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How to Deal with Loss: 7 Islamic Tips

Radiyah Beyah

Get off your phone! Get out of bed! Make your bed and start your day! When the person you love passes on to the next world, you cannot immobilize yourself and stop living. Covid has taken a lot of people from us: loved ones, associates, family, friends...the list is long. May Allah have mercy on the souls that have passed on Ameen. There are 7 tips that I would like to share with you that can help you navigate your feelings after experiencing a great loss, all from an Islamic perspective.

I want you to think of when you were in school and the student next to you finished your exam and left the classroom. Could you follow them without completing yours? If you tried to follow them you’d fail. This life is indeed a test, Allah reminds us of this fact everyday. Henceforth we must keep going, you have to finish this exam. It is natural to feel sad or experience anxiety when you see people closing their books and walking out of the exam room. However you know that if you want to see them again at the graduation ceremony you have to finish your assessment. This life is an open book test, the Quran is our study guide, and it has all the answers.

So, how do you get rid of the lump in your throat? The butterflies in your stomach? The cloud over your head, so that you can carry on and power through this exam all on your own. First and foremost you have to start your day off right. 

1. Start your Morning with Dua'

When you wake up and you feel that unsettled feeling of anxiety, you should recite this du’a. 

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الدِّمَشْقِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ، حَدَّثَنَا الأَوْزَاعِيُّ، حَدَّثَنِي عُمَيْرُ بْنُ هَانِئٍ، حَدَّثَنِي جُنَادَةُ بْنُ أَبِي أُمَيَّةَ، عَنْ عُبَادَةَ بْنِ الصَّامِتِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏"‏ مَنْ تَعَارَّ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَقَالَ حِينَ يَسْتَيْقِظُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَلاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيمِ ثُمَّ دَعَا رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي - غُفِرَ لَهُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ الْوَلِيدُ أَوْ قَالَ ‏"‏ دَعَا اسْتُجِيبَ لَهُ فَإِنْ قَامَ فَتَوَضَّأَ ثُمَّ صَلَّى قُبِلَتْ صَلاَتُهُ ‏"‏ ‏.
Translation “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever wakes up in the morning and says upon waking: La ilaha illallah wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in Qadir; Subhan-Allah walhamdu lillahi, wa la ilaha illallahu, wa Allahu Akbar, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahil-‘Aliyil-‘Azim (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, with no partner or associate. His is the dominion and all praise is to Him, and He is Able to do all things. Glory is to Allah, praise is to Allah, none has the right to be worshiped but Allah, Allah is the Most Great, and there is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Most High, the Most Supreme), then he supplicates Rabbighfirli (O Lord, forgive me), he will be forgiven.’” Walid said: “Or he said: then if he supplicated, it will be answered for him then if he stood up and performed ablution and then performed prayer, his prayer would be accepted.”‏ {Sunan Ibn Majah 3878, Darussalam Vol. 5, Book 34, Hadith 3878}

“None has the right to be worshiped but Allah alone, with no partner or associate. His is the dominion and all praise is to Him, and He is Able to do all things. Glory is to Allah, praise is to Allah, none has the right to be worshiped but Allah, Allah is the Most Great, and there is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Most High, the Most Supreme.” Remembering Allah before you begin your day is essential if you want to start off on the right foot. 

2. Write a List of Gratitude

Write a list of all the things that Allah has blessed you with, and whenever you can think of something that you're blessed with add it to the list. Put that list on the wall you see when you first wake up. Your list doesn’t have to be extravagant. You can write something like, “I woke up and I’m healthy today. I woke up and I have something to eat in my fridge.” Remember it’s the little things that count. Even if your life has been filled with trials, there is always something to be grateful for.

3. Keep track of your diet.

Don’t pressure yourself too much, you should give yourself at least a month to eat what you want and just rest. After that month passes you have to get back in the saddle no matter what. You have to get rid of all the junk food you’ve been eating. We tend to eat poorly when we’re depressed, due to the serotonin decrease caused by adverse stimuli. Eating sugary foods or greasy foods can increase your serotonin levels, and that can positively affect your mood. However, after you finish ingesting your favorite guilty pleasure, you’ll experience a sugar crash and suddenly you’ll feel terrible again. Now that you're feeling bad you’ll have the desire to feel good, so you continue to eat junk food. After several days you’ll look in the mirror and feel like crap. 

To stop yourself from spiraling down this rabbit hole you have to be vigilant. Start your day off right with three sweet dates and your favorite fruit smoothie. The sugar in fruits aren’t processed with artificial flavors, and you won’t experience the sugar low. Now I know this sounds difficult, because when you aren’t feeling like your best self you don’t have the energy to eat healthy. You don’t have the energy to try. In order to prevent yourself from giving into temptation, eliminate all of the junk in your fridge. Always remember out of sight out of mind.

4. Surround yourself with positivity.

There is a word that can best define what a positive environment can do for you, and it is immersion.

Immersion: being completely submerged by something, whatever you were submerged in will remain with you. If you want to surround yourself with positivity you should start with your environment. Open the curtains, and let in the sun. Buy a few plants, and add color to your room. Adopting a pet such as a cat can also help better your mood. 

5. Surround yourself with positive people.

If you are surrounded by people who don’t remind you of Allah you can not only lose yourself, but you could also lose your sense of purpose. When you immerse yourself within a group of good people, who are supportive and understanding of your situation it will significantly impact your emotional health. You will also be rewarded spiritually.

Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him), reported the following hadith, “The Prophet (وسلم عليه هللا صلى (said, “There was a man from among a nation before you who killed ninety-nine people. After killing ninety nine people he sought out the most learned person on earth. He informed the monk of his sins and asked the scholar, if there was any chance that Allah might forgive him? The scholar replied, “Allah will never forgive you.” Angered by the scholar’s response he killed him. He found another scholar and informed him of his sins, and asked the same question. The scholar replied by saying, “Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.” So the man followed the scholar’s advice and began his journey to the land filled with good people. However on his way there death overtook him. Then the angels descended the Angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, ‘This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,’ and the angels of punishment argued, ‘He never did a virtuous deed in his life.’ Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, `Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.’ They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul”. [Al Bukhari and Muslim]” This story exemplifies how important it is to be in the midst of pious Muslims, who constantly remember Allah. Especially when you feel lost and saddened by the trials of this world. 

6. Remember Allah

Remembering Allah is the best thing you can do in times of difficulty.

Read the Quran and read the Seerah. Read about Prophet Muhammad (وسلم عليه هللا صلى), his beloved wife passed on, his uncle, and his sons. He is the most relatable and ever inspiring person who ever walked the earth, and we can learn a lot from his story and it can help us overcome the pain and sadness that comes from being separated from a loved one. Let the story of Prophet Yusuf inspire you, he went through various tests, faced adversity, and Allah allowed him to come out on top.

If you remember Allah, and remember why you're here, you can find peace of mind. Don’t push yourself, allow your heart to heal, and take it day by day. I can’t promise you that you’ll feel better instantly, but I can promise you that with Allah’s help you will heal. Cherish your memories, cherish your loved ones, and don’t let this world delude you. 

Remind your loved ones that this life is a test and at the end of it we all have to hand in our answer sheets.

7. Don’t be afraid to talk to those with Knowledge

Mental Health is real, going to a therapist is key if your depression is worsening and you are scared of your own thoughts. Our Ummah is big and are made up of many knowledgeable individuals. We have many resources within our community and the heart of our community is the masjid. Mental health shouldn't be a taboo. Get help from Muslim qualified therapists. The Imams in your area should be able to help connect you with such individuals of knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask your mosque for the resources.


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