We are living in times of great anxiety, sadness and in some cases depression. Much of it is brought about because we feel a deep sense of discontentment or a lack of “inner peace”.
This isn’t surprising because keeping up with the Joneses is no longer about ensuring your TV is the same size as your neighbours, or that when No.52 paint their windows, you paint yours too. Now we can access thousands of people’s feeds on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. daily. We see how ‘picture perfect’ their lives are and question our own.
People aren’t what they used to be, divorce is often looming on the horizon, children are chaotic, everything is so expensive that you feel that you are pennies on the right side of being perpetually in debt and you have little really to show for it – you just want to scream! Instead, you eat some chocolate, it feels good, but too sweet after the third bar. You find a share bag of tortilla chips and some dip – the spiciness off-sets the sick feeling you have from the chocolate – now you need something sweet again! After some months, clothes are tight and you have a roundness to you. It makes you feel rubbish and depressed.
Shopping usually makes you feel better. Buying something nice and new. You feel like a magpie after something shiny. A new pair of Jordans, a pair of Timberlands or a nice mid-range bag from TK Maxx. It’s an indulgence, but you can make it work financially! A few trips later, your head is hurting and you wonder how you are going to make it to the 27th of the month with what money you have left. You are starting to feel a crippling pain in your soul, you’re leaning on the wrong side of your overdraft and you feel physically sick.
Does this sound familiar – perhaps not to this extent but at least some of it? We are living in difficult times and looking for answers in all the wrong places. Yet, we have all the right answers – all in one place. The Quran, the uncreated word of God, found in a book which is probably in every room of your house. This book, is not just a guidance for mankind, but it is a joy for the soul. It lifts your spirit whether you read it or listen to it.
One of our teachers has advised playing Surah al-Baqarah at night in our homes to attract angels, who in turn will lift our spirits. The other great way to start your day is by reading the Wird al-Latif which is a series of verses from the Quran and supplications from our Prophet (SAW) that serve as a form of protection and reflection for your day. Listen to it here and read it here. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf gives an explanation to its various components here.
Our souls need nurturing and that comes from being connected to Allah and there are few better ways to be connected to Allah than by being connected through His words or through supplicating to Him.
May Allah help us all through the difficult times which we may be going.