Friday, February 23, 2007

8 Things a Muslim can do to counteract Stress

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

2. Increase prayers: "O you who believe! Seek assistance through patienceand 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 onsomething, 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 asmaking ablution; yet, they must be performed properly for it is not enoughto pass water on the body parts - those parts must be massed.

4. Ask for forgiveness: Even if a person has not done anything wrong, hemust insure the forgiveness of Allah. "Then I said, 'Ask forgiveness of yourLord; 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 soundhas a medical effect and is now widely utilized," says Dr. Greenberg. "Therecitation of or listening to the Qur'an has an effect on the body, theheart and the mind! It is said that the letter Alif echoes to the heart andthe letter Ya' to the pineal gland in the brain." Dr Ahmed El Kadi of AkberClinic (Panama City, FL) conducted and published the effects of listening to Qur'anic recitation on physiological parameters (i.e., the heart, bloodpressure, and muscle tension), and reported improvement in all factors,irrespective of whether the listener was a Muslim or a non-Muslim, Arab ornon-Arab. Obviously, it can be postulated that those who understand andenjoy the recitation with a belief in it will get maximum benefits," writesDr Athar.

6. Make the hereafter one's main concern: "Whoever has the hereafter as hismain concern, Allah will fill his heart with a feeling of richness andindependence; he will be focused and feel content, and this world will cometo him in spite of it. Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allahwill cause him to feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted andunfocused, and he will have nothing of this world except what was alreadypredestined for him," said the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam). Oneof the greatest causes of stress is money - how to pay the loans, whetherone'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 pastand think of good things, always having hope that he can be better. Tryingto change the past is a foolish and crazy waste of time, "for saying 'ifonly...'opens the way to Shaytan" said the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhiwassallam). The Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) also said, " Knowthat victory (achievement) comes through patience, and that ease comesthrough hardship." Muslims understand that there's no reason for panic inthe case of crisis - no reason to be distressed or worried for we know thatafter hardship come ease!

8. Do not waste time on thoughts of fear or stress: "The search of time isone of the most frequent causes of stress" (Seyle, p.102). Laziness is themother of all evils, and the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used toseek refuge in Allah from it. Understanding that this life is short and timeprecious, 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 Source: Islamonline.net

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