The Zahuri Sufi Web Site: Lectures

The Inward Peace

In this lecture I propose to deal with a proposition which is of vital importance to our
society, and also to those who are eager and keen to give meaning and content to their life.

The topic that I want to discuss relates to the basic problems of human nature. It has a vital
bearing on our behaviour, our standard of living, our requirements and needs, our motives
and mottoes, our fears and fancies, our dreams, our devotions, our ideas and ideals, and our
aspirations and ambitions.

I will not mind the least if you call me an idealist, or a conservative, not keeping an eye on
the pulse of the times. It is true that to discuss such a topic in the modern age, seething with
faction and discontent, torn by strifes and struggles and fraught with harrowing doubts and
diffidence is surely to be labelled a visionary. To some it may appear as a flight of

The Questions
Is it not correct to say that man is in search of happiness, but happiness is nowhere to be
found? Is it not that man wants to avoid pain and seek pleasure, but that it has proved futile
and a vain effort?

The List
Suppose I ask you to make a list of the things that you desire and want to achieve. I am sure
your list will contain many things. It may include position, prestige, power, pelf, influence,
a beautiful house, ultra modern furniture, a refrigerator, a television, a transistor radio, a
car, an orchard, beautiful carpets, a handsome income etc.

But do you think that the aforesaid things will give you peace, happiness and joy? Should I
revise your list? I will add three things to the list. They are:-

In other words I insist that the list should include the one thing of supreme importance which
has an all-embracing effect upon the life that we lead.

The Treasure Within.
The distractions and attractions of the 'Brave New World' leave us little time to think of the
things that really matter. We feel happy and jubilant to dig in order to find the hidden
treasure buried beneath the earth, but we have become so reckless that we do not care to
reach out and find the treasure that is within us - I mean the inward peace.
The inward peace is to be achieved. It is a gift and a blessing that is given to people of
stable mind. Inward peace is like the evening star, which lends lustre to the soul.

The Greatest Conqueror
The greatest and noblest conqueror is not the one who conquers countries and brings
dominions under his sway. In fact the greatest conqueror is the one who wages a successful
war against his own self and who overcomes his inordinate desires, finally emerging as one
who has controlled his appetites and passions. Let us then secure victory over our own self.

The Way of the Mystics
How is it that the mystics, in patched clothes and with little or no material acquisitions or
possessions, have never complained of their poverty or troubles or hardships. Whereas the
others, having everything, always grudge, bemoan and complain. The reason is not far to
seek. The mystics think:-

Whatever comes my way is best.

They have as their object the happiness of others whilst the worldly minded persons plan to
change the circumstances to their own advantage and are concerned with their own welfare
and happiness. The mystics do not allow the pleasures of life to rule over them, for they
know that they will hand them over some day to sorrow. The mystics refuse to ruled by the
two generals, pleasure and pain. They are themselves cheerful and they contribute to the
cheerfulness of others. One can give only what one has. They are cheerful, calm and serene,
and they give cheerfulness, calmness and serenity to mankind.

They believe that it is within the power of an individual to make the world a palace or a
prison. They moulded their thoughts in such a fashion that every small space appeared to
them to be a palace.

They emphasised that subterfuge or agreements are not capable of snatching peace. No one
has an assured share in the store of peace. Peace like a battle is to be won. It is to be won
over shameful deeds, perplexing problems and sinister sins. Victory is to be scored over the
self, which tries to govern and oppress and lead to corrupt practices.
The mystics are essentially men of peace. They bear no arms - but their looks are sharper
than the sword, their words are their bullets and their thoughts give a louder report than

The mystic does not want to live in vain. Hence life, to a mystic, means and implies thought
and action. They brighten the lives of people by wise thoughts and useful actions.

Home and House
It is one thing to live in a house and it is another thing to live in a home. Home should be
distinguished from house. A better home implies better living.

The Foundations of a Good Home.
The things that are necessary to build and to create a happy home are - love, sympathy and a
spirit of service. Right thinking is the architect. Right action is the whitewashing. It should
be warmed by love. It should be lighted with serenity and cheerfulness. Mutual trust is its
ceiling. Toleration is its window. Sympathy is its ventilator. The blessings of God are its
canopy and its glory.

The Quest
Man's quest for inward peace has found an echo in the Vault of Time.

The holy Prophet Mohammed says:
"The most excellent Jihad (holy war) is that for the conquest of the self."

Lord Jesus Christ says:
"Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid."

