Bismillah Al-Rahmaan Al-Raheem,
Part 1 of the Beautiful Dua’ found here.
Ahh good ol’ anxiety and sorrow. Have you ever heard: “Man I’ve got so much to do but not enough time, what am I going to do?” or “things just keep going sooo wrong in my life, I don’t get it… why me???”. Chances are you’ve either felt like that or have heard a good friend of yours venting these lines to you. When placed in an environment where the stress keeps mounding and the “problems” keep growing it’s tough enough to take a step back and look at the bigger picture let alone face the problems head on. I hope that this post accomplishes two things: 1. How to view the problems that cause stress and worry and 2. Effective techniques for when you’re feeling down and out.
1. Anxiety (n. pl. anx·i·e·ties - A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties)
You’ve got a lot of things to do, different events you have to attend, different chores that were supposed to be taken care of yesterday. We’re all scattering around for any extra minute we can find. Unfortunately at times we start to fold under the pressure. Please welcome to the conversation “Time Management”. Knowing where your responsibilities, goals, and limits will help you effectively manage your time. Of course if your time is already filled with something that’s useless or even something that’s less useful than you need to check yourself. If we were to take a look at how the scholars of the past used to live we’d realize we don’t even come close. Scholars like Imam Al-Nawaawi (rahimahullah) would study night and day even as a child. A beautiful quote that has helped me with time management was what one of our shuyookh said on how to make use of your time
“If you bless your time with Allah, Allah will bless your time for you”.
2. Sorrow (sor·row n. – Mental suffering or pain caused by injury, loss, or despair)
The second item we ask for protection from is الحزن (Al-Huzn) which can be translated to Sorrow/Despair/Sadness etc… Some of the major causes of sorrow can be envy, hopelessness, unfulfilled desires and so on. To keep this brief I’ll just take a glance at envy and hopelessness.
In his book “Diseases of the Heart and Their Cures” Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah defines envy (hasad) as “Hatred and disliking the good condition of the envied one”. Of the cures for this is the example of the sahabi who the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wasalam mentioned would be in Paradise. Abdullah bin ‘Amr stayed with him for three days and when he asked the sahabi what it was that gave him this status the sahabi said “It is nothing except that I do not find in myself any disloyalty to any of the Muslims, and neither do I find any jealousy for the wealth that Allah has bestowed upon them”. At this Abdullah bin ‘Amr realized why the sahabi had reached the status of the People of Paradise (Musnad Imam Ahmad). Another cure that the scholars mention is the hadeeth of the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wasalam in which he states
“…Know that if the Ummah were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would only harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you…” (Tirmidhi)
Once we accept, and live the realization that Allah will test us and protect us how He see’s fit then, and only then will we be able to cope with some of our sorrow aka Tawwakul (trust in Allah).
Next up is hopelessness! Come on… get your hopes up :) How many times do we hear Allah explain to us that there is light at the end of the tunnel?
فَإِنَّ مَعَ العُسرِ يُسرًا ﴿٥
(Fa inna ma’al ‘usri yusra) Surely with difficulty is ease.
إِنَّ مَعَ العُسرِ يُسرًا ﴿٦
(Inna ma’al ‘usri yusra) With difficulty is surely ease.
And again, the scholars have included this as one of the five main maxims of jurisprudence! Commonly known as: المشقة تجلب التيسير (Al-Mashaqa Tajlib Al-Tayseer) “Hardship begets ease”. It’s tough, it really is. It’s easy for a guy behind a computer screen to tell you to keep your chin up and that everything will be fine. However we know that Allah’s promises are true, and if we keep our chins up just long enough… we might be able to make it to the end of the tunnel insha’Allah.
I’m really sorry for the long post lol, insha’Allah the rest of the series will be a little shorter – I hope ;)