Edition #6, February 6th, 2021
Assalamu’alaikum, Friend! May peace be upon you.
My name is Abeer Abbasi. I am currently a senior in Klein High and quite possibly the most dramatic person you'll ever know hehe, Alhamdulillah.
Nice to meet you!
I am fascinated by psychology and in absolute awe of how Islam approaches it. As abstract and complex psychological sciences tend to be, I like that there's leniency granted. Most things don't fit in one box, category or group; they're allowed to take up as much space as they need.
Intrigued by how electric charges and hormones can make such a difference in how we behave, I can't help but make mental health the prime focus of most of my conversations.
Having known a range of mental illnesses closely, I find myself contemplating over and deducing why we feel what we feel. It’s been on my mind a lot lately.
Enough science talk, I present to you a glimpse of my recent thoughts. Shall we proceed?
I lied to myself over and over,
unknowingly maybe, but not unaware.
I assured myself that I loved my company;
the solitude I forced myself into and,
the curtains I drew in to let my thoughts flow unbothered, undistracted.
I convinced myself that I had indeed, finally,
mended my relationship with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala),
that listening to the Qur’an when it showed up on my timeline and
looking at pictures of the Haramain
was enough evidence of the strength of my imaan.
I retired to bed hours before my sleep engulfed me
and demanded that it was to spend more time with myself.
Most of us go our entire lives not acknowledging denying the emotional burden we feel: the untimely waves of sadness washing over us, the bags under our eyes, the loss of appetite, the daunting questions in our minds—“Will I make it? Or will I wave my flag of surrender?”. We live for years and years captivated by this crippling state of being. From blaming the changing weather, the flu, the current events for our inconsistent behavior to insisting that we’re perfectly fine. We cast away what we feel and bury it somewhere deep.
We tend to associate the expression of grief with being ungrateful to Allah ﷻ. Why is it that we feel the need to conceal what we feel when He is closer to us than our jugular vein? He knows the way our hearts ache, and He comforts us as such:
“No calamity befalls ˹anyone˺ except by Allah’s Will. And whoever has faith in Allah, He will ˹rightly˺ guide their hearts ˹through adversity˺. And Allah has ˹perfect˺ knowledge of all things.”
Surah Al Taghabun [64:11]
Let us do away with the cobwebs in the crevices of our hearts,
Let us search our souls and let our pain flow,
Let us open the doors our emotions keep banging on,
Let us set the table for them, our guests—
Misery, grief, self-doubt, despair—
And hear what they have to say.
Look in the mirror and trace with your fingers,
Every scar, every blemish, every inch of your skin.
Your body has kept track of the life you’ve lived.
Look again, every part of you is perfect.
Allah ﷻ swore four times and
affirmed that He has created man in the best form.
You might not see it, but hey,
The Lord who fashioned galaxies does!
The haze that fogged your vision, do you see it clearing up?
Look around; someone’s come to visit!
It keeps your heart alive and illuminates the darkness in you,
And is yet another declaration of the limitless love your Lord has for you.
Your imaan speaks! Listen closely.
“I had only gone to visit the depth of your core,
And I’m here to remind you that you belong to the Most Loving,
And He granted me to you to take you to Him!
I’m here to help, and in sha Allah, I am here to stay.”
Healing is awfully long and exhausting, and it will drain every last bit of your energy. But know that as you maintain sabr and declare shukr, you become one step closer to meeting and seeing the Lord who sustains you, the Lord that brought this newsletter to you!
The earth will still spin, and the waves will rise, the world will run, and the people will live. Regardless, you are allowed to take a moment, or two or maybe more, to sit and breathe. Dedicate every love letter to yourself. Feel every ounce of pain and joy and everything in between. Take a moment to pause and embrace yourself as needed. You are allowed to be human. Have mercy on yourself.
As noted in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet ﷺ reminds us that Allah ﷻ says:
"Whoever draws close to me by the length of a hand, I will draw close to him by the length of an arm. Whoever draws close to me by the length of an arm, I will draw close to him by the length of a fathom. Whoever comes to me walking, I will come to him running."
Talk to Him. Ask Him for help! Feel your feelings, pick your thoughts apart, investigate the root cause of your grief and give order to the chaos in your mind. He may have universes to tend to and limitless life forms to sustain, but I assure you, when you say, “Ya Rabbi,” He listens. He watches you lovingly as you remind yourself of His presence, and He has the comfort you seek. Go to Him and ask for it! Let yourself be vulnerable to the One who created you and perfected you.
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