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aaj
11-04-2016, 03:19 AM
25 ways to deal with stress and anxiety


Stress is life. Stress is anything that causes mental, physical, or spiritual tension. There is no running away from it. All that matters is how you deal with it. This article does not deal with the factors of stress, anxiety, and depression, nor is it a clinical advice. If you feel depressed, you are not alone. It has been estimated that 75 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians in America are for stress-related problems. This is why it is wise to consult a doctor if you are having physical symptoms of stress. However, here are some tips that can help from a spiritual perspective.

Torture. Beatings. Loss of property. The death of loved ones. These were just some of the enormous challenges the Muslims of Makkah faced in the seventh century following their acceptance of Islam in fiercely tribal and polytheistic Makkah.

Detention. Harassment. Beatings. Discrimination. Loss of Job. Profiling. Hate Crimes. Constant media attention. Surveillance. These are just some of the challenges Muslims in America today face, post-9/11. Like our predecessors in Makkah, we have begun to face great stress, anxiety, and pressure, more than ever in our recent history on this continent, although Muslims who were brought here as slaves faced worse than what we can even imagine.

1. Ask Him. He Listens: DU`A


Turn each anxiety, each fear and each concern into a Dua (supplication). Look at it as another reason to submit to God and be in Sajdah (prostration), during which you are closest to Allah. God listens and already knows what is in your heart, but He wants you to ask Him for what you want.

The Prophet said: Allah is angry with those who do not ask Him for anything (Tirmidhi).


2. Tie your Camel: DO YOUR PART

One day Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, "Why don't you tie down your camel?" The Bedouin answered, "I put my trust in Allah." The Prophet then said, "Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah" (Tirmidhi).

Muslims must never become fatalistic. Although we know only Allah is in control and that He has decreed all things, we are each responsible for making the right choices and doing the right thing in all situations of our lives. We must take action (link to planning articles on SV). We must work to alleviate the hardships we, our families and our communities face.


3. Remember that human responsibility is limited

While we need to carry out our duty to the best of our abilities, always remember that you don't control the outcome of events. Even the Prophets did not control the outcome of their efforts. Some were successful, others were not. Once you have done your duty, leave the results to Allah. Regardless of the results of your efforts, you will be rewarded for the part you have played.

However, never underestimate your abilities. Understand the concept of Barakah (blessings from Allah) and remember that Allah can and Insha Allah will expand them if you are sincerely exerting your energies for the right path.

4. Leave the world behind you FIVE TIMES A DAY

Use the five daily prayers as a means to become more Hereafter-oriented and less attached to this temporary world. Start distancing yourself as soon as you hear Adhan, the call to prayer. When you perform Wudu, keep repeating Shahada, the declaration of faith, as water drops slip down your face, hands, arms, and hair. When you stand ready to pray, mentally prepare yourself to leave this world and all of its worries and stresses behind you.

5. Seek help through SABR

Seek help through Sabr and Salat (Quran 2:45).

This instruction from Allah provides us with two critical tools that can ease our worries and pain. Patience and prayer are two oft-neglected stressbusters. Sabr is often translated as patience but it is not just that. It includes self-control, perseverance, endurance, and a focused struggle to achieve one's goal. Unlike patience, which implies resignation, the concept of Sabr includes a duty to remain steadfast to achieve your goals despite all odds.

6. Excuse Me! You are Not Running the World, HE is.

It is important to remind ourselves that we don't control all the variables in the world. God does. He is the Wise, the All-Knowing. Sometimes our limited human faculties are not able to comprehend His wisdom behind what happens to us and to others, but knowing that He is in control and that as human beings we submit to His Will, enriches our humanity and enhances our obedience (Uboodiah in Arabic) towards him. Read the story of the encounter of Moses with the mysteries behind God's decision (Quran: 18:60-82). Familiarize yourself with God's 99 Names, which are also known as His Attributes. It is a powerful way of knowing Him.

7. Birds Don't Carry their Food

Allah is al Razzaq (the Provider).

"How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? It is Allah Who feeds them and you, for He hears and knows all things (Quran 29:60)."

By reminding yourself that He is the Provider, you will remember that getting a job or providing for your family in these economically and politically challenging times, when Muslims are often the last to be hired and the first to be fired, is in God's Hands, not yours. As Allah says in the Quran:

"And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion (Quran 65:3).

8. God controls Life and Death

If you fear for your physical safety and security, remember that only Allah gives life and takes it back and, that He has appointed the time for it. No one can harm you except if Allah wills. As He says in the Quran:

"Wherever you are, death will find you out, even if you are in towers built up strong and high!" (Quran 4:78).

