Is Meditation Haram?: Understanding the Islamic Perspective

Meditation is not considered haram in Islam if it’s not about worshiping other deities and remains neutral or focuses on Islamic teachings.

Meditation, a practice that promotes relaxation, focus, and a heightened awareness of reality, often raises questions in the context of various religious beliefs. Specifically, you may wonder, “Is meditation haram in Islam?” In Islamic teachings, the concept of haram pertains to anything that is forbidden by Allah. To answer this question, one must delve into the nature of meditation and its alignment with Islamic principles.

This article will explore this subject in detail, discussing different forms of meditation, their compatibility with Islamic beliefs, and how Muslims can engage in this practice while respecting their faith’s guidelines. Read on to gain a comprehensive understanding of this topic.

Key takeaways:

  • Meditation is not considered haram in Islam if it remains neutral or focuses on Islamic teachings.
  • Haram is anything forbidden by Allah, with clear lines in the Quran and Hadiths.
  • Scholars interpret Islamic texts and apply logic to identify haram acts.
  • Haram acts have moral consequences and distance individuals from Allah’s grace.
  • Meditation in Islam depends on intent, method, and seeking guidance.

Interpreting Haram in Islamic Teachings

Haram in muslim

In Islamic teachings, ‘haram‘ indicates something that is strictly forbidden by Allah, the Almighty God. Anything classified as such is a violation to partake in and could lead to spiritual ramifications.

1. In the Quran: Haram is directly mentioned in the Holy Quran, Islam’s central religious text. It denotes a distinct line between what’s righteous conduct and transgressions.

2. The Hadiths: These are the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad. Many haram activities are specified in these narratives, guiding Muslims in understanding actions viewed as sins.

3. Fiqh Jurisprudence: This Islamic legal philosophy informs many laws, including those identifying what might be haram. Scholars interpret the texts and apply logic and their understanding of Islamic principles to draw conclusions.

4. Moral Consequences: Any act deemed haram translates to sin when committed knowingly. It’s also believed to generate negative spiritual effects, distancing the doer from Allah’s grace.

5. Ethical Living: The concept helps in the establishment of ethical boundaries for Muslims, promoting a harmonious and righteous living within and beyond the Islamic community.

Understanding Meditation in Islamic Context

Meditation in Islam

In the Islamic tradition, spiritual practices aiming to transcend the mundane existence and get closer to Allah are common. A meditation-like state can be achieved during Salah – the ritual prayer performed five times a day – when one fully enters a state of submission to the Divine’s will. This concentration and inner peace, often associated with mindfulness meditation in other cultures, can lead to great benefits, such as lower stress and a closer connection with Allah.

While the Quran does not explicitly mention meditation as known in other cultures, it emphasizes the remembrance of Allah (Dhikr) – intentionally directing the mind and heart towards His presence. As stated in Surah 13:28, “…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”

There’s also the concept of Muraqaba – a Sufi practice akin to meditation where one observes his heart’s thoughts and feelings, gaining self-awareness and understanding their connection to the Divine.

It’s important to note that, as long as the goal aligns with Islamic values – to bring individuals closer to Allah, away from harmful thoughts, and positively influence their actions – practicing mindfulness might not be viewed as harmful, but potentially beneficial. However, the difference lies in the intention and the manner in which these practices are carried out.

Debate On Meditation Being Haram or Halal in Islam

Haram or Halal

Many viewpoints exist regarding the place of meditation within Islam. The main controversy arises from questions surrounding the intentions and focus during the practice. Several scholars argue that meditation focusing on clearing the mind or concentrating on a particular entity other than Allah strays into prohibited territory. This belief often springs from the understanding that such meditation practices could lead to shirk or associating partners with Allah, a significant sin within Islam.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, others deem meditation as a Halal practice, particularly when used as a tool for improving one’s concentration during Salah (prayer) or for promoting inner peace. They argue that having a calm and focused mind enables one to be more devout and conscious during times of worship, aligning spiritually with Islam’s teachings. In this context, meditation becomes a spiritual apparatus amplifying an individual’s connection with the divine.

Some proponents also assert mindfulness can be traced back to the early days of Islam, considering it akin to muraqabah – an Islamic practice of self-watching or self-observation. On the whole, the debate hinges largely on how meditative practices are carried out and the underlying intentions of the practitioner.

Is Meditation Haram – An Islamic Perspective

Meditation with candles

Examining the Islamic perspective, it’s clear that the concept of whether meditation is haram or not is not black and white. The answer relies heavily on the type and intent of the meditation practice.

Consider this:

  • Motivation: In Islam, intentions play a critical role. If the goal of meditation is to find peace, gain better self-awareness, or handle stress effectively, these are compatible with Islamic teachings.

Method: There are various meditation techniques, with some focusing on chants or mantras. If these contradict Islamic beliefs or teachings, they may be deemed haram.

