How to Gain Inner Peace? Sukoon e Qalb
In today’s fast-paced era, everyone is seeking inner peace. As we are surrounded by troubles, disappointments and desolation. People are occupied by not only their domestic and personal issues but also social and professional matters. Some are worried about not having a job, some are worried about having children, while others are worried about not getting married. Those who do not have these issues are trapped in restlessness regardless of having wealth and financial comfort. There are people who lose their peace by seeing the peace and tranquility in life of others. So what is inner peace? And what is the secret behind it?
The Urdu word “Sakoon” is derived from the Arabic word “Sakan” which means pause, prosperity, contentment and ease. And the word Qalb means, soul or inward. Thus, “Sakun-e-Qalb” (inner peace) refers to an inner state in which a person is content, serene and gracious. A state in which he does not feel any restlessness.
Causes of Restlessness
Demoralization of the soul or such factors or stimuli which weaken the soul and strengthen the innerself (an-nafs) cause restlessness. In the following paragraphs we have discussed the factors which result in the inner restlessness.
The fundamental cause of restlessness is the state of disbelief. Meaning we do not rely on Almighty Allah in our matters. Because of not having faith in Allah, we lack certainty regarding all matters. We question whether we can accomplish certain task or a particular matter will turn out the way we want it to be. Our anxiousness of holding matters into our hand causes restlessness.
The second reason of lacking inner peace is not trusting your Lord. Because of this we try to take all matters in our own hands. However, only Allah is the Causer of causes. He is the Master and the Sustainer. Thus, only Allah is Supreme and Omnipotent. Similarly, the root cause of many other issues is not having faith and trust upon Allah’s will. For example, a young man worries about not having a job because he does not trust that only Allah is the Master and the Sustainer.
As Allah says, He is responsible for the sustenance of all living beings. Therefore, the young man should have faith that everything is destined to happen at its own time. Thus, he should not get anxious about getting a job per his wish. Rather, he should do his part by trying and leave the result upon his Creator.
Cause of Restlessness per Rumi
A cow leaves the wilds early in the morning in search of tidy green grass. Then she grazes on the greenery of the blooming green island and feeds until she is fully nurtured and then returns back. At night, the cow wonders that she was able to feed on grass today but what will she eat the next day. This worries her all night and this agony haggard her.
The next day this cow who suffers from the disease of innerself when reaches the island, begins grazing with lust. She grazed on grass all day and when she returned home, she fell in the same agony that what will she feed on tomorrow. This cow worries about her sustenance every night which eventually made her feeble.
Most part of her life went by in this worry. She did not understand that she did not starve even a single day. However, she could not let go this worry which made her life miserable. She lived in the worry of future instead of living in the present and being grateful at it.
The “cow like” human beings do not understand that the Creator of this Universe bestows sustenance to His creation Himself, then why be miserable in its worry.
If we reflect at the aforementioned incident, the cow is the innerself of man and the blooming jungle is this world. The Creator will certainly provide sustenance to His creation per His promise. However, the non-intellectual, evil nature and people full of worldly lusts do not understand this. Rather, they get worried about their tomorrow. The point to ponder is that our Creator has fed us from the day one of our birth, to date, yet the mounds of food did not decrease. Thus, God willing, He will bestow us with the sustenance in future as well. The One Who has been granting since eternity will grant in future as well. (Hikayat e Rumi)
The dilemma of our society is that if a woman is not able to bear child, people make her life miserable. She is berated and scolded as if bearing a child is in her control and not by the Divine will. Similarly, other domestic issues among in laws, husband being unfaithful or loss in business are some of the other causes of restlessness.
Another calamity of the society is materialism. People are after earning wealth and will do anything and everything for it. The lust for money keeps on growing. If someone has lakhs, he desires of millions, while millionaires want to become billionaires. This lust has made people avarice to an extent that they cannot differentiate between lawful and unlawful. In the race of earning worldly wealth and luxuries people care less about legal and illegal things in the way. Indeed, the lust for money is a form of disease and is a vital cause of restlessness and lack of inner peace. It is said about the greed and lust of man, “If a person has gold equal to the size mount Uhud, he will still desire for more.”
Unfortunately, it is common in our society to envy the blessings of others. If a man sees his fellow brother with a certain worldly blessing, he begins to wonder how come he does not have that blessing. Then he attempts to get that blessing for himself as well. In doing so he uses each and every means whether he has resources to for it or not. The greed for worldly wealth wipes away the inner peace.
Cause of Restlessness per Wasif Ali Wasif
When a person eliminates the difference of his desires and accomplishments in his inward, he attains inner peace. In other words, man gets inner peace when he acquires what he desires for or likes what he already has. When our yearnings exceed the boundaries of our acquirements, we get restlessness. A content person has inner peace even when he is struggling to earn his needs. However, a person running after his unrestrained desires is restless even when he in on the throne of riches. The crowd of uncontrolled desires in one’s inward fades away the inner peace. In short, the tale of desires is like a string with no end. Sometimes a person is restless because he cannot get the beginning of the string and sometimes, restlessness occurs because he cannot find the end. (Dil Darya Samundar)
There are many other causes of restlessness like, arrogance, malice, hatered, backbiting, grudge, addiction of fame, sensual desires and other lusts. Such diseases of innerself weaken the connection of soul with Allah Almighty. Thus, in turn results in the destruction of the social and moral norms of the society. Therefore, man of today’s era experiences restlessness.
