Husn udh-Dhann Billah – Having Good Opinion of Allah

By Naila Naiyyar

husn-udh-dhann

Husn udh-dhann billah means having a good opinion of Allah. It refers to being certain of receiving only good from Him; to have positive thoughts about Him, believing that He will deal with us in the best of ways. Allah says, “I am as My servant thinks I am”. (Bukhari) That is, in order for us to expect something good from Allah we have to truly believe that He is capable of giving that good.

Thinking well of Allah is a fundamental aspect of our worship. How can we worship Him the way He deserves to be worshipped when we are not aware of His Attributes or when we think that He is akin to the people around us?

One of the main causes of lacking  husn udh-dhann billah is our comparing Allah and His Attributes to those of humans, wrongly assuming that Allah will not be good to us because we ignored Him; or that He is One who takes pleasure from our sufferings and will not listen to our pleas because we disobeyed Him (na’udhubillah); or that since we have indulged in the worst of sins, He will put us in the blazing hell-fire, wondering why will He even consider us for heaven as there are so many pious people that already exist!  All such thoughts indicate that we do not know who Allah actually is or how Just and Merciful He is.

In order to avoid all these negative thoughts, we need to study and know the Attributes of Allah. Allah is nothing like any of His creation. He is free of defect and deficiencies. His Promise is always true and He never forgets. Even the tiniest of our deeds does not escape His Attention. He is never too busy to ignore us. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him, nor sleep. He always remembers us no matter how many times we forget Him. We need to firmly believe that Allah answers our duas, forgives us and that He is enough for us. Count all your Blessings and ponder over your past, recounting all the moments that Allah never let you down.

This lack of education on our part helps shaytaan play with our minds and heart. This creates hopelessness in us and we begin to despair the Mercy of Allah.

I will share two great examples of this from the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

 

Example 1:

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) set out of his home with Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) as his companion to migrate to Madeenah, while the Quraysh were conspiring against him. They hid in the cave of Thawr, and Abu Bakr said to him (peace be upon him) “If one of them looks down at his feet he will see us.” He (peace be  upon him) said, “What do you think, O Abu Bakr, of two the third of whom is Allah?

This is an example of nothing but having a strong conviction that Allah is the Most Powerful and the One in control of everything. Allah mentions this historical event in the Quran:

“If you do not aid the Prophet – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his Tranquility upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the Word of Allah – that is the Highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Quran, 9:40)

 

Example 2:

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was having his mid-day sleep under a tree, with his sword hanging on one of the branches. A Bedouin suddenly came and took the Prophet’s sword. The Prophet (peace be upon him) woke up and the Bedouin asked him, “Who will protect you from me?” He (peace be upon him) replied, “Allah”. The sword fell from the bedouin’s hand and the Prophet (peace be upon him) took his sword. (Bukhari)

 

Benefit of having good opinion of Allah

It makes life easy and productive. When we have husn udh-dhann billah, we’d have a sense of peace and inner calm which pushes us to do good with the belief that Allah will reward us and grant us success.

Husn udh-dhann billah also increases our tawakkul (trust) where we do our best and then leave the result up to Allah. If we had a bad opinion of Allah (soo’udhann billah) then we wouldn’t strive hard in life, nor would we wish to achieve anything because we would not expect anything good to happen to us.

We also need to keep in mind that good opinion has to be followed by good actions. We can’t be mean to people or disobey Allah and then expect that He be kind to us.

“And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out and will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent”. (Quran, 65:2-3)

 

How to Develop Husn udh-Dhann Billah

1) Making du’a with certainty

Making du’a is not only action of the lips but also includes the intention in one’s heart. People may raise their hands in making du’a but may not be sincere in asking Allah. They either make their minds up that Allah is never going to answer, or they preoccupy their minds so much with worldly thoughts that making dua becomes merely a ritual.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Call upon Allah when you are certain of a response, and know that Allah does not accept any supplication from a heart that is unfocused and distracted.” (Tirmidhi)

2) The intention of our deeds

Performing deeds solely for Allah’s Pleasure and having firm belief that Allah will accept them and reward us in the best way are yet other ways of imbibing husn udh-dhann billah. Else, we would never attempt at anything good or we may easily give up half-way questioning ourselves, ‘why bother when our actions are not bringing instant results or the way we want them to turn out?’

3) Belief in Allah’s Promise

Husn udh-dhann billah also refers to believing that Allah always keeps His word and will grant us all that He promises. For instance, if He Promises ease with every hardship, then indeed we will have that ease. If Allah Promises us increase in our sustenance if we spend in His way, then we must have firm belief in that too.

4) Repenting & seeking forgiveness

Allah says, “O My servants, you commit error night and day and I am there to Pardon your sins, so beg pardon from Me so that I should Grant you Pardon.” (Muslim)

This teaches us to sincerely repent and seek forgiveness from Allah with the hope that He will accept our repentance and forgive us. If we did not have this certainty in our hearts, then we will never seek forgiveness and perhaps will keep on sinning. Not expecting Allah to Forgive us or Grant us what we ask him is despairing of His Mercy and not believing in His Word.

5) Trials & tribulations

The most crucial stage to have a good opinion of Allah is when calamity falls upon the believer. It is very easy to complain at that time, lose hope and be in the worst state of negativity. But a believer knows that trials occur only due to Allah’s infinite Wisdom, and to purify and increase us in closeness to Him. We might not understand why we are suffering but being positive in those times will help us to accept Allah’s Decree and make us realize that tests from Allah are in our best interest which we may comprehend only later.

The Prophets and Messengers of Allah had pinned all their hopes onto Allah, most especially when all odds were stacked against them. The fire was cooled for Prophet Ibrahim, Prophet Yunus came out of the belly of a fish and Prophet Zakariya was blessed with a child even though he was old and his wife barren. Why? Because they knew that Allah would respond to their pleas and get them out of every situation no matter how impossible they seemed.

Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (Surah Yusuf: 87)

6) Remember death

Finally, we are encouraged to remember Allah’s Mercy & Forgiveness on our death beds so that when we leave this world, we are hopeful of meeting our Lord.

Three days before Prophet (peace be upon him) passed away, said: “No one of you should die except thinking positively of Allah”. (Muslim)

 

Husn udh-Dhann Billah and Positive thinking

Having good opinion of Allah has one major byproduct – it makes us positive about life itself. This positive mindset will help us in keeping calm even during turbulences and help us get rid of pessimistic thoughts.

Having a positive outlook is the most important thing to bring ease in life especially when everything around us seems unbearable. It is the good belief that Allah is the Most Powerful, the Giver, our Savior & our Provider which will stop us from fearing people, and fear Allah instead. It will help us be consistent in our worship and teach us to ask from Allah alone rather than tiring ourselves in struggling to gaining acceptance from people. It frees us from the need of other human beings, and liberates us from following shaytaan and all those who follow him.

 

You may wonder: What if you did not experience success even though you worked hard and had good opinion of Allah? Well, remember that what seems like failure to us now will in fact bring only the best – even much better than what we had initially anticipated. It might be that Allah is saving us from something not in our knowledge. So we have to do our best in everything and accept His Divine Will that whatever we get is in our best interest and are thankful to Allah.

“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Quran: 2:216)

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.

Focus – ‘Where is My Mind?’

By Khalida Jalili

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His Personal Struggle

He is sitting in a spacious lecture hall occupied with more than 200 seats; yet, he feels cramped and uncomfortable. He feels the headache coming back again, especially on the right side. He can hear the professor explaining notes on the PowerPoint slide, but his mind is hazy. He puts in effort to listen more attentively to each word and process its meaning.

To his dismay, he simply cannot process the entire lecture. His mind wanders off to the humidity in the room, how much he needs to study for his next exam, the last argument he had with his wife, the tasks he needs to complete for his work, and his hunger – how can he forget that he’s hungry?! So he quietly sneaks out in the middle of the class for the fourth time this semester…

“What is happening to me?” he asks himself, “Why can’t I just pay attention in class?” He decided to go home to rest. Two hours later, after taking a nap, eating, and remembering to pray Salah, he realizes that he had forgotten to attend a work meeting due an hour ago!

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you may be experiencing concentration issues that require attention. The good news is that there are many solutions for this, alhamdulillah!

Possible Health Issues

Struggling with focus does not necessarily mean you suffer from any disorder, as it may simply be a bad habit, especially in our current technology-centered age. However, it is important to know that according to WebMD’s Symptom Checker, memory and concentration deficits are associated with 30 conditions including:

  •    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  •    Alzheimer’s Disease
  •    Anxiety
  •    Brain tumor
  •    Dementia
  •    Depression
  •    Infections
  •    Injury
  •    Medication side effects
  •    Parkinson’s Disease
  •    Schizophrenia
  •    Sleep apnea or sleep deprivation
  •    Stroke
  •    Vitamin B12 deficiency

Health Grades additionally mentions that psychological conditions such as emotional trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and even stress can result in poor concentration. Of course, all of the disorders just mentioned are only diagnosed following the presence of many other related symptoms; lacking concentration does not automatically imply that you suffer from any of these disorders; it is simply one symptom in individuals with these conditions.

What Should I Do?

Most of us do not sit home all day in front of the TV or computer. We may have a spouse, children, siblings, students, or employees we need to spend time with or manage. We have responsibilities regardless of who we are. So whether we spend most of our time at home, in school, or at work, there may come times when we feel overwhelmed. Here are some ways to modify and maintain our environment, mind, body, and soul for better focus:

Environment and Personal Assistants

 

Limit Distractions, Increase Motivation – Choose a quiet environment for work and/or studying purposes. Keep the area you are working in clutter-free so that your mind does not wander off. If your phone distracts you, keep it on silent, power it off, or remove it from your study area. Tell yourself that you will access social media if and only if you have completed your task. Correct intentions are important for gaining reward from Allah, but they are also vital in motivating us to focus on what we need to do; intentions keep us working on what is important despite potential distractions.

Break it Down – A tip often given by productivity experts is to ‘break down’ any task you need to complete. If you have to study for a test on 10 chapters, for example, you can break it down to studying two, three, or five chapters a day.

Write it Down – Allah revealed an entire Surah titled, “The pen”. If that is not enough to show us the importance of writing, then we must remember that we are humans and therefore bound to forget. Life will be a lot easier if you just write down your to-do list and reminders on paper or even carry it around electronically. This will help you organize and start completing your greater-priority tasks first when you have most energy and focus. Google calendar and Evernote are great personal assistants for this!

Time Yourself – When experiencing concentration issues, especially if accompanied by other symptoms, it is very easy to lose track of time or to not accomplish much within a certain time range. Track your time by setting alarms on your phone, use apps such as Task Timer, or simply write down your start and end times on paper. If you find it difficult to focus after 20 minutes, for example, set your timer for that task for 20 minutes and take a five-minutes’ break before the next 20-minute increment.

 

Body & Mind

 

Exercise Your Mind – Neuroscience research has shown that the human brain is incredibly malleable, so we must “use it or lose it”. According to Debbie Hampton’s article “Neuroplasticity: The 10 Fundamentals of Rewiring Your Brain”, “It’s almost as easy to drive changes that impair memory and physical and mental abilities as it is to improve these things.” Memorizing (no wonder huffaazh have such an incredible memory!), solving crossword puzzles, reading, answering math problems, and learning a new language (Memrise definitely makes this fun) are all excellent ways to exercise your mind.

Exercise Your Body – Exercise, according to Harvard Men’s Health Watch May 2013 Issue, is an effective way to increase your concentration and memory. Having the willpower or allotting time for exercising regularly may not always be easy, but if you go against those tendencies and exercise at least twice a week, you will see instant changes, in shaa Allah. You have options to exercise by following Youtube videos or by attending your local gym. Other options include learning martial arts, karate, or simply taking consistent (fast-paced) walks in your neighborhood.

Let Your Brain Rest – Allah created the day and night for a reason. Imagine how life would be if the earth was either always dark or perpetually sunny. Sleep with the intention of giving your brain and body rest so that you can be energized enough to worship Allah during the day. This way, you will be worshipping Allah even though you’re sleeping, subhanAllah! Based on the article Sleep, Learning, and Memory by Harvard Medical School, sleep is essential to paying attention and learning, so do not forget to sleep early tonight!

Watch Your Stomach – Do you feel a difference after consuming a burger with French fries and a soda versus eating salmon, fresh salad, and drinking organically? That’s because our diet has an impact on not just our physical health, but on our mental health as well. You might be surprised at your clarity of mind after implementing a few helpful diet tips.

Soul

 

Exercise Your Soul by Holding on to Prayer and Dhikr- The most essential action that we should always earnestly put in effort to revolve our life around is Salah and worshipping Allah in general. Dr. Bilal Philips said, When we repair our relationship with Allah, He repairs everything else for us”.

When we remember to pray, life will become easier and more peaceful even if it is “chaotic,” in shaa Allah.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “There is none who performs ablution and performs the ablution perfectly and then offers two rak’ahs of prayers concentrating on them with his heart and face except that paradise will be incumbent for him” (Sunan Abi Dawud).

Dhikr is an extremely important nourishment for the soul. Choose at least one dhikr  – whether it’s seeking istighfaar, saying subhanAllah, alhamdulillah, and Allahu Akbur 33 times after Salah, saying the morning and evening du’as, or any other dhikr – and maintain consistency

Shaykh Moutasem Al-Hameedi mentioned in his lecture Sweetness in Prayer that one key to finding khushoo’ – awe, concentration, fear, focus, humility – within Salah is developing khushoo’ and remembering Allah outside Salah.

Remember: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The Mufarridun have gone ahead.” He was asked, “Who are the Mufarridun?” He (ﷺ) replied, “Those men and women who frequently remember Allah” (Muslim).

Create a Routine – The Prophet (ﷺ) was asked, “What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He said, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He added, ‘Do not take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability” (Bukhari).

Consistency in our actions, according to this hadith, is important; however, this is also important in keeping us focused. If we do not pray regularly, for example, it is more likely that we will forget prayer altogether when something else distracts us. If we set a certain time and place for our daily actions, whether it is praying, studying, or exercising, our mind will maintain focus and we will engage in it even if we are tired.

May Allah bless us with a strong ability to maintain focus in whatever good we do. Ameen.

“I Am Muslim & I want To Die” Part 2 – Being Your Own Hero

By Khalida Jalili

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Have an action plan ready for whenever suicidal thoughts cross your mind. Since suicidal thoughts are triggered by various reasons and everyone’s situation is unique, there is no “one solution for all”. So write your own plan on a sticky note and place it on the fridge, the wall, your work desk, computer desktop, or anywhere you’ll notice it.

Action tips include:

Seeking Emergency Help

Always remember: Seeking help isn’t a weakness; it is a courageous act. In case you are about to commit suicide, immediately ring the emergency number in your country. If you are in the U.S., call 911. Or you may call the (USA) national confidential, toll-free suicide hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You may also visit your nearest emergency room at a local hospital. Someone will be there to help you.

Informing Family, Friends, and Teachers

Family, friends, and teachers can make a huge difference. Even if you believe otherwise, truth is that they care about you. So ask them to help you save yourself from yourself.

Seeking Professional Help

It is very important to consult with your doctor to find a suitable therapist, social worker, or a counselor. Muhammad (ﷺ) sought advice from others, so we must not shy from doing so too. Just as medical doctors are a means to curing physical illnesses such as cancer, mental health professionals are a means to curing psychological (and even spiritual) illnesses such as depression. This individual can also help you with your action plan.

Making Wudu

Wudu not only washes our sins, it refreshes our mood too (Try it!).

Hearing What Allah Has to Say to You

The Quran was sent to address everyone – including you and me – so read it to find solutions and comfort. The Quran is also a cure, so recite, recite, and recite until you feel better.

