Have you ever felt like you’ve had too much from life, and you just want to give up?
A problem over here, a problem over there, children need money for college, wife needs money for a fancy dress, brother needs to borrow a few thousand to pay off his debt, work isn’t paying you as much as you need, he needs this, she wants that, this and that needs and wants, pressure, pressure, pressure!
You are not alone. You are not the first one to ever feel this pressure! The righteous people before you have been there too, and they used a medicine called ‘Tawakkul’.
Too much pressure isn’t good! It effects you physically, it effects you mentally, and it turns you into a person you don’t want to be. Too much pressure can make you a negative person, it can make you less creative, and can affect your relations with people.
Too much pressure can make your life miserable if it’s not dealt with well. On the other hand, if it is dealt with in the right way it can only make your life wonderful! There are secrets and ways of dealing with pressure that can make you smart, that can make you strong; that can make you wise. The secret to it all, is ‘Tawakkul’.
But before we get into that, we need to know what exactly causes this pressure, I mean yes it is a test from Allah, but still there are reasons for tests.
Be aware that when you are under pressure, and have too much stress there is no one else to blame but yourself, acknowledgement of this is half the solution. Most of these pressures have built up, due to our lack of problem solving from the beginning of the issue.
Picture this, each problem you do not solve from the beginning is like a brick on your shoulder, the more problems you have, the more the bricks add up, until they become too heavy to carry and eventually they drop you on the ground.
What makes it worse, is when all this pressure gathers, and you see everyone’s fingers pointing at you, like it is your fault. You can blame yourself, until somebody blames you; as soon as someone blames you, it now becomes that person’s fault.
I’ll share an example of what I mean. I work in an environment full of smokers; in my office two smokers work with me, so I asked the gentlemen, “do you mind if you take your cigarette outside the office.” One lit his cigarette as soon as I said that, and he said I am going to burn my soul before I die.
What? Are you crazy? I reported it to our Manager. “They smoke, I don’t, we share one office, please give me a solution.” So he requested them to stop smoking in the office, and a few days later, the boss walks in the office looking for one of the smokers, “Where is fulan?” “He’s outside smoking.” This is your fault!!
He blamed it on me, one finger pointing at me, and what he didnt’t realise was three was pointing right back at him.
See, the pious believer who solves his problems immediately, he doesn’t fear facing difficulties and challenges. He is confident that Allah will make these difficulties easy on him, because he used a weapon called Tawakkul, he relied on Allah, after he has made the effort to get the results of what he wants to achieve.
وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ
“…And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.” (Qur’an, 65:3)
Like Urwah Ibn Zubair, the grandchild of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, one day his leg became infected. The doctors informed him that it had to be amputated otherwise he would die. Urwah agreed, the doctors then offered him alcohol as an anesthetic to drink before his amputation in order to reduce the effect of pain. Urwah refused, ‘no alcohol for me, I will not drink what Allah made haram just to cut off my leg’, instead he asked the doctors to operate whilst he prayed his Salah. He began to perform Salah and during sujood, the doctor began the amputation with a saw.
Urwah passed out. During his unconsciousness one of his sons was kicked by a horse and died. When Urwah woke up, his friend said, “attham Allaah ajrak for your leg.” Urwah replied, “Allah gave me four limbs and took away one, but he left with me three, so Alhamdulilah…” Then his friend said: “Attham Allaah ajrak, your son also died.” Urwah again replied, “Allah gave me four sons, and took away one, but he left with me three; Alhamdulilah.” You see how Urwah dealt with his pressure, he was satisfied and pleased, Allah gave me all of this, and he only took from me that? It’s ok!
My brothers and sisters when dealing with pressure you don’t always need a doctor for help, who you need, is Allah! As soon as you remember him, you have him on your side.
Many of the doctors nowadays, are not real doctors. You make an appointment to visit them, they ask, “what do you feel?” The patient says, “O doctor I have had a bad headache for a few days now.” The doctor writes out a prescription; here, Solpadine, nuntatine, voltaren. Here take all this medicine and kill yourself.
