(Rough notes of a talk by Hadhrat Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmad on 4th December CII Broadcast)
We need to learn how to turn to Allah when we are feeling down, when we are depressed.
Oh broken hearted person, only in the remembrance of Allah will your heart find rest!
The whole Ummah should have this feeling that remembering Allah will make our hearts content. If everyone feels depressed, they should be able to turn to Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa. Many Muslims are depressed and lonely; they don’t turn to Allah though. Many of them bottle it up; some even harm themselves such that their blood will come out. Why would you do that? ‘Because I was sad, lonely, depressed’ but you had Allah to turn to! They didn’t know how to turn to Allah. How did they end up this way, self-inflicting themselves? Allah knows best.
Things people do when they are depressed
There are many things that people do when depressed other than turning to Allah. It is Shaytaan who makes the believers forget Allah. When does he do that? Because Shaytaan is twisted and evil, he makes much of his effort in making believers forget Allah when they need Him the most. At THAT time Shaytaan makes a believer forget Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa. When we turn to TV and songs, most of these songs are about heartbreaks, relationships, complicated situations and dramas on TV etc. The person identifies with the character in that novel, the person on TV. You should have identified yourself with Sahabiyaat, Nabi SalAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam! We are so caught up in TV, music, novels, sports and surfing. Glued to the phone, iPod, tablet. Can any of these even come near to substituting Allah? None of these things put comfort into the heart. They play 10 movies waiting for the one which would cure their depression. It’s unending, there’s no limit to the number of sports or movies that you can watch. All Shaytaan has to do is hook a person on one of these things and they will engage in it all night, every night, night after night.
Reflecting on Sahabah ra’s example
Look at sahabah; they would do zthikr, pray Salaah all night every night. The best of us pray Tahajjud once. Imagine the lifestyle of that person who prays to Allah every night, night after night. Sahabah would pray for many hours. Imagine just taking one hour for Tahajjud, every night for years praying to Allah, making du’aa, zthikr, istighfaar, talk and reach out to Allah. A person who can learn to do this will never feel lonely or depressed. They will never turn to TV etc. All we need to do is give this one hour to Allah at Tahajjud time.
When do we find the time to spend hours on all these false sources? Could we not spend even one hour for Allah?
Leaving the Useless Activities
We must leave all this wasteful activities that we do and give the time back to Allah. The sadness will still come at the beginning but eventually it will go away. Once we try to turn to Allah eventually this sadness and depression will go away. ‘They will never feel huzn’ meaning they will never feel lonely, sad or depressed. That person on Sunnah, Shari’ah Allah gives them this state that they will never feel sorrow, grief or worry ever again. They will get tested; they will get difficulties but will never feel sad. All this can be attained by giving ONE hour a night to Allah. Much of leisure entertainment is at night, night life, night club etc. The sahabah karaam’s night life was the musala, zthikr, Salaah.
It’s all about our NIGHTS. How do we spend them?What do we do when we are alone at night?
When we are alone and it is night that’s when we should turn to Allah; this is the special time. The way mashaaikh train us is to make sure a person’s heart is trained to constantly be aware of Allah. This person has a chance. The second the heart gets broken they will befriend Allah. When we make zthikr, the heart befriends Allah. It’s human nature, when the heart is broken they turn to their friend. If we make Allah our friend we will turn to Him. Make zthikr in good times so we turn to Allah in bad times. When worry and sadness comes, because they didn’t remember Allah in the good times and didn’t make Allah their friend, they will feel depressed. This is why we need to make zthikr abundantly.
Can’t remember Allah in bad times? Solution is Zthikr Qalbi…
It’s all about the heart. The heart which has the background zthikr of Allah will always feel the feelings. Those hearts that are empty of feelings will feel wrong things. As long as a person is remembering Allah in their hearts, they will feel good feelings and good desires. To get this level of zthikr that a person constantly remembers Allah, it requires training. Need to work on it constantly, constant effort every day. Try to do more than the previous day, do more zthikr every day. Remember Allah in newer ways every day, even better than the previous day. If a person doesn’t push themselves they will slide down and do less. Overtime a person will either increase or decrease in deen. Lack of progress means a person is decreasing in deen. To constantly increase in zthikr is learnt from the mashaaikh; always pushing people to make more zthikr, going deeper in zthikr through lessons.
Imam Rabbani ra once wrote a beautiful thing, trying to explain to people the concept of fanaa. Some people when they reached fanaa, they would say they see Allah in all of creation. Imam Rabanee said how can fanaa mean that?
Fanaa means to forget all of creation entirely, that’s fanaa.
If you forget creation entirely, you forget creation was created by Allah so fanaa means to forget creation. Zthikr enables one to forget creation, to free oneself from the world. All the unlawful desires are to do with the love of dunya or creation. In fanaa, a person forgets all dunya and creation. Once you forget dunya and creation, all the worries go away. You forgot the pleasures and beauty of creation because you are in fanaa, so it is to become striped and empty other than the zthikr of Allah. If you forget all of creation, you forget your anger. When you forget the world, you forget the greed. It doesn’t make sense if someone says ‘I forget dunya but I have greed’. So when one forgets others and dunya, they won’t have any hassad because they are unaware! Similarly, when forgetting creation, a person won’t have arrogance because how could they possibly think ‘am I more talented than them?’ because they have forgotten ‘them’ and forgotten their own selves to. So, fanaa is to remember Allah in pure zthikr. Remember him absolutely and completely such that you forget everything. If a person can forget all the world and creation, they will obviously forget all the loneliness and depression! They will forget whoever made them sad. So, a person has to do the zthikr deeply. That doesn’t mean a person stops being themselves. It just means that you stop remembering the awareness of the self. That’s called being Allah’s ‘Abd.
Sahaba ra’s Tahajjud
When sahabah would rise at Tahajjud, they forgot the world and creation. This is why we should get up at Tahajjud time because it is that special time where we forget dunya and makhlooq. It is within this one hour that the person is a true ‘Abd. They forget all of creation ,they forget about their own selves, the only part of the self that remains is their connection with Allah and being an Ummati of Nabi SalAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam; emptiness of everything other than Allah.
This is a joy, happiness, and rapture.
This will obliterate the sadness and depression. This will only happen when we all practice the zthikr we have been taught. As more and more people try to become Zthakiraat, this will spread. We are living in such turmoil, there’s so much sin sometimes it isn’t possible to stamp out every single evil. We do it to whatever extent we can. If it is impossible, the second way is to spread khair. If we cannot remove the evil fully, then spread the good more and more and there is great goodness in zthikr. We have to learn and practice this zthikr so we can remove the wrong feelings and put in the good feelings. This should be our longing, our solace, our recreation; always wanting to make zthikr of Allah.