Sadness is a typical human emotion. We are all familiar with it; even our Prophets faced multiple episodes of sadness. For example, Prophet Jacob (يعقوب) wept until he lost his vision when his child Joseph (يوسف) was taken away from him. Our Prophet (محمد) experienced bouts of sadness upon the death of his wife Khadijah (خديجة) and his child Abraham (إبراهيم). Hence, sadness is not a sign of weakness nor a symptom of weak faith.
Faith, however, equips us with the tools to combat depression and hopelessness. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your grief, but you should never lose hope despite the pain and grief.
If you feel yourself being chained down by your trials, or you feel stuck in your depressive thoughts, here are a few truths that can help you through your darkest days and rekindle that light at the end of that tunnel.
1. With hardship comes ease
God promised believers that with hardship will come ease. God says:
﴾ فإنَّ معَ العُسرِ يُسرًا . إنَّ معَ العُسرِ يُسرًا ﴿
Trust in God’s words. Even if you feel yourself getting exhausted from the weight of all the sadness, do not lose hope- for there is ease right around the corner. And those believers who hold on to hope and faith in God and adopt patience amidst their difficult times are then rewarded in ways that we don’t even imagine.
2. God is the creator, not you
Depression is majorly defined by a sense of hopelessness in yourself and in the world around you. That often leads you to feel like nothing is in your control. But that is the truth; nothing is in your control, as you are not the creator. God is the creator. Indeed, you acquire your actions through intent and will, but you do not create them. Take a moment, embrace your lack of control over your circumstances, and trust in God.
3. Do your best and rely upon God
Remind yourself that human responsibility is restricted within certain boundaries. We can indeed choose our actions, and we are rewarded for our efforts, but we have no control over the outcomes. So do not make yourself anxious over the unknown. Do your part the best you can and rely upon God to bring you the best of every circumstance.
4. God has bestowed you with a lot of blessings
During the hard times, we tend to forget the blessings we have around us and, instead, we focus more on the things that we are lacking. We tend to get lost in circumstantial sources of grief and pain and forget to notice the source of our blessings. Whenever you feel yourself being sucked into a dark phase of hopelessness and depression- remind yourself that you have a lot to be grateful for at the same time- whether it is a loving family, supportive friends, food in your belly every night before you sleep, a roof over your head and countless other things. God says:
﴾ وإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعمَةَ اللهِ لا تُحْصُوهَا ﴿
Remind yourself also that you are better off than so many other people who do not share your fortunes. Keep a “count your blessings” journal if you want, where you can jot down a couple of things you are grateful for on a daily basis. It really does help in looking at the bright side of things. And you will soon realize how many blessings you have!
In conclusion: Islam gives us hope and lot of tools for healing ourselves and dictates a path leading to its cure. God promised to help those who ask it of Him. Put your trust in Him, and you will feel a great sense of contentment and comfort, remembering that everything is possible for the Almighty, including the healing of His creation.