In times of adversity..

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Suicide. Articulating the words itself sends shivers down my spine. I cannot fathom how someone can be driven to take their own life but then again, I am not in their shoes, how could I possibly know?

Last weekend, I received a devastating news about a death of this young lady whom I vaguely know but have spoken to her a couple of times before. We used to have regular Islamic lectures in Uni and she wouldn’t miss them. Always seated in the front row, she would ask the Imaam endless questions about Islam. I would describe her as soft spoken and quiet but warms up when she knows you better.

She attended community iftaar (an event held for non-Muslims to experience fasting and breaking fast together with the Muslim community) for those years I have been living here. Last year she shared her experience as a non-Muslim fasting for the first time. When someone asked her if she would be embracing Islam soon, she simply replied that she was still studying about other religions; still searching for the truth.

When I learnt about her suicide, I was dumbstruck. It was unclear as to why she decided to take her own life but some sisters had said that in search for the truth, it made her depress as she couldn’t decide what to believe in.  It never occurred to me that she could possibly be in that state of mind. One of the few things that kept recurring in my head was the lecture Br. Yeshua Evans gave about how Bible led him to Islam’. At the end of it, he mentioned that as Muslims we have the responsbility to teach others about Islam and ultimately call them to this haqq. I wondered how different the outcome would have been if either one of us sisters had reached out to her. Allaah guides whom He wills but have we fulfilled this responsbility of teaching others about Islam? Or even simply clearing their misconceptions about Islam? I know I haven’t ..

I guess another image that kept replaying in my head when I heard the news was that on Yawm al-Qiyamah, those who commit suicide will keep reenacting their death on that day. Nauzubillah min zalik.. May we be protected from dying in su’ul khatimah. I wish I could make dua for her but… we can’t.. :(

Suicide has indeed becoming quite prevalent in our society. People taking their lives like it has no value when Allah has given it to us for a purpose in this Dunya. I fear hitting rockbottom one day and not being able to pull myself up again. The feeling of lowliness can induce someone to be suicidal. A friend whom I was close to, attempted suicide as she found it difficult to live anymore. It was all so surreal that fateful night when it happened- she started to convulse just as we arrived so we had to rush her to the ER. The whole scenario remains fresh in my memory even after years later..

A reminder for myself and all of you that when faced with difficulties..

1) Being constant in dhikrullah

Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. [13:28]

2) Remind yourself that our Prophets (may Allah be pleased with them) suffered great trials themselves. There are ample examples in Qur’an of the hardships they were faced with.

“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, ailments and were shaken.” [2:214]

3) Pray. Whenever Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam was faced with any difficulties, he would rush to pray and seek solace in it.

“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the prayer…” [2:153] 

4) Every hardship that we face, Allah promised us that there will be ease.

“Verily, with hardship there is relief” [94:6]

5) Have patience.

And the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhu): “..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity… And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.” [Tirmidhi]

6) It is qadaa’ & qadar . Remember the hadeeth, ‘The pens have lifted and the inks have dried…’

“No calamity befalls on earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees – before We bring it into existence.” [57:22]

7) Last but not least, I use this reminder when any evil befalls me is that, Allah knows what’s best for me no matter situation I’m in..

But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. [2:216]

Allahu Alam. May Allah give us the best in this Dunya and Akhirah. May He keep us steadfast in this Deen and increase our eemaan in difficult times. May we be of those who are firm in our eemaan even when evil befalls us. Ameen

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12 thoughts on “In times of adversity..

  1. SubhanAllah sister! Even in Malaysia, we got couples of suicide cases, but most of them are committed by the non-Muslims. I think there are very few Muslims involved in suicide case because of the teachings in Islam, which offer tawakkal and patient.
    May Allah grant us the husnul khotimah…

    • Aameen sis! Oh subhan Allah.. I think suicide is very common all around the world nowadays not limited to any country anymore. It’s like people don’t value their lives as much now. It would sadden me the most if a Muslim commits suicide because I want the best for him/her in this Dunya and Hereafter..

    • And that’s true, Islam teaches us to place our trust in Him and have patience.. but sometimes we forget sis and that’s where I’m afraid of the most. When faced with difficulties, we might not be in the right state of mind to remember all these.. allahu mustaan.

  2. Suicide is something that I really have a hard time understanding. I know that a problem that might seem very insignificant to me might be something very huge for another person. We’re all different, and the way we look and feel about things are also different.

    But I just cannot understand how someone could be so overcome by circumstances that their own selves becomes so small and unimportant to them.

    Remember my friend in Nepal? A few months back, she called me in a panic because one of her classmates tried to commit suicide and they barely managed to get her to the ER to save her life. My friend was really distressed about it, but though I tried really hard, I just couldn’t sympathize with someone who decided to take her own life just because she couldn’t cope with exam stress!

    I don’t know, maybe I’m horribly insensitive, but I think suicide is the epitome of cowardliness. Of course, I’m far from the bravest person and sometimes I too find myself in depressing and hopeless situations, but al-hamdulillahi my faith has always been there to anchor me and prevent me from tumbling down any dark tunnels.

    (I’m too scared of earning myself a permanent place in Jahannam to even think of such ridiculous thoughts! Nothing the world throws at me could be worse than that!!)

    A few weeks back, I was talking to a friend of mine and she was in this really depressing mood and saying stuff like how she thinks death would be a blessed relief. I’m really surprised when Muslims think about walking the path of suicide. I can understand that non-Muslims might have these thoughts because they don’t have any foundation to hold them, but Muslims?

    How could they think like that? Lot’s of people feel that death is the end, it’s the solution to escape from unbearable things in life. But don’t they realize death is just the beginning of something much more horrifying??

    It’s true what you said. When faced with difficulties, most people are not in the right state of mind to think and remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala! But then again, that is also a form of being consumed with the Dunya, is it not?

    We should all strive hard to frequently remember the Akhirah because then, these difficulties will cease to trouble us so much. They are fleeting, they will eventually pass, because everything in life does. Why worry about some temporary problems when you have a great big huge problem in the form of the Akhirah?

    Do you know the website, Productive Muslim? I read a great article there about always comparing whatever happens in this Dunya to what it would be like in the Akhirah. It rapidly alters your perspective about a lot of things that you would normally stress over.

    May Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala always protect us from being consumed with worldly affairs and may He always make our eeman our strongest anchor when we are faced with difficulties! Ameen!

    • Honestly, I don’t understand it too but I always find that there are some people who are more sensitive and are easily affected by the slightest trials. It could possibly be just their personality or they had a very sheltered life so they are not able to handle when faced with difficulties.

      The story about your friend sounds very tragic sis :/ What did her classmate do to commit suicide? I can imagine how traumatised she must have been in that situation. I remember calling my elder sister back home when my friend attempted suicide and the only thing she said was “Don’t waste your time with this!” LOL.. This friend of mine was later diagnosed with mild depression and the cause is unknown but we suspected that it could have been due to boys. I thought that if you choose to take your own life over the opposite gender, then something’s awfully wrong with you! Exam stress is not a valid reason too! Failing your course is not the end of the world..But then again, there isn’t a valid reason to commit suicide I think..

      I agree with you to a certain extent about suicide being an epitome of cowardliness.. but, I also feel that there could be other factors that they have no control over that cause them to resort to committing such acts. I know of an aunty who memorizes Qur’an but she has depression too.. and she told me before that she can’t control her emotions. Sometimes, she feels down in the pits and finds it difficult to pull herself together.. depression could possibly be the reason why some people commit suicide?

      Oh, the horrors of committing suicide.. you suffer in this Dunya from such a horrid death and then on the Day of Judgement, your death will be reenacted repeatedly.. then there’s Jahannam! Subhan Allah.. it scares me just to think of suicide. And yes, it confuses me when Muslims say that too! Do they think that they have it easy in Aakhirah, let alone in their graves! Let your friend listen to the lecture about the realities of the graves and she would wish otherwise! The horrors of the grave, the punishment and torture, should be enough to leave one from even having thoughts about death.. why wish for an earlier Qiyaamah when we are given the time to increase our good deeds and repent..

      What you said is true sis… about being consumed about the Dunya. I guess, it never crossed my mind that that was the love for this Dunya is the reason for being in such a state. Frequent remembrance of death and Hereafter will not have such a dire impact on us when we have obstacles being placed in front of us.

      Sis, can you give me the link for that article at Productive Muslim 🙂 I would love to take a look at it and use it as a reminder whenever I/anyone needs it the most 🙂

      Anyway sis, love this comment masha Allah! It forced me to reflect on a lot of things.. and at the same time, jazakillah khayr for reminding me that this world is indeed temporary.. What is this world but play and amusement yea? ❤ Aameen to all your duas!

      And for everyone reading this: I remember an ayaah from the Qur'an "Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope…" [2:286]. Committing suicide only shows that Allah is not being just to us when He has promised that any trials and tribulations that we are faced with will not be beyond a person's capacity.. Allahu Alam!

      • My friend’s classmate took a lot of paracetamol pills and tried to kill herself. They had to pump her stomach in the ER.

        True sis, I never used to believe it before, but now I know that depression really does exist, that there are psychological conditions where the person truly doesn’t have control over. But to be honest, I still don’t understand it.

        Lol, my best friend tells me that we love our selves too much to ever wallow in depression! 😛

        Auzubillah, the horrors of the grave are something I think I fear more than even the Day of Judgement! Because in addition to the punishments you will get, you will be filled with such hopeless regret that there is nothing you can do anymore to halt what is coming for you!! May Allah forgive our numerous sins and protect us from such a fate!!

        Here’s the link for that article in Productive Muslim:

        http://www.productivemuslim.com/the-fast-forward-technique/

        Also, here’s another article which I really liked! The quote in this article really struck a chord within me!

        http://www.productivemuslim.com/abi-when-will-we-ever-relax/#more-213

        Yes sis, Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala does not burden us with more than we can handle. We may think we’re about to break under the strain, but our Lord knows our strengths and weaknesses better than we do. Once again, it comes down to trusting Him! Right? 🙂

      • Jazakillah khayr for the links sis! 🙂 I’ll check them out insha Allah!

        Coincidentally sis, the friend popped paracetamol pills too.. but halfway through, she was too afraid to continue so did not ingest enough to kill herself. I still find it ridiculous anyway to even attempt it..

        Haha yea sis, having tawakkul in whatever situation we may be in 🙂

        I pray that Allah never leave me to myself, even for a blink of an eye!

  3. Sorry, this comment may not related to this topic, but I just wanna say, I really envy you guys’ English usage. The way you write, the words you use, the sentences you make, as if you never been bothered at all when writing in English. It is like a big struggle for me to even construct a proper sentence in English. Don’t ask my vocabulary -it’s VERY poor. I really admire the way both of you write in English, and use some words that I never know their meanings. I just wonder, is reading lots of English book/mag/articles made you good in English??

    -sorry sister, this comment is totally out of the topic-
    you may unapprove it. 🙂

    • Oh sis subhan Allah… English is my first language and even so, I find that I still make various grammatical errors .. 😦 Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this ok? 🙂 Maybe you can try reading widely.. read books in English instead of Malay.. watch the news etc.. all kinds sis 🙂 I can’t really say what works for me best, but I think reading is the best solution to improve your English insha Allah! 🙂

    • I second what sis UmmKhaleel said. I make a lot of grammatical errors too! Lol, I’m just glad people don’t notice them much 😛

      English is my second language, but I use it more than my native tongue. I think it’s the influence of school when I was a kid, we were always supposed to talk in English at school.

      But yes, I read a LOT of books! In fact, I’m very much a bookworm! 🙂 My cousin introduced me to the world of story books when I was four years old and I love reading.

      Sis, maybe you could try reading novels? I suggest novels because it’s easier to improve English when you read something you find interesting. And it’s an excellent way to improve your vocabulary too 🙂 A friend of mine used to be really bad in English at school, but then she started reading novels and masha Allah she improved very well 🙂

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