Dr. Abdallah Rothman was invited to join Yusuf Jha and Soul Inquiry for a livestream discussion and Q & A on managing our mental health in these uncertain times of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this context they discuss the Prophetic saying:
How amazing is the affair of the Believer! Indeed his entire affair is good. And this is not the case with anyone except the believer; should prosperity come his way, he is grateful and that is good for him, and should adversity come his way, he patiently perseveres, and that is good for him." [Muslim]
How do we bring these states of gratitude and patience to our hearts in times of trial and difficulty such as these? And what can we do to cope with the situation in a way that takes into consideration our mental health and wellbeing? These questions and more are explored and some practical tools are discussed. View the livestream recording below:
The livestream had such a great response and request for more, that a follow up session was scheduled. Subscribe to the youtube channel to be notified on this and more content from Soul Inquiry.
It is clear that there is a growing trend of mindfulness extending beyond spiritual communities and into mainstream culture. How do we understand mindfulness from within the Islamic tradition? Is there a place for it in Islam? Is there an Islamic version of mindfulness?
Listen to the audio or read the text below:
At first when you hear this term "mindful" you think 'full of mind'. The last thing we need is to be more in our minds. We're already so locked into this thinking consciousness where we define ourselves by our thoughts. You could think "well, I don't want to be 'full of mind' I'm already stuck in my thoughts." But really mindfulness is about being conscious. It's about slowing down. It's a contemplative way of being. It's not really about being more connected to thoughts in the sense of identifying with the mind. It's not necessarily about thinking, but meta-thinking: thinking about thinking. It's slowing down and being conscious of what you think and what you do. The core of mindfulness is about being present. And this concept of being present is absolutely an Islamic principle. It's something that we find in the Islamic tradition and is a key factor in everything from ibadah (worship) to akhlaq (manners). Presence is indeed a very islamic principle.
However, this term mindfulness can tend to shift our awareness from the reality of the self, which is a much more holistic picture than what we have come to conceive of as ourselves in contemporary times. To a certain extent the entire modern world has been influenced by the Cartesian assertion, "I think therefore I am". It's taken root in society where people over identify with their thoughts. So that people's entire notion of self is about what and how they think and everything related to the self is based in the mind. And this in particular is really not an Islamic concept.