Islam and Spirituality

Those who talk about spirituality are often equated with becoming a Sufi or Sadhu?

Material attainments should be done for fulfilling needs and not for providing luxury. Man must know the difference between need, comfort and luxury. Sufis prescribe complete abstinence. I do not subscribe to complete abstinence. According to my understanding, materialism should be adopted so long as it fulfils the need. Attaining luxurious living should not be the goal of striving for materialism. Here I would also like to clarify that comfort and luxury are not haraam (prohibited by religion) but they kills time, energy and money.

How can we differentiate between ‘material greed’ and ‘material need’?

These two behaviours cannot be clearly differentiated, it depends on the person. As per my understanding, ‘material need’ is provisioning for those things which are required for staying alive; not for enjoyment and comfort. A man must define the list of such things himself. Additionally, he must think about all those occupations that kill his time and energy and distract him from his goal.

How can I become a complex-free person?

Complex-free soul is one which is free of all forms of negative thinking – prejudice, hatred, enmity etc. He who is able to free his mind of such thoughts is complex free. To make one free is not a mysterious formula, it depends on the act of introspection and contemplation. The following verse in the Quran, An nafsul mutmaiynna (89:27) This verse says how man becomes complex-free. If God gives favour to man, he thinks he is superior. On the other hand, when God withhold something which man has wanted he thinks he has been let down [89:15-16]. Both thinking are wrong.

What can be a spiritual response to the present economic crisis?

Speaking Tree| TOI | April 2, 2011


Adopt contentment. If you cannot increase national growth, decrease your needs; otherwise it will lead to problems. Tackling national issues is not just the task of the administration, it is every citizen’s duty. We should develop the spirit of looking on it as our duty and do it with willingness.

A number of religious and spiritual leaders in different religions are trying to communicate with people, especially the younger

My aim is not simply to entertain the youth. To yield positive results, I want to address their minds and develop their thinking in constructive terms. My method is to make the youth thinking persons. I believe in scientific spirituality, and not ‘entertaining’ spirituality. Fun is meant for temporary enjoyment, while the goal of spirituality is to bring about permanent change in the personality.

What is the starting point of a spiritual life?

Speaking Tree | TOI | October 31, 2010

Adopt a simple life style. A simple life leads to spiritual development. A simple life style means saving yourself from unnecessary distractions. These distractions come In the way of spirituality.

What hampers spiritual growth?

The Speaking Tree | Sunday, August 15, 2010

In my opinion, it is excessive materialism that hampers spiritual growth. Material goods are necessity for comfortable living, but when you start chasing materialism you run the risk of losing your spirituality.

How can one find peace of mind?

The Speaking Tree | Sunday, August 15, 2010

People generally confuse individual peace and social peace. Social peace is an ideal that is difficult to achieve, but individual peace is completely achievable. You cannot control society, but your mind can be completely under your control. Develop the quality of tolerance and you will be able to live in peace, even when there is no peace in the outside world. Peace of mind basically depends on one’s thinking, and not on the state of affairs.

What is spirit and form? Are both necessary?

The Speaking Tree | Sunday, June 27, 2010

In my experience, there is no difference between the two. Spirit is not an independent entity. Spirit is only a manifestation of the mind. Mind is the basis of every personality. All other things like emotions, thinking, love are different functions of the mind. You are what your mind is.