In times of sadness, distress, hopelessness and anxiety, the question that always pops up is – “Why is this happening to me?”. Some of us may feel that we don’t deserve such endurance in our daily life – and others may feel that they deserve it but don’t want to live with it, and others may just learn to accept their experiences and lose motivation to even try to feel better. However, we have to attempt to understand the truth and reality of life.
Emotions that are experienced in SAD may be a test from Allah, Allah may be testing to see if we move closer to Him or distance ourselves away from Him when in times of hardship. You could reap in the rewards when feeling down by moving closer to Allah by means of remembering Him, by Praising Him and expecting good of Him – but most importantly you will find yourself much more lifted.
“Verily in the remembrance of Allah, do hearts find rest.”
So when facing great difficulty, just remind yourself that Allah wants to reward you, and bring benefit to you by bringing His servant closer to Himself. Remember, Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear, so when you are facing distress, remember that Allah knows that you can handle it – isn’t that a strength in itself? To know that Allah, Allah – knows you more than you know yourself!
Any sort of hardship, particularly depression(s) as it’s so personal, may be ordained upon us as an expiation of our sins. When a child misbehaves, the mother may ask the child to do extra chores or take away privileges in order to make up for the bad behaviour – and this is similar to what you may be going through. We are all sinners, no one is perfect, regardless of what kind of sinner we are, and so Allah may have decreed upon us certain types of hardship in order to “make up” for the sins that we have committed. That way, we won’t have to undergo punishment in the next life where the severity of the punishment is much more. We struggle with difficulties in this life, and can’t even comprehend the matters of the next! So Allah gives us the opportunity to save ourselves from the punishment in the next life where we will not be able to stop it, by giving us pain in this life which is bearable, which in turn will get rid of those bad deeds which we won’t want to be accountable for.
“No tiredness, exhaustion, worry, grief, distress or harm befalls a believer in this world, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah expiates some of his sins thereby.”
Some of us may become comfortable in this world. We may become attached to worldly materials, people and successes, and we begin to slowly neglect and detach from things that really matter. Our minds may become so full with worldly matters that we end up on concentrating in Salah. We may become so busy with life that we don’t have any time for Quran. We may start to forget the Sunnah and neglect activities that could be lofty on our scale of deeds. Therefore, hardship through emotions and disorders may act as a reminder. They may cause us to back up, and re-evaluate what really matters and our purpose in life.
“And the Hereafter is better for you than the first (life).”
We are always being reminded of Allah through the signs that He has given us of His Existence or through His Words – but sometimes, we may need individual reminders that really give us that push to realise “Woah, what am I doing?”, and through these individual contexts, we are reminded of what our goal is. Jannah! So, if you’re feeling depressed and feeling like you’re in this giant black hole, just remember that there is something much better waiting for you, which you have to work for.
The best type of therapy for your mind, your heart and your soul, is to nourish it with what it needs. For ages it has been calling out for help, but the help it needs is right in front of you. Give yourself the most precious thing anyone could gift themselves with, Islam. Attach yourself to Islam, embrace it with open arms and an open mind, and persevere in your journey to life satisfaction and wellbeing. It will be difficult at first, you won’t have the motivation, and you’ll be pessimistic – but this is where it all begins, this is the first step and you can do it. once you make that sincere intention, and you stand for that prayer in humility and declaration, once you say ‘Bismillah’ and pour your heart out, and you fill your mind with Quran, once your mouth is occupied with dhikr, and once you have total trust in Allah – you’ll already be exactly where you want to be. Allah has given you the remedy to what He has ordained upon you, wouldn’t it make sense to take advantage of the solution? You can never stop with Islam, you’ll only get better and better, you’ll only keep on progressing and improving and you’ll feel like a new person. You will start to see things brighter, you won’t have to put on that fake smile anymore – you will genuinely be laughing from your heart, you’ll feel connected to the ummah, and your purpose in life will be clear every single day, and that is what will be helping you to succeed, every, single, day.
“He who draws close to Me a hands span, I will draw close to him an arm’s length, and whoever draws near Me an arm’s length, I will draw near him a fathom’s length, and whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running.”
What can you do now?
It doesn’t have to be technical, little changes to your everyday life will make a huge difference, whether it’s contemplating about your life and the world around you before salah, doing tasbeeh after you pray, writing down a list of all the things you’re thankful for and thanking Allah, or asking yourself every time you feel down “what is the benefit of me feeling like this?”. There are also plenty of physical changes you can do, such as, making your home brighter, not letting winter get the better of you by taking a short walk, spend time laughing with friends and family whether it’s in person or through the phone, and most of all, recognise your symptoms and face up to them.
At Inspirited Minds we know how difficult it may be to speak to someone about your emotions, to try and put your experiences into words that can be understood by someone not from the same faith or culture, who may prescribe you a plan of action that simply does not work for you – at Inspirited Minds we work with you. We offer Islamic advice that fits your situation, counselling that works for you (telephone, skype, email or face to face), medical advice and legal support. We are simply here to help, to listen, and to care, to us, you’re not the worst person in the world, but rather, you are someone who has the potential to be the best. And most of all, you are a friend in need.