بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
That’s what a sister said to me many years ago, in a bid to convince me that I was not the only one who had problems.
In rough times, many of us tend to have this “I’m the only one with such a big problem. Everyone else is so happy” mentality which in many cases turns out to be our undoing.
We then start to sulk and begin to mentally unravel. Some of us even tend to go into deep depression.
We need to get over this “poor me” attitude, because it will only drag us down.
So, how can we get over it?
Well, I’d say:
1) Do dua
There’s nothing like it. We need to ask Allah for each and every thing.
2) Change our perspective
Understanding that many people have bigger problems than us would be a good start.
A good way to change one’s perspective would be to actually visit those who are poor, orphaned, ill or have special needs etc. That way, we’ll realise how blessed we truly are and stop feeling sorry for ourselves.
3) Do something positive
The best antidote to negativity is positivity. [Remember, you heard it here first.]
When we sulk, we feel worse, which makes us sulk some more.
When we do something good for others, we feel better, which encourages us to do more good things.
4) Don’t think too much
This is the worst thing that one can do when depressed.
Don’t sit and brood over things. Just get up and do something.
Clean the house, take a walk, listen to a nice Islamic lecture, take Mandarin Chinese classes, whatever.
Of course, if you do something nice like praying or reciting the Quran, then that would be even better.
[But if you can’t, then just go for those Mandarin Chinese classes. That should be enough to cause your brain to shut down.]
So, let’s stop thinking that we’re the only ones with problems because we’re not.
Everybody has problems. Absolutely everybody.
PS. Some of you might be thinking “Another mini article on depression?”
Oh, yeah. Like I said, there are that many depressed people out there.
PPS. You know, taking those Mandarin Chinese classes wouldn’t be a bad idea after all. There are 2 billion Chinese people in this world. Just imagine how much dawah we could do.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Question: How’s Habit No. 1 coming along? What difficulties are you encountering along the way?
Tip: Set yourself a short task after Fajr and tell yourself that you cannot go back to sleep until you do it. You can start with a small 10-15 minute task in the beginning (e.g. read a few pages of tafsir or a few ahadeeth).
After doing this for a few days, you could increase the time for the chosen task to 20 mins and so on.
The task doesn’t have to be the same every day.]
However, I’ve noticed that most of the people that I meet seem to be depressed. So I thought that another article on depression might be in order.
[Note: In addition to the ways mentioned in the article below, I would also add the following three ways: 1) Drowning yourself in seeking Islamic knowledge especially tawheed and tafsir of the Quran 2) Helping the needy on a regular basis and 3) Drinking “talbeenah” (check the botton of the article).
Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee hafidhahullaah
Mankind comes across many afflictions and trials, sometimes in overwhelming sequences. Removing the darkness of these worries, distresses, depression and grief is a very important matter to which Islaam gives serious attention…
Indeed the greatest darkness to envelope mankind and surely his greatest affliction is disbelief in Allah and to associate partners with Him in any form (kufr and shirk).
Allah is the Protector of those who have faith He will lead them from the depths of darkness into light. . As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are the devils: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (for ever). AL-BAQARAH 2.257
Whereby Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure to paths of peace and safety. He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guides them unto a straight path. AL-MAAIDAH 5.016
Those who deny Our revelations are deaf and dumb in darkness. Whoever Allah wills He sends astray, and whom He wills He places on a straight path. AL-AN’AM 6.039
The scholars of Islaam have extracted from the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah many remedies and cures to help us in our daily affairs and remove our problems.
Singling out Allah alone, Glory be to Him, for all types of worship and recognising His Lordship and having faith in the unity of His Lofty Names and Attributes. There would be anarchy if there was more than one deity.
