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Freeing One’s Spirit!

Freeing one’s spirit today is seems to be defined by gladly opening the mind to the invitation to “quench your thirst” of every desire you have. It suits the nature of the self, which is constantly seeking to satisfy every instinct it has: greed with extreme accumulation, lust with immoral actions, power with ill transgression. For such a creed, the Quran is definitely an obstacle to dreams. This is indeed how former generations have also mocked revelation, like the people of Madyan. “They said, ‘O, Shu'ayb. Does your prayer command you that we should leave what our fathers worship, or not do with our wealth what we please? Indeed, you are the forbearing, the discerning!’” (11:87).

In fact, Allah (swt) says: “Never did We send a warner to a population, but that the affluent ones among them said, ‘We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent” (34:34).

This obstinate denial observed in all generations is deeply rooted in the ungrateful nature of the human being. This ungrateful nature spreads like a poison in the soul, simply because humans forget who they are. “Truly man is, to his Lord, ungrateful. And indeed, he is to that a witness” (100:6-7). “O, man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous? (He) Who created you, fashioned you perfectly, and gave you due proportion. In whatever form He willed, He put you together. Nay! But you do reject Recompense!” (82:6-9).

But the seeker of the truth, the sincere believer, can read: "(Here is) a Book, which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may mediate upon its Signs, and that men of understanding may receive admonition" (38:29). S/he, reflecting upon the words of Allah (swt) as commanded in the previous Ayah, gets into the world of the gems of the Quran, the world of truth. This reflection helps one savor the eloquence of the message and enables the subsequent enlightenment of the entire being. With reflection, one Ayah can change one’s spirit and whole life.

A devout and righteous old man entered a place built for sins, where people were shouting and drinking. In the middle of the crowd, a sparsely dressed woman was dancing. He walked toward her, whispered in her ear and left. The lady froze, covered herself and rushed out, leaving all behind! She repented, and become a devout worshipper. Her admirer among the sinners, filled with sorrow and anger, blamed the old man of being the cause of their misfortune. They asked him, "What words did you tell her to brainwash her?" He said, “I just reminded her, with the intention to purify her, with the following Ayah: ‘When the Blazing Fire is kindled to a fierce heat’ (81:12).”

SubhanAllah, one Ayah changed her life. It shook the depths of her soul. She instantly realized that there will not be any escape then, except to flee to the Most Merciful. No wealth can help then, for: “Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them, and theirs would be a painful torment” (5:36).

This is, indeed, the fate of every human life, that it will face an accounting. Shouldn’t it then be an admonition to correct one’s spirit, to shift the craving to satisfy desires to the craving to be forgiven instead? In the example of the sorcerers of Firoun (Pharaoh), after seeking wealth and power, they shifted their craving to the forgiveness after witnessing the truth from Allah (swt). "They said: ‘No matter! For us, we shall but return to our Lord! Indeed, we aspire that our Lord will forgive us our sins because we were the first of the believers” (26:50-51).

If we have to find the origin of crisis today, we simply find it within the human mind. It has forgotten the purpose of our creation. Hence, liberation and enlightenment can only be achieved by reflecting upon the Quran. Indeed, the Quran was not revealed to cause distress, but to liberate. “We have not sent down to you the Quran that you be distressed. But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah)” (20:2-3).

"We have rendered the shrine (the Ka'aba) a focal point for the people
and a safe sanctuary.
You may use Abraham's shrine as a prayer house.
We commissioned Abraham and Ismail:
"You shall purify My house for those who visit,
those who live there,
and those who bow and prostrate."

Al Qur'an 2:125