Finding Tranquility in Salah

Never miss your Salah because not only does it define us as Muslims, it is also the first means to finding solace and receiving answers to our supplications. Allah says: “O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Al-Baqarah; 2:153)

 

Embracing Healthy Energy

Go to the park for a walk (Physical exercise is a great way to reduce stress!), take deep breathes (inhale through your nose and exhale through the mouth), enjoy the weather (even if it’s “bad” weather), focus on nature’s beauty, and eat your favorite healthy food.

 

Writing Your Thoughts Down

Sometimes, simply penning your feelings onto paper and thereby releasing negative emotions can be a great relief!

 

Ensuring Protection

When you really don’t know what to do except cry, recite supplications for seeking refuge from shaitan and for forgiveness. Morning and evening supplications are also a great shield, so don’t forget at least a few of them. Two of my favorites include:

Bismillahil-ladhi laa yadurru ma’asmihee shay-un fel-ardhi wa laa fes-samaa’ wa huwas-samee’ul-‘aleem – “In the name of Allah with whose name nothing is harmed on earth nor in the heavens and He is The All-Seeing, The All-Knowing” (Hisnul-Muslim).

HasbiyAllahu ‘alaiihi tawakkaltu wa huwa rabbul-‘arshil-‘azheem – “Allah is Sufficient for me, none has the right to be worshipped except Him, upon Him I rely and He is Lord of the exalted throne” (Hisnul-Muslim).

 

Setting Goals

Our ultimate purpose in life is to worship our Creator. Set a few goals with the intention to please Allah by improving yourself and your community. Help others so that Allah may help you.

 

Eliminating Means

Make sure you have extremely reduced access to any lethal means (this should be the first step, really).

Although suicide may seem like the only solution for you, I assure you it is not. Why choose to end your life in exchange for misery when you can make your hardships a means to elevating yourself so high in Jannah that you end up in Al-Firdous, where you can have whatever your heart wishes and much more, in shaa Allah! May Allah grant us all a good ending. Ameen.

Great Suicide Survivor Stories:

  1. http://muslimmatters.org/2015/01/28/walking-away-from-suicide-part-1-of-3/
  2. How I stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying To Kill Me – One Person’s Guide To Suicide Prevention (Susan Rose Blauner)

Helpful Resources:

  1. Free 24/7 Life-line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  2. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
  3. https://arrajaathehope.wordpress.com/
  4. http://naseeha.org/
  5. http://nisahelpline.com/

Visit our blog to read the first part of this series.

Dealing with Difficult People – Part 1

By Naila Naiyyar

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It’s common to face difficult people in life, be it at work, school, in the family, random people in the lift, at shops, while standing in a queue or even in the same house. These situations cannot be avoided because we are different people with different temperaments, backgrounds and perspectives seeing things from varying angles.

The best way to deal with such people is to identify their characteristics, know how to cope with, and learn how to deal with them.

 

Signs of Difficult People

The difficult people that you encounter in your life may have at least one of the following signs:

  • Attention-seeking
  • Negative and Pessimistic
  • Snubbing
  • Flying into a rage
  • Always right; want to win every argument
  • Unreasonable; illogical
  • Finding faults; blaming others for their problems
  • Not accepting mistakes; lying
  • Playing victim
  • Stubborn; don’t want to change or improve; not open to suggestions
  • Know-it-all; don’t like their authority to be challenged

 

Coping Strategies

 

1) Remain calm:

Once you recognize any of these signs in someone, the most important thing then is to maintain your composure and not react to him. The moment you lose your calm, full-blown conflict will ensue. When the opposing party is already in a negative state of mind, you do not want to get engulfed in their negativity. Remaining calm and walking away from the situation tactfully without letting the negative vibe affect you is the best option at such a time.

Remember that you do not want to stoop to their level in reacting rashly. Always be aware of your actions. You are not responsible for the way they behave but you have total control over your OWN behavior. Constantly remind yourself even in times of peace that you will not indulge in any rash action. Make loads of dua and ask Allah to make things easy.

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You lest I misguide others , or I am misguided by others , lest I cause others to err or I am caused to err , lest I abuse others or be abused, and lest I behave foolishly or meet with the foolishness of others.” (Abu Dawud)

 

2) Identify the trigger buttons

Avoid topics that you know would trigger them. State the facts in a way other than being very direct or curt.

Also, what is it exactly that triggers YOU off? Not everyone will act or behave in the way we want them to; maybe that ticks you off. If you know the person very well, you would know what to expect. Being prepared to expect a certain behavior from the other person will help in letting it pass you without getting annoyed.

 

3) Beware of the temptation of being right

Avoid getting sucked in arguing or defending yourself. Even if they perceive you to be wrong, it is not the end of the world. An adamant person may not change his opinion anyway so it is better that you stay out of it. Being quiet is superior to winning.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever gives up telling lies in support of a false claim, a palace will be built for him in the outskirts of Paradise. Whoever gives up argument when he is in the right, a palace will be built from him in the middle (of Paradise). And whoever had good behavior, a palace will be built for him in the highest reaches (of Paradise).” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Be tactful in your dealings. Sometimes it is better that you stay to work towards maintaining peace than being right.

 

4) Limit interactions:

Set boundaries and limit interaction. With time you will realize that it’s alright to keep a certain level of distance without being impolite even if you live in the same house with that person. It’s not necessary to engage in a full conversation with them each time you see them especially when you know it will lead to conflict. Your happiness and peace is more important.

Let him have his say, and leave the conversation there. Keep your cool. Don’t let the negativity of the other person affect your mind, emotions, actions and words.

 

5) Identify your response pattern:

We all want to have ideal relationships with others but we need to realize that some things cannot and just would not change; we have to take it as it is. We need to analyze the situation and ask ourselves: Why is this happening? Could there be an angle to this situation besides what I am seeing and interpreting? What if it is me who is aggravating the situation? What is the best way I can use to deal this situation with? Surely, it is not that the other turns good, before suddenly turning nasty again!  Rather, it is highly likely that it is us who gets comfortable with them, only to be completely thrown off when there is an unexpected outburst from them, leading us again into shock, pain, grief and anger.

So identify the response pattern, because unless you change the way you respond and react to stressors, this cycle of stress and anger will be repeated over and over again.

 

6) Look at the positive aspect

Those you perceive to be ‘difficult’ might have within them other qualities that are good. Focus on those merits. Do not ignore the good things they do, nor avoid appreciating them.

 

Coping strategies to be continued in the next part, insha Allah

Love Before Marriage!

Cool-Love-Wallpaper

Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said:

“And the cure for this deadly illness (i.e. love before marriage) is for the person that is afflicted to realize that this love is only due to his/her own delusions and ignorance..

So upon such a person is to first and foremost strengthen their Tawheed and reliance upon Allaah, and secondly to increase in worship and busy themselves with it, so much so that they do not have any spare time letting their minds wander and think about their beloved.

And they should call upon Allaah to protect them and save them from this evil, just as Prophet Yusuf called upon Allaah and he was saved. And they should do as he did, be as he was, in terms of ikhlaas (sincerity) and remembering Allaah in abundance.

This is because if the heart is filled with ikhlaas for the sake of Allaah, there will be no space left for any unlawful love to be present, rather this only happens to a heart that is empty and has no ikhlaas whatsoever.

And let such people remind themselves that whatever Allaah has decreed for them is only in their own best interests, and when Allaah commands something it is never to cause harm or misery to His slaves.

And let them also remind themselves that their unlawful love does not benefit them, neither in this world or the hereafter! As for this world then they will be so preoccupied with their love that it will cripple them and will cause them to live in a fantasy world. And as for the hereafter then it will cause them to be preoccupied with the love of the creation instead of love for the Creator!

These people need to be reminded, that the one who is emerged in something will never see its ill effects, neither will the person who has never experienced such things. The only people who will be able to relate to them are those who have experienced the same thing but have been saved. Such people can look back and realize how evil it is.”

[ad-Daa’ wa ad-Dawaa p. 300]