If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! But glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above what they attribute to Him! AL-ANBIYA’ 21.022
Allah strikes a comparison between a Muslim and a mushrik (disbeliever). The man with one master (i.e. upon Tawheed) has no worries as to who to obey, so he has no confusion nor dilemmas. The second man is confused as to who to obey first, in whom he must put his trust especially as they are quarrelling amongst each other. The mushrik is left to Shaitaan and his desires to direct him out of his confusion. However the Muslim who recognises his Lord as One, knows that Allah is the One who rescues His slave when he is in grief.
Allah puts forth a parable; a man belonging to many partners quarrelling with each other, and a man belonging entirely to one master: are those two equal? Praise be to Allah! But most of them have no knowledge. AZ-ZUMAR 39.029
In the beautiful story of Yusuf (alayhe as-salaam) his fellow prisoners were in distress to know the meaning or interpretation of their dreams.
Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them: “I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine.” The other said: “I see myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head, and birds eating it.” (They said) “Tell us the meaning of the dreams, for we see that you are a good doer.” YUSUF 12.036
o what was the first thing that this noble prophet of Allah (alayhe as-salaam) said to his companions? What was his reply? He called them to that which will provide them with immediate relief – the b lief that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah – at-Tawheed.
“O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords differing among themselves better, or Allah, the Supreme and Irresistible?” YUSUF 12.039
Mankind without Tawheed is astray, captured by Shaitaan and there lives in chaos as explained in Allah’s statement:
Don’t you see that We have set the devils on the disbelievers to confound them with confusion? MARYAM 19.083
So the one upon true Tawheed, Allah helps him and removes grief from him. There are many verses which eludes to this but suffice us for the moment the story of Yunus (alayhe as-salaam). He (alayhe as-salaam) had lost hope in his people who were not responding to his call to Islaam. So he (alayhe as-salaam) left them and eventually Allah caused him (alayhe as-salaam) to be in the belly of a large fish.
So wait with patience for the Command of your Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish, when he cried out in deep sorrow. AL-QALAM 68.048
In his sorrow and anguish, Yunus (alayhe as-salaam) cried out, but to whom? He (alayhe as-salaam) called his Lord.
And remember Dhun-Nun (Yunus), when he went off in anger: He imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, “There is no deity worthy of worship except You, glorified and exhalted be You, indeed I was from the wrong-doers!” AL-ANBIYA’ 21.087
Darkness upon darkness enveloped him (alayhe as-salaam):
a) the darkness of the depths of the ocean,
b) the darkness of the belly of the fish,
c) the darkness of the night.
He (alayhe as-salaam) called upon Allah, the One who can remove all distresses, he called upon Him with correct at-Tawheed and Allah removed his worries immediately.
…….Company does not like Misery. Not at all.
We often see many people who look like they are competing for “The Most Miserable Person in the Universe” award. They just want everyone to feel as miserable as them and want to spread gloom and doom wherever they go.
What happens when you walk around with this sort of attitude? I’ll tell you what happens: People will avoid you like the plague, you’ll be surrounded by miserable people and you’ll only end up feeling even more miserable.
On the other hand, when you look cheerful and try to help out others (even if you were going through a bad time), people will want to be around you, you’ll be surrounded by happy people and you’ll really feel much better.
Want an example? Look at the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and see how cheerful he always was despite going through so many trials.
Misery may love Company, but Company loves Happiness and Cheer.
So, let’s be of those who try to spread happiness rather than those who try to spread misery.
[For those of you who’ve subscribed to my Tafsir blog, I’ve already put up this article there a long time ago.]
A couple of weeks ago, at the beginning of Ramadan, I was really down in the dumps due to an ongoing problem. I really felt like I was at the end of the rope.
I remembered an article I had on patience so I decided to read through that. And subhan Allah, it really changed my outlook and gave me a lot of hope, alhamdulillah.
It was the tafsir (explanation) of a few ayaat (verses) of Surah Al-Baqarah:
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabirin (the patient ones, etc.). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) :155-157]
I thought perhaps someone out there might be down in the dumps today and might need cheering up, so I thought I would share this once more.
Here’s the article: Patience in Times of Calamities
I hope that it helps, insha-Allah.