Despite having plenty of food, drink, money, cars, health, material delights and a thousand and one comforts we are increasingly feeling poorer, but why? We’re ever-anxious, a slight hardship drives us nuts, we moan and groan about it forever. This is paraphrasing Surah Al-Maarij verses 19-22 where Allah says, we live in constant fear of lack and deficiency. On the other hand, Allah is ‘the independent’; all power, glory and control are in His hands, the Al-Samad, “The Eternal”. The Master of all and the final refuge. Everything depends upon Him, but He is independent of all and He is the final cause of all causes.
Could our relationship with such a Powerful being save us?
When the Prophet Ibrahim was about to be catapulted into Nimrod’s blazing fire an angel came to him and said: “can I be of any service oh friend of the Most Kind?” Ibrahim replied, “Allah is enough for me, a wonderful Guardian, a wonderful Master and a wonderful Helper.” The next thing we see is Ibrahim sitting in a garden of roses. So, when you have your problems, put your trust in Allah. Our fear of lack of this and that, not having enough, leads to anxiety. We fear we won’t have enough money, so we become greedy; keeping everything to ourselves. So, we do everything in our control to keep our wealth, build houses like castles, we hoard more than we’ll ever need. That’s where our love of wealth begins. What makes you a workaholic? The fear that you won’t have enough, so you work overtime, become tired and stressed and don’t get to see your wife or children.
A good plan of action would be to learn the promises the Quran makes, understand the conditions and live by them. Then put your trust in the Mighty Lord. I am not advocating that you sit idly waiting for an angel to come and do your work. Once the Messenger ﷺ saw a bedouin leave his camel untied and walk away. He ﷺ summoned him and asked why he didn’t tie his camel? The man said, ‘I trust Allah,’ whereupon the Messenger ﷺ replied, ‘first tie its legs and then put your trust in Allah.’ The lesson here is that you must do the normal things yourself and then trust Allah for what is beyond your capability.
Control your thoughts by trusting Allah
Fear leads you to overthink, you become suspicious of your friends, doubt the integrity of your husband/wife and even plot against others. Fear drives your thoughts. Sometimes you may be bold enough to express them but most often you prefer to keep them secret since they are so wretched. They lie dormant in the deep recesses of your brain, fermenting, growing and secreting dangerous hormones. Yes, cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones that get you ready for a fight, so blood pressure and heart rate increase). “He whispers in the mind”, so you can either seize them and change them by putting trust in Allah, by saying “I seek the protection of Allah from Satan the doomed”. If you don’t capture your rotten thoughts, they will control you.
One of the most powerful ways Allah has given us for conquering fear is the ability to personalise His promises. Here are just a few examples from the Quran:
“You are victorious as long as Allah is with you”(Muhammed: 35)
“Don’t be disheartened or sad; you will come out on top when you are true believers”(Ale Imran: 139)
“Whatever matter you are dealing with, Messenger, and whatever part of the Quran you are reciting; and whatever you are doing, We are witnessing it. Not an atom’s weight on Earth or in the Heavens is hidden from your Lord; nothing bigger or smaller exists that isn’t recorded in a clear Book. Beware, Allah’s friends have no fear, nor do they grieve. They believe and are mindful of Allah, for them are glad tidings in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. There is no change to Allah’s rulings; that’s a great victory. So don’t be saddened by what they say. All honour belongs to Allah. He is the Hearer, the Knower”(Yunus: 61-65)
If you want to overcome your fears and worries, then personalise Allah’s promises!