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Cheating Husband

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Should I seek a divorce if my husband has been cheating on me?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

Dear questioner, may Allah relieve you of your emotional pain, and reward for the disloyalty that has been shown to you.

If he is clearly trying to change, and your can emotionally bear living with him, you should try your best to stay married to him for the sake of you both, and for the sake of the children.

When to forgive and forget

The default modus operandi for a Muslim is to forgive and forget, even when cheated on by one’s spouse. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whosoever covers up the faults of others, Allah will cover up his faults on the Day of Rising.’ [Bukhari and Muslim] This even applies to a spouse being unfaithful, because it does not involve anyone else’s rights.

That said, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, ‘The believer is not stung from the same hole twice.’ [Bukhari and Muslim] Therefore, if your husband is not showing any real signs of change and you suspect he is continuing in his bad ways, you should seek a divorce.

This would also obtain if you just feel that you can’t live with him anymore given the gross level of his betrayal.

The right to divorce

According to many scholars, a woman has the right to ask for a divorce if she is being emotionally abused by her husband. They distinguish between a one-off major form of abuse and a one-off lesser form of abuse. [al Sharh al Kabir, Dardir and others]

In order to unilaterally enact a divorce, you would have to agree with your husband to go to a Muslim arbitrator. The arbitrator–ideally a mufti–would decide whether or not there are grounds to enact a divorce without your husband’s concept on the mere basis of what he has done.

Otherwise, you could just simply convince him to divorce you by telling him that you cannot live with him anymore.

Feeling down

Allah created us only knowing Him. Then we entered this world and turned our hopes and attention to other than Him. If He loves a slave of His, He turns him back to Him by sending him blessings or by calamities, or by sending both. What you are going through right now is that very thing: Allah is turning you to Him through a very difficult trial.

The only way to pass the trial and escape the pain of what others do to one is to turn completely to Allah and make Him your one goal. This isn’t easy, but it will change your life forever. Allah Most High says:

So flee to Allah. Indeed, I am to you from Him a clear warner. [51:50]

Please also read: Prayer For Mental Well-Being

Upshot

Ask yourself if you have the strength and willingness to live the rest of your life with him, and try to see if he has genuinely changed and has turned his back on his bad past. If it is just impossible, then just seek a divorce.

Allah Most High says:

And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of a settlement between them. And settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah, then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. [4: 128]

But if they separate, Allah will enrich each [of them] from His abundance. And ever is Allah Encompassing and Wise. [4: 130]

Please also have a read of this: Unfaithful Husband Working Overseas

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Prayer For Mental Well-Being

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Is there´s a Prayer for mental well-being?

Answer: Bismillahi al Rahman al Rahim.

Dear Questioner,

May Allah give you and your perfect faith and well-being.

I am personally not aware of any specific duas for mental health. However, the following dua for a cure should suffice:

Allahumma, Rabba n-nas Adh-hibi l-bas Wash-fi wa anta sh-Shafi La shifa-a illa shifa-uk Shifa’an la yughadiru saqama

O Allah, Lord of mankind! Take away the harm and cure him. You are the curer. There is no cure save Your cure. [Cure him] such that no sickness remains. [Abu Dawud]

Duas

Well-being in general is something the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) frequently encouraged us to ask for. Sayyidna Abu Bakr once stood upon the pulpit and then started to cry. Then he said, ‘In the first year [of Hijra], the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood up here and then wet. Then he said, ‘Ask Allah for forgiveness and for well-being, for after certainty, no one is given anything better than well-being.’ ‘ [Tirmidhi]

I think it is pertinent that they both cried before saying these words. Someone struggling with mental health would understand why.

There are specific duas for sadness and depression. For example,

Allahumma, inni a-udhu bika mina l-hammi wa l-hazan Wa l-azji wa l-kasal Wa l-bukhli wa l-jubn Wa dala-i d-dayn Wa ghalabati r-rijal.

O Allah, indeed I ask seek refuge in you from worries and sadness, from inability and laziness, from cheapness and cowardice, from the weight of debt, and from the overbearingness of men. [Bukhari]

There are also duas for protection from decrepitude, which arguably includes senility. For example,

Allahumma inni a-udhu bika mina l-jubni wa a-udhu bika mina l-bukhali Wa a-udhu bika min an uraddu ila ardhali l-umur Wa a-udhu bika min fitnati d-dunya wa adhab l-qabr.

