Reflections on the Soul: Questions to ask during the holy month
Healthcare is a multitrillion-dollar industry and one of the fastest advancing areas of human knowledge powered by innovative researchers, cutting-edge technological know-how, highly sophisticated infrastructure, and above all, continuous investment of some of the brightest human brains in this field globally. As several health indicators reveal, the revolution set in motion by modern medicine has been phenomenal in terms of containing mortality rates, fighting against the spread of epidemic diseases and improving the overall physical and mental wellbeing of humans in general, despite the fact that a large chunk of world population has unfortunately been exempted from enjoying its fruits.
Eternal soul vs. transient body
The number of fast-multiplying specialties and subspecialties in modern medicine indicate our efforts to safeguard human body against diseases and a desperate attempt to make it invincible. In addition, we have a fast thriving cosmetics and fashion industry ensuring that we take better care of our body by beautifying and adorning it from time to time.
But all this fuss is about protecting and treating the human body, which is transient and is destined to perish after a few years, while we maintain a wanton disregard for the health and safety features of the soul, which is, instead, guaranteed an eternal existence.
The naysayer in me protests: “No, the medicine is all about making the God-given human life more enjoyable and life-worthy in this world, while at the same time, making the human body more equipped and powerful to work for the hereafter. Medicine is all about making the God-given mechanism more efficient to make it work for God. At the end of the day, like any other branch of knowledge, medicine is a blessed mission to invent God’s solutions to our physical and mental problems. So, dear mystic, do away with your misplaced antagonism towards medicine.”
“Don’t be so emotional,” is what a layman or an uneducated mystic told me, and as I interrupted.
“Don’t take it for a sweeping scathing about modern medicine. But I was hinting at how we are getting the priorities wrong. We lack seriousness when it comes to the diseases of the soul which requires urgent treatment.”
Do we care for our soul?
Hardly do we bother about doing a regular checkup to keep abreast of our soul’s health. Have too much intake of entertainment and spiritually relaxed sedentary lifestyle pushed our sugar level up? Has a less disciplined life, with too many unnecessary talks (lying, slandering, backbiting etc.) and less consumption of Touba (confession) of high nutritional value caused our soul’s cholesterol level skyrocket, risking an impending cardiac arrest? Need we urgently undergo a spiritual angioplasty? Are we suffering from acute syndromes of obesity because we don’t exercise our compulsory charity regularly nor we pay our voluntary charity? Does the acute shortage of compassion, love, generosity, and tolerance cause the growth of cancerous cells in our soul?
What about several vitamin deficiencies that we are afflicted with? Do we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner cereals enriched with sufficient vitamin of Quran, or do we require taking vitamin pills of Tasbeeh, Adkar or Salat at frequent intervals? What about taking a penicillin injection of fasting or a preventive I’tikaf, or even transplantation in the form of a pilgrimage? Is our soul exposed to a highly contaminated surrounding, incurring the risk of asthma and numerous chronic diseases? Is there diarrhea caused by eating usury or are we diagnosed with leukemia or even brain-death due to indulgence in pornography? And above all, is lack of reading, knowledge, thinking, and meditation leading us to a complete paralysis?
There is no dearth of specialization in the department of the soul’s medicine. And these are not lesser diseases when it comes to the overall health and well-being of an individual and society as a whole. We are in dire need of potential therapeutic expertise, technical prowess, and innovative infrastructure. The naysayer nodes in affirmative, though he is noticeably discomfited!
We need to take care of the health and beauty of our heart because it is with that extra sensory organ that we communicate with Allah. And that is the organ which we should keep illuminated with the Divine Light. As the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Allah does not look at our outward appearances, but He looks at our hearts and deeds.
Let us impress our Lord with a sincere, pure and beautifully illuminating heart.