By approaching life’s challenges with a peaceful heart, we nurture the value of patience and thereby approach the ideal of the joyful soul.

By Nabi Raza Abidi

Not a day goes by where we don’t face some significant spiritual challenge. When our spouses, siblings or children make remarks that anger us, these are the times we need to watch our hearts. When we see people gossiping, it is the time for us to either leave the room or put a stop to it. Drivers honk at us, cut us off, or someone pushes us in line to get ahead; in all these moments we need to control our anger and nurture our spirituality.

When we approach our trials and temptations with itminān al-qalb (peaceful heart) we heal our minds and souls and become stronger as a result. Reacting with anger only destroys the soul and making us more susceptible to the demons. Controlling our reactions to negative external events helps strengthen us for the next round of trials, temptations and bouts of suffering. By practicing this step by step, we get closer to the Islamic ideal of the joyful soul and ward off the influence of the demons.

Waʿlaikum as-Salam,
Yours Faithfully
Nabi Raza Abidi
Resident Imam of the SABA Islamic Center
San Jose, California