Lord Buddha says:
"Surrender the grasping disposition of your selfishness, and you will attain to that sinless
calm state of mind which conveys perfect peace, goodness and wisdom."

Lord Krishna says:
"The person who lives completely free from all desires, without longing, devoid of the idea
of ownership and egoism, attains to peace."

Lord Ram says:
"The mind cherishing ambition remains always empty. That is why it finds rest nowhere,
like a deer that has lost track of the herd."

Lord Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism, says;
"They alone are in peace and attain the state of Bliss, who lean on the true name."

The Attitude
The economist and the political scientists hold that to talk of inward peace in the modern
economic and social set up is crying for the moon. They assert that there can be no inward
peace in the midst of penury, poverty, pestilence, unemployment, exploitation, inequality of
opportunity, class conflict, nepotism, favouritism and demoralising corruption. They
emphasise the creation of better economic and social conditions as a precondition to inward

The Attitude Assailed
According to them inward peace therefore depends upon external conditions and
circumstances. But the truth is otherwise. Inward peace is not a commodity. For inward
peace one should look within. It comes from within. Inward peace is an achievement. It is
possible even when an individual is engaged in a relentless war for bread, butter and work.

Human Responses
It is true that social circumstance and economic conditions profoundly mould and modify
human responses. It may be true that unjust economic conditions create maladjustment
leading to conflict - but it is also true that if the people constituting society, are insecure
economically, spiritually and emotionally, society will tend to be insecure.

Inward Peace
In any scheme of social peace it is of utmost importance that the people comprising society
should be rescued and freed from the civil war within themselves. A co-operative world
will remain merely a dream or an illusion so long as the people are corroded within
themselves by the acids of negative thoughts, undesirable desires, fantastic fancies, self pity
and self aggrandisement.

The crucial problems of conscience, love fear, grief, rancour, greed and lust constitute
universal human dilemmas, defying solution and offering challenge.
Inward peace implies the acceptance of the challenge and the solution of the problems.
Inward peace serves as a signpost, avoiding the by- lanes and the by-paths and showing the
straight way leading to a care free life full of zest and enthusiasm.

A better society can be built by better men.

Meditation is the dictionary, but inward peace is the grammar of mysticism.
Inward peace makes the mind serene and once the mind has become serene, it can climb to
heights unknown.

Inward peace attracts success.

Ways to Achieve Inward Peace.
In order to achieve inward peace we must learn to rely on Hope, Belief and Faith  and treat
them as our unfailing allies in the war waged outside. We should treat them as our sheet
anchor. Let the winds blow furiously and storms and upheavals occur - still we should hold
to HBF. The HBF formula has proved its efficacy and usefulness and if applied firmly,
judiciously, and diligently will give the same results.

Let us be prepared to lose all but not the treasure of hope. The hope within keeps an
individual moving and serves as an incentive to future progress and happiness. Then let
hope be the chariot, belief the sword, and faith the armour in the grim and fierce battle of
The trifles of life should be ignored as far as possible. They come and go. Why should we
give them our attention and time? Let us shake off our depression. Let us shun pessimism
and seek refuge in optimism, which can serve as the best pick me up, if rightly applied.
Let the thoughts be noble and sublime. Negative thoughts are the inward enemies. Positive
thoughts lead to a positive personality. As we think so we are likely to become. We can be
a changed person only when we choose to change our thought pattern. To get rid of negative
thoughts is to change our destiny.

It is due to your thinking - what you are. Either you are in harmony or you are at war.
Thoughts can make or mar life.

It is your thinking that makes or mars, why see the mud, why not see the stars?
Let the tender and sensitive plant of love grow within, and let it expand so as to cover the
entire universe.

Desires should be curtailed. There is no limit to desires. We should not be defeated by the
army of desires. Too many desires imply an inferiority complex. Let us desire to have no
When opportunity knocks at the door, open the door and smile. Let the opportunity talk first.
At times hold a Disarmament Conference in your private chamber, to explore ways and
means to find the inward peace and to disarm inner tension. To this conference may be
summoned the heart, the mind, intellect, reason, doubt, hope, belief, faith, will, and
imagination. I am sure reason and doubt, finding faith participating, will stage a walk out.
Reason and doubt are at loggerheads with faith. Will and imagination will compete for
supremacy but in the case of conflict it is imagination that emerges triumphant.

