Remember you are not alone

Faith and Spirituality in Crises

Faith and spirituality can be helpful to manage stressful life events and improve your mental health. We all go through bad times, we all experience disappointment, loss, and change, and we all feel sad, anxious, and stressed at various times in our lives. But building resilience can help you to maintain a positive outlook, face an uncertain future with less fear, and get through even the darkest days. Drawing on past experiences can help you cope with the challenges you’re facing today. Allah says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْكَبِيرُ

“Verily, those who had faith and had done righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is a great achievement.” (Surah Al-Buruj 85:11)

Faith and spirituality can help you find any positives in the difficulties you’ve faced. Surviving hardships can teach you important things about yourself and the world around you, strengthen your resolve, deepen your empathy, and in time enable you to evolve and grow as a human being. In fact, the beliefs that all of us have shape and mould our lives regardless of what religion or way of life we ascribe ourselves to. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

“They only are the (true) believers whose hearts feel fear when Allah is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited unto them they increase their faith, and who trust in their Lord.” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:2)

Faith and spirituality aren’t fixed; it’s an ongoing process that requires effort to build and maintain over time. If you’re more sensitive to emotional distress and are finding it difficult to cope with hardship or adversity, it’s important not to think of it as some kind of character flaw. You can develop and improve these qualities of Faith and spirituality at any time, regardless of your age, background, or circumstances.

Here are some practical steps that will help you through the crises with your faith intact:

  1. Spirituality gives you a sense of your own worth and value
  2. Every moment is an opportunity to connect to your spirit
  3. Spirituality and Faith play an important role in your life
  4. Feel and honour to know that it is not the final word
  5. Faith trends to a believer to trust and hope in God
  6. Find strength and solace and power in traditions
  7. Faith is commitment means striving for peace
  8. Faith repent frequently for your mistakes
  9. Ground yourself in the present moment
  10. Remember you are not alone
  11. Practices, holy times and pray
  12. Faith having complete trust in Allah
  13. Stay healthy through sleep, diet, exercise
  14. Stay healthy through sleep, diet and exercise
  15. Find strength, solace and power in traditions
  16. Faith trends to a believer to trust and hope in God
  17. Try to avoid anyone who magnifies your problems
  18. Faith encourages a balance of hope in God’s mercy
  19. Spirituality and Faith may give you hope and support
  20. Faith itself is inherent with inner peace and tranquillity

Faith and action always go together. Being proactive, hopeful, and perseverant are real ways to express our faith in action. Stating we believe in God and in Islam while acting in self-defeating negative ways is a form of falsehood. While we all react to stressful events in different ways, many of us try to protect ourselves by refusing to accept the truth of what’s happening. Some positive functions can give you an opportunity to come to terms with the shock of a traumatic event.

There are a few ways that spirituality and religion may help your mental health:

  • If you are part of a spiritual or religious community you may have more support and friendship
  • You may find it helpful to feel connected to something bigger than yourself
  • It may help you to make sense of your experiences
  • You may feel strength or hope from your spirituality or religion. This may be more important to you when you are unwell
  • We tend to have a higher tolerance for the emotional distress generated by hard times
  • You may feel more at peace with yourself and other people around you
  • Although some religious and spiritual beliefs may be empowering, some beliefs may be unhelpful

Spirituality is your belief or sense of purpose and meaning. It is what gives you a sense of value or worth in your life. Spirituality influences many decisions that people make. It encourages people to have better relationships with themselves, others, and the unknown. Spirituality can help you deal with stress by giving you a sense of peace, purpose, and forgiveness. It often becomes more important in times of emotional stress or illness.

There are several ways that spirituality can support your mental health:

  • Many people with a mental illness get a sense of hope from a religious or spiritual person
  • You may experience better confidence, self-esteem, and self-control
  • You may feel a higher sense of purpose, peace, hope, and meaning
  • Dedicate quiet time to yourself and practice yoga
  • Dedicate part of your day doing community service
  • It can help you make sense of your experiences in life
  • Those in a spiritual community may have more support
  • You may work at better relationships with yourself and others
  • Find out what makes you feel peaceful, loved, strong, and connected
  • When unwell, it can help you feel inner strength and result in faster recovery

Accepting your situation, on the other hand, can free you up to devote your energy to the things that you do have control over. Change is an inevitable part of life and many aspects of the changing world are outside your individual control. Make a list of all the things you can’t control and give yourself permission to stop worrying about them. Instead, focus on the action that you can take. If you’re unemployed, you can’t control the ideal job.

Building Faith and spirituality can also help you to:

  • Stay focused, flexible, and productive, in both good and bad times and bolster your self-esteem
  • Manage and tolerate strong emotions outside your comfort zone, even those you’d rather avoid like anger or despair
  • Strengthen your relationships and improve your communication skills, especially under pressure
  • Be confident you’ll eventually find a solution to a problem, even when one isn’t immediately apparent
  • Feel less afraid of new experiences or an uncertain future

Faith in Allah enables humans to be thankful for the blessings they enjoy and to be patient in times of difficulty, for they believe that nothing can happen without His will. It’s tempting to believe that the best way to get through hard times is by ignoring painful emotions and “putting on a brave face”. By allowing yourself to feel your emotions, you’ll find that even the most intense, upsetting feelings will pass, the trauma of these tough times will start to fade, and you’ll be able to find a path forward.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret.” (Quran 7:55)
  • “Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue.” ( Quran 29:46)
  • “Indeed, this Quran guides to that which is most suitable.” (Quran 17, 9)
  • “…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” ( Quran 13:28)
  • “Seek forgiveness of your Lord and then turn to Him in repentance.” (Hud : 3)
  • “The Messenger only must convey (the message) in a clear way. ” (Quran 29: 18)

As Muslims, we believe God is the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate, as well as the Most Powerful. Pessimism and hopelessness are a denial of these truths and, therefore, of our faith. If we have tried to do something and failed repeatedly, our efforts are not wasted. We have learned and gained countless insights through them. We should not feel disappointed or pessimistic and we must never give up. God’s promises are true and will happen if we stay strong in our faith, regardless of the external circumstances. Allah says:

وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّه فَأُولَئِكَ هُمْ الْكَافِرُونَ

“Whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then those are the unbelievers.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:44)

Faith in Allah means that when we hear a command, we obey it. We recognize that we are limited and that Allah has no limits. He knows what we do not know. We accept and obey. This is faith and trust. A true Muslim man is characterized by a balance of all of the virtues taught by Islam. Hence it becomes very important for a Muslim to take steps not only to preserve his faith but also to increase it. May Allah (SWT) help us to practice in our daily lives to strengthen and increase our Iman, Ameen.