Five Ways to Cleanse Your Thoughts

11775The Quran contains details of the previous nations so that we may take heed and not repeat their mistakes. Allah (swt) mentions the tales of both the obedient and the disobedient, giving us a choice as to which group we want to be from.

When the obedient people received a command from Allah (swt), they surrendered before Him and accepted it right away. For example, when Prophet Ibrahim (as) was asked to submit: “He said: I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists).” (Al-Baqarah 2:131) No further questions.

When the other group was commanded to do something- they transgressed, rejected and ridiculed the message. For example: “And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter a cow. They said: Do you make fun of us? He said: I take Allah’s Refuge from being among Al-Jahilun (the ignorant or the foolish).” (Al-Baqarah 2:67) A prophet does not make fun of others. He is sincere to his cause and wishes the best for everyone.

Why did they deduce a different meaning than the one intended?

The problem was in their thinking. They did not give due respect to their messenger; they always undermined his sincerity and harmed themselves.

Often in life, we make the same mistakes. Without understanding the intentions of others, we engage in arguments, risk relationships, and see only one side of the coin. This is called mental slavery. Generally, people fashion their thoughts based on their experiences and not the truth. This promotes racism, hatred, and other evils. But, we do not need to live in this slavery – we can change it.

And here is how:

1. Study Your Thoughts
Before you react to a conversation or any event, pause and think. What makes me think what I am thinking right now? Is that really the truth or am I being biased? Recognize your biasness. And throw it out.

2. Restrict the Ego from Taking Over
Social media threads and political talk shows often end up in arguments and severed ties because each participant allows his or her ego to take over. Allow other people to have their opinions. The way your thoughts were shaped by your environment and experiences, the other person went through a similar process. He is entitled to think differently. Give respect. Do not abuse.

3. Broaden Your Information Sources
Diversify your information bank. Do not always read or follow opinions that match yours. Pick up a book or listen to someone who thinks differently. Similarly, improve your company. Seek learned, truthful, respectful, and positive thinkers. Seek the truth, not attention.

4. Stay Busy
Knowing that every word spilling off our tongues is being recorded should encourage us to speak only when spoken to. Speak a good word, and do not always be opinionated.

5. Study the Seerah of the Prophets
Learn from the best. Allah (swt) chose and shaped the prophets to overcome life’s challenges and carry forward His message. The Companions adopted their teachings and moulded themselves. Study their lives. How did they live in this world while focusing on the hereafter?

Navigating Our Mind

thinkingAbu Hurairah has narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “To harbour good thoughts is a part of well-conducted worship.” (Abu Dawood)

Often we, as human beings, have thoughts, of which we are ashamed of and feel glad that no one can read our minds. The Most Merciful forgives us for our evil thoughts, as long as we do not utter them or put them into practice. The following is a practical example explaining the Hadeeth, which encourages positive thinking.

Surrendering to our Thoughts

Many thoughts are uncontrollable; sometimes they are from our own Fitrah or nature, while at other times, they occur from the whisperings of Shayateen. However, the Hadeeth above is a proof that we can and should monitor our thinking and foster good thoughts. Various prominent Shuyukh teach that when we commit a sin, Shaitan tells us we are worthless, not worthy of gaining or even asking for forgiveness from Allah (swt); therefore, we should not even try to acquire it. Despite all this, it is of utmost importance for us to remember that Allah (swt) is Ghafoor ur Raheem (the Most Forgiving). He is even more forgiving than us to our own selves, and He is the Most Merciful. Remembering this attribute of Allah (swt) pushes us towards the act of seeking forgiveness from Him, and we repent immediately. Similarly, it is the backbone of our religion to have complete trust in Allah (swt) and have a good opinion about Allah (swt), for Allah (swt) says, “I am as my servant thinks of Me.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Success is in our Hands – Take the Control!

Let us analyze this Hadeeth from the following perspective. Say you got hired somewhere and it was your first real job. It did not even last for two days. You had a bad experience at your internship, and you did not do well in college as well. Needless to say, these are depressing thoughts. It is important to first realize that you are entering into a thick fog of negativity, which will blind you from seeing clearly. Success is when you learn from your mistakes and improve. You cannot progress in life, if you think that you can never succeed. Negative thoughts are a great hindrance to your progress. If you keep trying, keep learning from your mistakes and keep strategizing, then, by the Will of Allah (swt), you will move forward – this is success.

We face such a challenge, when it comes to our five times prayer. It is important to keep our daily prayers at the top of our list, because if we miss even one, we are likely to miss two. And then they pile up, and it may become harder for some of us to make up for them. We might start thinking that there’s no use of praying even once or twice a day, because we can never manage all five of them. But we should never let these thoughts occupy our minds. We should always acknowledge that we succeeded in performing one or two of the daily prayers and realize that there is always a need and room for improvement. Hence, we should keep on trying to perform the other three prayers as well. Not only our thoughts of incapability are bad for our Deen, they are also bad for our overall mental and physical health. We should always think in affirmative: “Yes, I can do it! And I will do it as soon as possible and then follow through.” It is guaranteed that a positive and can-do attitude in our religious rituals will overflow into our worldly affairs without us even realizing it; thus improving our well-being Bi-idhnillah.

Similarly, when practicing a Sunnah of our Prophet (sa) or doing a good deed, we should never think that we are not good enough to perform this action. Rather, we should think of the deed as an opportunity to improve ourselves. If we ever think we are not noble enough, this is an indicator of a buffer inside us, and we should take immediate steps to fill it with goodness.

Sunnah Living is Healthy Living – Gems

sunnah#Gems 1: Holistic food is a natural food which works in a natural manner.

#Gems 2: Human beings are holistic because they have a body, mind and soul.

