By Imam Jamal Rahman
“Are you not aware that it is God whose limitless glory all creatures in the heavens and on earth praise, even the birds as they outspread their wings?” (Qur’an 24:41-42)
“To God belong the most Beautiful Names.” (Qur’an 7:180)
In Islamic spiritual literature, there is a classic story of God who appeared to some birds and spoke to them. Birds initially were creatures without wings. The wingless creatures were astonished and euphoric! They were so entranced by God’s Presence and enchanted by the sound of God’s voice, that out of “increased necessity”, they sprouted wings to fly all over in search of God. To this day, they continue their swoop up and down the sky desperately yearning to experience this glow of Presence one more time. When birds chirp and sing they are pouring praise and gratitude to their Creator.
In the same vein the Prophet Muhammad offered a sweet metaphorical observation. Take note, he said, that after a bird sips water, it tilts its head backward. It does so not only for water to flow downward but for praise and thanksgiving to flow heavenward!
The Qur’an says repeatedly that all of creation, at its core, is continuously praising and thanking God. Our human souls are doing the same. When we consciously praise and thank God, we are enjoined with a spectacular, universal cosmic chorus. Our beings become exalted and we feel uplifted. Our vibrations are upraised. The beautiful words we offer to Spirit enrich, ennoble and beautify our beings and our lives.