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Islamic Approach to Handling Various Emotions

Mahadi Sunnah Store

March 16, 2024

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Islamic Approach to Handling Various Emotions

بِسْمِ ﷲِ ال َّ رحْمٰنِ ال َّ رحِیْمِ
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Emotions are an inherent aspect of the human experience, shaping our perceptions, actions, and interactions with the world around us. From joy and gratitude to anger and sadness, the spectrum of emotions we experience is vast and complex.
In Islam, the approach to handling these emotions is guided by principles that encourage balance, mindfulness, and spiritual growth.

Anger

Wahb ibn Munabbih رحمه الله‎‎ said, “Satan, upon whom is the curse of Allah, said: Verily, we lie in wait among the people of impatience and fury, then we play with them as children play with a ball.” [al-Zuhd li-Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal 522]
Anger is a very unfavored and deplored emotion in Islam. This is because anger is the start of every other disliked acts in Islam, such as impatience, arrogance, hastiness, profanity, mercilessness, violence, and more.
The Prophet    taught us to control our anger in a number of ways, one of them being: “If any of you becomes angry and he is standing, let him sit down, so his anger will go away; if it does not go away, let him lie down.”
Here is a step-by-step guide on overcoming anger with the help of Allah:

  1. As anger is an evil emotion that comes from Shaytan, the first and foremost thing to do when we become angry is to seek refuge in Allah from the shayateen.
  2. The next best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation. Walk away from the person or situation that made you angry and give yourself time to calm down.
  3. Do not act on your anger. Understand that anger is an emotion that causes you to act abruptly in the heat of the moment. So do not make any hasty decisions, don’t try to argue, don’t outwardly show your anger with words or movements, and keep silent.
  4. Remind yourself of the virtue of controlling your anger. The Prophet ﷺ said the strongest man is the one who tames his anger. Keep remembering the benefits of letting this emotion pass.
  5. Seek solace in prayer. Make dhikr, pray Nawafil, recite the Qur’an, make du’a, and do plenty of Istighfar. Shaytan flees from the person who remembers Allah in a time of distress.

Happiness

Although you might not view happiness as something to “deal with” Islam still gives us many lessons on how to properly handle our times of happiness in a way that makes our blessings last longer. Here’s how:

  1. Thank Allah. In times when you’re happy and at peace, thank Allah abundantly. Allah promises to give you more when you are grateful.
  2. Don’t nitpick your blessings. When you’re given something from Allah, don’t undermine it by looking for the faults in it or pointing out the ways it could have been better. Remind yourself that whatever Allah gives you is best for you.
  3. Don’t slack in ‘Ibadah. Many of us fall into the mistake of becoming lazy in our worship after we are granted blessings. Our sujood becomes shorter, our tongues forget dua, and we barely concentrate in Salah. This is showing ungratefulness to Allah.
  4. Don’t brag about your blessings. The Prophet ﷺ said that the evil eye is the truth. While others may show they are happy for you, their hearts contain jealousy which no one but them and Allah sees. So protect your blessings by concealing them, no matter how little they may be.
  5. Don’t allow yourself to sin. When you’re blessed by Allah, Shaytan tricks you into doing sins by convincing you that Allah won’t get angry since He already blessed you. But, Allah can take away your blessings faster than He gave it to you, so don’t make it an excuse to sin.

Sadness

There is no other religion that can bring comfort to a distressed soul more than Islam. Sadness is an emotion that is covered in both the Qur’an and Sunnah, and there are plenty of remedies for it.

  1. Understand that this emotion is normal and is temporary. When we face distress, Shaytan makes it his mission to make us believe our problems are bigger than they are and they’ll last forever. But Allah promises us the opposite.
  2. Something good will come out of this. In this Dunya, we pay for our biggest blessings with our trials, because Allah always empties our hands to give us something better. So remind yourself of the blessings ahead.
  3. Increase your worship. Allah tests those He loves because humans naturally turn to Allah when they are in need, so Allah puts them in need so He can hear their prayers.
  4. Don’t seek relief in sin. Sins can bring you temporary relief, but they will only add to your sadness in the future. They require atonement, which may come in this world or the next. Moreover, they will lengthen your time of hardship.
  5. Seek forgiveness. When someone is facing difficulties, it is highly encouraged for him to do constant Istighfar and Tawbah. Sins block blessings, and forgiveness wipes our sins away and returns our blessings to us.

Fear/Anxiety

Overthinking is something every single soul does at some point in life. Our fears can overwhelm us to the point of despair, but Islam teaches us the power of Tawakkul.

  1. Remind yourself that Allah is more powerful than your problems. Both your problems and blessings are decreed by Allah. If Allah has created an obstacle for you, He has already written how you will overcome it.
  2. Nothing can harm you unless Allah wills it. Call out to Allah whenever you are distressed or worried, even if the world comes together to harm you, they will fail because Allah is with you.
  3. We suffer more in imagination than in reality. Overthinking is Shaytan’s most effective weapon to destroy your Tawakkul. Worrying will only decrease your trust in Allah, and your problems will not get any better.
  4. Remind yourself of your blessings. Your problems could have been worse, you could have lost more blessings, and you could have been tested at a worse time. Allah tested you in the way He did because He knows you can get through it.
  5. Make du’a. Supplication is the weapon of the believer. With it, you can not only receive your wants and needs, but you are protected by Allah. So use this to your advantage.

Grief and Regret

Loss is a universal experience. Everyone will have to go through it to some extent, at one point in their lives. Like all other emotions, Islam teaches how to handle grief and regret in the best way possible.

  1. There is wisdom behind this loss. Allah doesn’t take something away without a reason. We may take days, months, or even years to understand this, but eventually the reason will come to light.
  2. Take loss as an opportunity to improve yourself. The regret and pain you feel is fruitless unless you use it to propel yourself into doing something great. Don’t let the pain weigh you down.
  3. Something better is on its way. Shaytan strives to keep you in depression, while Allah wants to see you happy. Have faith in Allah that He will bring you something better than what you have lost in one form or the other.
  4. Remind yourself of your actual home: Jannah. We lose things in life because it’s Allah’s way of showing how temporary and insignificant this Dunya is. In Jannah, there’s no pain or loss. So we must strive for it.
  5. Take your complaints and sorrows to Allah. Venting to others and sharing your emotions can relieve you for some time, but going to Allah with your problems will actually bring solutions. Make Allah your first resort, and He will open all doors of goodness for you.

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