Overcoming Hardships Reflections With the Divine

How to Overcome Sadness and Be Happy

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zzilch/1752478245/By Taheerah Alam

So should I be thankful for the good clothes I wear or the Gucci bag I carry? Maybe the good food I can eat? Oh wait, what about the opportunity to study at a reputable university or being employed at a good company? Hey, did I mention my caring and wonderful parents or my cool siblings who are my best friends? Hold on, I completely forgot about the blessing of Islam in my life; How Allah guided my heart to His path! AlhamdulilLah (praise be to God).

Tired of counting already?!

No wonder Allah said in the Qur’an that if we were to count the favors of Allah, we will not do justice to even one favor! (14:34)

Yes, we are all struggling with something and I feel ya, my brother/sister in Islam. Maybe it’s been months and you are still looking for a decent job. Maybe you are a single brother/sister struggling to fight off temptations while there seems to be no progress in the ‘marriage’ part of your life and you are tired of searching for that ‘right’ person. Maybe you have been trying for years and still with no success in conceiving a baby. It could be anything. Anything that makes you feel that sense of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. A gap between what you desire to happen and what is happening in reality. And I feel your pain and I will never underestimate it.

But brothers and sisters, I request you all to take concrete steps to change your situation. Do something about it right now! You know how?

“…If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” (Qur’an, 14:7)

Here’s how:

  • Shift your focus.
  • Pay attention to the wonderful things you have, as opposed to what you don’t have.

Believe me, you will get lost in the counting of those blessings even if you’re a math expert!

And then, when you genuinely appreciate the blessings you enjoy and, in turn, appreciate how Merciful He, your Lord, has always been to you, He will do as promised inshaAllah (God willing); He will increase you in various ways in life. Trust me, with a positive and grateful mindset, you will feel His barakah (blessing) in your life constantly and that will make you a much happier human being. You will enjoy the days and nights of this fleeting life that doesn’t want to slow down! You will kick away depression from your life and make way for activism and energy!

And most importantly, you will be able to remember your Lord consistently and His consciousness will become ingrained in your lifestyle inshaAllah. What a wonderful way to worship the One to whom we owe everything!

But then you might be thinking “how” exactly do I show this gratitude? Is it just repeating “thank you God” every time I buy a Louis Vuitton bag?

That too and maybe something more. The best way to be grateful for Allah’s favors is to use them for things that make Him happy.

So you’re good in accounting? Help someone to do their homework. You love writing? Use your beautiful words to inspire people to Allah’s deen (religion). Maybe Allah blessed you with wealth so you can buy all the good stuff alhamdulilLah. Why not buy something nice and gift it to a poor person once in a while? And you can be as creative as you want! The list is endless. But you get the point inshaAllah.

Come on fellas. It’s time to be positive. It’s time to be grateful. It’s time to act.

And always remember this motto no matter what you go through in life:

“An attitude of gratitude is what is truly needed!” – Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

Stay blessed.

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  • Written in the simplest manner, but effect is huge. Thank you for this article.
    I just have few concerns right now. Well, questions since I am dealing with a huge loss of a loved one. 2 nights ago, my brother and his best friend were returning home from work, where they met with a serious accident and sadly lost his best friend. May Allah grant him jannah and patience and strength to his family members.
    My brother is fine alhamdulillah. He was driving and his friend was sleeping in the back seat without seat belt on. They were extremely tired after working all day long, and my brother felt a little sleepy. And in the blink of his eyes, he lost control of his car and hit barriers and walls, which scraped off the whole passenger side of his car and his friend fell off the car, bruised severely on his head, which caused brain hemorrhage. He passed away after few hours.
    It is really saddening and unbearable. He was like a family member. Like a brother to us and a son to my parents. He was always there for us through our good and bad times when others just turned their face away.
    The accident wasn’t anyone’s fault, but we know my brother is blaming himself and is guilty. He has become like a stone, not talking, eating, or doing anything. And on top of everything, insensitive people with their rude remarks like “why did the accident happen”, “why didn’t you stop the car in time”? is making my brother more remorseful. We are trying to console him by reminding him that Allah had it all planned beforehand, and it had to happen no matter what. It was his time to go to Allah (swt). We all have to go, one day. Some good people are called sooner. We just have to bear patience and Allah will help heal our broken hearts and minds. But nothing is helping my brother. People are trying to blame him as to why he is fine? That is just going against Allah’s will? Isn’t it. I don’t even know how to think or talk with these type of insensitive people around to make things worse rather than speak some comforting words. We are trying to deal with the situation, but people are just making it more hard and heart wrenching phase than it already is. Keep us in your prayers brothers and sisters. May Allah help his family and us through this trial phase and may we strive to get closer to him.

    • Ameen to your dua.,may Allah cure your brothers sorrow and grief. May he grant him eaze through hardship,slowly I think in just hearing his feelings you can offer some comfort nd inshallah take each day as it comes

      • Thank you so very much. Your one comment means a lot. So much that I cannot explain. I really appreciate it. It is really a hard & testing phase for us. May Allah bless us and everyone experiencing difficult times with patience and strength to overcome it and become stronger. Jazak Allah Khair.

    • Ameen to you dua Afnan.. remember that Allah tests those He loves and He will not give you and your family a difficulty that you cannot handle.. Have patience, I know it’s easier said than done but Allah will be there for you.. He is indeed the Most Merciful…

  • This was a very heart warming article spreading a message of hope. It was just what I needed. Going through a pretty stressful phase in my life. May Allah make it easy for all of us and may we made more grateful and patient. Ameen

  • I once would have understood and embraced these messeges. Seven years of chronic pain has worn down my soul, one year passes and decades seem to pass. With the passing of time, the centuries in my head, I have shed the opiates and barbituates and come to accept pain as part of life. It is my hopes the elevated cortisol levels will leed to cushings or a myriad of fast deaths. To those in chronic pain, they know what I am talking about. To those who have not lived year after year with pain unending, it leads to worsening the depression many have. Being tested, over dosed and then taken off of narcotics that you never wanted to be on in the first place. A barrage of x-Rays and MRI’s when you first figure out you must go to the ER, and the Doctors figure out your not there for pills, but really need help. While working my way through college my problems hit me out of no where. So I became a bumb on disability and social security. I make so little however I will only be able to rent a room for the rest of my life. I keep tripping over the red tape contestantly streaming thru my mail box, and my power of attorney has told me I should start dealing with the forms – I can type well, as long as I don’t think, when I start thinking, trying to answer questions, I want to be as positive as I can- even though I am bed ridden i answer yes, I can reach above my head. I can stretch and get things from avove my head. If I really wanted to, yes I could drive. I would ofcourse be in the hospital for few days afterward, but they don’t ask the ramifications of these actions sort of questions, they only ask “can you.” It’s amazimg what we can do when we are in contact with those we love, those people who give us reason for living, that provide meaning to our lives.
    In 1998 I decided to start the detachment process. I was fostered so I am very well acqaited with the forms of attachment disorders. Simply move to the next step and don’t count on a card or any form of comunition from the last family you thought you were part of, just keep moving forward. Well that’s what I’ve done. People who have gotten to know some of me say I should write a book about overcoming obsticales. It’s simply about defining yourself, and knowing that definition was you three seconds ago. Now who do I want to be? Who did I want to be like when I was young? What can I do with what I have NOW. How can I be true to my core beliefs, and make a diferance? In my house, in my city, in my state, in my country, in this world? Chronic pain has indeed beaten me down. My prioties have changed drasticly. But the same me is inside, I overcome things. They become an asset to my growth. I still hope I will not live long, pain can be overwhelming and mentally retarding. No one should wish this on anyone- again I understand their ignorance. But this is how many chronic pain suffers think, they are too afraid to say it. I beleive it is only through opening up and sharing the truth, we can have a real dialog.

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