In this counseling answer:
“Dear sister, be patient. Patient people are not only rewarded by Allah (swt) but make more progress toward achieving their goals and enjoy better physical and mental health. Always encourage your husband, be by his side, and seek social support from your family and friends. Use this time as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with Allah (swt). Thank Him for his blessings and make lots of du’aa’s that He brings you ease.”
As-Salamu ‘Aleikom dear sister,
I am sorry to hear that your husband lost his job which has caused stress and sadness in the family. Not having a stable income can make anyone feel insecure, frustrated, and worried about the present and future.
Ma sha’ Allah, I am happy to read though that instead of falling into despair and drifting away from Allah (swt), you (and hopefully your husband too) are trying to cope with difficulties with prayers, reading Quran, making du’aa’s, and being patient. As Muslims, these are the best strategies to cope with life difficulties.
In psychology, there is a word for not letting one’s self feel hopeless but instead looking at difficulties as challenges one needs to overcome – resilience.
Muslimmatters defines five keys to spiritual and emotional resiliency. I will ponder upon each in regards to your question.
Accept your humanness
Sister, as you know, we all go through various tests and trials throughout our life. None of us are exceptions. This is a promise from Allah (swt):
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,” (2:155)
But Allah (swt) has promised us also that these tests will never exceed what we can bear.
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…” (2:186)
To pass these tests, Allah (swt) says we need to turn to Him and remain patient. And then, in sha’ Allah, “with difficulties comes ease.” (94:6)
Being patient means having control over our emotions. For example, when feeling like falling into despair, say, “inna lillahi wa inna ila rajeoon” or other du’aa’s the Prophet taught us to say at times of depression and worry. Here are some:
In addition, I advise you to try some kind of relaxation techniques not only when you feel frustrated, but on a daily basis. Read more about abdominal breathing technique or progressive muscle relaxation.
Patient people are not only rewarded by Allah (swt) but make more progress toward achieving their goals and enjoy better physical and mental health.
We need to continuously remind ourselves that although we are capable of doing so many things, this capacity is within boundaries of which we have no power, except Allah (swt). We need to believe that this is happening to us for a good purpose. Maybe your husband lost his job because the workload was too demanding; maybe it was a harmful environment; maybe Allah (swt) wants to bless him with something better, but the right time has not arrived yet.
We need to let things to Allah (swt).
Support your husband
Sister, encourage your husband to believe in this too. Be supportive of your husband. For him as a man, and especially if he is the breadwinner of the home, it is so important to feel that you still look up to him and appreciate his efforts. I am sure he does his best to find a job.
Sister, take some time to think about how your relationship with your husband has changed since he lost his job. I suggest you even write these down on a piece of paper; it’s a really empowering way to see the issues more clearly. Then, under each problem write a possible solution.
For example, you feel your husband has become withdrawn from the family. According to Ronald Adler and Russell Proctor II, “there are four ways with which we can feel closely connected with someone in a romantic relationship.”
Physical: hugging, kissing, having sex, …etc.
Emotional: verbalizing our loving emotions such as saying: “I love you”, “I appreciate you,’ or “you are very important in my life.”
Intellectual: engaging in discussion about things both partners are interested in.
Shared Activities: building positive memories by doing things together. Try praying or reading Quran frequently; go for a walk, play a board game, or cook together.
Try them! In sha’ Allah, these will bring much joy in your relationship.
Use the intensity of your emotion to worship God better
Ma sha’ Allah, it is great that you turn to Allah (swt). As Allah (swt) says:
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” (16:97)
I personally find lots of comfort in praying the Sunnah prayers and saying the morning and night du’aa’s which you can find in the book, “Fortress of the Muslim” along with many other beneficial du’aa’s. Remember, the most important is that you always turn to Allah (swt) sincerely.
Connect with the Qur’an
As you already mentioned you read the Quran daily, I would only advise you to focus on the stories of the prophets in particular. As you might know, the Prophets were tested most severely because they were the closest to Allah (swt).
The prophet said: “…A man is tried according to his religion; if he is firm in his religion, then his trials are more severe,…” (Tirmidhi)
Read the story of Ibrahim who was thrown into the fire; Yacob who lost two of his sons, and Yusuf who went through so many hardships; however, without these trials, he would probably have never earned the throne of Egypt. There are many lessons for us in these stories.
Count your blessings
Switch your negative inner talk. Despite the difficulties that come with being jobless, try to think of its positive side. When you feel hopeless or angry, remember that there are so many other people who live in much worse circumstances than you.
One benefit of this situation is that with this hardship you now desire to get closer to Allah (swt). Also, as your husband does not work, he might have more time for you and the children, if you have any. These are precious moments – do not waste them by fighting.
Start a blessing journal. Every day, before you go to sleep, write down at least 3 moments you feel grateful for Allah (swt). It can be as little as a nice talk with your husband, a smile from your child, or the warming sunshine. Thank Allah (swt) for these joyful moments in your prayers.
You can decorate this journal by your favorite ayas of the Quran, ahadeeth, or other inspiring quotations.
These will help you remain patient, in sha’ Allah.
Humans are by nature social creatures. Therefore, one of the biggest help you can receive at such times is from your family and friends. It’s essential that you maintain regular contact with them. Go and visit them; go for a walk, have a picnic in the park with them. Also, attend the mosque and be an active part of the local Muslim community. Social support is really important!
Dear sister, be patient. Always encourage your husband, be by his side, and seek social support from your family and friends. Use this time as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with Allah (swt). Thank Him for his blessings and make lots of du’aa’s that He brings you ease.
I hope you find my answer beneficial.
May Allah (swt) help you,
Answer supervised by Aisha Muhammad-Swan
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