Kindness is beautiful and spiritually uplifting. Having an attitude of kindness is different from having a practice of kindness. The deliberate and conscious act of kindness acknowledges that you are Allah’s creation, and you deserve to be treated with love, compassion and respect. It requires awareness and a deep, soulful connection to self.

Reflect on your life now and see if you are using your time, mind and body to be kind to yourself.

 Strategies to practice self-kindness

  1. Journaling – helps to understand what kindness looks like and how to be more conscious in our practice of self-kindness is to ask how you have experienced kindness in your own life from other people. Think about it deeply and try and remember from your childhood days to now. Who were these people? What were the circumstances?
  2. Affirmation – repeat this affirmation daily and believe in the words as you say them: I am a beautiful creation of Allah. I am kind and compassionate.
  3. Self-appreciation – pat yourself on the back (literally) and say aloud: “Well done, you are doing your best.”
  4. Intention – during Fajr prayer, make an intention to perform acts of kindness throughout the day.
  5. Duaa – in your duaa, specifically ask Allah to help you to be kind to yourself and others.
  6. Bedtime ritual – before retiring to bed, reflect on your deeds and thank Allah for helping you to practice kindness.

Grief and hurt can affect one’s ability to be kind to oneself. When we have a wounded heart, we resort to blame, shame, guilt, and regret. Here’s a poem I wrote that may help:

Let the Light in

She looks in the mirror
Deep within her
She finds an unhealed wound.
Silent tears,
Frozen in her throat,
Yearning to freely flow.
But it hurts to let go.
It pains to let go.
“Letting go…what exactly does that look like?” she asks.
“Is it to give up control?
Is it to shut up, grin and bear it all?
Is it to fade away in the background and be like a fly on the wall?”
No! Says the face in the mirror.
No, that’s not how you let go.
“So, how do I let go?” She begs to know
The face in the mirror stares back with kindness and says:
The unhealed wound in your heart is but a crack in the window of your being,
Draw the curtain of dark clouds from this window of your soul
Let the light in
Ya An-Nur, The Light
Breathe out the anxiety, the depressive thoughts, the self-loathing
And with each breath
Give shukr for every moment, every experience, every breath, every tear, every smile, every morsel of food, every drop of rain, and every salah, every dhikr,
with the dhikr Shukr Alhumdolillah
Understand this ultimate truth
Nothing, absolutely nothing, has power over you except Allah alone
Remind yourself and believe
Prostrate and submit
To these liberating, peaceful words
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.