The Qur’an refers to divine food in these words: Do not regard with envy the worldly benefits We have given some of them, for with these We seek only to test them. The provision of your Lord is better and more lasting. (20:131)
It is this divine food that was given to Mary. The Qur’an has referred to this fact in these words: Every time Zachariah visited her in her chamber he found some provision with her. He asked, ‘Mary, where did this provision come from?’ She replied, ‘This is from God. God provides for whomever He wills without measure.’ (3:37)
The “food” given to Mary was not material food, rather it was divine food or spiritual food. Without receiving this food, a person cannot develop his or her personality. Jesus Christ has mentioned this fact in this well-known saying: “Man cannot live by bread alone.” (Matthew 4:4) If you want to live as a spiritual person, learn the art of extraction. You have to extract the spiritual content from material things. The fact is that in this world everything has two components: material and spiritual. You have to develop your mind to such an extent that you are able to extract the spiritual content from material things. In this way, you will be able to receive spiritual or divine food. If material food maintains your physical health, the divine content of material things develops your personality on spiritual lines. Physical food gives you physical health, while spiritual food makes the non-physical part of your personality healthy.
For example, let us consider a glass of water. When you hold a glass of water in your hand, the material content that you extract from this observation is that water is a combination of two gases—Hydrogen and Oxygen. The spiritual content of this observation is to ponder over the fact that in the external world water is a combination of two material elements, but when water enters the human body it becomes a part of it and helps in maintaining its functions. When you discover this compatibility between water and your body, you will obtain spiritual food for your thinking. Because, this discovery will lead to the realization and appreciation of God’s wisdom, in that He created water in such a way that it is completely compatible with the human body. Discoveries of this kind from various material events around will give you unlimited solace and contentment. If you want to live as a spiritual person, learn the art of extraction. You have to extract the spiritual content from material things. This will give you spiritual food, and in this way, you will be able to develop yourself as a spiritual person.