Friday, November 21, 2008



In this piece “Spiritual wisdom” (Spectrum, Oct. 26) Randeep Wadhera writes, “you can be spiritual without being religious.” I can’t agree with this as one can’t be spiritual without being religious. An atheist , a disbeliever in religion, a savage or any person who despises religion can never be spiritual.

Such person may acquire high moral qualities but these are just natural conditions, which may be possessed even by those who deny the existence of God or hate religion. Many animals have a gentle disposition, and can be trained to become wholly peaceful and not to react savagely to chastisement, and yet we cannot call them human.

In the same way, a person who is entirely misguided and even has certain vices can exhibit good moral qualities. But in no way can be called a spiritual person. Hypnotism or mesmerism is not a synonym of spiritualism. Those who are transported into a trance by artificial means think that they have experienced spiritualism. Such people are utterly ignorant about spirituality.

Spirituality means enlightenment of soul and heart. It means realization of self and immersing one’s soul in the ocean of love of God. Spirituality minus God is only ritualism. So, mere acquisition of moral qualities does not bestow spiritual life upon a person. Spirituality can be attained only through the use of every moral quality in its proper place and on a proper occasion, and through treading faithfully on the way shown by God and through being wholly devoted to him.

I have borrowed these ideas about spirituality from the writings of the founder of the Ahmadiya Muslin Jamat Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (Punjab), India..

As all oscillatory motions are periodic but all periodic motions are oscillatory, so all spiritual persons are religious, but all religious person are not spiritual or an irreligious person can never be spiritual though he may possess high moral qualities.

Belief in God is pre-condition to attain spirituality.

(A Letter by BILAL AHMED SHAMIM, QADIAN, PUNJAB (India) to the Editor of The Tribune published on November 16, 2008)

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