5 – One of the greatest means of feeling content and relaxed and of acquiring peace of mind is to remember Allah a great deal (dhikr). That has a great effect in bringing contentment and peace of mind, and relieving worry and distress. Allah says:
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”
Remembering Allah (dhikr) has a great effect in achieving this aim because it has a special influence and because of the hope that it brings of reward.
6 – Another of the means of bringing happiness and relieving worry and distress is striving to eliminate the things that cause worry and to achieve the things that bring happiness. That may be done by forgetting about bad things in the past which cannot be changed, and realizing that dwelling on them is a waste of time. So a person must strive to stop himself from thinking of them, and also strive to stop himself from feeling anxious about the future and the things that he may imagine of poverty, fear and other bad things that he thinks may happen to him in the future. He should realize that the future is something that is unknown, he cannot know what good or bad things are going to happen to him. That is in the hand of the Almighty, the Most Wise, and all that His slaves can do is to strive to attain the good things and to ward off the bad things. A person should realize that if he diverts his thoughts from worrying about his future and puts his trust in his Lord to take care of his situation, and puts his mind at rest concerning this, if he does this, then his heart will be at peace and his situation will improve and he will be relieved of worry and anxiety.
One of the most effective ways of dealing with worries about the future is to recite this du’a which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite:
“Allahumma aslih li deeni alladhi huwa ‘ismatu amri, wa aslih li dunyaya allati fiha ma’ashi, wa aslih li akhirati allati ilayha ma’adi, waj’al al-hayata ziyadatan li fi kulli khayr, wa’l-mawta rahatan li min kulli sharr. (O Allah, correct my religious commitment which is the foundation of my life, and correct my worldly affairs in which is my livelihood, and grant me good in the Hereafter to which is my return. Make my life a means of accumulating good, and make death a respite for me from all evil).”
[Narrated by Muslim, 2720]
And he said, “Allahumma rahmataka arju fa la takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘aynin wa aslih li shani kullahu, la ilaha illa anta (O Allah, for Your mercy I hope, so do not abandon me to myself even for a moment. And correct all my affairs. There is no god but You).”
[Narrated by Abu Dawood with a saheeh isnad (chain of transmitters), no. 5090; classed as hasan/good by al-Albani inSaheeh al-Kalim al-Tayyib, p.49]
If a person utters these du’as, which ask that his spiritual and worldly affairs may be set right or corrected, with proper presence of mind and sincerity of intention, whilst striving to achieve this, Allah will grant him what he has prayed for, hoped for and striven for, and He will turn his worry into joy and happiness.
7 – If a person experiences anxiety and distress because of a disaster, then one of the most effective means of relieving himself of that is to think of the worst scenario to which that may lead, and try to accept that. When he has done this, then he should try to alleviate it as much as possible. By means of this acceptance and these efforts, he will relieve himself of his worries and distress, and instead of worrying he will strive to bring about good things and to deal with whatever he can of the bad things. If he is faced with things that cause fear or the possibility of sickness or poverty, then he should deal with this by striving to make himself accept it, or something even worse, with contentment, because by making himself accept the worst-case scenario, he lessens the impact of the thing and makes it seem less terrible, especially if he occupies himself with efforts to ward it off as much as he can. Thus as well as striving to achieve something good which will distract him from his worries about calamity, he will also renew his strength to resist bad things, and put his trust and reliance in Allah. Undoubtedly these matters are of great benefit in attaining happiness and peace of mind, as well as bringing the hope of reward in this world and in the Hereafter. This is something which is well known from the experience of many who have tried it.
8 – Steadfastness of heart and not being disturbed about the imaginary things that bad thoughts may bring to mind. For when a person gives in to his imagination and lets his mind be disturbed by these thoughts, such as fear of disease and the like, or anger and confusion stirred up by some grievous matter, or the expectation of bad things and the loss of good things, it will fill him with worries, distress, mental and physical illness and nervous breakdowns, which will have a bad effect on him and which causes a great deal of harm, as many people have seen. But when a person depends on Allah and puts his trust in Him, and does not give in to his imagination or let bad thoughts overwhelm him, and he relies on Allah and has hope of His bounty, this wards off his worries and distress, and relieves him of a great deal of mental and physical sickness. It gives indescribable strength, comfort and happiness to the heart. How many hospitals are filled with the mentally sick victims of illusions and harmful imagination; how often have these things had an effect upon the hearts of many strong people, let alone the weak ones; how often have they led to foolishness and insanity.
It should be noted that your life will follow your train of thought. If your thoughts are of things that will bring you benefit in your spiritual or worldly affairs, then your life will be good and happy. Otherwise it will be the opposite.
The person who is safe from all of this is the one who is protected by Allah and helped by Him to strive to achieve that which will benefit and strengthen the heart and ward off anxiety. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.”
i.e., He will be sufficient for all that is worrying him in his spiritual and worldly affairs. The one who puts his trust in Allah will have strength in his heart and will not be affected by anything he imagines or be disturbed by events, because he knows that these are the result of vulnerable human nature and of weakness and fear that have no basis. He also knows that Allah has guaranteed complete sufficiency to those who put their trust in Him. So he trusts in Allah and finds peace of mind in His promise, and thus his worry and anxiety are dispelled; hardship is turned to ease, sadness is turned to joy, fear is turned to peace. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound, and to bless us with strength and steadfastness of heart, and complete trust, for Allah has guaranteed all good things to those who put their trust in Him, and has guaranteed to ward off all bad and harmful things from them.
If bad things happen or there is the fear of such, then you should count the many blessings that you are still enjoying, both spiritual and worldly, and compare them with the bad things that have happened, for when you compare them you will see the many blessings that you are enjoying, and this will make the bad things appear less serious.
See al-Wasail al-Mufeedah li’l-Hayat al-Sa’eedah by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Sa’di
Ibn al-Qayyim summed fifteen ways through which Allah may dispel worries and regret. These are as follows:
1- Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (belief in the Oneness of Divine Lordship)
2- Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (belief in the Oneness of the Divine nature)
3- Tawheed of knowledge and belief (i.e.,Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l_Sifaat, belief in the Oneness of the Divine names and attributes)
4- Thinking of Allah as being above doing any injustice to His slaves, and above punishing anyone for no cause on the part of the slave that would require such punishment.
5- The person’s acknowledging that he is the one who has done wrong.
6- Beseeching Allah by means of the things that are most beloved to Him, which are His names and attributes. Two of His names that encompass the meanings of all other names and attributes are al-Hayy (the Ever-Living) and al-Qayyoom (the Eternal).
7- Seeking the help of Allah Alone.
8- Affirming one’s hope in Him.
9- Truly putting one’s trust in Him and leaving matters to Him, acknowledging that one’s forelock is in His hand and that He does as He wills, that His will is forever executed and that He is just in all that He decrees.
10- Letting one’s heart wander in the garden of the Quran, seeking consolation in it from every calamity, seeking healing in it from all diseases of the heart, so that it will bring comfort to his grief and healing for his worries and distress.
11- Seeking forgiveness.
15-Declaring that he has no power and no strength, and leaving matters to the One in Whose hand they are.
We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound from worries and to relieve us of distress and anxiety, for He is the All-Hearing, Ever-Responsive, and He is the Ever-Living, Eternal.
And Allah knows best.
May Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and his family and Companions.
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