The divine flow of life
Do you not see that God sends down water from the sky, then makes it flow in rills on the earth, and brings forth corn from it which, having passed through changes of shade and color, comes to ripen, and you see its autumnal yellow; then He reduces it to chaff. There are indeed lessons in this for those who are wise. Will he whose breast has been opened up to peace not be in luminescence from his Lord? Alas for those whose hearts have been hardened to God's remembrance! They wander astray in clear error.
God did not just create the world to then disinterestedly abandon it and leave it over to itself. God is actively present in the ever-evolving and ever-changing continuous process of creation. Everything exists within the organic flow of creation and God hides within the ebb and the flow of it all. He grants everything not only its place but its time as well and that procures the perpetual beauty of creation, from twig to blossom to fruit. Those who therefore fail to see the lingering presence of divinity within the grand stream of life, miss out on the mystical dimension of existence.
It is their loss however. There is no need to point fingers or to reprimand anyone who doesn’t see this dimension or wishes to keep his heart closed to it. It’s a matter of the soul in which others cannot intervene. Even more so, many people who don’t open their breasts to the luminosity of the divine within the organic balance of the ongoing creation are in fact people who claim to be believers. And often, those who don’t consider themselves to be believers act more in accordance to the divine spirit.
What Christians can learn
In many Christian communities people tend to lose what I call ‘God-focus’. For often the focus of Christians tends to be the focus on the community itself, on service for society or on the person of Jesus. Add to this the compartimentalization of the daily aspects of life because of which job, leisure, arts, and faith are ever more separated, and it seems more than appropriate to ask the question whether Christians shouldn’t have more God-focus. Perhaps they should have more of an eye and heart open for the constant presence of God within the flow of all aspects of life. And when the God-focus is not limited to moments of worship and rituals, then perhaps we will also see that God-focus should precede our attention for the community and service to society.
Questions for Muslims
Everything evolves. As the Qur’an says: there are signs in this. Nothing is permanent except God and it is only within God that everything receives its proper time and place. Perhaps then, we can wonder what exactly is meant when Muslims say that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets. For most Muslims see the prophet as the very final prophet and by extension Islam as the very final religion. But does this not give a sense of eternity and permanence to transient aspects of reality? Neither a prophet nor a religion is God himself. So aren’t both prophets and religions, just like all other parts of creation, subject to change and evolution?
Is it thus not possible that a time will come that Islam will decline like other religions have? Is it not possible that there will come a time in which the need for a new prophet will arise? I know these questions touch at a core principle of the Islamic tradition. Yet I certainly mean no disrespect by asking them. I only wish to genuinely ask the questions and, in all openness, am eager to hear the responses of Muslims to them.