HomeOpinionFriday SermonPeace of mind amid distress

Peace of mind amid distress

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Allah created humans with worries to a certain extent. It is human to worry about life ups and downs especially in Nigeria where everything is going upside down and inside out. But care must be taken so as not to cause more damage to the soul (nafs) and the body (jism). With the harsh economic realities in Nigeria, most men worry a lot and have their Blood pressure rising and subsequently causing strokes and other health hazards.

Islam, however teaches us to be careful and place our trust in Allah in whatever situation we find ourselves. Afterall, this life is a very short journey. Our little time of sojourn in this ephemeral world must be used to gain happiness and joy in the hereafter.

In the course of thinking about the future, some end up with more confusion, uncertainty resulting in lack of inner peace while some go to the extreme to end their lives.

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What is peace of mind and how can we have peace of mind?

For healthy and honorable living, peace of mind is required and can only be gotten by being steadfast, full of energy and hope, free from feelings of despair, anxiety, stress, worries, fear, mental and emotional restlessness.

You can have peace of mind by learning to change your mental attitude, developing inner strength and inner detachment, through sound faith, (eeman).

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1. Strong Faith

Like we said earlier, it is natural sometimes you find yourself in a trying moment and finding a way out becomes very difficult. All you need to do is to call on Allah, tell Him He is your Lord who is capable of removing all difficulties, direct your thinking and hope to Him alone and say “Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” Or “Indeed, the Lord is with me/us.” This is what the Prophet said when he was chased into a cave by the Makkan enemies and his companion in the cave, Abubakar was worried the enemies will get them and kill them in the cave. But the Prophet said: Do not worry, Allah is with us. It was a show of sound faith and Allah came and confused the enemies and they were saved.

Also, reflect on the story of Moses and children of Israel when they were approached with powerful army of Pharaoh. Children of Israel felt that is their end, however, Moses had strong belief. We are told in the holy Qur’an; “And when the two companies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” [Moses] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain.” (26:61-63).

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The Quran says: “As a matter of fact those who believe and do not taint their faith with wrongdoings will feel more secure and will be better guided.” (6:82).

All you need at any critical period is strong faith to God, and belief in His ability to rescue you and then call on Him. When you settle in your mind that you are under the refuge of the Most Powerful, Allah, then you shall feel inner peace.

In other words, peace of mind cannot come to any human being without strong faith in Allah. It is wrong to think of inner peace without sound and absolute faith in your Lord. Without faith in Him, surely, you move on the losing path. “Losers indeed are those who deny the meeting with Allah until the Hour takes them by surprise, then they will cry, “Woe to us for having ignored this!” They will bear ?the burden of? their sins on their backs. Evil indeed is their burden!” (6:31).

2. Total trust in Allah (Tawakkul).

The words of the Holy Quran are enough to give us peace of mind if we reflect on it. “Who delivers you from calamities in the darkness of the land and of the sea, when you call upon Him in open humility and silent terror: If You deliver us from this affliction, we shall become truly grateful.” Say, “It is Allah who saves you from it and from every distress; then you [still] associate others with Him.” (6:63).

“And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He ?alone? is sufficient for them”. (65:3)

This is referred to as a tool of the believer, of the past and present. Believer never abandons his reliance to Allah as if it is only though reliance or trust alone can change and improve his affairs and he never relents to do his duty as if it is everything for him to improve! What you can, do it with total reliance on the Almighty as success or failure never comes except when He wills. So why such fear of the future? Why lose hope for difficulties or distress? Why such over joy for success? Everything belongs to Allah, thus trust in Him to rescue you from distress and be grateful for any success.

The Quran narrates that “Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs”. So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them. And they pursued the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.” (3:173-174).

3. Regular remembrance of Allah (Dhikr).

Remembrance of Allah is a duty of the servant of Allah to Him. It is the second aspect of worship. The Quran says: “Who have believed and whose hearts have rested in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!” (13:28).

When you engage yourself with remembrance of Allah, you will indirectly create that peace of mind and tranquillity that would help you navigate your travails.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t get on with any other thing again. After your prayers in the morning, when you set out for work., remember Allah in your car or in a commercial bus, remember Allah, at work, remember Allah, after afternoon prayers do remember Allah. Always and at any idle time, remember Allah. The Prophet (s.a.w) used to invoke Allah at the time of distress, saying, “La ilaha illal-lahu Al-`Azim, al- Halim, La ilaha illal-lahu Rabbu-s-samawati wal-ard wa Rabbu-l-arsh il-azim.” or La ilaha illal-lahu wa dahu la sharika lahu, lahu-l-Mulku, wa Lahu-l-hamd, wa huwa alakulinshain qadeer.

4. Supplication (Dua).

Dua or what we call supplication is a weapon of a believer. It is the only thing that can change destiny. This means if it is destined that you will be distressed by a situation, Allah will ease it off for you and change it for better, only with constant prayers. Allahh says ….call on me and I will answer; …If you come to me walking, I will come to you running… and many more injunctions.

5. Have a positive attitude towards every situation

Hassan Al Basri said “ Don’t hate hardships that you face. Perhaps that which you hate is what will save you and perhaps that which you like is may harm you”

“…perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (3:19)

We must know that distress and hardship are blessings in disguise for those who are patient and hope for reward from their Lord. The believer’s psychology is to remember that Allah forgives sins for every discomfort that we experience in our lives. Surely, trials are part of a believer’s life journey. Perseverance is his reclining coach and His Lord is the only hope for reward for every distress and hardship.

“Do you think you will be admitted into Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were afflicted with suffering and adversity and were so violently shaken that even the Messenger and the believers with him cried out, “When will Allah’s help come?” Indeed, Allah’s help is always near.” (2:214).  

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