Finding Peace Within: Building Your Spiritual First Aid Kit
In the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, the quest for inner peace can seem like a constant pursuit. But when we look to our faith, we can find a timeless spring of wisdom that offers us solace and strength during times of difficulty, uncertainty and need. Tips and tools we can put together in a Spiritual First Aid Kit.
As we look at the teachings of Islam, we’ll explore the profound ways in which our kits can be crafted, enriching our minds, healing our hearts and nurturing a lasting connection with our Creator even in the midst of life’s complexities.
Tool 1: Turning to Allah (SWT) During Times of Hardship
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) states:
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدْرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُن مِّنَ ٱلسَّـٰجِدِينَ
“We certainly know that your heart is truly distressed by what they say. So glorify the praises of your Lord and be one of those who ˹always˺ pray…”
In these verses, we gain two vital insights.
Firstly, in the face of oppression or negativity, we’re encouraged to find comfort in Allah (SWT) – the ultimate source of strength. “Glorify the praises of your Lord” redirects our focus from the hurt we feel to remembering Allah (SWT)’s greatness and His blessings.
Likewise, secondly, the act of “sujood” (prostration) becomes a sanctuary for unburdening our hearts. Allah (SWT) invites us to “be one of those who ˹always˺ pray,” offering a direct channel for us to pour out our distress to Him and heal our hearts by becoming closer to Him.
By embracing these lessons, we find a remedy that connects us to an infinite source of healing, reminding us that in our struggles we are never alone, because we have Allah (SWT).
Tool 2: Positive Thinking and Tawakkul (Trust in God’s Plan)
To have Husnul Than Billah means having a positive opinion or expectation of Allah (SWT). To have ultimate trust in His plan (Tawakkul) and see through the situations He’s put us in with a positive mindset. But how can we keep up this mindset even during times of difficulty?
Imagine that a doctor with over 25 years of experience prescribes you medication for a chronic illness. You are told that there are no side effects to the medication and that it will significantly improve your quality of life. Would you take this medication? Knowing the doctor’s expertise and experience you wouldn’t hesitate or think twice about the advice given to you.
Similarly, we must always keep in mind that Allah (SWT) is Al-Khaliq, The Creator. His knowledge and wisdom are above any doctor and His love and mercy and greater than our own mothers. This means that we can indeed always trust Allah (SWT)’s actions in our lives and that He knows what’s best for us. Knowing this, when we completely submit to the will of Allah (SWT), we find internal peace and fulfilment even in the face of trials and hardship.
Tool 3: Having Taqwa (Mindfulness of God)
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) states:
…وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ مَخْرَجًۭا وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُۥٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَـٰلِغُ أَمْرِهِۦ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدْرًۭا
“And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them, and provide for them from sources they could never imagine. And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He ˹alone˺ is sufficient for them. Certainly, Allah achieves His Will. Allah has already set a destiny for everything.”
In these verses, we are reminded that when we put our trust in Allah (SWT) – to have Tawakkul – and have consciousness in Him (Taqwa), we are promised His protection. But what does it mean to have and maintain this consciousness of God?
Simply put, having Taqwa means constantly remembering Allah (SWT) and shielding ourselves from displeasing Him. It means to constantly remind ourselves that there is only so much that is in our control and that Allah (SWT) is greater than all these problems.
No matter how lost we may feel in our lives, when we have firm Taqwa and Tawakkul in Allah (SWT), He will provide us with the guidance to find a light we need to navigate good and the bad this life has to offer.
Tool 4: Taking Action to Achieve Our Goals
A profound lesson from the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) highlights the importance of taking action while maintaining trust in Allah’s plan.
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, the hadith outlines the story of a Bedouin man who was leaving his camel without tying it. The Prophet (PBUH) asked him “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then replied, “Tie your camel first, and then put your trust in Allah.”
The reality of any problem or situation we are in is that we have the responsibility of taking action to resolve the matter. This means that it is crucial that we are ‘tying our camels’ by taking action in the areas that we can control, as well as seeking Allah (SWT) guidance and assistance before, during and after the process.
All in all, as we search for solace in our busy lives, our faith provides timeless wisdom that soothes us during tough times. By crafting our Spiritual First Aid Kit through key tools – turning to Allah (SWT) during hard moments, staying positive and trusting His plan, keeping God in mind and taking action while relying on Him – we build a map to a peaceful heart and strong bond with our Creator.