Islam’s understanding of spirituality transcends oppostion between things of spirit and things of the secular world by functioning as the nucleus of its integrated and unified concept of life. The body was created so that the soul could exercise its authority and fulfill its duties and responsibilities as a human being. Thus the body is the soul’s workshop or factory. If the soul is to grow and develop, it can do so only through this workshop. Consequently, this world is not a place of punishment, but a field in which God has sent it to work and perform its duty toward Him. Spiritual development does not consist of turning away from this workshop and retreating into a corner; rather, we should live and work in it, and give the best account of ourselves as we can.
Islam rejects and condemns asceticism and proposes a set of methods and processes for human spiritual development while living in the world, for it states that such growth can occur only in the midst of life. Religious and secular people work in the same sphere of activity. However, Islam frequently discovers that practising Muslim, that is, religious people, will work with greater enthusiasm than their secular counterparts. Religious people also will be more likely active than secular people, in their domestic and social lives, which extend from the household to the market and even to international conferences.
Religious people act in awareness that they must answer to God for what they do. Thus, they try to secure Divine pleasure and ensure that their actions are in accord with God’s laws. Secular people are indifferent toward God and thus are guided only by personal motives. This difference makes a religious person’s whole life a totally spiritual venture, while the life of a secular person is devoid of the spark of spirituality.