Meditation

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Scholars have found meditation difficult to define, as practices vary both between traditions and within them.
Some of the earliest written records of meditation (Dhyana), come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

In and of itself, there is nothing in Islam forbidding communication with any type of being (spirit, animal, human, tree, etc.). There is also nothing inherently forbidden about meditation or meditative practices.

However, some specific practices might be forbidden or at least deeply questionable, for instance, the use of psychoactive substances to induce these things.

Similarly, if someone does this for a wrong or haraam reason, this would also be forbidden.

The Quran does warn people about dependency or reliance on jinn, and that should be taken into consideration. People can be easily confused, deluded, or misled about these matters and there is also no guarantee that any spirit is going to say something which is truthful or beneficial. Sometimes people also get manipulated by things beyond themselves if they attempt to connect with them. So it is good to be careful and use good judgment. 

Note that some Muslims will take a more conservative approach to this question and say that it is forbidden based on reasons such as avoiding religious practices which are not prescribed by the Sunnah, etc. 

Also, attitudes among Muslims towards these things tend to vary, e.g. some Sufi groups tend to be more open to them. 

Anyway, people are called to all sorts of things in life. Some people are called to being artists, some to being athletes, some to what lies beyond. If you have a calling that is easily compatible with Islam, such as nursing, this is relatively straightforward. If you have a calling that is less easily compatible, such as being a ballet dancer, this is more difficult. In any case, part of being a dedicated Muslim who has a calling to something is deciding how to navigate and live one's calling in a way that is authentic to one's self and one's faith. 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 9 months ago

It is unlikely that Sufi orders took these practices directly from Imam Ali (A) although they may sometimes ascribe them to Imam Ali (A) as a form of piety. However, it's not unheard of for these things to be done among Shi'i mystics, and in general these practices are found in the mystical traditions in many regions. Maybe they can be viewed more like exercise similar to how if one wishes to strengthen one's muscles, one can lift weights, regardless of one's religious affiliation(s). 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 12 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. It depends what you mean by meditation. If it is akin to thinking (tafakkur) or watching over oneself (muraqaba) then these are practices which are condoned in Islam and indeed recommended for people seeking a spiritual life. But as for the Prophet's own states, much of that is unknown as they are states after the station of reaching. The Prophet's (saw) spiritual journey was different to most of ours as his beginning was further than where we will end up. Every station has its practice and the Prophet (saw) had states with Allah that we cannot quite imagine as we have not experienced the like of those states. Meditation in the sense that it is discussed as a spiritual or mental practice is much below these levels.

May you always be successful

Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

There was No meditation at all in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (S) but he was worshipping Allah (SWT) as all the prophets used to worship Allah.

Meditation is a term used by non Muslims who do not recognise the prophetic worshipping. We, Muslim believe that spiritual uplift meant comes only through worshipping Allah (SWT) in the same way that all the prophets and Ahlul Bayt (A) performed.

Wassalam.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 year ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Meditation is of many types but the most commonly discussed is where a person watches over their thoughts without judging or trying to stop them. With the passage of time, those thoughts become more silent and a person can reach a heightened state of calmness.

This type of meditation is called Muraqaba in Islamic spirituality, which literally means watching over one's self. In the beginning, muraqabah is over one's actions, it then moves onto thoughts, then a person's states and then into deeper aspects of the heart. Muraqabah is usually discussed in a three-stage system of Musharata (making conditions), Muraqabah (watching over one's self) and Muhasabah (taking one's self to account). The important point is that a person should not rush to stop thoughts or to be heavy in judging themselves negatively. Some Islamic mystics have said that Muraqabah is the most important discipline in self-purification and is applicable at every stage of the spiritual journey. 

Some scholars have also recommended spending a few moments clearing your thoughts before starting the obligatory prayers. While clearing the mind is an end in some traditions, it is an introductory aspect to worship in Islam as the mind must be ready to start to comprehend the secrets of worship.

When using techniques from any other tradition it is important to stay within the bounds of the Shariah and therefore, especially with some forms of Buddhist meditation, you must be careful not to call on anyone other than Allah in the mantras that are sometimes recited.

There is much more that can be said on the topic but I hope this answers your question.

May you always be successful.