God Always Prepares a Way of Emergence (Qur’an 65:2)

“Fear not: for I am with you. I hear and see everything.” (Qur’an 20:46)

“The Ocean cares for every wave
Until it reaches the shore.
You are given more help
than you will ever know.”
~ Rumi

This Qur’anic verse was revealed to Prophet Moses when he was asked by God to confront the mighty Pharaoh and warn him about his injustices. Be courageous and have faith. Divinity will help us in ways we cannot imagine in our noble mission to fight oppression.

The Signs of Nature

“In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the succession of the night and day, there are indeed messages for all who are endowed with insight.“ (Qur’an 3:190)

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

One of the best ways to grow in spiritual wisdom is to reflect on divine signs in nature. More than seven hundred verses of the Qur’an extol these natural signs. Many chapters are named after natural phenomenon and some chapters start with mysterious invocations. God takes an oath invoking nature: “By the fig and the olive” or “By the dawn.”

The Source of Abundance

“We have bestowed upon you the source of abundance. So to your Sustainer turn in prayer and sacrifice.” (Qur’an 108:1-2)

“Do not barter away your bond with God for a trifling gain!” (Qur’an 16:95)

The Qur’an tells us that we humans made a sacred covenant with our Creator before descending on earth. We testified that we would worship only God. The holy book further explains that our journey in Islam is about surrendering attachment to the ego that idolizes money, power and status.

The Mystery of Opposites

“And of everything we have created opposites, so that you might bear in mind that God alone is one.” (Qur’an 51:49)

“Nothing can be clear without a polar opposite.” (Rumi)

Allah is that which unites yes with no, for in His singularity all duality is mysteriously united. Allah is both the bridge between the unseen and seen realms and the meeting point between existence and nonexistence.

Praise and Thanksgiving

“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.

Kindness, Compassion and Mercy

“We have sent you (oh Prophet) as a mercy for all humankind.” (Qur’an 21:107)
“If kindness were a visible creation, nothing which Allah has created would be more beautiful than it. “ ~The Prophet Muhammad

Sufi teachers repeatedly use the metaphor of water in nature. There is nothing as soft and yielding as water but for overcoming the hardest, nothing is as powerful as water.

The Sacred Art of Listening

“Those who listen closely to all that is said and follow the best of it; it is they whom God has graced with His guidance, and it is they who are endowed with insight. “(Qur’an 39:18)
“Listening is like putting your head on a person’s chest and sinking into the answer.” (Rumi)

The truth is that there is a cacophony of voices inside of me clamoring for attention. Besides my higher self, there is the voice of my wounded self, my arrogant ego, my frightened inner child and so on. How do I discern which one is real?

Restraining Anger

“A paradise as vast as the heavens and earth has been readied for those who are conscious of God …who restrain their anger and pardon their fellow beings…” (Qur’an 3: 133-135)
“Raise your words, not your voice; it is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” (Rumi)

Devoid of self-control, the formidable energy of anger lacks God’s Grace.