Excess of worldly luxuries and blessings also distance a man from the spirituality and turns his focus towards materialism. Man, instead of being grateful to Allah Almighty, the Grantor of these blessings, is lost in the blessings. This shows the main aim of man to revel in the luxuries of life. As he enjoys spending money on dining, travelling and yearning for more money. He does not take a moment to thank the Creator who bestowed him these blessings.
In this regard, Holy Quran says:
لَئِنْ شَکَرْتُمْ لَاَزِیْدَنَّکُمْ ( ابراہیم۔7)
Meaning: If you are thankful, I shall certainly increase (My blessings on) you. (14:7)
Being distant from the Creator becomes the cause of restlessness. As man attains inner peace not because of the abundance of worldly blessings rather by being thankful on these blessings.
Man of today’s era is not only eager to earn worldly wealth but is anxious to find ways to spend it as well. He also lives in the fear of losing his wealth.
8- Lack of Patience
Another reason of lack of inner peace is not being patient on the trials and tests. As it is said in Quran that, He will test man by means of fear of loss of lives, wealth and children. If apparently, we are in a problem because we are being tested then we must remain patient instead of becoming anxious and restless. Also, we should have faith in Lord and wait for the right time when with His help, the calamity will go away. As Quran says,
Meaning: Verily, there is ease after every hardship.
Indeed, being patient on the hardships and trials pleases our Creator. Thus, in turn Allah raises the spiritual rank of such patient men.
We make planes about our life based on our limited intellect and capabilities. Thus, taking charge of all matters in our own hands without thinking that Lord is the biggest planner, and everything is in His control. Indeed, everything happens on Divine will. We are devastated when instead of believing in Allah’s plans, we wish things to happen upon our wish. But when things don’t go as we plan, we become restless and agitated. We complain to Allah which further exacerbates our anxiety and eliminates our inner peace.
The Secret of Finding Inner Peace
Factors that sustain the tranquility of our soul are the secret of inner peace. Just like our physical body gets nourishment from the food we eat. Similarly, our inward or soul needs its sustenance which strengthens and nourishes it. The nurtured soul in turn finds Divine proximity. Remember! the sustenance of soul is Divine invocation (dhikr). As Quran says:
اَلَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوْبُھُمْ بِذِکْرِ اللّٰہِ طاَلَا بِذِکْرِ اللّٰہِتَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوْبُ
Meaning: Those who believe, and their inwards become calm and contended with the remembrance of Allah. Know that it is the remembrance of Allah alone that brings calm to the inwards. (13:28)
Invocation Grants Inner Peace
Prophet Mohammad said,
“The inwards become rusty as well and dhikr (invocation) of Allah is the tool to remove the rust of inward.”
In short, the inward which remain focused in the remembrance of Allah is sanctified and attains inner peace. However, this does not mean that apparently man rolls rosary in his hands all the time, but the inward is thinking about worldly matters and problems. Sultan Bahoo said:
تسبی پھری تے دل نہ پھریا، کی لینا تسبی پھڑ کے ھُو
The aforementioned verse means a person can roll the beads of rosary and invocate abundantly but if the inward does not transform then such worship is pointless. In fact, the verse refers to the dhikr that turns the attention of man’s inward towards Allah. No matter what is outward state of man.
Satanic Illusions Diminish Inner Peace
Unnecessarily worrying about things that we have no control over, Satanic illusions and thoughts of innerself are also the cause of restlessness. The only way to get rid of such worries and illusions is by turning one’s attention towards our Creator.
As Quran says:
وَ اذْکُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّکَ وَ تَبَتَّلْ اِلَیْہِ تَبْتِیْلًا
Meaning: And continue remembering the Name of your Lord, devote completely to Him alone (in your inward and soul), broken away from everyone else.
In another sura, Quran says:
وَ اذْکُرْ رَّبَّکَ اِذَا نَسِیْتَ
Meaning: And remember your Lord as if you have forgotten yourself. (18:24)
Method of Invocation
My spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
“The soul of the invocator of Allah is alive. While the soul of the one’s who do not invocate is dead. Now a days most people do not consider the need of invocation of Allah. As they rely merely on salat and those who do invocate, do it by tongue not the presence of inward. Those who claim to invocate esoterically, consider their qalb (inward) a piece of flesh which is placed at the left side of the chest. They use their force and pump this piece of flesh for the invocation of Allah. When their heart starts beating fast, they take that as a sign of wakening of their soul. However, the function of heart is just to circulate blood in the body. It is just another organ of the body which (after death) will degrade in soil just like the rest of the body.”
Company of Perfect Fakir Grants Inner Peace
In order to gain inner peace, one must sit in the company of the Fakirs. As their spiritual attention enlightens the soul with the love of Allah and Prophet Mohammad. They sanctify the soul and turn the attention of the seeker from world to Allah. Indeed, the Divine love erases the filth of the innerself and thus grants inner peace.
