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Spirituality – The Lost Treasure

The pursuit of happiness is something we all strive for. Some may deny it in our modern era; nonetheless spirituality is the number one solution for our mental and psychological problems.

However, there are numerous obstacles in the way to attaining and maintaining spirituality; such as gluttony, secularism, and urbanization.


I believe gluttony is the number one distraction in the wake of spirituality. The excessive desire to own affluence products such as branded cars, clothing, purses, etc. and the constant preoccupation of gadgets such as TV, Xbox, iPads, iPhones, etc. give an obsessive distraction from maintaining an ease of mind and spirituality as they create a false sense of happiness and thus create an addictive vicious cycle.

Modernization has bombarded us with the need of excessive consumerism, but do we really need all this stuff that we are made to believe is a necessity?

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

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“Whoever wakes up safely in his home and is healthy in his body and has provisions for his day, would have acquired all the worldly possessions he is in need of.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Subhan Allah, all what a person needs is actually “provisions for his day” to “have acquired all the worldly possessions he is in need of.”

The gluttony in wealth that we unfortunately encounter in the Muslim Ummah today had already been referred to by Prophet Muhammad. Ka`ab ibn `Iyad said:

I heard the Messenger of Allah saying:

 “Every community has a trial, and the trial of my community is wealth.” (At-Tirmidhi)

`Abdullah Ibn Ash-Shikhir said:

“I came to the Prophet when he was reciting {Fierce competition for this world distracted you.} (Surah Al-Takathur, 102: 1). The Prophet said:

“The son of Adam says, “My property! My property!” Son of Adam, have you any other property than what you eat and thus gets used up, wear and thus becomes worn out, and give in sadaqah (charity) and thus make effective?’” (Muslim)

This hadith really sums it all. What are you collecting really? Things that will eventually wear out or perish, without bringing you any closer to God, Allah Almighty? While taking out charity will give you benefit both in this world (by making your life blessed) and in the hereafter (by increasing your good deeds and hence your status in the hereafter).

Gluttony in food, idle speech and sleep, etc. is detrimental to spirituality as well; as Islam calls for moderation that leads to a balance in life; and thus the well being of the soul.

Allah Almighty warns us in the Qur’an:

{…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste by extravagance.} (7: 31)

Harmful for Body & Soul

In a society that has materialism as its deity, overindulgence in food and drink is just one of the many calamities that have befallen us.

On the authority of Al-Miqdam Ibn Madiy-Karib who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying:

“No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” (Ahmad)

It also seems that the challenging lifestyle of the modern world with all its technology, less spiritualism and family ties has created such a stressful, depressing feeling that is mistakenly thought to be cured with overindulgence in food and drink, etc.

Imam Ash-Shafi’i said:

“I have not filled myself in sixteen years because filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clear understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worship.”

Another problem is that gluttony in food and drink not only harms the body physically but moreover mentally and spiritually, as it blocks the mind and makes one lazy for worship.

Prophet Muhammad said:

“The dunya is cursed. Cursed is all that is in it except for the remembrance of Allah, and that which resembles it, a scholar, and a student (of knowledge).” (At-Tirmidhi)

A big step towards freeing ourselves from gluttony is turning to God, Allah Almighty and focusing on how to become better Muslims; increasing our knowledge and hence spirituality. Only then will we feel our desire for the greed of having more money, possessions, food and drink decreasing gradually until we feel we can control them and not them controlling us.

So, the next time you feel like overindulging in money, remember the hereafter and invest in it instead; give out some charity. Buy possessions in moderation whether in quantity or pricing. Say no to that extra bite or gulp. Remember you are a Muslim; don’t harm your body as it is a trust from Allah Almighty.


Secularism is another major factor that hinders spirituality. There is a wide wave of secularism that has become so prevalent that it affects the mainstream society. You may strive as an individual to be spiritual but then you feel so different and perhaps even ridiculed at times for trying to be a spiritual person which may deter you in your quest.


One of the major characteristics of modernization is the shift of dwelling from rural to urban areas. Certainly, development is vital, however the price paid is drastic.

Alarming rates of pollution, both in the form of air, water, noise and light with 24/7 access to electricity resulting mainly in a disruption of the natural sleep cycle of the body; decreased access to sunlight, fresh air… has led to more diseases, both physically and psychologically. It becomes difficult to attain spirituality in such a setting. Ponder on how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would go to the cave of Hira’ to maintain spirituality, he needed a refuge from the hustles and bustles of life.

How to Maintain Spirituality

Once with Allah’s grace spirituality is attained there are some steps to maintain it. Increase your Islamic knowledge and start to implement it in your life. For example, increase your physical worship such as night prayers, more Dhikr (remembrance of Allah and prayers upon Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) and read more Quran, Fast more, Go for Umrah (mini hajj), etc. However, while you increase the quantity, quality as well has to increase i.e. the spirituality of the act by taking time to ponder and meditate.

Allah Almighty says: 

{Nay (behold), you prefer the life of this world; but the Hereafter is better and more enduring.} (Quran 87: 16-17)

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Suzana Nabil Saad, MA
Suzana Nabil Saad is the former Ask About Islam Editor. She has many years of experience in dawah work.She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the Faculty of Languages, Ain Shams University, Egypt. She obtained her Master’s Degree of Arts in English Literature from Gothenburg University, Sweden.She currently resides in Texas, USA with her husband, and three kids. When she is not editing or writing, she enjoys reading, ideally followed by nature excursions.