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Achieving Inner Peace

Mahatma Gandhi once said that peace is its own reward. By definition, the word “peace” means, “Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquillity.” Indeed, peace is an invaluable quality to possess. But how do we achieve peace?

Look at the universe in the name of Peace! If we observe the atom, we will see that there is peace between the neutrons and protons. If we observe the human anatomy, there is peace between the organs. And if we observe the universe there is peace amongst the planets. All these peaceful inter-relations and interactions are proof that peace is a great lesson of the universe to be learned. When God created heaven and the earth it was ordered so that each element may perform its function peacefully without clashing with any other part.

Whilst God creates the universe with peaceful functioning creations, how then do we achieve inner calm and create peace within ourselves?

Be faithful and do good things

The Final Testament says: “Whosoever acts righteously – whether a man or a woman – and embraces belief, We will surely grant him a good life;” (Qur’an:16:97) This verse specifies that righteous attitudes not only lead to a happy life in the Hereafter, but it also guarantees, by Allah’s grace, a pure and happy life even in this world. Because faith is the meaning in our minds and righteous deeds are the meaning in our actions. Indeed, peace is only possible with meaning.

Increase your knowledge: Learn every day something new

According to Ibni Rushd, “Knowledge is to know the reason of things”; therefore, ignorance is darkness whereas knowledge is the light. When it is dark, the human soul will be bored. When we learn the reason behind the things it will return as peace to us. This is the reason belief systems gives peace most of the time. Because religion tries to explain the reason behind things. Why was human created? What is the meaning of life? On the other hand, if I know the details of things around me my observation of the environment will give me pleasure. If I know what is going on in the world, my reading the newspaper will give me inspiration. Because knowledge provides the connection.

Change your perception

A person who sees the good in things has good thoughts. And he who has good thoughts receives pleasure from life. “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers. Or you can grow weeds.”

If we change ourselves then God will change the world around us and give us the means to deal with the world around us. That is why having a positive perception and perspective in all matters changes the way we react to our problems and obstacles. No matter if the situation is good or not, looking at and handling it in a positive matter will definitely give us great results. Even though the world is in turmoil God gives us inner peace with it.

In early times, Amir bin Fuhayra on his last breath, after a man called Jabbar stabbed him at the back and through his chest with a sword, said, “Thanks to God, I am the successful one and I am the winner.” Why did he say that? This was because he held the Islamic perception that good can come in any circumstances even in difficult ones. If we see things from this perspective then we will reap better outcomes in our matters.

Be merciful and forgivable

The act of mercy and forgiveness is more to the benefit of the giver than the receiver. It cleanses the heart and creates a calm sense of being. Not only it generates peace in relationships, most importantly it creates inner peace for our soul. By opening our hearts to other beings with mercy, we feel calmer and more supported. Mercy and compassion shall be the centre of your life. It will return to you as a blessing.

In the Final Testament God says “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (Qur’an: 21:107) The most important peacemakers and spiritual leaders of history were always blessed with mercy, compassion and forgiveness. This gives us an idea of how it is important to show compassion in order to achieve inner peace.

Focus on the Positives

In life, we will experience "wonderful" events; new love, true friendships, new babies, promotions, and holidays. At the other end of the spectrum though, is also equally full of "terrible" occasions; divorce, getting fired, having a serious illness, death, loss, financial strain, accidents, etc. Normally it is very hard to be calm and serene when faced with such challenges.

However, peace of mind is largely a matter of attention. If we keep concentrating our attention on our negative circumstances, we will surely be overcome by stress. On the other hand, if we focus on the positive sides of things, we will be grateful. Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it.

The Final Testament says: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” (Qur’an: 2:152)

Starting the day with gratitude sets the tone or vibration of your mind, lifts your spirit, and better your attitude. If you become truly grateful, you will magnetize all you need, wherever you go, and in everything you do, and subsequently find inner peace.

Consider the Power of Now

Happiness is often confused for inner peace. The two are not the same. One can be having a miserable experience and still be at the core "at peace." Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.

