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Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Ways of Remaining Positive from the Quraan and Hadeeth-Part 2

As promised in the last post, here are the three other tipes to remain positive- hope it is useful-Insha'Allah!

4) Have Patience And Perseverance

As mentioned earlier, patience and perseverance are two very important traits to have. These two things will allow a person to be successful in remaining positive and it will also be highly rewarded. Allah tells us this in the Quraan:

“Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward, without measure” (Surah 39: Verse 10).

Even when it seems like your prayers are not being answered and like things will never get better, patience and perseverance should continue because at some point, when Allah wills, then prayers will be accepted.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “A person’s supplication will be granted if he does not get impatient, saying, ‘I supplicated (to Allah) but my supplication has not been granted’” (Muslim).

5) Accept Allah’s Will

The Prophet (PBUH) described the Believers in the following words:

“Amazing is the matter of the believer, for all of his affairs are good to him. If a bounty was bestowed on him, he thanks for it, and this is better for him. If an affliction touches him, he observes patience, and this is better for him, and this is only for the believer” (Muslim).

An important element of faith is accepting that Allah knows what is best for us all. We have to remember that Allah has already ordained all that is to occur so accepting Allah’s will only makes it easier for us to deal with things and allows us to remain positive at all times. Since we are not able to comprehend the way in which Allah works, we should accept what Allah wills and that will be better for us. The verses from the Quraan and the Ahadeeth which follow makes it very clear that we should not long for the things that Allah has not bestowed upon us, nor should we be upset if Allah has caused something to happen to us which we did not want to occur.

“No misfortune can happen on earth or in yourselves but is recorded in a Book before we bring it into existence. That is truly easy for Allah. (This is done so that) you are not disheartened over what you may lose, nor feel exultant over what Allah may give you. Allah does not love those who are arrogant and boastful” (Surah 57: Verse 22-23)
“Seek what benefits you, rely on Allah and do not succumb to feebleness. And when an affliction strikes you, do not say, ‘Had I done this, that and that would have happened.’ Rather, say, ‘Allah has decided, and He does whatever He will,’ for ‘if’ opens the door for Satan’s work” (Muslim).

It is related in At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Ibn Abbas (May Allah be Pleased with Him)that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “...and you should know that if the whole nation were to join forces in order to benefit you with something, they would not be able to benefit you , except with something which Allah has decreed for you; and if they were to join forces in order to harm you, they would not harm you, except with something which Allah has decreed for you”.

Another version is: “And you should know that whatever has missed you was not to befall you, and what has befallen you was not to miss you”. (Abu Dawood)

6) Put Your Trust in Allah And Remember That Things Will Get Better
Finally, as we can see in the Quraanic verses and Ahadeeth below, Allah has promised us that after hardship will come ease so all we have to do is put our trust in Allah and have a true belief that things will get better!

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” (Surah 13: Verse 28).

“And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then? He will suffice him” (Surah 65: Verse 3).

“So the fact is that along with every hardship there is also ease. Indeed, with every hardship there is also ease!” (Surah 94: Verse 5-6).

“It may well be that Allah brings about ease after hardship” (Surah 65: Verse 7).

The Prophet (PBUH) said; “When Allah loves a nation, He puts them to the test” (Ahmad)

The Prophet (PBUH) said while addressing his companions: “you should know that victory comes with patience, and relief comes after distress, and that with every hardship there is also ease”.

(Taken from: Hassem, Z. (2010). 7 Things To Talk About. Kuala Lumpur: A S Noordeen Publishers.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some Ways of Remaining Positive from the Quraan and Hadeeth- Part 1

The following tips to positive thinking and the tips I will put up in my next post Inshallah, is taken from my book entitled “7 Things To Talk About” * (the reference for this is: Hassem, Z. (2010). 7 Things To Talk About. Kuala Lumpur: A S Noordeen Publishers)

1) Be Content

Contentment brings peace and happiness, if you are content with whatever you have been given and if you are grateful to Allah then Allah will put barakah (blessings) in the things that you have, no matter how little it may be. When you look at those who have more than you do, it only adds to negative feelings and allows for competition and animosity to fester between people.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have said:

“When one of you sees another who is superior to him in respect of wealth and creation, let him look to him who is below him. That is more proper that you hold not in contempt the favour of Allah towards you” (Bukhari).

If someone is content with whatever they have and with whatever situation they are in then they will remain positive, happy and grateful to Allah.

The Prophet (PBUH) said something to this effect:

“Blessed is one who is guided to Islam, and whose livelihood is just sufficient and who is contented therewith” (Tirmidhi).

2) Regard Hardships As A Form Of Salvation

Muslims are fortunate because of our belief that any hardship we endure in this world will either lessen our sins or serve as a form of reward in the Hereafter. This should make it easier for Muslims to deal with difficult situations and should serve as a form of hope. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quraan:

“If you are suffering (hardships) then surely, they (too) are suffering (hardships) as you are suffering, but you have a hope from Allah (for the reward, i.e. Paradise) that for which they hope not” (Surah 4: Verse 104)

The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said:

“If a Muslim is afflicted with any trouble, continuous pain, anxiety, sorrow, harm, disaster, and even a thorn which he is pierced with- Allah expiates his minor sins therefor” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah).

3) Do Good And See Good

An important part of remaining positive is to become involved in good actions or good work. Doing righteous deeds on this earth not only makes one feel good in this world but will also be beneficial in the hereafter. Instead of spending time thinking about situations and feeling sorry for ourselves we should try to get involved in something good. There is so much work that needs to be done in our communities- that none of us have an excuse. Each person can contribute in their own unique way. Allah Almighty promises a great reward for those who do righteous deeds so why are we wasting our time?

“Whoever works righteousness-whether male or female-while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)” (Surah 16: Verse 97).

Another part of remaining positive is to always see the good in others. As was discussed earlier, focusing on the good in others helps to create an environment which is generally more positive. When one person begins to focus on the positive then other people will pick up on this and they too will react positively. This will help to reduce anger and conflict in families and in the community. Suspecting others of doing things is dangerous and might be harmful to you. Allah mentions in the Quraan:

“O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin” (Surah 49: Verse 12).

It just makes more sense to rather focus on the good in people and ignore the bad because Allah is the Knower of all things and the way of a Muslim is to focus on the good and hide the bad.

“A man who points out the good, is like one who does it” (Tirmidhi)

May Almighty Allah guide us all!
Image from:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Positive Thinking

Some of you might be thinking, “Oh No! Not more on positive thinking, we hear this all the time”. If you are thinking this, I absolutely understand. I mean, it seems that every bookstore is lined with books on positive thinking, one would expect there to be very few negative thinkers around, but the truth is that most people are still very negative in their way of thinking and it is definitely true that our thinking influences our attitudes and in turn our behaviour!

Recently my sister shared with me very interesting insight from a book that she is reading entitled “In the Early Hours- Reflection on Spiritual and Self Development” by Khurram Murad *. A very important thing mentioned in this book was that as Muslims we are supposed to be “ETERNAL OPTIMISTS”. This got me thinking about the hype on positive thinking and I realized that this concept is actually very prevalent within Islamic thinking.

The Prophet (SAW) described the Believers in the following words:

“Amazing is the matter of the believer, for all of his affairs are good to him. If a bounty was bestowed on him, he thanks for it, and this is better for him. If an affliction touches him, he observes patience, and this is better for him, and this is only for the believer” (Muslim).

This is a very beautiful hadith because it describes a very high form of positive thinking, and as it points out, this form of positive thinking has been reserved for the believer only. This form of positive thinking focuses on times of happiness as well as times of affliction, and I’m sure that you will agree that it is very difficult to practise this form of positive thinking on a continuous basis. But, with the right intention and with the guidance of Allah, we all have the ability to achieve this.

