Inner Peace

5 ways to experience daily peace

Inner Peace

5 ways to experience daily peace

Inner peace – its almost a cliche how much people want this and talk about this. Yet we often avoid doing the simple things that can help us achieve it. Inner peace isn’t some strange fantasy that only the pious experience. Sure, they experience much more often and deeper than we do. But there are many tiny things we can do daily to experience inner peace on a daily basis.

However, before we discuss these, I need to clarify something. Experiencing inner peace doesn’t mean you never feel sad or pain again. No! Rather, inner peace is like every other feeling something that comes and goes in waves. These tips will just help you increase how often you experience it on a daily basis.

1. Wake Up Early

The first step is to start your day early. This may seem very obvious. Two of the main Islamic sources of inner peace are early in the morning (Tahajjud and Fajr), so obviously the early morning is linked to inner peace.

But it is not only the prayer that brings peace. It is the quiet, the light humming of the morning birds, the beauty of the sunrise. It is also the feeling that you can wake up, relax and then start work without rushing or stressing out. All of this leads to a beautiful glorious blast of inner peace before your day even begins.

2. Make time for productive alone time

Even if it is just for an hour or thirty minutes. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate), take a break from the busy stressful world, and do something meaningful to you. For it, it means making time daily to write. I find it relaxing, motivating and fulfilling all at the same time. You need to find something that brings the same feelings to you, and make time daily for it.

It could be anything from extra acts of worship to reading a book, to drawing some art. Find what you enjoy doing alone and make time for it daily. That time spent doing what you love may be the most peaceful you will feel all day.

3. Talk a walk in nature

I am lucky that my home is surrounded by a forest, and I live two blocks away from a beautiful park. So I always have nature to look at when I want to feel at peace. If you haven’t made time for nature in a while, you may be surprised at how much peace it fills you with.

No matter how busy your day is, pull away during your lunch break, after work or early in the morning and just talk a slow, relaxing walk in nature. Breathe the fresh air, feel the wind, hear the birds and experience the inner peace that comes with all of that. You will need it to tackle the rest of your day.

4. Establish the prayers

Our inner peace is fundamentally linked to one thing: our relationship with our Creator. The stronger this relationship, the more often we experience inner peace. The very foundation of this relationship is to pray five times a day. Make it a habit and stick with it for life.

In the beginning it will be hard. But over time, you will learn to appreciate it, seek sanctuary in it, treasure it and enjoy it. The Islamic method of prayer (Salah) is one of the most powerful ways to experience inner peace, if done properly and with sincere intentions. Get it right and it becomes your daily treasure.

5. Make a list of things you are grateful for

Finally, make sure you begin each day from a place of gratitude. I have a daily habit of starting each day by writing down three things I am grateful for, and thanking God for each of these things. It doesn’t matter how bad a day I had, I still make sure I begin the next day by finding three things to be grateful for. This way each day begins in a state of peace and gratitude that supercharges the rest of the day.

Make it a habit to find things to be grateful for daily. It can be big stuff like your life, family and job or little things like a beautiful tree near your home or a nice gift your friend sent you. The point is that most of us always can find something to be grateful for. And that should be our focus, not the things we want to complain about. There will always be good and bad in our lives, but if we stay grateful for the good, we will have more energy for overcoming the bad.

Want to learn more about gratitude? Read our list of 25 ways to show gratitude or our detailed explanation of the art of gratitude.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace

What is the Fitrah and how can it help you?

The FitrahWhat is the Fitrah?

The fitrah refers to the human being’s natural moral compass. Every human being has a built in guidance system that helps us understand good and evil. Think of it as your intuition or natural instincts. We instinctively know that murder, lies and betrayal are evil. And we also naturally know that kindness, empathy, generosity and love are good.

Even a baby who does not understand language knows that the words “I love you” have a positive meaning. That same baby also knows that yelling and shouting are negative. How does a baby understand this? How does a baby know that smiling is a sign of happiness and that crying is an expression of sadness?

The Evidence

This is the fitrah at work. Islam teaches us that every child is born upon the fitrah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every child is born upon the fitrah, but it is the parents who make it a Christian, Jew or Magian,” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1292, Sahih Muslim 2658)

The fitrah is something we cannot see, but we know through revelation and experience that it is there. As per the hadith quoted, the environment, especially parents, play a major role in either nurturing or suppressing a child’s fitrah. But they cannot destroy it completely. Every human has the choice to follow society or follow their fitrah.

The corruption of human morals

A good example of how society suppresses the fitrah is the constant exposure to immoral messages from a young age. Initially, children are shocked and disgusted by the immorality they see in the adult world. Yet over time, they become desensitized towards it. Eventually, they embrace the immoral culture they are raised in.

The shock and disgust is the fitrah’s reaction to evil, while the desensitization is the suppression of our moral compass. Eventually, as teenagers they embrace immorality, yet deep down in their hearts the guilt, inner turmoil and emptiness remains. The fitrah cannot be destroyed completely by society.

How it works

The prophet (peace be upon him) also informed us that this element allows us to recognize something evil without someone telling us that it is evil. Once a companion asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), “What is righteousness and what is evil?” He was looking for a general definition to help him identify good and evil on his own.

The prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Righteousness is good character, and evil is that which you feel uneasy about inside and would not like others to know about you,” (Sahih Muslim 2553)

This Hadith defines the role that our fitrah plays in our lives. In psychological terms, it can be called the conscious. Psychologists are unable to understand how or why humans have a natural conscious, while other animals do not. As Muslims, we believe that Allah created us with this fitrah, as a means to guide us towards the truth.

The way in which our fitrah operates is that when we do something good, we feel a natural happiness inside of us. For example, if you give someone a gift or charity, you feel happiness deep inside. This is because our actions are in line with our fitrah. So Allah rewards us for this with happiness and inner peace.

The fitrah is also our guilty conscious. When we do something evil, there is this deep sense of guilt and shame inside. This is our fitrah sending us a warning sign that we are straying from the straight path. Whenever you feel this guilt, use it to fuel your repentance. Use it to motivate change for the better.

Its role in Dawah

The fitrah has also been a means of guiding many Non-Muslims to embrace Islam. As well as a means of guidance for many Muslims, causing them to abandon sectarianism for authentic Islam. These people tapped deep inside and discovered that they had inherit beliefs already programmed into their minds from birth, like the Oneness of God, the avoidance of superstition and the conscious awareness of good and evil.

Using this inner compass, they searched through the teachings of different religions and sects and found only Islam confirming every internal belief they already held. These people embraced Islam and finally found themselves at peace with their inner selves.

Acknowledging our fitrah and tapping into it at times or confusion is crucial for our spiritual development and the attainment of inner peace. When faced with a moral dilemma, look deep inside and see whether your inner compass is warning you against it or is at peace with what you wish to do. This will help us live more naturally moral lives, and attain inner peace.

Summary: About The Fitrah

The Fitrah is our natural compass. It helps us to instinctively understand good and evil. Society and the media may corrupt it, but they cannot destroy it. Tap into it to guide you towards the truth. Find inner peace by making your life and actions in line with your natural compass.

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace

25 ways to express your gratitude everyday

And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you are ungrateful, indeed, My punishment is severe.(Surah Ibraheem 14:7)

  1. Smile
  2. Pray five times a day
  3. Say Alhamdulillah (All praise is for Allah)
  4. Say Mashaa Allah (This is what Allah willed)
  5. Say Jazakallah Khair (may Allah reward you with better)
  6. Thank people for every little thing
  7. Make Sajdah Shukr (prostration of gratitude)
  8. Make a list of things you are grateful for
  9. Hug your family members
  10. Give someone a gift
  11. Gratitude1Acknowledge someone’s efforts to help you
  12. Be kind to strangers
  13. Give some charity
  14. Help an elder
  15. Check on your neighbors
  16. Accept your tests as blessings that you don’t understand
  17. Help someone with a difficult task
  18. Make dua (supplicate) for others
  19. Let people know how much they mean to you
  20. Work with Ihsaan (striving for excellence)
  21. Overlook people’s flaws
  22. Notice the small good things in life
  23. Support a friend’s business (you can support mine by purchasing an e-book)
  24. Keep the company of positive people
  25. Pray Qiyam Al-Layl (the late night prayer)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people.”
(Abu Dawood, 4811)

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace, Positive Thinking

Salah: The Key to Inner Peace

Finding inner peace through Salah

The five daily Salah are the most important acts of worship to establish. This is the second pillar of Islam, our primary link to Allah and our daily reminder of the purpose of life. It is also our primary means of attaining inner peace.

