By Jamal Rahman

Allah asked, “Am I not your Sustainer?”  
They replied, “Yes!  You are! We testify!”  (Qur’an 7:172)

“I was a secret Treasure and I longed to be known.  And so I created you, and the worlds, visible and invisible.”  
~ Hadith Qudsi 

The Qur’an says that prior to sending human beings to earth, Divinity gathered all of the unborn souls and established with them a sacred covenant. Our mission is to know and connect with our Creator. Cosmically encoded deep inside of us is a mysterious longing to bond with God.

 Thus, within every desire for anything in our lives is a yearning for our Beloved. The inexplicable unease we experience in our life even when our wants are fulfilled is expressed in the utterance of the beloved eighth century female Islamic saint Rabia: “There is a disease in my breast no doctor can cure; only union with the Friend can cure this.”

 Or, consider the exclamation of Rumi, “There is a kiss we want all of our lives-a touch of Spirit on the body.”

 What does it mean to connect with God, who, the Qur’an explains, is within and without?

To connect with Allah inside of us, we have to do the essential inner work of evolving into the fullness of our being by removing the veils of our ego so that we move closer to our higher self.  By awakening to our divine spark, we experience inner peace and fulfillment.To bond with Divinity outside of us, we make a commitment to serve God’s creation. Our dedication to serve the common good makes our soul leap with joy! The twentieth century Indian poet Tagore wrote: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy; I awoke and found that life was service; I served and lo, service was joy!”

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