The Prophet (SAW) was the best of mankind and has taught us everything that we need to know about our life he even taught us how we can deal with stress. Stress and anxiety are common words in our life today. Every person complains about being stressed and I also was a victim of stress and anxiety but Alhamdulillah I applied some of the techniques from the Sunnah portrayed in the Book “The Jinn and Human Sickness” by Dr. Abu’l-Mundhir Khaleel ibn Ibrahim Ameen. But first before I talk about stress relievers let us see some of the causes of stress
General Causes of Stress
- Worrying about Sustenance (Rizq)
- Loss of a loved one
- idleness and many others
So these and many others are the main causes of stress but how can we relieve ourselves from this stress let us see how Prophet Muhammad (SAW) taught us on how to deal with stress as he is the best example we can emulate and follow. Allah (S.W) says:
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. (Quran 33:21)
- Istighfar( Asking Allah for forgiveness)
Yes asking Allah for forgiveness relieves us from stress Allah (S.W) says concerning Nuh (A.S)
“And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.” (Quran 71:10-12)
As I had previously stated that one of the causes of stress is Debts and poverty so by asking Allah for forgiveness Allah will increase our wealth and poverty will end. Hence we will be relieved from stress.
Also prophet Muhammad (SAW) said
“Whoever persists in Praying for forgiveness, Allah will give him a way out of every distress, and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide for him from (sources) he could never imagine.” (Abu Dawud)
So remember if you are stressed or anxious persist in praying for forgiveness. Honestly this was one of the things I did and with Allah’s Mercy I was relieved from the anxiety and stress I was going through last year.
- Always wake up before fajr and pray tahajjud then ask Allah’s for forgiveness for this is the best time as stated by Allah (S.W) when He said
“They used to sleep but little of the night, and in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness,” (Quran 51:17-18)
- Use your free time asking Allah’s forgiveness by saying Astaghfirullah whenever you commute, or at the long queues instead of chatting and doing other unproductive habits.
- Supplication of Prophet Yunus when swallowed by whale
When Prophet Yunus (AS) was swallowed by a whale he supplicated by saying as stated in the Quran
وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَىٰ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”” (Quran 21:87)
Allah continues to say:
“So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.” (Quran 21:88)
So here we see that one of the stress relievers is saying لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ (la ilaha illa anta subhanaka inneekuntu mina aththalimeen)
Also the Prophet (SAW) concerning this:
“…no Muslim man supplicates with it for anything, ever, except Allah responds to him” (Tirmidhi) “
So whenever you are stressed say the supplication of Yunus.
- Put Your Trust on Allah (Tawakkul)
Indeed He (SW) is incharge of all affairs He knows what is good for us and always decrees what is best for us. Whenever you are stressed put your trust on Him and ask Him to relieve your stress. Allah says:
“…whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him” (Quran 65:3)
The Prophet (SAW) said:
“If you were to rely upon Allah with the required reliance, then He would provide for you just as a bird is provided for, it goes out in the morning empty, and returns full.”
So no need to have stress on your sustenance (Rizq).
I will give you a short lesson I learnt from the Story of Prophet Yaaqub (AS). Yaaqub (A.S) was afflicted with many problems such as losing his son Yusuf(AS),lost his son Bin Yamin and even his he lost his eyesight! Imagine this situation what would you have done if it were you? Probably you would have complained and complained to everyone but what did he do?
He only complained to Allah (SW) because he was the only one capable of relieving his stress and anxiety. Allah says concerning Prophet Yaaqub:
“He said, “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah” (Quran 12:86)
And Allah because of His mercy returned to him all what he had lost i.e. Yusuf (A.S), Bin Yamin and his eyes.
4.Send blessings and salutations to Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
Yes. This also relieves us from stress because he (SAW) is a mercy to mankind. Allah (SW) says:
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (Quran 21:107)
It was narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka‘b (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
I said: O Messenger of Allah, I send a great deal of blessings upon you; how much of my du‘aa’ should be sending blessings upon you? He said: “Whatever you wish.” I said: One quarter? He said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: One half? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: Two thirds? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: I will make all of my du‘aa’ for you. He said: “Then your concerns will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.”
At-Tirmidhi said: A saheeh hasan hadith. It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Targheeb (1670)
So by sending blessings and salutations to him you will be relieved.
Most of the problems mankind faces come about as a result of idleness. When someone is idle different thoughts come to his mind he starts thinking of his failures in the past and starts thinking of the things he doesn’t have and it is at this time that he begins feeling depressed an feels stressed. So a stress reliever is being occupied. The Prophet (Saw) said:
“”There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good” (Bukhari)
Always utilize your free time doing something beneficial examples reading Quran, Remembering Allah (Istighfar,Tasbih,tahlil), Visiting the sick, Visiting relatives, Doing Dawaah,Reading a beneficial book, Exercise and many others.
6.Dua for anxiety
The Prophet (SAW) said:
““No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says: ‘
للّهُـمَّ إِنِّي عَبْـدُكَ ابْنُ عَبْـدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِـكَ نَاصِيَتِي بِيَـدِكَ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤكَ أَسْأَلُـكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّـيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أِوْ أَنْزَلْتَـهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْـتَهُ أَحَداً مِنْ خَلْقِـكَ أَوِ اسْتَـأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الغَيْـبِ عِنْـدَكَ أَنْ تَجْـعَلَ القُرْآنَ رَبِيـعَ قَلْبِـي، وَنورَ صَـدْرِي وجَلَاءَ حُـزْنِي وذَهَابَ هَمِّـي
Allâhumma innî cabduka, ibnu cabdika, ibnu amatika. Nâsiyatî bi-yadika. Mâdin fiyya hukmuka, cadlun fiyya qadâ’uka. As’aluka bi-kulli smin huwa laka, sammayta bihi nafsaka, aw anzaltahu fî kitâbika, aw callamtahu ahadan min khalqika, aw ista’tharta bihi fî cilmi-l-ghaybi cindaka, an tajcala-l-qur’âna rabîca qalbî, wa nûra ssadrî, wa jalâ’a huznî, wa dhahâba hammî.
‘O Allaah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You name Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.’ but Allah will take away his sorrow and grief, and give him in their stead joy.” (Ahmad 3528)
The Prophet (SAW) always had a smile on his face and he also said:
“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity….”
Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Book 27, Hadith 2083
So always maintain a smile however the circumstances its relieves stress and also it’s a act of charity.
Finally if you follow these advices by the Prophet (SAW) by Allah’s mercy you will be relieved. I have applied these when I was stressed and Alhamdulillah I feel much better that’s why I felt an obligation to share it with other Muslims because stress and anxiety hinders productivity of many Muslims.
Do you know of other ways from the Sunnah that can relieve stress share with us in the comments below
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