New Beginnings: For the Mind, Body and Soulby Assia Boukrouh
A few weeks ago, as Muharram and the Islamic new year started, I took time for myself and decided it was the perfect opportunity to reset. This past year has been intense.
Going through the cancer battle, the passing away of my dad (Inna Lillah Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’un) and while it truly felt like part of me was left with him, I didn’t want to spend the following months being depressed, or even worse, resenting Allah (SWT) for this hardship.
Instead, I started thinking of how I could take care of myself, how I could honour his memory, and how I could, slowly but gently, heal. That’s when I realised it all came down to three things: your body, your mind and your soul.
1. Cherish your body
We too often neglect the impact of our emotions on our bodies. We also tend to forget what a beautiful gift from our Creator they are. Just take a moment to reflect upon this: He, The
One who’s never wrong, who is perfection, created us. Therefore, your body is what we call an Amanah: it is a treasure He entrusted you with and asked you to take care of by preserving your health, remaining pure and being grateful for it.
Your body is also the physical home to your mind and soul, and just like you cannot be happy in a home that is messy, dirty and broken, you cannot feel good in a body you don’t cherish. Believe me, I know this isn’t easy: as someone who’s always struggled with body image in a world ruled by specific beauty standards, I’ve often had to push myself to not fall into the trap of disparaging my body as much as I used to.
Nonetheless, I’ve come to embrace the fact that as long as I’m beautiful to my Creator, then I should be content and should do everything I can to keep pleasing Him, whether it be by dressing more modestly, doing regular checkups at the doctor’s, exercising, having a good sleep routine and feeding myself with nutritious and healthy food. This, I’m sure, is the first step into being at peace with your body and loving it.
2. Nurture your mind
Let’s talk about your mind for a second: aren’t you blown away by everything it can do? From allowing you to reach new goals to facing new situations, the way you think and reflect upon the things that make up this world is truly something to appreciate.
However, just like it is easy to neglect your body, it is easy to underestimate the impact of your mental health on your daily life and vice versa. This vicious circle can have dramatic consequences, especially when it comes to your Iman.
Here’s an example: let’s say you’re facing a really difficult situation, like heartbreak or failing an important exam. Chances are you dedicated a lot of or maybe even too much time and effort working on these, you thought about the different outcomes and the best way to succeed. Yet, things didn’t turn out how you’d have liked.
Two scenarios are possible here: you either take this as a lesson and trust Allah SWT with His plan, or you start feeling like a failure and counting all the things you’re not happy about in your life, to the point you start being depressed and distancing yourself from The Creator. Not only does the second option hurt your soul, but it can even have physical consequences such as extreme fatigue or hormonal imbalances.
You get it: you need to preserve your headspace if you want to keep functioning properly! One of the best ways to do so is to keep learning: always seek knowledge, not only about Islam but about everything that can be valuable for your growth and meditate over your learnings.
One way you can do so, among reading books and listening to podcasts, is by scrolling through the Inspiration tab on Muslim Pro App and visiting their blog to broaden your horizons, get inspired and write down what you take from these stories!
3. Protect your soul
We all know that the source of well-being finds its place in our hearts and do you know what our beloved Prophet ﷺ said about this?
إنَّ الَّذِي لَيْسَ في جَوْفِهِ شَيْءٌ مِنَ القُرْآنِ كَالبَيْتِ الخَرِبِ
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “He who does not memorise any part from the Qur’an he is like the ruined house.”
Whenever one thinks of their soul, they feel it in their heart, right? Well, to protect our souls, we need to grow our Imaan, strengthen our bond with The Almighty, and find comfort in our beautiful religion.
You know, one of the things that have always made me love Islam is how it teaches us softness and discipline at the same time: as Muslims, we have a duty to be kind, to spread good, to be caring to one another and to help those in need. But we must also set limits, make sacrifices, be aware of our free will and use it wisely for the sake of pleasing Him. This to me highlights what our souls need: balance.
Balance is a word that brings me a lot of comfort. I love the idea of stability in a world that is always moving too fast and this is exactly what our deen is about: having strong foundations in order for you to build yourself a safe haven in this world. And one way to do that is to always keep ourselves busy with His remembrance and dua’s. You’ll find different dua’s for different circumstances on Qalbox. Do check them out here.
Finding balance is not easy as Shaytan has made it his mission to drive us away from anything that feels balanced and right. Still, the more time you spend embracing the Holy Quran, the more you search for answers, cultivate your knowledge of Islam, surround yourself with righteous people and set yourself long-term faith goals with the desire of becoming a better Muslim every day, the more peaceful your heart and soul will be.
Ultimately, what is key to remember here is that the three pillars mentioned make you, you, are deeply connected to each other and rooted in your belief system. We’re lucky enough to have been chosen by Allah SWT to be Muslim This means that: 1.) we were given all the rules to take care of our mind, body and soul the best way possible and 2.) we’re smart enough to not only see His signs but also to introspect and act upon the things that nurture our mind, body and soul.
Let’s make this new Islamic year an opportunity for us to calm our hearts, enrich our minds and love our bodies with the intention of always pleasing The One who matters the most. Alhamdulillah for new beginnings!
About the author
Assia Boukrouh is a 27 year old content creator based in Paris, France. You might know her as @themizaan on Instagram, a page she considers to be a safe space for Muslim women to explore their faith, embrace the Islamic lifestyle and to learn to be more mindful and sustainable everyday.