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(part 1 of 4): The Obstacles to Achieving Inner Peace

 

The theme of inner peace addresses a universal need. There is no one on this planet who does not want inner peace. It is not a desire that is new in our time; it is rather something that everyone looks for at all times, no matter what color, what belief, what religion, what race, what nationality; what age, what gender, what assets, what skills or what technological development he has.

People have taken a lot of different ways to try to find inner peace; some through the accumulation of material possessions and wealth, others through drugs; some through muslik, others through meditation; some through their husbands and wives, others through their careers, and some through their children’s successes. And the list can continue.

So the search continues. In our time we believed that technological progress and modernization bring physical relaxation for us and that we would find inner peace.

However, if we take the most technologically advanced and industrialized nation in the world, America, we would see that what has been put into us as belief is not factual. Statistics show that 20 million adults in America suffer from depression each year; and what is depression, if not an absolute lack of inner peace? In addition, in 2000 the suicide rate was twice the rate of those who died from AIDS. However, the intelligence services are what they are, we hear more about those who died from AIDS than those who died because they committed suicide. In America, too, more people die from suicide than from homicide, and homicide rates alone are extremely high.

So the reality is that technological development and modernization have by no means brought us inner peace and tranquility. Despite the convenience that modernization has brought us, we are now further from inner peace than our ancestors were.

Inner peace is very difficult to grasp for most of our lives; we never seem to get our hands on him.

Many of us mistakenly regard personal joys as inner peace; we achieve these elements of joy through a variety of things, be it wealth, sexual relationships or otherwise. But these are not constant, they come and go. Yes, we have personal joys from time to time and we like different things from time to time, but this is not inner peace. True inner peace is a sense of stability and contentment that accompanies us through all trials and difficulties of life.

We have to understand that peace is not something that will exist in this world around us, because when we define peace as defined by a dictionary, it determines that peace is freedom from war or civil war. Where do we have that? There is always war or civil unrest of some kind anywhere in the world. When we look at peace at the state level, peace is freedom from public unrest and security, but where do we have it in this world in its entirety? If we look at peace at a social, family and work level, then peace is freedom from disagreement and strife, but is there a social environment where there is never disagreement or strife? As for the place, then „yes“, we can find a place

God says,
„Verily, We have created man (for existence) in distress.“ (Quran 90: 4)

This is the nature of our lives; we all have to struggle and plague; experience ups and downs, times of difficulties and times of relief.

It is a life full of trials, as God says:
“And we will certainly test you with a little fear, hunger and a reduction in property, human life and fruit. But announce good news to the patient. ” (Quran 2: 155)

In order to cope with our living conditions, the circumstances of the troubles and plagues we are experiencing, patience is the key.

But if we come back to the inner peace we are looking for, then patience cannot arise if we do not have inner peace.

We live in a world of troubles and plagues, but within ourselves it is possible to achieve inner peace, peace with the environment, with the world in which we live.

Obviously there are some obstacles that are preventing us from achieving peace. So first we have to find out the obstacles that prevent us from achieving maximum inner peace and, so to speak, develop a strategy to get them out of the way. The obstacles are not removed by thinking that we have to remove them; we have to develop a few steps to achieve this. So what should we do to remove these obstacles so that we can achieve the greatest possible inner peace?

The first step is to identify the obstacles yourself. We need to be aware of them because if we cannot identify them, we cannot remove them.

The second step is to accept them as obstacles in ourselves. For example, our anger is one of the biggest obstacles to inner peace. If someone is angry, excited and his fuse is blown, how can he or she have peace of mind in such circumstances? This is not possible. So this person must recognize that anger is an obstacle to inner peace.

However, if a person says, „Yes, it’s an obstacle, but I’m not getting angry,“ then that person has a problem. He or she has not accepted the obstacle as a problem and is in a state of self-denial. So he can’t remove it.
If we look at the obstacles in life, we can summarize them under different headings: personal problems, family matters, financial hardships, pressure at work and spiritual confusion. And there are many things under these headings.

 

(part 2 of 4): Accepting Destiny

We have so many problems, as many obstacles as illness. If we tried to deal with one after the other, we would never overcome them. We have to identify them, put them into general categories and rather solve them in groups than solve every single obstacle and problem.

