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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Things a Muslim can do to counteract stress

1. Increase dhikr (remembrance of Allah): "Those who believe, and
whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for
without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction
(Qur'an, 13:28)."

2. Increase prayers:
"O you who believe! Seek assistance through patience and prayer;
surely, Allah is with the patient (Qur'an, 2:153)." Regardless of the
type of meditation, recent studies have verified the physiological
effects of meditation. Most of those mediations consist in focusing on
something, repeating some words and breathing (Greenberg, p.142, 143).

3. Perform ablutions:
The most important component of relaxation is what Hans Loehr calls
"the rituals of success." These rituals may be as simple as making
ablution; yet, they must be performed properly for it is not enough to
pass water on the body parts - those parts must be massed.

4. Ask for forgiveness:
Even if a person has not done anything wrong, he must insure the
forgiveness of Allah. "Then I said, 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord;
surely, He is the most Forgiving'" (Qur'an, 71:10).

5. Recite the Qur'an:
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "... Qur'an is a
remedy for illnesses of the mind" (Bukhari). "The echo of sound has a
medical effect and is now widely utilized," says Dr. Greenberg. "The
recitation of or listening to the Qur'an has an effect on the body,
the heart and the mind! It is said that the letter Alif echoes to the
heart and the letter Ya' to the pineal gland in the brain." Dr Ahmed
El Kadi of Akber Clinic (Panama City, FL) conducted and published the
effects of listening to Qur'anic recitation on physiological
parameters (i.e., the heart, blood pressure, and muscle tension), and
reported improvement in all factors, irrespective of whether the
listener was a Muslim or a non-Muslim, Arab or non-Arab. Obviously, it
can be postulated that those who understand and enjoy the recitation
with a belief in it will get maximum benefits," writes Dr Athar.

6. Make the hereafter one's main concern:
"Whoever has the hereafter as his main concern, Allah will fill his
heart with a feeling of richness and independence; he will be focused
and feel content, and this world will come to him in spite of it.
Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allah will cause him to
feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted and unfocused,
and he will have nothing of this world except what was already
predestined for him," said the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam).
One of the greatest causes of stress is money - how to pay the loans,
whether one's job will be lost, what will happen to the family if the
father dies, etc.

7. Think positively:
Muslims should forget about the bad things of the past and think of
good things, always having hope that he can be better. Trying to
change the past is a foolish and crazy waste of time, "for saying 'if
only...'opens the way to Shaytan" said the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi
wassallam). The Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) also said, "
Know that victory (achievement) comes through patience, and that ease
comes through hardship." Muslims understand that there's no reason for
panic in the case of crisis - no reason to be distressed or worried
for we know that after hardship come ease!

8. Do not waste time on thoughts of fear or stress:
"The search of time is one of the most frequent causes of stress"
(Seyle, p.102). Laziness is the mother of all evils, and the Prophet
(Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used to seek refuge in Allah from it.
Understanding that this life is short and time precious, Muslims
should try to work hard and pursue worthy knowledge (Munajjid).


References


1.Athar, Shahid, MD. "Modern Stress and Its Cure From
Qur'an." www.islam-usa.com.

2.Greenberg, Jerrold S. CSM = Comprehensive Stress Management. WCB:
McGraw-Hill. 1999.

3.Munajjid, Sheik Muhammad. Book of Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid:
Dealing with Stress and Worries.

4.Sahih Bukhari.

5.Seyle, Hans. The Stress Without Distress. N.Y.: Lippincott. 1974.

6.Shakir Translation. Holy Qur'an

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