Does Islam encourage self-development or is this something new? We have heard about improving oneself so much in recent decades so what should we do?
Despite the modern society treating meditation as a new trend, it is clear that it has always existed but in different shapes and in different nations.
Personal Development in Islam
In Islam, the Quran relates to personal development in many verses.
As an example, Dr. Shabir Ally is quoting the verses of different Surah to highlight this vast subject.
Purifying the soul isn’t just about meditation and prayer; it is as well about doing good deeds/charity and striving to keep a heart free of grudge. As well we are fully equipped to develop our knowledge; hence our personal growth is facilitated if we are willing to work for it.
Dr. Shabir Ally explains that every bit of knowledge is good to take, not just Islamic subjects.
Furthermore there are two concepts in Islam that he includes in his explanation:
Muraqabah: it can be translated as “knowing that Allah is watching over us”. Hence we have to be mindful and reflect upon his creation.
Muḥasabah: it is often translated as accountability and religious self-examination or self-analysis.
Both concepts are linked and we should take time, for example before sleeping, to practice introspection.
In order to increase our knowledge, spirituality and well-being we have to question ourselves and feel that there is always room for improvement.