This is the first part of a series of three articles about how young Muslims can develop strength, courage and resilience in the face of peer pressure and bullying. In this part you will read about the impact of peer pressure and how you can stay firm.
“Everyone’s skipping class tomorrow, you’re such a nerd to go, and you’ll be the only one there anyway!”
Ever had to deal with pressure like that before?
Everywhere in this world people interact, and form groups and communities. Hence, wherever there are groups, small or big, there is pressure to conform to the accepted norm: whether it’s wearing skinny jeans, gossiping about your boss or teacher, asking for a mega dowry or being a silent Continue reading
We all have good days and bad days. Many factors can influence our daily mood. On a “good” day, we feel confident, we have a positive outlook on things, we feel capable of facing challenges, we are productive and we can more easily turn someone else’s frown upside down.
On a “bad” day however, things seem bleak: we isolate ourselves from others, we are irritable, we are pessimistic and negative and usually don’t feel like accomplishing much. Some of us have more “bad” days than “good” ones. Some of us can go weeks desperately waiting for a tiny flicker of hope for a better day to come along.
Depression is like being stuck in a deep, dark dungeon. The walls are dull and there are no windows. You feel suffocated and disturbed all the time. Your head feels empty and you feel lifeless: like all your abilities and energy have been sucked away by a black hole.
The worst part is, no one seems to understand the mental pain you are going through. People label you and call you lazy, moody and selfish.
I’ve been through severe clinical depression and would not wish that mental agony for anyone. But despite the pain, Allah taught me many precious lessons through my depression. This illness has shaped me into the person I am today and I do not regret having this disorder.
When I was actually having depressive episodes, I wished someone would teach me how to manage this deathly affliction. But that never happened. That’s when I learned the valuable lesson that when you can’t find a shady tree, plant one.
“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves.” [Qur’an: Chapter 13, Verse 11] Continue reading
Turning to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and being a compliant, educated patient, which we discussed in detail in Part 1 and Part 2, are mostly concerned with the individual’s inner state and attitude toward their disease. However, human beings remain social creatures who need other people in their life to share their joys and sorrows with. As our role model, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was accompanied by his best friend Abu-Bakr (may Allāh be pleased with them) on the hijrah (migration from Makkah to Madinah), while the Mother of the Believers Sayyida Khadijah (may Allāh be pleased with her) comforted her husband when he returned home in shock after his first encounter with Archangel Jibril (Gabriel) (peace be upon him).
Likewise, a sick person in particular needs a support system to cope better with their situation and receive both moral and physical support. This support system consists of family, friends, the medical team, and sometimes even strangers who have had a similar experience. All of the aforementioned categories of people have helped me greatly throughout the years in many different ways—from hugs, personal assistance, and hospital visits, to lengthy conversations and invaluable words of advice and encouragement. In the third and final part of this series, I will focus on some tools related to social interactions. Continue reading
Part 1 of this series covered medical-related advice that is meant to equip patients with the knowledge they need to manage their disease effectively as well as improve their quality of life and maintain good health.
In Part 2, I move on to the spiritual tools, which every Productive Muslim cannot do without during any trial, including severe or sudden illness. Know that in spite of advances in modern medicine, the outcome of any treatment, progression of any disease, and how our entire body functions, lies within Allah’s dominion, not science or a world-renowned surgeon. He (glorified and exalted be He) is whom we turn to in times of need and supplicate with a sincere heart, expecting good. Continue reading