What is the place of positive thinking in our religion; how does it affect our lives?
Submitted by on Sat, 15/05/2010 - 16:34
Dear Brother / Sister,
It is not true that we will absolutely experience goodness and favor every time we have good thoughts and we will absolutely experience badness every time we have bad thoughts. That issue is a reality confirmed by life.
However, thinking about bad events that may happen to us in the future now is extremely wrong, because getting anxious by thinking about a bad thing that we do not definitely know whether it will happen to us or not is also wrong in point of reason and wisdom. Moreover, the future does not exist at this moment; therefore, there is no evil that may happen in the future (now). Thinking about a non-existing trouble in a non-existing time implies giving the two non-existent things the color of existing and falling into distress that should not happen. Whether that distress happens in the future or not, feeling pain and misery through thinking as if it has already happened is not a reasonable attitude.
However, contrarily, there is no harm in thinking now about a favorable thing that may happen in the future; besides, it serves as a synergy that gives peace to life. Even if it does not happen in the future, it has not much side effects as long as there is not an extreme optimism that causes a serious disappointment.
As Islam wants us to think positively, it aims to keep us away from experiencing troublesome situations, living in a hopeless course, and imaginations and thoughts that make us live a dog’s life and demoralize us. The matter has another dimension that is more important; to sum up:
A person who always thinks about bad things in his mind and imagines that bad things will happen to him thinks unjustly and unfavorably about Allah. A person, who has good thoughts, thinks favorably about Allah, because everything comes into existence through the creation of Allah. It is important in point of the criterion of justice that Allah gives the bad things a person fancies as a punishment to the person who thinks unfavorably about Allah and bestows goodness as a reward for his good thoughts to the person who thinks favorably about Allah.
In a Divine Hadith, the expression “I am according to how my servant thinks of Me” (Bukhari, Tawhid, 15; Muslim, Tawba, 1 takes place). In other words, I treat to my servant in the way how he thinks of me, what he hopes from me and how he sets his hopes on me. So, those who come with a great hope to the door of mercy of the Almighty Creator –generally- do not return empty-handed.
According to some scholars, that hadith points that servants must have good thoughts of Allah especially in the following subjects:
When a servant prays, he believes that Allah will accept his prayer. He believes that Allah will accept his repentance and forgive him when he repents sincerely. He believes that the worship he performs sincerely will be accepted by Allah. As those positive thoughts are goods opinions of Allah, thinking opposite is having bad opinions of Allah, and it means to be hopelessness and it is a big sin. (See Ibn Hajar, the explanation of the hadith mentioned above)
Positive thinking has a great effect on our lives. Positive thinking has positive effects not only on the person himself but also on the others.
Having good thoughts is concerned with seeing the good in things. For, a person who sees the good in things has good thoughts. And he who has good thoughts receives pleasure from life.
Good thoughts reveal the clarity and the purity of one’s spiritual world; bad thoughts reveal the dullness of the spiritual world and can be the cause of not having a clear and concrete personality for the person.
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