9. Remember that life is short

It's easy to get caught up in our own stress and anxiety. However, if we remember that our life is short and temporary, and that the everlasting life is in the Hereafter, this will put our worries in perspective.


10. Do Zikr, Allah, Allah!

"... without doubt in the remembrance (Zikr) of Allah do hearts find tranquility" (Quran 13:28).

If you commute, use your time in Zikr. Pick any Tasbeeh and do that instead of listening to the radio or reading the newspaper. Maybe you can divide it up between Zikr and planning. Personally, I recite the Tasbeeh of "Subhana Allahe wa be hamdihi, subhan Allahil Azeem" 100 times as I drive. The Prophet taught us these two short phrases which are easy to say but will weigh heavy on our scale of good deeds in the Hereafter.

"Remember Me, and I shall remember you; be grateful to Me, and deny Me not" (Quran 2:152).

11. Relying on Allah: Tawakkul


When you awaken in the morning, thank Allah for giving you life after that short death called sleep. When you step out of your home, say 'in Your Name Allah, I put my trust in Allah, and there is no power or force except with Allah' (Bismillahi Tawakal to al Allah wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah). At night, remember Allah, with His praises on your lips.

Once you have established a plan you intend to follow through on to deal with a specific issue or problem in your life, put your trust in the most Wise and the All-Knowing.

"When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah" (Quran 3: 159).

12. Connect with other human beings


You are not alone. Muslims are not alone. We are not suffering in silence. There are millions of good people who are not Muslim with beautiful hearts and minds. These are people who have supported us, individually and collectively, post-9/11, by checking up on us and making sure we are safe. These are individuals and organizations who have spoken up in defense of Muslims as we endured harassment and discrimination.

We must think of them, talk to them, connect with them, and pray for them. Through our connections, we will break the chain of isolation that leads to depression and anxiety.

13. Compare your dining table with that of those who don't have as much as you do

The Prophet said: Whenever you see someone better than you in wealth, face or figure, you should look at someone who is inferior to you in these respects (so that you may thank Allah for His blessings) (Bukhari, Muslim).

Next time you sit down to eat, eye the table carefully. Check out the selection of food, the quality, the taste, the quantity, and then think of the millions of others who don't have even half as much. The Prophet's Hadith reminds us of this so that we can appreciate and thank God for all that we have.

14. Say it Loud: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar: Takbirat & Adhan

Find a corner of a lake, go out in the wilderness, or even stand on your lawn at your home and call the Adhan with your heart. While driving, instead of listening to the same news over and over again, say Allahu Akbar as loudly as you can or as softly as you want, based on your mood. Year ago, I remember calling Adhan on a Lake Michigan shore in Chicago after sunset as the water gushed against my knees. I was calling it for myself. There was no one else accept the waves after waves of water with their symphony. It was relaxing and meaningful. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

15. Pray in congregation (Jamat)

Pray with other people instead of alone. If you can't pray all five prayers in congregation, at least find one or two prayers you can pray with others. If you are away, establish Jamat in your own family. During the Prophet's time, even though the Muslims endured great persecution, including physical beatings, they would sometimes meet on the side of a mountain or valley and tried to pray together. This is a great morale booster.

16. How is your Imam's Dua?

Does the Imam at your local mosque make Dua silently or out loud? Ask him to supplicate with the whole congregation. Suggest Duas for him to make. Ask him to make Dua for other people.

17. Work for the Unity of Muslims

Bringing Muslims together will not only help the Muslims, but it will also encourage you to focus your energies on something constructive versus zeroing in on and consistently fretting about difficulties you are going through.

Invite Muslims from other ethnic groups to your functions. Visit Masjids other than yours in your city. When you meet a Muslim leader, after thanking him for his efforts, ask him what he is doing for Muslim unity. Ask Imams to make Dua for this. These are just small ways you can help yourself and the Muslim community.

18. Sleep the way the Prophet slept

End your day on a positive note. Make Wudu, then think of your day. Thank Allah for all the good things you accomplished, like Zikr and Salat. Ask yourself what you did today to bring humanity together and what you did to help Muslims become servants of humanity. For everything positive, say Alhamdu lillah (Praise be to Allah). For everything negative say Astaghfirullah wa atoobo ilayk (I seek Allah's forgiveness and I turn to You [Allah]). Recite the last two chapters of the Quran, thinking and praying as you turn on your right side with your hand below your right cheek, the way the Prophet used to sleep. Then close your day with the name of Allah on your tongue. Insha Allah, you will have a good, restful night.

19. Begin the Day on a Positive Note

Get up early. Get up thanking God that He has given you another day. Alhamdu lillahil lazi ahyana bada ma amatana, wa ilaihin Nushoor (Praise be to Allah Who gave us life after death and unto Him will be the return). Invest in an audio tape driven alarm clock so you can get up to the melody of the Quran. Or Let Dawud Wharnsby's joyful notes put you in a good mood. Sing along if you like. Develop your to do list for the day if you didn't do it the night before. Begin with the name of Allah, with Whose name nothing in the heavens or the earth can hurt you. He is the Highest and the Greatest.

(Bismillahillazi la yazurru maa ismihi shaiun fil arze wa la fis samae, wahuwal Alee ul Azeem).The Prophet used to say this after every Fajr and Maghrib prayers.

20. Avoid Media Overexposure: Switch from News to Books

Don't spend too much time checking out the news on the radio, television or internet. Spend more time reading good books and journals. When you listen to the persistent barrage of bad news, especially relating to Muslims nowadays, you feel not only depressed, but powerless. Cut down media time to reduce your stress and anxiety. It's important to know what's going on but not to an extent that it ruins your day or your mood. (similarly, when you are in a sad mood, refrain from wallowing and listening to sad songs)

21. Pray for Others to Heal Yourself.

The Prophet was always concerned about other people, Muslims and non-Muslims, and would regularly pray for them. Praying for others connects you with them and helps you understand their suffering. This in itself has a healing component to it. The Prophet has said that praying for someone who is not present increases love.

22. Make the Quran your Partner

Reading and listening to the Quran will help refresh our hearts and our minds. Recite it out loud or in a low voice. Listen to it in the car. When you are praying Nafl or extra prayers, pick it up and use it to recite portions of the Quran you are not as familiar with. Connecting to the Quran means connecting to God. Let it be a means to heal your heart of stress and worries. Invest in different recordings of the Quran and their translations.

"O humanity! There has come to you a direction from your Lord and a cure for all [the ills] in men's hearts - and for those who believe, a Guidance and a Mercy" (Quran 10:57).

23. Be thankful to Allah

"If you are grateful, I will give you more" (Quran 14:7).

Counting our blessings helps us not only be grateful for what we have, but it also reminds us that we are so much better off than millions of others, whether that is in terms of our health, family, financial situation, or other aspects of our life. And being grateful for all we have helps us maintain a positive attitude in the face of worries and challenges we are facing almost daily.

24. Ideals: ONE STEP AT A TIME

Ideals are wonderful things to pursue. But do that gradually. Think, prioritize, plan, and move forward. One step at a time.

25. EFFORTS not Results Count in the Eyes of Allah

Our success depends on our sincere efforts to the best of our abilities. It is the mercy of Allah that He does not demand results, Alhamdu lillah. He is happy if He finds us making our best sincere effort. Thank you Allah!



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Eric H
11-04-2016, 04:59 PM
Greetings and peace be with you aaj; and thanks for sharing,

I think this is all very good advice, I think it should be made into a 'sticky' The only extra advice I would add, is learn to forgive, there is so much injustice in this world, that never seems to get put right. Forgiving lightens the load you carry.

Blessings,

Eric
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aaj
11-04-2016, 08:39 PM
Greetings and peace with you Eric.

Thank you, I was planning on adding more content to it.

I have to agree with you on forgiveness, not only must we learn to forgive others but more importantly, learn to forgive ourselves. Sometimes we can be our worst enemy.
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aaj
11-04-2016, 08:44 PM
What is the best way to treat Anxiety?

There is nothing wrong with treating the diseases that befall a person, and this is not forbidden. But that is subject to the condition that the treatment does not cause side effects which are worse than the problem itself.


We advise the one who is sick – whether that is spiritual (mental) illness such as anxiety and depression, or physical illness such as various kinds of pain – to hasten first of all to treat the problem with ruqyah as prescribed in sharee’ah. This means verses and ahaadeeth which are recommended in sharee’ah and in which the texts state there is healing for diseases.


Then we advise treating it with natural materials which Allaah has created, such as honey and plants, for Allaah has created special properties in them which may treat many kinds of diseases, and at the same time they do not have any side effects on the one who takes them.


We think that you should not take artificial chemical remedies for anxiety. For this disease a person needs a spiritual remedy rather than a chemical one.


So he needs to increase his faith and his trust in his Lord; he needs to make more du’aa’ and pray more. If he does that, his anxiety will be removed. Seeking to relax by means of doing acts of worship has a great effect on the soul, dispelling many kinds of psychological disease. Hence we do not see any benefit in going to a psychologist whose beliefs are corrupt, let alone one who is a kaafir. The more the doctor knows about Allaah and His religion, the better advice he will give to his patient.


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)”
[al-Nahl 16:97]


It was narrated that Suhayb said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and this applies to no one except the believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks, and that is good for him, and it something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is good for him.”
(Narrated by Muslim, 2999)


This world should not be the main concern of the Muslim. Worry about his provision should not find any room in his heart or mind, lest that make his sickness and his anxiety worse.


It was narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is mainly concerned about the Hereafter, Allaah will make him feel independent of others and will make him focused and content, and his worldly affairs will fall into place. But whoever is mainly concerned with this world, Allaah will make him feel in constant need of others and will make him distracted and unfocused, and he will get nothing of this world except what is decreed for him.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2389; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6510).


Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “When a person spends his entire day with no other concern but Allaah alone, Allaah, may He be glorified, will take care of all his needs and take care of all that is worrying him; He will empty his heart so that it will be filled only with love for Him, free his tongue so that it will speak only in remembrance of Him (dhikr) and cause all his faculties to work only in obedience to Him. But if a person spends his entire day with no other concern but this world, Allaah will make him bear its distress, anxiety and pain; He will leave him to sort himself out, and cause his heart to be distracted from the love of Allaah towards the love of some created being, cause his tongue to speak only in remembering people instead of remembering Allaah, and cause him to use his talents and energy in obeying and serving them. So he will strive hard, labouring like some work-animal, to serve something other than Allaah… Everyone who turns away from being a true slave of Allaah and obeying Him and loving Him will be burdened with servitude, love and obedience to some created being. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allaah), We appoint for him a shaytaan (devil) to be a qareen (intimate companion) to him.’ [al-Zukhruf 43:36].”

Al-Fawaa’id, p. 159


Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
Can a believer become mentally ill? What is the treatment for that according to sharee’ah? Please note that modern medicine treats these illnesses with modern medicines only.


He replied:
Undoubtedly a person may suffer from psychological or mental diseases, such as anxiety about the future and regret for the past. Psychological diseases affect the body more than physical diseases affect it. Treating these diseases by means of the things prescribed in sharee’ah – i.e., ruqyah – is more effective than treating them with physical medicines, as is well known.


One of the means of treating them is mentioned in the saheeh hadeeth from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him): “There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says: ‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibn ‘abdika ibn amatika naasyati bi yadika, maada fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka. As’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghayb ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’ huzni wa dhihaab hammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, 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 have 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’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety),’ but Allaah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.” This is one of the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah.


One can also say “Laa ilaaha illa Anta, subhaanaka inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers)” [al-Anbiya 21:87 – interpretation of the meaning].


Whoever wants to know more than that should refer to what the scholars have written about dhikr, such as al-Waabil al-Sayyib by Ibn al-Qayyim; al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Tayimiyah; al-Adhkaar by al-Nawawi; Zaad al-Ma’aad by Ibn al-Qayyim.


But because people’s faith is weak nowadays, they are less receptive to the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah. So people nowadays have started to rely on physical medicines more than on the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah. But when a person’s faith is strong, the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah are completely effective, and may work faster than physical medicine. We all know about the story of the man whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent on a campaign and he camped near some Arab people, but those people near whom he camped showed him no hospitality at all. Allaah willed that their leader should be stung by a scorpion, and they said to one another, “Go to those people who have camped nearby, perhaps you will find a raaqi (one who can recite ruqyah) with them.” The Sahaabah said to them, “We will not recite ruqyah for your leader unless you give us such and such a number of sheep.” They said, “Fine.” So one of the Sahaabah went and recited ruqyah for the one who had been stung. He recited Soorat al-Faatihah only, and the one who had been stung got up as if released from a chain.
Reciting al-Faatihah had such an effect on this man because it came from a heart that was filled with faith. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked him, “How did you come to know that it (Soorat al-Faatihah) could be recited as a ruqyah?”


But in these times when religious commitment and faith have become weak, people have started to rely on external physical medicines, and they are suffering as a result.


But on the other hand there are charlatans who play with people’s minds; they are clever and able to trick people, claiming that they are good reciters of ruqyah when in fact they are consuming people’s wealth unlawfully. So people are caught between two extremes; one extreme is those who think that ruqyah has no effect at all, and the other is those tricksters who play with people’s minds by reciting false and deceitful readings. And there are some who are moderate in their approach to this issue.


Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/465, 466


We ask Allaah to protect us and you from the evils of anxiety and worry, and to open our hearts to faith, guidance and tranquility.



https://islamqa.info/en/21677
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LaSorcia
11-04-2016, 11:05 PM
This is beautiful and very helpful. Thank you very much for posting all that.
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