// Dealing with distress.
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« on: Oct 10, 2013 04:55 PM »


i have increased my practise of the deen and i noticed that the more i keep doing it the more problems seem to crop up. my health isn't in the best of shape and keeps deteriorating, it was perfect when i wasn't practising. i am also getting depressed as a consequence and also because there's really nothing going on in my life to look forward to. everytime i think of the future, whether it be health or career or other things, it seems extremely bleak. and the more religious things i do, the more i feel like a wretched person. half the time, i am crying myself to sleep at night. i know Allah tests and i am trying to be patient but i think i am failing at that miserably, this message is probably proof of that. i can't seek professional help because then my family will find out and i don't want them to know. please advise.
« Reply #1 on: Oct 10, 2013 06:43 PM »

Why do you put down your illness to your attempts to increase your deen?

I've usually found when I fall ill (and I mean seriously ill), it's because I've been ignoring my health for ages and my body finally just shuts down, it decides enough is enough, I'm not doing it anymore. My own fault really for not eating, sleeping, resting properly, or listening to my body when I get the smaller niggles trying to get me to slow down. It's taken me years, but I now do pay attention if I feel slightly under the weather I start taking better care of myself to prevent the massive health crisis from happening.

Why don't you have anything to lok forward too?

Can you not get out there and get yourself on the career path that will excite and challenge you?
A fulfilling career is not going to be handed to you on a silver platter, you are going to have to put in the work and dedication. If you want it you need to work for it, it is not going to fall from the sky.

Why can't you go to the doctor? Do you live somewhere that requires the presence of your family before you are given medical care? What would you lose by going to the doctors and telling him/her you are depressed?

Do what you can, start aiming for your goals and trust in Allah that if it is good for you you will be granted it.

The Prophets spent years striving and praying.

The good in this life can truly be appreciated if we have worked for it.

May Allah grant you ease.
« Reply #2 on: Oct 10, 2013 09:07 PM »

i just don't want anyone to know about my health or my mental state. i feel extremely horrible and awkward if i get attention.

« Reply #3 on: Oct 10, 2013 09:13 PM »

Does anyone need to know, do you feel the doctor will be indiscrete? As far as the clinic staff know you could be there for an earache.
« Reply #4 on: Oct 10, 2013 09:41 PM »

it works differently where i live. they will eventually find out and then i will have to bear with another heartache because they will be either disappointed or angry at me for not letting them know.
« Reply #5 on: Oct 10, 2013 10:28 PM »

OK, so take charge of what you can then.

Careerwise decide what you want to do and go for it.

What do you mean you have nothing to look forward too? There's Eid in about a week.

More randomly;

There's the weekends, and lie ins.

There's autumn and walking thro crunchy leaves, serisouly runing thro crunchy leaves is such fun (even if you do risk walking into doggy poo by accident)

There's the possibility of waking up to a snow filled landscape in a few months

Arrange to meet close friends for coffee

Go window shopping

Get a really good book out from the library/buy a really good book.

Go To the Masjid on Friday and really listen to the Khutbah

Don't wait for a film style amazing rest of your life, make little pockets of happiness for yourself.
« Reply #6 on: Oct 11, 2013 10:56 AM »

i don't think i deserve any happiness, there's nothing good i have done to deserve it. every time i hang out with friends or indulge in something i feel horrible for not doing something better, something with a purpose.
« Reply #7 on: Oct 11, 2013 11:06 AM »

You can't say that, everyone takes time out to relax and have fun and be happy and joke around.

I doubt you could name a single person who has spent their entire waking life dedicated to some higher cause.

You're human. Allah has made us to have different frames of mind for different times.

Avoid big sins, observe your farad ibadah and observe the middle path for your life, so be happy with friends enjoy life, it is also ibadah being grateful for things like friends and small happiness's.

Islam does not require you to spend your life self flagellating either physically or metaphorically.

Do you have friends to talk too? Or if you're at school student counsellors?

