Living for the Glory of God

sunrays through the trees in AlaskaThe following excerpt is from Henri Nouwen’s book, “The Inner Voice of Love”. He is not Muslim, but what he has to say here is very consistent with the Islamic idea of life as ‘ibadah (worship), and having taqwa (Allah-consciousness) in everything we do:

Whatever you are doing–watching a movie, writing a book, giving a presentation, eating, or sleeping–you have to stay in God’s presence. If you feel a great loneliness and a deep longing for human contact, you have to be extremely discerning. Ask yourself whether this situation is truly God-given. Because where God wants you to be, God holds you safe and gives you peace, even when there is pain.

To live a disciplined life is to live in such a way that you want only to be where God is with you. The more deeply you live your spiritual life, the easier it will be to discern the difference between living with God and living without God, and the easier it will be to move away from the places where God is no longer with you.

The great challenge here is faithfulness, which must be lived in the choices of every moment. When your eating, drinking, working, playing, speaking, or writing is no longer for the glory of God, you should stop it immediately, because when you no longer live for the glory of God, you begin living your own glory. Then you separate yourself from God and do yourself harm.

Your main question should always be whether something is lived with or without God. You have your own inner knowledge to answer that question. Every time you do something that comes from your needs for acceptance, affirmation, or affection, and every time you do something that makes these needs grow, you know that you are not with God. These needs will never be satisfied; they will only increase when you yield to them. But every time you do something for the glory of God, you will know God’s peace in your heart and find rest there.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , , , Read 266 articles by
2 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Striving Soul says:

    How do I find peace? I’m running out of steam. Just thinking aloud, I know you dont have the answer to that. I’m just so very tired.

    Its a good article though.

  2. wael says:

    What? Running out of steam? So very tired? What’s going on?

    Remember that after every difficulty comes ease. That’s a promise from Allah, the One who never fails in His promises, and he repeats that ayah twice, word for word, so that you know how strongly it is true.

    Whatever you are experiencing, things will get better for you Insha’Allah. Make sure to get enough sleep every night. That’s so important, and things will look so much better when you are rested, Insha’Allah.

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