Conquering Anxiety for Young Muslims


Conquering Anxiety for Young Muslims

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Ever felt like the world’s weight rests on your shoulders? Every stride forward seems overshadowed by looming fears. Trust me, you’re not alone. In a world teeming with challenges, anxiety arrives uninvited, stealing joy from your moments.

Imagine waking each morning, bearing uncertainties’ weight, the pressure to excel, and the constant fear of falling short. It’s like every decision carries a side dish of worry. But what if there’s a way to ease this burden without side effects or sifting through endless coping mechanisms?

Envision a tiny bird, carefree amidst uncertainties, returning content each day. Magical, right?

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) likened relying on Allah to these birds’ seeking provisions. They depart empty but return fulfilled.

Wouldn’t being like these birds in life’s uncertainties be incredible? To stride through days unburdened by worry, knowing needs will be met, like those birds returning home content?

Understanding Anxiety:
Imagine standing on a cliff’s edge, worries casting intimidating shadows. That’s anxiety an overwhelming unease, fears larger than life.

Psychological studies describe anxiety as intense, irrational fear hijacking thoughts, making simple tasks Everest climbs. Experts like Maria Stein highlight anxiety’s impact on life, schooling, and social circles.

The Quran acknowledges this human experience in Surah Al-Mulk, verse 2:
“He created death and life to test you; which of you are best in deeds.” Trials, including anxiety, are part of our test.

Good news: comprehending anxiety is the first step to facing it. Recognize your foe on a battlefield knowledge empowers.

Mental Health in Islam:
Even Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) faced sorrow after Khadijah’s (R.A.) and Abu Talib’s deaths and the Makkah Muslim boycott. Ya’qub (A.S) endured prolonged grief for Yusuf (A.S).

In moments of grief, Allah comforted the Prophet (PBUH):

“Your Lord has not abandoned you, nor become hateful.”(93:3)

The Quran’s ‘nafs’ spans ‘nafs al-ammara’ (desire-driven), ‘nafs al-lawwama’ (self-awareness), and ‘nafs al-mutmainna’ (peaceful). Cultivating ‘nafs al-lawwama’ challenges negative thoughts, aligning with mindfulness and cognitive therapy.

Quranic Guidance on Overcoming Stress and Anxiety:

Trials indicate Allah’s goodwill: “If Allah wills good for someone, He afflicts him with trials.”(Sahih Bukhari)

The believer’s affairs are positive, even amidst adversity: “All of his affairs are good for him.” (Sahih Muslim)

Embrace emotions: “The eyes shed tears, and the heart grieves, but we will not say anything except what pleases our Lord.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Self-care matters: “Your body has a right over you.” (Sahih Bukhari)

“Seek help through patience and prayer.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:45)

Trusting in Allah and Dealing with Anxiety:
Tawakkul means trusting Allah, like Musa (as) dropping his stick, seeing it transform into a snake.

Hadith likens reliance on Allah to birds’ provisions.

Tawakkul in action: Musa (as) parted the sea by Allah’s command.

Belief in Allah’s plan, even amid uncertainties: “If Allah plans something for you, it’s for your best.”

Combine trust with action: “Tie your camel and then trust in Allah.”

Believe in Allah’s decisions, even when things don’t align.

Tawakkul isn’t passivity; it’s trust fused with action, doing our best while believing in Allah’s plan even when unexpected.

Life’s a rollercoaster. We strive, trust in Allah, and hold on for the ride!

(The writer is an International Student of Islamic Psychology (ISIP) Foundation)