In order to do this, we must first remove any obstacles that are under our control. We have to differentiate which obstacles are under our control and which are outside. While those that are beyond our control appear to us to be obstacles, in reality they are not. It is the things that God predestined in our lives; they are not real obstacles, but we misinterpreted them as such.

For example, some are born as blacks in a world where white people are preferred to blacks; or born poor in a world that favors rich over poor; or too small or crippled, or born in another physical condition that is considered a disability.

These are all things that are beyond our control. We had no choice in which family we were born into; we could not choose which body our mind is breathed into; this is not our pick. So whatever obstacles we encounter, we simply have to be patient with them and realize that they are not actually obstacles. God tells us:

“… but it may be that you are disgusted with something that is good for you, and it may be that you are dear to something that is bad for you. And God knows, but you don’t know. ” (Quran 2: 216)

These obstacles, which are not under our control, we may displease us, we may want to change them, and in fact some people spend a lot of money trying to change them. Michael Jackson is a classic example of this. He was born black in a world that prefers white, so he spent a lot of money trying to change, but it just ended up in a mess.

Inner peace can only be achieved if the obstacles that are beyond our control are patiently accepted by us as part of God’s destiny.

You must know that no matter what happens, whether it was under our control or outside, God has in it put something good, whether we are able to understand what is good or not; the good is still there. So we have to accept it!

There was an article in the newspaper that featured a photo of a laughing Egyptian man. The laugh on his face went from ear to ear, his hands were outstretched and both thumbs up; his father kissed him on the cheek and his sister on the other.

There was a text under the photo. He should have been on a Gulf Air flight from Cairo to Bahrain the previous day. He rushed to the airport to catch the flight and when he got there he lacked a stamp on his passport (in Cairo you have to have a lot of stamps on your documents, one person has to stamp it and sign it and another person has to stamp it) ). But when he was at the airport, a stamp was missing. Since he was a teacher in Bahrain and it was the last flight back to Bahrain that would have allowed him to start work on time, missing him meant that he would lose his post. So he begged her to let him get on the plane. He got angry, started screaming and doing a giant show, but he couldn’t get the flight. It took off without him. He went confused (to his home in Cairo), thinking that he was destroyed and his career was over. His family comforted him and told him not to worry. The next day, he heard on the news that the plane he was trying to fly in had crashed and all the occupants were dead. And then he was delighted that he hadn’t reached the flight, but the day before he thought it was the end of his life, a tragedy that he hadn’t reached the flight.

These are signs, and such signs can be found in the history of Musa and Khidr (which we should read best every Jumu’ah, ie the chapter Sura al-Kahf in the Noble Quran). When Khidr made a hole in the boat of people who had been kind enough to take him and Musa across the river, Musa asked Khidr why he had done this.

When the owners of the boat saw the hole in their boat, they wondered who did it and thought it was a malicious act. A short time later a king came down the river and forcibly grabbed all of the people’s boats, except for the one that had a hole. The owners of the boat praised God for the fact that their boat had a hole. [1]

There are other obstacles, or rather things that are considered obstacles in our lives. These are things we don’t know what’s behind. One thing happens and we don’t know why. We have no explanation for this. Some people do this in unbelief. When you listen to an atheist, you notice that he has no inner peace and denies God. Why did he become an atheist? It is not normal not to believe in God, while it is normal to believe in God, because God created us with a natural disposition to believe in Him.

God says:
“(O Muhammad,) so direct your face to the pure Islamic monotheistic belief; (this corresponds to) the natural disposition with which God created man. There is no change in Khalq-illah (God’s creation and pure Islamic monotheistic belief). That is the constant belief. Most people alone don’t know. ” (Quran 30:30) [2]

The Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, said:
“Every child is born with a pure natural disposition (as a Muslim with a natural tendency to believe in God) … ”(Sahieh Al-Bukhari, Sahieh Muslim)

This is human nature, but someone who becomes an atheist without being taught it from an early age usually becomes a result of a tragedy. If a tragedy happens in their life, they have no explanation for why it happened.

For example, a person who has become an atheist might say that he or she had a wonderful aunt; she had been a very good person and everyone loved her, but one day when she was walking across the street a car came out of nowhere, hit her and she died. Why did it happen to all people? Why? No explanations! Or someone (who has become an atheist) could have had a child who died and says, „Why did this happen to my child?“ Why? No explanations! As a result of such tragedies, they think there can be no god.

 

Footnotes:
[1] The king was an oppressor and was known for forcibly taking every good boat, but the people who owned the boat were poor people and it was their only way to make a living. Therefore, Khidr wanted the boat to appear unusable so the king didn’t want it so the poor could continue to use it.
[2] This verse contains explanatory additions from the translator.

 

(part 3 of 4): Patience and goals in life

Returning to the story of Moses and Khidr, after crossing the river, they passed a child and Khidr deliberately killed that child. Moses asked Khidr why he was doing this? The child was innocent and Kidr just killed it! Khidr told Moses that the child had righteous parents, and as he grew older, he would become such a burden to his parents that he would have made them unbelievable (God knew that), so God ordered that child’s death.

Of course, the parents mourned when they found their child dead. But God replaced their child with one who was righteous and better with them. This child honored them and was good to them and good for them, but parents will always have a hole in their hearts due to the loss of their first child until the day of revival when they will stand before God and He will reveal to them for what reason He took the soul of their first child and they will understand and praise God.

This is the nature of our lives. There are things; Things that seem negative; Things that happen in our lives that seem to be obstacles to our inner peace because we don’t understand them or why they happened to us, but we have to accept them.

They are from God and we absolutely have to believe that it is God who is behind whether we can see it or not. Then we turn to the things that we can change. First we recognize them and then we move on to the second step, and that is to remove the obstacles by looking for solutions for them. In order to remove the obstacles, we have to rely on changing them ourselves, because God says:

“Certainly, God does not change the situation of a people until they (the people) themselves change what is in them .. . ”(Quran 13:11)

This is an area over which we have control. We can develop patience, although it is generally believed that some people are born with patience.

A man came to the prophet, may God raise his name, and asked what he needed to go to paradise, the prophet said: „Don’t be angry.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

This man was a little bit angry, so the Prophet told him to change his angry nature. So it’s possible to change your character.

The Prophet also said, „Whoever claims to be patient (with the desire to be patient) will be given God for patience.“

This is reported in Sahieh Al-Bukhari, which means that although some people were born patiently, the rest of us can learn to be patient.

Interestingly, they used to tell us in western psychiatry and psychology that we should ‚let everything out‘, hold anything back, otherwise we would explode, so it would be better to get rid of it.
They later found that when people ‚let everything out‘, small blood vessels burst in their brains because they got so angry. They found that ‚letting everything out‘ is actually dangerous and potentially harmful. So now they say that it is better not to ‚let everything out‘.

The Prophet instructed us to be patient, so we should be patient on the outside, even if we simmer inside. And we shouldn’t try to appear patient on the outside to defraud people; we should do it to develop patience. If we persist in this, then this external image of patience also becomes inward, and as a result, complete patience is attained and attainable, as mentioned in the hadith quoted.

One of the methods is to see what role material elements play in our lives in terms of patience and that we achieve them.

The Prophet gave us instructions on how to deal with these elements by saying:
„Do not look at those above you who are happier than you, but instead look at those below you or less happy …“

This is so, because no matter what our situation looks like, there are still those who feel worse than we’re going. This should be our general strategy for our material life. Nowadays material life takes a huge place in our lives, we seem to be obsessed with it; Earning everything in this world seems to be the main thing most of us use our energy on. So if someone has to do this, then they shouldn’t let it affect their inner peace.
When dealing with the material world, we should not keep looking at those who are better off than us, otherwise we will never be satisfied with what we have. The Prophet said,

„If you gave the son of Adam a valley full of gold, he would want another.“ (Sahieh Muslim)

The statement is that grass is always greener on the other side; and the more a person has, the more they want. We cannot achieve contentment in the material world by chasing it in this way; we should rather look at those who are less happy than us, this way we will remember the gifts, benefits and graces that God has given us in our own fortune, no matter how small it may seem.

There is another prophet Muhammad’s statement that helps us put our affairs in the appropriate place in the realm of the material world, and it is a prophetic example of Steven Convey’s [1] „first things first“ principle. The prophet described this principle 1400 years ago and formulated it for believers by saying:

“Whoever makes this world his goal, God will mess up his affairs and place poverty before his eyes, and he will not be able to be able to achieve anything from this world beyond what God has already prescribed for him … ”(Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan)

So this person will not get their affairs settled, they will run back and forth like a startled chicken; if she makes this world her goal. God will put poverty before her and no matter how much money she has, she will always feel poor. Whenever someone is friendly to this person or smiles at them, they think that they do it only because they want their money, they don’t trust anyone and are never happy.

