COPING WITH FEAR AND GRIEF:
An Islamic Approach
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It —
And which One Does Not?)
Inna Auliyaa-Allahi La Khaufun Alaihim
wa La Hum Yahzanoon. Al-Ladheena Aamanoo
wa Kaanoo Yattaqoon (Al-Qur’an, Soorah Yoonus).
Bear in mind, Allah’s friends know
neither fear nor grief! They are the ones
who believed and were fearful – of him (10:62).
Humans Must Act
Human beings must act.
That is part of what is most beautiful about life – the power and the ability to act.
To be able to do things; to be able to move, change and grow; and to be able to impact, control and manage the environment in which one lives.
And humans have been given by their creator that power – the power and the will to act.
And they have been given by him also the means to act – some more so than some others.
Fa-Tabaarakallahu Ahsamul Khaaliqeen
Which in paraphrase means:
Glory be to him, the finest of creators
That means human beings cannot sit around and wait for the hand of fate to fall on them.
Nor can they sit on their hands and expect the angels to bathe and clothe them; to feed them and comb their hair; to do their daily chores for them; to go to school for them; to fill out job applications and seek business opportunities for them; to work hard in school, work and business settings for them; to look for a wife or a husband for them; or otherwise live their life for them.
These are all things that humans must do themselves, even though Allah’s help and Allah’s mercy and blessings are never far from good people.
Inna Rahmatallahi Qareebun Minal Muhsineen
Which in paraphrase means:
Allah’s mercy is close from those who do
good and kind acts (7:56).
In the most desperate of situations, good people are never without help.
A-laa, Inna Nasrallahi Qareeb
Which in paraphrase means:
Bear in mind, Allah’s help is
at hand! (2:214).
Allah has created all kinds of food for them to eat – but the eating part they will have to do themselves.
Allah has created the water for them to drink – but the drinking part they will have to do themselves.
Allah has made the air for them to breathe – but the breathing part they will have to do by themselves.
Allah has made the earth for them to walk on – but the walking part they will have to undertake themselves.
Allah has made night and day for them in which to rest and work – but the resting and working part they will have to do themselves.
Allah has given them bodies and fitted those bodies with brains – but the thinking and acting part they will have to do themselves.
This in essence summarizes the relationship between God and man on earth. It is also a paraphrase of what the Qur’an has to say on some of these topics in a number of places.
Human beings, therefore, must move and work to take charge of their own destinies – and the affairs of this world – to the extent they can.
That is the ultimate human imperative in this world. It is the core of all civilization and culture.
It is also the divine law.
Laisa Lil Insaani Illa Ma Sa’a
Which paraphrased means:
Human beings will have only what they strive for (53:39).
This means human beings must act to make their own lives better; to make the lives of others better; to make their own circumstances better; and to make the entire world better.
No one can sit idly by and expect things to happen all by themselves.
That is the winning formula – to act and to move and to make things happen.
That is also Allah’s mandate to people. It is the direct and clear charge human beings have from God.
It is our common human responsibility on earth.
And it is part of the joy of being alive – to be able to have a role in the shaping of one’s life and its outcomes.
That is why a Hadith clearly points out that a strong, resourceful, capable, can-do type Muslim is better in the eyes of Allah than a passive, apathetic, irresolute, helpless weakling.
People – all people – therefore must relentlessly pursue goals and agendas, plans and programs, desires and ambitions. They must go after the dreams and ideals of their choice with all the resources and power and resoluteness at their disposal.
But they must do so according to the rules and directives of Allah, both in relation to him and in relation to his creation.
That means they must be respectful of their duties to God as well as of the rights of God’s creation.
This way they will not be acting alone, or on their own, or contrary to the way things move in this vast cosmos, no part of which they control.
But rather they would become one with the working of Allah’s universe.
Furthermore, instead of operating against the force and energy of the cosmos and its untold bodies and objects and beings, they would be acting in harmony with them.
They will have even more going for them: they will be acting in full partnership with the cosmos and its untold occupants.
This will significantly increase their chances of being able to triumph over life’s events and outcomes that are perceived as tragedies and adversities.
It will enable and equip them to deal with these earthly problems and afflictions effectively and successfully.
In the following pages, I will provide some more references from the Qur’an on this subject. But first a note on the use of the expression verses to refer to passages from the Qur’an.
It is a practice the Muslim have gotten into – in blind imitation of the translators of the Bible and Christian users of the English tongue – that I strongly disagree with.
At best at I consider this practice wrong; at worst, I am not sure it is not blasphemous.