Respecting Psychological Personal Space

written by Princess R. Lakshman

Alhumdolillah. We are blessed with an entire month of self-reflection and an opportunity to transform our lives so that we may live from faith in ALLAH and banish all fear of situations. 

Self-Reflection is only possible when we spend moments in silence and create personal space for ourselves whereby we are in complete immersion within our own being, in order to look back and learn from all that happened in the past several months.

Personal Space exists in two forms – physically and psychologically – when a person feels comfortable in a region surrounding them which they regard as their own. That region could exist within physical boundaries or within the mind. When this personal space is encroached upon, the person feels anger, frustration, discomfort or anxiety. Alhumdolillah, our Deen reminds us of this space with examples of our Prophet’s (SAW) retreats to the mountain caves and his regular practice of I’tikaf.

The fundamental thing to remember is that everyone has a right to personal space and no one has the right to encroach upon another’s personal space. Respecting one’s own personal space and that of others is vital if one wishes to live a joyful, peaceful and harmonious life.

Psychological Personal Space In Your Home

Often people may feel that the mosque is a preferred choice to practise self-reflection and connection with ALLAH. However, every Muslim’s home can be perceived as a sanctuary to practise self-reflection. Every member of your family is entitled to this space and must have respect when spending time in silence – bearing in mind that silence can also be practised while being in a room full of people. Respecting that psychological personal space is vital. 

How to Respect Psychological Personal Space

As Muslims, we have a wonderful advantage in that we have been reminded countless times that a harmonious family unit is a compulsory prerequisite to having a harmonious Ummah. The question is, are we actually practising this? Look at the state of our Ummah and understand that it is a direct reflection of the state of your own family unit, your dealings with extended family members and the rest of the community.

Perhaps this Ramadan we can all make a conscious effort to improve the state of our Ummah by improving ourselves and the state of our family unit (nuclear or extended).

Below are ways to be mindful and respectful of your own psychological personal space and that of others.

  • Dedicate time daily to be in your personal space. This is aside from Salah times.
  • Let people around you know that you are retreating for some quiet time and you wish not to be disturbed.
  • Whilst in quiet time, leave gadgets in a different room so that you are not disturbed by notification tones, texts or phone calls.
  • Discuss the benefits of personal space as a family, 
  • If a family member practises being in their personal space whilst in a room full of other family members, DO NOT ask them why they are quiet. Let them be.
  • During this practice, acknowledge and become aware of every part of your being and give thanks to ALLAH for this precious time of reflection.
  • Minimise loud noises and distractions in the home so that people who are in the practice of this time can feel more at peace.
  • Go into the practice with an intention to know ALLAH better and find answers to questions that are on your mind.
  • Encourage and support your family members to experience Psychological Personal Space daily.

A daily practice of psychological personal space will not only transform you as a person but also inspire people in your family and community to imbibe this practice. In a world where the terms ‘communication’ and ‘connection’ are reduced to defining the latest electronic gadgets, we are sadly the most disconnected Muslims to have dwelled on this earth. 

Disconnect from the outside and connect within so that you may connect better with ALLAH.  

For more inspiration, check out the YouTube Channel for Muslimah Mind Matters




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