O Allah, indeed I seek refuge in You from cowardice and I seek refuge in You from cheapness, and I seek refuge in You from being returned to old-aged decrepitude, and I seek refuge in You from the trials of This Life and the punishment of the grave.

Giving One’s Matter to Allah

The concept of consigning one’s whole being to Allah Most High comes frequently in the Qur’an and Sunna. Allah Most High quotes the words of the unnamed staunch believer to Pharaoh, ‘And you shall all remember what I’m telling you. I consign my matter to Allah. Allah sees well [Bukhari]

You should also look into mental health treatment, and changing your diet.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Being Depressed? Or Hoping for the Best?

Sharifah Bebe Hasan explores the difference between experiencing natural low points in life, and being clinically depressed. being depressed

Negative emotions are completely natural.  In fact, they can make us realise that we are makhluq (created) being who are flawed, and that we have limitations.It’s also important to realise that we are eternally connected to our Khaliq (Creator) who has no limitation. Allah The Creator doesn’t leave His Creation without guidance. Allah says in the Qur’an:

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. (Sura Baqara 2:286) 

Reading this verse can empower us to realise that we are, in fact, equipped to handle what comes in our way.

Encountering Low Points In Life

When encountering sad and negative feelings, a good first step is to try to better understand their causes. Is it a family problem, financial stress, or anxiety over something in the future? The answers will vary depending on the individual, but overcoming the root causes of these problems is one of the best ways out. Moving on or away from what’s dragging you down, such as a toxic relationship, could also be a way out. 

Sometimes, going through a difficult time can reveal to you the people who truly care for you, as well as the ones who only stay with you until difficult times arise.  When feeling low, take the opportunity to notice the people who show you love in many ways, such as by asking if you are okay, providing you with good resources, working hard to fulfil your needs. Then this will be the time you can talk to them regarding your feelings, and show them respect and love in return to make them happy and loved.

The feeling of emptiness, loss and confusion is not something new in this world. Many legendary individuals and great people had  gone through these feelings to realise their existence and their reliance on their Creator. One of these great stories is the story of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, who was deprived  by his own people and family, and he took that opportunity to search for his Creator.

In the same way, you may rise above this situation by using this emptiness as a call upon you to fill  your heart with the love of the Creator and His Prophets, and find the great wisdom in life’s lessons.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad taught his companions the following dua:

‏ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ، وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ، وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ، وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

“O Allah! I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by (other) men.” (Bukhari)

How to Seek Help

There are many things that one could do to seek help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, as feeling sad, lost, hopeless, and anxious are all ups and downs of a normal human being’s life. Some people manage to calm themselves by connecting themselves to the Creator where as others would need additional external help from their loved ones, or professional help from counsellors or therapists.

However, the problem can get much worse if they bottle up their feelings and don’t seek help.  The best time to seek help is any time you need help. One could seek internal and external help by attending knowledge circles, or getting support from their love ones and counsellors.

What is Depression?

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), simply known as Depression, is much different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. It is a long-lasting condition,  with a moderate or severe intensity of emotional response.

Experts have listed the following symptoms that usually appear in individuals with depression.  An adult with depression would usually experience 5 or more out of these symptoms (including at least one of depressed mood and loss of interest or pleasure) in the same 2-week period. In children and adolescents, the  duration must be 1 year or longer to be considered depression.

  1. Depressed mood (subjective or observed).
  2. Loss of interest or pleasure
  3. Change in weight or appetite
  4. Poor appetite or overeating
  5. Insomnia or hypersomnia
  6. Psychometric retardation or agitation (observed)
  7. Loss of energy or fatigue
  8. Worthlessness of guilt
  9. Low self-esteem
  10. Impaired concentration or indecisiveness
  11. 11.Thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, or attempt
  12. Hopelessness

Source: Uher et. al

To put it simply, depression is to feel some of the above symptoms over a long period of time. For adults, that time period is roughly more than 2 weeks, and for children and adolescent nearly a year, as their hormones are still imbalance and in growing state.

