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|The ultimate end|
|08/19/01 at 01:00:48|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
[center]The ultimate end
By Dr Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef[/center]
When a person fears to lose something of particular importance, he may experience anxiety. Should he actually lose it and despair of ever regaining it, then he may develop what is known as "depression." In this case he becomes pessimistic, miserable and his morale becomes very low. He loses interest in all pleasures of life, including eating, and other enjoyments that God has made permissible to mankind. He may go even further than that and begin to think about death, feeling it to be better than a life devoid of happiness. This may lead him to seriously contemplate suicide and may ultimately try to kill himself.
A depressed person is liable to lose self-confidence, become reluctant, unable to take decisions because of worry that what he may decide could turn up to be wrong. He may experience a feeling of guilt blaming himself unnecessarily, crying over small matters. He feels himself physically weak, unable to concentrate. His memory becomes weaker and he suffers loss of sleep, or his sleep becomes perturbed. In short a person suffering from depression is in a state of misery and despair.
It is an amazing fact of God's creation that man feels happy or miserable as a result of chemical reactions and electric activity, as well as other physiological interactions in his brains.
It is undoubtedly true that life events and what they give us of pleasure or displeasure are the cause that triggers such activity in the human brain so as to make man feel happy or unhappy. However, in some cases man may experience feelings of misery, despair and other symptoms of depression without having any particular cause to trigger that. He may not suffer any material or spiritual loss. His depression may be just like any other illness which occurs to human beings. The only difference is that the malfunction in this case affects the brain, which is the center of the feeling system. In this case, special medication may be the best treatment which, with God's help, brings about recovery.
In most cases, however, depression occurs as a result of suffering a material or spiritual loss. A person may suffer a financial loss, or a loss of a beloved person through death or a severance of relationship, or a loss of a limb or a body organ, or a loss of position or prestige. Depression may be triggered by any such loss. In this type of depression, which psychologists describe as "interactive," a person's perspective or how he or she looks at life and its events becomes of great importance. Hence the role of faith also gathers special significance.
Faith and personal perspective definitely influence one's outlook on life. One person may feel his world shattered as a result of a calamity to which he has been exposed, while another person who has the same experience may look at it as no more than a setback with which he can easily cope. He is able to sail through it without difficulty.
One of the most important causes of interactive depression is the loss experienced through the death of a dearly beloved one. In the first instance death appears to represent a permanent loss. A believer, however, looks at death as no more than a temporary separation which will be followed by a reunion. It is true that such a reunion will come only on the Day of Judgment, but that is not millions of years away, as we may think. What separates us from the Day of Judgment is no more than what remains of our life. When one dies, the passage of thousands or millions of years is not felt to be any longer than an hour of sleep. When the Prophet's young son, lbraheem, died, he was in tears, but he bore his loss patiently and said: "We are certainly in grief because of your departure, lbraheem."
A believer certainly feels the loss of a beloved person who dies. This is perfectly natural. However, his certainty of the continuity of human life and the inevitability to meet again with those who are already dead will reduce his sense of loss. It will also protect him against Satan who takes the opportunity to whisper into his ear all sorts of evil thoughts. Satan whispers to him that he is a person of little importance, and his efforts are of no avail. Satan tells him that although a human being may entertain great ambitions, have high expectations, and exert valuable efforts, death comes to him all of a sudden putting an end to all these. He then puts to him the question: why work, and why have any ambition when you are weak, of little consequence, and you will die and make all your work come to nothing? [color=Red]Unless faith gives a person its great light, Satan may be able to make him feel despondent, having little value. Faith, on the other hand, reminds the believer that God has honored man, assigned to him the task of building a happy human life on Earth, and made everything in this world suitable to serve man's purpose.[/color]
Any person who is oblivious to the truth of faith is liable to be influenced by Satan as he tries to depict life as having no value. Thus he will lose motivation to do anything since everything ends with death. But faith reassures him that everything has its value, particularly good actions. The Prophet encourages us that if we see the end of all life approaching, then a person who has a shoot of a date tree in hand should try to plant it before every thing comes to an end. If he does, he earns a reward from God, although it is not going to produce anything. A believer does not mind that his efforts in this world come to nothing as long as God, who sustains this world and the next, will reward him handsomely for every good action he does.
[i]"Islam in Perspective" - Arab News - 31 July 2000[/i]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
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