By Sheikh Saleh ibn Abdullah ibn Humaid – 29 Jumaadal Ulaa 1436
His Eminence Sheikh Saleh ibn Abdullah ibn Humaid –May Allah protect him– delivered this Friday khutbah titled “The Treatmentof Anxietyand Worries” in which he talked about anxiety, sleeplessness, worries and distress and how Islam treated them. He explained the necessity of resorting, in such cases, to Allah Almighty, imploring Him and putting oneself in His hands.As a result, all such worries and distress will go away.
Praise be to Allah in His Exaltedness, Sovereignty, and Grandeur! May He be sanctified in His Glory, Majesty and Sublimity! Abundant, blessed and pure praise is duly His! He bequeathed upon us favours from His benevolence, generosity and beneficence. I thank Him –May He be exalted– and ask him for more favours and benevolence. I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah alone with no associate. With such testimony I wish to gain success on the day I stand before Him. I also bear witness that our Master and Prophet,Muhammad, is the best and Seal of His Messengers. May Allah send His Salaah (Graces, Honours, Mercy), Peace and Blessing upon him, his family, Companions, supporters and the taabicīn (the contemporaries of the Companions of the Prophet [May Allah’s Salaah and Peace be upon him] after his death) and all those who followed in their footsteps until the Day of Recompense!
I exhort you –people– as well as myself to observe taqwaa (fear of disobeying Allah). Observe Taqwa –May Allah have mercy on your souls– as much as you can. The favours Almighty Allah bestowed upon you are plentiful enough to dwarf your ability to show gratitude to Him. A Warner (Prophet) came unto you to deliver his admonition; if only you would listen!
Observe Taqwa of Allah, for it is the best means of protection. It is the object of competition and contestation. You must know Allah’s decree that everything will eventually come to an end, that every traveller must someday return, and that every deed has its due reward. You are destined to meet your Lord, travel the same route as your predecessors, and stand before the One from Whom no secret is hidden. “Draws near for mankind their reckoning, while they turn away in heedlessness.” [Al-Anbiyaa’: 1]
Allah created mankind from a single soul:
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)].”[Al-Nisaa’: 1]
A single soul, with the divine grace and the might of Allah, may acquire attributes, carry features, and experience situations that enable it to contend with desires, suspicious whims, beloved and abhorred things:
“And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion; Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him; Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allâh ordered, by following the true Faith of Islâmic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds). And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allâh has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islâmic Monotheism or by following polytheism, etc. or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds).”[Al-Shams: 7-10]; “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes? And a tongue and a pair of lips? And shown him the two ways (good and evil)?”[Al-Balad: 8-10]
Servants of Allah!
The Holy Qur’aan has accorded great importance to the human soul because the human being is the target of guidance, orientation and reform.
He who has been guided by Almighty Allah to embrace Islam and whose heart is filled with belief will enjoy quiescence and have a tranquil soul and peace of mind.
“He it is Who sent down As-Sakinah (calmness and tranquillity) into the hearts of the believers, that they may grow more in Faith along with their (present) Faith.”[Al-FatH: 4]; “and whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.”[Al- Baqarah: 38]
It is mentioned in the following Hadith: “Faith fettersruthless action. A believer never actsruthlessly.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood]
Allah is Great! Servants of Allah! How many a Muslim upon whom worldly worries have closed in has performed ablutions, moved to a corner in his home, walked to the mosque.
Recited chapters from the Holy Qur’aan, or performed prayers; as a result, his worries subsided and he felt freed fromthe fetters!
How many a Muslim lying in bed on his dextral side, reciting verses from the Holy Qur’aan, orbrought to memory some of the Prophet’s supplications enjoyed a good night’s sleep,and felt protected by Allah Almighty!
How many a Muslim burdened with worries and concerns has sought calmness in Allah’s words, and found in them the best friend and companion!
How many a Muslim went hungry or was struck by penury has found in Allah’s Book his fill and riches!
How many a rich man was about to go astray because of his wealth, but was saved by Verses from the Book of his Lord, so when the veil was removed, he remembered Allah’s graces and wished for what Allah had for him!
The good, the kind-hearted, the benefactors and mosque-goers appreciate the tranquillityresulting fromremembering Allah. They have more strength, and more ability to face up to the calamities and ups and downs of life.Their tranquillity is not disturbed by vicissitudes, and their peace of mind remains unimpaired by impediments.
