The year 2020 has been a tough one. Recently I read an article which said that COVID-19 has tripled the rate of depression in US adult. I realized that Our Islam is so beautiful. If some one takes lesson from Quran and the pious predecessors, one not only finds Islam to be peaceful but also finds Solution to various Problems. Surely Quran heals and comforts.
I read a very interesting story in the book of Imam Ghazali which I would like to share. This story is taken from the book “Ya Ayyuhal Walad”. It’s English translation is “Dear Beloved Son”.
I have just added the heading so that the Problem and the Solution gets more clear to an average reader. I hope you truly benefit from this pearl of knowledge as much as it has benefited me.
So this story is basically about a Sheikh who asks his student how he benefited from him and the student beautifully answers him covering almost all aspect of the cause of depression and sadness.
Shaqiq Al-Balkhi (RA) was a great ascetic who passed away in 810 CE. Hatim Al-Asam (RA) was a contemporary and a friend of Shaqiq Al-Balkhi (RA) One day Shaqiq (RA) asked Hatim (RA): “You have kept my company for thirty years; what have you gained in the course of these years?”
Hatim (RA) replied:
“I have gained eight benefits from the knowledge which is sufficient for me. I hope my salvation and safety are embodied in them.” Shaqiq (RA) asked Hatim (RA) to mention them. Hatim Al-Asam (RA) said
Problem One – LOVE
“The first benefit is that I observed the creation and saw that everyone had a loved one and one passionately desired whom he loved and longed for. Some of the beloved accompany the lover up to the brink of sickness and death and others to the gate of the graveyard. All of them return and leave him there alone. No one goes into the tomb with him. I looked into the matter and said to myself: ‘The best beloved is that which would enter the tomb with the lover to console him’; I found it to be nothing else than good works, so I took this as my beloved, to illuminate my grave for me and to comfort me in it and not leave me alone.
Problem Two – LUST and DESIRE
The second benefit is that I saw that people were following their lusts and hastening towards the desires of the souls; and I meditated on the saying of the Exalted:
وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِۦ وَنَهَى ٱلنَّفْسَ عَنِ ٱلْهَوَىٰ
فَإِنَّ ٱلْجَنَّةَ هِىَ ٱلْمَأْوَىٰ
But as for whoever has feared the majesty of his Lord and has refrained his soul from lust, truly the Garden shall be his dwelling place.
[Surah An- Nazi’at 79: 40/41]
Convinced that the Qur’an was true and right, I began to deny my soul [its pleasures] and hurried to combat it and refuse it its passionate desires, until it enjoyed real satisfaction in obedience to Allah (SWT) the Exalted.
Problem Three -WEALTH
The third benefit is that I saw that every human being trying his best to accumulate as much as he can from the wreckage of this world and then holding on strongly it. I meditated on the Qur’anic verse:
مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ ۖ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ بَاقٍۢ ۗ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُوٓا۟ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ
What is with you must vanish; what is with Allah (SWT) must endure.
[ Surah An-Nahl 16:96]
So I gave freely my worldly possessions for His sake by distributing them among the poor so that it would be my provision in the future with
Him the Exalted.
Problem Four – DIGNITY and HONOUR
The fourth benefit is that some people whom I observed think that their dignity and honour lie in the multitude of their family and large clans. They were fascinated by these things. Others claimed honour and dignity in abundance of wealth and children and they were proud of it. Some believed honour and power abide in appropriating the wealth of others, doing injustice to them and shedding their blood. Others considered dignity to consist of extravagance and spending wealth in a foolish manner. I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted:
ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌۭ
The most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you.
[Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13]
I chose righteousness for myself, convinced that the Qur’an is right and true and those claims and opinions of the people are all false and temporal.
Problem Five – ENVY OF FORTUNE
The fifth benefit is that I found the people slandering each other and speaking ill of one another out of envy of fortune, power and knowledge. I meditated upon the saying of Allah (SWT):
أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَتَ رَبِّكَ ۚ نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا ۚ وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍۢ دَرَجَـٰتٍۢ لِّيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًۭا سُخْرِيًّۭا ۗ وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌۭ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ
Is it they who distribute your Lord’s mercy? It is We who divide their livelihood among them in the life of this world.
[Surah Az-Zukhruf 43:32].
I realised that the process of dividing livelihood is entirely in the hands of Allah (SWT) since the beginning of time. Therefore I never envied anyone and was satisfied with the distribution of Allah (SWT) the Exalted.
Problem Six – ENEMITY
The sixth benefit is that I saw people becoming enemies of each other for
different reasons. I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted:
إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّۭ فَٱتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا ۚ إِنَّمَا يَدْعُوا۟ حِزْبَهُۥ لِيَكُونُوا۟ مِنْ أَصْحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ
Verily Satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy.
[Surah Fatir 35:6]
I became aware that enmity with anyone but Satan was not permissible.
Problem Seven – FRUSTRATION
The seventh benefit is that I saw everyone working very hard, exhausting
himself to obtain food and sustenance, tempted by doubts and forbidden things. They degrade themselves in humiliation. I pondered over the saying of the Allah the Exalted:
وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍۢ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا ۚ كُلٌّۭ فِى كِتَـٰبٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ
There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance dependent on Allah.
[Surah Hud 11:6]
I knew that my livelihood is guaranteed by Allah (SWT) the Exalted so I engaged myself in worship and cut off my covetousness of all else, other than He.
Problem Eight – EXPECTATION
The eight benefit is that I saw that everyone relied on some created thing,
some on the dinar and dirham, some on wealth and property, some on trade and craft and some on creatures like themselves.
I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted:
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُۥٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَـٰلِغُ أَمْرِهِۦ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدْرًۭا
And whosoever places his reliance on Allah (SWT), sufficient is [Allah] for him. For Allah (SWT) will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily for all things has Allah (SWT) appointed a due proportion.
[Surah At-Talaq 65:3]”
I therefore placed full trust in Allah the Exalted. He is sufficient for me and He is the best Disposer of affairs.’
At this point Shaqiq (RA) said:
“May Allah bless you and grant you success. I looked into the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Zabur and the Qur’an and have found that the four books revolve around these eight benefits. Whoever works according to them is working according to these four books.”
This article was originally published on islamhastag.com.
About the Author
Fahmina Jawed is in her final year of a six-year Alimah course. She holds the qualification of an Optometrist and her highest qualification is PG Diploma in Hospital administration. Her aim was to open a hospital and remove the darkness from People’s life but when she realised that the greater darkness will be that of the darkness on the day of judgement and only a true momin will have noor running in front of them and on their sides, she began to focus more on acquiring and spreading religious knowledge. She runs a blog Islamhashtag.com and is more famous with her nickname Aafiya.