So, while general mainstream ideas focus on positive thinking to attain physical or material goals; the Islamic ideal of positive thinking is eternal, because one’s positive thinking, attitudes and behaviour is directly related to his/her relationship with the Creator. This form of positive thinking not only allows the individual to think of him/herself in positive terms, but to also think of all situations in positive terms and more importantly it encourages positive thinking about Allah and it leads to acceptance of what Allah has decreed. In this case, thinking positively will not only bring about peace and contentment in this material world, but it will also lead to positive consequences in the hereafter (Insha’allah Ameen).

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentioned that even a smile is charity and this further emphasizes the importance of remaining positive. Since our actions directly influence those around us, if we remain positive, this will automatically help others to be positive as well, but if we are negative, then other people will continue to have a negative outlook in life, and thus ailments such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and so on will continue to fester. Islam is a religion which focuses on the well-being of all people, and it is not individualistic. People are taught to be selfless and not selfish and so positive thinking from this perspective has further reaching effects.

The concept of positive thinking is very much a spiritual exercise then, and it is a spiritual exercise which influences the human being on all levels. (In an earlier post we looked at balance and different levels- positive thinking would come into effect on all these levels).

Do the quiz below to find out whether you are an Optimist or a Pessimist:


Answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:

Do you:

1. Describe a half bottle of water as being half-full rather than half-empty?

2. Enjoy taking risks on a fairly regular basis?

3. Enjoy dreaming about what you might do if you received a lot of money?

4. Go on holiday without booking a hotel beforehand?

5. Feel your motto is to spend today, for tomorrow might never come?

6. Very carefully lock up before going to bed?

7. Feel you are someone who wears rose-tinted glasses?

8. Love getting surprises?

9. Feel that essentially most people are honest?

10. Always have something to look forward to?

11. Feel you sometimes are on a lucky streak?

12. Never feel it just isn’t worth getting up in the morning?

13. Never worry about whether your transport will fail and you will be late for an appointment?

14. Never bother to carry an extra article of clothing “just in case”?

15. Feel surprised when there is a hitch and things don’t work out according to your plan?

16. Feel delighted by the unexpected?

17. Feel things seldom feel hopeless?

18. Feel your future looks inviting?

19. Not care about growing old?

20. Have a hunch that existence will take care of you?

If you have answered “yes” to more than 10 of the questions then you are like most people in your outlook-which means that you are balanced.

If you have answered “yes” to more than 16 then you are decidedly optimistic.

If you have answered “no” to more than 16 then you would do well to take stock of why you are so pessimistic and what can be done about it.


Optimism suggests that we live in the best of all possible worlds, with a tendency to expect the best and see the best in all things. The optimistic person is seen as unusually cheerful and joyous. He or she is highly satisfied with their existence, generally finds life rewarding and is obviously at peace with him-or herself and the world.

By contrast, pessimism expects the worst and sees the worst in all things. The pessimistic outlook suggests that this world is, by its nature, corrupt. Pessimism is often associated with depression, anxiety and low energy. The pessimist is characteristically gloomy and disappointed with his or her existence. For them all clouds are stormy. Pessimists usually have low self esteem, believing that they are unattractive failures.

(Adapted from: Who am I: 101 Ways of Seeing Yourself. By Malcolm Godwin. (2004). United Kingdom: Carroll & Brown Publishers Ltd.)

If you find that you are more prone to negative thinking- Don’t stress, Insha’Allah you have the ability to become more positive. If you are already a positive thinker, there’s always room for growth, and we are all on a continuous journey.

May Allah guide us all!

Insha’Allah in the next post we will look at some guidelines for positive thinking.

Until then, I leave you in peace, May the Almighty shower His Peace, Blessings and Mercy on every single one of us, Insha’Allah Ameen!
*The reference for this book is: Murad, K. (2000). In the Early Hours-Reflections on Spiritual and Self Development. United Kingdom: Revival Publucations. (This book is available for download from:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The story of the Butterfly

A family in my neighbourhood once brought in two cocoons that were just about to hatch. They watched as the first one began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed in one end of the cocoon. After lying exhausted for about ten minutes following its agonizing emergence, the butterfly finally flew out the open window on its beautiful wings.

The family decided to help the second butterfly so that it would not have to go through such an excruciating ordeal. So, as it began to emerge, they carefully, sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade, doing the equivalent of a Caesarian section. The second butterfly never did sprout wings, and in about ten minutes, instead of flying away, it quietly died.

The family asked a biologist friend to explain what had happened. The scientist said that the difficult struggle to emerge from the small hole actually pushed liquids from deep inside the butterfly’s body cavity into the tiny capillaries in the wings, where they harden to complete the healthy and beautiful adult butterfly.


(A true story- source unknown)

When life seems too much and when our problems feel overwhelming, it helps to remember this story and think about how all the most difficult things we've had to go through in our lives are the things that have allowed us to grow, thus becoming stronger, wiser and more enlightened human beings!

Remember, with the help of Allah (SWT) we can deal with any problem, large or small.

May Allah ease all our difficulties and allow our trials to be a means of growth for us all, Inshallah, Ameen!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Correcting others

“Four men entered a Mosque and each busied himself in Salaah, humbly begging and prostrating before Allah. Each one said the “Allahu Akbar” after first having made his intention, and began to pray with humility. Meanwhile the Mu’adhdhin came in and gave the call to Salaah.

The first man blurted out to the Mu’adhdhin, “Are you calling to the prayer? Is it the right time?” The second spoke on the spur of the moment, “You have wasted your salaah by speaking during prayers”. The third retorted, “Why did you speak? Tell yourself how to behave!” The fourth mumbled calmly, “Praise be to Allah! I wasn’t a party to their arguments.”
Thus all the four broke their salaah and wasted it. The fault-finders went more astray than the one who made the original mistake”.

(Story taken from: Tales from Rumi. (1997), London: Ta-Ha Publishers, p. 16.)

(image from

I’ve added this story here to remind us that there’s a time place, and manner in which we can correct others when we think that they are at fault. Respect can never be underestimated and the way in which you approach a situation can determine the outcome. We have to remember that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the most tactful and respectful person. He never made anyone feel insignificant and took the time out to truly understand each person’s situation. We should try to become like this. Openly talking about peoples’ faults will get us nowhere, and it will not help the person in any way either. We are told in the hadith something to the effect that if we hide the faults of others then Allah (SWT) will hide our faults (and we all fault in some way and at some time)! It is better for us to approach the person themselves in a respectful manner, if we think that it’s our duty to say something, and if someone approaches us with respect and good intention when they think that we are wrong, then we should appreciate their concern instead of take offence.

Remember, nobody’s perfect!

May Allah guide every single one of us (myself included) Inshallah.

Monday, February 15, 2010



Inshallah I will be starting a new Blog called 'Muslim Women Exposed' very soon. If you want to know what this is all about you can read an Introduction page on the Blog, you can get to it through my profile or follow the link below:

I ask you to make duaa (prayer) that Allah guides me in this effort Inshallah!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dealing with “The What Will People Say Phenomenon”

In my opinion, people will have much more peace and tranquillity in their lives if they stop worrying about what other people will have to say. I mean, seriously, think about this for a while, how much time do we spend pondering about others opinions of us; how we dress, how we look, whether we’ve picked up weight, or lost weight; how we behave, our likes and dislikes, all these things are shaped by what we think others will say about us. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care about other people, but what I am saying is that when other people’s opinions of us have a negative impact on us, then this becomes a problem.

