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How to Deal with Sadness and Worry (part 2 of 2): Establisha relationship with Allah

Description: Islam offers numerous ways to overcome sadness, all of them are connected to establishing a relationship with Allah and His messenger.  Here we suggest three ways to forming a lifelong relationship.

By Aisha Stacey (© 2012 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 14 Nov 2012 - Last modified on 25 Apr 2017

Printed: 153 - Emailed: 2 - Viewed: 9112 (daily average: 5)

Category: Lessons > Social Interaction > Coping with change


Objective:

·       To suggest three ways of becoming closer to Allah.

Arabic terms:

·       Sabr - patience and it comes from a root word meaning to stop, detain,  or refrain.

·       Shukr - thankfulness and gratitude, and to acknowledge the beneficence of Allah.

·       Du’a - supplication, prayer, asking Allah for something.

In order to live our lives with complete trust in Allah it is necessary to build a relationship with our Creator.  In order to deal with the sadness and worry that seems to be a part of everyday life in the developed world we need to rely on Allah.  If we put our faith and trust in Him, and bear the trials and tribulations that come our way with sabr and shukr, our outlook on life changes.  Of course, we cannot expect to be worry free because facing obstacles is part of the human condition.  However facing problems armed with trust in Allah and contentment with His decree for us makes life easier and happier. 

You cannot completely trust someone without knowing them well and the same can be said with trusting Allah.  Before we submit ourselves to the will of Allah we must know who it is we are submitting to.  There are a number of ways that a person can establish a relationship with Allah.  In addition staying close to Allah will help us combat the inevitable pains and sorrows that form part of being alive.  We will examine just three of the numerous ways a person can reach out to Allah and cope in times of sorrow and stress.

Calling on Allah by His Most Beautiful Names

Muslims are encouraged to remember Allah and be grateful to Him at all times, however this can be especially beneficial if one is lost in the depths of despair or even just feeling mildly stressed by the day or the week.   We are encouraged to know Allah’s Beautiful Names and thus, we are able to know our Creator and are able to call on Him by the Names that are indicative of our needs. 

Prophet Muhammad encouraged us to call on Allah by all of His Most Beautiful Names.   In his own supplications, he is known to have said, “Oh Allah, I ask you by every name that You have named yourself, or that You have revealed in Your book, or that You have taught any of Your creation, or that You have kept hidden in the unseen knowledge with Yourself”.[1]

“Allah!  (None has the right to be worshipped but He)!  To Him belong the Best Names.” (Quran 20:8)

“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them ...” (Quran 7:180)

Contemplating the Names of Allah can bring great relief.   It makes us realize His greatness and increases our faith.  It can also help us focus on being calm and patient.   It is important to understand that although the believer is encouraged not to thrash about in grief and anguish or to complain about the stresses and problems, he is encouraged to turn to Allah, supplicate to Him and to ask Him for relief.  Using the names of Allah that correspond with the need is also a commendable and calming act.

Making dua at every opportunity

If a person is feeling distressed it is important to remember that Allah is close by and one effective way to reach Him is by making du’a.  When one calls upon the Most Merciful, He (Allah) will respond.  “And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge).  I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me.  So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” (Quran 2:186)

Prophet Mohammad taught his followers a dua specifically for those of us feeling sorrowful and distressed. 

“There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says: Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibnu ‘abdika ibnu amatika naasiyati bi yadika, maadhin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa-uka.  Asaluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista-tharta bihi fi ‘ilmil-ghaybi ‘indaka, ‘an taj-’alal-Qur-aana rabee’a qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa huzni wa dhahaaba hammi (O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your male slave, son of Your female servant; my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just.  I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Quran the life of my heart and the light of my chest, the banisher of my sadness and the reliever of my distress), but Allah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, should we learn this?” He said: “Of course; everyone who hears it should learn it.”[2]

Du’a  increases faith, gives hope and relief to the distressed and saves the supplicant from despair and isolation.  Making sincere du’a is indeed a weapon that can battle even the most serious stress and sorrow.  There are countless occasions when the prophets and our righteous predecessors have made du’a and Allah’s response was to save them from what was certain danger, calamity or pain. 

Understanding the reality of the life of this world

Often misfortune, pain, and suffering come about because of our own actions.   We choose to commit sin, but Allah purifies us through loss of wealth, health or the things we love.   Sometimes suffering now, in this world compensates for the suffering in the next life; sometimes all that pain and distress means that we will attain a higher station in Paradise.

Allah knows the ultimate wisdom behind why good things happen to bad people, or why bad things happen to good people.  In general, whatever causes us to turn to Allah is good.   In times of crisis people are drawn closer to Allah.   Allah is the Provider and He is the Most Generous.   He wants to reward us with life everlasting and if pain and suffering can bring us closer to Paradise, then ill health and injuries are a blessing.   Prophet Muhammad said, “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.”[3]



Footnotes:

[1] Imam Ahmad

[2] Imam Ahmad

[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

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