is not small. Allah guides us in the Quran to eat halal, clean, and healthy food while our conscience tells us the same.
Same goes for the prayers and the recitation that are the source of satisfaction and contentment in a Muslim’s life. Prayers and recitation makes only meaning if we act the way it guides us towards our practical life. If you see the life of Prophet Muhammad’s صلى الله عليه وسلم life you can see that he spent his life in isolation and solitude of the cave Hira but that was a small part of his life. Most part of his life he worked to bring changes in society. He kept waking throughout the night to pray but in the day time he educated his companions, participated in wars, spent time with his family, and listened to the problems of his companions.
Today we have success in science and technology but no success rather a regression in humanity. Only if we think again and see what are the meanings of our actions we can become better human beings. The true form of spirituality makes you more connected to the Divine Being and to the humanity at the same time.