Unfortunately, not many people fully understand depression. When sadness or anxiety overpowers a person for few moments, some people self-diagnose with depression rather than seeking professional consultation. This puts them at risk of falling further into the abyss, rather than coming out of it.

Before coming to a conclusion, one should start by breaking down the root causes of their emotions.  Is it because they feel hopeless towards life? Or is it because they can’t do as well as others in life? Or is it because they feel like their life is empty?

Feeling Down but Not Depressed

If these are feelings one encounters every once a week or so, or these feelings come and go, making it difficult to lead a normal happy life, then here are few ways to tackle or respond to these feelings. These are usually symptoms of feeling down or sad. They may not necessarily be depression, but they should nonetheless be acknowledged and addressed.

When is feeling hopeless, they should bring to mind that Allah is their Creator and Sustained, and open themselves to receiving Allah’s mercy Knowing that there is Creator who will always cherish and protect the creation, could be the first step to a life of hope. 

For example, when a mother of small children bakes a cake, she would not put the cake at a place where her kids can reach it. In the same way, if a human being is so protective of its creation then, how one could think that Allah, The Creator of the Mankind and the World will ever leave His creation without help?

Hoping from Allah is the key to success. Having hope in Allah and staying connected with Him through, prayer and remembrance can keep you grounded.  Then, moving forward with your ambition in the effort to push down the hopeless, using any help and resources that are available, will hopefully bring you closer to a solution. Allah says in the Quran:

فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah.  Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]. (Sura Aal-Imran 3:159)

Depression is on the rise amongst the adults and youth. Depression is not something which is incurable, especially if one can realise and work on it at an early stage. There are many ways that one could try out to overcome depression especially by breaking down on why and how they are feeling.

Channelling these feelings to positive actions and places is a great way to start. Constantly relying on the Creator, and spending time in circles of remembrance, can help overcome feelings of loneliness.  Learning the stories of the Prophets of Allah will give one hope in leading a successful life. Other way would also be by studying the seerah of beloved prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, and sending peace upon him, an act recommended by scholars to remove depression related to feelings like sadness and emptiness.

Finally,  since loss is one of the components of depression, I hope to express the reality of it through this short poem. I hope the outcome from this poem brings clarity to people, and helps many in finding their way out of depression.

I Was Lost Within Me

I asked you

I worshipped in your name,

But, still found out myself to be lost,

 

And so, I stopped everything that connects me to you,

I prevented all the connections I had with your name,

Although in deep down I knew i’m getting more lost,

The next day, I woke up missing you,

but , I was determined not to utter your name

As I want to put a stop for the feeling of loss,

I drank coffee in a cup that was written I love you

Which was gifted by my mom with on it my name

I always use this mug as I feared for finding them lost.

While sipping, I ignored once again my mom’s I love you,

Just because I found them uncool and very lame

And with my clinging siblings, to love them is a force

With all these problems I ran out to show I’m unhappy with you

Then, I heard my mom calling out Abdullah my name

Then I realise that You have never despair me to lost

I ran away from my mom’s love that was given by you

I pushed away my siblings whenever they came

I dug a hole and hide myself before claiming I’m lost

But I was always blessed by you.

Knowing this I uttered again with full of love your name

Allah thank you for being with me who were lost

I got my identity through you

I’m Abdullah a slave to you and your name

You are the Creator who never leaves one to lost

I was created by you

I will be  guided by your name

Now, I have no fear handling loss. 

 


Sharifah Bebe Hasan is from Singapore, and has obtained her Alimiyyah certificate in Hadith in addition to graduating in Shariah from University of Indonesia. Currently, she’s enhancing her research and writing skills through SeekersGuidance.


Magic, Loss, and Estrangement

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan answers a question about protecting oneself from black magic and how to overcome frustration and despair.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am writing this on my distressed colleague’s behalf.

Her life has been spoiled by her own estranged family. She is critically ill and homeless, stuck very badly and abandoned. She was orphaned very young.

She has been praying hard with no results at all. A few years ago she lost her soulmate because of these estranged people, fear of the same person she was about to settle with, and her sudden memory loss. An illness which she always had.

She feels someone did magic on her as all things go wrong repeatedly, and her estranged family won’t let her make a final decision by refusing to give her her share to meet her expenses for treatment and self, and so that she can start afresh.

