The Islamic Garden
Questions and Answers – from India to the UK
Abdul Kalam, India
i have completed bbm recently..i would like to do mba this year insha allah...my problem is am not able to concentrate on anything......i believes in allah very much.....i feels that some sickness i hav..Anxiety is my main problem....whenever am reading quran n all i feels dat some s saying me not to read quran and allah wont help me....am so worried about dis thing...and also am not capable to take any decision now a days....please help me to get rid of my anxiety
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. Congratulations on achieving these things, higher education is a challenge to say the least, so well done!
I’m very sorry to hear you are suffering from anxiety. Given the state of the world, the general harshness of people and the unnatural way we live, there is little wonder that so many of us suffer from this.
Please be assured that with every difficulty there is ease, and it is our job to find the ease, the joy, and deeper understanding of ourselves and our lives in the midst of life’s difficulties.
Many people have found relief from anxiety by following a few steps, others take these steps and find they still need to do more, so you’ll have to try this and see how you go.
Sometimes our state of mind is affected by our general state of health, so some people prefer to adjust their diet in a way that they cut out excess amounts of sugar, white flour and animal protein and drink more water, eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and cut out caffeine. This is a simple way to cleanse the body. Along with that, doing regular exercise really helps to get our stress levels down and to help the body get rid of toxins. The connection between the mind and body is often overlooked, but I believe acknowledging that connection and working on every aspect of the self will help us overcome things like anxiety.
So, when you have done your physical detox, started exercising regularly and have a good healthy diet, you need to then detox your mind. That means focus on ridding yourself of negative self-talk.
We are largely a product of our environment and what we have been told throughout our lives since we were very young. If a person receives negative feedback from childhood, he or she will suffer from lack of confidence and a heightened sense of fear. Such things can cause great hardship in adult life. It’s like, something negative happens and one part of yourself says ‘you did that well!’, then another part of yourself (the damaged part) says, ‘you did not, you could have done much better!’ We have to learn to discard the negative self talk and focus on being positive with ourselves.
It is also very important that you surround yourself with positive people; family and friends who will not put you down; but will encourage you, advise you and support you. At the same time, you have to develop a sense of yaqeen (sureness, certainty) that Allah is always near us; that He hears us when we pray and remember Him and that He is as we imagine him to be (meaning of a Hadith). So think well of Allah and be sure (you will have to work on this point) that His help is always near.
You have to learn to hand over your troubles to Him and just let go of fear, nervousness, bad feelings – ride them out and let them go. Imagine that Allah is carrying you through all this and that you really are safe. Because anxiety is largely illusion; the mind throws out thoughts and images to trouble you and you respond and this keeps the cycle going. So to stop the cycle you have to ride them out, let go and feel safe, knowing Allah is with you and that you have the inner resources within yourself to deal with whatever you face in your life.
All the best..
I divorced 10 months ago but still can start to built new me because i am so lazy and still don't have an idea what i really want for my life. but i do my pray, do house chores, play along with my nephew any other than that i don't have any idea.. lost, lazy, a lot of free time and struggle each minute to block the past moment.
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. Divorce is a very difficult thing to adjust to; and it is so painful because it is mostly about emotions and our own sense of value.
First of all, I think you should not call yourself lazy. That is a very negative thing to say, so turn things around and realize that you are using up your energy in coping with a very challenging situation.
It is normal that we try to block things out and give ourselves a bit of space to heal but blocking should not last for long. The time comes when you have to face yourself and your reality and this takes courage. But unless you do that it will be difficult for you to move on with strength and confidence and start your life afresh. Perhaps the time has come when you need to look at yourself, your life and just accept things the way they are. Say it! I accept myself and
I accept what has happened to me. But, after you say that, you don’t stop there because that is just the first step. After deeply acknowledging your state, you have to then see within yourself the power, the ability, the capacity to change, to build, to start anew. All those things are there because Allah is merciful and He always gives us a way out, but sometimes we don’t see it.
