"Life Coaching" or "Religion For Sale"?

I am into studying courses concerning motivational speaking, positive thinking, leadership, management personal development communication. and I was given books on Norman Vincent on positive thinking but in his books he has a lot of quotes from the bible and I believe they are there in the Quran too so I was hoping if you can help me find out those particular verses in the Quran speaking about these topics.

As to your subject - I call it "Religion for Sale by Owner"!

Where do I begin? I suppose Allah has sent you to me for a very special reason and it is my duty to lay it out to you REAL CLEAR. So listen, and listen good:


Before I begin, you must understand - I know very well what you are talking about, who you are talking about and what you think you are doing.

But it is incorrect. Yes, that's right. I am not joking with you and for sure, you asked the right person - if you want the very real truth. I say this because I was a student of this form of thinking before Allah guided me to Islam.

I should know - because I was a student of this man and a preacher of his brand of "religion" for more than 30 years and I even had my own consulting business using his teachings as a foundation for people starting up in business. I truly believed in this "religion" and this man and this philosophy more than my own church. But it was all based on materialism. These teachings are exactly the teachings that took my the western people away from true belief and helped Shaytan turn the west into a materialistic, money driven society we have come to know today.

Let's begin with his name, Insha’Allah. First of all, the man's name is not Norman Vincent - It is Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and he held his PhD. in religious theology. He lived almost 100 years before dying the day before Christmas in his home in Pawling, NY in 1993. He grew up in a very poor family because his father moved their family from place to place as an itinerant Methodist minister. But Dr. Peale converted to Dutch Reformed in 1932 , and became the preacher of Marble Collegiate Church for the next 50 years.

Dr. Peale attended Ohio Wesleyan University and was ordained a pastor in the Methodist Episcopal church. He led congregations in Brooklyn and Syracuse, N.Y. Then in 1933 he became the preacher of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City and stayed there until his death in 1993. It was in 1937 he cofounded the Religio-Psychiatric Clinic, where he mixed his made-up religion with his version of psychiatry and mental powers. It may be this was about the time he started calling himself "Doctor".

His preaching gained some fame because of the condition of the country in the 1930's and 1940's - we were in a great depression at that time and people felt helpless. Many had turned away from religion because they thought as many people do today, "If there is a 'god' - why do so many bad things happen". Then there was the second world war and when America "won" the war, many people used his teachings to justify what they had done in other countries and what they were now beginning to do in our own country - that is to say, "Falling in love with the material world and calling it religion." In 1969 Peale was elected president of the Reformed Church in America. It was obvious, he had his own brand of materialistic religion.

Radio was his big start and then in the early 1950's his book came out, "Power of Positive Thinking" (1952) and it became the cornerstone of his preaching and philosophy for the next 40 years. This fit perfectly into the mindset of many of the people of the time; a material based religion and way of life they could offer as an excuse for whatever they wanted to do - Just "Think and Get Rich". There were many others like Napoleon Hill (and like me) who capitalized on these same types of concepts and made millions of dollars while corrupting the real true religion of Jesus (Peace be upon him).

Dr. Peale preached his own made up mix religion all about material success and he did so by mixing together his own brand of worship albeit psychotherapy, Judeao-Christian teachings (according to his interpretations) and materialism (Dunya). His philosophy was, people have power and control with their mental powers and can literally do anything, if they only have enough "mental will power."

Brother, this is clearly - "shirk".

Understand this, much of what he presented as being in the Bible was not really there. He invented or twisted meanings and used only what he needed to come up with his ideas. His ideas were very materialistic and very misguided. There can be no question about this man and his teachings. When you consider he would go to the Bible to look and find what it was that we was trying to promote, rather than go to the Bible to find what it already taught. He gave his own meanings to phrases in a way never heard of before and when something did not agree with his ideas, he ignored it completely.

Peale was not the only one. In fact, the idea of "Think and Grow Rich" goes back to the billionaire bankers of almost 100 years ago. I am sure you are familiar with the name Carnegie, the famous billionaire banking family that pushed the west into high gear materialism many decades ago.

Andrew Carnegie hired Napoleon Hill to do a study of human thinking and behavior and come up with a "formula for success". He researched for two decades and closely associated with a large number of successful people of great wealth. Hill used his studies of the characteristics of these mega wealthy people to come up with his "Law of Success". He later developed "Fifteen Laws of Success" for anybody achieve material wealth. Then came his book "Think And Grow Rich". This condensed these laws further and provided 13 Principles of Philosophy of Personal Achievement. Consider just a few of these and compare to what Islam really teaches:

The importance of cultivating a burning desire for wealth

Power of "auto-suggestion" (influence on other people)

Dedication to material goals.

Overcoming any fear of anything (including the Wrath of Allah)

Hill refers to the "Carnegie Secret" - a concept he claims, is the foundation of all success and is the premise of his book and teachings. Hill promises to indirectly describe this "secret" in every chapter, but never states it plainly, believing the use of the secret is only available to those who possess a "readiness" for it, a disposition Hill describes as essential to the concept itself.

Now, let us look to Islam and the Quran. If you have read the Quran in the Arabic language, you know the opposite of this man's concept of "positive thinking" is what is presented for us as Muslims as a way of life. Second there is nothing in Quran or Hadith to support the claims of "the power positive thinking" or saying what this man promoted in his preaching.

Islam teaches us to give up our lust for material things and to put the next life as our goal. We work hard, sacrificing the things of this world, our time, our money and our possessions all for the sake of Allah.

Shaytan wants us to fall in love with the Dunya and then get so involved in it we will begin to get away from Allah and His Book. Then eventually, he would have us fall into the trap of dealing in Riba (usury and interest) and all the time trying to justify it and make it Halal - and thereby condemn ourselves to being cursed by Allah and have a war declared by Allah and His messenger:

"Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, ‘Trade is [just] like interest.’ But God has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with God. But whoever returns [to dealing in interest or usury]—those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein. God destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And God does not like every sinning disbeliever." [Noble Quran 2:275-276]

And in the next Surah:

"O you who have believed, do not consume interest, doubled and multiplied, but fear God that you may be successful. And fear the Fire, which has been prepared for the disbelievers." [Noble Quran 3:130-131]

Again brother, I know this whole concept more than you can ever imagine. It is what I left to become a Muslim. I pray Allah guide you away from this and allow you the opportunity to find what you are looking for in Allah's Deen, not the Deen of Kufr and Shirk that man preached, Ameen.

Peace - Salam Alaykum - to all seeking guidance, Ameen.

Sheikh Yusuf Estes