Salam (Peace) Dear Christina,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
We highly appreciate your concern to search for inner peace and how to gain it.
Searching for inner peace is not new. It is a need pursued by everyone on planet earth. All people from different religious, cultural, social backgrounds are in a continuous search for this feeling of inner peace.
People differ on their definition of “inner peace”. Some find it in having much wealth; others find it in having a good job, while others find it in traveling the world. The list of definitions does not end here.
True Inner Peace
But the best definition of inner peace is that it is a state of peace with yourself, your family, your friends, your society, your environment, whatever is happening in the whole world around you.
Muslims believe that this state is achieved when they have a confirmed belief in the existence of the true God who controls this universe and has created it for a purpose. This purpose is to believe and worship Him alone without associating partners with Him; meaning there are no intermediaries between God and us.
Once this belief is confirmed in one’s heart and mind, the state of inner peace starts to be felt by a true believer.
Muslims are asked not to worry too much about the future since it is only known to God. We are humans and we are weak. Therefore, our knowledge is limited.
Many people want to get the best of everything in this life; the best education, the best job, the best wife/husband, etc. That’s why they lead a life full of worries and concerns since there is always something better than what they have.
True believers have a solid belief in God’s choices for them. Therefore, they do what is needed and required from them and leave the rest to God. True believers are certain that they will get from this world only what Allah has written for them. Once this state is achieved, they feel inner peace and leave their worries behind.
True believers are certain that they will get from this world only what Allah has written for them. Once this state is achieved, they feel inner peace and leave their worries behind.
But Shouldn’t We Better Ourselves?
On the other hand, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work for our betterment; it rather means we shouldn’t make attaining physical wealth and success our purpose in life. So we still plan and work hard, but rely on Allah to bless our efforts and time to achieve fruitful results.
Patience is one of the means of attaining inner peace. Our life on this planet is full of tests and trials. It is full of ups and downs. True believers are confident that there is divine wisdom in each trial they go through.
So what do they do? They observe patience and put their trust in God who controls everything in this world.
Why Are Some Muslims So Angry?
As you mentioned in your question, Muslims are often angry.
But do you know why? Because they do not remove the obstacles that prevent them from attaining inner peace. Anger, jealousy, hatred, injustice are key obstacles in the way to inner peace. Anyone searching for inner peace should work hard to put an end to everything that prevents them from gaining this state of inner peace.
If you look around you, you will find troubles and struggles everywhere. You will find nothing that encourages you to have inner peace. Rather, you may feel depressed.
This feeling of depression is an obstacle in your way to gaining inner peace. The best definition of depression is the lack of inner peace.
But once you believe that there is a Creator who administers everything and He is taking care of everything—and that there is wisdom in everything happening around you—you will gain inner peace.
It is true that some Muslims face many difficulties and challenges in different corners of the globe. Those Muslims wanted to obtain peace in the outer world before making peace with themselves.
Muslims are people like you and me and they experience anger because they allow others’ anger to become theirs.
How To Attain This Inner Peace?
The most important thing for reaching a state of inner peace is to develop a very strong and pure relationship with God. You should busy yourself with getting closer to Him.
True believers make the Hereafter their goal in this life. They are sure that God’s mercy prevails over His anger; therefore, they hold that hope strongly in their hearts. Whatever they will do in this world is a preparation for the eternal life after death.
Their main concern is how to focus on this purpose and put away anything that stops them from working hard to get the reward promised by Allah and His prophets, that is of Paradise. This state creates in their hearts a feeling of inner peace.
Islam teaches them that if they put the Hereafter as their priority, they should feel satisfied with what Allah has decreed for them. In other words, be content in where you are, who you are and what you are doing. This is the core of inner peace.
If you feel content, everything will be perfect and you will not face any trouble in your life.
Remembrance of Allah
Allah tells us in the Quran that hearts find tranquility in His remembrance (dhikr); we read for example, what is translated as:
Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah: verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. (Quran 13:28)
Muslims who do not pay heed to the Quran, the word of Allah, will go through hardships in their lives:
But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its teachings.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection. (Quran 20:124)
Remembrance of Allah has many forms and it is not limited to the remembrance of Allah by tongue. A believer’s life is all about remembering Allah. When he prays, he is making dhikr. When reads the Quran, he is making dhikr. When he supplicates to Allah, he is making dhikr, etc.
A very important key to gaining inner peace is to forgive others and seek Allah’s forgiveness. Forgiveness teaches Muslims to let go of the past and thus gives them a chance to correct their misconceptions. This will help you reach a state of peace of mind.
Ponder on the Creation Around You
Muslims are recommended to always contemplate upon the creation around them. They should think of Allah’s ultimate power to control this whole universe and how it works perfectly without any error. Contemplation gives believers a push to focus on themselves and
Contemplation gives believers a push to focus on themselves and not to busy themselves too much with worldly affairs. Contemplation helps believers see the beauty in everything around them; the beauty of people, animals, environment, etc.
Maintain Healthy Relationships with Others
Lastly, Islam teaches Muslims to have a good relationship with all people, regardless of their color, faith, or race. Having a good relationship with people is a key to inner peace. If we maintain relationships devoid of presumption and prejudice, having inner peace will be easier.
I hope this answers your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.