Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
15 December 2023 / 2 Jamadil Akhir 1445H
Putting Our Hopes in Allah (s.w.t.)
My blessed Friday congregants,
Let us continue our efforts to elevate our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.), by obeying all His orders, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions. May we be blessed with the strength to overcome all the challenges and trials of life in this world. Amin.
For the past few weeks, the Friday sermon had shared several supplications that we can recite on a daily basis. Today, I would like to share another supplication taught by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) to overcome anxiety and depression. The Prophet (s.a.w.) recited:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ
Which means: “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from grief and sorrow, from weakness and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, from being overcome by debt, and from being overpowered by others.” (Hadith narrated by Imam al-Tirmizi).
The lesson that we can draw from this hadith is that our lives in this world are not free from obstacles and challenges. It will inevitably affect us emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. However, in any situation we find ourselves in or about to face, we are reminded that Allah (s.w.t.) is the best of planners. We are taught to submit all our hopes and dreams to Allah (s.w.t.). Our religion also guides us to seek refuge and protection from Allah (s.w.t.) from all troubles and worries in our lives.
In fact, the prophets also went through difficult and painful periods in their lives, leaving us with numerous lessons to learn from their experiences. In Surah Yusuf, verse 86, Allah (s.w.t.) said:
Which means: “He (Prophet Ya’qub) said: ‘I complain of my anguish and sorrow only to Allah, and I know from Allah what you do not know.’”
The verse that was just recited was a declaration from Prophet Ya'qub (a.s.) of his faith in Allah (s.w.t.). In the Qur’an, this verse is preceded by a story that tells about how Prophet Ya'qub (a.s.) faced the heart-breaking test of losing two of his children, one of whom was his beloved son, Prophet Yusuf (a.s.).
Imam As-Sa'di, in his tafsir book, narrates that the grief experienced by Prophet Ya'qub was so immense that it reached a point where his eyes became cloudy and his body became weak, so much so that he could not speak. However, despite his profound grief, Prophet Ya'qub's faith remained intact. In fact, he complained only to Allah (s.w.t.) about the deep sorrow he was feeling and left all his affairs to Allah (s.w.t.).
Brothers and sisters,
As we go through life's trials and witness the humanitarian disasters unfolding around us today, we are reminded to turn to Allah (s.w.t.), and express our feelings to Him. He is the All-Hearing and All-Knowing, and He is the one who knows our innermost feelings. Any unease that our hearts feel is a reminder to us that everything that happens has a lesson and wisdom behind it.
There are various actions that we can take whenever we are faced with situations that pose a challenge to our mental and emotional health. Allow me to share two suggestions from which we can benefit.
Firstly: Find peace by reflecting upon the holy verses of the Qur'an.
My beloved brothers and sisters,
We have easy access to the various developments happening locally and internationally at our fingertips, anytime and anywhere. Keeping up to date with current developments is definitely beneficial. However, from time to time, our hearts and minds need to rest for a while, from what is known as “information overload”. We can shift our focus by reading and reflecting upon, as much as we can, the holy verses of the Qur'an. Allah (s.w.t.) says in Surah al-Ra'ad, verse 28:
Which means: “Those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort.”
Every letter of the Qur'an that we recite will not only be rewarded by Allah (s.w.t.), but the act of recitation itself can also provide the peace and tranquillity that a Muslim desperately needs. As we recite the holy verses of the Qur’an, we should also strive to understand and reflect upon the recited verses.
In addition to reciting the Qur'an, we are also encouraged to pray, to supplicate, and to confide about everything that crosses our hearts and minds to Allah (s.w.t.). Let us pray sincerely and earnestly to Allah (s.w.t.) by mentioning Him by His glorious names. Express all our anxiety, worry, and sadness to Him. This can be done at any time, because Allah is All-Hearing.
Brothers and sisters,
The second suggestion is to share our anxiety and sadness with those who can help us.
Besides expressing our concerns to Allah (s.w.t.), we should also confide in people who are ready to help, or those who are willing to listen to our deepest worries and concerns. Family members, spouses, friends, and asatizah can be our pillars of strength whenever we feel vulnerable. At the same time, consider seeking the help of a counsellor, if needed.
Know that Islam does not prohibit us from sharing our anxieties and worries with those who are trustworthy. We should not suffer alone, and in silence. We need to take care of our mental and physical health in order to maintain our wellbeing, as well as that of our families.
Let us pray to Allah (s.w.t.) to grant us the strength to manage the overwhelming emotions in our hearts and minds. May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us peace and success, in this world and in the Hereafter. Amin ya Rabbal 'Alamin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَلَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَا رَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. اَللَّهُمَّ انْصُرْ إِخْوَانَنَا اْلمُسْتَضْعَفِيْنَ فِي غَزَّة وَفِي فِلِسْطِينَ وَفِيْ كُلِّ مَكَانٍ عَامَّةً، يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِين. اللَّهُمَّ بَدِّلْ خَوْفَهُمْ أَمْنًا، وَحُزْنَهُمْ فَرَحًا، وَهَمَّهُمْ فَرَجًا، يَا رَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.