Your Weekly Digest on What Muslim Women Are Talking About

Dhikr and Affirmations on This Momentous Day: Arafah

by in Soul on 20th August, 2018

We are familiar with the barakah, lightness and peace that comes with dhikr. Our self-awareness and attentiveness is nourished with the remembrance of Allah, preventing forgetfulness and heedlessness in our thoughts and actions. Dhikr “is an action of the tongue and the heart in which the name of God, or His praise is mentioned repeatedly, with the purpose of bringing Him to the forefront of the heart and mind… [it] is a means of awakening from spiritual slumber, which humans are prone to by their very nature”.

Invoking Allah increases the reward from Him, focuses our attention on Him, frees us from distraction and provides ease, protection and humility. It directs our hearts and souls towards Allah, gaining us closeness to His Omnipotence, bringing tranquillity to our minds and shaking off feelings of frustration, anxiety and negative energy.  

Another form of edifying self-awareness and self-care is positive affirmations. In times of despair, I have found affirmations, supplementing dhikr, to be an incredibly healing tool, cultivating internal recompense and confidence within myself. Undoubtedly, affirmations compliment dhikr so beautifully. Like dhikr, affirmations direct our energy towards manifesting goodness. Affirmations allow us to tailor unique, individual and personal litanies to guide us towards what we need in a specific moment.

Artist Annie Tarasova defines affirmations as “positive statements describing a desired emotion, situation or goal. Affirmations have been used for many centuries in the form of mantras or prayers. They work when your powerful subconscious mind hears your words and programmes your experience and behaviour to reflect the affirmation.

In a subtle way, affirmations change your thought patterns. Believing that you’re destined to be wealthy inspires you to act with a greater assurance and to make decisions based on a sense of empowerment, rather than based on fear or neediness. Affirmations not only affect your thoughts, actions and attitudes, but they also affect the world in metaphysical ways. You are not separate from the world around you. Everything and everyone in this world is made from the same divine universal consciousness. Understand that whatever words you speak with a strong focus and intention, have an effect on the world around you.” During moments of feelings of negative body image and insecurities, for example, my affirmations will be one or a combination of the following:

  • ‘I do not exist for the male gaze.’
  • ‘I am as Allah created me, and He makes no mistakes.’
  • ‘I am more than my skin.’
  • ‘I am.’

________________________________________________________________________________________

Related

“The day of Arafah is massively underrated, here’s why…” –  Listen to the latest episode of our podcast over on Amaliah Voices

________________________________________________________________________________________

I feel an improvement in my self-esteem and confidence immediately, alhamdulillah. Whilst studying, I sometimes become flustered if I struggle to understand something, even if I read it multiple times. Rather than thinking ‘I’m never going to get this’, I focus on being present:

  • ‘Rabbi zidni ‘ilma’ – ‘Oh Lord, increase me in knowledge.’
  • ‘I am knowledgeable and I absorb knowledge.’
  • ‘I am capable of understanding beneficial knowledge.’
  • ‘I believe in my ability to understand.’

During disagreements with people, a way for me to channel my feelings in a productive manner is to go to a quiet space, seek refuge in Allah from shayateen and conjure pertinent affirmations:

  • ‘I am calm and understanding.’
  • ‘I control my reaction.’
  • ‘I am worthy of being heard.’
  • ‘I am heard.’
  • ‘I am patient.’

Entrepreneurial Muslimah has an amazing list of wealth affirmations to “attract the barakah and Rizq you deserve for the hard work you do”. Some of my favourites include:

  • ‘I always have whatever I need and choose abundance as my reality’.
  • ‘I am grateful for everything I receive in life.’
  • ‘I am destined to find prosperity in everything I do.’

We manifest what we think; our thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we are constantly berating ourselves with negative thoughts, our emotional state remains despondent, which in turn has real, physical effects on our body. Poor emotional health is linked to weakening of the immune system, resulting in common ailments such as lethargy, headaches, insomnia, palpitations and back pains. Of course positive affirmations are not the cure-all for physical diseases, however, like dhikr, it is a powerful tool towards self-consciousness, fortitude and patience with one’s situation and abilities.

I also believe affirmations are reflective of our true reality. Oftentimes self-doubting thoughts and the shayateen sneakily creep into our everyday thoughts, and without realising, those thoughts become our warped realities. We become blindsided by our virtues that other people might see in us, that Allah sees in us. We are unable to recognise our full potential because we think we’re not intelligent / pretty / funny / capable / proficient / diligent / passionate / pious / articulate enough. 110 % of the time, we are enough, and more, of all of the above.

By no means am I suggesting affirmations should replace dhikr. The Qur’an and hadith explicitly mention the virtues of dhikr: 

  • ‘Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest’ [13:28]
  • ‘Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah.’ [39:23]

Abu Hurayra reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, thus stated: I live in the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him, as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My Heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in the assembly, better than he (does that), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near Me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.

Rather, this is an invitation to practice customising a daily, weekly or monthly affirmation. Then put it as a reminder on your phone, share it on your social media, pin it onto your vision board, recite it in dua, journal it, tell Allah how you feel about it. Do whatever feels right. Affirmations are about you – being the best version of yourself and being the best servant of Allah. The shift in negative to optimistic thinking, the behavioural effects, the trust in oneself and daily heart-work is evident, with the permission of The Most High.

Ashiya Mendheria

Ashiya Mendheria

Ashiya Mendheria is a holistic health conscious, soul-searching Muslim woman, in a constant pursuit to seek God, explore self-love and live a spiritual and tayyib lifestyle. She is studying Nutritional Therapy at the College of Naturopathic Medicine.