Be kind to yourself.
« Reply #8 on: Oct 11, 2013 12:35 PM »

Walaikum salam,

It's easy to look at other people and think that Allah has blessed them and given them perfect lives, but truly we only know the surface of what is going on with people. Just look at celebrities. Supposedly the one's that "have it all" and they have 10 divorces and need sleeping pills and drugs every night to get thru life. That happy couple you know went through hard times for 10 years before where they are now. That guy that supposedly has everything, lost his wife and children in a fire. Allah tests us all in turns.

Why did your life seem "perfect" when you were non-practicing? That probably isn't true, but yes it is hard to be a practicing Muslim. You should give thanks you are a practicing Muslim when struck with illness. Imagine if you weren't at this time! You'd blame God, be angry, not be able to handle it because you have no faith. It is a mercy that Allah gave you back your faith before all this happened otherwise you'd be heedless.

But we have to remember that Allah gives those He loves more trials in order to raise them in degrees. Is it fair that a Muslim that kindof practiced and kinda didn't and had an easy life ends up in the same place where a Muslim who was struck with cancer and endured it with patience to the end with iman and sabr ends up. They're not the same! How Allah tells them apart is how they react to the trials He sends.

I'd also say you need to talk to someone about your problems. Don't leave it all inside. Find someone trustworthy. If you absolutely can't, find someone online, or join a support group or mailing group about your illness. Everyone needs an outlet for their problems.

Life will always seem bleak if that's how we will look at it. We need to look at those less fortunate than us in dunya and those with more than us in deen. You're not a Syrian in a refugee camp with tattered clothes and the only things with you that you could carry on your back for 200 miles. You're not a tortured prisoner in the US. You're not someone living the desperate live of zina and drugs and falling endlessly into more and more sins. You're not an battered wife that gets beaten for burning dinner. You're not a convert that's forced to eat bacon at their parents house and hide their prayers. You're not so many things and that's how you have to look at it.

Then look to the best of the believers, how they have struggled and endured and become the best of believers. If possible go to a Shaikh to discuss your faith difficulties, and listen to those who have been thru similar things.

You have a warm bed to cry yourself to sleep in, believe me, that is at least something many do not have. Keep praying to Allah, and do Salatul Hajja, talk to others and inshaAllah things will get better!

Keeping you in my duas,

« Reply #9 on: Oct 11, 2013 01:34 PM »

i am not comparing my life to others', just to my own. i know i have it much better than most people. thanks for your advice, everyone. may Allah protect you from such problems.
« Reply #10 on: Oct 11, 2013 02:21 PM »

A very wise young man once told me that..

It's not about being deserving, it's about being thankful.

You don't know what you do/don't deserve. Whatever you get, be thankful for it, whether it's a moment of peace, a period of prosperity, a good night's sleep, a cup of chai with a friend, a meaningful conversation, a lesson in nature.... be thankful and grateful for it. Try it as a medicine, and see how your life changes in just minutes/days/weeks/months of doing it...

As for your health and your emotional state, it could be something as simple as a vitamin/mineral deficiency. Try taking a multivitamin. Get your vit ds, your irons, your sugar levels checked - sometimes they are the likely candidates.

Good luck..
« Reply #11 on: Oct 11, 2013 05:06 PM »

assalamu alaikum, 

Seek a solution, seek assistance and seek sincere practising people who will have your best interest in mind.  Don't isolate yourself. 

You are deservering of every happiness and every good.  If it is not now in this dunya, then in the Hereafter.

Some people are tested more than others, and with sabr and strength they can overcome them.  There is a solution to everything, stay positive.

I have this youtube saved, because it is a beautiful gentle reminder.  We all need to listen to it. May Allah give you relief from your hardship and reward you for being patience.
Don't Be Sad : Allah Knows ᴴᴰ

with love and duas

« Reply #12 on: Oct 11, 2013 06:44 PM »

There's been very good advice here.  I would add that if you are unhappy - write down a list of everything that makes you unhappy.  In the next column, think abt possible solutions to each point on your list. 

Now, you've got a list of goals to work on - think about how to implement them. Keep breaking everything down to its most basic - whether it's re-writing a CV, looking up career advice or chatting to friends for advice.  You'll feel accomplished when you tick things off your list. 

http://onlinecounsellingcollege.tumblr.com/ is a good place for advice for mental health if you feel too shy to talk to a doctor (altho I would encourage going to the Dr anyway). 

