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
[Sorry, this post might seem like a ramble…]
I realised today that everyone that I’ve met can be divided into two camps:
1) Those who view an opportunity as a disaster and
2) Those that view a disaster as an opportunity.
Huh, you say?
Okay, let’s take an example:
A man loses his job. If he is part of Group 1, he views this as a great disaster. He thinks that this is the end of the world.
He sits, sulks and complains about his sad life to all those who care to listen. He wastes his time instead of taking advantage of this opportunity.
If he is part of Group 2, he remains positive and uses his free time to do something constructive. He takes classes, does social work and maintains a cheerful countenance.
Group 2 has a simple name: the true believers*.
[And no, I’m not claiming that those I’ve met who seem to fit in Group 2 are true believers because only Allah knows whether they are or not. However, this attitude is something that true believers need to have.]
We all get different trials in life, whether it is the car refusing to start (on the day of an important meeting), someone close to us passing away, financial problems, etc.
Most people just seem to complain and complain and complain. They don’t seem to realise that all these trials are great opportunities.
Great opportunities for what, you ask?
Well, to come closer to Allah and to become “well-rounded” Muslims.
The shariah (Islamic law) is a complete way of life. We’ve been taught how to pray, fast, give charity, deal with our families, be clean, display good manners, etc.
The one who applies the entire shariah will become a well-rounded person, excelling in every aspect of life. The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum) were like this.
The different trials that we face every day and every hour are there to help us to become all-round people.
Think of the human body and its various muscles. Each muscle has a different exercise to strengthen it. Strengthening each muscle eventually leads to the whole body being strengthened.
The various aspects of the shariah are those muscles. The trials are the exercises that strengthen those muscles. Each trial improves us in a certain aspect of the shariah – thereby making us excellent slaves of Allah in every way.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Well, these trials strengthen the strengths (if you will) and also decrease the weaknesses.
Of course, all of this can only happen if we view these trials as an opportunity and not as a disaster.
So, when the car fails to start, we remain positive and try to ponder over what we can learn from this situation.
When someone dies, we remain positive and try to derive the good that might come out of this situation.
So, a true believer can increase in iman (faith) after any situation and at any time due to his/her attitude, not just at times like Ramadan and Hajj.
Remaining positive implies that one has good thoughts about Allah – and this is a very important part of tawheed.
Many of those who constantly complain about everything have bad thoughts about Allah.
Why? Because they assume that all these trials will lead to a bad end, instead of realising that Allah wants them to turn to Him during these trials.
So, each of us needs to look into that mirror and ask ourselves which group we wish to belong to…