The Human Dignity and the Spiritual Healing of the Heart: Part 1
The Holy Qur’an mentions “We have honored the progeny of Adam” (17:70). God did so, first by “making him the best of creation” (95:4) and then blowing into him His own spirit (Qur’an; 15:29, 32:29) Adam was created from clay. What is common between clay and Adam? Both more or less share the same chemicals such as the minerals sodium, potassium, carbon and water, but in different proportions. At a certain stage in the intrauterine life of the fetus, angels blow the spirit of God into the soul thus giving life. The soul and body remain united in intrauterine life and after birth for the life span of the human body. Death is the separation of soul and body. The Urdu poet described it well. “What is life? It is the coming together of basic elements. What is death? It is their dispersion”. Thus, when we look into our own bodies, we solve the mysteries of life. 1) How blood circulates and nourishes different organs. 2) How bones hold their structure. 3) How nerves provide electrical wiring. 4) How the brain receives messages and gives orders. 5) How organs obey. 6) How the heart, the seat of wisdom, decides right from wrong. 7) The hormones from endocrine glands which give us vitality.
What was the honor that was given to Adam and his progeny that was different from the other creations? It is the concept of free will given to no other creation except Man and the Jinn and the freedom to believe in God or not to believe in Him. The Qur’an (41:11) says “We asked the skies to come together willingly or unwillingly, they said; we come together in willing obedience.” In another place (55:33) it says “O you company of men and Jinn, feel free to leave the boundaries of the skies (orbit) but you cannot do so without the power (anti-gravity force) or by the permission of God”.
Thus, the story of creation of Adam is described in Qur’an ( 2:30-34) when the angels were asked to bow down to Adam, all did except Iblis who was arrogant and thought that he was made from superior material-fire, than Adam, who was made from clay. Thus, he concluded he did not need to bow down to Adam. He did not realize who the giver of knowledge was. Allah taught Adam the names of material objects and then the angels were asked to name them. They did not, saying “we have no knowledge except what was given to us”. Adam was able to name all of those materials.
We humans must not forget the honor of being given knowledge and must submit to the true owner of knowledge. Human dignity lies in knowing our place in creation. The purpose of creation, the purpose of life and knowing that without God we are nothing.
We fulfill human dignity by carrying out the task of taking care of fellow humans and become a mercy to mankind as the prophet was assigned. We take care of those in need, irrespective of their faith, gender, color, age, disability, political affiliation, wealth or lack of it. This is the right thing to do. Jesus (peace be upon him), taught us “to love thy neighbor”, but the question is who is the neighbor? Is he the one who is your relative, the one who speaks your language, the one who looks like you or the one who lives next door? The answer is: all of the above plus more. All creations of God are our neighbors and we care for them as we care for ourselves. The prophet said “when you make soup at home, the smell of it may go to your neighbor and they may come to your house to share it with you. Thus, you must make enough that you can share with them. “He also said “he who goes to bed with a full stomach while his neighbor sleeps with an empty stomach is not a true believer”. Once a man came to the prophet’s house and asked for some food. There was no food in his house, so he sent him to another companion’s house. That companion only had enough food for one person and lived with his wife and several children. It was night time, therefore the food was served and the companion put out the candle so it was total darkness. He put the plate in front of the guest and asked him to eat. The host and his wife pretended that they were eating and the children went to sleep without food. The next day, the prophet who knew this event, called this companion and gave him the news of being accepted into heaven.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, said, “If we love ourselves only, what have we achieved? We should love our enemies”. Believers have no enemy except Satan and our self in his control.
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