And the tears roll down

>> Sunday, September 2, 2012

I have this serious problem that I'm very impatient and ungrateful. Every time something starts to go wrong, e.g. if I can't manage to study enough for a test and I'm worried) I first try to control myself, but eventually fail. I start to cry whenever I'm under pressure, and when I start crying I can't control my thoughts anymore. Is crying at such small things considered ungratefulness? (Please answer this, because crying is such a relief at times, and it wins me attention from my Mama =p but you need stimulus for crying; and the stimulus is always all the self-imagined bad things in your life). Eventually Allah Ta'ala always helps me out, and then I'm so ashamed. I'm living a very comfortable life, alhamdolillah, and get so worked up at these small things-- a fight with a family member, studies... And I shudder to think what will become of me if Allah (na oodho billah) gives me an actual loss, how will I pass that test with sabr when I fail so miserably in these little ones?

Dear Sis,

MashaAllah tabark Allah, it’s wonderful that you recognize you have a little problem on your hands and are trying to figure out how to overcome it. So, sis, it sounds like when things get just a little tough, you have a little trouble accepting it. Crying isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I tried searching for any fatwa but didn’t find anything saying that it’s haram.  Tears release stress and sometimes a good cry is just what you need. But the question though is…. just how often are you doing it? And what kind of thoughts are running in your head?

See, sis, Islam is not about denying your feelings. All of us feel unsure, scared, worried, nervous, disappointed, etc. at different points in our lives. What Islam is about, though, is empowering ourselves using our faith. Islam wants us to grow as individuals, to focus on what truly matters (succeeding in the Hereafter), and to step up and take charge of changing the world and ourselves. We’re told that a stronger Muslim is better in the sight of Allah and in both there is good. And we’re also told that if we see something wrong, we have to try to change it using our hands, tongue, or at least hate it with our heart. If we have to change the outside, then, we definitely are responsible for our “insides."

But that’s not all. Remember, Islam is about submission. Submission involves making God the center of our lives and voluntarily surrendering our will to Him. Part of submission means that our hearts feel “rida” or acceptance of anything that Allah decrees for us, even if it something that we don’t necessarily want. The more that we submit to God, the more that we grow stronger and we reveal our trust and confidence in Allah…we truly become slaves. You know when a father throws his child in the air up above? If you look at the child’s face, it’s all trust. He knows his father is going to catch him. That’s how we’re supposed to be…full of trust that Allah is going to catch us.  

See, sis, Allah makes it very clear that we will all be given tests in this world….the question is how will we deal with these tests?

Verily We have created man into toil and hardship. (90:4)

Do people think that they will be let go merely by saying: “We believe,” and that they will not be tested, (2) for We indeed tested those who went before them? (29: 2, 3)

But He also tells us something really important. He says:

Allah does not impose on any self any more than it can bear…(2: 286)

Think about that. Allah has promised that He will never give you more than you can bear. If you are given a test, you can get through it. You will. Just turn to Him, the Most Powerful.

Remember Prophet Abraham?

He was thrown into what scholars say was a HUGE HUGE HUGE fire.

It should have burned his skin. It should have completely killed him.

But he turned to Allah and Allah got him through it.

What about Prophet Moosa and his people? Fir’awan was right behind them! Yet Allah was closer (in His power, Seeing, Hearing, etc.) and He had the sea split to let Moosa and his people escape unharmed.

This is a law of Allah: No matter what you’re given, He will get you through it, so long as you turn to Him, trust in Him, and seek His help.

And sister, remember this. The Prophet told us some magical words:

How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2999).

The truth is, sis, as we grow older, sis, we realize that this life gets harder. Parents start to grow older and more dependent on us. Little by little, we find ourselves in charge of financial responsibilities that we never thought of before. At work, we may find that our employer is not as understanding as we thought. If we have spouses/ children, we have to give more and more of ourselves. I’m not trying to tell you things are going to get worse. What I am trying to tell you, though, is that all of these little “tests” you’re going through are building blocks to help you be able to grow so that you can handle what is to come. Allah is training you, developing your muscles, and building up your endurance. This is actually an example of His Mercy. So when something happens, we should actually feel thankful.

And then, let’s not forget the biggest reason we should feel thankful. Allah is trying to keep us connected to Him. He wants us to keep focused on Him, to turn to Him, to ask Him to help us. Allah knows that it’s easy to get seduced by this world and to forget the next when everything is going so perfectly.   

So now! What should you do?

1. The first thing you need to do is get to know more about Allah..Build your trust in Him by becoming familiar with His Names. Al Hakeem, Al Lateef, Al Wakeel, Ar-Raheem will never let you down. I recommend these videos: 

2. The second thing you should do is make dua :) 

Try saying this dua:

Our Lord, do not take us to task if we forget or make a mistake! Our Lord, do not place on us a load like the one You placed on those before us! Our Lord, do not place on us a load we have not the strength to bear! And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy on us. You are our Master , so help us against the people of unbelievers. (Surat al-Baqara, 286)

3. Third of all, start your day by putting your trust in Allah. Recite the morning adkhar:
Hasbiyallaahu laa 'ilaaha 'illaa Huwa 'alayhi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rabbul-'Arshil-'Adheem .
Allah is sufficient for me . There is none worthy of worship but Him . I have placed my trust in Him, He is Lord of the Majestic Throne . (Recite seven times in Arabic .)
Allah will grant whoever recites this seven times in the morning or evening whatever he desires from this world or the next, Ibn As-Sunni (no. 71), Abu Dawud 4/321. Both reports are attributed directly to the Prophet j§ (Marfu1). The chain of transmission is sound (Sahih). Ibn As-Sunni.

4. Have a list of verses that you, personally, find comforting ready for you to read or an inspirational story of a Companion, etc. by your bedside/ on your mobile/ etc. Make the effort now to compile a list so that when something happens, you can just quickly read through them and strengthen your faith

Now, if something does go “wrong”, focus on how to make it right. It doesn’t do much good to think about how the situation is spiraling downward. That just stresses you out even more. Instead, ask yourself what are the different steps you can take to change the situation and make it better. Think up a plan, with small steps that you can follow. You mentioned sometimes you don’t get to study enough for a test. It happened once, that’s okay. Consider it a lesson. But then, figure out how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Set up study goals, find a study buddy, ask beforehand for when you can expect a test, etc. 

And when you start thinking of things you’re upset about, challenge yourself to remember what you DO have :)

Well sister, these are some small ideas and I hope they help you a bit.

5 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

in the falling leaves September 2, 2012 at 10:21 AM  

Wonderful response as always masha'Allah. I would like to add I have a problem with the whole crying thing as well, the smallest things can make me teary eyed. One thing that has helped is imagining that you're representing islam ( which every muslim is) although you may feel happy with Allah as your Lord and islam as your religion if you are seen as a person crying all the time you give off the complete opposite impression . We shouldn't suppress our feelings but we should know when it is appropriate to show them And actually i have found not getting worked up and crying about something just as empowering as letting it all out once in a while. I hope this helped

Ghadeer September 2, 2012 at 1:26 PM  

Tawakkaltu 3ala Allah. Good response :)

Anonymous,  September 3, 2012 at 7:42 AM  

Beautiful response MA! Many many du'as for all of you that put the effort and time to research and answer these questions. It is such an amazing thing, MA!

While I was in Madinah, I got to hear a female speaker that said something very powerful and seems to have stuck with me. She told us about a woman that was in Masjid An Nabawi making du'a and crying hysterically. The people asked her what was wrong and she would not answer. They kept insisting so she turned and said my tears are for Allah (swt) and it is only His business. When I am in pain, or I am happy, or I am desperate - it is to him I turn and I please leave me alone and let me be. Subhanallah!

S.A. September 3, 2012 at 8:58 AM  

Salam! Thank you sooo much for this! Jazakillah o Khair! =D

I've been working on improving myself since I sent you the question; thank you for this extra booster!

Something that I found VERY helpful was your idea in one of the articles here to make an 'Eemaan Journal'. So you could say that I've already been following the advice No. 4 =p

And I can't believe you've given me that link on the names of Allah SWT! I've been thinking of asking you for that in mail--I saw the introductory lecture some time ago, but I couldn't find it again when I tried. =D Thank you, thank you! =)

And thanks for your input Hijabi in the Rain and sippingchai =)

P.S. I'd read this somewhere (maybe in an IGIC post?)and copied it, maybe someone else would also find it useful: "When you actually realise and understand when we say "HasbunAllahu wa ni'mal wakeel" (Allah is sufficent for us and He is the best disposers of all affairs), life suddenly becomes a lot more pleasant."

Anonymous,  September 4, 2012 at 6:46 AM  

Jazak Allah Khair! This was very relevant and an extreeemely helpful post :D

I have a similar problem too that little things make me troubled more than they should. It helps me to remind myself that the way I am looking at this problem right now may make me cry and complain but when we zoom out and look at the bigger picture of our life we realize that everything is for a reason and this is a part of it.
I have this habit of writing down my thoughts in my diary. When I sometimes read my old diary entries in which I was hurt or depressed and I ponder on things I realize that those incidences taught me a great deal and I learnt so much that without those seemingly unpleasant or not-so-great experiences or circumstances I would never have learnt. And that really makes the trust in Allah grow stronger! :)

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Asalamu aialkum!
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