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The Factors in Spiritual Awakening

Just as there is an awakening in the world of nature, as in the spring when life is brought back to earth after it has been barren, likewise there is a awakening in the spiritual realm. It is amongst the most precious gifts of God Almighty to His believing servants. It should be known that the Exalted Lord spreads His life-giving breezes even in this age of ours, but the problem is the small number of people who accept these life-giving breezes. They are like lazy farmers – springtime passes them by and they do not burden themselves with tending their land
We have to classify those who live around us: Some of them are like inanimate objects, as it says in the Holy Qur’an: {(They are) like blocks of wood in striped cloaks}. Some of them are like aimless cattle seeking after feed and preoccupied with sifting through garbage, {But they are even more misguided.} Amongst them are those who are dead, as it is said, {They have hearts wherewith they understand not}. Others amongst them are asleep – their senses have not died, but they need someone to wake them up. Then there are those who are awakened but paralyzed. They see the danger before them, but they are not able to move because there is no connection between their commanding will and the muscles that are supposed to carry out the command.
The spiritual awakening we receive in devotional times and places is a great blessing, but it has to be transformed into a constant and persistent effort to get ourselves out of the sorry position that most of us live in. We occupy that position when we live in a state of forgetfulness, neglect, and pleasure with the delights of the material world, and when we carry a strong inclination towards two well-known desires – the pleasures of food and sex. When Amir Al-Mu’mineen (a) described the purified worshipper, he praised him for escaping the control of these two desires.
Amongst the things that transform this abstract awakening into the persistent effort mentioned above is the condition of reflection and meditation on the movement of existence towards God on one hand, and the position of the individual within this movement on the other. Let’s consider the case of that man who turned from the path of falsehood to carefully and fearfully taking account of himself, only by reflecting on the word of the Most High, {Hasn’t the time come for those who believe to take awe into their hearts upon the remembrance of God.}, and he called out, “Yes, indeed, now is the time!”
Another thing that helps us in this transformation is facing difficult misfortunes. These situations are like a crucible in which the believer is transformed into a firmly rooted individual who would not be moved by the strongest storm, dignified in the every possible event. Therefore, the believer will take every misfortune as an opportunity to transform this temporary awakening into a deeply rooted condition of constant self-observation.
There is no doubt that disobedience buries the condition of spiritual awakening with which the Almighty blesses His worshipper from time to time. Any disobedience might prevent him from returning to this condition. This is the secret of the sad complaints of those who lost this uplifting spiritual condition. That is why the Prophet (s) had the right to plead to his Lord, saying, “Dear Lord, don’t ever return us to the bad condition from which You saved us. Do not take back the goodness You have given us. And don’t ever leave us to ourselves even for the blink of an eye!”
If we want to bring down the blessing of spiritual awakening, we are called to present a sacrifice to God Almighty. The breezes that moved the Prophets (a) from one spiritual condition to a higher one occurred after they performed heroic and distinguished deeds. In the case of Prophet Abraham (a) his level of communion with Almighty God rose after he destroyed the idols. Prophet Moses (a) changed the direction of his life upon his marriage into the family of Prophet Shuayb (a) after performing sincere service to his daughters in obtaining water for them. The mother of Mary became the grandmother of the very Word of God, the Messiah, after she made the vow that was accepted by her Divine Master. Likewise, Ahlul-Bayt (a) received their eternal tribute in Surat al-Insan in the Holy Qur’an for feeding the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner for the sake of Almighty God.
Occasionally the condition of separation from God lasts too long, even for the most pious people, but that should not ever cause them to feel desperate. They seek a very precious thing, something they are not going to arrive at after just a minor effort. The motto of the most pious worshippers is, “I knew that the best provision for the traveler to You would be a strong will that he would choose You with.” Have we taken this as our own motto?

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