The resolution passed at the conference should be like this:-

As soon as we get a problem we should think that the One who sent the problem will solve
it for us.Like the mystics we should treat every difficulty as a gift from the Friend. A gift
should cause no worry but should, instead, give pleasure. To get a problem or difficulty
implies that our faith is being put to the test. It is dangerous to make an appointment with
worry. Let us be bold and say - "I refuse to grant an interview to worry."

Let us accept things as they are. There are two types of persons. One type says:- "What
cannot be cured must be endured." The other type says:- "What cannot be endured must be
cured." The first dictum implies surrender and the latter, struggle and assertion. The fact is
that if we can bear and endure without grudge, we are sure to minimise ninety percent of
"the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune". The remaining ten percent also will lose
hold and wither away, like smoke.

By all means let us be concerned, if we will, about the problem or difficulty, but it is not
wise to be worried about it. To be concerned is one thing, to be worried is something else.
Worry itself is incapable of giving a solution. On the contrary it magnifies the problem.
It is better to solve problems one by one. It is not advisable to mix the problems and be lost
in the labyrinth When problems are united their unity gives them strength. If problems are
ignored as long as possible most of them meet a natural death. Let us forget our problems
for some time and the problems will forget us.

Prayers offer an effective remedy to shake off despondency, depression and despair and
enable us to overcome the problems. Sometimes the solution to a problem comes when we
least expect it.

The mystics do not care for the future, for the future will take care of itself. They ignore the
past - which is dead. They have learned to live in the present. Tomorrow is a promissory
note bearing no signature. Yesterday is a cancelled cheque.Today furnishes us with ready
cash. Let us take it and let us waive the rest.

Let us act as a good general in the battle of life, and control our thoughts, our passions and
our emotions. The mind need not be a furnace, the body a pyre, nor thoughts the arrows and
imagination the bow.

Success and Failure are relative terms. It is better to be indifferent to them. All our
so-called problems are our guests. They are not going to stay with us for an indefinite
period of time.
Every problem has a solution. With the problem comes the solution. We see the problem but
we do not see the solution. As after every autumn comes the spring, so after every hardship
comes relief. The problem confronting us is, in fact, a test of our endurance, perseverance,
patience and power. To be quite calm and collected is to be undaunted and to overcome the

Calmness of mind attracts success.

For inward peace let us look within. Like happiness it comes from within.
Let us avoid temptations. Adam had to pay heavily for being tempted to eat the fruit of the
forbidden tree. To be tempted is to have an unstable mind.
Let us accept the inevitable.

Lust, greed, needless arguments etc. should be avoided. It is not wise to expect anything
from others. Expectation may bring disappointment and disappointment may cause
worry.When the mind is confused it is always better to take refuge in nature, good books
and the company of good people.

Be sincere to yourself and to others, and people will be sincere to you.
Learn the technique of being by yourself.

To get higher things, some inconvenience and delay should be borne, and small things have
to be renounced. There is a price for everything. Success demands it own price. Pay the
price and do not be confused.

Illness is a tax that we have to pay for being healthy. Loss in business means the payment of
charity. Unemployment means that it is intended that you should learn to wait and watch.
Domestic trouble is a test of endurance, patience, mutual trust and mutual help.
It is better to do one thing at a time. Moderation is good in all things. Let hope and ambition
be within limits.

The merging of the individual will with the Divine Will is an occasion for peace.
Self-surrender is the way to be happy.

To think of persons or events we do not like is to be deprived of a cheerful frame of mind -
resulting in confusion and tension.

To swim with the waves is not to be drowned in the boisterous sea of life, and thus to reach
the shore safely.

In our daily life we exchange pride for power, material acquisitions for happiness, pain for
pleasure, doubt for advanced intelligence, greed for greatness, lust for contentment, striving
for strength, and suffering for serenity.
Inward peace is the sovereign remedy, enough to make life sovereign, supreme and serene.
It is an achievement, but once it is achieved it becomes a gift. No price is too high to get
inward peace.

The Writing on the Wall
To selfishly seek happiness is to deny oneself happiness.
To contribute to the happiness of others is to make oneself happy.

Zahurul Hassan Sharib
Ajmer, India.
April 1978
One of a long series of lectures written over about 18 years for the
Society of Mystics by Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib.
Originally these were published by Asma Publications. Since October
2000 they are available as one volume, published in New Delhi, India.

Information on obtaining the full set of lectures can be had by

A version in Italian is available by clicking above
Calm thoughts;
Slow breathing;
Peace of mind.
diplomatic relations are hereby severed with all those distressing
thoughts that keep the mind confused, perplexed and agitated,
and thus deprived of inward peace."
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