In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, The Most Kind
It’s a silent one, but the affects are at large. It is one of the main causes of depression in the youth. It could be one of our closest friend, colleagues that suffer from it, or someone in our household, whether it is siblings or our own children. It’s hard to recognise it in some, and in some it is easier. We could be the ones who are impacting on it, without realizing, not that it is of any fault of our own, but it’s something which is rarely brought to attention, and rarely admitted by those that suffer from it. Those that haven’t experienced it, will have difficulty understanding it, or relate to it. It stems from a form of irrational thought. It is a major barrier or an obstacle that one suffers from, and there are no set solutions you can give to people that have low self esteem because it’s all what they have developed in their own mind, or in their ‘own world’.
The effects of it many of us underestimate, for some it has a lesser degree of affect, they may not interact well with people, may want to be alone a lot, lack confidence or lack of self belief, or low educational attainment, for some it leads to drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, and committing crimes, many of which Islam condemns. One that suffers from it, takes negative comments to heart, and receptive to what others think of them. They always evaluate themselves- which is praiseworthy in Islam – yet it is a lot of negative evaluation, which blinds them from the good they have, which causes a veil for them to see their inner good, and leads to a vicious cycle. Some aim to please people, and this can affect a person’s deen, as we should intend to please Allah only in all that we do. It varies depending on what age they are.
Alhamdulila, we know Islam is a cure for all things, especially on individual reformation. Relating it from personal experience, I hope this can benefit us all insh’Allah, and see the beauty of Islam. Also recognise its dangers so we can prevent what leads to self destruction.
Before dealing with the effect, one needs to deal with the cause. Although the cause cannot be usually rewinded and changed, knowing its causes can lead to its solution. The causes are many, without going too much into detail.
From childhood, a child may be criticized negatively with those around them, which leads to lack of self worth. A child needs to be praised and told that they have done well for them to recognise their abilities and the praise gives them their confidence. Many parents have full time jobs, and cannot devote their time enough to their child. This lack of attention is another cause. Children need a lot of time and especially love. The more you speak to a child, you will find them more talkative from a young age and their language is very rich. Playing with children, with their toys, and encouraging them to play with other children, helps them have better social skills. The ages between 2-10 is a crucial time for kids and affects them for majority of their life. Finally, it could be from traumatic events which took place earlier in life, which put insecurities in them and put their confidence low. The crucial issue lies with the parenting style.
If we look deep into it, it’s what leads to a lot of sins. As mentioned before, it can lead to drug abuse, and crime. A dangerous one for women, especially the younger ones, is the attention of the opposite sex, the attention of the opposite sex makes their esteem feel a little higher, and so their beauty is taken advantage of. They may feel loved and seek a lot of attention, and also get attention, and feel somewhat uplifted from their insecurities, whereas in reality, it’s feeding the low esteem in a bad way, which only leads to more self damage.
Without getting psychological about it all, inshAllah I am putting forward how Islam came about to bring its cure, for me and it will for inshAllah many others.
Believing that turning to the deen was a way out of it, I began posing questions about how to deal with low esteem on Islamic forums, and how it was affecting me in my everyday life. I found many came forward and also had said they had the same issue, and in different forums people were asking the same question.
It really is a battle you have everyday within you, no matter how much a person tells you how good you are or what potential you have, you will never think that of yourself. Anytime you receive any negative remarks, all you think about is that, and you then feel more worthless. I looked at the Prophet’s (saw) character; he was an outgoing and friendly person, just perfect in every way. Suffering from low esteem will get you nowhere near implementing his character. I have many ambitions, whether I get there or not is up to Allah, but having this problem I thought to myself, I can’t get anywhere being the way I am. You feel trapped within yourself. I didn’t worry too much about the cause, but I knew it had to be dealt with. I found no way to get help for it, as many say see psychologists etc. Alhamdulila that was a blessing in itself that I had no access to any. Many times I suffered from depression, it got pretty bad. Du’a was my first step, asking Allah to help me overcome it. I read a lot about purifying the heart and the Akhlaq of a good Muslim, using Prophet’s (saw) example as my practical guide.
It takes courage and motivation; you can do anything, as long as you are not your own barrier, because that is the only barrier. I used the Prophets (saw) example and over time my confidence grew, I put myself out there and aimed for sincerity. Constant dua was what gets one through and remembering the ayat where Allah says Allah doesn’t change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. In whatever we do, we have to make the effort as a way for the barakah to come through.
How do we prevent this from happening to our children? Giving children time and love, teaching them both negative and positive criticism. Not expecting too much from our child, but help guide their steps slowly in each stage of their life. Parents have high expectations from children, some expect too much and it becomes a burden on them feeling that they may fail. Not that we shouldn’t aim high, but going easy on them and helping – rather than making- them make their decisions.
This is a critical issue, and although briefly mentioned the effects are what sometimes may feel impossible to overcome. One needs determination and sincere intention. We have the Prophet (saw) as a practical guide, we have Islam and Allah as our Wali, which gives us hope in all situations. There will be some that aren’t aware that this is the root of their problems, and maybe those close to them can help tackle it. Alhamdulila, there is much potential out there, and it needs to be spread. It needs to be spread by interaction, channeling and filtering ones contribution through all walks of life.
I pray Allah gives us strength and the ability to overcome our inner struggles and shortcomings. Ameen
Let Allah be the ruler of your hearts, not the duniya…..
Any good is from Allah and any errors are from myself.
Sr Aysha Khanom