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Reflection on Al-Ma'arij: From Cosmic Ascent to Soul's Ascending Journey

Seeking refuge in God the Owner of Ascent from the rejected Satan

Reflection Point on Personal Development in Surah Ma'arij - The following are the personal qualities described in the Chapter titled al-Ma'arij or the Ascent.

The surah not only speaks of the great Ascent where souls will travel back to its Source, God - but also speaks of qualities expected in true human beings which will ensure their ascent in character or disposition as perfect human being (insan kamil). How the soul of individual may ascend to become worthy of God's representative on earth - some of these qualities are mentioned in this Surah.

The 70th Surah gives an illustration of Soul's Cosmic Ascension from which the Title of the Chapter (al-Ma'arij) is derived. In parallel there is a map out for Individual Soul's Ascending Journey in Life here on Earth. The map lays out the pathway and guideposts, following which we may hope of our soul's ascending journey in this very life and through its struggles.

To Become Uncommon Among the Common

To become uncommon among the common - we better realize our human weakness and transcend or grow over it. One of the weakness that is human beings are anxious, impatient.

When bad times befalls him, he become impatient, when good touches him, he become withholding or niggardly of the blessings.

So the uncommon must learn to behave the exactly opposite, that is, to be hold patience through tough times for surely all human beings are tested in their life and to be grateful and charitable in good times and times of ease.

Attributes of faithful are: Who are constant in their turning to God, constant in their devotion, Praise and Prayer both in their good times and bad.

Those devoted to Salat (celebration of Divine praise and prayer), those who remain constant in their Salat ; and those who guard their Salat well. (70: 22, 23, 34)

His wealth has known share for the poor, the beggars who ask and those in hardship and tough time but can not even ask.

Who have faith in the Day of Recompense. Day of Recompense or Day of Judgment is the Symbol of Grand Accountability. A person of soul's ascending journey is a person of accountability both in this world and the world to come.

Becoming patient is a great key. In the cosmic scale of things no matter what befall us, or what we have to face, is very tiny, negligible and its an opportunity to practice gracious patience.

The ascending human being is never unaware of the promised Judgment Day, the Day of Rendezvous with the Lord.

Who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord. Psychologically fear is seen as negative attribute but if channeled to the the fear of God, this is known as the pre-condition for knowledge, wisdom and gnosis. The Bible confirms, fear of God is the beginning of knowledge / gnosis.

For claiming the original innocence of the soul, chastity of body is a must (guarding one's private parts and only to engage in lawful intimacy). God is the Most Forgiving and may He forgive us for our falling short. We turn to Him in our repentance in violating chastity of our body. Indeed His Mercy is All Encompassing.

Another quality of people of ma'arij or people of ascent are those who are attentive to their trusts and their promises, who in their testimony are truthful and upright. Its worth reminding that the highest testimony is the testimony of the Absolute Truth that God is One.

Who carefully maintain their regular prayer.

Another quality of people of ascent is their leaving the people of vanity with dignity.

So leave them to plunge in vain talk and play about, until they meet their Day which they are promised. (al-Maarij, 70:42)

For such people and their attributes are promise of God, the garden where they will be honored.

Such shall dwell in the Gardens of Bliss (i.e. Paradise) honoured. (70:35)

Summary & the Map Needed for Soul's Ascending Journey

In bullet points, the qualities desired for Faithfuls who may hope for their soul's ascent:

1. Practice patience with gracious patience (70:5)

2. Devotion to praise and prayer (salat) (70:22)

3. Being consistent (salatihim daaimun) in praise and prayer (70:23)

4. Consistent and conscious in charity (70:24, 25)

5. Who are mindful of the Day of Reckoning, the Grand Day of Accountability (70:26)

6. Fearful and in awe about the awesome nature of punishment of God (70:27)

7. Those who guard their chastity (70:29)

8. Those who keep their trusts and covenants / promises (70:32)

9. Those who stand firm in their testimonies (70:33)

10. Those who guard / maintain carefully their praise and prayer (70:34)

11. Avoiding and ignoring people of vanity and their ignorant and arrogant behavior. (70:42)

Photo credit: Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier's famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, expanding debris from the death explosion of a massive star. This intriguing false-color image combines data from space-based observatories, Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer, to explore the debris cloud in X-rays (blue-white), optical (purple), and infrared (pink) light. One of the most exotic objects known to modern astronomers, the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star spinning 30 times a second, is the bright spot near picture center. Like a cosmic dynamo, this collapsed remnant of the stellar core powers the Crab's emission across the electromagnetic spectrum. Spanning about 12 light-years, the Crab Nebula is 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus.

# Related:

* Quranic Revelation: Al-Ma'arij - The Great Ascent

The First Call to Action of Salat is to Cultivate a Grateful Heart


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Technology of the Heart: Reflection on Al-Ma'arij: From Cosmic Ascent to Soul's Ascending Journey
Reflection on Al-Ma'arij: From Cosmic Ascent to Soul's Ascending Journey
The 70th Surah gives an illustration of Soul's Cosmic Ascension. In parallel there is a map out for Individual Soul's Ascending Journey in Life here on Earth.
Technology of the Heart
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