It’s a matter of perspective.

One can be alone but not lonely.

You come home, make a cup of tea, sit in your chair and all around there is silence, is that loneliness or freedom? An introvert may find this to be absolute bliss as they can be drained by the energies of big crowds and busy days, yet they are also simultaneously energised by deep and engaging conversation and so even they cannot go for long without human interaction. However, there are those who crave company and connection, yet cannot find it. Sometimes we all need a conversation, a kind touch, energy in the room, someone’s gaze on us as we speak about the things we love, someone to notice a change in our appearance, someone to ask how we are. For what is life without people to share it with?

How many of us get lost in the world with just our phones and social media relationships? How many people go for days without seeing anyone? Without sharing a meal with anyone, or an offline conversation that wasn’t anything to do with being online.

Studies show that the key to a happy and healthy life is having strong emotional bonds. Not just many relationships, but it is the quality of the relationships that matter. Having strong and good quality relationships increases our life expectancy and gives us greater immunity to disease, we are more likely to be doing well in other areas of our life, due to being supported and validated and we are generally happier.

Let’s look at the situation for a refugee, who has already faced possibly the most lonely journey, having to leave their home, all that is familiar to them, not to mention the horrific ordeals they have already gone through which led them to the decision to leave in the first place. After a journey that feels never-ending, they are likely to wait in centres and then they are then ‘homed’ in a strange city where they may know people but there is no history, or support network. It can feel like they are aliens in a strange land.

There are those who are surrounded by friends and family and yet seemingly alone, because of something that makes them different, faith, religion, beliefs, it could be many things, imagine the revert to Islam who’s family either don’t want to accept their choice, or even the ones who do accept it but can’t quite understand what the revert is going through, either euphoria, or confusion. We need people to share our highs and not just our lows.

You’ve seen it often, people sitting around a table, friends, or family, and everyone’s looking down, tapping away, at their phones. Talking about ‘being out’ on their social media, but not even being present. Those who can’t find anyone who’s not busy enough to spend time with them. The culture of busy is creating a situation where isolation is normal. It can become unquestionable to complain against this normality.

Sometimes the path we are on is meant to be walked alone, because in walking alone, we will gain the strength, knowledge and growth that we would not otherwise gain if we had someone to lean on and rely on. In the feeling of abandonment there is perhaps a lesson, that we can rely on none other than Allah SWT and that though we have been given halal relationships in which to find mercy and comfort, we are reminded that we have entered the world alone and will leave the world alone also. We will be alone then the time comes to answer for our actions, and so really, we should learn early on to not fear being alone for it will come to us at points in our life and if we can gain strength from this and see the blessing then loneliness can be a time of growth too.

As Muslims we have the greatest comfort when we feel lonely. We have the assurance that Allah SWT is always with us. He is closer to us than our jugular vein (Qur’an 50:16). There is no greater time to be closer to Allah SWT than when we are truly alone and in need of comfort, company and recognition. We know that we don’t even have to speak of our loneliness, we don’t even need to shed tears or become hopeless, because HE knows.

Of course, we should still strive to build bonds and improve our relationships because it is with these strong connections that we grow and with love and mercy that we live in peace, but if we ever find ourselves crying out for company, let us not forget to look past the creation and look instead toward the creator himself for the peace and love that we truly seek.

For if we place Allah SWT firmly at the centre of our hearts, we will never be alone, no matter how it looks from the outside.

Faizah Malik

Faizah Malik

Faizah is an English, American Literature and Comparative Literary Studies graduate from the University of Kent at Canterbury. She has a background in Publishing and has worked for Hachette and HarperCollins. She now dedicates her time to writing and running her online business Kenze. She is currently studying Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Convergence College in Milton Keynes and has been involved in arranging workshops for local women to boost confidence and provide support to those who may need it. It is her passion for healing others that motivates her and she hopes to provide a voice through her writing to inspire hope to those who are struggling.

13 Comments

  • Shaukath Ali says:

    Maa’shaa Allah
    Wonderful post Faizah
    Always Include me in your duas

  • Samira Khan says:

    So very true. I relate to being alone, especially since having cancer. Lots of friends and family around the city, but no one comes to visit

    • Faizah says:

      Salam Sister,
      Thank you for your message.
      I am sorry to hear of your health, may Allah SWT grant you shiffa and healing.
      If you could use some extra support, perhaps your GP could recommend a counsellor who you could talk to if you are feeling low? We have trained counsellors here at Inspirited Minds also, please fill in the form on the Get Help page and someone will get back to you.
      Duas for you