If there is a stock market crash, you can read about some who have invested in it and committed suicide. Someone may have owned eight million and lost five million of it, leaving three million left after the crash on the stock market; but losing five million seems like the end. He no longer finds life worth living because God has put poverty between his eyes.

Footnotes:
[1] Stephen Covey is an internationally recognized leading authority and the founder of the Covey Leadership Center. He received his MB

 

(part 4 of 4): Achieving inner peace through devotion to God

 

We have to remember that people will not get anything from this world other than what God has already prescribed for them is the basis. After all this running around, going through the nights, being an addict, someone will only get what God has already prescribed for him or her. The prophet, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said:

„Whoever takes aim in the hereafter, God will gather his affairs, give wealth (of faith) in his heart, and the world will be disgusting and submissive to him.“ (Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan)
Such a person achieves heart wealth. Wealth does not consist of owning a lot of wealth, but wealth is a property of the heart, and what is property of the heart? It is contentment and this is where peace comes from when you surrender to God, and this is Islam.

 

Inner peace means accepting Islam in our hearts and living according to the principles of Islam. Then God will draw wealth into the heart of man, and this world will come to him in devotion, on her knees and humble. No one will have to chase after her.

This is the screwing up of the prophet when someone puts the „first things first“ and this is the hereafter. If it is the paradise we want, it should be clear in our life, it should be our goal that we put first.

How do we know that the afterlife is our goal? When we sit with someone and we talk about the latest cars, expensive houses, trips and vacations and money, when most of our conversations are about material things or nonsense, when we talk about this and that person, it means that the hereafter is not our main goal. If the afterlife is our main goal, it would be reflected in our conversation. This is the basic level by which we can measure ourselves; so we should stop and ask ourselves, „How do we spend most of our conversations?“

If we find out that our priority is on the here and now, we have to change our minds, we have to „put the first things first“, which means that the beyond puts life in this world, and if we do, we can do it internally Achieve peace and God tells us this in the Quran, a clear step to take to achieve inner peace. God says:

“Those who believe and whose hearts are comforted in the memory of Allah.” (Quran 13:28)
So it is only the remembrance of God through which the hearts find peace. This is inner peace. The remembrance of God is in everything we do as Muslims. Islam means living a life in which we commemorate God, and God says:

“Do the prayer for My remembrance …” (Quran 20:14)

Everything we do as Muslims (in Islam) includes the remembrance of God. God says:
„Say:“ My prayer and sacrifice and my life and death belong to God the Lord of the Worlds. “ (Quran 6: 162)

So here is the way to achieve inner peace: to remember God in all aspects of our lives.

This memory (dhikr) is not as some people think, that is, sitting in the corner of a dark room and repeating „Allah, Allah, Allah …“ again and again. This is not the way to remember God. Yes, such a person says God’s name, but if we think about it, if someone came to you and your name is, for example, Muhammad) and he would always say „Muhammad, Muhammad, Muhammad …“, you would be surprised what that person has.

Does she want anything? Is there anything she needs? What is the point of repeating my name without continuing to speak?

This is not the way to remember God because it is not what the Prophet God thought and there is no tradition of him doing this. Some people say that we should remember God by dancing around or swaying from side to side. This is not the way to commemorate God, nor is it the way the prophet thought of God, and there is no tradition of him doing this.

The Prophet thought of God in his life. His life was a life of God’s memory; he lived a life of remembrance of God and this is true remembrance in our prayers and in our life and in our death.

In summary, the search for inner peace involves recognizing the problems we have in our life, recognizing our obstacles, recognizing that inner peace will only come if we identify these obstacles and understand which of them we can change and that we focus on the obstacles that we can change, those that are within our control.

If we change ourselves, then God will change the world around us and give us the means to deal with the world around us. Even when the world is in turmoil, God gives us inner peace in it.
Whatever happens, we know that it is God’s destiny and His trials and we know that it is in our favor and contains good things for us. God created us in this world and this world is a means to reach paradise, and the trials of this world are our own spiritual growth. If we accept this, accept God in our hearts, then we can find inner peace.

 


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/die-suche-nach-innerem-frieden