The human soul is by nature weak and sensitive. It is usually weaker than the body, but sometimes it is far stronger. It is not perfect or immune, but it lives with a variety of needs, at the top of which is the need for inner peace and security.
A person may own a huge amount of wealth or achieve remarkable success in society, yet he may still feel that there is a deep vacuum within his soul. To his surprise, that feeling of tranquility and serenity is totally absent from his life, despite all his material achievements. He is constantly concerned and unsatisfied. Such a person may have learnt well how to win the battle of success and distinction in some areas of worldly life, but little does he know about the needs of his inner being and the way of fulfilling them.
The human soul, if its inborn nature remains untarnished, feels a deep attachment toward its Creator, Allah. It derives its feeling of peace and security from Him. So, if a person truly believes in Allah and remembers Him a lot, complying with His instructions, he will find a deep sense of security and tranquility, and those fears and anxieties experienced by other people will not affect him. This connection with our Creator is indeed indispensable.
Admittedly, for one to secure inner peace while living with these huge wavy seas of worldly attractions and distractions is not an easy endeavor; and here lies the test. Just as collecting a fortune, securing a respectable career, or achieving high status and fame among people is a type of struggle; likewise, attaining inner peace is also a struggle that may even be harder. The following are some tips on how to win this struggle in order to secure inner peace:
Remembrance of Allah
A person feels joy and happiness when meeting or remembering someone beloved to him. Indeed, our Lord is incomparably more beloved to us. When we meet and talk to Him — such as in Prayer, recitation of the Noble Qur’an, supplication, or any other act of worship that reminds us of our Creator and connects us with Him — our hearts are filled with peace and tranquility, a feeling not found elsewhere. In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah says:
(Those who believe, and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.) (Ar-Ra`d 13:28)
|Allah has created us for a noble purpose, which is to worship Him alone without any partner.|
Conversely, if a person lives far removed from the remembrance of Almighty Allah, he will definitely suffer and his life will be full of trouble and difficulties, no matter how much he may possess in this world. That is because he may be materially rich, but on the other hand spiritually very poor. This is illustrated in a Qur’anic verse that reads:
(And whoever turns away from remembrance of Me, his shall be a straitened life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind.) (Ta-Ha 20:124)
Aspiring for the Hereafter
Almighty Allah has created us for a noble purpose, which is to worship Him alone without any partner. And we are here for a short, yet hard, test, not for a permanent life. About the reality of this world, Almighty Allah says:
(And this life of the world is nothing but a pastime and a play; and as for the next abode, that most surely is the life– did they but know!) (Al-`Ankaboot 29:64)
So, it would be totally irrational for a person to prefer this worldly, fleeting life to the permanent abode in the hereafter. Winning Paradise should be the paramount goal for every believer. If this happens, life, along with its numerous fears and troubles, will be too insignificant in the eyes of believers to unduly care about, and a feeling of security and peace will fill their lives.
Patience is Good
Believers know that whatever happens in this world is predestined by Almighty Allah and occurs according to His will. They are firm in their belief that whatever befalls them — whether favorable or seemingly unfavorable — is ultimately good for them, if they show patience and extend praise to their Lord. So, if a misfortune befalls them, believers do not panic or show discontent, knowing that their patience will earn them immense reward in the hereafter, as well as deep relief and inner peace in this world.
Contentment with What We Have
It is part of human nature to want to be richer, more successful, and better-looking than others. One feels jealous if someone else is more successful, famous, or healthy, etc. Indeed, such a person is never content with what he has, for it is not possible for someone to be better than all other people in all aspects. Worldly life is not meant for perfection. Only faith can give this feeling of contentment. A believer is aware that Almighty Allah gives whatever He wishes to whomever He wishes, and that He is testing us regarding what He has given or withheld from us. Such belief frees one from the destructive feelings of jealousy, envy, and grudge toward others, and thus one leads a peaceful life of contentment and satisfaction.
Forgiveness and Forbearance
|When a believer seeks to please his Creator,he will spare himself the trouble of trying to attain the unattainable.|
Forgiveness is a noble virtue commended in Islam. Almighty Allah loves forgiveness and loves those who are forgiving. This virtue shall be rewarded by the All-Forgiving on the Day of Judgment, as revealed in many Qur’anic verses and Prophetic hadiths. Yet a great reward is also received here in this world: that feeling of relief which enters the heart of both the one who is forgiven and the one who forgives. When a person is on the receiving end of some offence or harm, he usually feels hurt and uneasy, and he may seek to retaliate by offending the other person or harming him in one way or another. If such attitude is generally followed in our mutual relationships, animosity and hatred will spread all across society, and all its members will suffer. The faithful, however, heed the command of their Lord and forgive one another for His Sake, and this gives relief to their hearts and binds them in friendly relationships. It is revealed in the Qur’an that:
(The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity [will become] as though he was a bosom friend.) (Fussilat 41:34)
Pleasure of Allah Alone
By every deed he engages in, a believer seeks to please his Lord and win His Paradise. Even those acts that are apparently not pure forms of worship like Prayer or fasting should be done with the intention of pleasing Almighty Allah. For example, an employee who is careful to do his work perfectly should do so in pursuit of Allah’s pleasure, not for praise by his employer. When a believer seeks to please his Creator and does everything sincerely for His Sake, he will spare himself the trouble of trying to attain the unattainable: to keep people always pleased.
If a believer receives nothing but ingratitude for a favor he has done, this does not make him too sad or disappointed, for it is only the approval and reward of Allah that he is seeking, not thankfulness or gratitude from others, which is often difficult to obtain. Likewise, if a person is criticized for a good deed he has done purely for Allah’s Sake — such as spending generously on the poor or standing up against a powerful unjust man — this will only increase his zeal to win the approval of the Almighty Creator and give him relief and peace of heart in the hope that his Lord would be pleased with him.
A peaceful, blissful life cannot be truly enjoyed without a righteous company who encourage one another to perform good deeds and refrain from sins; who advice one another for the sake of Allah; who give solace to one another if a calamity strikes; who are helpful and loving; and when a mistake is committed, they forgive and forget. Such people are indeed a precious source of relief, solace, joy, and peace.
Courtesy: Ahmed El-Gharbawy (http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/refine-your-heart/advice/449222-toward-inner-peace.html)