Such is the status of the believers and the devout,while millions are runningafterpain- killers and sleeping pills, after clinics and hospitals, and are searching the literature for remedies. Having lost their sense of security, they are tormented by anxiety, fear of death, fear of failure, fear of poverty, fear of diseases, and many other phobias that might strike Allah’s creatures.
Anxiety –May Allah protect you– is a psychological disorder that strikes when one is exposed to present or future fears or dangers.An anxious man would lead a somber life; he wouldfeel suspicious of everyone and everything around him and would always feel pessimistic, disturbed, and depressed. Lacking self-confidence, he may develop paranoia, and misanthropy, suspecting all those around him of being envious and rancorous. It is said that “crime is motivated by anxiety” which manifests itself in the fear of death, hunger, poverty, illness, failure or other phobias that plague this worldly life.
Such anxious and disturbed person becomes so overwhelmed by the Herein (worldly life) that he takes it to be his greatest concern, which, as a result, would further aggravate his anxiety. A Hadith goes as follows: “He who makes the Herein his ultimate concern, Allah will place poverty right between his eyes, and he will not get from life more than what has been preordained for him.”
Remember –May Allah protect you and have mercy on you– this supplication: “O Allah! Do not make the Herein our ultimate concern!” If the Herein were our ultimate concern and the culmination of all our efforts, where would our comfort, hope and peace of mind be?
Peace of mind and tranquillity –servants of Allah– is a great favour bestowed by Allah unto His servants, the value of which is unknown except to those who have lost it. He who is suffering from sleeplessness or anxiety would certainly appreciate this grace.
“And among His Signs is the sleep that you take by night and by day, and your seeking of His Bounty.”[Al-Rūm: 23]
Worries will overwhelm the one who loses his peace of mind; he will be so badly overcome by concerns that he will suffer from insomnia, malaise, and depression.
Poor arepeople of this age! They study the human psyche, but in isolation from Allah Almighty –the Creator, Provider, and Sustainer of mankind. They speak about the effect of the environment, the family, and the economy, but forget about guidance, belief, obedience and worship!
Their standardshave turned topsy-turvy and their scales have become inaccurate! Their virtues are gone, their values lost, and their moralsdegenerated. Their misguidance and straying from the right path have rendered their solutions useless and their lab experiments fruitless. They mistake control of carnal desires for suppression, and the feeling of guilt for complexes. For them, a woman with no boyfriend to commit adultery with is a sick and aberrant woman! We seek refuge in Allah from the reversal of natural predispositions.
In a fair attempt to reproach this deleterious aberration of the principles and ideology of this civilization and its attitude towards man, a sagacious intellectual stated, “There is an unbreakable bond between Allah and us: If we obey Him, our aims and aspirations are fulfilled, and our security and tranquillity realized.” “Belief is the best remedy of anxiety,” said another.
It is also said, “Belief and righteousness fend off anxiety and stress and cure psychological illnesses,Allah willing;” and “Prayers are the shortest way to tranquillity and peace of mind.”
Yes, servants of Allah!
Belief in Allah and following His divine guidance provide spiritual immunity and social security like nothing else. Such belief ensures safety, raises hope; hope begets peace of mind which, in turn, generates happiness. There is no happiness without peace of mind, and no peace of mind without belief. Belief in Allah is the soul’s pabulum, remedy and illumination.
A true believer has an unshakable faith, observes devout worship, places his trust in Allah, supplicates Almighty Allah continuously, submits to His will, shows humility to Him, does not stop remembering Him, exercises profound thought, and performs good deeds. He is good-tempered, full of hope and always optimistic. He does not regret his past, is not disgruntled at his present or anxious about his future.
Ibn Al-Qayyim ‒May Allah bless his soul‒ said,“Do not let anxiety spoil your happiness or pessimism your mind.If you think about it, you will realize that Allah has bestowed upon you favourswhich you did not ask for. Restassured that Allah does not withhold things from you except for your own good, albeit you do not know it.”
Beloved Muslim brothers and sisters!
A believer believes in fate and Allah’s decree. Whatever Allah wills will be and whatever is against the Will of Allah will never happen:
“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allâh. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allâh likes not prideful boasters.” [Al-Hadīd: 22-23]
Allah is the Provider and Allah’s provision cannot be brought by a person’s endeavour nor can it be prevented by a person’s hatred. A Muslim combines reliance on Allahas well as doing his best to get what he wants.