There is always a positive and negative to every situation and although this might be difficult, you should try to see the positive things in and around you.
Make a list. It could look something like this: good health, family support, friends, intelligence, abilities, and so on.
Try to see your new situation as a step in your own life toward your own development, maturity and wisdom. There has to be something you are interested in….
Is there an area of knowledge that you would like to learn? Maybe think about doing some courses to gain new knowledge and skills and while you’re doing that make the intention to meet people, be friendly and always hopeful. Do some things that you enjoy doing; exercise, get a hobby….
We can get ourselves in a rut and feeling depressed because we see a negative aspect of our life and focus on it alone; overlooking the other wonderful positive things in and around us. We really are affected so much by our thinking and the way we choose to see things. At the same time, we can change our thinking and push ourselves to be positive. Try getting up at night and pray Tahajjud and open your heart to Allah, tell Him your fears, your hopes, how you feel and I guarantee you that you will feel better and that you will find the next step to take. But you have to make that first move to Allah, then He will rush to you (meaning of a Hadith).
All the best…
Its continuing with the laziness and the condition after divorce ,you are right i don't have motivated on things and i still isolated myself. i don't know how to get motivated and be normal againwassalamualaikum
AnswerSalam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. The key is motivation; self motivation! Divorce affects our self esteem and how we see ourselves. It is easy to feel negative about ourselves because we might feel rejected and under-valued. And, it is so easy to give in and accept that nagging negative thoughts!
The answer to this is not just going out and having some fun because to experience real lasting change, we have to change the way we think about ourselves.
The first step is to accept wholeheartedly what has happened; just accept it without any ‘ifs’ or ‘buts!’ without seeking justification and so on – just accept your life as it is. Then turn to Allah for guidance and take a good honest look at yourself and acknowledge what you need to fix. It might be things like: getting up early, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, contacting a friend at least once a day (don’t isolate yourself), be continually reading things that make you think and feel, keep up to date with world news, give to other, then give some more.
When we reach out of ourselves and our own private fear, sadness and hesitation and do this to help another human being, we will inevitably better within ourselves. If we stay self focused and fill our minds with our own state of play, we will become self-absorbed and then feel ‘stuck’ – that awful state of depression that so many people experience.
So, be practical, clean up your life one step at a time and start with the basic things like diet, exercise, socializing, reading, interacting and make rules for yourself to stop yourself sliding back into this negative state.
All the best..
i m turning obese.i feel extremly tierd after any work . i cant even go for a walk cause of hand problem (carple tunnel syndrom )walking leads to hand pain . wat can i do
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. I pray that you will find relief and a way out of your problems.
It’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions. There are different kinds of exercise you could try that are not necessarily strenuous. The important thing is that you help your body improve circulation. This affects your physical health as well as your mental health. Stretching, gentle yoga type exercise can really help. Putting on weight is a combination of the affects of the food we eat and the amount of exercise we do. So you have to make strict rules for yourself and tell yourself:
· I will think positively about myself (cut out negative self talk)
· I will do my stretching, gentle exercise a few times a day. I will!!!
· I will cut out all junk food. I will cut down (cut out would be better) sugar, white flour and processed foods.
· I will eat fresh fruit and vegetables – lots of them!
· I will be aware of what my body is telling me and if I am not hungry, I will not eat.
· If I get the urge to eat, I will do something else that I enjoy (get an interesting hobby), do a bit of exercise and wait half an hour, if I still feel hungry I will eat.
· I will not give up!
I pray that your health will improve and that you will enjoy your life.
All the best…
Feryal, Australiaselam wa;alikum sister,
I have a problem, im in my early 20s and have a very dysnfunction family, my parents havnt spoken with each other for 5 months, my older brother just escaped going to prison, my younger brother almost got expelled from highschool and things are not good for me, although, im a universiry student ive began to feel very down, eating less, and alwayss sleeping.
How can i detach myself from my family ? I want to help them, but i think its bringing me down
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. You are in one of the best times of your life! So it is important that you do not waste it.
People make decisions that affect their lives and those of others. In this case, your parents and your brothers are making decisions; negative decisions, and the fall out of that is impacting on you. At the same time, you have freedom of choice and you can exercise that in the way you respond. How we respond to things is what steers us through life.
You are making decisions too; you are deciding to eat less and sleep. And you know as well as I do, that doing these things does not solve the problem; it doesn’t get you anywhere! It is a way of hiding. So stop it! Tell yourself to eat (healthy food) and get to bed early and get up early. You are in charge of your self and you tell yourself what you will or will not do. That is a really important first step. In this way, you will be taking command of yourself and making a stand. It’s like you’re saying (to your family) ‘I know you guys seem to be hell-bent on ruining your lives, but I am not!’ If you choose to live your life properly and responsibly, your family will see you doing that and it will have a positive impact on them. You don’t have to say anything, just do it!
It’s really important that you have lots of hope. Your whole life is ahead of you. You are studying and that in itself is a blessing! Your family is messed up but you are a young man who obviously knows where he is going but is just having a bit of a slip up right now. So I urge you to take control, turn to Allah for help and guidance, be sincere in whatever you do in life and don’t let other people’s negatively find a place on you.
All the best…
Asalaamu Aleikum Ukhti. Praise be to Almighty Allah and His messenger Mohamed (pbuh) who gave me today this opportunity to share with you. My sister Salma, am a University student 3rd yr. My problem is that am having a poor memory and however i try to concentrate in my studies i still forget if the same thing is brought in exam, my other problem is am slow writter in class when the lecturer dictates very first and i try to speed up my writtings my heart beat goes up and can't continue any more. Due to this am forced to borrow books & copy notes from colliques so as to update my notes. You can imagine how tiresome it is & it all started since i joined the campus. My sister my 1st request is you remember me in your prayer, and try to tell me on how i can go about since i have already consulted with doctors before but it was invein. Sister i also request you to respond me through my yahoo mail. Thank you sister for the services you are doing for the Ummah may Allah reward you abudantly in the here after. Jazaakalahu khaira washukran.
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. I am very proud of you and very pleased that you are studying at university and I pray for your success in every way!
Sometimes when we become imbalanced and overexert ourselves our memory fails us and we feel weak and incapable.Studying is very important but at the same time, we need to achieve balance. Make sure that you keep some of your time for yourself – meet your friends, get out of the house and get some fresh air, play some sport, read something that has absolutely nothing to do with your studies and even watch a film! For memory, it is also very important that you get enough sleep and eat healthy food. Also, too much caffeine can have bad affect on the mood and the mind. Some people find ginger tea stimulates concentration and if you do a search on the net, I’m sure you will find many herbs that help increase concentration and memory.
Another thing about memory is our confidence in ourselves to remember. We have to believe that we have the ability to acquire knowledge and keep it.. If you are slow at writing and taking notes, can you use a small recorder to record the lecture? Perhaps if you explain your problem to the lecturer he/she won’t mind. Most mps players can record very well.
All the best..
Salam, sister, may Allah swt reward you abundantly in both the worlds.
It is not uncommon in the muslim countries that a 50+ years old man marry a teenage girl. But it is very uncommon for a 20+ years old boy to marry a 50+ years old woman. what is your advice for such an union?
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. Marriage and matters of the heart are difficult to judge. In Islam there is the need for compatibility but the definition of this is left up to norms of the society in which the people are living and up to the individuals themselves.
It is vital that the couple decide to marry from their own free choice, not being compelled. Both people must know themselves well and be aware of what they are getting themselves into.
It is important to remember that maturity is not confined to advanced age; often younger people achieve a level of maturity that older people never reach. All these things are relative and must be ascertained by the people involved.
Regardless, if this couple decides to marry, their family and friends should offer support because people are different, have different needs and expectations and really no one else can judge that for someone else.
By the way, having a younger man marry an older woman seems to be happening more and more. Some people say it is the men looking for a more stable relationship with someone who knows herself, has shed all or most of the complexities and things are more settled. Allah knows..
All the best.
Assalaam. I have a problem which is that how do I put all my faith in Allah. For instance if i have lost something I started getting to worry easily instead I wish to have my faith in Allah by saying that its Allah who gave me and He is who has taken it. Can you please advise me. Thanking you in advance. Jazak
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. These days, people face many worries and anxieties. We are bombarded with images and unrealistic expectations while being taken away from anything that resembles a natural way of life. This has an impact on how we think and how we react to what happens in our lives.
Being able to have faith in Allah and trust in Him is not just some words we say. It springs from deep within the heart and is all about how we approach life. It comes from fully realizing that everything belongs to Allah and that He has a plan for us and that this plan is based on His love, compassion and mercy. If He takes something away, it means that thing was not good for us or He has something better in store….. Faith is realization of the reality of things.
Take a look at the stars, the sky, the beauty of nature, the wonders of the human, the magnificence of animals, plants and nature and realize that when the planets orbit, the plants grow or don’t grow, the animals live and die and so on, we don’t complain or question. So, why then do we complain or question when we personally lose something? We might lose our mobile or a favourite pen, and we get upset. It is important that we see ourselves and our lives in the scheme of things.
To understand these realities we have to take time out to think deeply and understand that life has a purpose; it’s not just about play and entertainment, we are here for a reason and that is to be a mercy wherever we are and whoever we are with. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent as a mercy to all the worlds and since we are his followers, we must do the same.
So life is all about giving and learning how to give. We can not truly give unless we understand that what we are giving (time, effort, wealth etc) really belongs to the Creator. It is our willingness to give that is a major indicator of our piety. So rather than think about what we have lost, it might be better to think about what we still have… and be prepared to give it.
All the best…
Z, MalaysiaAsalamo Alakom.
I am facing problems with my sister. She is younger than me in her early thirties but she is having a very troubled life. She is divorced and I am really worried about her and her way of thinking.Immediately afetr her divorce she met someone more than 5 years younger who attractyed her. Back then I thought this was normal because she needed to enhance her self esteem after a very humiliating marriage.This is why calmly I tried to be with her, talking to her. I tried to show her this is wrong and she has to avoid mistakes so that God may bless her life. I would be unfair to say that she did not try but she always goes back. Also I noticed she has a trend to blame others for her problems. For example she thinks now my parents should not have let her divorce although she is the one who insisted. She is very kind hearted and emotional and she is afraid of God, but also very stubborn. Her stubborness causes her to to do mistakes which cause her really big trouble and her problems affect us all very much. Personally it afeects me to the degree that I cannot function properly sometimes neither at work nor at home. I dont know how to hnadle this. thanks for your help
Salam alaikum, many thanks for sending in your question. I pray that your sister finds happiness and the courage to face her life.And I pray that Allah will bless you for your efforts to help your sister.
Coming through a divorce is similar to coming to terms with the death of a loved one. It is normal that people will tend to blame others for their pain because it is very difficult to face it all. It is great that you are offering her support and that is exactly what families should do.
We all make mistakes in our life and that is how we learn. If a person is not allowed to discover things for themselves and meet people he/she will not necessarily be capable of making decisions and seeing things clearly, and thereby build a future for herself/himself.
Your sister is not young; she is in her thirties and has the right to live her life. She needs to be free to do that and she needs her family to trust her. She has been brought up in Islam and knows what is right and wrong, so maybe give her some space. Talk to her, trust her and advise her. Perhaps she is stubborn because she wants to have this right.
If she was in a humiliating marriage her need to do things, meet people, discover her own potential and so on is even greater.
Perhaps you could try urging her to take a course, meet people and so on – instead of making her feel you are pulling her back.
All the best…
First Published on www.islamonline.net
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