  • Inspirational! Great thoughts. Reality based.
    Solitude may be a blessing to those who are deeply in touched with God or may have any connection with spirituality, know theirselves rightly (in real meanings of knowing that really who they are), spending a meaningful life with some purpose. But on the other hand, it is also a problem for many of us.
    We are close to each other but we don’t know each other. Unaware, strangers not only to others but to us as well. Millions of people, crowds of crowds, a lot of gatherings, meetups but infact we all are alone. We all are busy, we have to do a lot of work, we have many desires, we are following our dreams, we are in trouble as well, uncomfortable in search of comfort.
    A world is with us but loneliness is hidden in any corner of our heart. This loneliness has reached to our souls. We are deprived from closeness of hearts/souls. A soul’s requirement is uncoditional love but we are also unaware of what love exactly is. Our earth is divided in continents, countries and regions. A man is not what he should be. We are escaping from our spiritual existence. Sympathy with others is also going to become unknown. High human moral values ​​are also running short from our society.
    All we need is the revival of these values in our lives. Love humanity, respect humans, help them. Don’t fear by loneliness just face it. Behave politely with others. A great person is the one who spread hapiness in people around him.
    I just tried to collect some scattered thoughts. Urdu writer, who may not be fluent in English.

    • Faizah says:

      Salam Brother,
      Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you enjoyed the article.
      I agree with your many insightful points, especially your point about reviving certain values, may Allah SWT make it easy for all of us to be compassionate and merciful Muslims and to be of service to others. Ameen

  • Tayieba says:

    Loneliness is a state of mind. It is a comfort if you have a faith or belief in Spirit or God but it doesn’t mean that it necessarily mean that it gets rid of loneliness. It doesn’t have to make a difference at all. Loneliness is a condition that can rip the heart out of all your faith. The human craving for connection with each other is innate and does not dissipate in any human, no matter what the time in life or your journey. Building up good relationships with people is just the start of ending loneliness. A real connection is what people are really craving in this condition. The ability to be knowingly responsible for another being and being interdependent and cooperative through love and choice for another. This is a real emotional investment, built on trust and time and does mean that we can all be hurt by such relationships, which makes us all equally vulnerable.

    It’s good to remember that all of us our in the same boat. It makes you feel less vulnerable. :) . This is not necessarily only found in the romantic relationship. It is what is needed for true friendship and family harmony. The ability to be knowingly responsible for another being and being interdependent and cooperative through love and choice for another, is often what is mistakenly singled out for romantic relationships but often for reasons that are completely the opposite to this and therefor they often don’t work. It is what makes good friendships and thrives in family harmony. A romantic relationship is all of this with a plus factor, sexual or otherwise.

    Committing to anyone on this level is a huge step to helping loneliness fall away and feeling a part of something, a belonging. However the caveat to this state is actually finding this level of commitment to yourself first. This is the missing link. Loneliness is ultimately a disconnection with yourself and it’s building up that relationship that can ultimately start to remove the pain of it and heal the mind. Many people often spend their whole lives looking to the outside to fulfill a state that only you can fix for yourself. Loneliness is a dissatisfaction with the relationship you have with yourself and then shows up as loneliness in relation to others. It has reached epidemic proportions in the west and is becoming a worldwide plague. It is because we have missed something that is very fundamental to the relationship we have to our selves. It is compounded by the huge amount of relationships we are born into with inanimate things in the modern world, that cloud our relationships with each other. Real relationships means a transference of almost the same detail of attention and responsibility from your phone or computer yourself and to people that you come into contact with This is rare in our time.

    Tayieba

    • Faizah says:

      Salam sister,
      Thank you for your comments. You have made some excellent points and I really enjoyed reading your thoughts.
      I agree that having a spiritual connection does not mean you won’t be lonely as I believe loneliness can be a test for some us and we can see that some of the Prophets themselves were tested in this manner.
      As you say, knowing we can all be affected at times is a comfort and I hope that with our August series we have managed to provide some ways that people can cope with loneliness if it is affecting them.
      Jazakallah khair

  • Javed Ahmed Malik says:

    Thanks really appreciate it excellent
    Keep up the good work. If I can be any help please do let me know
    Regards
    Javed Ahmed Malik Chairman International human rights commission federation of the world

  • Mary says:

    Assalamualaikum,

    JazakAllah khairan for this article. It really hit the spot and brought tears to my eyes. I feel like it was written from the bottom of my heart. I agree so much that we need to build our relationship with our Lord. The reliance on other people can actually take us to a dark and lonely stage. I love my me time by myself to unwind and to focus but I also love to meet up or spend time with loved ones offline. Being married I thought the void of loneliness will be filled, because I run after “happiness” and this need of being fulfilled will be done by my husband but little did I know that is a big mistake. I wish someone told me this before. Alhamdulillah I have finally realised that true happiness doesn’t come from people, be it your spouse/child/parents/ siblings/friends etc. True happiness comes from relying on Allah subhanahu wa taala, HE is the only one who you don’t have to run after and HE won’t ignore you.

    • El Youssfi Mohamed says:

      Totally true!

    • Faizah says:

      Salam Sister,
      Thank you for your message and I am glad you enjoyed the article. You make some great points and I think many people feel the same way about other people fulfilling their voids and sometimes Allah SWT does test us through our relationships to bring him closer to us and learn those lessons ourselves. I’m sure your comments will inspire and help many others in the same position.
      May you always be happy in Sha Allah. Ameen

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend