In Part 2, we will be discussing the next theme from the movie, which has to do with living in the here and now, growing from our life journeys, and finding every moment as a chance to do good. Please note that the topics and themes in the movie may not be suitable for children younger than 11, and so this article is not intended for discussions with younger children.
Theme 2: Living in the Here & Now: It’s the Journey That Matters, not the end result.
Joe realizes that someone’s “Spark” is not necessarily their passion, but their willingness to find meaning in life—to find purpose in every action. In essence, one’s “Spark” is their niyyah or being intentional about everything we do! This moment in the movie is in line with the well-known hadith:
Verily, deeds are only with intentions, and every person will have only what they intended.”Bukhari 54; Muslim 1907
The character “22” (a soul waiting to find a body), reminds us that one of the most beautiful things on Earth is enjoying life’s everyday moments. Enjoying this dunya (this life) is part of our Islamic tradition:
- • The Quran affirms the pleasures of this world when Allah says, It is He who created all that is on this earth for you (53:25) and while seeking paradise, Do not neglect your rightful share in this world (28:77)
- • The Prophets all enjoyed the pleasures of this dunya in attaining the next life. Enjoying the blessings of this life is part of what makes our deen (religion) one of moderation. In fact, when a man approached the Prophet (PBUH) boasting of abandoning life’s pleasures, the Prophet (PBUH) disapproved and showed his own balance of sleeping, eating, marrying— all to attain the best of the final home (Muslim: 1401).
• We are instructed to obtain the good in this life and the next, as long as we connect the two together. As Sheikh Annabulsi shares in a beautiful duaa: “O Allah make the blessings of this dunya connected/related to the blessings of the afterlife.”
- • What is an everyday moment that you enjoy? Do you give yourself time to savor it?
- • Do you feel like you have found your passion and purpose in life? What are some things that can help you find your Spark or has helped you find it?
- • What does it mean to renew your intention? What are some things you do in your daily life that can serve a noble purpose?
Each one of us is blessed with a certain set of talents, skills, and personality traits that help us make an imprint in our time in this world. Soul depicts individuals getting trained and mentored in “The Great Before” to find their spark before making their entrance to Earth. Although strikingly different, this scene reminds us of our oath to Allah (SWT):
- • All of humanity, before even their time on Earth, made an oath of their belief in God [7:172]. Each of us is born with an instinctual fitrah (natural instinct) that God exists. When our actions on this Earth align with this fitrah, we are happy and at peace.
- • Allah (SWT) says, “And I have not created humans and jinns except to worship God” [51:56].
- • This predisposed mindset gives us a sense of direction (our spark!) no matter what path we choose to get there.
Ihsaan. Believers live their life in perpetual goodness, using all the blessings of this lower life to reach the ultimate blessing of the higher life. This is the core of what it means to live a life of ihsaan. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (doing the best job/excellence) in all things.”(Muslim: 1955)
Allah loves to see one’s task done at the level of itqan (excellence).”(Muslim: 1976)
- • How do you instill the value of excellence in your family?
- • How do you help your children perpetually connect with their fitrah (natural disposition or instinct) and connection with God?