Allaah – His Introduction (Towards Comprehensive Reflection on the Quraan Book 1)
Silence has an important effect on our hearts and character, because a habit of bad or frivolous speech results in an impure heart. Towards this end, learning to not just tolerate, but enjoy, silence is an aspect of positive character development. By the one in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, no one can behave with deeds more beloved to Allah than these two. It is an opportunity to nourish presence before Allah al-hudur , the same type of presence that we are required to have in ritual prayer.
Certainly there is an appropriate time to think about the past or the future—to learn from our mistakes, to plan action, to live daily life, to reflect on our fate. The point of learning to be present in silence is to limit our thoughts on the past or future only to what is necessary and beneficial. Seclusion for worship is the close companion of silence; they go hand-in-hand. Those who make a regular habit of quietly worshiping and remembering Allah alone are among the most rewarded in the Hereafter. No need for smartphones, or games, or television, or electronics, or addictions, or distractions.
Would you be calmer, happier, and more satisfied? Blaise Pascal, the French theologian and scientist, remarked,. I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber. A man who has enough to live on, if he knew how to stay with pleasure at home, would not leave it to go to sea or to besiege a town.
Indeed, were every person disciplined enough to enjoy the inner life without an incessant desire for external stimulation, the world would be a much better place for us all. Therefore, how can we learn to enjoy silence and thereby increase our mindfulness of Allah and our own inner states of being? Islam has a profound, and perhaps forgotten, tradition of meditation designed to help us do so. The key to reviving their practices is to examine closely how they conceptualized meditation and to emulate their practices within the framework of Islamic creed, worship, ethics, and etiquette.
In a similar manner, modern insights into mindfulness, and specifically mindfulness exercises, can be helpful tools to enhance prayer and spirituality. Ibn Al-Qayyim continues:. All of these types of Islamic meditation involve some form of remembering or awareness of Allah, the purpose of which is to purify the heart of evil feelings and the mind from evil thoughts.
Every human soul is like a mirror that is polished by mindfulness or tarnished by unmindfulness. Al-Ghazali writes:.
The heart is in the position of a mirror that is surrounded by influential matters and these traits proceed to the heart. As for praiseworthy traits that we have mentioned, they will polish the mirror of the heart and increase it in brilliance, light, and radiance until the clarity of truth shines from within it and the reality of the matter sought in religion is unveiled. The heart is tarnished by two matters: unmindfulness al-ghaflah and sin.
Introduction to Islam
And it is polished by two matters: seeking forgiveness and the remembrance of Allah. For example, reflecting upon the blessings of Allah is an excellent act of worship and mental activity meditation that produces gratitude in the heart and expels ingratitude from it. Abu Sulaiman said,.
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Thought upon the world is a veil over the Hereafter and a punishment for people. Thought upon the Hereafter produces wisdom and life in the heart. Whoever looks to the world as his protector will come to accept its delusions.
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On the other hand, thinking about the world and its displeasures more often than is necessary will lead to unhappiness and an impure heart. A person cannot think about Allah and the world at the same time; it is one or the other. Too much unnecessary thought upon the world weakens our overall mindfulness, particularly by diminishing the hope in Allah that encourages us to do good deeds and the fear of Allah that compels us to avoid sins.
Just as a balanced diet relies on different food groups for nutrition, a balanced spiritual life depends upon different acts of worship and meditations for complete sustenance.
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One of the spiritual practices described by Al-Ghazali is quite similar to modern mindfulness practices but within an Islamic theological worldview. If his intentions are true, his concerns are in order, and his diligence is improved, then he will not gravitate to his base desires and will not be preoccupied with idle thoughts related to the world. The reality of the Truth will shine in his heart. Each form of Islamic meditation has its place and function, and often they overlap and blend together. This is a specific technique for cultivating awareness of our inner states, to notice our thoughts bubbling to the surface at their very inception rather than being taken away on a train of thought before we even know what happened.
To become more mindful of what is happening within us, we need to understand how our thoughts progress through stages into actions. We may not even notice it was there at all. At this stage we have a choice to continue down this train of thought or to ignore it. The trouble comes from bad thoughts. How do we learn to ignore them, especially when they feel at times so powerful and overwhelming?
Mindfulness exercise in this context is not about suppressing thoughts, but rather simply becoming aware of them and learning to let them pass. As we become more cognizant of our thoughts, we begin to perceive a distance between ourselves and our thoughts.
God in Islam - Wikipedia
Verily, Satan has influence with the son of Adam and the angel has influence. As for the influence of Satan, he promises evil and denies the truth. As for the influence of the angel, he promises goodness and affirms the truth. Whoever finds this goodness, let him know that it is from Allah and let him praise Allah. We are not bad people for having bad thoughts; we all have bad thoughts no matter how righteous we are.
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