Overcoming sadness – never again the same

I feel depressed. I am sad. I don’t know what to do. I feel restless. I feel like doing nothing. I feel like, I don’t know!

We all are struck by the darkness of this trial called ‘sadness’ in our lives. Some of us are overwhelmed by it and yet others overcome it. It is something ‘real’ and if not treated it can make us kill ourselves from within.

This Ramadaan, Alhamdulillaah, I found a new light on overcoming my depressions and sadness. I realized  that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) created me to be stronger than my depressions and I could not afford to let myself in to my problems. He has given me cure, stronger than the disease and I could not afford to not take healing from it. I had to rise above my fears, above the dark hole inside of me. I had to rise to what I was created for and I could not settle for mediocrity.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) showed us that ‘sadness’ is a real problem and that it requires a real solution. So he taught us the best of solutions ; Du’a. Asking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to help us overcome this trial of sadness.

The du’a is as follows:

“O Allah, I am your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your Hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my breast and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.” [1. Ahmed 1/391]

I knew this du’a. I had read this before. But it was only when I was totally shattered inside, broken and left helpless, I could start to internalize the power of this du’a. Alhamdulillaah. The moment I started reading this du’a, it gave me a spine chilling feeling. Because it did not start with asking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to solve our problem that we are in, rather it started with acknowledging a greater problem we are in. And that is our weak submission and tawakkul on Allah ‘azza wa jall. It is as if, I had to be broken free from my ego, from my attachments first to realize the depth of this du’a. Halfway down the du’a, I was relieved. SubhanAllaah, I did not even need to finish the du’a. When I uttered the words that ‘Your Decree over me is just’, my heart was set back at tranquil and I believed once again that if Allah gives, He will give for my best. But if He withholds, He will also be giving the best.

And then came the real moment.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) asked Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to make the Qur’an a departure for our sorrow and a release for our anxieties. I asked myself, why was I even looking for the solution elsewhere, when the solution lied in the Book of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) Himself, when the solution was in understanding and living the Qur’an?

But now, let us ask ourselves a question my dear sisters and brothers. When we are struck by sadness, what do we ask Allah ‘azza wa jall? Do we really ask Him to make the Qur’an the light of our hearts? Do we have the conviction that only the Qur’an can release us from the anxiety? Do we really believe that if the Qur’an becomes the light of our hearts, that is enough as a solution? Are we content enough during our sadness by making this du’a from the prophetic traditions? Why not?

There are 4 power steps that I believe have helped me internalize this du’a and feel the power of the Qur’an. So that, every time I am struck by sadness, I can rush back to the Book of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), never tired, never bored.

Reading with proper Tajweed

I do not know what it is, but even when I do not understand parts of the Qur’an due to my insufficient knowledge of the Arabic language, I feel it is the Tajweed that keeps me going. And this Ramadaan, a sister shared the same with me as well. Reading the Qur’an with proper Tajweed is addictive and attaches the heart to the reading of the Book.

Understanding basic Arabic Language

Alhamdulillaah, studying Arabic language for the last few years gave me a basic foundation of the language, and so the language of the Qur’an is no more alien to me. When I read it, I can understand (in most cases) what Allah ‘azza wa jall is speaking about and it soothes the heart tremendously. I love it when Allah ‘azza wa jall encourages us for good deeds and then I also tremendously love it when He admonishes with the best of admonitions.

So, for example, when Allaah ‘azza wa jall reminds me that :

Some Muslims desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. Surah Al-Anfal 8:67

I am instantly reminded about my ultimate goal. I am beautifully reminded that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) desires for me that which is better even though I may choose something that is inferior. It has admonition, but it also increases one’s love due to the wording of the aayah.

This is just one example from the numerous examples that I can give you on how the Qur’an enlightens me, my heart and helps me stay focused on the path of Islam.

Studying Tafseer

My Qur’an journey took a complete turn when I started my studies of basic tafseer. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows best how it will be when I take the deeper journey into this field, inshaAllaah. My understanding, my perception, my worldview, nothing remained the same. So,  for example, Surah Feel is no more a surah that I learnt in my childhood. It is a surah of empowerment, of courage, of strength against my enemies. So, at times when I feel overwhelmed by some enemy’s plot, I recite this surah in front of Allah ‘azza wa jall in my salah, and the words:

‘Alam yaj’al kaydahum fee tadleel’: Did He not make their plan into misguidance?  Surah Al -Feel 105:2

empowers me to believe that Allah’s plan is the best. Just like Allah destroyed the plan of Abraha, not in the beginning when he started his preparation, but rather He allowed Abraha to take all the preparations, give all the efforts, spend the money, come to Makkah and when he thought he almost reached his goal, Allah destroyed his plan, in the same way, He will destroy the plan of the evil-doers in today’s time as well. SubhanAllaah!

Studying the tafseer helps us understand the relevance and the significant role the Qur’an plays in overcoming our depressions and anxiety.

Approaching the Qur’an in the correct manner

This is an essential step. We cannot enjoy the Qur’an, neither take guidance from it if we do not approach the Qur’an in the way it should be approached. So, for example, if you take the Qur’an just as a book to read, you may not feel the magnanimity which you will feel when you take the Qur’an as the Speech of Allah, Himself.

In the next article, I will be discussing the key ways of approaching the Qur’an, insha Allaah.

So my dear sisters and brothers, there are two key elements that help us overcome our sadness and anxieties. Tawakkul on Allah’s Decree and connecting with the Qur’an. Hoping, this du’a of overcoming grief and sorrow will never remain the same for you. It will now take you to newer heights inshaAllah :)

May Allah ‘azza wa jall help us overcome our sadness, rise above our fears, reach superstar standards and achieve His mercy and the Paradise He created for His slaves, Ameen!

The Author

Faria Alam is a young aspiring student who seeks to help young females educate themselves. She is a freelance writer and loves to read books of different disciplines. She takes great interest in personal development.

9 Responses

  1. zaitun mohamed September 7, 2013 / 4:58 am

    Mashaallah,your article has truly touched me,jazakaAllah kheir

  2. sarah September 8, 2013 / 7:02 am

    a very nice write up . i will b waiting for ur next article about the key ways of approaching to the Quran in sha Allah.

    • FARIA September 11, 2013 / 7:06 am

      In shaa Allaah :)

  3. sarrah September 21, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    when I read the first line, I could relate to it perfectly. Ive read in many places how you are meant to react to feelings of distress and sadness, and this my dear sister was far by the best. In’sha’Allah I will come back to this and implement it into my life. jzk

  4. Sulaiman Alhassan November 9, 2013 / 6:11 pm

    A very enlightening write-up.May ALLAH(SWT) rewards you abundantly.

  5. Jannatul November 10, 2013 / 4:38 am

    Really very truthful writing. May Allah (SWT) give you the rewards for it and also give us the strength.

  6. Bocaira Tocalo December 14, 2013 / 5:20 am

    May ALLAH (s.w.a) bless you.. your article could really help me In Sha ALLAH

  7. fadumo January 7, 2014 / 2:34 am

    I truely loved this article Faria, it’s amazing and gives me solutions on how to deal with my sadness subhanallah. Thanks for the inspiring read :) <3

  8. Mazhar Aziz October 22, 2014 / 7:29 am

    There are 5 ways to over come sadness
    1.) Love for Each New Day
    2.) Enjoy Each second because when it pass we will never get back again
    3.) Know that life is God Gifted and spend it with His guideline
    4.) Always think your Death and prepared for next life
    5.) Think of those who have less than you

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