For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of. …Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack. …This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.

– Lynne Twist


“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

– Madeleine L’Engle

Islamic Spirituality and Mental Well-Being by Zohair Abdul-Rahman

Caught myself on article above from Yaqeen Institute. Zohair mainly analyze the psycho-spiritual effect of this hadith narration:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ، ابْنُ عَبْدِكَ، ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ، نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤُكَ، أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ، أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ، أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ، أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي، وَجَلَاءَ حُزْنِي، وَذَهَابَ هَمِّي

The Prophet ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam said, “Whoever is afflicted with grief or anxiety, then he should pray with these words, ‘Oh Allāh, certainly I am your slave, the son of your male slave and the son of your female slave. My forehead is in Your Hand. Your Judgment upon me is assured and Your Decree concerning me is just. I ask You by every Name that you have named Yourself with, revealed in Your Book, taught any one of Your creation or kept unto Yourself in the knowledge of the unseen that is with You, to make the Qurān the spring of my heart, and the light of my chest, the banisher of my sadness and the reliever of my distress.’

Quite a long read, I know. So here’s some notable excerpt for you (ugh, no, us):

Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH) explains, “The past can never be changed or corrected with sadness [ḥuzn], but rather with contentment [riḍā], gratitude [ḥamd], patience [ṣabr], a firm belief in destiny [imān bil qadar] and the verbal recognition that everything occurs by the Decree of God [qaddarAllāhu wa mā shā wa fa’l].”
(Ibn al-Qayyim, Zād al-M’aād, vol 2. p. 325.)

Unlike other notions of prayer that are often reduced to mere incantations or wish lists, du’aā is much more profound. In fact, many of the most powerful du’aās in the Qurān do not even contain a request to God. Instead, they are humbling expressions of truth in response to trial and tribulation.

For instance, when the Prophet Ayyūb was afflicted with severe disease and poverty he called out, “Indeed, adversity has touched me and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.” (Qurān, 21:83.)

As the Qurān mentions (referring to 57:20), everything in life that we are attached to will eventually leave us. Once they “turn yellow,” we may find ourselves frozen in time. Our conception of ourselves can be so anchored to this world that when it fades, we can lose ourselves. Our attachment to God is meant to be central and our ultimate anchor in life. When we submit and surrender to God, we become content with what we have lost and free ourselves from our own psychological slavery.

The Islāmic tradition sees hardship and adversity as opportunities for establishing absolute dependency on God, submitting to Him, learning truth, and building virtue. It is important for us to realize the profound psychological insight our tradition has and extract this timeless guidance for all to benefit.

Our Story?

All this time, I’d thought that our story was just that: our story. But it turns out you had your own story, and I had mine. Our stories might have overlapped for a while–long enough that they even looked like the same story. But they were different.  And that made me realize this: everyone’s story is different, all the time. No one is ever really together, even if it looks for a while like they are.

from The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin