When the human body is deprived of certain types of food, over time it develops what is called ‘deficiencies’ diseases. For example sailors in the olden days were well aware of dangers of scurvy, swollen bleeding gums due to the lack of citrus fruits, so every captain made sure that he carried a plenty supply of fruit. Scurvy was caused by the lack of vitamin C in the diet.
Through out this century wonderful discoveries about vitamins and other essential nutrients have been made. These organic compounds are essential for the normal growth of the body and its functioning. We are all familiar with vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, which are present in meat vegetables eggs, fruit, and milk. Their deficiency leads to ill health lethargy, disorientation and other physical ailments. These health problems can be quickly cured with multi vitamin tablets.
“A diet of spiritual vitamins is essential for the growth and proper functioning of the human soul and spiritual well being”
Just as the body is prone to malnutrition so is the soul. It too can suffer from lack of spiritual vitamins. A diet of spiritual vitamins is essential for the growth and proper functioning of the human soul and spiritual well being. What are these spiritual vitamins? Knowledge, love of God, and humanity. Their lack will lead to ignorance selfishness and apathy. What are the sources of these spiritual vitamins? How can one nourish oneself with them?
For the Muslim their most important sources are, worship, the reading of the glorious Quran, and the company of the righteous. These strengthen the soul and provide the energy required for other spiritual functions. How can we tell of spiritual well being? Our God Consciousness being the foremost sign of spiritual well being. This is a spiritual state when the soul is bubbling with energy, Conscious of ones obligation to Him and His creation, mind full of his own words and actions lest they cause any mischief or harm to others.
Piety also leads to a clearer understanding of the transient nature of our worldly lives. The conviction of the life hereafter deepens, one becomes surer that this life is but fleeting thus diminishes the worldly desires, greed, selfishness and self indulgence.
Piety is the receptive state of mind, clearly focused. Fully attentive and ready to receive “This noble book in it is no doubt, it is a source of guidance for the pious” (Surah Ak-Baqarah, Ayah 2) Commenting on this the Messenger (SAW) said, “Piety is the beginning of all wisdom”.
Once the soul is well nourished with spiritual food it goes from strength to strength as it tastes the spiritual delicacies and sees the Divine beauty. As a consequence one becomes more inclined towards spiritual exercises, night vigils, fasting, Dhikr, practising charity etc.
With the coming of the Ramadan comes the mercy of Allah Ta’ala, His blessings are showered, the gates of Paradise are open, in short, the spring of piety has arrived. As flowers blossom, trees grow green, fields and meadows becomes colourful, so does the soul of the faithful reawaken. Every second of this spiritual season is precious. The value of good deeds is multiplied several hundred fold. Let us resolve to take benefit fully from this month by spending more time studying the Glorious Quran, be in the company of the righteous and by fasting.
As you will be engrossed in devotion, fasting, dhiikr, study and other charitable activities and as you benefit from the many blessings of Ramadan, some Muslim brothers and sisters will be sadly deprived of it, why? Simply because they don’t know about this spring of piety. Wouldn’t you like to help them? You can begin by telling them about this great month and its great blessings.