5 Ways The Quran and Sunnah Guide us on how to deal with Sadness

Positive psychology shows that when we feel good and have a positive mindset, we are smarter, feel more motivated and enjoy more success.

Other than three incidents, the Arabic word Huzn (sadness, grief) was mentioned in the Quran 42 times, and you won’t find it mentioned unless it’s negated or forbidden!

So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers. [Quran 3:139]

And be patient, [O Muhammad], and your patience is not but from Allah. And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire. [Quran 16:127]

Ibn AlQayyim said, “Sadness is a condition that stalls and paralyzes a person, and there’s no benefit in it for one’s heart. Indeed, one of the most beloved things for Shaytan is when sadness befalls a servant of Allah in such a way that they slam to a stop and find themselves paralyzed, unable to progress forward. {Private conversation is only from Satan that he may grieve those who have believed..} [Quran 59:10].”

Psychologists have known for a long time that negative emotions constrict our ability to think and act. In fact, you’ve probably experienced this first hand if you’ve ever felt too down in the dumps to get out of bed or to go something useful.

Let’s take a look at some practical guidance from the Quran and Sunnah that’ll help us deal with sadness:

1. Smile often, it’s Sunnah!
Observers of Prophet Muhammad’s mannerisms, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, noted that he was almost always seen smiling and radiant.

Smiling and being happy is contagious and praiseworthy.
Allah’s Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “And smiling in the face of your brother is a charity (that Allah will reward you for).”

2. Seek Allah’s protection in Dua
Ask Allah to protect you from it. One of the Duas that Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was recorded to have said, “O Allah, I seek your protection from distress and grief.”

3. Say things that please Allah
Sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, when the Prophet’s son Ibrahim died, he guided us to say only things that would be pleasing to Allah, and in that is our rescue from numbing sadness. “The eye tears and the heart grieves, but we only say that which is pleasing to our Lord.”

I find in my life, when a difficult situation presents itself, I love to say, “Allah knows best, Allah knows best.” Saying this makes me feel so calm, safe and spiritually happy.

What pleasing things do you say at challenging times?

4. Speak of Allah’s blessings upon you
Actively bring yourself into a positive mood by consistently doing positivity exercises. For example, in Surat Ad-Duha, Allah instructs His Prophet {And as for the blessings of Allah, speak of it.} [Quran 93:11]

Here’s a little game to play with young kids. When you are about to leave the playground, and your niece is about to cry because she wants to play more, ask her: “What did you love most about the playground? What was your favorite ride?” Change the focus to remembering the blessings of Allah upon us. We all need it.

5. Remind yourself: Nothing and no one can benefit or harm you; it’s in Allah’s Hands
This is one of the fruits for Believers that they know everything is in Allah’s Hands, and that no one or nothing can harm except what Allah has written for us.

Ibn Abbas, who was a young boy at the time, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates the following incident. It’s such a beautiful piece of advice and worthy of us reading it multiple times:
Abu al-‘Abbas ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (ra) reports:
“One day I was riding (a horse/camel) behind the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he said, ‘Young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. If you ask, ask of God. If you need help, seek it from God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so. The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’ ”