Contemplation In Sunni Islam

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Contemplation can be defined as the ‘action of looking at something thoughtfully for a period of time’ or ‘deep reflective thoughts’. (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016) Within religious faiths, contemplation can be explained as a ‘form of religious practices in which a person seeks to extend beyond mental images and concepts in order to have a direct experience with a divine presence.’ (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016) It is hypothesised that contemplation in Roman Catholicism, Reform Judaism and Sunni Islam is a way of deepening the understanding and strengthening the connection with a higher divine presence, such as God. This essay will analyse and discuss the understanding of contemplation in Roman Catholicism, Reform Judaism and Sunni Islam, as well…show more content…
Contemplation in Sunni Islam is seen a necessity as Allah stated in the Qur’an, “[Those] Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], 'Our Lord! You did not create this aimlessly… '” [Quran 3: 191]” (Islam Web, 2016) Similar to Reform Judaism, the fundamental practice of contemplation is meditation. Meditation in Sunni Islam can applied in two forms, critical thinking of the certain scriptures in the Qur’an and pondering over the messages that the Qur’an drives attention towards, which is also known as Tafakkur. (Tahir, 2016) Meditation in Sunni Islam has similar benefits as Reform Judaism meditation, as it allows a person to relax and concentration on certain thoughts. A frequently used technique of meditation is where an individual will sit or lie in a comfortable position in a quiet room to be free of any and all distractions and imagining your presence in a peaceful and calm environment. The individual will then begin to breathe and exhale slowly. They will be begin to visualize the name of Allah and activate an intense feeling of love for Allah and possibly recite a phrase from the Qur’an or a Dua (asking Allah directly for something) (Adam, 2016) quietly as a mantra. The individual will then finish the meditation with a recital of a Salat (prayer) or Dua. Contemplation is important for Sunni Muslims as it…show more content…
After observing the understanding of contemplation in each of the above religions, it is clear there are similarities and differences when it comes to their perception of contemplation. When it comes to the methods of contemplation that are practiced, Reform Judaism and Sunni Islam primarily focus on the meditation side of contemplation, while Roman Catholicism place the emphasis on the contemplative prayer. Nevertheless, the contemplative practices, whatever they may be, still all relate back to a higher divine presence and how to strengthen that connection. Each religion conducts their contemplative practice in different ways. Some in silence and some reciting a phrase or quote, they all do achieve the endgame goal – to connect with

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