What happened to the doctors who fear Allah, did your doctor ever tell you to read the Quran when you get sick? Did you ever go to your doctor and say doctor I have a headache, and he said here,
و ننزل من القران ما هو شفاء و رحمة للمؤمنين
“And we are sending down of this Quraan, that which is a cure and a mercy for the believers” (17:82)
Or you said, “Doctor my child is sick please help,” and he told you:
داووا مرضاكم بالصدقة ؟
“Relieve your sickness with charity.”
Did you ever go to the doctor complaining of stress and he said,
ألا بذكر الله تطمئن القلوب
“Verily in the Remembrance of Allah do hearts find ease (comfort and tranquillity).” (13:28)
No, you didn’t, because the majority of doctors nowadays love the dunya, they don’t love the Akhira. Have you heard what happened in Arfan hospital? They killed an 8 year old boy, no wait “accidentally” killed. And it happens in many other hospitals around the world.
It is much cheaper to just turn to Allah, the creator of doctors with your hands up, head down, heart humbled. Because that way the stress reduces, the problems get solved, and the pressure goes down.
But most of us just don’t do that, we give up on life and think that we tried everything possible, and that is really nothing but ignorance.
With the weapon Tawakkul, you can have everything you want!
There are 3 steps of Tawakkul, I want you to think of something you really want, whether it be health, wealth, power, to stop smoking, or you want your child to get closer to Allah. Did you think of something? Step 2, submit this matter completely to Allah alone, no intermediaries no one between you and him. Step 3, do whatever needs to be done for you to get what you want.
No doubt we put all our trust in Allah, and rely completely on him, but only after we have taken the necessary steps that need to be taken to get whatever it is we want. ‘Tie your camel first and then have tawakkul’ as the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed a man. (Tirmidhi) Similarly lock your car, don’t leave it unlocked with the windows opened, and expect it to be there when you return.
Like Maryam the mother of Isa, she was in pain at the time of Isa’s birth, she needed something to eat to ease the pain, so Allah commanded her to shake the palm tree next to her so the dates can fall for her.
وَهُزِّي إِلَيْك بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَة
“And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree.” (19:25)
Allah could have given her the dates with the blow of wind, but he wanted her to work for them,You take the measures that need to be taken, you call upon Allah, and Allah solves your problem.
Take this example, to put a clearer picture in your mind. If a King promised to give you a house, but he wants you to give him your ID so he can put the house in your name. Is your heart going to rely on the king in giving you the house or the ID? Of course, the king, not the ID, because many people have ID, but the king didn’t give them a house!
And so, if we put our trust in Allah, then we have to take the steps that will get us what we want, don’t rely on medicine, don’t rely on a doctor, yes see one if you need to, but ultimately rely on Allah.
One day the Messenger of Allah walked in the masjid and he saw a man called Abu Umamah, sitting down with a sad face and his head resting on his shoulders. The Messenger asked him:
يا أبا أمامة مالي أراك جالسًا في المسجد في غير صلاة ؟
“Why do I see you in the masjid and it is not even prayer time?”
قال: هموم لزمتني وديون يا رسول الله.
He replied: “I have too much stress & too many debts (he was under pressure).”
قال: أفلا أعلمك كلامًا إذا قلته أذهب الله همّك وقضى عنك دينك؟
The Messenger said: “would you like me to teach you some words to say that will make Allah take away your stress and pay off your debt?”
قال: بلى يا رسول الله
He replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah”
The Messenger said: when you wake up & when you sleep say:
اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الهمّ والحزن والعجز والكسل، وأعوذ بك من الجبن والبخل، وأعوذ بك من غلبة الدين وقهر الرجال
“O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.”
I want you from now on, every time you are under pressure, tell your problems, ‘I have Tawakkul, and my Tawakkul will BANG! Knock you out.’ Don’t give up on your weaknesses, rely on Allah to become stronger when times get hard.
Overall, being under pressure is bitter and is something disliked, but you can never taste the sweet without tasting the bitter first.