Source of Peace: If meditation is used as a tool to achieve tranquility through mindfulness alone, it’s essential to remember that, in Islam, ultimate peace comes from Allah. This doesn’t mean meditation is prohibited, rather that it shouldn’t replace prayer and reliance on Allah.

Qur’anic Perspective: There’s no specific direction in the holy Qur’an explicitly proclaiming meditation as haram. Hence, the practice stands unprescribed and debatable.

Knowledge and Guidance: If one is uncertain, seeking advice from knowledgeable Islamic scholars can be beneficial.

In essence, the permissibility of meditation in Islam highly depends on the practitioner’s intent and the methods they choose to practice.

Understanding Different Forms of Meditation

Daily Meditation Practice

There’s a diverse range of meditation techniques heralding from different cultures and spiritual traditions.

1. Mindfulness meditation traces its roots to Buddhist teachings and focuses on remaining completely aware and immersed in the current moment.

2. Transcendental meditation, originating from Hindu traditions, requires practitioners to repeat a mantra, enabling them to ascend beyond their current state of being.

3. Body scan or progressive relaxation is a technique often used to relieve stress. It involves slowly combing through the body to identify areas of tension.

4. Breath awareness meditation emphasises concentration on slow, deep breathing, cultivating patience, focus, and tranquillity.

5. Zen meditation, a part of Buddhist practice, involves precise steps and postures, requiring more discipline to master.

6. Metta meditation, also known as Loving-Kindness meditation, starts with developing kind thoughts and feelings towards the self and gradually extends this goodwill to others.

7. Spiritual meditation can be seen in practices within Christian faith and Eastern religions. Coupled with silence, the focus is on connecting with the universe or the divine presence.

Understanding these techniques can give us a more nuanced perspective of the meditation-Islam intersection.

Comparing Meditation With The Remembrance of Allah

Teaching Meditation

Diving deeper, it’s crucial to examine the parallels between conventional forms of meditation and Dhikr, often referred to as the Remembrance of Allah. Here are some points of comparison that offer a wider perspective.

1. Focused Attention: Both practices emphasize a strong focus on the present moment, whether it be breath in meditation or words of praise in Dhikr.

2. Spiritual Connection: They both strive to forge a spiritual bond, with meditation achieving this through inner awareness and Dhikr through attentiveness to Allah’s presence.

3. Tranquility: Peace of mind is a primary goal in both practices; they foster mental clarity and reduce stress.

4. Conscious Lifestyle: They promote conscious living and mindfulness throughout the daily activities, enhancing one’s awareness and presence.

By emphasizing these shared values, the connection between meditation and Dhikr becomes clearer, allowing a deeper appreciation of their role in promoting spiritual wellness, peace of mind, and connection with the divine.

Meditation Illustrating Nearness to Allah


When practiced with mindfulness and pure intentions, meditation can serve as a bridge connecting individuals to the divine. This spiritual journey not only brings peace and tranquility but is also a means to foster a closer bond with Allah.

In prayer (Salat), a form of meditation, Muslims find a direct connection to Allah.

Dhikr, the practice of repeating God’s names, can be viewed as a form of meditation, where concentration and repetition lead to inner peace and awareness of Allah’s omnipresence.

The contemplative reading (Tadabbur) of the Quran can resemble mindfulness meditation. Reflecting on the verses and applying them to life nurtures a more profound understanding of Allah’s words.

Sufi traditions often incorporate meditation-like practices, such as Muraqaba, where one focuses their thoughts on Allah, fostering spiritual awareness and connection.

Remember, the objective here is not to empty the mind, which may contradict Islamic beliefs, but to fill it with the remembrance of Allah and contemplation of His creation.


Can we meditate in Islam?

Yes, meditation is practiced in Islam, often through ‘dhikr’, a means of remembering and worshipping God, the Sustainer, Creator, and Caretaker of all existence.

Did Prophet Muhammad used to meditate?

Yes, Prophet Muhammad used to meditate, specifically in a cave called Mount Hira, located three miles away from Mecca.

Is yoga is haram in Islam?

Yoga is not deemed haram, or forbidden, in Islam as it is classified as a form of physical exercise, which promotes both physical and mental health and is considered permissive.

Can I meditate listening to Quran?

Yes, you can meditate while listening to the Quran as it is believed to evoke a sense of relaxation, similar to a meditative state, beneficial for healing therapy.

What is the Islamic perspective on mindfulness practices?

In Islam, mindfulness practices align with aspects of “Muraqaba” and “Tafakkur,” which encourage a heightened, conscious awareness of one’s thoughts, actions, and relationship with Allah.

How does sufi meditation align with broader Islamic principles?

Sufi meditation aligns with broader Islamic principles through its emphasis on spiritual purification, contemplation of God, and fostering inner tranquility, aligning with the Islamic concept of Ihsan, which represents perfecting one’s worship.

Do Islamic scholars consider silent contemplation similar to meditation?

Yes, Islamic scholars often equate silent contemplation, known as “tafakkur” or “muraqaba”, with forms of meditation.