In a vital hadith, which is a statement or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, he is reported on the authority of Abdullah Muhaimin bin ‘Abbas bin Sahl bin Sa’d as-Saidi as having said, “Calm is from God, and haste is from Shaytan.“
This blessed teaching from the noble Messenger and Prophet of God ﷺ is of particular importance in our current and contemporary cultural climate, in which haste and rush are continually aspired to and thus necessitated, increasingly resulting in stress, fear, anxiety and worry.
When we live lives of haste and rush, we increase the stress burden upon our psyches and also upon our bodies. This then results in both psychological as well as physical imbalances and diseases.
Yet when we learn to live from a place of calm and presence, we increase the level of peace, harmony and tranquility we experience in our lives. Consequently, our health becomes more vibrant and vital, we actually become more successful and effective as a result of a clear and focused mind, and even our personal relationships improve and attain greater levels of health and wellbeing.
Calm is from God, and haste is from Shaytan.
— Prophet Muhammad ﷺ [Tirmidhi]
1. You Were Not Made to Rush
Human beings, being organic in constitution and in creation, were designed and built to live in a state of flow and harmony with the Universe. We are not machines, and being reduced to but mechanical creatures constantly rushing from one thing to the next with little or no rest results in significant imbalances both internally and externally.
Rush and haste activate the stressful state of fight or flight, which releases stress hormones throughout the body to then do either one of these two things, i.e. either fight or flee.
While this hormonal system was designed to grant us the additional resources necessary to ensure survival in dangerous and critical circumstances, it was not meant to be active over long periods of time.
Being in a state of fight or flight for extended periods of time actually degrades the body at the cellular level while at the same time reducing and diminishing consciousness to a lower and more primal level of awareness.
Consequently, with a prolonged state of stress, we become weaker both physically and mentally. Prolonged stress is particular harmful to the brain, and extended states of fear, anxiety and worry actually lead to the loss of healthy brain neurology, and thus to diminished cerebral function.
Historically, human beings were either at a state of rest in the absence of immediate physical danger, or in a state of stress in the presence of an imminent threat to survival. When we are in a state of stress, induced by rush and haste, the subconscious mind behaves and believes as if it is in immediate danger.
Can you imagine the consequences of this state as a way of life, as if in continual threat of danger? It is catastrophic on every level.
2. Time is Relative
Paradoxically, the more we rush, the more we will be in need of haste. The Universe is such that it reflects to us our thoughts and beliefs, which manifest as our states and actions. If we believe time is scarce, it will increasingly become so.
One need only look at the current reality to verify this subtle truth. Despite the fact that we have developed technological advances with the precise promise of saving us time, we find ourselves with less time than ever before in human history.
This result is an inherent flaw in technological development and our intended use of it, for the more that we unconsciously take advantage of “time saving” tools, gadgets and appliances in a scarcity-based paradigm, the more we affirm that we do not have sufficient time.
In an extremely important Hadith Qudsi, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is recorded as having stated that God has said, “I am to My servants according to their expectation of Me.”
The Universe being a reflection of the Will of God, if we believe and act as if there is not enough time in our reality, so it will be, and so it has become.
Furthermore, belief in the scarcity of time is in direct contradiction to belief in Allah Almighty, Who describes Himself as the Owner of Infinite Bounty and He Who is Generous, Kind, Loving and Great.
3. Rush and Haste Disconnect You from the Divine Presence
The Divine Presence of God can only be experienced through deep inner stillness and surrender. When we live in a state of haste and rush, we further disconnect ourselves from the Divine Presence of our Lord and Sustainer, and so we become disconnected from Peace, Light, Love, Abundance and Joy.
When the Prophet ﷺ stated, “Haste is from Shaytan,” he was teaching us that lives of haste and rush are contradictory to both the outer religion of al-Islam, as well as to the state of Islam, which is a state of peace, harmony, connectedness and oneness with all that is.
Haste and rush by definition imply that we are subservient to and driven by dunya, the world of form, appearance and illusion. Being driven and defined by dunya by definition then results in being disconnected from the Divine Presence of God.
Hence, to remain connected to our Lord and Sustainer, we must learn to retake control over our internal state and remain rooted in a condition and experience of calm, peace and tranquility.
Haste is from Shaytan
Being in continual haste and rush results in a state of disconnection and fragmentation, and this then affects all of our relationships and everything that we do. Perpetual haste and rush result in poor results in work with less inspiration and creativity, making us far less successful and effective.
Such states of stress compromise our relationships and we become non-present with those we love, deteriorating the quality and health of the most important bonds we have been given, the bonds of kinship.
The Messenger of God ﷺ continually advised, “Do not sever the ties of kinship.” Rush and haste, which result in disconnection, naturally and necessarily lead to the loss of healthy bonds and ties of kinship.
In fact, the following Hadith clearly links such a prosperity based consciousness with abundance, happiness and success in all areas of one’s life.
Verily, keeping the ties of kinship engenders love amongst relatives, and increases wealth and lifespan.
— Prophet Muhammad ﷺ [Tirmidhi]
Lastly, lifestyles of haste and rush take a devastating toll on human health and wellness, eventually leading to both physical as well as psychological and emotional disease, for in reality, dis-ease creates disease.
Calm is from God
In order to reclaim control over our lives, we have to reclaim control over our selves. This is most effectively attained and experienced through meditation, which is the conscious and intentional surrendering and settling of the self.
By learning to relax, still and quiet the mind and the body, we not only return to a healthy state of calm, but we also gain access to the transcendent realm of pure consciousness, from which there is the possibility of connecting with the Divine Presence of God.
Truly, as the Prophet ﷺ stated, “Calm is from God, and haste is from Shaytan.” Calm, peace and tranquility are a gift of faith and that strengthen faith, while haste and rush are a curse that depletes strength, vitality and peace.
How to Attain Calm
In order to develop a persistent state of calm, clarity, prescience and peace, I recommend taking a few moments for mini-meditations throughout the day. Simply stop what you are doing or take an extra minute before moving on to the next task by breathing and consciously relaxing.
This simple practice will help you develop far greater calm, tranquility and harmony in your life by interrupting the culturally conditioned continual states of haste and rush.
Additionally, I highly recommend establishing and developing a proper meditative spiritual practice of at least 10-15 minutes at least once per day to learn how to tap into deeper and more connected states of being.
By learning how to deepen your capacity and experience of rest, relaxation, stillness and surrender, you strengthen your bond and connection to the Divine Presence and not only improve the quality of everything you do, but you also bring in an element of spiritual presence into your actions and your environment resulting in greater blessings and grace for both you and your loved ones.
May the light of God guide, bless and sustain you always. To your divine and eternal success.