It has been going on for a long time and she has been losing hair on head. She prayed hard but no results. She is very sincere. It is making her very frustrated and she is losing her mind and peace. Please advise.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Thank you for writing to us.

As an immediate suggestion, your friend may implement the following:

    1. 1. Sleep in a state of ablution.

 

    1. 2. Before going to bed, recite the verse of the footstool (Ayah al-Kursi), and the last three chapters of the Quran. Thereafter, blow into your hands and wipe over your body. This is a Prophetic method of protecting oneself from all evil.

 

    1. 3. Recite the chapter of the cow (Surah al-Baqarah) as often as possible, especially in the place of residence. If one cannot recite this chapter, then have it playing from a recorder.

 

    1. 4. Be punctual in reciting the

Wird al-Latif

    1. (The Subtle Litany) in the morning after Fajr and the

Ratib al-Haddad

    (the famous litany of Imam al-Haddad) before or after magrib.

If your friend continues performing these actions, her challenges will disappear with the will of Allah, the Mighty. If it persists, she may have to consult a Raqi (someone who specializes in the treatment of black magic).

May Allah protect you and her and remove challenges from both your paths, Amin.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Faith is Believing, Not Feeling – Dr. Ingrid Mattson

There may be times when we feel that we aren’t benefiting from our faith. But true faith is when we still believe that Allah will do what He has promised. In this address, Dr. Ingrid Mattson explains this concept in relation to the believer’s heart, mind, and actions.

How can Faith Benefit Me?

If faith is so beneficial, why are so many Muslims hurting each other? And why are they hurting?

When we see people who have hurt, we need to realize that many people have developed habits to help them survive in difficult times. These habits could come in the form of anger, dependency, and distancing themselves from others.  Rather than rush to judge them, we should rush to support them in their physical, mental and spiritual rehabilitation. Furthermore, we should strive to change the difficult and unjust circumstances that made them the way they were. Our faith tells us that we have been created whole, not broken, receptive to Allah and what He determines to be good. We have the inmate potential to connect with Him, and feel like we are coming home.

Depression: A Spiritual Disorder?

One of the fruits of our faith, is that it gives us happiness and hope, both in this world and in the next. But does that mean that a person who despairs because of depression or a related mental illness, is sinful or has low faith?

No, because someone who loses hope because of a mental condition, is not the same as someone who believes that there is no meaning to life from a philosophical or intellectual viewpoint. A person can have faith and be depressed as an emotional state, but not a spiritual state. Depression is not a spiritual illness, but a psychological and an emotional one. The real test is for the ones who do not suffer from those conditions, to support those who do have them. The onus is on those who are capable, not on those who are not.


Resources for Seekers

How Do I Calm My Worries?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Are there any specific duas or Surahs I can recite to help me with my constant state of anxiousness, depression and paranoia that I have been feeling due to a multitude of heavy things and it’s been weighing me down.I just need a way of easing my difficulties.

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for writing into us.

If life gets overwhelming and we find ourselves always worried, then it’s a good time to take stock of what is happening in our lives, looking to see whether things could be done better, and most importantly, assessing where our relationship with Allah is.

Reading the Signs

Everything in life has a language and it takes patient observation and reflection to understand the language of each thing or event. When the physical body starts to become run down and needs a break, it shows signs of fatigue in order that the person may stop and take a break so the body can recover. If it is ignored, the body keeps throwing up other signs, such as ailments, in order to be heard.

Similarly, the mind and the soul throw up symptoms of distress when something is amiss and needs fulfilling. When one has constant stress, anxiety, anguish, or a feeling of emptiness, it is because the mind/soul is yearning for something that it needs. Sometimes the need is to simplify or prioritise one’s lifestyle choices, or one needs fulfilling intellectually, or one needs to connect spiritually, or perhaps all of these. It is because of these feelings that we so often turn to temporary ‘worldly’ solutions, such as food, wealth, entertainment etc. to fill the void.

Relationship with Allah

Of course, there is nothing more important than assessing one’s relationship with Allah Most High, as He is the One who has control of our affairs and the only One to change them.

