Shankar Nair, Ph.D., an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, explains that there are a range of different ways that meditation is practiced throughout Islamic tradition. From reciting the Koran, to repeating simple spiritual phrases at various points throughout the day, meditative practices are an integral part of the Islamic religion. Such contemplative rituals and prayers allow followers of the Islamic faith to reflect, deepen their connection to God, and find inner peace. In this conversation with Sonima’s founder, Sonia Jones, Nair also compares some differences between the Christian faith and Islamic tradition.

Related: Understanding Christian Contemplative Prayer