By Bint Salman
When you are at your worst and you feel as if your heart will almost burst.
The depressing thoughts come in train and make tears fall just like droplets of rain…
You walk around wearing a skin so think
leaving an impression that nothing has happened that could reveal your poor nick ,
Then your eyes fail restraint and the tears stream down uncontrolled…
Grabbing your aching chest you find a spot where you search for solace undisturbed…
Your heart fires with a velocity high, all the complaints which you make end on..
And the dua from a heart so broken goes straight up without any barrier on…
The soul talk with Creator works wonders, through the pain it makes you get up after the surrender..
It brings you back to the sweetness of the feeling..
Were you ever alone with his words acting on your wounds causing gentle healing?
‘So surely with difficulty is ease…
Surely with difficulty is ease..
By Umm ‘Aisha
Sometimes all of a sudden- life changes, from being blessed to being wretched, from being at the top of the world to becoming down-trodden. All of a sudden we start facing problems in every single aspect of our life, everything we try- we fail in it. Be it physical, spiritual, familial, social, economical, psychological- you name it.
All of a sudden we see people who once loved us- are now betraying, the business we were experts at- is severely challenged, the family which was a support- has left us on our own, the health we adored- is now worn-out, the beauty we owned- has departed, leaving us ugly. All of a sudden we- who were looked up by people are now looked down upon- ALL OF A SUDDEN?!
How come is it ‘all of a sudden’?!
We start questioning the purpose of us- being alive, as if we don’t deserve life anymore. We don’t find any aim to live up for; we lose our passions- and start drowning into the episodes of Depression- the insomnias- the low appetite- the lack of interest in all meaningful things; crying and blaming become our new personality and we end up becoming introverts.
The cycle goes on until we wake up! Wake up from the deceptive sleep, and try to find out the actual WHY!
After failing in all our efforts, tired of always ending-up in nowhere, when all resources eventually back-out and we are in complete darkness of despair, we feel the Only open Door- that One Door which we have forgotten through-out our struggle. The Door we should have knocked in the beginning. And then we realize the truth of: There is no Might except with Al-Qadir, there is no way except with Al-Haadi, there is no comforter except The One who removes all the evil, there is no healer except Ash-Shaafi, there is no business and job except with Ar-Razzaq, and there is no love except with Al-Wadood.
And we find out the actual answer of our WHYS:
“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]
Isn’t this true? Isn’t it the ‘actual reason’? Isn’t it the correct answer to all our Whys?
Yes! It is.
But it doesn’t end here- it doesn’t increase the guilt and leaves us to commit suicide. It wasn’t because He s.w.t hates us, it wasn’t because He had disowned us when we went away from Him and it wasn’t because He had stopped loving us like the rest of the world. For He is our only Well-wisher and He explains the reason why we went into that depressive mode- why didn’t He help us out of our problems and why He wanted us to fall in all those pains-
And We have already sent (messengers) to nations before you, then We seized them with poverty and hardship that perhaps they might humble themselves (to Us). [6:42]
So now we know that all those hardships were to make us humble- to make us remember that only purpose for which we were created- to make us go back to the One we came from and to make us say:
إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return. [2:156]
Lets then go back and repent- and cry- and feel ashamed on forgetting Him, on forgetting the purpose of our being and lets witness His Mercy again, lets enjoy His countless blessings once again and lets see how much He cares for us and how much He loves us. And also- lets not forget Him again. In sha ALLAH.
اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا
يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا
وَيُمْدِدْكُم بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَارًا
Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.
He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers
And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. [71:10-12]
And we shouldn’t worry thinking: if ALLAH will accept us back or not- for if we are alive and if our breaths are intact, He is waiting for our ‘come-back’, for our repentance and He is ready to welcome us with all His Rehmah and blessings.
O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. [Hadith Qudsi]
Listen up! all of you out there. Whatever be the nature of your distress don’t despair the mercy of Allaah, indeed His help is near. Allaah never intends to break you down, He wants to strengthen you, teach you things you would have never learnt if things had continued to run smooth ,refine your faith and do what is BEST for you in His own subtle ways. So rest assured, the matters of your life are in safe hands. Calm down, clear your head off from nasty thoughts , read this and rethink!
Oh Allaah why does it have to be like that?:
The moment Allaah issues His decree on us and we pass through events of catastrophic nature,many of us become hopeless and even faithless.Our spontaneous reaction on being tested or afflicted by a calamity usually is,we start questioning Allah, ”Oh Allah WHY? why did it happen to me? of all why only me?. This is usually phase one,followed by more phases. Let’s go through these phases and learn a few things, insha’Allaah.
In the initial phase, right at the onset of distress, Shaitaan comes with all the bad stuff and ideas,constantly whispering them to us and mainly through Shubhaat that is doubts continues to lead us in despair . Since we are in a weak position so like a perfect enemy Shaitaan makes his move and throws his arrows and spears . Therefore it’s here where we need real strength and Emaan to retaliate.
Allah says in Surah Baqarah – Ayah 155 and 156 that He tests His servants with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits and in the next verse He mentions the quality of His believing slaves by giving them the title ‘As sabireen’ (the patient). These are the ones who in their phase one, right after being afflicted say; “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”. Just ponder over the Emaan of these people,despite being distressed they immediately realize that Allah has given them everything and He has the power to take those bounties whenever He wishes.Therefore they show their contentment with Allah’s decree. This is ar rida anillah azzawajal it means to be pleased with Allah, to believe strongly that His wisdom is infinite and He does what is best for us and we’re not to question Him as He says in Surah Ambiyaah – Ayah 23: ”He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned”
Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allaah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2396; Ibn Maajah, 4031; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Therefore whenever any unpleasant thing happens to us we must patiently endure and utter innalillahi wa innailaihi rajioon and console ourselves by relying on Allah’s wisdom and the good that results from it.We should also make Du’aa to Allah to reward us in our patience and compensate the loss with something better; ”Allahuma jurni fee museebati wakhlufli khairam minha”. O Allah compensate me for my loss and give me what is better than it.
Under such situations there are people who suffer a marked decrease in their Emaan levels, they get so caught up in their grief that they miss their Salah,they turn lazy towards Deen and remembrance of Allaah. While Allaah says in Ayah 45 in Surah Baqarah: ”seek help in patience and prayer”. That is why our prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would pray because it provides comfort and helps during mishaps and adversities. Salah establishes a direct link with Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’alaa) , it’s when u can talk to him, you can weep to Him as He’s always there for His slaves.
Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said “Whenever the matter became serious the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would pray. (Collected by Abu Dawud (1319) and others. Graded as being Hasan by Shaykh Al-Albani).
Exercise self-control by avoiding violence and self-induced hysteria:
Patience also entails that one remain as calm as possible on being struck by misfortune and doesn’t inflict harm upon himself or others or the surrounding objects,which is the patience by body. Some people when misfortune hits them start shouting and tearing their clothes and get hysterical but later over a period of time they calm down. This is not patience in any way.
Once prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was passing by a grave when he saw a woman who was doing what she should not be doing on death of her husband. So He (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) told her ittaqillah wasbiri; ‘be conscious of Allah and be patient’. To this she said ;”turn away from my face for you haven’t been afflicted with a calamity that I have been,so he just walked away. Later when she came to know that it was the prophet of Allah (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) ,she went to his house and told him that she didn’t know it was him. The prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) told her “Verily! patience is at first stroke of calamity.”
For how long will things be like that?
In yet another phase,when the period of affliction prolongs to months or years,we give up hope and stop our supplications all together. This is usually when Allaah’s help is just around the corner.
Let us strengthen our Emaan by taking guidance from the beautiful story of Yusuf (‘Alaihi Salaam) .It was revealed in Aamul-Huzn (the year of sadness) for the emotional and moral support of the prophet Mohammad( sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam).So one can ponder over the verses of Surah Yusuf to get motivation and immense comfort, insha’ Allah. Yusuf (‘Alaihi Salaam) was a victim of maltreatment and abuse but it was His patience, perseverance and faith in Allah that led him from the darkness of well and gloom of the prison to a lofty status in Egypt. It was not merely a month but more than seven years of patience and endurance that yielded sweet rewards and the same brothers who plotted against him, went down into prostration before him, as a token of respect. Take lessons from Zakariyah (‘Alaihi Salaam) who turned old and his wife became barren yet he invoked hopefully by saying “… and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy [i.e., disappointed].” [Surah Maryam – Ayah 3]
In the hereafter the patient ones will be taken to paradise without any reckoning while others will be terrified about their hisaab as Allah says in Surah Zumar – Ayah 10:
Say: “…Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.”
The term used here is Beghairi Hisaab, some interpreters say Bighairi Hisaab means: the amount of deeds you’ve done in this life wouldn’t deserve the status that you will be in paradise .
In Surah Baqarah – Ayah 157 Allaah assures the Saabireen of His blessings,forgiveness,mercy and guidance.
Those who are patient are rewarded with ‘Maiyatullaah that is ‘the company of Allaah’ and ‘HubbAllaah-love of Allaah’ as Allaah says in Surah Baqarah and Surah Aal ‘Imraan:
”innallaaha ma’as saabireen – indeed Allaah is with those who’re patient.” (2:156)
” innallaaha yuhibbus saabireen – ‘verily Allaah loves those who’re patient.” (3:146)
Stop nagging people and complain to Allaah alone:
Many a times we keep complaining about our misfortunes to the people,rather in more accurate terms to the Created beings who would show indifference, no signs of mercy ,when we should be approaching our Creator who has an infinite amount of Mercy for us. Therefore,when it comes to patience it applies to tongue also.One can be patient by his tongue by not complaining to other than Allaah and this is the meaning of Subrun Jameel, the beautiful patience. The prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said when he was asked; “its patience by which you don’t complain” and of course the meaning here is we should complain to only Allah and not His Created beings as we see Yaqoob as in Surah Yusuf – Ayah 86. said: “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allaah”.
Just hold on to hope in Allaah and don’t despair:
If you’re being tested,so were the prophets,the righteous people of the past but they clung to their faith more strongly.Allaah says:
” Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. . And We indeed tested those who were before them. “ (Surah Ankaboot – Ayah 2 and 3)”
No matter how your distress aggravates,just carry on,for it’s only disbelievers who lose hope in Allah’s Mercy.
”Certainly no one despairs of Allaah’s mercy, except the people who disbelieve.’‘ (Surah Yusuf – Ayah 87)
For how many years did Ibrahim (‘Alaihi Salaam) hold his hope in Allaah when he prayed for a son ? Zakariya (‘Alaihi Salaam). too had to wait for a long time but they did not give up hopes in Allaah. So ask yourselves this question: ‘should I give up so easily?’
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]
By Bint Salman
Have 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.
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.