Ensure the following:

1. That you are fulfilling your duties to Allah, particularly your daily prayers.

2. That you are avoiding sins in private and in public.

3. You have a daily reading of Quran each day, ideally with a translation if it is needed.

If possible, try to:

1. Wake up for Tahajjud, even for 10 minutes, pray two cycles of prayer and supplicate to Allah to lighten your burdens and ease your heart.

2. Depending on the causes of your conditions, seek out beginner courses on Islamic studies such as ‘aqidah, fiqh, seerah, and tafsir. It important to learn the religion properly, as knowledge shapes one thoughts and make one’s heart firm in one’s belief in Allah and the knowledge that he is the sole Doer of everything that happens to us.

Supplications

Recite the following supplications after each prayer and at Tahajjud time:


اللّهُـمَّ رَحْمَتَـكَ أَرْجـوفَلا تَكِلـني إِلى نَفْـسي طَـرْفَةَ عَـيْن، وَأَصْلِـحْ لي شَأْنـي كُلَّـه لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أنْـت
O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blink of an eye. Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You.
[Abu Dawud]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men. [al Bukhari]

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا
O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy
[Ibn Hibban]

It is reported that Asma’ bint ‘Umays (may Allah be pleased with her) said, ‘The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me, “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed?
اللهُ اللهُ رَبِّ لا أُشْـرِكُ بِهِ شَيْـئاً
Allah, Allah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him
[Abu Dawud]

Action

There are many ways to go about relieving anxiety and stress. I will try to mention the most useful:

Expressing your thoughts:
First, it would be helpful to sit down and get all the thoughts and anxieties expressed outwardly. This is the first step in clarifying what is wrong. Expressing the concerns outwardly distances one from their own thoughts so it is possible to get some perspective on the issues. It also allows one to trace more clearly what is going wrong and what can be done, and to make positive and constructive changes.

One can do this by first writing down all the things that is on one’s mind, in no particular order. Then categorise them into groups e.g. family, work, relationships, personal etc. Then go through each one and try to identify what it is that causes the worry about that particular thing.

Next to it, write down all the possible solutions within your control, including what could be done to simplify the issue. For things out of your control make a separate list and next to these, write down any ideas of people who you can consult regarding the issue for advice, such as parents, close friend, local scholar, or even a therapist.

Once you have done this with all the issues, try to put each in action one by one. Of course it may not be possible to resolve all issues so simply, and the anxieties and paranoia won’t disappear just like that. but it’s a good start and having it all written out means you can refer to it when you feel overwhelmed and remind yourself of the solutions.

Therapies: If the above does not work, it may be useful to seek treatment for a while, as this will again be way to express your thoughts outwardly, and perhaps gain some perspective. Constitutional homeopathy or other holistic therapies should also be very useful, particularly if you suffer from depression and paranoia and natural, valium medication is needed.

Included in therapy is ensuring you are getting adequate exercise and nutrition. You may want to try simple meditation or relaxation techniques (see below for book reference).

Please also seek out the company of good friends, and not spend too much time alone. Joining hobby clubs and other team activity groups may be a good idea, if possible.

Book References

I highly recommend the following books which should help with both understanding anxiety and depression as well as give many practical advice:

1. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie
2. The Complete System of Self-Healing – Internal Exercises, by Dr. Stephen T, Chang

Insha’Allah these two resources will provide ample use to you. May Allah grant you the very best of states and tranquillity of mind and heart.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Can I Give Expiatory Payments Instead of Making up Fasts?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have been suffering from depression. I am seeing my doctor regularly. I missed many fasts last year and a few fasts a year before. I am worried of days piling. Am I allowed to feed poor people as fidya for my missed fasts instead of waiting to get healthy?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

If your prescribed medication doesn’t allow you to fast, and its daily timings cannot be changed, you have a reasonable excuse to miss the fast and make it up later.

However, you cannot give expiatory payments (fidya) unless you are [normally] both elderly and chronically unable to fast. Thus, all you need to do is make up the fasts. I’d suggest doing so when the days are shorter and it is easier to manage your medication.

Ask Allah Most High for well-being, and to facilitate worship for you in every state.

Please also see: The Complete Guide to Fasting

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

I Feel Depressed During Prayer. What Can I Do?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My parents are forcefully prioritizing the prestige/status of every suitor. Any suitors whom I bring up are spoken about in my home with disrespect. I can’t pray anymore without feeling deeply afraid of my fate. Even stepping on the prayer mat frightens me. I feel relieved when I skip prayers. What can I do?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, thank you for reaching out to us. I pray Allah makes things easy for you.

While your situation is difficult, it is important that you separate your family relationships and your individual relationship with God. Your parent’s attitudes or actions are not reflective of the religion, and neglecting your religious obligations will only make the matter worse for you.

Prayer

Rather than turning away from God, please turn towards Him and put your case to Him with sincerity and neediness. While our words here, or the words of any other person, may be of some help to you, ultimately, everything returns to Allah Most High and all your needs can only be achieved through him.

Allah Most High tells us, ‘Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.’ [2:257].

If you turn away from Allah and abandon your prayers, it’s unlikely it will change your parent’s decisions and attitudes in anyway. Instead you will just accumulate a list of prayers to make up and feel worse off.

Turning away from Allah and abandoning your worship to him is a sure indication that Satan is at work and wants to lead you down the dark road to despair. This is a test and abandoning prayers is only going to give into Satan’s plan. Neglecting prayers makes one remote to God and further from His Mercy and Aid, while holding fast to the prayer is an indication of your strength of faith and trust in Him.

In reality, life is bigger than what you are perceiving it to be right now. A hadith of the Prophet ﷺ is always useful to remember when in difficult situations, which explains not only how to perceive events in life, but where our hopes should lie. I hope will be of benefit to you here. The hadith says,

Abdullah bin Abbas said, ‘One day I was behind the Prophet ﷺ [riding on the same mount] and he said, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

Take comfort in turning to Allah alone and insha’Allah you’ll find peace in your heart.

Supplications

You may find the following supplications useful to recite after each prayer.

اللّهُـمَّ رَحْمَتَـكَ أَرْجـوفَلا تَكِلـني إِلى نَفْـسي طَـرْفَةَ عَـيْن، وَأَصْلِـحْ لي شَأْنـي كُلَّـه لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أنْـت

O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment). Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You. [Abu Dawud]

It is reported that Asma’ bint ‘Umays (may Allah be pleased with her) said, ‘The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me, “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed?

اللهُ اللهُ رَبِّ لا أُشْـرِكُ بِهِ شَيْـئاً

Allah, Allah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him [Abu Dawud]

Marriage

While we must turn to Allah for all our needs and hopes, we must nevertheless take the steps to get what we need and avoid difficult situations.

Try to find someone who can act as a mediator. Is there any understanding family friend or relative who can intercede for you and talk to your parents?

Is there any way you can communicate to your parents your concerns without getting into an argument? Perhaps writing a letter to them may be an option?

Pray the prayer of need (Hajar) and make supplication in abundance.

Please also see the following answers:

What to Do When My Parents Reject My Choice of Spouse Because of Cultural Reasons?
Can I Ask Allah to Facilitate for Me to Marry Someone?
How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need

I sincerely wish you all the best, that Allah keeps you firm in your practice, and grants you every happiness.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

I Have Chronic Depression, and Treatment Is Not Helping. What Can I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have chronic depression, and psychiatric treatment is not helping. My parents constantly fight. What can I do?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.

Depression

Dear questioner, I am sorry that you are in so much pain. Psychiatric care is just one element to the healing you require – this may be why it is not enough. Your whole self needs nourishment.

Please ask yourself – do you want this pain to stop? If so, then you need to make a decision to do everything in your power to heal, and draw strength from Allah.

Prayer

Please perform The Prayer of Need as often as you can, in the last third of the night.

Please nourish your connection to Allah. You mentioned that the door of prayer has been a difficult one for you. Don’t despair, because there are many doors to Allah. What soothes you? Fasting? Reading Qur’an? Dhikr? Making istighfar? Giving in charity?

Supplication

There is a healing secret in making copious dhikr, especially salawat upon the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). Please strive to do this every day.

In addition to salawat, please strive to read more supplications from this wonderful list: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

When the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would be afflicted with a stressful trial, he would say, “O Living and Eternal Maintainer! By Your mercy I seek help!” [Tirmidhi]

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّوْمُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيْث

Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum! Bi rahmatika astagheeth!

Holistic care

Is there a holistic healer you can consult? A culturally-sensitive counsellor? Please look into the work of Hakim Archuletta, who teaches at the Zawiyah retreat in Spain. He has videos on YouTube which you can watch here.

Hakim Archuletta speaks about the importance of breathing, in healing ourselves. Please pay attention to your breathing. When you feel overwhelmed, inhale for 7 counts, and exhale for 11 counts.

Parents

It is stressful living in a home where parents are in constant turmoil. A nourishing family home is conducive for healing. However, the dunya is imperfect. Try your best to communicate to your parents, and explain that witnessing them fight is affecting your health. I hope that this will make them more mindful, and encourage them to keep their disagreements behind closed doors. If that does not help, then work on improving your state so you can work and rent your own private quarters. Perhaps moving away from your tumultuous home will help you heal.

I pray that Allah grants you a complete shifa.

Please see:

Reader on Depression

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Is Seeking Counselling A Sign of Weakness? by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil, a core member of the SeekersHub Answers service, offers much-needed, effective online pastoral care – to those who seek help. What about those who suffer in silence?

Taha has reached rock bottom. Perhaps he is struggling with some form of addiction, or he is depressed. He has tried numbing his pain, but he knows that if he does not get help, then he may end up walking a path he will later regret.

He paces his room, thinking of his parents and his younger siblings. They all need him to be invincible. He doesn’t know how.

By the time he summons up the courage to speak to his parents, he is shaking from nervousness.

“Baba, Mama, I need to speak to you.”

Taha’s parents look at each other, worried. They have noticed that he has been distant lately. He barely speaks to them, eats poorly, and spends a lot of time in his room.

“I think I’m depressed,” he blurts. “I-I need to get help – I need to speak to someone.”

His parents gasp. Their firstborn son – depressed? This happens to other people, and to other families. Not their Taha.

Their fear for him takes on familiar, well-worn forms – anger and anxiety.

“When I was your age, I didn’t have time to be depressed. Who are you going to speak to? Dr Phil?“ his father snaps. “Stop being so weak.”

“You need to get married”

“You need to get married,” his mother says hurriedly. “That will help you feel better. What about Aunty Jasmin’s niece?”

Taha slumps in his seat, closes his eyes, and looks away.

Taha is a fictional character, but his struggle is very real. Many Muslims around the world today are tested by some form of emotional, mental, and/or spiritual imbalance.

Not enough families are equipped with the right tools to deal with this trial. Worried parents often blame themselves when their children come to them with their troubles. It is heartbreaking to realise that your beloved child is struggling with something that has no quick fix.

Parental worry can quickly transmute into impatience, because it hurts us to see our children hurting.  The harder, but more fulfilling path, is to stay present, see our children for who they truly are, and make space to seek help.

Prayer

Our Beloved Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) gave us a dua to guard against depression. Surely this, if nothing else, is a sign that mental, emotional and spiritual struggles are real, and something that can be remedied.

حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدُ بْنُ مَخْلَدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عَمْرُو بْنُ أَبِي عَمْرٍو، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَنَسًا، قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ، وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ، وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ، وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ ‏”‏‏.‏

The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) used to say, “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by (other) men.” [Bukhari]

Counselling

Jabir reported Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) as saying: “There is a remedy for every malady, and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.” [Sahih Muslim]

The dunya is a place of struggle. There is no shame in seeking help, and seeking a culturally-sensitive counsellor is one of the means of seeking help.  A calm and objective professional can help untangle difficult knots.

Practical steps

  • Renew our intentions daily.
  • Nourish our own spiritual lives through our connection to Allah Most High.
  • Stay connected to our children and build rapport from birth, and beyond. E.g. Create regular opportunities for authentic connection and honest conversation – do acts of worship together, play together, no phones at the dinner table, bedtime dua rituals etc.
  • Recognise when the problem is too big to handle alone and reach out for help.
  • Be part of a community that learns and grows together.

I pray that with education and a return to the Prophetic example of mercy, more Muslim families will see the wisdom in speaking to culturally-sensitive counsellors, and encouraging their children to do the same.

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