Is meditating haram?

I remember when I first started awakening, I remember coming across meditating and hesitating at the thought. As a practicing Muslim, I pray five times a day. Through my prayers, I should be connected to God and reach the epitome of spirituality.

But anxiety crawled all over my body. I had no idea what inner peace felt like because my mind was on autopilot, thoughts unregulated and my ego (nafs) was

Let’s go to the Qur’an: “Indeed he succeeds who purifies his own self” (Surah 91 (Ash-Shams The Sun), Verse 9). Meditation is an exercise that helps you know, understand and purify yourself. When you sit and give yourself that gift of introspection, what you’re doing is tapping into the subconscious that records every bit of information you’ve taken in. We never forget, we only bury information. This is why you end up randomly remembering things from events that took place years ago that you haven’t thought about since it happened. Where’s the haram?

I’ve had people talk about them not needing to meditate because they have prayer. To me, that’s like saying you don’t need water because you have prayer. Each has a different purpose and the spiritual purpose of meditation is to work with your mind, work through your thoughts and understand yourself through the record of data that has been collecting our entire lives. We shut off our talking, egoic mind and we tap into the quieter mind that explains why we react the way we react.

Nowadays, many of us find it harder to mentally and spiritually commit to our prayers, even if we do all five, and then some. We were born and raised in a heightened state of capitalism. We grew up around computers and machines, fast food and having everything at our fingertips. Yes, living in the most digitalised era in human history yet has its perks, but it also means we’re functioning through basic physical needs and ego as opposed to feeling through higher states of being.

Meditating improves our concentration, it helps us enter within. Instead of thinking about what we want to “fix”, we slow down. We allow ourselves to process. We allow our mind to reorder and we tap into the deepest realms of our consciousness. We let go of worries, we let go of anxiety and we allow ourselves to just be. This is why when we’re stressed, we find it more difficult to focus on our prayer. We can’t just be, because there are so many things going through our head.

PS: I wrote an article on meditation tips here

The same way you can actually use the anxiety in prayer and pray through the anxiety by asking God for answers, we do it in our meditation practice and intend to release and trust that the answers will come. When you’re in a heightened state of being, you have access to parts of your subconscious mind that can explain. You’re not idolising your mind, you’re not praying to a different entity, all you’re doing is trying to get to know yourself better.

Guilt

From what I’ve seen by having discussions with many Muslims, they fear the guilt of potentially finding peace with meditation that they might not be able to access through prayer. Meditation is an exercise that helps you expand your perspective and tap into the energy of being closer to God because you’re not operating from anxiety. You’re training your mind. You’re connecting to your spirit and you’re by default bringing yourself closer to God.

You’ll find it easier to switch off and focus on your prayer when you’re praying. You’ll find it easier to be in the moment and have trust and faith that everything will be okay. Tawakkul is a much loved characteristic of the believer and it’s achieved when turning off your fight or flight and you enter into flow state.

You shouldn’t gaslight yourself or spiritually punish yourself if you can’t enter these stages. You shouldn’t normalise not being connected to your emotional and spiritual selfs. You should take steps to learn about yourself and connect to your intuition. You should have so much inner peace and your mind’s eye so clear that you are able to receive messages from God because you won’t be clouded by your anxiety.

Peace is a birthright. Happiness is a birthright. Manifestation is a birthright and it is all done by the will of our kind, benevolent Lord. Dua changes qadr, after all. Incorporate it into your spiritual wellbeing, work on turning off your fight or flight and allow yourself to receive the blessings of your Lord as you purify your soul with the intention of getting close to Him.

It’s our duty to tap out of the materialistic world. It’s our duty to meditate and enter flow state. You’ll find yourself accepting, receiving and perceiving from a place of love as opposed to anxiety. Your relationship with yourself will change, which will ultimately change your relationship with God.

Remember, He’s closer to us than our jugular vein. Your intention is everything. You’re not worshiping some deity or taking an alternative route to faith by meditating. Meditating is an exercise that has effects on your mind body and soul. Allow yourself to just be.

So, short answer: NO!

