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Dealing with anxiety and how to lighten worries


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Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: March 28, 2011, 02:20:48 am »

BismAllah Ar Rehman Ar Raheem


Lecture by Zakia Usmani
(Edited slightly by MV for greater conformity with Quranic perception)


When things become unbearable, we have nowhere to turn to but toward Allah.

A Muslim historian named Ibn al-Jawzi once expressed about himself:  'Something was causing me a great deal of grief and distress, and I started to think long and hard about how to get out of this situation by any means, but I could not find any way out. Then I came across this verse:

“… And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him, And will provide for him from (a quarter) whence he hath no expectation.  And whosoever putteth his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. Lo! Allah bringeth His command to pass. Allah hath set a measure for all things”.   (65:2-3)  Surah At-Talaaq

I realized that taqwa (fearing Allah, piety, patience and firm faith in Allah) is the way out of every kind of grief and distress. As soon as I followed the path of taqwa, I found the way out.'

Taqwa is the way that leads to everything good, for calamity happens either as  test or a result of our mistakes and it can only be lifted through patience and repentance.   Staying away from the guidance of Allah brings misery and deprives one from His blessings.  It invariably turns our knowledge, beauty, strength and intelligence into calamity and loss.

Turning to Allah requires a person to renew themselves, reorganize their life, and develop a better relationship with Allah and do better deeds and reciting Quranic verses and also extra-Quranic duas (supplications) which conform with the Quran.  A good extra-Quranic dua compatible with the Quran is as follows:

Allahumma anta rabbi la ilaha illa anta. Khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika ma istata’tu. A’udhu bika min sharri ma sana’ta.  Abu’u laka bi ni’matika ‘alayya wa abu’u bi dhanbi faghfir li fa innahu la yaghfiru adh-dhunuba illa anta.”

“O Allah, You are my Lord and there is no god but You. You created me and I am Your slave. And I am trying my best to keep my oath (of faith) to You and to live in the hope of Your promise. I seek refuge in You from my greatest evil-deeds. I acknowledge Your blessings upon me and I acknowledge my sins. So forgive me, for none but You can forgive sins.”

It is very clear to us that life in this world will never be perfect (that will only happen in Paradise, of course), but it is within our ability, with the help of Allah, to make the most of what we have in this world and attain a level of contentment and happiness no matter what our lot in life is. There are important lessons to be learned here: faith, hope, patience and acceptance … and never underestimate the power of a smile.

Be thankful to Allah that He has bestowed many favours and blessings upon you. Always expect a way out and look forward to ease after hardship.  Be patient and seek reward with Allah, do not despair, do no give up, be optimistic, for Allah is with you. Allah is sufficient for you and He will protect you.

Verily with every difficulty there is ease (Surah 94:6); there is light after darkness, there is day after the night, so do the calamities come to an end as well, by Allah’s leave. Remember that you will be rewarded for every difficulty you face with patience and humility toward Allah. Everything that happens to you for the sake of Allah is expiation for you, if Allah wills.

Seek reward with Allah. If some worry, distress or grief befalls you, remember that it is expiation for sin. Sickness, poverty, hunger all bring their own rewards from Allah. Nothing is ever lost with Him. That's definite.  Count the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you. Think of those who are less fortunate than you. How many things you own, how many things you possess, how many blessing’s do you enjoy. Remain content with Allah and with what is decreed for you; believe in القدر /Al-Qadr (power i.e. power of Allah) and be optimistic about the future.

Remember that with Allah are the keys of the unseen, and He, the Almighty, is the One Who brings relief from worry and distress. So turn to Him and call upon Him and always recite "there is no god but Allah" and praise Him.
 
May Allah open our hearts to contentment with His decree and give us peace of mind, and fill our heart with happiness.
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2011, 01:40:49 am »

Very soothing piece.  Thanks sister Heba for editing it so well exactly on Quranic lines.  Otherwise Zakia Usmani often wavers away from the Quran onto the tales of Hadith.  She does this every so often and ruins important topics.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2011, 01:49:34 am »

lol, yes precisely sister Zeynab.  That's why I've lost much of my trust in her.  A few months ago when I began receiving her reading materials, she was quite bit on the Quran only.  Then gradually she began pushing toward Hadith, as they all do.  Another bad thing I've noticed about her is that she's commercializing her work and also the works of othes on their behalf.  She's all the time asking for big donations with lame excuses.  It's really sad.  I'm now thinking of discontinuing my subscription of her works.  This was the last good piece I got from her which too I had to edit quite a lot by replacing her Hadith passages with Quranic facts. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011, 01:55:13 am »

O yes!  absolutely right.  she's very much into commercialization of her work.  In fact I would call her greedy.  A couple of months ago she sent an invitation of a one-hour (or maybe two-hours) online live lecture with a fee of $199/-.  I could hardly believe it. I wrote to her telling her the cost was ridiculous and I couldn't afford it.  No reply.  Since that day I ended my subscription for receiving her works.  Disgusting!
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2011, 02:00:05 am »

 Shocked  whoooops!  $199 for a single online live lecture?  that sounds like a real big joke!!!!  These people simply need the money as a supplement to their family income to meet their day-to-day expenses.  Instead of doing a regular job and earning jointly with their spouses, when the husband goes to work, the wife makes money with the excuse of spreading Islam among people.  Why will Allah help this ummah when those supposed to be guiding others are the most misguided of all?
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 02:03:01 am »

Why will Allah help this ummah when those supposed to be guiding others are the most misguided of all?

Very correct ..
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 04:32:13 am »

HERE IS ANOTHER NICE PIECE ON DEALING WITH STRESS AND ANXIETY, GIVEN BY THE FACEBOOK PRAYER CIRCLE, "RISAL-E-NUR."

How Can We Deal with Stress and Anxiety?

1) Dua or supplication: Turn each anxiety, each fear and each concern into a Dua (supplication). Look at it as another reason to submit to God and be in Sajdah (prostration), during which you are closest to Allah. God listens and already knows what is in your heart, but He wants you to ask Him for what you want.  "Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for Allah loveth not those who trespass beyond bounds. Do not make mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear. And longing (in your hearts): for the mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good" (Noble Quran 7:55-56).

2)  Realization of human limitations: While we need to carry out our duty to the best of our abilities, always remember that you don't control the outcome of events. Even the Prophets did not control the outcome of their efforts. Some were successful, others were not. Once you have done your duty, leave the results to Allah. Regardless of the results of your efforts, you will be rewarded for the part you have played. However, don't underestimate your abilities. Understand the concept of Barakah (blessings from Allah) and remember that Allah can and InshaAllah will expand them if you are sincerely making efforts for the right path.

3)  Leave the world behind you five times a day:  Use the five daily prayers (salaat) as a means to become more Hereafter-oriented and less attached to this temporary world.  When you stand ready to pray, mentally prepare yourself to leave this world and all of its worries and stresses behind you.   Shaytan might try to distract you during prayers but he will never succeed if your Faith in Allah is firm.  Make sure your Sajdas (prostrations) are talking Sajdas, in which you are really connecting to God and seeking His Mercy, praising Him, and asking His forgiveness.

4)  Seek help through Sabr:  Seek help through Sabr and Salat.  "Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded,  (Noble Quran 2:45).  This instruction from Allah provides us with two critical tools that can ease our worries and pain. Patience and prayer are two oft-neglected stressbusters. Sabr includes self-control, perseverance, endurance and a focused struggle to achieve one’s goal.  It includes a duty to remain steadfast and a feeling of contentment to accept the results of our best efforts.  Sabr enhances our self-control. We cannot control what happens to us but we can control our reaction to those happenings.  At such times, Sabr is indispensible.

5)  A realization and constant reminder to ourselves that we are NOT running the world, Allah is:   He is the Wise, the All-Knowing.  Sometimes our limited human faculties are not able to comprehend His wisdom behind what happens to us and to others, but knowing that He is in control and that as human beings we submit to His Will, enriches our humanity and enhances our obedience towards him.  Read the story of the encounter of Moses with the mysteries behind Allah's decision (Noble Quran: 18:60-82).  Familiarize yourself with the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah, which are also known as His Attributes.  It is a great way of knowing Him. 

Also, read and understand Ayat al-Kursi (Verse of the Throne) every day.  It is the most beautiful summary of Allah's infinite power.  Ayat-al-Kursi is as follows:
"Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave ? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous."  (2:255 Surah Al-Baqrah).

It is also a very good idea to recite Ayat-al-Kursi after each of the 5 daily prayers (salaat).  It brings immense peace of mind and peace of heart.  If you are reciting in original Arabic but you don't understand Arabic, make sure you keep the translation with you and read that too after reciting the original.  If you don't know it in Arabic, recite the English translation, and gradually learn the original Arabic too.

6)  Be thankful to Allah:  Express your gratitude to Allah every day.  Even if you are in a tough situation, never forget that it could have been far worse.  Allah does not like ingrates.  "If ye give thanks, I will give you more;" (14:7 Noble Quran).  Counting our blessings helps us not only to be grateful for what we have, but it also reminds us that we are so much better off than millions of others, whether that is in terms of our health, family, financial situation, or other aspects of our life. And being grateful for all we have helps us maintain a positive attitude in the face of worries and challenges we are facing almost daily.

7)  Pursue your goals one step at a time, gradually:  Think, prioritize, plan, and move forward.  But one step at a time.

8)  Efforts, not Results, count in the Sight of Allah:  Our success depends on our sincere efforts to the best of our abilities. It is the mercy of Allah that He does not demand results, Alhamdulillah. He is happy if He finds us making our best sincere effort.

Thank you Allah!
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