Appointment with one’s Soul: Al-Tafakkur

A lot of us feel that every moment should be filled with some speech. But a believer cherishes contemplation because that way he talks to his soul amidst his busy schedule and makes sure it’s doing ‘okay’. Book an appointment with your soul and see what has become of it. Is it yearning for your attention?

What did our beloved predecessors(may Allah SWT be pleased with them all)  have to say about contemplation or al-Tafakkur?


Ibn Abi al-Hawari: I said to Abu Safwan (’Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan), ‘Which of these two is better: That a man should go hungry and sit in contemplation or that he should eat and get up to pray?’

He said, ‘That he should (first) eat then get up and contemplate in his prayer is more beloved to me.’

So I told that to Abu Sulayman and he said, ‘He (Abu Safwan) has told the truth. Contemplation during the prayer is better than contemplation outside of the prayer, because contemplation in the prayer is in reality two deeds (combined), and two deeds are better than one.’


Salim ibn Abi al-Ja’d:

I asked Umm al-Darda (radhiallahu `anha), ‘What was the best of Abu al-Darda’s deeds?’

She said, ‘al-Tafakkur (contemplation).


Al-Hasan said to Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah: ‘Tafakkur is the key to Mercy. Don’t you see how a person contemplates and consequently repents?!’



‘The speech of the believer is wisdom;

his silence is contemplation

and his vision is a lesson (for him).

If you are like that, then you will not cease being in a state of worship.’ Then he read the verse, “I have not created Mankind or Jinn except to worship Me.” [al-Dhariyat: 56]


Ka’b al-Ahbar: ‘Whoever wishes to attain the honour of the Hereafter, let him increase in contemplation for he will then become knowledgeable.’


[Translated from: نداء القمم في كيف تعلو الهمم by Dr. Sayyid al-‘Affani via Islamic Awakening]

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