Is meditation haram?

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Meditation has become very popular recently, especially among millennials. People often say they use meditation as a way to calm themselves down and unwind. Meditating has become a popular practice for both spiritual and secular reasons. Some people also say they meditate to improve their mental health or achieve greater clarity.

There are various types of meditation, each with its own benefits. Some focus on breathing exercises, some involve chanting or repeating mantras, while others encourage mindfulness through visualization techniques. Meditation is said to be a way of connecting to God through reflection and prayer. But, is meditation allowed in Islam? 

Is meditation haram?

Meditation is not haram in Islam. Mediation is seen as a form of self-reflection and contemplation that helps us gain insight into our inner selves. In Islam, it is encouraged to meditate regularly. This practice has its roots in the Quran and Sunnah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever prays five times a day, he would be rewarded ten times over.” In this regard, we can see meditation as a form of Dhikr (Remeberance) and can be practiced as long as you are not committing Shirk (professing allegiance to another deity besides Allah S.W.T).

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice where you focus on your breathing or other thoughts to achieve a state of calmness. It has been practiced for thousands of years across cultures and religions. Meditation has become very accepted and practiced over the last decade. Individuals from different backgrounds practice it for various reasons. Some want to relax or de-stress, some want to improve their concentration, focus, memory, and creativity, and some even claim that meditation helps them sleep better at night.

There are various types of meditation techniques. Some involve focusing on a single object such as a candle flame, while others involve focusing on nothing at all. There are also some meditations that combine both approaches. Meditation is viewed as a way to connect with your feelings and emotions and gain clarity. Meditation can also allow you to slow down and observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment.

What is the Islamic Ruling on Meditation?

Islam is the religion of over 1.5 billion people worldwide and has its roots in the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). The word ‘Islam’ means submission or surrender and refers to the belief that God is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger. There are many misconceptions about Islam. Some people believe that it is a violent religion, while others think it is a peaceful faith. In reality, Islam is a complete way of life, and Muslims around the world follow the same basic principles.

Islam has its own unique practices that people who follow Islam (Muslims) are required to follow, and are dictated by the Shariah (Islamic Law). Permissible practices (Halal) range from fasting, praying, giving charity (Zakat), and doing the pilgrimage (Hajj). There are also practices that are prohibited in Islam (Haram) such as listening to music, fornication, drinking alcohol, and gambling. 

Meditation is not prohibited (Haram) in Islam and is permitted by the Shariah. Meditation is a fundamental part of Islam. Muslims who are under the impression that meditation is not permissible in Islam are wrong, both in Islamic knowledge and meditation. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) was well-known for his use of meditation. People frequently related that he would go to Mount Hira for meditation and prayer. It was for the duration of this practice that he first acquired Qur’anic revelation. For this reason, meditation opened the door to revelation.

Therefore, meditation is allowed as long as one is not practicing meditation in the traditional (Buddhist / Hindu) origins and doing the spiritual components. Though Islamic scholars differ in opinion as to whether it is permissible due to this. 

Meditation in the Quran.

Below are verses that show that the Quran references meditation.

  • “ They are steadfast, truthful, submitting, charitable, and meditators at dawn. Quran”:3:17
  • “They are the repenters, the worshipers, the praisers, the meditators, the bowing and prostrating, the advocators of righteousness and forbidders of evil, and the keepers of God’s laws. Give good news to such believers.” Quran-9:112
  • “During the night, you shall meditate for extra credit, that your Lord may raise you to an honorable rank. And say, “My Lord, admit me an honorable admittance, and let me depart an honorable departure, and grant me from You a powerful support.”Quran-17:79-80
  • “And put your trust in the Almighty, Most Merciful. Who sees you when you meditate during the night. And your frequent prostrations. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” Quran-26:217-220
  • “ … praise and glorify your Lord before sunrise, and before sunset. During the night you shall meditate on His name, and after prostrating.” Quran-50:39-40

As seen from these verses, Allah (SWT) encourages us to sit and meditate. Though the meditation in these verses can be interpreted differently, they still hold the same principles.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of meditation?

Benefits.Drawbacks.
Great way to unwind and relax.Can help reduce stress.Improves mental health.Boosts your immune system.Increases self-awareness.Enhances mindfulness.Can help with sleep-related issues.Accessible -can be done from anywhere.Can be very physically and mentally draining.It requires a lot of practice and needs to be done regularly to see results.Meditation is time-consuming.It may cause past traumas and negative emotions to resurface. 

Islam does encourage meditation, as long as it is inside the remembrance of Allah (SWT). Though there is a difference of opinion because it may include chants and mantras that may be spiritual in other religions; so as long as you avoid possible shirk by meditating silently, it is not haram. Meditation is actually encouraged in Islam through the Prophet (saw)’s teachings and the Quran and is a good way to practice mindfulness. 

FAQs

Is dancing haram?

Scholars say that dancing is haram if it includes inappropriate gestures and touching. Though the general consensus is that if it involves music then it is haram because listening to music is haram in Islam.

Is Salah a form of meditation?

Salah (Islamic prayer) can be considered a form of meditation as it involves self-awareness, concentration, and mindfulness. 

Can you meditate in bed?

It is important to sit in a comfortable position before you start to meditate. Creating a secure and pleasant environment is important for successful medication. So, whether in your bed, garden, sitting at a table, or on the floor, as long as you are cozy, you can meditate.

Citations.

https://www.masjidtucson.org/God/meditationverses.html
https://yaqeeninstitute.org/read/paper/how-to-be-a-mindful-muslim-an-exercise-in-islamic-meditation

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