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Guide Posts SPIRITUAL HUNGER (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) “Excel one another in virtue and good works.” (Quran 2:149). There are a great number of people who attend religious services and meetings but leave as empty as they were before they arrived. They are in no way moved or changed for the better. No doubt they may express their appreciation of the sermon or address and highly laud the speaker for his inspiring words; but that is as far as it goes. They enjoyed the speakers’ eloquent talk in the same way that they might enjoy listening to a piece of pleasant music; but when all is over its effect completely vanishes. With whom does the fault lie? With the speaker? It does to a great extent if his manner of delivery is listless, monotonous or generally boring; otherwise it does not. The fault lies with the individuals themselves for they have no hunger for spiritual food. Once there was a lady suffering from general ill-health. She was advised to move to a warmer climate from where she wrote letters to her friends extolling the lovely weather, beautiful scenary and luscious fruits. She wrote in glowing words about the variety of tempting fruits. However she always referred to her lack of appetite. Later news was received that she had died despite the abundance of exotic health building fruits. She did not die from the absence of nourishing food but from the want of appetite. So it is with many of us. We live in the midst of abundant spiritual guidance but we have no appetite for it. God has provided us with heavenly nourishment but most of us do not hunger for it. Only those with spiritual appetite assuage their hunger with God’s heavenly fruits which sustain them not only for the moment but during the days that lie ahead. God has provided divine laws and guidance for our spiritual welfare but unfortunately many of us have no appetite for His heavenly provision. What a waste of life! God says: “Verily the most honourable person in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous.” (Quran 49:14). GUIDE POSTS 3 How true is the beatitude: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6). He who earnestly seeks to appease his spiritual hunger constantly seeks and absorbs spiritual food. He feeds his mind with holy thoughts and incessantly strives to improve his character which he regards as his first duty. This is the central aim of his life. His innermost desire is to climb higher and higher in holy living and her perpetually strives to better himself towards this end being aware that it requires of him attention, effort, sacrifice and prayer: “Beauty and truth and all that these contain, Drop not like ripened fruit about our feet; We climb to them through years of sweat and pain.” One of his favourite prayers is: God be in my head, And in my understanding. God be in my eyes, And in my looking. God be in my mouth, And in my speaking. God be in my heart, And in my thinking. God be at my end, And at my parting. Let us eat the fruits of paradise from the table of the Lord!