Too often have I seen people making difficult situations even more difficult by talking about the people concerned. This is not only very bad, because Allah does not like gossiping, (and yes, that’s what it is, no matter how much we may think we’re talking because we care), but this also puts additional pressure on someone who is already going through a tough time.

Nonetheless, since it’s extremely difficult to change a whole society of people, we should focus on trying to change ourselves and then slowly the changes we have made, will begin to rub off onto others, Inshallah!

So, here are some tips to dealing with what I have called, “The What Will People Say Phenomenon”.

1. Adopt a Don’t Care Attitude- Now as Muslims we are told that the opinion of Allah Almighty matters first. So instead of thinking “what are people going to say”, we should be thinking; “what is Allah thinking of me”. Once we begin to focus on Allah as our driving force, then it will become easy for us to stop caring about what other people have to say about us. This may be difficult to achieve because it’s human nature for us to want to fit in with others, and really, NO ONE LIKES TO BE INSULTED BY OTHERS! But we constantly have to remind ourselves of the insults, attacks and gossip aimed at our Beloved Prophet Muhammd (PBUH) and since Allah Almighty loved him more than anyone, it didn’t matter what people had to say at all!

So the next time you begin to consider what other people will say, first ask yourself “what
will Allah say?”, and then ask yourself, “what would our Prophet (PBUH) have done in a similar situation?” Inshallah then it will become easier for us to adopt a don’t care attitude and we will easily become unperturbed by others opinions of us.

2. Develop Empathy- “Empathy” is basically walking in someone else’s shoes, making attempts to look at life through another person’s eye’s. This is a wonderful skill to have because it helps you to understand people and situations better. In the case of “the what will people say phenomenon”, this can work both ways. – a) If someone is talking about you, take time out to empathize with that person. You are most likely to find that what you thought the person’s reasons for talking was, is actually very different and this will help you to deal with the situation much more effectively. B) If you are the one talking about someone else, think about what it would be like if you were that person, and how you might have felt if people were saying things about you, this will really make you stop talking and you may even find yourself wanting to help the person you were talking about.

3. It’s all about perception- I’d like to argue that as humans we are not subjected to the absolute truth, all we know is our perception of the truth. So each person has their own perception of what they regard as the truth. So, this goes back to tip no.1 again, because only Allah Almighty knows the real truth. Instead of becoming upset about what other people are saying, remember, whatever someone says or thinks about you, it’s really only their own perception. Another person will have a very different perception.

4. Forget the negative and focus on the positive- there are always going to be people who send out negative vibes, or who have negative things to say about you. But, in the same way, there’s always going to be someone who sees the positive in you. It doesn’t matter if a thousand people are seeing the negative, if even 1 person sees the positive, then that means that there has to be some good in you. Once you begin to focus on that positive, you will become more positive, and then the way in which you react to others will change and before you know it, the negative will decrease and the positive will increase- Inshallah!

5. Question yourself constantly- Here I’m talking about accountability for your own actions. Nobody is perfect and sometimes when people say bad things about us; it may really be the truth! So what we have to do is constantly question ourselves and reflect on our lives. If the negative things people are saying about you is false, then you have nothing to worry about and then you can follow the steps above. But, if what people are saying is actually true then it may be time for you to make some changes in your life, not so that people can stop talking, not to please people, but so that you can become a better person, thereby pleasing Allah (SWT)!

I hope that these 5 steps can help you to deal with this better. Please remember that it takes time to change the way we have been doing things, and when we decide to make positive changes in our lives, we are faced with many more challenges. Don’t become despondent; Allah may want to test us to see if we are truly sincere.

Remember what Allah says in the Qur’an :
“So the fact is that along with every hardship there is also ease. Indeed, with every hardship there is also ease!” (The Holy Qur’aan- Surah 94: Verse 5-6).

May Allah (SWT) make it easy for us all to attain peace and tranquillity and to adopt the beautiful mannerisms of our Beloved and Noble Prophet (PBUH).

Until next time, I leave you in peace, May Allah be with you always and shower His Peace and Blessings on you!

As always, feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, opinions, and so and so forth.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What will people say?

The chit and the chatter never ends,
And who cares about what message that sends,
Stories get spread like wildfire,
As we speak and speak to our hearts desire.

What will people say?
How can I show my face today?
How will it look;
If my stories are told to everyone, like it is in a book.

My friends can’t possibly know,
That’s why I have to put up a show.
What will I do if my neighbours see?
It will change how they think of me.

Oh! The scandal will be unbearable,
There’s no cure for it, no magic pill.
Once people begin to talk about you,
It doesn’t matter what is false and what is true.

But, wait just a second! We seem to be forgetting something.
Clearly there’s something wrong with this picture,
What is the message we get in our Scripture?
The first opinion that matters is that of the Supreme Being!

So, what are we making a fuss about?
When our Creator sees everything, without any doubt!

The next time you worry about what people will say,
Take a moment to ponder about the Last day.
Think about what you will say,
When asked who you cared about most, during this short stay!

Dealing with the "what will people say phenomenon" to follow in the next post inshallah!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



The Mirror

One day Abu Jahl came to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and said; “You have the most ugly face in Bani Hashim.” Abu Jahl was the chief from Quraysh who showed the most hatred of Islam.

The Prophet (PBUH) said; “You speak the truth.”

Soon afterwards Sayyiduna Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), came in and remarked, “O! Prophet of Allah, your face shines like the brilliant sun.”

The Prophet (PBUH), gave the same reply; “You speak the truth.”

A Companion of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was sitting nearby, asked, “How can it be possible, Prophet of Allah , that both these opposite remarks are true?”

The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “I am like a shining, reflective mirror, everyone sees his own face in me.”

(Taken from- "Tales from Rumi" (1997), London: Ta-Ha Publishers).

What would your reflection show about you?

Do you think that you are happy with this reflection?

Imagine that everything you see around you-the character of your family and friends, the experiences you encounter, etc-is a mirror of your consciousness. Notice what you like and what you don’t like. Do this until you feel you are getting to know your reflection.

Write down what you intend to change and what you intend to continue.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Living A Balanced Life-Part 2-Balancing the Different Levels

In the previous post we focused on achieving inner and outer balance. I hope that this was useful for people and helped to get you to start thinking about your own life.

Balance between different levels can further be broken down.

Within the socio-psychological paradigm 5 different levels of human functioning have been identified. These are as follows:






Think about these levels for a while- Place them in order of preference for you, i.e. which level do you think should be the most important, then which one would follow, and so on.

A good balance between these levels is important, but the importance placed on each level will directly influence your life as well. It will determine what becomes more important for you and what is less important. For instance, if you choose the Intellectual level as your most important and for example the spiritual as your least important then you will find that you most probably have a life which is intellectually rich, (you will read a lot, your knowledge and understanding about things will be vast etc), but you will be lacking on a spiritual level. This is just an example; you can make sense of your own life once you’ve understood the importance of the different levels for you. All of the levels cannot occupy the same space in your life, but how and why you choose the levels will have a direct impact on your life.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari also discussed this concept along very, very similar lines when he spoke about knowledge of the self.*

According to this he has stated that The Holy Qur’an speaks of a system of values. Every culture is based on a particular arrangement of values. The human personality has 5 levels of consciousness and therefore 5 values which correspond to these levels. These are as follows:

SPIRITIUAL (consciousness of a Transcendental Being)





He went on to say that people are sometimes only aware of some of these 5 values, thus the value system is imperfect, and the culture that emerges is also flawed. Or, people may know about the 5 values, but the order may be incorrect. Maulana Ansari argues that a system which places more value on lower levels than on higher levels is problematic. He states that the Qur’an and hadith are absolutely clear about values.

Maulana Ansari quotes the following Quraanic verse in support of his argument:

“Those who are honoured by Allah who cultivate iman and who cultivate ilm (knowledge)” (Surah 58: verse 11).

