Beating Negativity: Positive Affirmations from the Glorious Quran
We quite often ignore the power of positive affirmations. Most anxious people repeat negative affirmations without realizing the effects on their minds. I had read in books from experts that positive affirmations have a tremendous positive impact on our brains. When I tried repeating these affirmations, I got fed up and left them. Because I don't see any benefits in repeating these affirmations initially. Whenever I read a book or watch a motivational video, I often hear everyone saying and praising positive affirmations. I realized that there must be something in repeating these affirmations daily. I decided to give it another try. I chose some affirmations like ' I can do this, God is with me, I can face any challenge, I am happy, I deserve love, I am beautiful, I like myself the way I am etc. I started repeating these affirmations daily. Surely, I found certain positive effects on my mind, especially my way of thinking started to move towards optimism. Whenever negative thoughts overpower me, I restructure them quickly and replace them with something positive. By God, it works, though I am still too lazy to repeat it daily; whenever I do it, I find it effective.
Psychologists say that positive affirmations have the power to rewire our brains. It is the best way to challenge your negative thoughts. It is obvious that positive self-talk is better than negative self-talk. In other words, what you say to yourself, gradually the brain starts to believe the same. Claude M. Steele a US social psychologist, proposed a 'Self-affirmation theory' where he argues that people have fundamentally the motivation to maintain their positive self-image, self-integrity and the ability to control and predict the outcomes.
Other research studies also show that positive affirmations, when done properly, have a good effect on our brains. It is also a great way to change your bad habits. Neuroscience experts comment that positive affirmations are effective when we are in an 'alpha state of mind' or relaxed state of mind just before sleep. Dr. Bruce Lipston recommends that the best way to reprogram your subconscious mind is to listen to positive affirmations just before sleep. My experience says that if we do it consistently, we can change our negative thought patterns. There is a lot of literature on this topic; if you are more interested in it, you can study them. Dr. Joe Dispenza, who is quite often seen on social media, has also done tremendous work on this topic.
As a Muslim, I believe that Allah's book has great to offer us. I found many positive affirmations in Quran and Hadiths. Besides, the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammed ﷺ is a role model for us. He (ﷺ) taught us how to cope with difficult situations. Islam teaches us the rewards of patience, hope, a positive mentality, forgiving, giving up anger, envy, jealousy, and all other negative emotions. The Quran explicitly teaches us not to be harsh on ourselves. The traditions of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) teach us the rights of our bodies on us, which also includes the mind. We are supposed to be kind and show mercy for ourselves. Our bodies have the right not to be burdened beyond their capacity. Our minds have the right to us not to consciously exhaust our minds by overthinking negative thinking.
Quran is full of hope; lack of hope is believed to be one of the greatest sins in Islam. There are no justifications for being hopeless. You are always under the protection of Allah; whenever you feel sad, just turn to Him, and He will always be there for you. I have taken ten Quranic verses, which basically teach us positive beliefs. Through these beliefs, we can cope with any situation and live a happy and blessed life. We know Quran is full of such verses. I have just taken ten verses from the Quran. Repeat them every day and see the miraculous change in your life.
1) "Allah does not burden any soul with more than it can bear" ( 2:286).
Allah knows your strength better than you, so never underestimate the strength that God has given you. Sometimes you may feel pain and difficulties, but remember you are quite strong to face them.
2) "So verily, with the hardship, there is a relief. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief" [Quran 94:5-6]
Whenever you are in difficulties, remember that there is always a solution and always relief with it.
3) "And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good."(2:195)
Do good like helping poor, acts of kindness, obeying parents etc. Remember whenever you do good Allah loves you. So be always a person of good deeds.
4)Say: "O 'Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful"(39:53).
This is a powerful verse that tells us never be despairing from the mercy of Allah no matter what our sins are; just one sincere repentance is enough.
5)"The servants of the Rahmān (the All-Merciful, Allah) are those who walk on the earth humbly, and when the ignorant people speak to them, they reply peacefully" (25:63)
The qualities of being humble in the walk, speaking and in every respect are something that Allah loves the most. The people with such attributes are the honest servants of Allah. When I was doing my masters in Jamia Millia Islamia, some students used to debate with me about Islam. However, at that time, I was quite reactive and couldn’t hold my emotions whenever an opponent was criticising Islam. We should not be reactive or violent when dealing with such people. Quran teaches us that when we face such people, we talk to them with wisdom and peace. By Allah, if we follow this Quranic principle, we can build our firm emotional strength, and we won't lose our cool in such situations. Remember, you will be tested at every stage of life, but never forget or ignore the words of peace.
6) "O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. " Quran 2:153)
Just ponder this amazing Quranic verse 'Patience' is mentioned even before Salah (prayer). This verse teaches us that a Muslim must be patient and perseverant in every situation. People become impatient because they want help to overcome difficulty as quickly as possible. But this is not how the laws work. When you observe patience, you get help, and this is a universal law. Patience is mentioned with Salah (prayer); both are interconnected and must be practised. Patience teaches you emotional mastery, and prayers build your positive beliefs.
7) "And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient." Quran 2:155)
Quran deals with practicality and real-life events and teaches you how to respond to every situation. We will be tested as per our potential and not beyond it. Sometimes with fear (anxiety), hunger, loss of job, and loss of loved ones like parents. But what would be our response in such situations? The best response is to observe patience. You see positivity everywhere when you observe patience (thinking there is enough good for me in such situations even if I don't understand them right now).
8) "O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful"(3:200).
I have taken a beautiful short tafsir of this above Ayah from Quran.com
"O you who have faith in Allah and follow His Messenger, be patient with the obligations of the sacred law, and with the misfortunes that you are given in this world; and outdo the disbelievers in patience and determination, so that they are not more patient than you; and struggle for the sake of Allah and be Mindful, following His instructions and staying away from what He has prohibited, so that you may reach what you desire of safety from the fire of Hell and entry into Paradise”.
In this Ayah, Allah again teaches us to observe patience. There was a time when I was in doubt; how can we observe patience? Through my research, I learned that everything we learn is through consistency and repetition. New habits are formed through repetition and consistent practice. In the beginning, when we start observing patience or keeping our emotions in control, we will face failures, but patience will become our new habit through consistency. When it becomes our new habit, it gets programmed in our subconscious mind. Once it gets in our subconscious mind, we automatically persevere in the face of difficulties without forcing ourselves on this.
9) “Good and evil cannot be equal. Respond to evil with what is best, then the one you are in a feud with will be like a close friend". (41:34)
This Ayah is very clear to understand. There are no justifications for being harsh or rude to people. We are supposed to be kind and good in our words and deeds, even with the enemy. Kindness has the potential to turn your great enemy into a great friend.
10) "Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction." (13:28).
Every Muslim believes that hearts get satisfaction when we remember Allah in every situation, either good or bad. Here Allah teaches us the practice of being mindful, focused and present. When we are conscious of Allah, we will try to strive for good and avoid evil. When we are conscious of God, we are surrounded by peace, tranquillity and protection always.
Recite these verses daily with meaning in shā Allah you will live a happy and blessed life.
About the author: Aijaz Ahmad Mir writes Islamic content and is pursuing his Ph.D. in Political Science from Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, Telangana.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.