“And in the heaven is your provision, and that which you are promised. (22) Then, by the Lord of the heaven and the earth, it is the truth (i.e. what has been promised to you), just as it is the truth that you can speak.” [Al-Dhaariyaat: 22-23]
In the Hadith: “Fear Allah and seek your provision gently; verily, no soul will die until it exhausts its full provision and until its instant of deathcomes.” [Narrated by Ibn Maajah]
For a believer, the remembrance of Allah is his motto, and reliance on Him is his cover.Indeed no seeker of pleasure has ever experienced a pleasure better than the remembrance of Allah. How can somebody stricken by melancholy forget Allah’s following words?
“Lâ ilâha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allâh)], Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.” [Al- Anbiyaa’:87]
It was related that Jacfar Al-Ṣaadiq ‒May Allah be pleased with him and may He bless his soul‒ said: “I wonder how come that somebody feeling depressed not rush to the Almighty’s following words: “Lâ ilâha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allâh)], Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong- doers,” [Al-Anbiyaa’:87]. It is the supplication of Dhu Al-Nūn (Prophet Jonah),for I heard Allah follow it up by the following words:”So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allâh, abstain from evil and work righteousness),”[Al- Anbiyaa’: 88]. I wonder how come that somebody stricken with sadness not rush to the Almighty’s following words:”Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us),”[aal cImraan: 173], for I heard Allah follow it up by the followingwords:”So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allâh. No harm touched them,”[aal cImraan: 174].I wonder how come that somebody surrounded by intrigues not rush to the Almighty’s following words:”…and my affair I leave it to Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the All-Seer of (His) slaves.” [Ghaafir: 44], for I heard Allah follow it up by His following words: “So Allâh saved him from the evils that they plotted (against him)” [Ghâfir: 45]
Thisis further confirmed and validated with the following hadith by our Prophet Muhammad ‒May Allah’s Salaahand Peace be upon him: “It is the supplication of Dhu Al- Nūn (Jonah) when he prayed his Lord inside the whale’s belly,‘Lâ ilâha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allâh)], Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.’No Muslim has ever used such supplicationfor any reasonthan his supplication has been answered.” [Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad and Al-Tirmidhi in his Jami’]
What is so exquisitely interesting, O Servants of Allah, is that the depressed person’s supplications in effect engender fulfilment of tawHīd (monotheism). The Prophet ‒May Allah’s Salaahand Peace be upon him‒ says:”O Lord! I look forward to Your mercy, so do not leave me to my own self for a blink of an eye, set right for me all my affairs, there is no deity worthy of worship except You.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood]
The Prophet ‒May Allah’s Salaahand Peace be upon him‒ also said to Asmaa’ Bint Umais: “Should I teach you a few words to say when you are depressed? ‘Allah is my Lord, no partner do I associate with Him.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood]
Resorting to Allah, relying on Him, and trusting Him are among the best dispellers of worries, removers of grieves, and expellers of anxiety:
“And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things.” [Al-Ṭalaaq: 3] and”And to Allâh belongs the Ghaib (unseen) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him (O Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you (people) do.” [Hūd: 123]
Being attached to Allah and supplicating to Him are among the greatest means to expel anxiety. This iscertainly true as your Prophet Muhammad ‒May Allah’s Salaah and Peace be upon him‒said: “If a believer suffers from anxiety or grief and he says: ‘O Allah! I am indeed Your servant, son of Your male servant and female servant; my forelock is in your hands (i.e. I am under Your control), and Your Judgement upon me is irrevocable, and Your Decree upon me is just. I ask you with every name that You have named Yourself with, revealed in Your Book (Qur’aan), taught to any of Your creation, or kept to Yourself in Your knowledge of the unseen, I ask You to make the Quran the life of my heart, the light of my chest, the banisher of my sadness,and the reliever of my distress,’ then Allah will take away his sorrow and grief.” [Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad]
Now then, O Servants of Allah!
All the aforesaid is included in the Book of Allah, for it is the cure for what is in the chests (of humans) and for all diseases and ailments, whether physical or psychological, overt or latent:
“And We send down from the Qur’ân that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism and act on it)” [Al-Isrâ’: 82], “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.” [Yūnus: 57]
Reciting the Book of Allah imparts serenity and tranquillity on the heart.By holding tight to it, hearts become tranquil and free of anxiety, and by reflecting on it, they rest assured and free of (evil) whispers.
May Allah benefit me and you with the guidance of His Book and that of His Prophet Muhammad‒May Allah’s Salaah and Peace be upon him‒and may He make His Book a medicine for our hearts, a torch to light our way, and a cure for our illnesses. O Allah, Amen! O Allah, our Lord! Accept our supplication and forgive us, You are the Forgiving the Merciful!