Here is a man with deep spiritual insight who seeks to live Islam and not just observe the rituals.
A couple of things he said really resonated with me as a Christian.
1. When he spoke of earning merit as "heavenly currency".
In the Bible, Jesus says - "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:20-21
This is Jesus teaching that God is close to us, even in this life. And so we should not be so caught up in the trappings of this world because this is just a transit point on our journey to eternity. So if we're going to spend an eternity with God, we'd better get used to the idea now and start practising how to be close to Him.
Of course, making an effort to be close to a righteous God will not leave us untransformed. Just as we willingly want to better ourselves to please our loved ones, so it is for them who truly understand what it is to seek the Divine. And just as the love of our loved ones sustains us in our journey of transformation, so it is with God's love.
2. When he said that planting can be also taken as an act of worship, and that worship is more than just offering prayers but it is an attitude of the heart.
Nik Aziz uses a simple down-to-earth analogy of planting (environmentalists would be ecstatic!) as a spiritual act because it is done with a heart towards God.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul teaches, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1
A sacrifice is an item that has been specially set aside for God's purposes. To offer ourselves as a living sacrifice would then mean that our entire lives are set aside to be available for God's purpose.
And Paul also teaches, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24
So whatever that we think, do and feel become our offering to God - including planting trees! And as we live and act according to God's nature, we will be storing up "treasures in heaven" for ourselves.
Here's to a better understanding and appreciation of each other among Malaysians.
Thanks to Nik Aziz and Amir Muhammad for shining a little light along the way...
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