People often fail to realize that each one of us has the power to unlock the doorway leading to Allah (SWT) and our hearts are the key.
It is the passage through which we can discover ourselves, explore the boundaries of our consciousness and learn to anchor ourselves where the connection with the Divine Being becomes possible.
Moreover, it is through the art of meditation, that you truly understand what it means to completely surrender yourself to a Higher Power: Mind, body and soul.
From an Islamic point of view, meditation is the alignment of the heart, the body and the soul for the sole purpose of worship and reflection. It is the creation of a spiritual bond with the Almighty through deep contemplation. It is the outstanding drive that leads to a successful Islamic lifestyle.
This success is not only limited to the spiritual domain, but extends to the worldly domain as well. It serves as a means of healing, growth and for battling the constant inner chaos residing in the ‘self’ or ‘nafs’ of every human being.
It is through the realization and recognition of the concept of oneness of Allah that a person embraces the folds of Islam.
This realization can only be achieved through deep reflection, contemplation and patience. Worship without presence of mind, is not worship but a mindless practice consisting of automated actions and words.
Meditation and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Meditation is not a new practice; it has been around for centuries and holds great importance in realm of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad used to isolate himself from society in the Cave of Light for hours on end.
This time was spent in deep contemplation over the prevailing circumstances in Makkah. And in these hours of isolation, came his surrender; searching for the truth and existence of the Highest Divinity. For it was during one his meditative practices that the below-mentioned first Quranic revelation was received.
This meditation, in essence, paved the way for Divine revelation. The Prophet (PBUH) observed the conundrums of the society around him. So he turned towards the All-Knowing Higher Power for all the answers in his hours of worship.
Meditation was an instinctual reaction of the Prophet (PBUH) in response to the spiritual and socio-economic conditions in Makkah at the time. Hence, the concept and tradition of meditation predates prophethood. This further emphasizes the role that meditation plays in Islam.
Significance of Meditation in Islam
In Islam, Meditation is the road of surrender which ultimately leads to an overwhelming sense of protection, harmony and peace. Through the art of meditation, we come to realize what the word ‘surrender’ entails and what it means to fully let go of oneself in the hands of the Divine Will.
This especially entails letting go one’s ego and learning that no matter how successful we are in this worldly life, at the end of the day all material things gained in this world have no consequence in the hereafter. All that remains is the One to whom supplication must be made to gain favor for Mercy in the next world. It is said in the Holy Quran:
Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful. (12:53)
With meditation, one learns to overcome the ‘nafs’, this world, and transcend to that which is Absolute and Eternal.
Meditation and Inner Peace
Peace is something all of us desire. But it cannot be harnessed in the world if we don’t realize the need for harboring this peace in the heart.
Meditation enables that peace to thrive from within. It teaches us how to not lose our bearing and faith in Allah (SWT), no matter what. And it not only strengthens the faith of a Muslim, but creates a sense of ownership to problems and the desire to face them. It encourages self-awareness that is vital for all Muslims.
The whole process requires the believer to clear one’s mind of each and every thought except that of Allah (SWT). And let that clarity seep into one’s body and let it drip through one’s spiritual soul. It is only then that a person can dedicates his/her sole attention towards the Higher Divinity.
The purpose of meditation is not to find solace and healing in the act itself, but through the bond with the Almighty and Eternal through constant remembrance. It is said in the holy Quran:
Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured. (13:28)
Through the process of creating this bond, one learns to discipline ego (nafs) and attune it with the commands of Allah (SWT). The sense of peace and harmony that one attains from meditative practices is a bonus, not the main goal.
So, engage in dhikr constantly. Let the names of our Lord slip from your tongues into your heart. And soul and dwell in the bond that you share with Allah (SWT), for He is Divine and He is Eternal.