(Wrote this article for the website, ProductiveMuslim.com
You can gain direct access to the article from the following link:
Top 10 Stress Busters for Productive Muslims
Our heart is the most precious gift Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has bestowed upon us, because it’s our heart where remembrance of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) rests. Hardships in life are meant to make one closer to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and are meant to purify us. Times of distress can help us realize how weak and fragile we are, and how much we depend on Allah (glorified and exalted be He) for guidance.
Here are 10 ways that can help bust stress and bring peace to a distressed heart:
1. Offer Salah
Salah is the ultimate source of peace. When you offer Salah, it’s actually a confession you are making that you alone can’t resolve your problems, because you are weak, fragile and easily broken. You are resting your faith on a Higher Power that’s Constant, Timeless and Divine – The Source.
Prolong your sajda (prostration). When you bow down and submit to your Ilah (one God), you are actually surrendering before the Source, Who has been waiting for you to return. This feeling of submission tears down the sickness in heart. And all that’s left in the heart is Allah’s (glorified and exalted be He) love for which the heart was manufactured.
2. Recite Qur’an
Qur’an is a reminder. The verses of Qur’an are miraculous. Reciting Qur’an or even listening to recitation is beneficial. It rejuvenates the bond between our soul and Allah (glorified and exalted be He), bringing us closer and more content with Allah (glorified and exalted be He). The theme of Qur’an is insaan (Man) and the literal meaning of the word insaan is the forgetful one. The Qur’an was sent down to serve as a reminder to our forgetful souls.
Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says in Qur’an;
“Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (The Qur’an) which We have explained in detail with knowledge – a guidance and a mercy to people who believe” [7:52]
Allah (glorified and exalted be He) also says in the Qur’an:
“O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’an, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc) for the believers” [10:57]
3. Ponder Over!
Hardships and trials that come our way have a definite reason. We need to realize that we aren’t the only ones in this world who are inflicted with this calamity. There were people who came before us, and they were tested in similar ways or even worse ways. Out of these people, the ones who remain steadfast on the teachings of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) even when bad times inflicted upon them, glad tidings are given to them, and they will be rewarded with Jannah, a place of bliss where believers can reside in forever.
”Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said: ‘When (will come) the help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!” [2: 214]
4. Reside Your Faith In The Source
Productive Muslims need to engrave this reality check in mind that as we are not constant or everlasting. Likewise the good or bad times aren’t constant or permanent. Everything has an end. Everything dwells in this world for a time defined. So here comes the hope for you! There is also an end to the times of trials and tribulations. And with the hardships that we confront come ease. Rest your faith on Him. Indeed in His remembrance, our hearts find rest.
Allah says in The Qur’an:
“Verily, with hardship there is relief” [94:6]
Abu Yahya Suhaib b. Sinan said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said;
“Strange are the matters of believers. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful (shukr), and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him he is enduring patience (sabr), and that is good for him” (Muslim)
A true believer is transitioned from one state i.e. Sabr to another state i.e. Shukr. He/she is always optimistic towards the decisions of Allah (glorified and exalted be He), and thus changes states within this closed loop. Allah (glorified and exalted be He) knows that we’ve a nafs that distracts us from His remembrance, but the real test is to embed in mind that He is closer than all of these temporary distractions, He’s closer than our nafs. And once we stick to this, we won’t go for something temporary and delusionary that is farther away. Rather we will dwell in something that’s closer and Everlasting, insha Allah!
5. Recite Du’a
Whenever hard times encounter you, recite the following du’a:
Hasbunallaahu wa ni’amal-wakeel.
Translation: Allah is sufficient for us and the best of those on whom to depend. [Reference: Al-Bukhari, 5/172]
6. Give Sadqah/Charity
Giving sadaqah causes relief in times of tribulations. Sadqah/charity does not necessarily pertain to helping someone monetarily, Sadqah is also donating blood. Give away some clothes to the needy ones. This will not just give your heart a relief but you will feel mentally relaxed after helping someone out.
7. Be a Part of a Halaqa/Group (Intellectual Muslims)
Socializing is essential, particularly when it comes to humans. For Productive Muslims, a productive gathering is very much required specifically in this tough phase, where there are chances of their Imaan (faith) to stumble. A productive gathering of intellectual and educated Muslims can really help one out in widening the lens and viewing the whole situation in a complete different frame.
8. Listening to Qur’anic Translation and Tafsir
When Qur’an is recited it leaves a massive imprint on the hearts of the believers. Faith of a believer is revived when Qur’an is recited. Translation and tafsir of Qur’an heal the wounded hearts.
9. Discuss Your Matters In Prayers
In times of hardships, we must engrave this fact in mind that everything that we are confronted with is from Allah (glorified and exalted be He). So indeed when He has sent down the trials for us, He has the solution to it as well. Perform your prayers as if you are in direct conversation with Him.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“Call unto Allah with certainty that your call will be answered. And know that Allah does not answer a supplication which comes from a heedless and distracted heart.” (Tirmidhi)
10. Be Optimistic!
Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an: “And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations” [93:8]
Take a moment to reflect that all the times of hardships in this world (Dunya) are nothing compared to the life of Paradise that’s forever. Everything there is meant to live on for us, forever. This life just can’t be compared with Dunya. So live for the Akhirah. Pass the test of hardship by endurance, steadfastness, and patience. Indeed, these times will end soon. And indeed, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) loves those who are patient.
About the Author
Mina Kazmi, from Karachi (Pakistan), is working towards a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from NUCES-FAST. She is a striving Muslimah, who believes that there’s a reason behind everything that happens.