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COPING WITH FEAR AND GRIEF: An Islamic Approach [Part One]

DR.PASHA | December 19, 2010 | Section: Articles | 1689 reads

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Worse than Animals

That is why those who cannot see this simple truth about the nature of life on earth are worse than animals. They are deaf, dumb and blind.

That is what the Qur’an calls them.

U-Laaa-i-ka Kal-An-‘Aami, Bal Hum

Adallu, U-Laaa-i-ka Humul Ghaafiloon

(Soorah Al-A’raaf).

Which in paraphrase means:

They are the ones that are like animals.

But they are indeed worse. They are in

a stupor (7:179).

And they are doomed to fear and grief – or to animal-like indifference and denial.

For, they have eyes but see not; they have ears but hear not; and they have hearts and minds but they fail to use them to recognize and embrace the truth about themselves and about the nature of their life on earth.

Therefore, the simple fact about life is that we own nothing; Allah owns everything.

We control nothing; Allah controls everything.

We create nothing; Allah creates everything.

So long as he is pleased with us, everything will be fine with us.

That is so even when things may not appear to be going well with us from worldly standards.


A Misnomer Called Religion

All this is not what people call theology.

Or even philosophy or speculation.

Nor is it what some simple, brainwashed, bemused, unthinking people call “religion.”

It is common sense.

It is plain and simple truth.

It is simple logic – based on elementary daily observation.

Therefore, this is also, in many ways, straight scientific reasoning.

In a word, it is reality.

It is what the Qur’an calls Haq – truth.

By calling it “religion,” and by turning it into a “theological” argument, human beings change the terms of debate.

They cheat.

And by doing so, they actually confuse and defraud themselves.

They, thus, give themselves the latitude to turn their backs on what is self-evident, urgent, undeniable, inescapable and imposing.

They, thus, offer themselves a false choice: to either accept or reject its fundamental thesis.

As if it was in their power to do so. As if it was a choice they could make.

Whereas what this is in reality is an incontrovertible fact of life.


Part of the Package

So, loss, grief, fear and pain are things that happen to humans because they are humans – often perpetrated by themselves.

From this point of view, not always and not necessarily because they are good or bad humans, but simply because they are humans, because they are all children of Adam.

Ultimately, however, these things are all, as we said earlier, from Allah. For, there is nothing in this world that is not from him.

But at times, as Allah says, they are directly due to what we may have done.

And in all cases, they are part of the package that we are handed by God Almighty.

The package we call a human being – body, mind and soul.

Most packages are quite wholesome, even pretty, to look at – some more so than some others. So much so some of us would fight and even kill each other over them.

Most packages are functional – they do what they are supposed to do, at least most of the time.

And some are more functional than some others.

Our sorrows, pains, hurts, griefs, losses and fears are part of the hand we are dealt.

In many cases, this is what we start out with on this journey we call life.


Key Is in the Coping

What is required of us as humans, therefore, is to learn how best to cope and deal with what we have been given by God Almighty.

And make the most of the lives we are given – with all the attachments of pains, sorrows, losses, fears and griefs that come with them.

And what we can do in this world to alleviate pain and suffering and increase happiness and wellbeing, both for ourselves and others.

And how to work ceaselessly to conquer our fears and nip in the bud the potential problems that may lead to the creation of fear in our minds.

That they should deal with them, humans have no choice. How they deal with them that is where their choice really lies. And that is where people may differ from one another.

People differ in the way they deal with difficulties in their lives.

Some deal with adversity creatively, purposefully, positively, using a proper perspective. Some others get angry and upset and curse themselves and everyone else – including at times God Almighty himself.

Thus, they trade the temporary miseries of this world for the eternal misery and damnation of the next world.

But no matter what they do, humans cannot return the package of their life to the maker and ask for a new one – even though there is a way to request a thorough overhaul, a total remake, of one’s life.

What people need to focus on in this world, however, is how to make the most of what they have been given. They need to focus on how to use it as a capital to build a better life for themselves and for others.

That is logic; that is science; that is rationality; that is reality; and that is the best and the most anyone in any situation in life can ever hope to do.

How they use their choice will show the kind of humans they are and the kind of life they will have.

It will also show the kind of world they will build – for themselves; for their children; for others.




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