for relevant and accessible daily readings directed toward achieving spiritual
fitness TM motivated me to write this book.
I began by
selecting 365 passages from the Qur’an,
using similar parameters of length and topical value so that each daily excerpt
takes only about 15 minutes to both read and contemplate. These daily readings
also stand alone in terms of the topics or issues they address.
I have no
wish to preface these passages with exhaustive commentary. Rather, I prefer to
stand back and allow them to work their miracles in helping the reader to achieve
spiritual fitness: they have been potent in the past and I believe they are so
choosing the topic for each day, I followed traditional Islamic guidelines for
attaining True Success, True Happiness and True Peace of Mind.
three steps are:
1. To Know
2. To Love
step is about coming to know God – through divine creations, one’s own being,
the purpose of our life on earth, our life after physical death, and our final
destination to be with God.
step is coming to love God — again through the wonder of divine creations,
one’s own being, in the sacred gift of life, and in meeting God through our
daily activities and awareness.
the third step is to learn to serve God — in preserving and respecting all of
creation, in caring for others and oneself, in giving God our daily praise and
in which we learn these steps is very important, for one cannot love someone
who is unknown, nor can anyone genuinely serve someone they do not love.
however, the steps of knowing, loving and serving should be pursued in
parallel, so that even as imperfect human beings, we can always be in the
blessed state of knowing a little, loving a little, and serving a little. From
there, we can increase our spiritual fitness toward knowing more, loving more
and serving more.
Qur’an, God speaks and the Prophet Muhammad is the mouthpiece for God’s Divine
Word. That is, the Qur’an contains none of the Prophet Muhammad’s own words,
nor his own interpretations. The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet through the
Angel Gabriel, in order to answer questions, to explain, and above all, to
guide humans into the way of Truth.
speaks in the Qur’an using the pronouns I, Me, or My, in the first-person
singular — e.g., “If you remember Me, I will remember you” (2:152) — or We, Us,
and Our(s) in the first-person plural — e.g., “We spread out the earth” (15:19)
– these figures of speech always indicate that there is only One God. In
addition, God also speaks in the Qur’an using the third-person masculine
singular, as with He, Him, and His — e.g., “God. There is no god but He; there
is no other,” (64:13).
again, these are God’s words, and do not indicate gender in human terms, for
God states in the Qur’an that “no one else is like God” (42:11). Thus, God is
unique, despite the limitations of human language and grammar.
meditation has long been upheld as the high road to spiritual fitness. But a
daily reading of Quranic passages additionally offers a special type of
meditation in which God is the speaker, where every word is God’s own. As God
explains the Divine Natural Law, these passages offer a means of in-depth
meditation. When God teaches us how and why we should pray for Divine Mercy,
this is also an attribute of fruitful meditation.
offering my English-trained reader these particular groups of daily Quranic
verses, I have consulted several renowned English paraphrases of the Qur’an, as
well as a number of scholarly works of Quranic interpretation in their original
Arabic language (see Appendix). But the actual translations (or rather,
interpretations) in these pages remain my own.
original classical Arabic of the Qur’an flows in a rhythmic style of
prose-poetry (sometimes called blank verse) whose powerful and beautiful
effects cannot be fully duplicated in English or any other language.
I have tried my best to keep this interpretive translation/paraphrase as
faithful to its given text and context as possible. My aim and purpose
throughout has been to make each daily devotion able to stand alone without any
need for disruptive footnotes or explanations.
the greatest benefit from these daily devotions, I recommend that each be
approached in a receptive meditational and reflective mood, preferably during
the early hours of the day, or just before retiring at night. In this way, each
daily passage will, Insha’allah (God willing), guide the reader through the enriching
experience of what it means To Know, To Love, and To Serve.
of us, living in today’s world means living in a stressful, fast-paced society
where it is increasingly difficult to find the time, the inclination, the mood,
and the desire to slow down a bit to reflect, contemplate, think, pray, and
communicate with God.
dear reader, I sincerely hope and pray that this modest book becomes your
faithful companion on the road to ever-greater knowledge, love, and service. I
trust that each passage —one for every day of the year — will suffice for
regular contemplation, meditation, and communication. Your success in this
spiritual quest will be mine as well.
in everything, I ask the blessings and guidance of God — the Most Merciful,
Most Loving One.
Ontario, Canada May, 2003
TM Spiritual Fitness is a registered
trade mark by the author.