In the sacred company of the Fakir, one learns the true teachings of Islam and the spiritual attention of the perfect Fakir forms the connection of man with Allah. The kind of inner peace one gains after being close to Allah is beyond what words can describe. Allah says in Quran:
اَلَآ اِنَّ اَوْلِیَآئَ اللّٰہِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَیْھِمْ وَ لَا ھُمْ یَحْزَنُوْنَ
Meaning: Beware! Verily, the friends of Allah will not have any fear, nor will they grieve. (10:62)
Faqr-the only way that leads to Inner Peace
In order to be friends with Allah and spiritually gain His proximity, it is important to adopt the way of Divine gnosis, which is in fact the path of Faqr. Once we walk on this path, we are disconnected from everything but Lord. The perfect spiritual guide corrects the outward and inward state, purifies and reconciles the innerself of the seeker. Thus, man holds the status of friend of Allah. At this level he interacts with the umma of Mohammad outwardly but remains attached to Allah from his inward. In turn, he finds inner peace. A person becomes peaceful in his inward only by striving in the Divine way. Whether he fights by giving his wealth in His way or fights through pen, meaning by spreading the knowledge of Islam.
Wealth Cannot Grant Inner Peace
Allah admires the person who spends in His way. By doing so He eliminates the love of wealth and money from person’s inward and he becomes distant from the materialistic world.
A spiritual scholar Wasif Ali Wasif expresses:
Some people think that money gives inner peace. However, that is not true, money cannot grant inner peace. The kings left their empires to become Dervish, but no Dervish resigned from his status to accept the monarchy. The one who saves and counts (excess) money will be tormented by Allah. The wealth that is spent in the way of Allah grants peace and tranquility in one’s inward. (Dil Darya Samundar)
What Causes Restlessness?
A person becomes restless when he is detached from the ‘realm of Divinity’ to which he belongs. This is the realm where the soul is fed on the Divine light (an-Nur) because of Divine nearness. Our Creator sent us in this world to test. The soul is confined in his physical body and when the soul disconnects from its Creator, because of the innerself it cannot see the Divine Self. Thus, when the soul is not able to get nourishment through the Divine vision it becomes feeble and restless.
Spiritual Journey to gain Inner Peace
The seeker of spiritual path experiences restlessness when he is stuck at one spiritual station. As his ultimate destination is Divine Union. Thus he tries to overcome all the hurdles in the Divine way so he can attain Divine proximity. If he is stuck at certain spiritual station and is not able to proceed further, then he becomes restless. When with the benevolence of his spiritual guide he glides further towards his destination he attains inner peace.
In addition to this any attempt, struggle and concentration in the Divine way grants inner peace. When a person becomes content on all blessings and leaves all his matters and problems up to Allah’s, he attains inner peace.
A Qudsi Hadith states:
Meaning: O son of Adam! You have your desire and I have My desire. But My desire shall reign. Though if you surrender yourself to My desire, then I shall bestow upon you your desire. But if you oppose My desire then I shall tire you on your desires. And ultimately My desire shall reign.
Sultan Bahoo says:
Trust upon Allah is a Divine light and is like water which sates the Fuqara and grants perfect health and strength to their entire existence.
One can find inner peace by having complete trust upon Allah. A person should have faith everything is destined to him from Allah and upon His Will.
As Sultan ul Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali said:
Tawakkal (complete trust upon Allah) is the foundation of Faqr. Divine love demands that every matter should be handed over to your Creator completely. Though, physical efforts must be made but inwardly the seeker should withdraw his own will and trust only upon Allah. (The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order)
How Do You Fix Restlessness?
The spiritual company of the perfect spiritual guide and invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat eliminates restlessness from one’s inward. As spiritually one can gain inner peace when he is connected with Allah Almighty to an extent that it holds the Divine light (an-Nur). Such people are called Miskeen (the seeker who eternally remains in the company of Allah).
The Prophet Mohammad said:
“O Allah! Let me live as a Miskeen, die as a Miskeen and raise me among the Masakeen on the doomsday.” (Ibn Majah 4126)
When a person attains inner peace, he gets the peace of mind and is no longer anxious. This helps him see his path to Divine proximity. Also, inner peace is a sign of contentment and having trust upon Divine Will.
In short if we want permanent peace of our inward then we must form a strong connection with our Creator. We should enlighten our inward with His remembrance. Indeed, remembrance and gnosis of Allah grants the inner peace. This connection of man with his Lord is only possible through the company of the Insan e Kamil or perfect Fakir and invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
In the present era, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has made the beneficence of Ism-e-Allah Zaat common around the world. Both, men and women are equally benefitting from his spiritual attention. He sanctifies their inwards thus, granting them inner peace. We invite all to gain benevolence from the spiritual company of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen as his kind attention will cleanse the inward from the diseases of innerself and take the seeker to the path of gnosis of Allah.
This article is the English translation of the Urdu article, سکونِ قلب which is originally penned by Ahsan Ali Sarwari Qadri. Fatima Noor translated it in American English vocabulary with some changes. If you like to read the Urdu article, please click the link below: