Mending Myself

By Khalida Jalili

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Let me tell you a short story about a teenage boy whose early life is possibly very similar to many of our own teenage lives:

Spoiled and wealthy, this young teen was the center of his mother’s attention and adoration. He lived a life of ample luxury because of his mother. He made one decision in his life, however, that completely overturned his mother’s affection towards him. She would tell him to give up the new change he had brought about in his life. She would even threaten to never eat or drink if he did not listen to her! And when he refused to concede, she too decided to make dramatic changes: she quit spoiling her son, thus depriving him of the luxurious life he once enjoyed. He was forced out of the house onto the streets in only one garment and left to figure out how to live life all on his own!

 

Before I let you know who this young man is, let me introduce you to another gentleman:

This young man loved his dad dearly and also cared a lot about his community. However, he too, like the teenager, was not treated well by his parent because of the lifestyle that he had adopted. His dad even threatened to stone him, demanding that he leave to somewhere far away from him, and the community he had well-wished for almost burned him alive! 

You might have already guessed that this young man was Ibrahim (peace be upon him). And the teenager mentioned earlier was none other than a sahabah named Mus’ab Ibn ‘Umayr (may Allah be pleased with him).

 

Anyone who knows what it means to be spoiled and then deprived, or to be dearly attached to people and then hurt by them, could relate (at least to some extent) to these two cases. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and Mus’ab Ibn ‘Umayr (may Allah be pleased with him) were both emotionally and physically abused by their loved ones just because they chose Islam as their lifestyle.

Allah knows best if these experiences were traumatizing for either of them, since the validity of such an assertion will depend on various determinants such as whether they felt emotionally overwhelmed or if they felt “a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity” (Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995, p. 60). Nevertheless, these experiences would definitely prove to be traumatic for many.

Yes, Mus’ab Ibn ‘Umayr (may Allah be pleased with him) was forced to leave his mom despite his love for her; but he found another family whom he loved just as much – if not more – and who loved him back as one of their own: Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all). And yes, Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was driven out by his father and community; but not only did he find a different home and community,  he was also blessed with a family of his own along with a legacy his descendants remember until this day (Surah Maryam; 19: 41-50). SubhanAllah.

 

Regrettably, if you have ever experienced emotional trauma, you will know that it can be difficult to talk about your traumatic experience and to seek support, or even believe that you need support! Understand that you do not have to talk about anything that makes you uncomfortable; however, it is important to know that there are people out there whom you can trust. Of course, it is good to be cautious about whom you trust and to take necessary precautions, so do not think you are being paranoid if you find it difficult to trust others; but know that there are people who want the best for you. If you do not feel comfortable trusting a friend, family member, or teacher, try finding a counselor who is bound by law to keep your case information confidential (although, there are specific exceptions for safety and medical reasons, which they will explain to you).

Learning how to effectively deal with your fears, insecurities, and anxieties is important in maintaining your mental health. You cannot move past emotional trauma if you do not act. As tempting as it may be to stay within your own company, you need to connect with people who have the experience and knowledge to support you.

 

Ask yourself this: If you had a friend who was undergoing a rough time, how would you comfort him/her? What would you say to him/her? Would you be harsh with them, or gentle? You’d know that being harsh will only make the situation worse for them. Instead, you’d let them know that you are there for him/her. You would be compassionate to them and assist them in whatever way you can. Likewise, be compassionate to yourself.

In order to realize how best you can treat your mental and emotional illness, consider the physical illnesses that you face. When you have a cold, for instance, would you hope to get better just by lying in bed all day? Or would you get moving? Chances are you’d do the latter. You’d go to the pharmacy for medication and may even go the extra mile to try home-remedies or anything else that could cure you. This is how we should view our emotional health as well. The medicine is out there in the forms of counseling, joining a trauma support group, attending self-development workshops, and further educating ourselves on healing. Our medicine is there in the form of endeavoring to live a more productive lifestyle through salah, du’a, dhikr, exercise, healthy diet, and wholesome sleep.

