Insha’Allah, you and your family members are protected & wholesome. May Allah swt defend us all from COVID-19, Ya Hafidh, and open the best way for our non secular development, Ya Fattah Ya Rabb. No doubt, we live in very challenges instances, and lots of in our group are struggling. As such, my intention for this two-part collection is to offer some helpful views and sensible methods that may make your emotional journey safer & simpler, insha’Allah.
And a journey it certainly is. We are on a really lengthy hike up a really steep mountain. And we’ve solely two selections about HOW we method this problem: unskillfully or skillfully. If we put on flip-flops, and fail to pack water and snacks, we can have a really troublesome time reaching the summit. And if we do, we might be in very dangerous form. If we put on good socks, sturdy mountaineering boots, and our backpack is well-stocked, not solely are we more likely to attain the summit, however attain it in nice form. This is what I would like for our beloved group, insha’Allah.
As Muslims, it’s essential to do not forget that the final word summit is the hereafter. Truly, Allah is our objective and pleasing Him is our goal. Truly, every part we do or fail to do right here has an affect there. For many individuals, this haqq is way more troublesome to recollect and actualize when their day-to-day challenges are daunting. This is why traditionally and historically, in instances of disaster, Muslims have at all times sought the nasiha of clever elders. Imam Muhasibi, the daddy of Islamic Psychology, developed this significant, stunning science in response to the human wants of his college students. Sadly, the lack of these teachings as a widespread dwelling custom has contributed largely to the widespread mental-health issues which were plaguing our group for a really very long time, which have now been exacerbated by COVID-19.
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Here’s an excellent metaphor. The science of vitamin teaches us about our physique, the properties of various meals, what to keep away from to stop illness, and the very important vitamins we MUST ingest to realize optimum bodily well being. Likewise, the science of psychological well being teaches us about our coronary heart and thoughts, the affect of particular actions, what to keep away from to stop illness, and the very important psychological vitamins we MUST ingest to realize optimum psychological well being. Lack of data about Islamic Psychology and the absence of the very important psychological vitamins have taken an enormous toll on our group. The tales I hear would in all probability shock you. They would definitely break your coronary heart. Especially the tales of our younger folks, who’re my prime precedence. Insha’Allah, the wake-up name of COVID-19 propels us to reclaim en masse this misplaced a part of our non secular heritage, so we are able to reclaim our vitality and the Aristocracy because the Ummah of Muhammad .
To proceed with the metaphor. Working one-on-one with an skilled nutritionist may be very totally different than studying a guide about vitamin. With the previous, your dietary program is particularly tailor-made to your explicit issues, challenges, habits, and temperament. The identical is true on the subject of psychological well being. So I have to handle your expectations truthfully and honorably by saying that it’s not potential for me to do in two articles for most people what I do one-on-one in my non-public observe as a psychotherapist, life-coach, and non secular mentor. Truly, there’s a palpable, highly effective, fitrah-based alchemy that may solely occur when two human hearts link-up in actual time. That stated, in the identical manner that studying and studying about vitamin may be very helpful, so too studying and studying about psychological well being, particularly now.
Working Skillfully with Difficult Emotions
No doubt, COVID-19 has unleashed a variety of very troublesome feelings. People are battling large anxiousness, uncertainty, concern, disappointment, loneliness, melancholy, helplessness, hopelessness, anger, frustration, confusion, grief, despair, and in some instances, a full-blown disaster of religion. So let me clarify slightly bit about feelings and the right way to work with them skillfully.
One of the foundational rules of cognitive-behavioral psychology known as ‘reframing.’
It is the method of intentionally pondering in another way about our scenario. Reframing it. The truth is, the lens by which we view our circumstances makes all of the distinction on this planet insofar as how we really feel. Thoughts are just like the entrance wheels of the automobile and emotions are just like the again wheels. We have to be within the driver seat, steering deliberately. Whichever manner the entrance wheels flip, the again wheels comply with. So taking note of our ideas second by second, and ensuring they’re aligned with the Qur’an and Sunnah, is essential. The thoughts is a like a muscle that MUST be educated by particular workouts, and our custom is wealthy within the strategies for doing so. Truly, we should hit the non secular gymnasium often. The heavy lifting of muhasiba (self-reckoning) and muraqaba (mindfulness/meditation) are usually not elective. If these are usually not already a constant a part of your non secular observe, NOW is the time to take them up. You might be so joyful you probably did!
Here’s an excellent metaphor. If you’re a longtime sofa potato, even a flight of stairs leaves you huffing and puffing. If you’re in fine condition, you’re capable of jog across the block simply. If you’re in nice form, you’re capable of leap over the hurdles like a gazelle. For many, COVID-19 has been like asking a sofa potato to run a marathon. So we have to get in the very best non secular form potential as shortly as potential. To that finish:
The Centering Exercise
Every time you discover that you’re feeling unhappy, anxious, fearful, offended, hopeless, helpless, impatient, pissed off, confused, or depressed, right here’s what to do.
- Turn off your units and put them in one other room.
- Close your door and put a “Please do not disturb.” signal on the doorknob. Lay down.
- Close your eyes. Turn your consideration to your coronary heart. Remember the Hadith Qudsi, “Heaven and earth cannot contain me but the heart of my faithful believer is where I reside.” Truly, Allah is nearer than our jugular vein. (50:16)
- Take some slow-deep breaths. On the out-breath, silently recite “La illaha.” On the in-breath, silently recite “il Allah.” After a couple of minutes, discover the shift in your state. Notice the deep connection between ‘self’ and ‘breath’, not simply experientially, but in addition etymologically. They each derive from the identical Arabic root, transliterated nfs.
- When you’re centered, mentally overview what you had been fascinated about that gave rise to the troublesome feelings. Then do a ‘search and replace,’ intentionally and deliberately changing your darkish ideas with the Light of The Qur’an or Hadith. Here is one instance: Search: “I’ll never get through this.” Replace: “Allah never burdens a person with more than he is well able to bear.” (2:286)
As people, we every have our personal explicit darkish ideas. NOW is the BEST time to repair them. I lovingly encourage you to get a clean journal, so that every time you do The Centering Exercise, you can also make word of what you noticed, what you discovered about your self. Write down every darkish thought after which write down every Rx of Light from The Qur’an or Sunnah. Having a private journal offers you a concrete technique of reinforcing your new thought patterns.
We know from our neuroscience that the human mind possesses ‘neuroplasticity’, which is the capability to be formed, molded, modified. As such, the extra typically you do The Centering Exercise, the extra your pondering patterns will change. This is how Allah created us, mash’Allah! It’s actually fairly wonderful to appreciate that the Qur’an we’ve been given supplies Light upon Light from The Lord of The Worlds. And the Sunnah is that Light totally actualized to perfection, mash’Allah. The truth is, regardless of how darkish a room could also be, if we gentle only one candle, it illuminates the house. Mash’Allah!
Parents, when you get the grasp of The Centering Exercise, please please educate it to your kids! Insha’Allah, make it the brand new regular in your family, reworking discord and upset into concord and peace.
Insofar as reframing COVID-19 within the broader sense, I give you this lens, this Divine Reminder, with a lot love. May it shift your state from embittered to empowered. My beloved sisters and brothers, Allah is our Rabb, our Teacher, and COVID-19 is the Test we’ve all been given. Every single human being on the planet. We all awoke at some point, walked into the classroom of Life, and bought handed a pop quiz. The objective of which is to point out us the locations the place we weren’t ready. This is nice! Because the trumpet is completely going to sound, and we certainly wish to be prepared. As lengthy as we’re respiratory, we’ve time to arrange. This is nice!
Beloved ones, we’ve the unbelievable privilege of being college students of The One Who Knows Everything, together with The Future and The Unseen. It may be very dangerous adab to query the instructing strategies of our Teacher or to complain that we don’t just like the Test.
This was the deadly mistake of Bani Israel that we’re reminded 17x/day to not emulate. On the opposite, what we wish to be asking ourselves is: “What must I do to pass this Test with flying colors, to ace this Exam?” Our stunning Qur’an teaches us: “Not without purpose did We create heaven and earth and all between.” (38:27) This pandemic is just not some random occasion. It has a divine objective. There is deep which means in it.
There can be monumental rahmah in it. Our stunning Qur’an teaches us: “…My mercy embraces everything.” (7:156) The Divine Physician has disbursed this bitter drugs to heal us. To heal the entire world from its longstanding imbalances and injustices. Surely, it’s no accident, the timing of COVID-19 vis-à-vis the homicide of George Floyd and the worldwide response it has galvanized. Surely, each human being needs to and deserves to breathe.
COVID-19 is a wake-up name for the entire world. Ours to do as college students is to be totally current in every second, to observe mindfulness (muraqaba), so we may be deeply receptive to the Lessons we are supposed to be taught (muhasiba). “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (13:11) Beloved ones, NOW is the time for international tawbah (repentance). As the Ummah of Muhammad , that is our Divine Assignment, individually, collectively, institutionally.
My imaginative and prescient and private dedication is that we wind up stronger and better-than-ever on the opposite aspect of this, insha’Allah. I can say this with nice confidence as a result of at the beginning, I do know that COVID-19 or no COVID-19, Allah is just not out of enterprise! The presence of The Presence, the ability of the Names & Attributes, are as strong as ever.
We are being summoned to acknowledge our hubris and switch our hearts in humility towards The One Who Is In Charge, The One Who Calls The Shots, to The One Whose Decree we give up. Humbly. Readily. Insha’Allah, NOW is the time to actualize the final a part of Hadith Jibreel about qadr. The truth is, what’s occurring round us is what’s occurring, and that is at all times within the arms of Allah . HOW we reply to what’s occurring is totally as much as us.
What I would like for our group is the very best response, probably the most skillful and exquisite response, the response that might be of most profit right here & hereafter, insha’Allah.
I also can say this with nice confidence as a result of repeatedly, working with Muslim refugees who’ve been by horrific trauma, I’ve seen with my very own eyes how completely wonderful human beings are. How resilient. How brave. How artistic. How able to reworking sorrow into pleasure, lemons into lemonade, compost into roses. This is what I would like for you, my beloved sisters and brothers.
No doubt, on any lengthy and arduous journey, along with having the correct tools and provides, having an skilled trail-guide makes all of the distinction. There is harmful terrain you wish to keep away from, and exquisite vistas you don’t wish to miss. In my expertise over many years, I’ve noticed that human beings thrive after we are given the correct instruments and the loving encouragement to grasp them. So let me offer you now some very sensible tips that can assist you navigate skillfully, so you may extract from these valuable days of your life what’s significant & transformational.
When it involves defending our bodily well being from the pandemic, there are specific steps we MUST take. Likewise with our psychological well being. As such, listed here are some sensible methods, culled from 1000’s of pages of analysis and many years of expertise. My focus is on mother and father, whose job has by no means been tougher. And with the brand new faculty 12 months proper across the nook, this steerage is extraordinarily well timed.
Boundaries: Set clear boundaries concerning the place and when units can be utilized. This applies to everybody within the family, children and fogeys alike. Parents, as your elder who loves you, I’m reminding you that YOU are the CEO of your property. YOU are the coverage maker. YOU are in cost. NOT your children or their units. So take cost!
- No units for teenagers 0-3. These tips are from the American Pediatric Association.
- No units on the dinner desk* or within the bedrooms.
- No units till after Fajr. Better but, after breakfast.
- All units put away 1-2 hours earlier than bedtime. Plugged in within the kitchen to recharge.
- Limit on-line leisure and socializing to 1 hour/day MAX.
- Schedule tech fasts ½ day weekly, and 1-2 full days month-to-month, on a weekend.
- An occasional family-time film is ok on the weekend. Choose one thing significant, uplifting, thought-provoking, heart-opening. Pop some popcorn. Make tea. Engage in a particular time afterward to actually discuss collectively about your expertise. *Getting within the behavior of real-time-face-to-face conversations is essential. If you begin when your children are younger, it’ll lay a powerful basis for his or her teenage years, after they desperately want clever, reliable, caring adults who actually know the right way to pay attention from the guts.
Nature: Spending time in nature is the perfect factor you are able to do for your self and with your loved ones. There are reams of information in regards to the stress-reducing results of being outside, particularly within the woods. There are additionally reams of information about the advantages of train, not just for bodily well being, however for psychological well being. Given all the additional sitting everyone seems to be doing throughout COVID-19, common train is just not elective.
Furthermore, in case your children are education from residence and you’re working from residence, everybody will certainly want some respiratory room, some bodily and emotional house from each other, a while each day in solitude, unplugged from their units. Spending alone-time in nature is the right resolution.
For family-time actions, unplug out of your units and luxuriate in these pleasant experiences. They will engender large awe (khushu’) and deepen your heart-connection together with your Rabb, The One Who Created you and all the sweetness round you. Subhan’Allah.
- Take a 15-30 minute family-walk each evening after dinner earlier than homework.
- Go mountaineering, biking, rollerblading, kayaking, kite-flying, or tenting on the weekend.
- Set up hen feeders in your yard. Learn their names and determine their songs.
- Go out nightly to have a look at the celebrities. Learn the names of the constellations.
- Watch as many sunrises & sunsets, moonrises & moonsets as you may.
As Muslims, our worship is guided by the pure cycles Allah put in place. The solar is our clock. It tells us when to wish. The moon is our calendar. It tells us when the brand new month begins. Sighting the moon is an act of worship, mash’Allah.
Our stunning Qur’an teaches:“We will show them Our Signs (ayat) in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes clear to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth.” (Fussilat 41:53)
In this ayah, we’re taught the 2 stunning gateways into the sacred: the macrocosm of the universe, and the microcosm of the self. Both of those gateways open into the direct expertise of Allah’s presence.
As Muslims, we’ve been invited to spend time on this dunya within the firm of The One Who is Love (al-Wadud). The One Who is Strength (al-Aziz). The One Who is Peace (as-Salaam). And on & on. What may very well be extra helpful throughout this time of disaster? Alas, calling upon our Rabb by His most Beautiful Names, with urgency & sincerity, is among the Lessons we should be taught from COVID-19. My prayer for our group is that individuals don’t squander the chance to attach in a deep, significant, intimate manner heart-to-heart with Allah as a result of they will’t put their telephone down or flip their laptop off. Insha’Allah, I’ll deal with the topic of digital dependancy within the second article, because it performs an enormous function on the subject of psychological well being points.
Ya Habibi Ya Allah. Please grant us oceans of fortitude and mountains of energy Ya Sabur Ya Aziz. May we be dutiful stunning college students who attempt with all our would possibly in jihad al akbar to move this take a look at with flying colours, to ace this examination. May we, the Ummah of Muhammad , love each other like he loves us, and strengthen each other each step of the best way. May we wind up stronger and better-than-ever on the opposite aspect of COVID-19, reclaiming the usual of Insan Kamil because the Index by which we measure our lives. Ya Dhal Jalali wal Ikram.