Question: Please inform me
of the true implication of the term ‘spiritual aspect’ of a human being?
How does it differ from the ‘moral aspect’?
Answer: Faith and religion
guide man’s spiritual being. It has to do with his relationship with God,
and the resultant attitude adopted by him in his dealings with fellow human
beings. To be grateful to the Lord Almighty for His Providence and His
Mercy, to observe the blessings that surround us, and thanking and acknowledging
the Creator behind them contributes to the spirituality of a person. The
direct implication of such a submissive attitude will help maintain a human
being’s contact with his Lord through His prescribed forms of worship.
Seek the bounty of God, and worship Him. Give
thanks to Him, for to Him you shall return. (29:17)
The best of all kinds of worship being
The spiritual aspect of a human being,
therefore, directly refers to his relationship with Allah, the resultant
self-purification and dealings with others. For a Muslim, this will imply
the greater Jihad, the one against the nafs. This is a constant,
on-going battle against Satan, in order to protect oneself from the evil
that lurks around us, and remain conscious of God Almighty at all times
and under all circumstances.
The moral aspect is innate in man.
His ability to decipher between good and bad, right and wrong, evil and
pious, is God-given: man’s conscience. Morality is a universal concept
by nature. However, in the secular world today, it has been distorted into
a very relative concept. ‘Nurture’ is falsely being proclaimed as the winning
end in the ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture’ debate. With every society defining
its own morals, what may be considered a highly moral thing to do in one
society, may be proclaimed something morally corrupt in another.
In Islam, man’s moral aspect refers
to his obedience to Allah, his selflessness, kindness, consideration, chastity,
piety, charity, etc. Thus, for a Muslim whose life is governed by belief
in Allah, and the beliefs and laws enacted by Him, both these concepts
of the spiritual being and the moral being, will inevitably overlap. One
would promote the other.
For example, the offering of prayers
– a spiritual act – will reprimand man on any immoral act he may have committed.
It should follow then that he ought to repent for his mistakes, correct
himself and continue to answer the call of his conscience – the moral aspect.