So, according to this argument, the higher levels should be the ones associated with cultivating iman (faith) and knowledge.

Now, if you go back to the order you first placed the levels in and reflect upon this, what do you see?
Does it fit in with this Islamic view of the self or have you somehow managed to place emphasis on other, less important levels of functioning?

Once you begin to understand how your ideas, attitudes and choices are all interlinked and they determine the balance as well as the value of your life, then things in your life will begin to make more sense to you.

If you’ve found that all this time you have been placing emphasis on the lower levels instead of the higher levels, then don’t become despondent, it is never too late to make crucial changes to your life. You are fortunate that you have now received information and knowledge about these things and now you can use it to live a better, more fulfilled life.

I hope that this helps encourage and not discourage anyone.

Remember always that Allah (SWT) is the Greatest, the Most Merciful and the Most Kind. Put your trust in Allah and you will find even the greatest of challenges will become easy.

Until next time, May Allah’s Peace and Blessings continuously be showered upon you!

*The reference for this is; Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari – Lectures in South Africa 1970 & 1972, ‘Islam to the Modern Mind’, (2002), Edited by, M.Kriel & Y.Mohamed. Hidden Treasure Press: Paarl South Africa.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Living A Balanced Life-Part 1-Inner and Outer Balance

Within the psychological paradigm emphasis is placed on the human being as a holistic being. This means that people function on different levels, and when there is an illness or other disturbance then the problem could exist on more than one level. In fact, these days, the “Mind-Body” connection is becoming increasingly recognized in all disciplines, not only psychology.

In the teachings of Hadhrat Maulana Maseehullah Khan, we learn about the constitution of a person from an Islamic perspective.*

According to this a person is made up of two fundamental components:

1. The first component is visible and easily recognized- this is the BODY. This component is called the SOORAT.
2. The second component is not visible, nor is it physical and it has no external form. It has an internal form. This is the PERSONALITY OR CHARACTER and is called SEERAT.

Body- For the body to be functional it must be healthy and well groomed. Balance in physical activities is also important for the body to function properly.

Personality- for the personality to function normally, it must also be healthy (free from bad qualities and enriched with good qualities). It must also be well-balanced. Refinement of character imbues one’s personality with radiance, making it beautiful.

From this we can see that there has to be a good balance between the physical body and the metaphysical personality. If we spend all of our time focusing on bettering ourselves physically while our personality is lacking, then we will not have a fulfilled life. At the same time, however, if we completely ignore our physical selves and only focus on the metaphysical, then this too will have negative consequences.

These two are inter-related. When you feel good on one level then automatically you will begin to feel good on the other level as well.

These days there is an over-emphasis on physical perfection. Weight-loss programmes, physical fitness, exercise gyms, beauty products, even shampoo and soap advertisements emphasize the importance of perfecting the physical. The result is that people spend so much time and effort on this one level that they forget that there is more to the human being and although they may be feeling and looking great physically, the other components of the human being is neglected and people still cannot achieve real happiness and peace.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said something to this effect; “successful indeed is the person who is sincere in faith, whose heart is pure, whose speech is truthful and whose character is upright”.

“Oh Allah you have made my outer (physical) good, make my inner character good as well”. (Translation of prayer when looking in the mirror taught by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).


According to what you’ve just read, how balanced is your life?

Do you pay more attention to the outer/physical or the inner/metaphysical?

What do you think you can do to try and achieve more balance in your life according to the discussion above?

Leave your comments, add your suggestions, share your thoughts and experiences with regards to this…

Inshallah in Part 2 of ‘Living a Balanced Life’ we’ll look a little more at the specific levels a human being functions on.

Until then, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you

*The reference for the book used here is : Compiled from the Teachings of Hadhrat Maulana Maseehullah Khan Saheb, Good Character, 1997. Adam Publishers: Delhi.