“Be like melting snow, wash yourself, of yourself”

So often we find ourselves at war with ourselves; much like the tides of the ocean, constantly crashing against itself, beating itself over matters which are out of its control. The great difference between the oceans and humans in this regard is that on the surface, it is what it is, at war with itself; but deep down, right at the heart of the sea, there is serenity and harmony, unmatched by anything else. With humans, it’s the exact opposite. On the surface, most people seem calm and collected, but nobody knows of the reality of the state of their sanity, of the war raging within their own soul – a war which seems so far gone, there’s absolutely no point of return, there’s no half way mark where an agreement can be made, with themselves, for themselves. You see, the oceans, however violent and aggressive it may appear to be with itself, is loved by billions around the globe for its originality, nakedness, vulnerability, and complete honesty. Everybody knows the incomparable serenity that lies under the crashing waves, and they find serenity within themselves when around large bodies of water. Or rather, the seas and oceans eminate serenity from their very core. Humans on the other hand, bottle up their inner conflicts under a facade because of the stigma our societies have created around such topics. If a person is uncomfortable in their own skin, or if they’re mentally or emotionally unstable, they’re labelled with such negative terms and called derogatory names, or are said to be seeking attention. But what we don’t realise is that mental health is a serious epidemic that isn’t addressed enough, in Muslim, as well as non-Muslim societies, but moreso in the Muslim society. We put so much external pressure on these people, like there isn’t enough of an internal war going on already. Sweeping it under the rug and saying they’ll be fine, telling them they’re not grateful enough or that they aren’t that great of a Muslim if they feel depressed. The Prophet’s of Allah went through phases of depression, and they were the best humans to ever walk this Earth.

So if you know someone that isn’t doing too well, be there for them, genuinely. Be a listening ear, a pillar of strength, a dose of happiness, and a beacon of light for when they need it, and and even when they don’t.

For all those that have gone through, or are currently going through depression, don’t bottle it up inside yourselves. Talk to a trustworthy friend, a brother, a sister. Get it out of your system, do things that make you happy, often. Write about it, talk about it, draw about it. Use whatever avenue you need if it helps in the healing process, but whatever you do, keep moving forward, even if you’re crawling your way out of this seemingly inescapable darkness. You see, these mountains you carry on your shoulders, you were only meant to climb.

I end with the following quote which helps me through my toughest days, in hopes it giving strength to someone else;
“Oh Lord! My heart is so small, how can you place such big sorrows in it?” “Look,” He answered; “your eyes are even smaller, yet they behold the world in its entirety.”

“… and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein”

When Allah (SWT) stated in the Quraan that He is closer to us than our jugular vein, He is stating that the role faith plays in our life is just as important as life itself. Our jugular vein, if cut, causes almost instant death due to the amount of blood which is able to escape from it. Our jugular vein, one of the most vital parts of the human body; the one vein we’re unable to live or function without, Allah says that He is closer to us than that very vein which is essential to our survival! The jugular vein is quite a vulnerable vein, so Allah could be telling us to trust in His absolute power, even during the most vulnerable points in our lives. The jugular veins are also great places for IV lines to be placed, so Allah could be saying that everyone will die at some point, and when modern medicine is no longer able to sustain us physically, faith will be able to provide some sort of comfort. And what better comfort is there than knowing that our Creator and our Maker is closer to us than our organs that are inside us? Knowing that whatever adversity that has befallen us, or is to befall us, will only do so with His permission. When sorrow and grief echoes through our hearts, He knows. For every thought that travels through the nerves of our brains, He knows. For He is close, closer than you feel He is, and even closer than you can imagine! Reach out, call Him as you would call upon a friend, and pour your heart out. He knows your pains, He’s just yearning for your call.

“Your Lord did not abandon you, nor did He forget”

More often than not, when adversity barges through the door of our hearts and sadness overtakes our emotions, we start to question why Allah would do this to us. We come up with conclusions like, ‘Allah doesn’t love me’, ‘Allah has abandoned me’, or, ‘Allah has forgotten about me’. Allah (SWT) addresses this issue in the Quraan by stating the fact that He hasn’t abandoned us, nor has He forgotten about us, and the hardships we’re facing. He is assuring us that Oh My Slave, I’m still here, I haven’t gone anywhere, and I haven’t forgotten about you either. For a Lord that loves His slaves more than a mother loves her child, would it be befitting of Him to abandon and forget you when He’s already promised that He hasn’t? For a Lord that runs towards you while you’re walking towards Him, would it be befitting of Him to abandon and forget about you when He’s already promised that He hasn’t? Of course not! During a test, the teacher usually makes their presence known, but doesn’t give the answers to the test. Similarly, in life, we go through trials and tribulations that can sometimes completely crush our faith in Allah, and the greater good. It is during these times especially when we’re supposed to notice the presence of our Lord; for He hasn’t abandoned us, nor has He forgotten. When the tests of the dunya bring us to our knees, we’re in the perfect position to pray to Him, to call upon Him for strength and to stand up one more time. To ask for help in fighting the demons in our heads, and the evils of life which surround us. Most importantly, we should know with full conviction that He hasn’t abandoned us, nor has He forgotten, simply because He said so. And it is not befitting of my Lord to utter anything but the truth. Indeed, He is The Greatest manager of all affairs. ☝