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What Every Muslim Ought to Know About Suicide

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By Saba Malik

About eight years ago, I attended a depression mastery seminar by a prominent Muslim shaykh. At the time, I was learning about Muslims who have suicide attempts. In the back of my mind, I vaguely understood that suicide wasn’t allowed in Islam. But wondered why did Muslims who practiced their faith regularly still tried to kill themselves.

At the end of the seminar, I went up to the teacher and asked, “If a Muslim commits suicide, what happens to them.” I also shared some stories of some people I knew who were facing severe thoughts of ending their lives. After hearing my spiel, he simply said, “If a person kills himself or herself, they’re going straight to hell.” I still remember those words and the way he said them and the way they made me feel. I shook right to my brain. Alhamdulillah, this one powerful statement has left a lasting mark on me for years and allows me to help Muslims going through severe depression. The problem isn’t that we are unaware of this ayah “Nor kill yourselves”[i] in the Quran. The bigger issue is who has “real” suicide issues and who is merely having thoughts like, “Oh my God, my kids are driving me nuts! I just want to kill myself.”

[i] Quran (4:29)

There’s a second part to the depression seminar story. The shaykh also shared that he knew someone who committed suicide. The deceased’s family comforted themselves thinking that he wasn’t going to hell because he was sick. Interestingly, the shaykh disagreed. Allah is the ultimate judge and when you have suicidal thoughts or even attempt it, what do you make of it? Are you a bad Muslim? What if you actually killed yourself, what would be your fate?

Are the Rules Different for the Mentally Ill

I recently had the privilege of being in the company of an intelligent psychiatrist, and an insightful imam. The best part was that they were in the same room. After talking to them, I learned (which makes total sense now) that when a Muslim commits suicide and they are insane and have lost touch with reality, different conditions apply to them. On the other hand, when a believer commits suicide while fully understanding their actions and the ensuing results, they are in a different category.

This nuance in what constitutes as suicide can be a breath of fresh air, especially for Muslims with mental illnesses. If you have clinical depression or bipolar or other diagnosed mental illnesses, it’s not easy. A friend of mine recently had a suicide attempt where she did lose touch with reality. She had hallucinations and heard voices that were cheering her on to kill herself. She later told me that it was the most frightening thing in her life because she was not in control. She also said her eyes could see. Her fingers could feel. Her ears could hear. Yet she was blind, deaf and mute because her brain could not process all the incoming stimuli. That is what constitutes as insanity. It is different from other suicide committed by fully sane people. This suicidal attempt also came on very suddenly. Her therapist reassured her later that yes this can happen. Out of no fault of her own, she can kill herself because she has a severe mental illness. We are not in a place to say so and so is going to hell because only Allah truly knows how sane or insane someone is at the time of the a suicide attempt.

“To all those suffering from sadness or depression, know that it isn’t your fault. It isn’t because you’re weak. It isn’t because you’re just not grateful enough. It isn’t because you’re just not religious enough. It isn’t because you don’t have enough faith. It isn’t because God is angry with you. To all the well-meaning people who tell you this, just smile. And know deep in your heart that the tests of God come in different forms to different people. And know that, by the help of God, every test can become a tool to get closer to Him. And that, verily, with hardship come ease–and like all things of this world–this too shall pass.”[ii]

A sick Muslim after a surgery or getting cancer is showered with flowers and well wishes. A person in the psych ward who was just pulled away from jumping off that bridge only gets called crazy, a bad Muslim, doomed to hell, weak and just plain stupid. They might even be shamed to death, literally. But again, there is a distinction to be made between the everyday depression and thoughts of dying versus diagnosed mental illnesses, such as depression. Clinical mental illnesses have symptoms of suicidal thoughts and attempts. Depression is much more than grief and sadness. “It’s officially diagnosed by the DSM- IV as depressed mood systems lasting most of the day for a period of at least two weeks”[iii].

Dr. Abdullah al-Khater (d. 1989), professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of King Faisal, says, “A depressed person becomes less productive, concentrates less and starts to develop signs of forgetfulness. He may consider this life worthless and may even regard himself insignificant and worthless. He may wish for death and contemplate suicide.”[iv]

Depression with an organic, hereditary cause or chemical imbalance needs to be treated with many tools. Here is a preliminary list:

  1. Regular salah
  2. Medication
  3. Therapy such as psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy
  4. Regular exercise
  5. Healthy eating
  6. Good sleep hygiene
  7. Keeping up with physical hygiene
  8. Active and meaningful social relationships
  9. Support groups or blog
  10. Giving back to your community

For situational depression (caused by trauma, loss and death), Dr. Abdullah al-Khater
 gives eight remedies in his book
“Grief and Depression: From an 
Islamic Perspective.” The above remedies can also be used for the everyday woes alongside the medication. Dr. al-Khater gives the following eight solutions:

  1. Using the Islamic creed
  2. Doing righteous deeds
  3. Offering salah and reciting prayers
  4. Contemplating the worst cases
  5. Having good opinions
  6. Living with a realistic – not idealistic – point of view
  7. Behaving well towards other and yourself
  8. Having hope

Bipolar Disorder

When you are feeling depressed, are having suicidal thoughts and have gone through the above list, something else is going on. Get professional help. It is okay to see a psychiatrist. If you had a thyroid problem, you would go to an endocrinologist. So when your brain is not preforming the way it should, you simply see the brain specialist. You need to see a doctor when depression is getting to the point that it’s hindering your ability to work or take care of your family or complete your studies or to live a normal life. Moreover, you need to find your purpose in life. Yes, we live to worship Allah but what does that mean to you? How are you living for Allah with the talents you have? What gives your life, passion, purpose and pizzazz?

Lastly, many mental illness patients get told countless times to get off their meds. Would you ever say that to a person with a crutch? “Let that go. You don’t need it. Try walking on your own!” That’s absurd. Yet, many Muslims say things like that about psycho-pharmaceutical drugs left and right. Do your research, find out what you need and the pros and cons of medical treatments. Nod politely at that aunty or uncle who tells you that you’re fine and just need to pray more. If that were the only thing that worked, wouldn’t all the severe depression in the world be cured by now? That is the main reason I started blogging – to dispel the ignorance. I also write so I can connect with different Muslims who are going through the same thing.

We need to take a holistic approach to treating suicide. We cannot make blanket statements or become the judge. Prayer and placing your trust is part of the solutions but you also need to lock that car with your keys. When you or a friend realizes the depression in their life, comfort them or yourself. Reach out and get help. Come my blog for support. And when you are feeling super suicidal and are thinking of ways to kill yourself, call 911 or 1-800-273-8255. For help with situational depression, call the Muslim helpline at 1-866-NASEEHA.

Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Saba Malik is a blogger at and founder of www.MuslimBipolar.com. She is a teacher, life coach and author of, “Blessed with Bipolar -The Muslim’s 3-Step Support Guide to Mastering Bipolar.” She lives on earth with her husband and their daughter. She loves running, reading, rain and can be reached at info@muslimbipolar.com.

References

[i] Quran (4:29)

[ii] Yasmin Mogahed

[iii] What is Bipolar Disorder?, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder: A 4-Step Plan for you and Your Loved Ones to Manage the Illness and Create Lasting Stability (New York: Warner Wellness, 2006).

[iv] Depression: Dr. Abdullah al-Khater., Grief and Depression: from an Islamic Perspective (London: Deluxe Printers, 2001).

 

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Emily Moore

    March 9, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Bipolar disorder symptoms may differ from person to person: they vary in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more inclined to the manic stage, others – to the depressive stage. And some may have these stages progress evenly. For more info please visit undepress.net/what-is-bipolar-depression-description-and-definition/

  2. Avatar

    Reader

    March 9, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    Salaam Saba,
    A great piece about an important topic we tend to ignore ☺. It’s good to see that you are breaking down this social stigma, Alhamdulliah, for the benefit of our ummah. We all need to be more open and aware, like you mentioned – living with family members who suffered from depression has also been a real eye opener for me to understand too.
    Keep it up!

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:42 PM

      Wasalaam Reader,

      May Allah reward you for the comment for the supportive comment!

  3. Avatar

    Anon

    March 9, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Thank you for the article. However i would like to add a few things:
    1) organic/hereditary depression cannot be treated nor managed with the things in your list as the nature of low depressive moods is that the person does not want to engage in anything at all. The depression wont allow them to.
    2) whoever the imam was who told you you would go to hell needs a good hard slap. Giving out disgusting and harmful advice where the one being spoken to is not considered is not helpful nor beneficial.

    Suicide is a sin. But it is not kufr, it does not take you out of the fold of Islam. Our sins can lead us to the hellfire & yes, we will he raised in the state in which we died, but to categorically state to someone with bipolar disorder that suicide WILL lead them to hell is despicable. Whatever happened to people not giving opionions on that which they know nothing about?

    I am so sick to death of the muslims soeaking about depression in a fashion that they know nothing about. And that is not directed at you sister, im talking about every other article or talk ive read/heard on this topic. I live with someone with clinical depression. The doctors dont even fully understand this stuff…but why is it that our community members feel they can answer everything away? Do u think that a person with depression doesnt want to get out of it? Do u think its not an everyday, everyminute drain on them that touches EVERY single aspect of their lives? Like, really!???
    And then you have the audacity to make them feel like even more of a piece of crap than they already feel??
    Audhubillah…may God spare us all from the hellfire we like to condemn others to but dont realise how close we are to it ourselves. Ameen

    • Avatar

      M.Mahmud

      March 21, 2016 at 2:24 PM

      One thing in fact I find that is helpful to mitigate or protect from depression and anxiety and feelings of sorrow is fear of Allah and the akhirah. It sounds strange but when one considers the absolute greatness of Allah aza wa jal, how much better and more lasting Jannah is and how much severer and more lasting Jahannam is, one sees the dunya for what is is. It is actually to me the most helpful out of all things, better than family or entertainment, or pleasure or friends.

      Ina lillahi wa ina ilayhi raji’oon doesn’t necessarily need to be limited to a statement of hope. It can, if Allah wills, also be used as a statement of humble fear. When one realizes the severity of what is ahead and the urgency to prepare, everything else goes out the window, all other feels are mitigated and feel sucked out.

      Knowing that you are in an emergency is probably the best therapy out there at least for me.

      I hope other Muslims (and myself) get a taste of this a lot. I feel like this kind of thing is what the Sahaba RA had a lot(they used to weep out of fear of Allah aza wa jal) and it made patience a lot easier for them.

      We always think of hope as the best means of remaining patient but I think people neglect the incredible power fear has as well. If we combine both, we may be so involved in the akhirah we actually have to be reminded to not forget this life.

      That’s my two cents, may Allah gift us with hope in His mercy and fear of His punishment until our last moments and make patience easy for us and relieve us of the heaviness of this life. May he inspire us with such a sense of dreadful urgency we are preoccupied with what we ought to be preoccupied with.

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:41 PM

      You are welcome for the article Anon.

      I made that list according to my experience and those of others. Of course it doesn’t have to nor will it work for everyone.

      About the rest of your post, join the club!

      The only healthy way I could deal with my frustration of mental illness stigma in our community was to blog…

  4. Avatar

    Ismail

    March 9, 2016 at 11:22 PM

    Excellent piece! ‘Stick it’ to the Stigma!

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:37 PM

      lol Thanks Ismail

  5. Avatar

    Amina

    March 9, 2016 at 11:39 PM

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! SENDING MY LOVE TO YOU! XOXOXOX

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:37 PM

      You are welcome Amina :)

  6. Avatar

    junaid

    March 10, 2016 at 5:05 AM

    eye opener for me to understand too.
    Keep it up! Bipolar disorder symptoms may differ from person to person: they vary in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more inclined to the manic stage, others – to the depressive stage. And some may have these stages progress evenly.

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:36 PM

      You are right Junaid.

      Bipolar varies from person to person and so does the treatment. That can be very challenging to treat as well since every patient usually needs their own cocktail of meds…

      Some recover more easily than others as well…

  7. Avatar

    Jonaid

    March 10, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Salam Alaykum.

    “Lastly, many mental illness patients get told countless times to get off their meds. Would you ever say that to a person with a crutch? “Let that go. You don’t need it. Try walking on your own!” That’s absurd. Yet, many Muslims say things like that about psycho-pharmaceutical drugs left and right. Do your research, find out what you need and the pros and cons of medical treatments. Nod politely at that aunty or uncle who tells you that you’re fine and just need to pray more. If that were the only thing that worked, wouldn’t all the severe depression in the world be cured by now? That is the main reason I started blogging – to dispel the ignorance. I also write so I can connect with different Muslims who are going through the same thing.”

    As someone who’s battled several psychiatric disorders over the course of the past decade and a half, I agree with you here. I was majorly depressed 7 years ago and even contemplated suicide. As it happens, I was an atheist at the time so I cannot relate to your experience of having depression while believing in God. Nonetheless, at the time I took anti-depressant and stimulant medication to make me functional again. I discontinued the anti-depressants after 8 months but continued the stimulants.

    Last year I went thru about 5 months of severe mood swings & depression resulting from trauma. This time no amount of anti-depressants or stimulants helped. I had my spiritual awakening (God literally saved me) and since then I’ve been better than I have been in years, without any drugs. I’ve been taking stimulants for inattention for about 6 years now. I realized since my “awakening” that my dependency on them has waned. Gradually I’ve brought myself down to less than a quarter of my regular dose and I’m near certain that in a few months at most – Insha’Allah – I will not need any stimulants whatsoever to be fully attentive at all times.

    What I learned from my own experience is that while praying and asking God directly for help is certainly beneficial, it does not mean that God will “cure” you overnight. It is gradual but it does occur. To me it’s a miracle that I don’t need nearly as much medication to be focused anymore. Inattention (when it’s called “ADHD”) in adults is – according to psychiatrists – chronic. In 6 years I did not lower my dose but now, thank God, I get by just fine without anywhere near as much I as I once needed.

    I wouldn’t have believed what I wrote here if I read it a year ago. Trust in God – ask Him to guide you and protect you always. Ask directly and sincerely and be patient.

    May God help you.

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:33 PM

      Salaam Jonaid, I couldn’t have said it better. A lot of people tell me to blog using spirituality and keep it more open. Some people can do that but to me God is very important to mental illness recovery.

      Only God can truly get someone through the mental hell of bipolar and depression. Yes, it takes meds, therapy and doctors but those are gifts and lifelines that God sends. Some people recognize that and get closer to Him and others don’t.

      Alhumdulillah we are very blessed to still be guided by Allah…

  8. Avatar

    Abu Ibrahim

    March 12, 2016 at 12:35 AM

    May Allah swt reward you for sharing your experience Saba, and may he grant you Shifa. Kudos to Jonaid as well. Experiential learning from people living with mental illness who have the Islamic perspective is priceless. There is a drive internationally to improve peer support and dispel stigma (as this is what works). Your two lists are great!.

    Sh Yahya Ibrahim’s article last Ramadan highlighting the need to manage self-stigma is also dead-on. Understanding the Islamic narrative about ‘tests’ and praying to Allah not to place on us burdens we cannot bear (last 2 verses of Surah al Baqarah) gives the necessary hope, comfort and resilience to manage suicidal thoughts and impulses. It’s amazing Allah did not leave us without guidance, whatever the qadar (Q87:1-3), as seen in this prayer against suicidal wishes, taught by our beloved prophet (SAW), narrated by Anas Ibn Malik in Bukhari:

    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.’ ”

    This prayer validates distress and suicidal feelings in the sufferer but at the same time encourages reliance on Allah. The Islamic “awakening” (to quote Jonaid) or understanding is much needed to stem the tide of suicide in children and adolescents. Low frustration tolerance appears to be a key factor (as for divorce trends), when compared with our ancestors. May Allah give us the necessary sabr (patience) in difficult situations. Ameen

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:28 PM

      Ameen to your du’a Abu Ibrahim and may Allah reward you for the comment.

      You shared some great insight and knowledge. Those last two verses in Surah Baqarah are like gold to me…sub han Allah.

  9. Avatar

    adheim

    March 13, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    plz edit your article and include the following hadith of the prophet peace be upon him

    The Pen has been lifted from three (types of people) [Hadith]
    The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) Said: “The Pen has been lifted from three: from the sleeper until he awakens, from the child until he reaches puberty and from the insane person until he comes to his senses — or until he comes round.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4403), al-Nasaa’i (3432) and Ibn Maajah (2041). Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

    There ids is no doubt that anyone with bipolar disorder or depression or the like has a mental disorder for them the pen is lifted and there is no sin on them

    And Allah Knows Best.

    • Avatar

      M.Mahmud

      March 21, 2016 at 2:14 PM

      You cannot assume all mental illnesses that are categorized as such fit the category of insanity mentioned in the ahadith. Allah is the judge, we look to fuqaha to interpret the ahadith properly. However we can seek forgiveness for all Muslim suicides, because they are our brethren in deen.

      It is known that whoever dies as a Muslim will sooner or later enter Jannah. What guarantees eternity in the fire is not believing in Allah and His Messenger and even the major sinners of the Ummah will be brought out of Jahannam.

      ومن لم يؤمن بالله ورسوله فإنا أعتدنا للكافرين سعيرا

  10. Avatar

    M

    March 14, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    As someone who gets suicidal thoughts quite often, and also knows someone who has attempted suicide this article means a lot! So Jazak Allah Khair for writing this article. I haven’t been depressed for a while Alhamdulilah but I do remember what’s it’s like to feel in that zone, it’s this lethal absence of emotion that only the person that is going through it can understand.

    There is a definite need for more resources for Muslims suffering from mental illnesses. Most Muslims don’t know where to look for help or that it is OK to feel not-sane sometimes; they are just suffering in silence. So Jazak Allah Khair for sharing the information with us.

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:22 PM

      You are welcome M.

      I am very sorry to hear that you went through all that. Depression and suicide can define you or refine. It’s pretty much up to us.

      Yes, there does need to be more awareness so I hope my blog helps…

      • Avatar

        Naz

        December 14, 2016 at 8:45 PM

        I am someone who has battled severe clinical depression most of my adult life. I have attempted suicide 5 times and had a full nervous breakdown 7 years ago. Five years ago I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and finally somethings I was doing began to make sense. I have been in therapy for years now – first mentalisation behavioural therapy and now schema therapy. Still after all this time, everyday is a battle. People tell me I am weak. I lack faith. I shouldn’t listen to the doctors and that all I need to do is pray. I have been told that I am crazy. I have completely lost faith and feel resigned that I will go to hell. Some days I feel so angry at Allah. I want to die. I can not bear to look at myself and detest being in my own skin. I am withdrawn from people and have shrunk my social contact down as much as I can. I don’t trust anyone. I feel unable to love anyone. This includes my own family. Most days I don’t feel human. I just go through the motions. Pretend, smile, act at being alive so that the people who are foolish enough to love me are not alarmed. If I’m honest the only thing keeping me alive is my youngest child. She is 11. I have a 23 year old who doesn’t want to know me because she can’t forgive me for not being a normal mother. Yes she actually said that. She is more concerned that my problems are hereditary and she may get them. Don’t get me wrong. It was very tough on her growing up around my mental health issues.

        I am really really tired. I feel rejected by Allah. I want to die. One day I know I will take my own life. It is inevitable.

        Thank you for your article though. It felt good to have someone not blame but show a glimmer of understanding.

  11. Avatar

    ghulammustafa

    March 17, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Excellent piece! May Allah swt reward you for sharing your experience

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:20 PM

      Ameen to your du’a and may Allah reward you for the comment.

  12. Avatar

    Brenda

    March 18, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    Thank you for sharing this powerful honest article. I’m sure it took courage because sadly nobody seems to be safe from other people’s tongues

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:20 PM

      May Allah reward you for the comment. Yeah it’s best to focus on our own tongues…that’s much, much easier!

  13. Avatar

    Sheeza

    March 23, 2016 at 4:40 PM

    Excellent piece! May Allah swt reward you for sharing your experience

    *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*
    [Please refrain from using a ‘Name’ that is considered advertising]

    • Avatar

      Saba

      March 26, 2016 at 8:18 PM

      Ameen to your du’a and may Allah reward you for the comment.

  14. Avatar

    Nida

    July 13, 2016 at 4:37 AM

    Assalam alaikum
    While I agree that changing idealism to realism is very much required, I was wondering about the medication aspect for those who are afflicted with jinn possession. The jinn hides under the tranquilizers and doping effects and the main cause is never cured. (Dr Bilal Philips in one of his lectures).
    So what is your take on someone who is not mentally ill perse but confirmed spiritually possessed?
    Even when it comes to suicidal tendencies for such a person, the person is at times conscious of what they are doing and at times they have no control. Allah knows best indeed. How will the patient themselves know if they are still with insight?
    JazakAllah khair.

  15. Avatar

    Zia-e-Taiba

    August 1, 2016 at 6:24 AM

    Nice to see a Blog Post related to Suicide in Islam.

  16. Avatar

    Nadia

    August 22, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    What if you self harm? I know it’s haram but, I’d just like to know ways you could cope with it.

  17. Avatar

    Ameer basha

    November 30, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    I love Allah very much I’m in depression pblm the scolding thoughts on Allah I love Allah very much but y it will happenig plz rply brothers

  18. Avatar

    Irfan

    December 10, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Yesterday, we lost a member of our community in this way.. may Allah have mercy on his soul.. it pains me deeply that a lot of people today know how utterly depressed he was, and yet were unaware that something like this was a possibility.. it pains me that we are unable to recognise that it is our responsibility to help our family members and community members in their times of severe despair.. it pains me that we simply pass blanket judgement and yet are unable to appreciate that we too should not fail our circle of influence, and that that failure too is not without consequence.. i am hurting.. may Allah have mercy on his soul..

  19. Avatar

    Naz

    December 14, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    I am someone who has battled severe clinical depression most of my adult life. I have attempted suicide 5 times and had a full nervous breakdown 7 years ago. Five years ago I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and finally somethings I was doing began to make sense. I have been in therapy for years now – first mentalisation behavioural therapy and now schema therapy. Still after all this time, everyday is a battle. People tell me I am weak. I lack faith. I shouldn’t listen to the doctors and that all I need to do is pray. I have been told that I am crazy. I have completely lost faith and feel resigned that I will go to hell. Some days I feel so angry at Allah. I want to die. I can not bear to look at myself and detest being in my own skin. I am withdrawn from people and have shrunk my social contact down as much as I can. I don’t trust anyone. I feel unable to love anyone. This includes my own family. Most days I don’t feel human. I just go through the motions. Pretend, smile, act at being alive so that the people who are foolish enough to love me are not alarmed. If I’m honest the only thing keeping me alive is my youngest child. She is 11. I have a 23 year old who doesn’t want to know me because she can’t forgive me for not being a normal mother. Yes she actually said that. She is more concerned that my problems are hereditary and she may get them. Don’t get me wrong. It was very tough on her growing up around my mental health issues.

    I am really really tired. I feel rejected by Allah. I want to die. One day I know I will take my own life. It is inevitable.

    Thank you for your article though. It felt good to have someone not blame but show a glimmer of understanding.

  20. Avatar

    Mohamed

    July 16, 2017 at 5:38 PM

    I simply want to die because I don’t want life. I don’t like life. I don’t like how it works. I don’t like to wake up, to eat, to talk, to pray, to read Quran, to go college, or to bother with doing anything. I have HIV, I intentionally stopped medication because I don’t want to extend my life period. But I can’t wait until I die naturally. I have difficult life. But I don’t blame because I know the solutions. But I don’t want anything. No jannah, no jahannam. I wish to not exist at all. I feel like I’m stuck, Allah didn’t give a choice like that. Allah never asked us whether to stay created or not. Just straight away gave life and called it a gift. Never gave choice to not have it. Hell or heaven only. Just makes me angry on Allah. I feel like killing myself. But that would take me to hell. But I don’t mind not having jannah. So it’s okay for me to not exist. Why can’t Allah understand that and make me disappear. Is that because Allah is unable. Or stubborn on his decision. I just want to die. And not exist. Idk what to do anymore. I don’t even intend to live. Whether happy or unhappy. I never wanted any blessings. Now Allah is making me need blessings. I just hate everyone, everything, including Allah and it’s creations. Why.

    • Avatar

      Wen

      November 27, 2017 at 10:40 AM

      I hope since you posted this Mohamed you have found some one to help. I felt like you have described for a long time, wishing I didn’t exist, wishing I would not wake up to another day. Going through the motions every one else expects, smile, laugh, say what you know is the palatable response, because saying the truth about how you really feel, has people backing away from you. I felt like I was the walking dead, I breathed, I worked, I went through all the motions of a living human being but inside I was exhausted from keeping up the pretence. The world held no joy, everything I used to once find pleasure in, now seemed like dust in my mouth. I lost the will to live and lost the ability to see the beauty all around me. Depression can come about from many causes. Loss of a loved one, traumatic events, Chemical imbalance, exposure to toxic substances. A cumulation of events that have occurred in our life, which on the surface we think we have dealt with it or its not that bad, or others have suffered worse, but inside in our heart we still carry that pain buried so far down so I can convince myself it doesn’t bother me, or push it away if it does, minimise it by telling myself stop being soft, toughen up, others have suffered more than me, I should not be so weak. Over time all those unpleasant events in life add up, on there own they may seem insignificant, not as bad as other situations you have been through but depression can creep on on you slowly one situation at a time until one day even the tiniest silliest situation can have you over reacting because you just cant take anymore. it but it was the straw that broke the camels back. I withdrew from people more and more, isolated myself, it was easier to be on my own, the effort of pretending to live was too tiring. I wanted to be left alone, I wanted to die, I wanted my life over. I screamed foul abuse at a God I wasn’t sure I even believed existed, for this life he inflicted on me. I was deeply depressed, angry, hating everything around me, pushing everyone away or driving them away because I couldn’t pretend anymore, I couldn’t keep up the facade in front of others anymore, I felt a deep loneliness inside that nothing eased. Seeking help is not easy and often those offering help even with multiple degrees stuck all over their wall can be outstandingly useless and make things worse, but don’t give up, no matter how many doors you have to walk out of because that person wasn’t helpful, try the next one.
      And now Faith is restoring me to life. I screamed at this God, abused him and denied him, if he did exist I blamed him for destroying me again, had I not suffered enough, no this God everyone tried to console me with, stood by and did nothing and I was told it was his will. If this God existed then I hated him, so it was better to not believe in anything at all. I was blind and ignorant, I thought I was intelligent, I was a fool. I tried to end it, This God I hated or denied had other plans, I prayed for his wisdom to help me understand. Gods wisdom is infinite and true and brings peace, mine was limited and flawed keeping me in a dark place.

  21. Avatar

    Nadeem

    July 27, 2017 at 11:03 PM

    Who is the shaykh you keep referring to. Also people commit suicide after a long period of time. It needs to be dealt with by talking and trying to help the person whether it being advice on getting a job, education, family, and spending time with them make them happy by giving something, also suicidal people like to be alone the best thing is to make them happy about this life and the hereafter. You cannot simply just state you are going to hell because the Qur’an or hadith states it. You need to be practical god is all merciful only he knows what a person goes through and i hate scholars who judge someone by reading some text and label people whos going to hell or not.

  22. Avatar

    Vanitas

    January 28, 2018 at 10:14 PM

    I am 53 years old, educated muslim woman. Outwardly, it seems like I have a good life but I’ve been suffering from depression since I was a young girl. As I get older, I feel more and more depressed, anxious and suicidal. It seems like there is an invisible force that bringing me down, making my life miserable and unhappy. Sometimes i think I am perhaps cursed as my life is so dysfunctional, I am unable to have a proper relationship, always meeting the wrong type of men and we end up splitting up. My friendship with people never last very long, sadly leaving me to stay on my own, pretty much all the time.
    I am really suffering and although I have tried in vain to fight the depression, pushing away the thoughts of killing myself, but most of the time suicide seems to be the only way to stop the pain. At this time I don’t care if I am going to hell or not, life on earth is pretty much as painful as hell.

  23. Avatar

    Ahmed

    March 15, 2018 at 3:41 AM

    Islam and suicide are two totally different directions. Please don’t follow the direction of Shaitan (Satan). Thoughts of suicide directly come from Shaitan (Satan). Every single person Shaitan is able to convince of suicide is victory for him. Because suicide is direct one way trip to eternal hell. And according to Quran Shaitan promised to Allah that he will fill hell with humans, only those who are Allah’s men (momins).

    True Iman and connection to Allah exactly counter these suicide thoughts and depression. No sickness, any difficulty or whatever the condition is momin will always smile from heart and say “Alhumdulillah”.

    Please try to connect to Allah, ask from him wisdom through Quran and Messenger Mohammads (P.B.U.H) way of life to counter these evil thoughts of suicide.

  24. Avatar

    M

    April 19, 2018 at 5:28 PM

    Thank you, you helped save me

  25. Avatar

    yfroz

    December 29, 2018 at 4:31 AM

    Hey it said follow my blog. I can’t find it.

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#Current Affairs

Sri Lankan Muslims To Fast In Solidarity With Fellow Christians

Raashid Riza

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On Sunday morning Sri Lankan Christians went to their local churches for Easter services, as they have done for centuries. Easter is a special occasion for Christian families in ethnically diverse Sri Lanka. A time for families to gather to worship in their churches, and then to enjoy their festivities. Many went to their local church on Sunday morning to be followed by a traditional family breakfast at home or a local restaurant.

It would have been like any other Easter Sunday for prominent mother-daughter television duo, Shanthaa Mayadunne and Nisanga Mayadunne. Except that it wasn’t.

Nisanga Mayadunne posted a family photograph on Facebook at 8.47 AM with the title “Easter breakfast with family” and had tagged the location, the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. Little would she have known that hitting ‘post’ would be among the last things she would do in this earthly abode. Minutes later a bomb exploded at the Shangri-La, killing her and her mother.

In more than a half a dozen coordinated bomb blasts on Sunday, 360 people have been confirmed dead, with the number expected to most likely rise. Among the dead are children who have lost parents and mothers & fathers whose families will never be together again.

Many could not get past the church service. A friend remembers the service is usually so long that the men sometimes go outside to get some fresh air, with women and children remaining inside – painting a vivid and harrowing picture of the children who may have been within the hall.

Perpetrators of these heinous crimes against their own faith, and against humanity have been identified as radicalised Muslim youth, claiming to be part of a hitherto little-known organisation. Community leaders claim with much pain of how authorities were alerted years ago to the criminal intent of these specific youth.

Mainstream Muslims have in fact been at the forefront not just locally, but also internationally in the fight against extremism within Muslim communities. This is why Sri Lankan Muslims are especially shaken by what has taken place when men who have stolen their identity commit acts of terror in their name. Sri Lankan Muslims and Catholics have not been in conflict in the past, adding to a palimpsest of reasons that make this attack all the more puzzling to experts. Many here are bewildered as to what strategic objective these terrorists sought to achieve.

Sri Lankan Muslims Take Lead

Sri Lankan Muslims, a numerical minority, though a well-integrated native community in Sri Lanka’s colourful social fabric, seek to take lead in helping to alleviate the suffering currently plaguing our nation.

Promoting love alone will not foster good sustainable communal relationships – unless it is accompanied by tangible systemic interventions that address communal trigger points that could contribute to ethnic or religious tensions. Terror in all its forms must be tackled in due measure by law enforcement authorities.

However, showing love, empathy and kindness is as good a starting point in a national crisis as any.

Sri Lankan Muslims have called to fast tomorrow (Thursday) in solidarity with their fellow Christian and non-Christian friends who have died or are undergoing unbearable pain, trauma, and suffering.  Terror at its heart seeks to divide, to create phases of grief that ferments to anger, and for this anger to unleash cycles of violence that usurps the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Instead of letting terror take its course, Sri Lankans are aspiring to come together, to not let terror have its way.

Together with my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims, I will be fasting tomorrow from dawn to dusk. I will be foregoing any food and drink during this period.

It occurs to many of us that it is unconscientious to have regular days on these painful days when we know of so many other Sri Lankans who have had their lives obliterated by the despicable atrocities committed by terrorists last Sunday. Fasting is a special act of worship done by Muslims, it is a time and state in which prayers are answered. It is a state in which it is incumbent upon us to be more charitable, with our time, warmth and whatever we could share.

I will be fasting and praying tomorrow, to ease the pain and suffering of those affected.

I will be praying for a peaceful Sri Lanka, where our children – all our children, of all faiths – can walk the streets without fear and have the freedom to worship in peace.

I will be fasting tomorrow for my Sri Lanka. I urge you to do the same.

Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. Surah Maidah

Raashid Riza is a Sri Lankan Muslim, the Politics & Society Editor of The Platform. He blogs here and tweets on @aufidius.

 

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#Society

Our Plastic Planet

Abu Ryan Dardir

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We travel through time and see the different times as a race that we have advanced through. A few of those times were identified by the materials used or that were life-changing. The stone age, the bronze age, and the iron age. If our time was to be identified, it is undeniable the plastic age.

Chemically, plastic is made up from organic compounds like such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil. When plastics were first introduced, it was a life-changing compound that littered homes (then the world). Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. It makes visiting beautiful sites created by Allah, disappointing. What does pollution, specifically plastic, has to do with our role as Muslims? and to what capacity?

Before understanding that, we have to see how plastics impact life on Earth.

Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.

One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.

44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical).

Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.

These are just a few examples, the list is much longer. Before I go any further, I want to express my opinion first, as an environmental activist. Your individual actions in dealing with pollution are your duty as a Muslim, but the change we need for our survival needs to happen on an international level.

Abu Zarr Al-Ghafari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).”

This simple hadith resonates with us due to the magnitude of its influence. Moving an obstacle is charity, we associate money with charity and tend to forget that other actions that can count as charity. What does removing an obstacle has to do with plastics? As I mentioned earlier 40% of the ocean’s surface is covered in plastic. That is a disturbance to other living creatures. As we remove the obstacles from the path of many creatures, we can work on ourselves to avoid putting it there, to begin with. This also relates to point number three of how many living creatures are impacted by our negligence. Not just plants and animals, but people as well. You can take a moment to google images of plastic in our world and see that they aren’t just neatly packed in garbage bags or recycling bins.

Imaams al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: “There is a reward for service to every living creature.”

These are violations we commit and deeds we are prevented from by participating in this plastic culture. More importantly, we are harming ourselves and contaminating useable drinking water. Earlier I wrote an article about water its right upon us.

God’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) expressed this in the following way:

“It is a fact that in the next life you will render their rights to those to whom they are due. The hornless sheep even will receive its right by way of retaliation from a horned sheep that butted it.” Muslim, Birr, 60.

Our actions in this modern era echo around the world. My polluting habits may cause harm elsewhere. My spending habits may entice more harm than good. It may seem extreme, but science proves that we are all connected in a delicate chain or balance, a balance set by the wisdom of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). More importantly, it is documented from the words of the Prophet. An-Nu’man ibn Basheer reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5665, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2586

When water gets contaminated it is then rendered useless, depriving millions of basic survival. There are plenty of freshwater reserves completely useless due to toxic pollution from plastic manufacturing.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ السَّمَّانِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ رَجُلٌ حَلَفَ عَلَى سِلْعَةٍ لَقَدْ أَعْطَى بِهَا أَكْثَرَ مِمَّا أَعْطَى وَهْوَ كَاذِبٌ، وَرَجُلٌ حَلَفَ عَلَى يَمِينٍ كَاذِبَةٍ بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ لِيَقْتَطِعَ بِهَا مَالَ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ، وَرَجُلٌ مَنَعَ فَضْلَ مَاءٍ، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ الْيَوْمَ أَمْنَعُكَ فَضْلِي، كَمَا مَنَعْتَ فَضْلَ مَا لَمْ تَعْمَلْ يَدَاكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ غَيْرَ مَرَّةٍ عَنْ عَمْرٍو سَمِعَ أَبَا صَالِحٍ يَبْلُغُ بِهِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏

As narrated by Abu Huraira:

“The Prophet said, ‘There are three types of people whom Allah will neither talk to nor look at, on the Day of Resurrection. (They are): 1. A man who takes an oath falsely that he has been offered for his goods so much more than what he is given. 2. A man who takes a false oath after the ‘Asr prayer in order to grab a Muslim’s property, and 3. A man who withholds his superfluous water. Allah will say to him, Today I will withhold My Grace from you as you withheld the superfluity of what you had not created.” [Bukhari: 2370]

We do not want to be guilty of withholding water from other directly or indirectly. With the advanced technology and the thousands of websites providing information, there are plenty of ways to determine if your daily habits have an impact on others well being.

We only manage to recycle 5% of the plastic wasted, and 90% of the pollution in the ocean is plastic. Are we asked to recycle? Is it just good practice or a practice is preferred?

Asked about what the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to do in his house, the Prophet’s wife, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), said that he used to repair his shoes, sow his clothes and used to do all such household works done by an average person.

Recycling and reusing is a critical part of conserving and protecting what we have. You can start with yourself, but your goal is to expand these actions to other families, communities, countries. If the action is sincere this would bring us closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). “The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, be He exalted, has made you His stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.” (Saheeh Muslim)

 

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#Islam

Optimism in Times of Adversity: How The Prophet Did It

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed

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A man passed by al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), one of the most distinguished Companions of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The man said, “How lucky your two eyes that witnessed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)”. Ibn al-Aswad profoundly responded by saying,

Why should anyone wish to witness a scene that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) did not wish him to see? He does not know what it would have been like if he had witnessed it or which party he would have been among if he went back in time.

By Allah! Allah’s Prophet saw people who were thrown right into Hell, so you should thank Allah that you were spared such a trial and were honored by firm belief in Allah and his Prophet”.

As human beings, we all struggle with adversity especially in societies which are driven by competition and materialistic pleasure. This drive creates difficult expectations, labels, and stigmas that breed unhealthy communities which spur widespread stress and pain. As Muslims, many of us struggle to define our role and place in societies where Muslims are the minority. We are horrified and worried when atrocities seem to occur so often solely because of the faith we believe in, such as in Burma or Central African Republic. Across the world, many countries with Muslims as the majority population are crippled by war such as Syria and Yemen. Our faith is abused by twisted minds to create chaos. In addition, random terrorist attacks in Mali and New Zealand have us wondering whether we will be attacked at our local masjid, or even in public settings such as offices and schools.

Our Ummah has always faced adversity and we will continue to do so as we struggle to be on the path of Islam. However, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has given us the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as a guide to this Ummah on how to deal with adversity and keep our optimism. His life is a means for us to be inspired and motivated to strive for excellence. Indeed, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was tested more than any other prophet that preceded him. The rapid spread of Islam and the change it brought to the world was built upon a prophet and his companions who endured an extraordinary amount of adversity, all in order to provide a means of salvation for the generations that would come after them.

Many Muslims know the basics of the Prophet’s life such as his birth in Makkah, the migration to Madina, some of the battles, and the conquest of Makkah. However, if one were to read the Seerah of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in-depth, one would be astonished to the sheer amount of trauma, pain, and grief the Prophet (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) experienced. He was subject to intense verbal/physical abuse, public humiliation, family deaths, and more. Depending on the physical and emotional toll, we know different people are more or less sensitive to adversity. For the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), the adversity of establishing the Deen was immensely troubling as he had the purest and softest of characters. In addition, the prophets who came before him were comforted in knowing that they had a successor. Some of them were their children in Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Yahya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). But the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) had no prophet to follow him, therefore his Message would be the last that mankind could benefit from.

The Quran says in Surah al-Ahzab:

مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مِن رّ‌ِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيّـِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ

عَلِيماً

Muhammad is not the father of (any) of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things. (Verse 33:40)

To proclaim the Divine Message to a resistant society has shown through the history of the Prophets to yield hardship and extreme difficulty. To be the final messenger was an increased burden. One example was when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was praying in front of the Kaaba and a member of the Quraysh named Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’ayt placed the intestines, dung, and feces on the back of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) while he was in sujood. The weight of the filth was so heavy that the Prophet could not get up until he received the assistance of his daughter Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), who was a pre-teenager at the time. How hurtful must that scene have been for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)? How did he deal with the humiliation the leaders of his city displayed in front of his child? How disheartening must have it been for his resolve to establish the worship of Allah?

This type of treatment was a regular occurrence in the pre-Hijrah era of Islam. Eventually, the treatment spurred into a boycott against the Muslims and the Hashemites who were the Prophet’s clan. According to Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings:

A document was drawn up according to which it was undertaken that no one would marry a woman of Hashim or give his daughter in marriage to a man of Hashim; and no one was to sell anything to them, or buy anything from them. This was to continue until the clan of Hashim themselves outlawed Muhammad, or until he renounced his claim to prophethood.

In those three years of boycott, many of the followers of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) such as Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) lost their statuses in society. Public humiliation, poverty, malnourishment, torture, molestation, and even murder were perpetrated against the small community of Muslims around the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). There are narrations which talk about the fact that they would hear the cries of babies going to sleep at night. They buried so many children and babies at that time who died due to disease, malnourishment, and starvation. They could hear the mothers crying who had buried their babies the day before. It was a time of great suffering and sacrifice.

Shortly after the ban was annulled, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) increased the test of His beloved Messenger at a time called ‘Ām al-Ḥuzn (عام الحزن), the Year of Sadness. In 619 AD, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the wife of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for 25 years passed away. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was in shock after the first revelation descended, it was Khadijah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) who comforted him and consoled him. She was one of the first believer, mother of the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) children, and a caretaker to the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) cousin Ali and adopted son Zayd (RA). She was his main confidante and his closest friend. Her death was considered to be the greatest personal tragedy to the Prophet (SAW). In fact, his later wife ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said that she was never jealous of the co-wives of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) except for Khadijah who had passed before she had wed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who would usually stay quiet in disputes with Aisha, stated when ʿĀʾishah voiced her upsetness at the Prophet’s lingering love for Khadijah:

Make this clear Aisha, you are not better than Khadijah. She believed in me when no one did and she testified to my truth when people said I was a liar. She gave everything she had to give me support.

Shortly afterward, Abu Talib, the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) uncle and chief tribal protector in Makkah passed away. Abu Talib had been the caretaker of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) after the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mother and grandfather passed away. But the situation before the passing of both these allies to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was poor and it was now going to become unbearable. Abu Lahab, another one of the Prophet’s uncles and one of his bitter enemies, arose as chieftain of the Hashemites would not give the Muslims adequate protection.

When adversity brought the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to his knees, he put his trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and continued to push forward. It was in this moment of desperation that the Prophet was sent his ultimate test; the Day of Taif. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) described the Day of Taif more testing than the Battle of Uhud. In his desperation, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) traveled to the nearby city of Taif in order to seek the city’s protection. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) met with the three leaders of the city, they feverishly rejected him and decided to turn the public against him. The representatives of the community gathered the youth, slaves, and others and to stone the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). The people of Taif purposely targeted the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) feet, severely damaging them. His blessed body was profusely bleeding and the crowd pursued both the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah for an excruciating three to six miles until he settled in a private orchard. It was in this moment where all hope had vanished. Now pushed to his extreme limits of endurance, he raised his hands and called out to his Lord:

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي وهواني على الناس

ياأرحم الراحمين أنت أرحم الراحمين

أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي

إلى من تكلني إلى عدو يتجهمني أم الى عدو ملكته امرى

إن لم يكن بك غضب علي فلا أبالي ولكن عافيتك هي أوسع لي

أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أضاءت له السموات و الأرض

وأشرقت له الظلمات وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والأخره

أن ينزل بي غضبك أو يحل علي سخطك

لك العتبى حتى ترضى ولاحول ولاقوة إلابك

To You, my Lord, I complain of my weakness, lack of support and the humiliation I am made to receive.

Most Compassionate and Merciful! You are the Lord of the weak, and you are my Lord.

To whom do You leave me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy You have given power over me?

As long as you are not displeased with me, I do not care what I face. I would, however, be much happier with Your mercy.

I seek refuge in the light of Your face by which all darkness is dispelled and both this life and the life to come are put in their right course against incurring your wrath or being the subject of your anger.

To You, I submit, until I earn Your pleasure. Everything is powerless without your support.

When we struggle with adversity, calling out to our Lord is one of the last things that comes to our mind. Even if it does, we struggle to motivate ourselves to learn how to make dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and we struggle to raise our hands. The amount of sincerity and power of this dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was so great that Jibril 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) came down to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and reported that the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) appeal shook the heavens. Here, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) seeks only the pleasure of his Lord and he will do whatever he can to fulfill his Lord’s pleasure. However, the pleasure of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) only comes with Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) own support and we should be seeking it with every trial or tribulation that we face.

There are three lessons that we can take away the way the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) dealt with adversity. First, how can we sincerely put our trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to give us guidance when we have little to no relationship with our Lord to begin with. Therefore, the struggling believer must consistently engage in self-reflection. He or she should be asking, “Am I praying my five daily prayers?”, “Am I consistent in my prayers?”, “How much attention and effort do I give my five prayers?”, “Do I engage in the remembrance of Allah in my daily actions?”, “How often do I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for help”, “Am I trying to learn what is halal and haram?”. “Am I trying to inculcate more good deeds in my life?”, “Am I trying to leave sinning?”, “If I am still struggling in my relationship with Allah (SWT), am I reaching out to someone more learned?”, etc. These are the first things we need to be fulfilling in our struggle to be optimistic. If we still need help, we should not have fear in asking a professional such as a counselor or mentor.

Second, we need to be active in making our society a better place. The prophets were not just scholars, but they were changer-makers. They sought to make society a better place. Not only is our duty as Muslims to others who are struggling, but it alleviates a lot of burden on us when we help others. We are reminded of the hadith,

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.”

Lastly, be comforted in Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) everlasting control over all the affairs of humanity and beyond. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was there before us, when we die, and for eternity. Everything is in accordance with His Will. When we set our intentions right and make sacrifices in our lives to please Him, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will replenish the believer with something equal or better. After this painful period in the Seerah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gifted His devout Messenger with two things, the miraculous journey of the Isra wal M’iraj and the story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). The story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was sent down to show the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) that he was not the first prophet who experienced difficulty. In Surah Yusuf, the Quran reminds us that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is عَلِيۡمٌ and حَكِيۡمٌ, the All-Knowing and All-Wise. In the verses of the Surah, these words were mentioned before the adversities in Yusuf and Yaqub’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) life, during the adversity, and after Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had rewarded Yusuf and Yaqub for their resolve. There is light at the end of every tunnel of adversity and only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can give us the guidance to get there, we only have to turn to him.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us the ability to maintain our optimism in our adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us an understanding of Islam so that we may help others overcome their adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to relieve the adversity of the Ummah.

 

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. Shaykh Abdullah commenced his studies at the age of 10 in Toronto, Canada where he went to memorize the Quran.  He completed the memorization of the Holy Quran by the tender age of 12 and then went on to study in the 7-year extensive Shariah program in Toronto, Canada. Shaykh Abdullah then continued his research and studies, which took him on global journeys, such as Pakistan, Kuwait, and England.

Shaykh Abdullah specialized in Tafseer of the Quran. Sheikh Abdullah spent years to study the details and beauty of our Holy book since understanding and mastering the language of Holy Quran was always the primary goal.

Shaykh Abdullah is serving as an Instructor at Miftaah institute and is also the Director of Islamic Affairs at Flint Islamic Center. Shaykh Abdullah travels across North America for khutbas, workshops, and seminars. He is known for his motivational and enthusiastic style of speaking which leaves the audience focused and learning.

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