Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, states: In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah, Most High, says, (It is He Who sent down Tranquillity into the hearts of the Believers, that they may add Faith to their Faith; for to Allah belong the Forces of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom; that He may admit the men and women who believe, to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for aye, and remove their ills from them; and that is – in the sight of Allah – the highest achievement (for man).) (Al-Fath 48: 4)
The Need for Inner Peace:
We are at a time of great stress and tension. Muslims and non-Muslims both have fears and anxieties. The world situation has not been good for several decades, but since the tragedy of September 11, 2001, there is more distress all over the world. The situation looks very grim and terrible for the whole humanity. Social, economic, political and environmental conditions of the whole world are deteriorating. Injustice, crimes, violence, evil and sins abound everywhere in the world.
Many Muslims now feel pessimistic and disheartened. We have painful conditions in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and other places, where we see our Muslim brothers and sisters going through a lot of suffering. Wars are waged against Muslims in different parts of the world. Thousands of innocent men, women and children are dying. There are millions of refugees who are going through most tragic difficulties. Muslims are ruled today by some of the most corrupt political leaders who are totally inept to defend their lands and their people. Here in United States we have anxieties about our civil rights and liberties. The anti-Islamic propaganda and Islamophobia is on the rise here and in many other places.
We need inner peace and the whole humanity needs it. Inner peace is always important but it is most needed now. It is the peace of heart and mind. Inner peace makes peop
le steadfast, strong and capable to face the problems. If there is no inner peace people lose courage and strength to face the difficulties. People become sick and develop many other physical, emotional or psychological problems. They would certainly have spiritual problems. Those who do not have inner peace become irritable, angry, have difficulty to maintain their daily work, good family relations or other commitments and responsibilities. Inner peace on the other hand makes people optimistic, friendly and productive. Inner peace makes people strong to deal with their personal, family, local as well as national and international problems.
Islam and Inner Peace:
Islam is the religion of peace. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, used to say and write in his letters to the chiefs of tribes in his time: “Aslim Taslam (Accept Islam and find peace.)”
Islam places great emphasis on inner peace. In the Qur’an, it is called Sakinah (inner calm and tranquility), Tuma’ninah (comfort of the heart, satisfaction and contentment) Sharh As-Sadr (understanding, openness of the chest, restfulness). Believers receive these gifts from Allah Almighty. In the most difficult situations, Allah mentions that He bestowed inner peace on the believers.
Sakinah (Inner Calm and Tranquility):
In the situation of Hijra, Allah, Most High, says, (If ye help not (the Prophet), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: they two were in the Cave, and he said to his companion, “Have no fear for Allah is with us”: then Allah sent down His peace upon hi
m, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.) (At-Tawbah 9: 40)
In the situation of Hunayn, Allah says, (Assuredly Allah did help you in many battle-fields and on the day of Hunayn: behold! your great numbers elated you, but they availed you naught: the land, for all that it is wide, did constrain you, and ye turned back in retreat. But Allah did pour His calm on the Messenger and on the Believers, and sent down forces which ye saw not: He punished the Unbelievers: thus doth He reward those without Faith. Again will Allah, after this, turn (in mercy) to whom He will: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (At-Tawbah: 25-27)
Regarding Al-Hudaybiyah, Allah says, (While the Unbelievers got up in their hearts heat and cant – the heat and cant of Ignorance – Allah sent down His Tranquillity to His Messenger and to the Believers, and made them stick close to the command of self-restraint; and well were they entitled to it and worthy of it. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.) (Al-Fath 48: 26)
Tuma’ninah (Comfort of the Heart, Satisfaction and Contentment):
Regarding the battle of Badr, Allah says, (Remember ye implored the assistance of your Lord, and He answered you: “I will assist you with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks. Allah made it but a message of hope, and an assurance to your hearts, (in any case) there is no help except from Allah: and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.) (Al-Anfal 8: 9-10)
When giving Da`wah, a Muslim has to remember Allah’s saying, (Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. For those who believe and work righteousness, is (every) blessedness, and a beautiful place of (final) return.) (Ar-Ra`d 13: 28-29)
Sharh As-Sadr (Expansion of the Chest or Breast, a Symbol of Peace and Tranquility):
Allah’s special gift to those who accept Islam, (Those whom Allah (in His plan) willeth to guide, He openeth their breast to Islam; those whom He willeth to leave straying, He maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus doth Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe.) (Al-An`am 6: 125)
Du`aa’ of Prophet Musa, peace be upon him: ((Moses) said: ‘O my Lord! Expand me my breast; Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say. And give me a Minister from my family, Aaron, my brother.) (Taha 20: 25-30)
Allah’s special gift to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him: (Have We not expanded thee thy breast? And removed from thee thy burden that which did gall thy back? And raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)? So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Therefore, when thou art free (from thine immediate task), still labor hard, and to thy Lord turn (all) thy attention.) (Ash-Sharh 94: 1-8)
How to Achieve Inner Peace?
It is important to remember that inner peace comes from Allah. It does not come from material things. It does not come from drugs or painkillers. It does not come from sinful lifestyle. Unless our relations with Allah are good, we can never have real inner peace. In order to have inner peace, we must:
– Have strong faith and trust in Allah. Make Dhikr of Allah as much as we can. Dhikr brings comfort. We must follow the right path of Islam. Neither misfortune nor prosperity should turn you away from Islam.
– Be patient in all circumstances.
– Be with good people and be good to others. We must always say good words and do good deeds. Deeds of charity bring real inner peace.
– What we do not like others to do to us, we should not do to others.
– Be most forgiving. Forgiveness is the best healer and it first heals the person who forgives.
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying, “Who from my Ummah would take from me five pieces of advice in order to practice them and teach them to others?” I said, “I, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, took my hand and counted them to me. He said, “Avoid the forbidden things, you will be the most worshipful servant of Allah. Be satisfied with what Allah has granted you, you will be the most independent person. Be good to your neighbor, you will be a (true) believer. Love for people what you love for yourself, you will be a (real) Muslim. Do not laugh too much, because too much laughter kills the heart (or conscience).” (Reported by Ahmad in Musnad, No. 7748