Thankful for God’s Bounties

Grief in Islam

Through suffering, humans can develop qualities that last forever: steadfastness and patience in the face of great adversity, as well as great humility and meekness. Most importantly, suffering causes people to turn towards God for help; it establishes and differentiates the true believers from the false ones. When you feel sad, look around you and see how many blessings you have. Allah says:

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Say, “In the Bounty of Allah and His Mercy so in that let them” It (is) better than what they accumulate.” (Surah Yunus, 10:58)

Any tips to deal with grief in Islam would seem meaningless as nothing can heal our hearts that fast. On a more personal level, many of us have been stricken with grief and depression in our day to day lives. A loved one passes away. Reciting Quran soothes your heart. Get immersed in the beauty of Allah’s words by reciting the Quran every day. Feel that the blessing of Allah SWT is always near. Allah says:

وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Your God is but one God; there is no god other than Him!” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:163)

The loss of loved ones causes us grief. It takes time to let go and go back to everyday life as normal as possible. But we can’t accept the death of someone we love without sadness. As we try to accept the decree that Allah SWT has made, going through grief has always been the most difficult time. But everyone will eventually return to the Creator, Allah SWT. Allah says:

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ

“So remember Me, I will remember you and be grateful to Me and (do) not (be) ungrateful to Me.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:152)

However, life goes on. If we can’t move forward, we will be swallowed by time and left behind. Here are some tips to deal with grief in Islam that can be applied in daily life. The Quran affirms that God is both All-Powerful and Most Loving; so how can these two qualities be reconciled, given the fact that the world is full of evil?

Dealing with Grief in Islam:

  1. Avoid Stressful Things
  2. Socialize with Others
  3. Keep Yourself Bus
  4. Recite Quran Daily
  5. Stay Positive
  6. Stay Healthy
  7. Have Patience
  8. Love Yourself
  9. Let Out the Sadness
  10. A Great Reward Awaits
  11. Thankful for God’s Bounties
  12. Remember Allah SWT All the Time
  13. Suffering Causes People to Remember God

The Islamic perspective is that God causes “bad” things to happen to achieve a greater good. God afflicts His servants with suffering to mould them into the type of people He wants them to be. Allah says:

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

“Is prescribed upon you [the] fighting while it (is) hateful to you. But perhaps [that] you dislike a thing and it (is) good for you; and perhaps [that] you love a thing and it (is) bad for you. And Allah knows while you (do) not know.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:216)

Human beings tend to forget God when they are prosperous and only remember Him when afflicted with suffering. The Quran gives the example of a ship: when the ship is smooth sailing, then the occupants do not remember God, but when the wind threatens to capsize the ship, suddenly the occupants of the ship begin praying sincerely to God. Allah says:

رَّبُّكُمُ الَّذِي يُزْجِي لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ فِي الْبَحْرِ لِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا

“Your Lord (is) the One Who drives for you the ship in the sea, that you may seek of His bounty. Indeed, He is to you Ever Merciful.” (Surah Al-Isra 17:66)

Don’t isolate yourself, don’t refuse to go out of the house and make yourself feel lonely. A lonely person is an easy prey for Shaytan. Go out and socialize, since meeting other people will drive your focus and attention to something else so that you won’t remember your sadness anymore. Allah says:

فَلَعَلَّكَ بَاخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِمْ إِن لَّمْ يُؤْمِنُوا بِهَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَسَفًا

“Then perhaps you would (be) the one who kills yourself over their footsteps, if not they believe in this [the] narration, (in) grief.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:6)

The best remedy for sadness is none other than happiness. When you’re down and sad, do things that make you happy, focus only on your happiness. Avoid doing things that trigger you to feel sad again. It includes staying away from bad people. Allah says:

وَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا أَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

“And he turned away from them and said, “Alas, my grief over Yusuf!” And became white his eyes from the grief, and he (was) a suppressor.” (Surah Yusuf 12:84)

Remember that there will people who dislike you and mock your sadness. This negativity will only make you even sadder than before. It’s okay to feel sad. You may cry if you want, but don’t get carried away.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Quran 94:5)
  • “The Great Terror will bring them no grief: but the angels will meet them (with mutual greetings): “This is your Day,- (the Day) that ye were promised.” (Surah Al-Anbiya, 103)
  • “We know indeed the grief which their words do cause thee: It is not thee they reject: it is the signs of Allah, which the wicked contemn.” (Surah Al-Anam, 33)
  • “When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!” (Surah An-Nahl, 58)
  • “Thou wouldst only, perchance, fret thyself to death, following after them, in Grief, if they believe not in this Message.” (Surah Al-Kahf, 6)
  • “It may be thou frettest thy soul with grief, that they do not become Believers.” (Surah Ash-Shura, 3)

You will be healed over time. It takes time. Sooner or later you will recover and go back to normal. All you have to do is be patient. All of this trial and loss comes from Allah SWT, and He will heal you in many ways you think impossible. Don’t ever neglect one and prioritize another. Keep those three balanced to restore your condition. With a healthy body, you will get over your sadness. Allah SWT is with those who are patient. Allah says:

وَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا أَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

“And he turned away from them and said, “Alas, my grief over Yusuf!” And became white his eyes from the grief, and he (was) a suppressor.” (Surah Yusuf 12:84)

When you are grieving, you feel sad, devastated, and shocked at the same time. Only you know how deep your scar is so you don’t have to listen to what others say. The most important thing is to heal yourself. Start taking care of yourself by looking for a good friend, doing new activities, and doing anything that makes you heal faster. Stay healthy in every way: mentally, physically, and spiritually. Allah says:

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ مَثَلًا ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

“And when is given good news, (to) one of them, of what he sets up for the Most Gracious (as) a likeness, becomes his face dark and he (is) filled with grief.” (Surah Az-Zukhruf, 43:17)

Deal with grief in Islam to avoid stressful things. You have to know what makes you sad and what makes you happy. Keep close with the first and stay away from the latter. Don’t forget to seek help from Allah SWT as He is the best of Helper and He knows best. Allah says:

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ

“Every soul shall taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as a trial. And to Us, you will be returned.” (Surah Al-Anbiya` 21:35)

Remember that grief is a trial from Allah SWT and great rewards awaits. Keep Allah in remembrance you can always be at ease. When we are sad, all the tips to deal with grief in Islam would seem useless. It’s okay to be sad, but we must keep in mind that Allah SWT gives difficulties to the servants that He loves the most. Take it that Allah SWT misses us and want us to turn back to Him. Allah says:

لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللَّهُ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْرًا

“Every soul (will) taste [the] death. And We test you with [the] bad and [the] good (as) a trial, and to Us, you will be returned.” (Surah At-Talaq 65:7)

Finally, after having pondered over his gains and losses, the man turns to God. So bad things happened to this man so that a greater good could occur. When he was prosperous, he was heading towards Hell, but when God afflicted him with distress, the man changed his course; the temporary suffering of jail is indeed a small price to pay for the Eternal Bliss in Paradise. In conclusion, we see that God causes bad things to happen to good people so that a greater good comes to them in the long run.