 

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “There is no one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says:

اللِّهُمَّ إنِّي عَبْدُكَ ، ابْنُ عَبْدِكَ ، ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ ، نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ ، مَاضِ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤُكَ ، أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ ، سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ ، أَوْ أنْزَلْتَهُ فِي كِتَاَبِكَ ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ ، أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ ، أنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي ، وَ نُورَ صَدْرِي ، وَ جَلاءَ حُزْنِي ، وَ ذَهَابَ هَمِّي

Allaahumma innee ‘abduka ibn ‘abdika ibn amatika naasyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uk. As’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilmil-ghayb ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’ huzni wa dhahaaba hammee

Oh Allah, I am Your Slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your Hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me if just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or taught to any one 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, and a departure of my sorrow and a release of my anxiety.

except that Allaah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

 

Healing takes time, so be patient with yourself and the process. While we take all the means to heal, we should never forget that healing – whether physical or psychological – is ultimately in Allah’s Hands. He is Al-Shaafi, The Healer. And among Allah’s Most Beautiful names is Al-Jabbaar. The name Al-Jabbaar encompasses a very comprehensive definition, one of which is The Mender. Al-Jabbaar is the One Who can heal that bone fracture. Al-Jabbaar is the One Who can heal your heart when you feel hurt because of a bully, parent, child, friend, teacher, or stranger. He is the One Who is capable of healing your physical and psychological wounds.

 

May Al-Jabbaar mend you and your heart, dear reader.

Ameen.

“I Am Muslim & I Want To Die” Part 1 – Shedding Light on Suicide

By Khalida Jalili

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It is okay to talk about suicide. Yes, I said it. Talking about suicide or individuals who killed themselves is taboo in many societies. Ironically, based on the book Building Bridges by the U.S.A. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), open dialogues and education on suicide prevention can save lives.

According to the article Attempters’ Long-term Survival, 70% suicide attempters who were accompanied by medical care did not later die from suicide. However, the article further mentions that a previous suicide attempt is still a very strong risk factor for a future suicide; so addressing this issue is extremely important.

Handling Tough Times 

You may find yourself at a point in your life where you feel as if you cannot go on anymore, as if the only solution to all the problems you’re drowning in is your disappearance.

No matter how lonely, depressed, anxious, agitated, misunderstood, and enraged you feel, there are many ways to surmount your problems. Suicide is not one of them. In fact, it’ll make your situation worse, not better.

You must first believe that you can and will go on with life. Allah knows you can definitely handle whatever is going on in your life right now:

“Allah does not bear a soul more than it can bear” (Al-Baqarah; 2: 286)

Always Having Hope No Matter What

Two very powerful ahaadith to always keep in mind when feeling suicidal are:

“Let none of you die unless he has good expectations from Allah.” (Sahih Muslim)

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “None of you should wish for death because of a calamity befalling him; but if he has to wish for death, he should say: ‘O Allah! Keep me alive as long as life is better for me, and let me die if death is better for me’.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

There is always hope. Have good expectations that Allah will make your situation better and facilitate the means to give you whatever is good for you. Allah is to His slaves as they assume Him to be. If we believe He will give us the best in both worlds, then He will because He is capable of doing that.

Asking For What You Want

Turn your despairing moments into earnest du’aas in which you ask Allah to alleviate your difficulties. Ask Him whatever you want, and He will give it to you – as long as it is good for you (as what we think is good for us may not always be good for us!). Allah is Al-Kareem, The Extremely Generous, so He will definitely bless you with the best and more – if you ask.

“And When My servants ask you concerning Me – Indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided.” (Al-Baqarah; 2: 186)

Seeking Wisdom In The Darkness

Many times, our hearts ache when we don’t understand why certain occurrences ensued against our wishes. We may feel frustrated about the present and hopeless about the future. In order to rectify this, ask Allah to show you the wisdom and ease within your difficulties. Ask Him to improve your situation.

Understanding Yourself

Without understanding the cause, it’s not easy to eliminate the effect (i.e. suicidal thoughts). Ask yourself, “How often do I have suicidal thoughts and why? What triggers my thoughts? What can I do to protect myself?”

To better answer these questions, continue on to the second part of this article.

Supplications For Depression

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Supplications for Depression

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah

In al-Saheehayn it was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, when he felt distressed:

“La ilaaha ill-Allaah al-‘Azeem ul-Haleem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb il-‘arsh il-‘azeem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb is-samawaati wa Rabb il-ard wa Rabb il-‘arsh il-kareem.” 

 Translation: “There is no god except Allaah, the All-Mighty, the Forbearing; there is no god except Allaah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne; there is no god except Allaah, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth and Lord of the noble Throne).”

And it was reported from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, when something upset him:

“Yaa Hayyu yaa Qayyoom, bi Rahmatika astagheeth.” 

Translation: “O Ever-Living One, O Everlasting One, by Your mercy I seek help.”

And it was reported that Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:  The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed?”

“Allaah, Allaah, Rabbee laa ushriku bihi shay’an.” 

Translation: “Allaah, Allaah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him.”

It was reported from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says: “‘Allaahumma innee ‘abduka wa ibn ‘abdika wa ibn amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka, as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘andak an taj’ala al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi.” 

 Translation: O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, 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 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 Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.”

“…but Allaah will take away his sorrow and grief, and give him in their stead joy.”

[Al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, edited by Shaykh al-Albaani, p. 72]

IslamQA.com

 

Combat Depression!

By Bint Salman

 

tratmtneHave you gone through a traumatic phase in life which was followed by: lingering grief ,  changed appetite, sleep disturbances, lackof concentration and focus, irritability, restlessness, lethargy, low esteem, lack of self-worth? If so, then these are all the symptoms of depression. But look at the bright side: ‘Depression is treatable with a good  success rate’

Find a way to normalcy:

Symptoms of depression can be alleviated through guidance from the Quran and Sunnah. Below are a few tips:

– Bowing to the will of Allah, with belief in Qadar:

Belief in predestination is one of the articles of faith. You should firmly believe that all good and bad comes from Allaah and once your conviction is strong you’ll learn to negotiate your circumstances no matter how hopeless you feel about your situation. This belief will assure you that your Lord has done what is best for you and this attitude helps you to be content and happy with Allah’s will. Allah’s plans are perfect, not an affliction befalls a believer but His sins are wiped out if he patiently endures. Allaah says;

‘Whatever misfortune happens to you is because of the things your hands have wrought and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness.’ (42:30)

No affliction great or small afflicts a man but for a sin, but there are more which Allah forgives’. (Tirmidhi)

Dhikrullaah- A potent Anti-Depressant:

Make Allaah’s dhikr by following ways:

–By reciting Qura’an and contemplating over its verses;

Remembering Allaah by reciting Quraan while reflecting over its meanings grants peace and tranquility to the heart as Allah says: ”Verily in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts finds rest”: (13:28)

Not only it gives us certain guidelines on how to be steadfast on the face of calamities also It becomes a source of motivation for us and strengthens our imaan and hope in Allaah’s mercy , especially when we come across  certain stories like the story of Yusuf and Ayub (‘Alayhimussalaam).

Yusuf’s (‘Alaihysalaam) only son was separated from him ,but he didn’t despair the mercy of Allah and left a wonderful & most powerful advice for us. The Quran highlights it as:

”Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” (12:87).

Ayub (‘Alaihysalaam)) who was left without children and wealth when his health declined miserably and his body got diseased all over remained patient and didn’t utter a word of thanklessness to his Lord but sweetly invoked:

‘’Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” (21:83)

At places the Quran gives us incentives by reminding us of the sweet out come of enduring with patience . Allaah says;

“But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.’ They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance.” (2:155-157)

–Invocations for morning and evening:

Constantly invoke Allaah, in the morning and in the evening. Among the invocations for morning and evening there are duas for sorrow and anxiety. One of them is;

Allaahuma ini aodubika minah hame wal huzne wal ajzi wal kaslee wad dala id daine wa qahririjaal.

O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men. Ameen

Especial invocation for grief:

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a person who is afflicted by anxiety or sorrow says: ‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka wa ibnu ‘abdika wa ibn ammatika naasiyati bi yadika maadin fiyya hukmuka ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw asta’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘indaka an taj’al al-Quraana rabee’a qalbi wa noora sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, 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 with which You have named Yourself, or, or You have taught to any of Your creation, or You have revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)’, then Allaah will take away his anxiety and sorrow, and will replace it with joy.

-Abandoning Disobedience:

Remember the way to sakinah is through obeying Allaah Subhanahu watalaa .When a person does not follow the commands of Allah, his chest becomes constrained, he gets encircled by a discomfort zone .Outwardly he might seem to be enjoying the material blessings of this worldly life but inwardly he loses peace, tranquility and happiness.

Allah Subahnau wa talaa says :

”And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.”( 20:124)

Sinning causes a soul to wander in agitation. It may be a consequence of our sins that we feel bad and irritable. Despite that, Allaah is so Merciful ,He has shown us the way to drop the burden of sins by means of repentance. It’s one of the tricks of shaitaan that he makes us feel that our sin due to its magnitude is unpardonable. We are humans bound to sin but if one sincerely repents, Allaah forgives all His major and minor sins. The repentance should be sincere, pure repentance ‘Taubatun nasooh”,that  one should make a sincere repentance, he should feel guilty of his wrongdoing and he should resolve never to repeat that sin. After a person repents and performs more good deeds the constricting force  starts releasing on him and  he is granted thorough peace and satisfaction.

-Shukr Brings Contentment:

When you learn to value those blessings of Allah , you will develop the attitude of a grateful person. Prophet (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam)  said:

The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam, said: ‘Wealth is not in having vast riches, it is in contentment.’ (Bukhari, Muslim)

Even if you don’t have anything but a pair of eyes, ears, limbs you should be grateful to Allaah .You only realize the value of something when you lose it, look at those who’re blind, deaf and cripple and thank Allah. Indeed thanking Allah is a blessing itself , Dawood AS used to invoke Allah:

O Allah! how can I thank you enough when thanking you is also a blessing’

Jot down a list of all the things you are blessed with and ponder over the fact that what would happen if you lose them all.

Developing good Interpersonal skills:

Learning good skills in dealing with people takes a person on the road to happiness and triumph. There is no person on Earth who doesn’t like to be respected, adored and held in high esteem. The best way to develop good interpersonal skills is by studying the seerah of our beloved prophet pbuh and emulating it. Learn and incorporate those effective ways in your life which our he pbuh adopted to tackle with people possessing different personalities and natures. Learn the manners he taught and make them your second nature. Show people your care, concern and love and believe me you will be dumbfounded at what you receive in return. Engage in community service, lend your help to the ones in plight, this will help you move past your own plight and depression.

-Have a bowl of Talbinah daily:

Talbinah is actually barley soup which is one of the prophetic medicines. Ayesha (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha) would recommend the grieving and sick women to have it.

Ayesha would say (to the women), “Eat, for I heard the Messenger (peace be upon him) saying, ‘The Talbina soothes the heart of the patient and relieves him from some of his sadness.’” (Al-Bukhari, no. 5690)

In another Hadith the Prophet (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) said:

The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “I encourage you to use (Talbina) which is disliked, but is beneficial. By the One in whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, it cleans your stomach just as water cleans dirt from the face.” (Mustadrak of Hakim, no. 7455, Adh-Dhahabi declared it Sahih)

Recipe for Talbina:

Talbina is made by adding one or two tablespoon of barley flour in one and a half cups of water and mixed homogeneously till it dissolves in water. It is then kept over the flame  and constantly stirred till it thickens. Have it by adding a little honey and milk.

A few other tips:

-Exercise daily for 20-30 mins: this helps relieve stress to some extent and provides relaxation to the body. During exercise the chemicals ‘endorphins’ are released which elevate the mood. Exercise leaves positive impact on sleep and behavior..

-Fast:  Alright, you do it for the sake of Allah but it not only gives you reward but some other extra benefits: fasting also triggers release ‘endorphins’ which give a feeling of ‘well- being’.

-Take foods that beat stress: Google out a list of foods which fight stress and include them in your diet list.