An incident by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi (May Almighty Allah elevate him) in his book “Sukoon ki Talaash / Searching for Serenity”
In 1985 this humble servant had the opportunity to deliver a lecture to the cream of erudite people in Washington. Amongst these talented people were qualified medical doctors and professors. The lecture was followed by Muraqabah (meditation) and Du’aa (supplication).
After the Du’aa a man accompanied by a few other men approached me. The companions introduced him to me saying that, he is from amongst the top twenty significant doctors of the country. It was such a pleasure to find out that Allah had granted a Muslim such an honour.
After a brief introduction, he asked me about the exercise I had carried out after the lecture. When I told him it was meditation, he asked me where I had learnt it from. I told him that I learnt it from my elders.
“Did you learn it in Europe or Asia?” He asked curiously. “Asia, of course! This has been a tried and tested practice of our elders” I replied. He thought for a while and then said, “Verily Islam is the true religion!”
He then explained: “Due to the increase in the number of people totally dependent on sleeping pills for peace of mind and a good night’s sleep, the government experienced a great predicament. Either the production of these pills had to be increased immensely to meet the requirement of the people or else a way had to be found so that people could do without them.
Hence the government summoned the top heart specialists from all around the country for a meeting and I was amongst them. In this meeting we were assigned to research on the causes of depression. It was hard to understand why in a country where individuals had freedom to do everything in life, there were so many people who were dejected and miserable.
This was a nation who ate, drank and slept when, where and how they liked. Furthermore, the government issued orders to all medical and scientific departments that our group was working under the governments command and therefore we should be given access to all libraries, information and research files.
We began our research and investigations. We experimented on people who were content and satisfied and on people who were depressed and miserable. The experiment was done using a brain scan saving the results on the computer.
Through the aid of the computer and after delving into the depths of the matter within a space of three months we figured that a certain area of the brain is linked to ‘contentment’ and a certain area is connected to ‘sorrow’.
The computer had encircled a cell showing the area that when charged causes feelings of depression and sorrow. When this cell is not charged or stimulated, one experiences feelings of tranquillity and peace.
Once this research was completed, we thought of testing it again before handing in our report to the government. Hence, we summoned a group of depressed people and put them on the machine. By means of the computerised machine we slowly reduced the charge on the affected cell until it was thoroughly uncharged. After this experiment, the depressed individuals came out of their miserable mood and seemed happy and serene.
Similarly, we conducted the test on a group of happy people by charging this cell. As was expected, these people experienced feelings of anger and irritation.
We finally breathed a sigh of relief and handed our results to the government who congratulated us on a job half done. They disputed that such a major portion of the population could not be placed on the machine and so an alternate method of eliminating the charge from the affected cell needs to be found in order to meet the requisite of a troubled nation.
We again convened meetings to discuss the issue. After considerable deliberation, the group came to the conclusion that if a depressed person gets a peaceful sleep of approximately four hours, he will then feel refreshed. We once again conducted the experiment with a depressed person putting him on the machine before sleeping and again after two hours of sleep. We discovered that after sleeping, the intensity of the affected cell reduced to a great extent leaving the person light and refreshed as a result. In other words the mind offloads the tension when one is asleep.
We then realised that if the charge disintegrates so swiftly by sleeping, then why not find an alternative that will equally expire the charge.
We made a decision to offload the mind of a depressed person by asking him to close his eyes, relax and shut out the outside world from his mind. Within 15 – 30 minutes the charge disintegrated rapidly. We conducted several kinds of similar exercises and notified the government of our successful results.
Subsequently the government established meditation centres all across the country for the benefit of the public. People now go to the meditation centres straight after work to offload the tension of the day and go home with calm and composed minds.”
After saying all of this, the doctor commented: “I asked you where you had learnt this technique because whatever research is made here only reaches the east after a significant number of years….”
I took this opportunity to explain to the doctor: “
“This muraqabah / meditation (that we do) is in effect the remembrance of Allah. It is not a result of our own efforts and research but the blessings of the Name of Allah. It is clearly stated in the Holy Qur`aan:
“Wathkur Rabbaka Fi Nafsika
Remember your Lord within yourself…””
Upon hearing this he remarked, “Without a shred of doubt, I admit once again that Islam is the true religion. What modern day science discovered after years of thorough research had already been ascertained by Islam over 1400 years ago regarding the remembrance of Allah within oneself and this form of meditation being a source of peace and serenity.”
Almighty Allah says:
“Alaa bi dhikrillahi Tat’ma’innul Quloob”
“Indeed in the remembrance of Allah do the hearts find contentment!”