My Interpretation of Islamic Mysticism
Raised as a Christian, I were taught by my family to trust the conscience were Jesus would speak to me. The intuition and the inner voice are other names used by people to describe the conscience. All the same, the use of the conscience to guide oneself through life’s challenges as well as simple day to day affairs is based on the fact that Jesus were the Spirit of the Lord and the same Spirit resides in each one of us. Bearing this in mind, none of us may truly go wrong. Hence, I have never really believed in strict rules of the Lord to guide me to heaven. Rather, I trust in the Spirit of the Lord or Jesus Christ who lives in me to guide me in all situations.
Imam Birgivi’s mysticism, in addition to the religions of others, have never appealed to me for the reason that they teach strict rules to their followers. Nevertheless, Birgivi’s chapter, “On Righteousness,” quotes many verses of the Qur’an which I appreciate just as much as I love the words of Jesus in the Gospels. Divine words about the Garden are truly a message of hope for all people suffering from the stress of worldly existence. Birgivi also writes extensively on fear of the Lord.
Jesus Christ spoke of this fear as well, although the love of God must be balanced with fear in our emotional lives. In other words, we cannot excessively fear and love the Lord at the same time. Moreover, fear of the Lord is essential, especially for those who turn into murderers or terrorists. Although I believe in freedom that the Spirit of the Lord entitles me to feel – I also believe that fear of the Lord should be an important part of our belief systems, seeing that this fear could keep people from destroying their own lives as well as the lives of others.
Birgivi’s chapter, “On Identifying Evil,” once again leads me to turn to the Sprit of Jesus Christ within me. Jesus knew when Satan tried to seduce him. The Lord’s Prayer has taught me to request God to keep me away from temptations. Jesus also taught his followers to struggle against the devil. In particular, he taught the believers to shun the devil with their authority – the authority of the Spirit of the Lord. Thus, I do not wish to fear the devil. Birgivi writes that we must fear the influence of the devil’s suggestions. But, I am not convinced by the idea of fearing the devil, seeing that Jesus Christ gave me power over the devil. I would simply trust in warding off evil thoughts and keeping away from evildoing.
Moreover, I would not like to focus on the kinds of doubts that Birgivi asks me to shun. From everything that I have learned about Jesus Christ, I know that he had the clearest focus and clearest mind. I would like to develop such a clear focus and mind, instead of thinking about the differences between good and evil suggestions. I believe that these debates within the self would not allow me to live the life of freedom that the Spirit of the Lord has guided me to live. Lastly, I am confident that my trust in the Lord should be strong enough to keep me away from evil as it is. I do not need to learn about the difference between good and evil when the Spirit of the Lord within me is all good and without a trace of evil.
Birgivi, Imam. The Path of Muhammad: A Book on Islamic Morals and Ethics & The Last Will