Apr 16, 2014

Seven ways of getting over grief - Part 1

By Arty



Advertisements of people having fun, seemingly leading the perfect life, is portrayed everywhere as if this was the norm, the default. Thus, when a trial hits us, we believe we are the only ones dealing with grief, we feel as if we are the only ones suffering and the oh so popular whisper of shaytan, “Why me, why is this happening to me?” keeps coming to our mind with the sole purpose of turning us into ungrateful beings. 

Grief is by default what we, humans, will inevitably encounter in this life, thus we need to prepare ourselves to react in a manner that is most pleasing to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) so that we can turn this moment of grief into a moment of victory and reward for us. In one of his lectures, Mufti Menk said something powerful. He reminded his audience that the most beloved to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), our prophet Muhammad (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam), buried all of his children except for one, Fatimah (radhi Allahu anha). Why? Why did our beloved prophet (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam), the most beloved to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), have to go through so much grief?’ 

The grief and trials were obviously not to punish the prophets, but rather to elevate them even higher in status so they could be perfect examples for us to follow when we are faced with grief. With that in mind, here are seven ways from their perfect examples, to help us get over grief.


The first thing we should do when calamity strikes is to remember why we are here and where we are going. Instead of being sucked in the moment of grief, which could blind us from the greater objective, we should immediately remind ourselves:

“Innalillahi wa inna elahi rajioon.”

… Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return” (2:156).

By repeating this statement in times of grief, Allah (subhannahu wa taala) promises us three things: His blessings, Mercy and Guidance. As a result, we turn our moment of grief into a moment of victory and a moment of great reward.

Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. 
And it is those who are the [rightly] guided” (2:157).

Umm Salama (radiallahu anha), Mother of the Believers, is reported to have said that the messenger of Allah (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) advised her to repeat the statement “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return” when she lost her husband, Abu Salama, and to add the following supplication:

"Allahumma jurni fee museebatee wa ‘akhliflee khayran minhaa." (1)

"Oh Allah take me out of my plight and bring to me after it something better".

Shortly after she repeated the statement and dua, she received the proposal of none other than the Messenger of Allah (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam). Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) replaced her husband with the best husband anyone could wish for.

An important lesson we learn from the above narration is that it is important to increase in dua and supplication at times of grief. Times of sorrow are times when we are more vulnerable and it is easy for us to say something that might be displeasing to our Creator. In order to protect us from that weakness, let our words be words of praise and supplications instead. Let us say good or remain silent, especially at times of intense grief. Not only does engaging in ‘dhikr’ (words of praise and remembrance of Allah) protect us from saying something sinful, but it also acts as an anti-anxiety pill, as medication for our soul.

Indeed, Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) promises the one who engages in dhikr inner peace:

…Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (13:28)

Making dua in times of grief and calamity also saves us from the calamity we find ourselves in, as per the example of Prophet Yunus (alayhi salaam), who, when trapped in the belly of the fish in the darkness of the ocean, called out to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) saying:

There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” (21:87)

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) heard his supplication and saved him from his trials:

And had he not been of those who exalt Allah, He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.” (37:143-144)

This is indeed a great example for us to follow.


Home should be a place for the remembrance of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

... and make your houses [facing the] qiblah and establish prayer..” (10:87).

At times of grief, one is more vulnerable to the whispers of the shayateen, thus, by making your home a place of remembrance of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), it is protected and you are protected. Make Qur’an part of your healing process by increasing your reading of it in the home.

And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers...” (17:82).

I hope you enjoyed reading this part.  Insha Allah, more tips to follow in Part 2.


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