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Overcoming Anxiety with Islam

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  • The following are some faith-based recommendations for a Muslim to deal with anxiety:

    1. Invest In Faith in Allah
    Allah is the Healer and He is the Most Merciful.
    He will not place a burden on you more than you can bear. He can relieve your hardship and cure your anxiety.

    2 . It Was Meant To Be
    Allah teaches us in the Quran that everything we face in this life is predestined.
    “And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the patient; those who when a calamity befalls them say: ‘Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him is our return’.” (2:155)
    We know that no matter what we may do to prevent it, it is going to happen, if it is destined. But nothing will ever harm you, if it is not destined.

    3 . Count Your Blessings
    Think of those who are less fortunate than you are as the Nabi ﷺ has advised.
    Think of what you have and not of what you do not have.
    Know that whatever people have over you is their test and that they will be questioned about it.
    If you should see people who have more than you, look at those with greater taqwaand good deeds than yourself.

    4 . Remember Allah, Do Dikr
    Keep your tongue busy with Dikr – the remembrance of Allah.
    Remembering Allah comforts your heart and heals your anxiety. Allah says:
    “Those who believe, and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.” (13:28)
    Before that big meeting, before you start a major project, before your dreaded in-laws arrive, before you sit that life changing exam, make Dikr to calm your nerves, say Bismillah, recite Aaya tul-Kursi, recite Fatiha.

    5 . Pray Your Salah or Namaz
    Allah says:
    “O you who believe! Resort to patience and prayer; surely, Allah is with the patient.” (2:153)
    Those who keep their prayers on time and pray with focus and humility, will find peace. They say meditation is a great way to reduce stress; salah is even more effective than meditation because a Muslim prays with the intention to connect with His Creator Who is Able to get him through his difficulties.
    Remember, shaytan tries to exploits your condition to his benefit. So when he whispers to you thoughts of hopelessness, scares you about the unknown, about what can happen to you, repel him with wudu and salah. Wudu is a relaxation method. It cools you down and expels the shaytan.

    6 . Recite the Quran
    Nabi ﷺ has declared the Quran is a remedy for illnesses of the soul (Bukhari).
    Not music or piano, not Lata or Bach, not Tiffany or Justin, but the Quran is a remedy for illnesses of the soul.
    It is best form of Dikr and it brings comfort to the heart.
    In 1984 Dr Ahmed El Kadi of the Institute of Islamic Medicine for Education and Research conducted and published the effects of listening to Quran recitation on the heart, blood pressure, and muscle tension, and found it was soothing and relaxing, irrespective of whether the listener was a Muslim or a non-Muslim, Arab or non-Arab!

    7 . Seek Forgiveness For Your Sins
    When one seeks forgiveness of Allah, he will be relieved of the anxiety caused by his sins.
    Also when one is able to forgive others he will be relieved of the anxiety that is caused by his resentment, by his hating others.
    Forgiveness brings happiness.

    8 . Think Of Hereafter Often and Know That This Life Is Temporary
    The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever has the hereafter as his main concern, Allah will fill his heart with a feeling of richness and independence; he will be focused and feel content, and this world will come to him in spite of it. Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allah will cause him to feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted and unfocused, and he will have nothing of this world except what was already predestined for him.” (Tirmidhi)

    9. Think Positively, Stay Away From Negative, Stressful Thoughts
    Do not dwell on the past. Most of your anxiety comes from things that happened to you in the past. You can never change the past but you can focus on changing your future.
    Nabi ﷺ said: “Do not say “If (lau) I did not do this,’ as it opens the door to shaytan.” (Bukhari)

    10. Don’t Procrastinate
    Laziness is one the most common causes of stress because a person sees that he is not finishing his job. The Prophet ﷺ used to seek refuge in Allah from laziness, grief, and debt.

    The above faith-based recommendations are not meant to substitute medical treatment.

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