Abandoning the five daily Salah is likewise the primary cause of misguidance and leads to Kufr. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The difference between us and them (disbelievers) is Salah, so whoever abandons it has disbelieved,” (Saheeh Muslim)inner peace

Many scholars have understood this Hadith to mean that the abandonment of Salah, is itself, an act of Kufr. This is something to reflect on, as it shows the importance of Salah.

It is important to note that when we are talking about the five daily Salah, we are referring primarily to the Fard (obligatory) Rakahs of each Salah.

These are:

  1. Two Rakah every morning before sunrise – Fajr
  2. Four Rakah every afternoon after the sun begins its decline – Dhuhr
  3. Four Rakah every mid-afternoon before sunset – Asr
  4. Three Rakah every evening after sunset – Maghrib
  5. Four Rakah every night after total darkness sets in – Esha

These are the obligatory Salah and our priority should be getting them in order. As for the additional prayers like two before Fajr, and two after Dhuhr, Maghirb or Esha, these are all optional and recommended. The priority should be on that which is obligatory. Once that is in order, we can add in these recommended Salahs.

The purpose of Salah is mentioned in two verses of the Qur’an. Both objectives are linked to the development of Inner Peace. Allah says, “Establish Salah to remember me,” (Surah Taha 20:14) and “And Establish the Salah! Definitely, Salah prevents immorality and sin, and the remembrance of Allah is greatest,” (Surah Al-Ankaboot 29:45)

Between these two verses, we can say that the primary purpose of Salah is to remind us of Allah and our duties towards Him five times every day. The result of that is that we will be protected from immorality and sin through the remembrance of Allah. This is why Allah refers to the remembrance of Allah as the greatest goal of Salah.

However, this goal can only be accomplished if we pray with concentration, sincerity and understanding. It is in this area that many of us have failed. For many Muslims today, Salah has been reduced to a ritual of movements and words which they do not understand or even care to understand. As a result, it has no impact on their hearts and lives and they do not experience the benefits of Salah.

In order to attain inner peace, Salah must be prayed with understanding, reflection, sincerity and concentration. Sincerity is the first obligation. We must pray Salah solely for the pleasure of Allah, not to please people or “just to get it over with”. Salah must be done consciously as a means of getting closer to the Creator.

After sincerity, the next condition is understanding. The best way to understand what we are reciting is to learn Arabic. Yet for many Muslims this is difficult and unlikely. The next best step then is to at least learn the translation and explanation of what you recite in your Salah.

Besides understanding, we also must pray Salah with concentration. Salah is in many ways an exercise in focus, concentration and developing inner peace. Allah has described the true believers as, “Those who pray their Salah with Khushoo (concentration and inner peace),” (Surah Al-Muminoon 23:2) as well as, “Those who guard their Salah” (Surah Al-Muminoon 23:9) by not missing a prayer on time.

Sincerity and understanding help us to concentrate in our Salah. Beyond that, it is a matter of self-discipline. Focus on being in the moment, do not think about what you are going to do after Salah, or where your keys are. Focus on Allah and developing a relationship with Him. This is your best training in developing inner peace. If you can experience inner peace during Salah, then you are on your way to righteousness.

The most important position in the Salah is the Sajdah. Many people look at the Sajdah as just another ritual aspect of the Salah, but in reality it is the ultimate sign of submission to the Creator of the Heavens and earth. The Sajdah is so important that we have two Sajdahs in every Rakah of Salah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The closest that a servant gets to Allah is during his Sajdah,” This means that our Sajdah is the time when we are closest to Allah and our duas are most likely to be accepted.

The Sajdah is supposed to be a time in which we make dua and pour our hearts out to Allah asking for His Assistance and Forgiveness in every aspect of our lives. I am of the opinion that the dua in Sajdah can be in any language as Allah hears and understands all languages and would not make this crucial moment of acceptance only for those who speak Arabic.

Following these steps will help transform our Salah into a beautiful experience which benefits us. It brings us closer to Allah and is a means through which we experience inner peace.

Once you have established the obligatory Salah as a regular part of your life, then build upon it by adding more Salah to your daily habits. Start with the two Rakah before Fajr and the Witr after Esha. These are recommended Salahs that the Prophet (peace be upon him) never missed.

Then add the other recommended prayers to your habits like the two after Dhuhr, Maghrib and Esha, and the Tahajjud (late night prayer). In this way, one builds a habit of praying Salah with Khushoo, this is essential for establishing inner peace on a daily basis.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace