Have you ever been hurt, by people or by situations? Loved ones leaving, trusts being broken, losing a job, breaking relations, not being loved by anyone, failing in an exam, not being selected, the pain can be of any sort and from anyone. Every human experiences pain in some form or the other. Allah swt has put different emotions in us for a reason. No human is completely devoid of emotions. How people deal with these God given emotions is important to note and learn from.
Not all pains are the same. Some heartaches are apparent and can be easily talked about in family and society; like losing a child or a pet or a family member. But many heartaches are suffered in silence and secretly. These pains are difficult to reveal or to be discussed. One bears these pains mutely.
One cannot declare which pain is deeper, the pains that are apparent or the pains that are private – to each his own pain.
Just as all pains are not similar, the manner in which people respond to the pains are also not the same. These are some of the common approaches to pain. Which one do you relate to?
Venting out – Some people like to speak about their issues. And the more they vent out the better they feel. Many psychologists also suggest venting out.
Going quiet – Some people just go stone silent and do not express their feelings at all. They do have a dialogue going inside their heads but they either refuse to or are incapable of converting it into speech.
Self harm – We have seen some people who inflict self harm when challenged with unpleasant situations. They punch the walls, slit their wrists, bang their heads or consume harmful substances.
Going bitter – If things do not turn out to be in their favour, some people take it very bitterly and become revengeful. Most of their thinking time is consumed in how to avenge the other person.
Losing self respect and confidence – Sometimes a big setback for people going through difficult times is to feel worthless and unwanted. The feeling of rejection sucks away all the confidence and self belief.
Losing interest – We have seen people losing interest in everything and everybody around them. One person’s action makes them lose everything.
Pain is a natural emotion we all go through. One cannot stop incidents in life from happening, once cannot control the other person’s actions and words. But one thing we can definitely have control over is our own actions. The question one must ask is, ‘as a muslim what should we do when in pain? What does Allah want of me at the times of difficulty’.
Islam teaches us the complete way of life. Allah swt has given us a code of conduct for all our actions, also when we are upset, heartbroken or sad. We are responsible for our actions and our words. Let them be the ones that Allah swt loves.
Mentioned below are a few approaches a muslim should follow when distressed;
Acceptance – Most of us lament at difficulties saying ‘Why did this happen?’ How could this happen?’ The simple answer to such questions is, it happened because Allah willed it to happen. A muslim’s major belief is, everything happens by the will of Allah. A belief so clear and lofty cannot give rise to ‘why and how’ questions. Things happen, be them happy, sad or challenging, everything happens by the will of Allah. It happened because it was meant to happen. A muslim needs to first accept it and then think what can be done about it. Acceptance to a situation is like taking half the situation under control.
Shukr – Yes, shukr. Even though your heart is bleeding, make shukr of all the times when you were happy. Only because Allah swt gave you happiness, you are able to experience what is the opposite feeling of being happy. So be thankful for all the good moments of your life.
Do not lose hope – Allah swt says, Do not lose heart nor fall into despair! You shall triumph if you are believers. (Quran 3:139). Allah swt who is our creator loves us more than we can ever love ourselves. And when He the Supreme is promising us that we shall triumph if we continue to believe in Him, then why do we need to lose hope. How many examples have we not seen throughout history and also in our own lives, examples of people coming out of difficulties. Time and situation never stays the same. Have hope in Allah. That is the only hope.
Wait – Have you observed the changes in nature? No change is immediate. Even what looks sudden to our eyes actually has a long and slow process before its appearance. The volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, which look sudden to us have gone through their own building time. Every change takes its due course of time. Do not be impatient in wanting to see the results you want to see in your time frame. Allah holds the time and He knows when is the best time for what.
Jannah as the target – Find your purpose. Allah has sent every creation with a purpose. Soil, water, wind, trees, fruit, animals, all come with their purposes and they do nothing except for what they have been created for. Do humans not have any purpose? Is school, college, career, marriage and recreating the same cycle of achievements our purpose? Are they the criterion to attain jannah? No. Allah swt has created us for a much bigger purpose. Do not let survival actions become the goal of your life.
Find your purpose for which you have been sent on earth and work fervently towards it. The purpose will keep you alive, engaged and hopeful. A person without a real purpose is a lost person.
Dua – Someone can cut your heart deep and wide. He may not know how much it hurts you. But Allah swt the creator of you and your heart, can see the cut and can see the pain. Allah is the healer of all types of pains.
Even during the cut, the bleed, and the pain, we need to constantly ask the owner of the heart to heal and soothe it. It is only Allah swt who can stop the hurt and take away the pain.
We all are sinners. Nobody can always be on the receiving end. The one who feels the pain is also capable of giving pain. And thus we all need to beg Allah for help in so many different manners. One is to heal our hearts. And second most important is to help us in not hurting anyone. Noone is infallible. Only Allah is.
Submit – And if still you don’t feel healed, then know that Allah wants you to be closer to Him and wants you to remember him with complete submission, gratitude and hope. Submit yourself totally to His will and let Him lead your life. Be a passenger who trusts the driver completely. The driver knows all the routes very well and he has brought many before you come out of dark valleys into green pastures. Let Allah swt help you reach beautiful destinations. Trust and enjoy the ride. And keep talking to Allah swt throughout the ride without an iota of doubt.
Happy journey to all the grieving hearts.