Spirituality in Islam, and its Influence on Women and Children


Copyright 2005 By Nadine Sultana d’Osman Han



First: What is Spirituality? As you know we are one of the species on this planet. However, of all the species, humans are the only ones who have the ability to improve themselves independently from basic survival instinct.

Spirituality is the truth of our conscience without shields of justification for aggressive behavior or violence.

Spirituality is also the awareness of the miracle of life itself. Do you realize that in a tiny dot invisible to the naked eye, there are millions of cells enclosed within it. It is this invisible dot that shall develop into a fully formed baby in a Mother. This is truly a wonder of life that can be only understood through the Divine, for our perception of this miracle cannot be otherwise explained.

This is not in contradiction with science that can explain only the physical evidence known to man, but not unexplained miracles.

: Spirituality is a journey on earth toward our reaching of the Divine. Spirituality can exist outside religions. However, like any journey, travelers may need maps in order to reach their destination without too many detours. In spirituality, these road maps are called religions.

There can only be one Spirituality, and thus only one Creator. However, like maps, we may have several religions depending on cultures and their makers. . Maps are always improved for a shorter route, as new roads are being built. In the same way religions are expanded and improved with each new Prophet to meet mankind’s evolution. Thus, each Prophet does not necessarily replace each other but improves upon each other for the transmission of the Words from the Divine. We can say that religions are a communicating tool similar to languages and as diversified.

Prophets have always come at a time when humans lost their ways so totally that they cannot return to true Spirituality without help.

In the case of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived in a society that had gone astray from Spirituality.

All creatures on earth prey on the weak. While in the animal kingdom this is a survival necessity, with humans it is the result of greed and the power urges to dominate the weakest. In the kingdom of Arabia, men’s prey were the women and children who were abused and discarded at will. Thus, the Divine sent a new Prophet. Muhammad (PBUH), to bring mankind back to spirituality and the respect of life of which motherhood and children are its basic expression.

Thus, Islam protects the rights of women and children by enforcing a code of tolerant behavior and just rules toward women, children and the vulnerable in general.

Today, there is a tendency to confuse Islam and cultural traditions. Islam gave back to women the right to dignity and economic independence. Thus, women were not to be treated as disposable human beings and they were by Islamic law entitled to ownership with full control of their material assets.

Children were protected from illegitimacy and the injustices associated with it both on an economical and emotional level.

Islam is inordinately indulgent with small children, who can roam freely in the Mosques while absorbing at the same time the discipline exhibited by their elders as they pray in an orderly and quiet manner. There are no better teachers in life than the ones setting an example of themselves.

In our modern world, spirituality is more important than ever to redress the abuses that our materialistic societies demand. Women have become over-burdened by a work culture that imposes on them the neglect of children.

Islam as practiced today is not perfect, for mankind has flaws, and thus, these are reflected in their practices and misinterpretation of Islam. This is inevitable because religions are the word of man based on his limited understanding of the Divine. Nonetheless, Islam when adhered to in its original conception tries to bring a balance between the realities of life and its spirituality.

In Islam, women are encouraged to set their priorities with the nurturing of children. Proper motherhood is essential for the development of children that shall permit them to grow into a stable future generation of human beings.

Also, Islam encourages men to take pride by allowing them to protect the family unit, showing tolerance and compassion toward the developing element of society. The basis of Islam is to combat any excesses and abuses in societies. Islam does promote integrity, indulgence in the inter-relations between human beings that are reflected in politics of good will and peace, as opposed to uncontrollable violence and wars under dubious shields of righteousness.

Islam like any other religion is a spiritual map to spirituality to guide mankind toward its final destination with the least of mishaps on the way. Because Islam is the result of the latest Prophet, it is assumed to be the more up-to-date, but by no means the only spiritual map available to humans. Each one of us must choose our path according to our best understanding for accomplishing our goals of reunion with the Divine and bringing with us as baggage as few flaws as possible.

Islam was never meant to be imposed, but to encourage an awareness in humans to the need of continuous self-improvement so as to attain the inner-peace of spirituality. Without it the human race might eventually self-destruct.

Children must be made a part of our daily lives in which both parents and lawmakers do not enforce rules by disciplinary intolerance, but by irreproachable example of themselves as they inter-act with others.

Only then, we will have a society that can be proud of itself and the recipient of spirituality as a gift from our Creator.