Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spiritualism and Mysticism

The concept of spiritualism or mysticism has existed in the world for thousands of years. It has many schools of thought, which must be dealt here, albeit briefly, in order that the Islamic School of thought about spiritualism can come out clearly vis-à-vis other schools of spiritualism.

Three basic concepts are worth mentioning here. According to the first concept, spiritualism means to establish contact with one’s own inner personality. To them man’s inner existence is akin to a mysterious ocean, which remains, under normal circumstances, undiscovered for man.

The spiritual quest means from the Islamic point of view that the servant (of God) wants to join/contact God, his Creator. Islamic spiritualism is in actual fact a realization of God. Whatever man gains at the level of his heart and mind through the realization of God is known as Islamic spiritualism. This is all related to the worship and Quran Recitation in depth. Islamic spiritualism has come to have two schools of thought, one may be called Qur’anic school of thought and the other is commonly known as tasawwuf.

The other concept of spiritualism is basically produced under the influence of the philosophy of monism. According to the concept of monism, leaving the details aside, all forms of existence are in actual fact manifestations of the same source. According to this concept of spiritualism, to put it in simple words, it is for the part to realize its whole in order that it may join it by discovering it.

From Islamic viewpoint man’s existence has two aspects/levels to it. One is man’s visible body which is in need of a number of material things. Without providing the material things like food, water, clothes, home etc. physical body cannot survive. The other aspect of human personality is that in it there is an invisible being called soul. The soul too requires certain things, but these are not of material nature. These are entirely of non-material nature, hence its requirements too was to be fulfilled.