Too anxious to meditate? I got you. Here are some tips

Hello lovely people.

I’ve had some people ask me about mediation and visualisation. Last week, I tweeted that I managed to treat my PMS cramps with visualisation when I was tucked into bed and was too tired to get pain killers. Since then, people have been wondering how to tap into this energy themselves.

Honestly, I didn’t know I was capable of doing this. I practice yoga all the time and I love meditation and mindfulness. I also believe in the power of the mind as a mechanism of healing, but I didn’t think I was spiritually awakened enough to to see results of pain relief if I tried it at this so-called “stage” in my spiritual journey.

But here we are. God really showed me the power of my own mind right there.

Before I do a deep dive, I want you all to understand the difference between fight or flight and flow state. If you don’t understand this, you won’t understand mediation.

The ability to meditate is our birthright. Naturally, we find adventure in the unknown. We’re able to close our eyes, allow our bodies to fall into sync with our higher selfs and trust. The reason so many of us find it so difficult to meditate is because our fight or flight is perpetually on and we can’t reach flow state.

Living the lives we do, we’re conditioned to be in a perpetual state of anxiety. We always feel as though we have to defend ourselves from something. This is when our fight or flight is on. It’s supposed to be a temporary state to get us out of extreme danger. But in this day and age, it’s the default.

Naturally, our default is supposed to be flow state. Rather than fearing the unknown the way the human body, humans are supposed to find adventure in the unknown. As opposed to associating the unknown with anxiety, we are supposed associate it with peace and enjoyment. Naturally, we’re supposed to trust it as a process and trust in the benevolence of the destination.

So where does meditation come into the picture?

If you cannot enter flow state, you cannot meditate. If you find yourself in your state of anxiety/fight or flight, all you need to do is recognise it for what it is and observe it.

How does this feel? Which parts of my body are tensing up? Am I shaking anywhere? How fast am I breathing? What may be happening?

Approaching your anxiety with a sense of curiosity calms it. Focus on how your body is feeling and be aware of the sensations. When thoughts come through, simply be aware of them too. Don’t fight your thoughts because they will fight back. Let them sit. And breathe. They can’t defend themselves when you’re flushing them out with breath-work.

There are many breathing techniques out there. One of my former yoga teachers taught me the 4-7-8 breathing technique, which I used when I had anxiety.

Breathe in for four seconds, hold for second seconds, out for eight seconds. Repeat until you feel better.

Breathing is core to meditation.

When you focus on your breath, you’re focusing on the energy that is connecting your body to your soul, thus keeping you alive. You can simply meditate by closing your eyes and focusing on your breath.

You can also look up different meditations. In kundalini yoga, there’s a plethora of meditations we use (if you belong to a religious faith and you feel uncomfortable with some of the chants, you can omit them or do a different meditation).

If you want, I can make a list of different breathing techniques.

Okay, but how do we visualise?

I taught myself visualisation through using guided meditations. Look them up on YouTube, Spotify or even yoga/meditation websites and find videos for different occasions or feelings.

When I visualised my PMS cramps away, I put my hands on my belly and imagined a warm gold ball loosening my muscles just because I felt like it. I could have imagined a red ball, I could have imagined massaging hands, the only restriction was my mind.

The trick is, I entered flow state through my breath. This is where beginners may need help because they need to be guided into relaxation. I still use guided meditations when I can’t seem to relax, want a fresh visualisation or want to do a yogic meditation.

See it in your mind’s eye/third eye

You don’t have to, but you can also use your pineal gland. Close your eyes, breathe and focus your eyes between your eyebrows. This is a very powerful state because you’re opening your third eye chakra.

Use healing/relaxing sounds

If you want relaxing sounds in the background, but not necessarily a guided meditation, you can use healing frequencies. I made playlists for each chakra you can use. You can even use playlists to time your meditation.

Most importantly, don’t worry about the amount of time you meditate. Just do it. Even if it’s for a few minutes. Progress is key. The last thing you want to do is stress about a mechanism we use to intentionally help us relax, heal and manifest.

Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact me on my socials if you have any questions xox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay