Have you ever wondered how Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Sahabah رضي الله عنهم managed to go through trial after trial, hard times upon hard times and yet in their biographies you won't find one incident that says one or many of them went through severe depression, stress, anxiety or any of the other mental issues that are prevalent today. You won't find a story that says they sat in their houses for months because they couldn’t deal with something, or that they neglected themselves and their families because they couldn't deal with the emotional trauma of certain events.
The Sahabah went to war, they fought battle after battle, they saw people being killed, they were severely injured at times and they lost loved ones.
Yes , Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم as well as the Sahabah experienced sadness, they even cried on the passing of those they loved or on witnessing or going through tough times, but they didn’t carry the sadness with them for prolonged periods of time. They carried on with their lives like normal, they moved on, they didn't let the sadness show or effect their daily lives, even if they felt it. They were strong not only physically but mentally too. Why? How come??
Because they had Strong Imaan!
They loved Allah most, they relied on Him alone.
And they never questioned Him or His plan. They were happy with whatever condition He placed them in.
Most of them had nothing of Dunya, but they had true love for Allaah, Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم, Quraan and Sunnah and as a result they had contentment of heart, they had peace of mind despite the situations.
They truly believed Allaah knew best..
They did everything only for His pleasure.
They were unbreakable..
The only time they experienced extreme grief was when they did something that displeased Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم and Allaah or if they committed sin, even if it was unintentional, this would make them extremely uneasy and they would become saddened. They would not be happy again until Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم consoled them or Allaah revealed that they had been forgiven.
Subhaan'Allah even their sadness and grief was only for Allaah.
Our Imaan is so weak, every thing effects us.
We can't weather even the slightest of storms.
We become depressed and despondent way to quickly, and most of the time over worldly things and problems. You will rarely find us get saddened over the state of our Imaan or over the fact that we committed a sin (and continue to do so).
Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم lost his most beloved wife Khadijah رضي الله عنها and his uncle Abu Taalib in the same year, that year is known as the year of grief. He صلى الله عليه وسلم was greatly saddened by the loss. But, he didn’t go into depression.
At Taif he صلى الله عليه وسلم was stoned until his shoes were filled with blood. Yet he didn’t give up propagating after that, he didn't become despondent. After that incident he made a Du'aa, and what a beautiful Du'aa it was (its to long for me to add the entire Du'aa here, you can find it in the abridged Seeratul Mustafa on page 118) one of the things he said in the Du'aa was “(Oh Allaah) If you are not angry with me , I am not concerned in the least but your protection and safety is more accommodating and pleasant to me.” Subhaan'Allaah.
In His صلى الله عليه وسلم 's lifetime he lost all three of his sons in their infancy, he lost 3 of his daughters, he lost hundreds of companions, he lost uncles, he lost wives and he lost grandchildren, and he shed tears on their demise.
He صلى الله عليه وسلم said that the tears are a mercy from Allaah.
But he never lamented, he never mourned for months. He never let it depress him or sadden so much that it effected his life long term.
Because he had Yaqeen and he had Tawwakul.
He truly believed in Allaah, without reservations.
Some might argue that this was the Rasool of Allaah, he was perfect in every way.
So lets take some other examples.
Hadhrat Faatima رضي الله عنها, the beloved daughter of Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Her life was tough, tougher than we can imagine.
Her sons , Hadhrat Hasan and Hussein رضي الله عنهم were born 11 months apart.
She had no help, she had to see to all the household chores by herself. And in those days it wasn’t like now it was a hundred times more difficult. She had to walk a long distance to get water and she had to then carry the heavy water filled bag back home, this left bruises on her chest.
She had to grind wheat to make flour so she could make bread.
She had had to grind date pits so she could feed the animals.
This left her hands callused and rough.
And on many occasions she had to go days with out any food at all, she had to see her children go hungry.
Yet she didn’t complain, not to her husband, not to her father not to a friend.
She did it all diligently, she was human , she obviously got tired.
Looking after two small children alone is difficult enough let alone having to do all the other chores she did.
When she did eventually ask her father, Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم for a servant to assist her, he told her that he was unable to give her one, instead he presented her with what we know as Tasbih e Faatimi which is to read Subhan'Allaah 33 times, Alhamdulillah 33 times and Allaahu Akbar 34 times.
She took this with great happiness, she didn't complain she didn’t become depressed or angry or frustrated.
She didn’t tell her father that this won't be able to assist her in her chores or that it would be of no use to her..
Why ? Why was she able to deal with her situation so well.
How come she didn't become despondent or depressed or sad etc, Why?
Because she had true Imaan. Because she had Love of Allaah.
Because whatever she did, she did for the pleasure of Allaah and she knew He'll reward her for it.
She knew that Dunya is temporary, her difficulties were temporary.
She knew she was being rewarded for her sacrifices, She knew that her final abode is Jannah, and Jannah is forever…
The problem with us is that we view this Dunya as if it is forever, we think our problems are going to last forever.
We think that we are in charge of things, our Imaan is so weak, our Tawakkul is at zero, our reliance on Allaah is non existence. So every problem becomes larger than life, every little thing becomes unmanageable.
There are numerous other examples.
How is it that Hadhrat Umme Sulaym رضي الله عنها was able to deal so exceptionally well with the passing away of her child, she didn't tell her husband until the next morning.
How did Hadhrat Aaisha رضي الله عنها manage to deal with not having children. How did she manage to deal with the pain of becoming a widow at the age of 18..
The answer is the same is before, they had Allaah, as a result they had contentment of heart.
They were human, they felt pain, they felt sadness and they cried.
But they moved on, they were patient, they were strong.
They were happy with whatever Allaah willed..
Read the stories of the Companions رضي الله عنهم
See the trials they went through, take an example.
They didn't have psychologists or councillors and they didn't need it, because they didn't suffer from depression, anxiety etc. Today we have thousands who have studied human psychology, yet we have more depressed people, more people with anxiety and other mental issues.
And if they (the Sahabah) experienced any heartache they turned to the turner of hearts, the one who controls everything, Allaah.
They soothed their hearts with recitation of Quran, performance of Salaah and Du'aa.
These are the keys to contentment.
In the Muslim community problems such as depression, anxiety, stress etc are supposed to be non-existent. But unfortunately due to our shortcomings and weakness in faith these problems are rife. May Allaah forgive us.
Yes, I know its not easy being patient.
We cant expect to achieve the same level of piety as the Sahabah and we won't be able to change over night, but we have to start somewhere, we have to try to strengthen our Imaan, we have to work on strengthening our connection with Allaah.
Its a lifelong journey, we have to embark on it one step at time.
We have become complacent, we feel happy with the state of our Imaan or we're just not bothered.
Whereas we should always be striving to improve and strengthen our Imaan.
May Allaah help me firstly and each and everyone of you to strengthen our Imaan and gain closeness to Him.. Aameen
Note: Everything written is firstly for myself to take a lesson.
I am by no means shunning or trying to put down people who have anxiety, depression or any other problem nor am I saying you shouldn't get seek assistance. I am simply penning down some of my thoughts in hopes that it will be a source of inspiration and hope, for myself firstly and others Inshaa'Allaah.