Allah is the Creator of all things

Positive Thinking in Islam

Islam is a religion brought by the last Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). As a religion that came as enlightenment for people who had lost in their way, there is numerous positive attitude in Islam as a guide in everyday lives. All of those attitudes were taken from the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he lived. A Muslim only say the truth. He never tells lie through his words and delivers fake news to others. It’s an absolute quality that every Muslim should have. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ

“Those who said to them [the people], “Indeed the people (have) certainly gathered against you, so fear them.” But it increased them (in) faith and they said, “Sufficient for us (is) Allah and (He is the) best [the] Disposer of affairs.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:173)

Our thoughts have a powerful ability to determine our feelings and emotional states and ultimately affect how we behave, for better or worse. Islam teaches us to direct the act of reflection (tafakkur), or deep thought, towards the signs of Allah, the names and attributes of Allah, to his blessings and wonders, to hope in the Hereafter, and to optimism. By positively controlling our thought processes, we can increase the effectiveness of our prayers and worship as well as relieve ourselves from the anger, depression, and anxieties that worldly thoughts induce. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

“O you who believe! Consciously revere Allah and be with those who are truthful.” (Surah At-Taubah 9:119)

Contrary to popular belief, we have control over which thoughts we choose to follow. We may not have a choice over which particular thought occurs initially in our minds at a given time, but we do have a choice to either ignore it or pursue it. Our voluntary thoughts are nothing more than inward statements. Hence, the rule is that we should only engage good thoughts or keep our minds silent.

Here are some benefits embedded in positive thinking:

  1. Positive activity solve problems and ignore distractions 
  2. Positive thoughts grace you with emotional vitality
  3. Positive thinking helps you make good decisions
  4. Positive thoughts improve your immune system
  5. Positive thinking leads to positive emotion
  6. Positive thoughts increase your creativity 
  7. Positive thoughts over negative ones
  8. Positive thinking makes you beautiful
  9. Positive activity helps you pull through
  10. Positive thoughts make you see yourself
  11. Positive thoughts influence your lifestyle
  12. Positive thinking redirect your thoughts back
  13. Positive emotion helps lower your stress levels
  14. Positive thoughts affect the way you act and react
  15. Positive emotions improve the brain’s executive function

Negative people tend to be moody and very depressed. It’s no secret that living rightly on earth is pretty hard. But it’s a trial to have a better life in the Hereafter. We have to be honest in life, not only with our words but also by attitude regarding properties that do not belong to us. Allah says:

وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُوا بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُوا فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالْإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“And (do) not eat your properties among yourselves wrongfully and present [with] it to the authorities so that you may eat a portion from (the) wealth (of) the people sinfully while you know.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:188)

While Allah SWT forgive even our worst and biggest sin, a mere human should be forgiving as his Creator. More than that, Prophet Muhammad had shown the forgiving manner when he had defeated his enemy in Mecca and gave the following words to forgive them:

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “Allah loves those who are patient.” (Quran 3:145)
  • “O you who believe! keep your duty to Allah and speak straight true words.” (Quran 33:70)
  • “And they have not been commanded except to worship Allah alone, having ikhlas (purity of intention) in their Religion and not setting-up partners with Allah in the worship of Him.” (Quran 38:5)
  • “O, my Sustainer! Since Thou hast thwarted me, I shall indeed make [all that is evil] on earth seem goodly to them, and shall most certainly beguile them-into grievous error. [all] save such of them as are truly Thy sincere servants.” (Quran, 15:39-40)
  • “No reproof be against you this day; Allah may forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.” (Quran 12:92)
  • “This is the Day the sincere ones will profit by their sincerity (Literally: their sincerity will benefit the sincere “ones”). For them are Gardens from beneath which Rivers run, eternally (abiding) therein forever? Allah is satisfied with them, and they are satisfied with Him. That is the magnificent triumph.” (Quran 5:119)
  • “Say: Shall We inform you about those who will lose most in respect to their actions? Those whose efforts have been wasted in the life of this world, whilst they thought that they were doing good actions.” (Quran18:103-104)
  • “Don’t go near the property of an orphan, except in a goodly way, till he attains maturity. And fulfil the promise (you make) . . .. Give full measure when you measure out and weigh with a true balance.” (Quran 17:34-35)
  • “Woe to those who pray but are unmindful of their prayers, who do good to be seen.” (Quran 107:4-6)

Patience means not doing things in a rush. But patience also means keeping going strong no matter what obstacles come in between. Allah SWT shows His affection to His servants in various ways: through wealth, sickness, and unfortunate things. Allah SWT is teaching them to be patient since He is with those who are patient. See also Patience in Islam. Allah says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

“And surely We will test you with something of [the] fear and [the] hunger and loss of [the] wealth and [the] lives and [the] fruits, but give good news (to) the patient ones.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155)

There are many ways to purify oneself. Make wudu, pray to Allah SWT and ask for His forgiveness. Constant repentance from sins is also the way to purify the soul since we sometimes don’t know that we commit sins every day. Pay respect to others, especially your parents, elders, and other relatives. Respecting them can be done in many ways, such as talking to them tenderly, treating them with kindness, and mentioning their names in our dua. Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

“Indeed, Allah commands justice and the good, and giving (to) relatives, and forbids [from] the immorality and the bad and the oppression. He admonishes you so that you may take heed.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:90)

Holding onto religion is hard, especially when we live in a modern era like today. Islam teaches us to direct our thoughts towards what is good and to ignore bad thoughts. Like outward statements, thoughts we pursue are simply inward statements that should be good or at least neutral. If we entertain a bad thought, we should follow it with several positive inward statements to cancel its effect. Allah says:

وَأَنفِقُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And spend in (the) way (of) Allah and (do) not throw (ourselves) [with your hands] into [the] destruction. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the good-doers.” (Surah l-Baqarah 2:195)

Positive thinking should lead to an optimistic outlook and good expectations of Allah and his mercy. These good expectations are the inner secret that makes our prayers and worship most effective and fulfilling. The purpose of human creation is to do good. Surely doing good and kindness is one of the many positive attitudes in Islam. Positivity acts like a magnet that invites more positive things to come in.