Meditation is the practice of calming your mind and focusing on your thoughts. Therefore, we want to figure out what Islam teaches about doing meditation. Is Meditation haram or permissible for Muslims? Let’s learn the Islamic guidance about meditation and try to understand if it’s allowed or not.
Is Meditation Haram?
In Islam, getting closer to Allah through meditation means growing strength spiritually. To do this, we need to think about Allah’s guidance in the holy Quran and follow the Prophet’s teachings. Therefore, here are some verses of the Quran that explore the idea of meditation clearly.
ٱلَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ ٱللَّهَ قِيَـٰمًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِى خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَـٰذَا بَـٰطِلًا سُبْحَـٰنَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ (3:191)
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying on their sides and meditate in the creations of the skies and the earth, will say, Our Lord, you have not created this without any meaning or purpose, You are the most Pure and protect us from the suffering of hellfire.
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (45:13)
And He has subordinated all the things in the skies and in the earth to you (as His gift) and in this is the sign for those people who meditate.
إِنَّ فِى خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱخْتِلَـٰفِ ٱلَّيْلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَلْبَـٰبِ ١٩٠
Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and night, there are signs for people of reason.
This shows that in the Quran, Allah encourages us to do meditation. Because it’s one of the ways to ponder over the heavens (Jannat) and the earth. When we pay close attention, we learn more about its special qualities and significance.
What is Islamic meditation?
There are 3 types of worship rituals mentioned in the Quran known as Islamic meditation. They are:
- Reciting the Quran
- Performing ritual prayer
- And “Dhikr”
Among all, “dhikr” is the best.
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ ٱلْقُلُوبُ ٢٨
Those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort.
Also, other actions such as consciousness (Idraak), understanding (Fahm), comprehension (Tafaqquh), deliberation (Tadabbur), refreshing (Tazakkur), reasoning (Dirayat), thinking (Tafakkur) also come under the concepts of meditation. Particularly, tafakkur (contemplation) is supported by Islamic Sharī’ah. Because, it can make your body and soul feel peaceful, calm, and relaxed.
Is Meditation Good?
Certainly! Because meditation is all about mindfulness. It makes you aware of your thoughts and observes your mind from different angles. To reach this thought-free state, you need to focus on something like your breathing or posturing your body.
The key is to shift your mind from constant thinking to being attentive and present. Practicing this mindful awareness through meditation becomes a helpful tool for people.
Meditation isn’t just about sitting quietly. It can be watching TV with full attention, saying prayers, or listening to someone closely. So, altogether meditation isn’t tied to any specific religion. Anyone can do it as much as they want for well-being.
Read more: Meditation experiences
How did Prophet Muhammad Meditate?
We follow Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Before he became a prophet, he spent 15 years meditating in the Cave of Hira. He would go there for a few days at a time. Surprisingly, the cave was so high that no one could see of Mecca from there. Because what he saw from up there influenced his deep thoughts and made him sit silently. We know, it was during these ‘meditations’ he got the first Revelation.
Also, it was the beginning of his prophecy journey. He kept meditating for 12 more years. At the age of 52, he had the special Night of Miraj. Finally, Allah showed him a way to get closer to Him through prayer, called shalat or salah through Miraj.
Is Yoga Haram in Islam?
Yoga is about bringing your body and mind together. It helps keep a person away from religious fanaticism, sectarianism, shortsightedness, and narrow-mindedness. It also helps a person feel happy and satisfied both physically and emotionally.
In Islam, Muslims have to pray five times a day, and its called NAMAZ or SALAT. There are a lot of similarities between Yoga and Namaz (prayer). They are connected. In fact, Namaz is like the Yoga of Islam.
So, namaz is not just about religious or physical actions but it involves controlling your mind and inner peace.
In fact, yoga isn’t tied to any particular religion. Many things we do every day are a like yoga, whether we realize it or not. Thus, yoga is halal in Islam. But remember, there are lots of different kinds of yoga. So, don’t be tricked into thinking yoga is wrong or doesn’t follow religious rules.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S)
Is Breathing Meditation Haram?
Breathing meditation is one type of meditation that you can do in different places and positions. The focus during breathing meditation is on the natural inhalation and exhalation of breath. The key is to pay close attention to the sensation of breathing during in and out.
The cool thing about breathing meditation is that you can do it anywhere to feel quiet and relax. In this way, you can get closer to the main source of soft and calmness. Also, it opens the pathway to realize things more deeply. Thus, breathing meditation is not haram. In fact, it’s a simple way to feel calm and centered.
Is Meditation Shirk?
Some meditation, like what the Art of Living group does, doesn’t match Islamic norms. It may contain some actions, chants, or positions. This kind of meditation or yoga has elements that go against the beliefs of Islam, especially if it involves multiple gods. Meditation is not haram, but if you start believing in another god, it’s called Shirk. And we know, shirk is the most serious sin and a big no in Islam.
Is Meditation Harmful?
Meditation is not at all harmful. In fact, it can have positive effects on both the body and the mind. Physically, it can help reduce stress by relaxing muscles and lowering heart rate. Mentally, meditation can improve focus and concentration, making it easier to handle other tasks. It also helps manage emotions and provides a sense of calmness and a joyful mind.
In summary, meditation is permissible and not haram in Islam. Although people may do it in different ways, it helps to relax, stay aware, and feel spiritually good. Thus, Islam has adopted the practice of meditation to bring positive changes to its followers’ lives.