Signs Of Spiritual Health
What are the signs of having found this spiritual wealth?
One of the signs is that man begins to receive divine provision (20:131). In complying with God’s commandments, whatever you do is apparently a matter of your own choice: you may or may not carry them out. But during the performance of these acts, or rites of worship, one experiences particular inner feelings which are not a matter of one’s own choice, that is, one cannot produce them on one’s own.
Then where do these inner feelings come from? These actually come from God. This is ‘food’ for the believer without which his spiritual personality could not be developed. It is like the divine provision which Mary received directly from God when living in the care of the Prophet Zakariya (Quran 3:37). When you observe a religious practice, you become aware of a special kind of feeling within you. This feeling is a reward from God for your good deeds. God does not give His best reward on credit! He gives it on cash payment. The believer receives it the very moment he makes himself deserving of it. When our Lord accepts any of our deeds, we surprisingly experience spiritual, nay angelic, feelings within ourselves. This is the introduction to Paradise that God has promised to righteous believers. It is the fragrance of the Garden of Paradise which believers find in this world.
Although these inner feelings take the form of a spiritual anguish, they are more piquant by far than anything in this world. They cannot be compared with worldly delights. Intuition tells us that these inner feelings are reflections of that superior, divine reward which is called Heaven. It is said, therefore, in the Quran that the Heaven into which the believers will enter in the Hereafter will be a “known provision” (37:41) to them. It will not be a thing unknown, but a thing with which they were already acquainted in the life of this world:
“He will admit them to Paradise He has made known to them” (47:6).
According to Abu Saeed Khudri, the Prophet once said: “The man who goes to Heaven will recognize his home even better than he recognized his house on earth.” (Bukhari).
When men give charity “with their hearts filled with awe…” (23:61); when they are able to recite the Quran in such a way that their eyes are “filled with tears” (5:86); when, while intensely remembering God, they “forsake their beds to pray to their Lord in fear and hope” (32:16); when they experience such painful moments as realizing the truth of what is stated in the Quran: “…and the love of God is stronger in the faithful” (2:165); when they have the most sublime spiritual experiences; when some hidden truths are unveiled before them; when, with restless hearts and quivering lips, they call their Lord with such inspired words as had never before come to their lips, then they are actually receiving divine provision from their Lord. They are tasting one of the many fruits that their Lord has reserved for them. In this world these fruits take the form of spiritual experiences; in the next world they will take the form of heavenly rewards. Then the faithful will feel that these are the very things of which they had been given a foretaste on earth: “Whenever they are given fruit to eat, they will say: ‘This is what we were given before,’ for they shall be given the like.” (2:25)
What the people of Paradise are going to receive in the life hereafter has already been introduced to them in the life they left behind. How foolish it would be if they imagined that in the next life they would be introduced to tastes, with which they had been previously unacquainted. Similarly, if in this life you have not previously passed through phases of feeling yourself to be nearer to God than to all others, how can you expect proximity with God in the Hereafter? Surely, prayer deserves such a great reward as will cool the eyes of the worshippers in the Hereafter. But this reward will be shared only by those who had known in the world such prayers as had been alluded to by the Prophet: “I found the balm of my eyes in worship” (Nasai).
Source: The Vision Of Islam