Updated: Jul 10, 2021
Bettering ourselves in the spiritual, social, and self-care spheres
Spiritual VERSES TO REFRESH OUR SOULS
Duaa from the Qur'aan for the month
إهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ المُسْتَقِيْم
"Guide us to the straight path"
Surah Faatiha, aayah 6
At every stage, we are in need of Allah's guidance. We need His guidance when we are at our best as much as we need it when we are at our worst. We ask Allah for His guidance in every rakaah of every salaah of every day because we are in such desperate need of it.
We need His Guidance on every level, from ultimate goals like staying on the path of Deen until our last moments without straying, to daily decisions in which Allah's guidance can make our work easier.
This month, let us make this duaa in our salaah with sincere hope that Allah guides us in every aspect, and doesn't leave us to ourselves for even the duration of the blink of an eye.
Social THE SHIELD OF ANONYMITY
The lockdown has us indoors with minimal social interaction in person. As a result, communication has increased via online platforms including social media.
For some, communication has decreased in general because they tend not to use virtual platforms. If we find ourselves living alone and communicating with nobody at all, even virtually, this may be negative for our mental health. Having a few people as a continuous support structure is very beneficial to us, as humans, as social beings.
With communication becoming primarily virtual, we're given a shield of anonymity in the larger social media sphere. We should be very cautious not to hide behind this shield and throw from behind it cannonballs of hurtfulness to those around us in the virtual realm. The audacious comments we find online are often only online because the person posting them is absolved of the ramifications in the real sphere. But the virtual sphere happens to be longer lasting; a double-edged sword.
Behind this shield, we often don't have our body language - and in text, our tone and demeanour - to supplement our words. Thus, our words may much more easily be misconstrued.
It is important for us to put extra care into the way we communicate in the virtual realm to eliminate or at least minimize any negative impact. We should also be more cautious in how we interpret messages and try to see things in the best light possible.
It is very easy to disseminate memes and jokes quickly and vastly online, yet this may be detrimental to people they involve.
Joking, being entertaining, and keeping a lighthearted mood in virtual and in-person communication, is what we often want. However, this should never come at the expense of hurting the feelings of another person.
Some may say that there is some truth behind every joke, and thus interpret jokes in that light. Our Deen teaches us the perfect way to speak and behave, and reminds us to eliminate hurtfulness where lightheartedness was intended, by instructing us to refrain from even joking regarding untruths.
Narrated AbuUmamah (RA): The Prophet (SAW) said:
"I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good."
(Sunan Abu Dawud)
May Allah guide us all towards beautifying our speech, both in person and on social media.
This month, check let us check ourselves daily, have we watched our words in the virtual world or have we hidden behind the shield of anonymity?
Self-care KEEPING UP WITH THE CORONA
Healthcare has become a topic of more discussion and debate because we are living through a pandemic. There is an information overload we are faced with on a constant basis. There are those who keep up with the statistics and those who cut themselves off from information, almost in a denial state regarding the virus.
As with everything in life, there is a balance to strike.
The first thing to remember is that no matter how the virus or any other thing we are afflicted with started, the fact is, it's here and it's only here because Allah gave it the permission to be here and He knows why He permitted it. That remains key. Finding the spiritual lesson we can take from it is very important.
When striking the balance in dealing with the pandemic, we need to ask ourselves which information is going to bring about benefit by means of leading us to an effective change we can implement, and which information is going to lead to fear and despondency. Learning effective means of protecting ourselves is always beneficial, but seeing the rising death toll every few hours may cause panic to set in.
We need to ask ourselves what type of people we are, do we handle information well or are we prone to fear? This will help us decide how closely to follow statistics.
As with everything, we should adopt a holistic approach to healing; duaas and means, be they medical or alternative. We should give things time to take effect. We often do not use means for the correct duration and then make the decision that they do not work, despite us not using them as indicated, and then move to the next thing, bombarding our bodies with a variety of different things working in different ways all in a short space of time. This is neither ideal nor beneficial.
We are often told a hundred ways of dealing with situations from a hundred people with differing backgrounds and viewpoints, all meaning to advise us well. We should think first and gain more insight into each thing, and also consider how various modalities of healing interact with each other when all used at the same time. We should stop diving into various healing products without verifying their effects, both beneficial and harmful, and appraising their use in our own case. We should not take the other extreme and let negligence drive us into becoming a harm to ourselves and others.
This month, ask yourself
1) Do I deal with statistical information well, or does panic overtake me? Based on this, decide on how closely to follow exact statistics.
2) Do I react before verifying?
3) Am I negligent and careless?