The best of provision for the soul
In essence fasting in the true sense of the word would necessarily transform the individual into another being whose worldly essential needs are rearranged in priority. When the nafs is elevated into higher spiritual station then it will re-evaluate its essential worldly needs in relation to its corporeal existence and begins in search for another type of sustenance which would grant it an eternal existence near the beloved.
The nafs’ abstinence from food and fluids, during fasting in compliance with God’s commandments and in seeking His pleasure, would cerate an awareness of the universal relationship, within the heart, with the rest of mankind and it would enable it to spiritually evolve and ultimately succeed in taming the powerful effects of its inner corporeal desires; food and prohibited acts, other unlawful activities and bad habits.
Hence the soul-nafs would develop a divine desire and needs for its eternal coexistence. And it will develop an inner divine core or “inner core(1)” by which the soul is able to comprehend “taf’qah” the hidden knowledge of the cosmos. In other words, the nafs’ worldly provisions-food and other needs, will no longer be the main objectives in life and it will take its proper priority in relationship to human’s physical coexistence, instead it will acquire an eternal provisions:“..And make provision for yourselves – but, verily, the best of all provisions is alttaqwa: remain, then, “shield yourselves from Me-itta’qooni” , “O those of inner cores!-ya olee alalbabi-” 2:197
Hence new definitions of priorities will be realized by the soul and then new spiritual urge for divine sustenance will emerge as heavenly provisions, for it is the type of provisions which would truly connect us to higher realities of existence- “alwujood” It would truly give us an ideal definition of the principle of “tawhid” by unifying God through His manifested shadow that is “existence”
These divine provisions are attained through the nafs engagement in the process of purification “tazkiyatulnafs” which is sought by constant attempt of the soul in pursuing “ta’qwa” (2).According to the teachings of Quran and Sunna, the act of “ta’qwa”, which is pursued by the nafs, is attained through various human activities in interacting with his fellow man. There are various acts which are incumbent upon the truth seeker that would earn him the station of ta’qwa.
In other words, ta’qwa is achieved only through attending the essential needs and doing good deeds, toward others. Hence it is only then the definition of tawhid-unity of God, is fully attained by the inner core of men. That is how the Beloved reminds those who pursuing “ta’qwa” to uphold the principle of tawhid;“shield yourselves from Me-itta’qooni O those who possess cores!-ya olee alalbabi-” 2:197(1)
In this verse Allah SW is addressing those who possess inner cores which is suitable to receive Allah’s guidance and attain ta’qwa so that such blessed cores will grow and eventually blossom into divine roses to be cultivated by the Beloved, as the Beloved addressed those who have cores just like the seeds possess cores which will germinate and eventually grow to its final decreed shape.
May Allah help us to develop our spiritual insights, and may He blessed our spiritual cores and water them with the showers of His divine mercy, to grow in piety.
WaminnaAssalamKatib Footnotes: Photo credit: sakkal design (1) “O those of possess cores” is rendered from the Arabic as “olee alalbabi” plural of “lub” which literally means “core” of something. Such term in Arabic is often used in reference to the cores of seeds of plants.This kind of choice of word by Allah SW is truly extraordinary which reflects the glory of His words and the miracle of Quran. (2) “ta’qwa” literally means being God conscious; God fearing; avoiding God’s wrath.