Coping mechanisms for stress

coping mechanisms for stress

Surat Ghafir is also sometimes called Surat al-Mumin. Among the verses, Allah gives us three coping mechanisms for how to deal with stress and difficulties.

So be patient, for Allah’s promise is certainly true. Seek forgiveness for your shortcomings. And glorify the praises of your Lord morning and evening.’ [40:55]

1) Be patient

Don’t lose hope. Whatever the challenges are, the moment you lose control, you lose the battle. Don’t lose control.

Sabr (patience) is not just a passive action.

Some people think sabr means doing nothing, but that’s not the case. We need active sabr – which means you have to control your emotions and your anger, but at the same time, you do what needs to be done. This is true sabr.

2) Do istighfar

Istighfar is the polish that shines up your heart. It gives you clarity, so you stop being clouded by anger and emotions, and controlled by them.

3) Do tasbih in the morning and evening

This will uplift, energise, and revitalise you.

Whatever situation you are in or challenges you face – you need these three things.

Otherwise, you may be all over the place, feeling sadness or depression or stress. No. Allah Almighty is teaching us how to do our cope with our reality properly.

4) Do not allow your circumstances to sink your ship

The water outside your ship helps you to navigate your way, but the water inside your ship makes it sink.

The same water which helps, can also be the biggest problem. Therefore Allah is teaching us how to get rid of it. This is a divine recipe from Allah, which we should follow.

Another beautiful verse from this surah is ‘Allah made the Earth for you to live on, and the sky a canopy. He shaped you in the best forms, and He has provided you with what is good and lawful. That is Allah—your Lord. So Blessed is Allah, Lord of all worlds.’ [40:64]

Allah has given you everything you have, right down to shaping you and making you beautiful. So you need to be grateful to Allah Almighty. Stop complaining.

The beauty around you is more than the ugliness. The favours around you are more than the challenges. Stop looking at the half-empty glass.

In this ayah, Allah doesn’t use the word ilahukum, God. He says, ‘rabbukum’ – your Lord. Rabb means the one who nurtures you, looks after you, loves you. He’s there for you when you need him.

So many ayahs in this surah say, ‘Call on Me.

Allah is listening to you, but you have to press the help button. Press it. Call upon him. He’s always there for you; He will never let you down.

Don’t do salah on autopilot

There are conditions when you pray or make dua. You need to do it with sincerity (ikhlaas).

There is a hadith which says,

Know that Allah will not answer a supplication from a negligent and heedless heart.’ [Tirmidhi]

If you are supplicating on autopilot, Allah will not respond to this. You need to have sincerity and focus.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“When anyone of you is engaged in Salat (prayer), he is holding intimate conversation with his Rabb”. [Agreed upon]

Always bear this in mind during our salah and our supplications. Don’t do it on autopilot. When you read, think about what you are reading.

Your salah can’t be silent

The last thing. During your recitation in your salah, you need to move your lips and tongue. Many people recite silently – I’m sorry to tell you the bad news: this is not accepted. When you recite without moving your mouth, your salah is invalid.

Many people will say, ‘I’ve been doing this for 20 years. What shall I do if I didn’t learn this?’ You need to learn. Just as you will not be accepted for any job in dunya without qualifications, you can’t do salah without qualifications, so you need to learn what makes salah valid and invalid. The salah of anyone who’s praying without moving their lips is nullified. It’s not accepted. Be careful about this.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Ramadan Night 8

Transcribed by Hana Khan

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.