Saturday, September 17, 2016

the spirit and the material

There is no room in Islam for the dualism of a good spiritual realm and an evil material sphere: this world too has been created by God, and He has made it subservient to man...[Quoting Nasr] "The spirituality of Islam of which the Prophet is the prototype is not the rejection of the world but the transcending of it through its integration into a Centre and the establishment of a harmony upon which the quest of the Absolute is based." [...] Therefore the mystic who, completely submerged in the vision of God, wants to stay forever in the realm of spirit without returning hither to the material sphere, has been frequently contrasted in Islamic thought with the Prophet, who returned to this world after his ineffable dialogue with God, in order to ameliorate the world and to implement the fruits of his inspiration for the betterment of society.
-Annemarie Schimmel, And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1985), p. 53.