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Impact of Islamophobia - Stress Management for Muslims


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« on: March 01, 2015, 11:54:35 pm »

ISLAM AND STRESS MANAGEMENT
By Professor Rafiq Beekun

Stress is “the physiological response to actions or events that place excessive psychological or physical demands on a person.” It is a condition or feeling inexperienced when a person perceives that demands exceed their ability or resources to handle them. When you are stressed, it may result in any or all of the following:

1)  Decrease in communication.

2)  Decrease in motivation.

3)  Decrease in performance since your performance is a function of your ability.

4)  Learned helplessness which according to Wikipedia "is a psychological condition in which a person feels that he/she has not control over their situation and that whatever they do is futile.  As a result, they will stay passive when the situation is unpleasant or harmful."

5)  Reactance which according to Wikipedia "is an action in direct contradiction to rules / regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms.  It can occur when someone is heavily pressured to accept a certain view or attitude.  Reactance can cause the person to adopt or strengthen a view or attitude that is contrary to what was intended and also increases resistance to persuasion."  Reactance can lead to rebellion or physical confrontation to restore previously gained rights or freedom.

Please note that the amount of stress one experiences depends on one’s perception of the situation and one’s ability to handle with it.

No matter how bad you perceive your situation to be and how depressed or stressed or desperate you are, never give up on Allah. Doing so is actually tantamount to disbelief.

“Truly no one despairs of Allah’s Soothing Mercy except those who have no faith. ” (Qur’an, 12: 87).

When you feel overwhelmed and down with stress, remember Allah and do Zikr. Zikr refers to all forms of the remembrance of Allah, including Salat, Tasbeeh, making supplication (Dua), and reading the Quran.

“And your Rab says: ‘Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer)…” (Quran 40:60)

As Muslims, we are in direct communication with the Almighty. He is the only One Who not only Hears and Knows all, but Who can change our situation and give us the patience to deal with our difficulties.

“Remember Me, and I shall remember you; be grateful to Me, and reject Me not”
(Quran 2:152).


Continuously relying on Allah or Tawakkul is an intrinsic part of your life as a Muslim or Muslima, and especially so during times of stress. Before you leave home for work, say ‘in Your Name Allah, I put my trust in Allah, and there is no power or force except with Allah.’

Once you have determined how to deal with a stressful situation or problem at work (or anywhere), put your trust in the most Wise and the All-Knowing.

“When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah” (Quran 3: 159).

[This verse is Allah's advise to the Prophet (pbuh), hence very important for us to follow in similar situations].

Source of the above concise piece: The Islamic Workplace - Stress Management.

Part of the above article has been taken from How a Muslim should deal with stress and anxiety by Abdul Malik Mujahid.

Please note:   The above posted article has a series of detailed columns and the Ahadith start pouring in as it advances.  But the initial introduction as I've posted above is a truly fine, useful, brief yet comprehensive guide from the Quran alone and fully compatible with the Quranic contents. If you're are wise and perceptive, this is enough to help you.  No need to go into the unnecessary calls of Hadith which other than completely lacking in authenticity will clash with Quranic instructions of perseverance and will-power with help of Faith.


The February 10, 2015 murders of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has left many young Muslims terrified and stressed. There is a realization that Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu -Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha could very easily have been them. We must tend to our youth and do our best to help them cope with stress generally, and Islamophobia specifically.  (Source of above image and caption - Sound Vision concerning impact of Islamophobia on mental health of Muslims).


CONVERTING FEAR AND DEPRESSION INTO FAITH
By Amaarah Usmani

Our Ummah’s collective heart is in pain. One after another, tragedy after tragedy. After much persuasion by Muslims on social media, media outlets began showcasing these tragedies and Muslims have been spreading awareness around the globe. Bias still exists, and news has been skewed like always, but at least Muslims have finally begun to speak up.

But despite our efforts on the outside, our hearts are still fearful. A Muslim girl born and raised in America rarely feared walking outside in her Hijab, but now she does.It’s still home to her, but now it seems as if her own home doesn’t accept her. Praying in the university library served as a form of Dawa before, but now a young Muslim thinks it would unnecessarily attract dangerous attention.

As Muslims, we have to understand that when times are difficult, it’s a call from Allah to turn to Him completely, submitting ourselves more than ever before. Fear is natural, but we have to learn how to convert it into increased faith. The One protecting us in good times is the same One protecting us in bad times.

The first action we all need to take is to intensify our asking for forgiveness from Allah. We should already have this down in our daily Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), but when calamities increase, Istighfar (seeking God’s forgiveness) becomes crucial. You might not be doing anything wrong, but when we as an Ummah become too attached to the Dunya and slowly start forgetting the real reason we’re here, Allah collectively shakes us awake.

"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."  (65:2-3).

Fear just as an emotion cannot change anything. But if you convert that same emotion into motivation and strength, then it becomes positive. Being complacent and unaware should also be worrisome, because these signs are sent from Allah to test our faith. Now is the time for action, for speaking out, for raising our hands in desperation to Allah, not for pretending like nothing has happened and continuing as before.

Along with Istighfar, increase your Ibadah (worship). Strengthen your obligatory prayers if they’re not already solid, and then start on additional or Nafl prayers. The peace that emanates from prayer is unlike any other. In tough times, Allah wants to see who we turn to for assistance and comfort. We can turn to our family and friends for support, but when it comes to the ultimate, guaranteed relief, we need to turn to Him first and foremost.

As we should do in even the smallest of matters, turn to the Quran for guidance. Specifically, read Surah Al-Kahf.  Whatever happens to us, we can find an exact Verse, Surah, in the Quran that addresses our state of mind, our emotions, and the exact solution that we need for it.

In the story of the People of the Cave, the youth who hid in the cave were also in tough times, and they were the recipients of hostility simply because they said, “God is One.” For their courage and resilience in trying times, Allah honored them by preserving their story for years and years to come. It might have happened centuries ago, but their story has numerous lessons we can apply to our current situation. The Surah also contains other advice, stories, Prophetic examples with incredibly exquisite morals that can certainly help us in looking at our situations in a positive light.

We truly are entering a difficult age, but that means there are more opportunities to do good and earn the pleasure of Allah. The lives who have returned to Allah left wonderful legacies for us to continue, and we simply cannot afford complacency and indifference at this point, nor can we possibly do any good while in a constant state of fear and hopelessness. Help yourself first by turning to Allah.

Source of the above article:  Facebook - Sound Vision.

Please note:  The article has been slightly truncated for readers' convenience and its Hadith narration has been replaced by a Quranic Verse.
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 10:39:03 am »

Very soothing pieces.  Thank you for putting them up by wisely highlighting the portions based on the Quran only. That's all what we need. Unfortunately Sound Vision like others being so obligated to Hadith, embarks on its narrations, one after another, on every topic they write making it unnecessarily lengthy and eventually out of context.

Islamophobia is going absolutely amok in North America and Europe with dangerous repercussions in lackey countries like Israel, India and Burma etc.  While the West is darn quick to pop up with psychological evaluations even after an insect bite on whites or non-Muslims, this awful transformation of the Western society from freedom and cultural tolerance (for which it too great pride) to relentless discrimination, bias and racism is never seen by them as an issue that could cause emotional hurt and psychological trauma to the Muslim minority living abroad.  As time goes by, the white nation is proving itself soley responsible for its own penchant for radical parochialism.
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