#Gems 3: God has provided humans with holistic facilities in their surroundings for their survival.

#Gems 4: Natural foods, herbs, exercise and natural therapy can give holistic benefits.

#Gems 5: Religion and spirituality always heal holistically.

#Gems 6: What is a lifestyle modification?

  • Correct eating
  • 6-8 hours of night sleep
  • Stress management
  • Body-compatible exercise
  • Food supplements

#Gems 7: Objective of lifestyle modification -To connect internal environment with external environment or microcosmos (human body) with macrocosmos (universe).

#Gems 8: Health equation:

Food                50%

Sleep               20%

Exercise           20%

Genes              10%

#Gems 9: Fact – Your entire body rebuilds itself in less than 2 years! Every cell in your body eventually dies and is replaced by new cells.

#Gems 10: Everyday is a new opportunity to build a ‘new body’.

#Gems 11: You need to focus on food if:

  • food is not natural/ processed foods
  • mindless eating
  • no food timings
  • difficulty in controlling the food quantity
  • have food cravings
  • specific food addictions
  • indifferent to various food groups
  • you are struggling with your wt/ health issues
  • your disease is not under control
  • sleep less than 6 hours at night/ poor quality
  • suffer from hyperactive mind syndrome
  • mental aging
  • find peace in smoking, sedatives, sheesha or alcohol
  • not happy with life
  • have fears, guilt, insecurity or inferiority complex
  • no morality, can do negative deeds freely
  • behavioral disorders
  • faith confusions

#Gems 12: Healthy food becomes holistic

If the source of food and medium of cooking is natural, method of cooking is simple and is body-compatible, you are able to digest, assimilate, utilize and eliminate the holistic food fully.

#Gems 13: Good nutrition isn’t just about what goes into the body, it’s about everything that flows forth from heart and soul, and how we feed and nourish the world.

#Gems 14: What are junk foods?

– when we change the structure of a natural food, it becomes junk

– foods which are made with white flour and hydrogenated oil are called junk foods

#Gems 15: Processed or dead foods –

  • long shelf-life foods
  • fortified foods
  • junk foods
  • GMO foods
  • scientific foods


#Gems 16: 8 genetically engineered foods you should avoid* –

  1. Soy
  2. Corn
  3. Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
  4. Hawaiian papaya
  5. Crookneck squash
  6. Some varieties of Zucchini
  7. Canola (canola oil)
  8. Sugar (from sugar beets)

*Eight foods you should almost never, ever eat by Dr. Joseph Mercola (May 5 2011)

#Gems 17: Junk foods – Cookies, crackers, baked goods, bread, chips, snack foods, fried foods, etc.

#Gems 18: Artificial manures lead inevitably to artificial nutrition, artificial food, artificial animals and finally to artificial men and women.

– Sir Albert Howard | English agronomist (1873-1947)

#Gems 19: Food for thought: How can science-designed artificial foods really benefit us over God-designed natural foods?

#Gems 20: Artificial foods/ diet can lead to animalistic behaviour and eventually to major crimes. Hence we find today, in the history of criminals that they had bad/ artificial diet in their past.

#Gems 21: SLP (Shagufta Liver Program) | 8 rules of diet correction –

  1. Selection of natural foods
  2. Food preference
  3. How much to eat
  4. Correct food timings
  5. Correct food combinations
  6. Food rotation
  7. Food temperature
  8. Correct water intake

#Gems 22: Placed within a spiritual context, the ultimate goal of any dietary philosophy is to take us fully into the body, and beyond the body.

#Gems 23: #FoodMyth – Excess water is good for skin and kidney.

#Gems 24: #FoodMyth – For weight loss, we have to eat less and follow low-calorie foods and heavy gym.

#Gems 25: What are the first steps?

  • replace white flour with whole wheat
  • replace packaged milk with organic
  • replace white sugar with ‘shakar’
  • eliminate cooking oil; use mustard oil, white butter or desi ghee
  • replace broiler chick/ eggs with organic
  • replace processed salt with natural
  • eliminate bottled water with fresh water

#Gems 26: Call a cease-fire on the war against your own body, your weight.

#Gems 27: Stop complaining. Appreciate your body and be happy – it is a creation of Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’āla)!

#Gems 28: Recommended book: Living as Nature Intended (by Dr. Shagufta Feroz).

#Gems 29: Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, but much more rewarding!

#Gems 30: Some tips to reduce radiation emission with cell phone use:

  1. Use a headset
  2. Use speaker mode
  3. Hold phone away from your body
  4. Text more, speak less
  5. Call only when signal is strong
  6. Limit children’s phone use
  7. Skip the ‘radiation shield’
  8. Use a special phone case like Pong
  9. Put your phone on ‘airplane mode’ when your children are around
  10. Keep your phone away from your room when you are asleep

#Gems 31: Do not turn on A/C immediately after entering your car.

#Gems 32: How to relax your eyes while studying or working on a computer?

Relaxing eyes is very important as it not only relaxes your eyes but also takes away other health problems such as headaches, eye strain, poor vision, migraines, etc. and hence it should not be underestimated.

  • Palming is a good relaxation technique. In palming you simply warm up your hands by rubbing them and cover your eyes for a few minutes everyday
  • Looking at a wide picture stress the eyes. Healthier option is if the eyes focus on a centralized portion of the picture
  • Look away every 2 minutes for 4-5 seconds and then get back to work
  • Get up every hour. Take a 5-minute break every hour.
  • Wash eyes with cold water frequently
  • Try to take Vitamin A and C
  • Blink your eyes every few seconds. It relaxes them by giving moisture to the eyes
  • Apply two moist cotton balls that are squeezed in milk to your eyes