Here is a list for a more positive you that I got from the website.

1. Think Gratitude. A grateful mindset exerts a powerful influence on your outlook. Not only does it make you feel good in the moment, it also shifts your focus in a positive direction.

2. Choose Happiness. Being happy is not about circumstances or any other outside force.It`s a conscious decision we make.

3. Substitute Challenges for Problems. Subconsciously, the word problem says, “Life is not as it should be.” This causes our energy to be funneled toward repairing something that’s gone wrong. On the other hand, the word challenge sends no such message

4. View Life as a Journey. A journey is an adventure of discovery. When we are on a journey we don’t fear change, we welcome it.

5. Stop and Smell the Roses. When you constantly feel rushed and scattered, it can be difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook. Focusing on simple pleasures can help restore a sense of balance to your life.

6. Begin Your Day On a Positive Note. Find a few minutes each morning to clear your mind and then think positive thoughts about the upcoming day. Focus on the people and events that bring you joy or a sense of satisfaction.

7. Act Out Happy. You can use words and body language to program your nervous system. When you make a conscious effort to walk the walk and talk the talk, your feelings will soon follow.
« Reply #13 on: Oct 11, 2013 08:21 PM »

Dear anon

You're in our prayers. Thanks for posting that awesome video, subhanAllah...i need to watch it everyday to get reminded and re-reminded. Allah is with us, we have nothing to fear, may He provide an opening and relief, from all worry, sadness, depression, anxiety, pain and oppression.

Wasalam alaikum
« Reply #14 on: Oct 12, 2013 06:50 AM »

how does one get out of isolation? i am naturally a very reserved person and don't like to talk about any problems. on top of that, there really isn't anyone who i think i can trust with all this. practically my life has been very easy, alhamdulillah, it is only my mental state that is wrecked. the career stagnation and health issues are helping to exacerbate it.

deenwise, in such a situation, how can i increase doing good things when all i want is to stay put in my room all day? concentration during prayers is also becoming a problem. sometimes tears flow while praying but it is not for Allah but rather for my own self, makes me feel even worse afterwards.
« Reply #15 on: Oct 12, 2013 01:15 PM »

Can you get yourself out of the career stagnation? Go on a course, apply for a different job, go for internal promotions?

For health, take mutli vitamins, go to the doctor and fin out if you've got any kind of vitamin or mineral difficiency, eat well, aim to be in bed by 10pm each night.

You realise Allah sent Gibraeel to the Lady Maryam whilst she was sat put in her room yes?
We do not need to leave the four walls of our home to do deeds pleasing Allah.

May I also suggest you give a small amount of money out in sadaqa, recite surah yusuf inshallah it will relive your sadness, pray nafl salats.

Years ago I was going thro a horrible period and I'd stand in salat and burst into tears becasue of what a perosn had done to me, a few months later I had a whole queue of people ringing me and apologising for that person and that person ended up in a pretty horrible situation themselves. You cry to Allah, Allah answers.

Don't stop your farad ibadah.

« Reply #16 on: Oct 12, 2013 01:20 PM »

I have spent many many many sleelpless nights trying to find solace in Allah and looking to become a better person and to please Allah. I came across this a while ago;

Please watch it.

Hardships After My Shahadah - True Life Story of Sh.Yusuf Estes
« Reply #17 on: Oct 12, 2013 01:26 PM »

Please do watch the above video.

You know something hon, I think we all have times where we think Ya Allah what have I done, I am a good person. Don't feel bad about that.

May Allah grant you ease and keep you safe from the whispers of shaitaan.
« Reply #18 on: Oct 12, 2013 02:07 PM »

assalami alaikum,

how does one get out of isolation?

Yes, it is hard at the beginning, but do not get discouraged.  Small steps go a long way, I promise.

Number 1 is to ask Allah for help. I used to ask Allah to put good righteous people in my path and keep me away from people who are not righteous. Alhamdolellah Allah listens.  Yes there are people in my life who test me in many ways, but alhamdolellah for the good people who are kind and have big hearts.  They still exist. Look for those.

I also found that sadaqa, however small, has  a great effect. Make a habit of making small donations on a regular basis.  See, when you start thinking about other people's hardships, and start thinking how you you can help even in a small way, you are subconsciously removing those feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. You are doing something, even if it is for someone else.  You are giving hope to someone.  You are moving forward despite your current hardship.  That in itself would have a positive effect on you and you would want to keep doing it. You can remove yourself from isolation by doing this.  

Do you like working with little ones?  Volunteer at an Islamic school or at the children's program at your masjid.  Volunteer anywhere if you have some time.  A local hospital maybe?  It may be challenging at first, but do give it a try. Take baby steps.  

Take it easy and try to turn off your brain a little.  By that, I mean don't over think things. When you are busy doing something, you have less time for these negative thoughts.

These are the days of Thul hijjah.  Take advantage of them. Make thikr, read Quran, give sadaqa, make the intention to fast the day of Arafat. Even if you can't for health reasons then you will be given the reward inshallah.  Carpe diem.  You deserve to be given the reward of fasting the day Arafat, so go for it.

Focus on the things you can do and that can be done.  Everything has a solution, just remember that.  

May Allah give tawfeeq in seeking His guidance and help and give you abundant bounties in this world and in the akhira.

Take care.

« Reply #19 on: Oct 13, 2013 03:11 AM »

thanks a lot for the kind words and the videos. jazakallahu khair.

« Reply #20 on: Oct 14, 2013 11:20 PM »


i have increased my practise of the deen and i noticed that the more i keep doing it the more problems seem to crop up. my health isn't in the best of shape and keeps deteriorating, it was perfect when i wasn't practising. i am also getting depressed as a consequence and also because there's really nothing going on in my life to look forward to. everytime i think of the future, whether it be health or career or other things, it seems extremely bleak. and the more religious things i do, the more i feel like a wretched person. half the time, i am crying myself to sleep at night. i know Allah tests and i am trying to be patient but i think i am failing at that miserably, this message is probably proof of that. i can't seek professional help because then my family will find out and i don't want them to know. please advise.

Asalaamu Alaikum Wr Wb,

The way we can get through hardships and difficult tests that we may be going through in life is to firstly internalise in our minds that this life is a test ground and we are in an examination but we do not know when this examination will end but whilst the examination is taking place we are being rigorously tested and at times we are tested until breaking piont just to see whether or not we will turn towards Allah or go away from him.

We must also internalise that Allah ONLY tests those who he wants close to him. Therefore the tests that we go through in our lives clearly show Allah is wanting us to turn towards him and be closer to him. This is in fact a great privelage. The greater the tests we go through the more Allah is wanting to raise our ranks in the hereafter.

Therefore if we really want to know the best way to approach huge trials and tests then we should simply realise that the bigger the tests we are going through then the higher Allah is wanting to raise our ranks in the hererafter. Trials are a truly blessing in disguise. All Allah wants from us is for us to turn towards him in meekness and humbleness and for us to be patient and to turn to him in prayer and dua. Picture that fact that Allah loves it when his servant is in desperate need, crying to him for help for Allah tends to those who cry and sob to him immediatley just as a mother tends to its baby promptly when it is crying.

We should also internalise the fact that tests actually differentiate us believers from one another in terms of ranking in the eyes of Allah and therefore we should know that those who are tested and are patient are forgiven of their sins as sins falls off a person who is patient through trials just. Therefore we should realise that us being tested with trials and tests will NEVER go unrewarded for Allah rewards how much he wants to those who are patient through trials and those who turn towards him in humility and meekness.

It may be that a person who has experienced great trials in the world faces Allah on the day of judgement with little or no sins. So tests are a way of Allah forgiving a person of their sins so that on the day of judgement they have a much lighter load. Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has called the day of judgement a "terrible" day and surely on this terrible day we would want as less sins as possible in our accounts if we are to be successful. Therefore these trials and tests are very important for us because they enable us to be forgiven for countless sins that would be a huge burden on us if it were in our accounts but due to the huge tests we faced with patience turning to Allah then it may be that we have very little or no sins at all on that day. The greater the trial the more sins fall off us. So know that even a prick of a thorn expiates ones sins.

We should also approach hardships and tests as in that it is the decree of Allah so we should NEVER ask Allah "Why" has he given us such trials? For questioning Allah why he has decreed something will mean that not only have we gone through so much grief and torment from these trials but that we have actually added to our sins by questioning Allah and we will be accountable for that.

Patience is one of the greatest attributes a person can acquire and Allah is with those who are patient and the reward for Patience is Paradise!

If one is patient, and is among the ones described in the following manner in the Qur’an (Baqarah, 2: 256)

Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”:-

Then here are the rewards Allah will give that person (2:157):

The Rewards of Patience are the folowing:

1. Blessings from Allah: The patient person is blessed by Allah.

2. Mercy of Allah: When Allah gives someone His Mercy, He will let him enter paradise with His Mercy.

3. Guidance of Allah: A patient person will be guided by Allah in this world until he meets Him on the Day of Judgment.

Referring to those who are tested and endure with Sabr or patience all of the above three rewards are mentioned by Allah Himself in the Qur’an in Surah Baqarah (2: 157):

“They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance.”

In Surah Hud (11:11), Allah (S.W.T.) again promises to reward those who are patient in adversity.

Therefore let us realise that patience is the main thing Allah is looking for in us when we are going through trials and tests.

Here are two wonderful examples of patience through trials in the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) :

‘Ata ibn Rabah related that he heard Ibn ‘Abbas say: “Shall I show you a woman of Paradise?”I said: “Yes, indeed.” He said: “A black woman came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said: ‘I suffer from epileptic fits, and because of these, (at times) my body becomes uncovered. Would you invoke Allah, the Exalted One, to cure me of this disease? ‘ The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘If you wish, you can be patient and you will attain Paradise (for this suffering). But if you prefer, I will pray to Allah, the Exalted, to cure you of it?’ The woman said: ‘I will be patient,’ then added: ‘I become uncovered (when I have fits), so invoke Allah for me that I do not become uncovered. ‘ So the Prophet, peace be upon him, prayed for her.” [Source: Fiqh-us-Sunnah, volume 4, #1a]

Story of ‘Urwah Ibn Al Zubair

‘Urwah Ibn Al Zubair had an operation, and the doctor amputated his leg. One friend came to visit him. ‘Urwah thought that the fried came to pacify him for the loss of his leg. So ‘Urwah told the visitor: If you came to give me condolence for the loss of my leg, I already submitted to Allah with patience to reward me for its loss. The guest told him, I came to inform you that your son fell down in a stable, and the animals stepped over him, and he died one hour ago. ‘Urwah said: O Allah! You took one child, and left me many…You took one organ from my body, and left me many organs…O Allah! You tested me with my body, and you were kind to leave me with good health. You tested me with the loss of my son, but you were kind in leaving me the rest of my children.

We should also approach tests as in we should look at those who have less than us. We have clean tap water and food on our plates everyday. We have clean clothes washed regularly and shelter from the harsh weather. Whereas there are those who walk miles just for a sip of water and even then it is dirty. There are those who have the same clothes for years and cannot even wash them. There are those who go days without proper food and even then they have scraps and end up being malnourished. There are those like in the flood disaster recently who have no shelter and are exposed to terrible diseases. Those who have little or no money to buy even basic things aswell as medication for their sick family members. Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) always told us to look at those who have less than us.

Sometims when we go through great trials we get decieved into thinking that other people that we see around us must be living a life happy and content. We are wrong to think in this way for we do not know what goes on in peoples lives. There are many examples of those who seemed as though they have SO much and seemed so happy but when certain things were revealed then it was clear that those people were living miserable lives full of torment! We may look at a person with a smile on his face but he may be going through trials we can never imagine.

Therefore when we are going through difficult times and trials then we should not look at others and think they are happy and living fulfilled lives for we do not know what any person on the street is going through on a day to day basis.

Therefore whenever we are going through difficult times and trials then we should put our full trust, hopes, faith and reliance in Allah for he will NEVER let us down but is only testing us because he wants us to turn towards him in humility, humbleness and meekness and he wants us to get much closer to him. He tests a person because he wants good for them and wants to forgive them and raise their ranks in the hereafter.

In reality how lucky is a person who is being tested greatly and is still patient and turning towards Allah night and day. How hig must Allah be raising his ranks and forgiving his sins on a daily basis until he is like a new born baby who has little or no sins on him at all. So the way to approach this is to realise that a person who is being tested greatly is in fact lucky but shaythan is wanting one to think opposite.

Shaythan is our eternal sworn enemy and ONLY wants us to lose hope and faith and to go away from Allah. He wants us tobecome disillusioned and lose all hope so that we go away from Alah and our deen. But we should reject our enemy who only wants our destruction. We should disregard his evil whispers and know that they are only lies and deciet.

Shaythan will try to make us think that there is no way out of this and this is because he wants us to give in and lose hope. But we must realise that if we continuously strive and keep turning towards Allah and be patient then the final victory WILL be ours! We will taste the sweetness of victory but in order to taste this victory we need to fight and strive through the tests and trials that life throws at us!

If one who is going through great trials continues to turn towards Allah in humility, meekness and in humblenes then know that the reward one will gain will be unimaginable. On the day of judgement once we see the reward of being patient through great trials turning towards Allah in humility then we would want Allah to have tested us even more so that we could have wreaped the rewards of being patient and turning towards Allah through trials and hardships. It is only on the day of judgement will we truly realise how much we have missed out on and how much more we wished we were tested by Allah so that our ranks were even higher.

So the Reward of going through terrible trials and hardships immense!

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "On the Day of Resurrection, when people who have suffered affliction are given their reward, those who are healthy will wish their skins had been cut to pieces with scissors when they were in the world." (Al-Tirmidhi #1570)

So remember: Victory, relief and ease comes with patience through distress and hardship

Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Know that victory comes with patience, relief with distress and ease with hardship.” (Reported by Ahmad)

Never question Allah "Why"?

We must also realise that whatever Allah has decreed for us is the best for us. Therefore we must put our Full trust in Allah and never question Allah as to why he has given us such trials and hardships. So if we are not patient through tests, hardships and trials - many of which may be due to our own actions - like if we complain to Allah why he tested us, then these tests and hardships will be of detriment to us as the condition for gaining such immense reward is through patience and we risk getting major sins instead of major rewards, as well as rsking going further away from Allah instead of closer to him.

We must also remember that Allah will never burden us with that which is not in our capabilities:

“Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.” (Qur’an 2: 286)

Therefore let us realise that the bigger trials and hardships we go through in this life then the more rewards we will gain in the hereafter as long as we are patient and are constantly turning towards Allah.

In the hereafter when we see the rewards of going through trials and hardships then we will all wish that we wen through the WORST trials possible for the longest amount of time!

No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah's decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere it will never come your way but if it is yours by destiny from you it cannot flee. (Umar Ibn al-Khattab Radiyallahu Anhu)

May Allah make us patient through adversity, trials and hardships. Ameen

Imam Ibn'l Qayyim (Rahimahullah) said:

[COLOR="red"]The divine decree related to the believer is always a bounty, even if it is in the form of withholding (something that is desired), and it is a blessing, even if it appears to be a trial, and an affliction that has befallen him is in reality a cure, even though it appears to be a disease!

Unfortunately, due to the ignorance of the worshipper, and his transgressions, he does not consider anything to be a gift or a blessing or a cure unless he can enjoy it immediately, and it is in accordance with his nature. If he were only given a little bit of understanding, then he would have counted being withheld from as a blessing, and the sickness as a mercy, and he would relish the trouble that befalls him more than he relishes his ease, and he would enjoy poverty more than he enjoys richness, and he would be more thankful when he is blessed with little than when he is blessed with a lot.[/COLOR]

Finally: " Do not detest the misfortunes that befall you, for what you detest may be the cause of your salvation and what you like may be the cause of your ruin." Al-Hasan Al-Basree
« Reply #21 on: Oct 16, 2013 01:54 PM »

The above ^ was a really beautiful response on hardships. JazakAllah khair for writing it. A must-read for anyone going through difficulties.
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