To be “at peace” with ourselves, we should focus more on the present, rather than the past or the future. Most of the time people missed out because lots of their times are spent planning and thinking about the future. Or, that many opportunities are missed due to dwelling on the past. The true fact is we have no control over our future, for it has yet to happen, or our past, for it already happened and there is nothing we do and change to make it better. The past and future are illusions, they don’t exist.

Remembering Allah

One of the main ways of finding peace of the heart is through the remembrance of Allah, and this should continue under all circumstances, whether through reading the Qur'an on a daily basis, performing extra optional prayers, doing good deeds to serve the community, etc.

The Final Testament says: “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured." (Qur’an: 13:28)

Everything needs satisfaction from something. We get inner satisfaction by the remembrance of Allah.

Staying Away from Contradiction

Contradiction in our beliefs and practices breaks the peace in our heart. If we believe in Musa (as) we will not live life like Pharaoh. We cannot be ungrateful and grateful at the same time. In fact, it is hard, or maybe impossible, for anyone to feel gratitude and any 'negative' emotion or thought at the same time.

Contradiction always makes people unhappy. It creates conflict in our hearts and conscious minds. Our worship should be in harmony with the way we treat others. Our worship should give direction to our affairs and make us uphold justice and honor the rights that other people have. We should not lead a double life, one persona for the mosque and a different one for the outside world.

Be Trustful to your Creator

In Islamic terminology we call this “tawakkul”. So, what does it mean to rely on God; to have tawakkul in Him? It means to be firm in your heart. We make our plans and do our part in this world and then trust Allah’s undertaking on our behalf. We are certain that God is “Al-Wakeel” to us. This means that it is He who controls and support and takes care of His servants.

As in the Final Testament, “… and whoever trusts Allah - then He is sufficient for him…” (Qur’an: 65:3)

So be pro-active, be positive, be dynamic... and after that be content with what God provides for us and what He decides, as He is the All-Wise. This is when we will find in our heart true peace. Our trust in Allah will raise hope in our hearts because we are certain that nothing is impossible for Allah.

Being Selective in Making Friends

As humans are social creatures by nature; we are always in need of friends and companions. Most of our lives depend on interaction with others. There are friends who remain true and trustful under all circumstances and there are friends who remain with you only desiring the good. Islam urges to have cordial relations with others and to avoid corruption and the harmful effects of the company of the wicked and the mischievous, strictly forbidding every kind of contact and intimacy with them.

According to Imam Ibn Al Qayyim, there are four types of people:

People that are like food; those that are necessary, like nourishment and you cannot live without them. These friends remind you of the truth and fairness. They feed our soul positively and give great comfort and peace to our heart. We should keep close contact with these types of friends because they can help increase our inner peace. These are the people of God and they are good examples most of the time.

People that are like medicine; are beneficial, so we need them occasionally. They are only required when a disease sets in. When we are healthy, we do not need them. However, mixing with them is sometimes necessary for our livelihood, businesses, consultation and the like. Once what we need from them has been fulfilled, mixing with them should be avoided.

People that are like a disease; those people whose company is harmful. We will never profit either in this life or the next if we have them for company, and we will surely lose either one or both of our religion and our livelihood because of them. Amongst such people are those who neither speak any good that might benefit us, nor listen closely to us so that they might benefit from us. They cause distress to those in their company.

We can only associate with this type of people when there is no choice. In such a relationship, we should cling to good behavior, only presenting ourselves with our outward appearance, while disguising our inner soul, until Allah offers us a way out of our affliction and the means of escape from this situation.

People that are like poison; this category are those people whose company is doom itself. It is like taking poison. If we keep them close, we will either find an antidote or perish. Friends affect our spirituality. That is why it is so important to be careful in choosing our close friends so that they help us increase in faith and peace.


Achieving inner peace brings a sense of harmony and purpose to life. It helps alleviate disorders and brings a sense of structure to life so that you can focus on what is really important. By achieving your own inner peace, you can become a better Muslim and really contribute to the benefit of your community.

-Bilgin Erdoğan


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