A debut book attempts to combine a popular New Age principle, the law of attraction, with Islam.
Al-Ateeqi begins what is chiefly a self-help book with an account of a video that explains the law of attraction, an idea widely popularized in the cosmos of New Age spirituality. As the author observes, the notion fits neatly into a family of ideas that includes self-fulfilling prophecy, the power of suggestion, and positive visualization, all common in the literature of neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, and even martial arts. The key notion is the near omnipotence of the mind—everything good or bad that happens in one’s life is a function of one’s thoughts and imaginings. If someone consistently visualizes positive things, they will attract positive outcomes in life, and vice versa. Humans’ thoughts are so deeply efficacious that they can even change their bodies’ chemical compositions and heal disease. After explaining the foundation of this “secret,” the author then interprets it through “an Islamic lens,” plumbing the Quran for evidence in support of the law of attraction or against it. Al-Ateeqi goes to great pains to establish the general credibility of the Quran, which he claims has “never been incorrect since its existence.” This unusual work discovers no shortage of parallels—for example, the notion of “manifesting” described within the law of attraction is comparable to prayer. But there are also points of disagreement—the Quran denies that people can live a life free of moral judgment. Al-Ateeqi’s book is refreshingly original—while some version of Christianity is often absorbed into a New Age spiritual outlook, Islam is typically considered a counterweight to it. For those who consider the science of the law of attraction deeply suspect, though, there is nothing here that will compel a reconsideration. In addition, this is a book narrowly tailored to a very specific audience—those who accept both the law of attraction’s philosophical credibility and the authority of the Quran.
A new and lucid introduction of New Age spirituality to practicing Muslims that will likely be of limited interest to readers outside the intersection of those two worlds.