As much as I’m concerned about this Ummah, too much of these depressing updates are making me feel depressed and low in faith. I’m not quite sure what I should do. Please advise me. Should I tell her not to update me anymore? Or should I deal with it some other way?
In this counseling answer:
• You must inform your friend about the right nature of the media and the truth in Islam.
• Educate yourself with true Islamic knowledge and educate others.
• Volunteering is a beneficial and productive form of charity or helping give to those in need.
As-Salamu Alaikum dear brother,
Thank you for reaching out to us.
Islamophobia is growing around the world. The only way to combat it is to be informed so that we can inform others about it.
You must inform your friend about the right nature of the media and the truth in Islam. For this, you would need to acquire sound knowledge from authentic sources. Some very beneficial articles can be found at Yaqeen Institute, which deal with Islamophobia.
I would like to start off by telling you that where there is good, there is also evil. Where there is intelligence, there is also foolishness. Where there is happiness, there is also sadness, and so on. In the world, there are two types of everything.
People backlashing Islam given the news around the world is not entirely their own fault. It is the fault of the media. Media fails to acknowledge that not all human beings are alike. When you are seated in a classroom learning a simple mathematics equation, let’s say quadratics, not everyone will readily learn and absorb it. Some will need to spend more time trying to learn it, some will never learn it, and some will simply be not interested in learning it. Therefore, if a simple, and non-controversial idea can lead to different types of reactions, religion is nothing different. It causes different personalities to react differently.
If you closely study where the crimes are being committed, they are by those who are not completely aware of what Islam teaches. They consider themselves successful based on lack of proper knowledge, leading to harm and sins.
Let me ask you a question. Would you go to a doctor who is perhaps given a fake title by bribing his/her way through medical school and is not as competent? Or would you go to a doctor who has worked hard for the entire length of medical school? Who is competent, compassionate, kind, and merciful, and has also earned recognition from many other institutions regarding his/her intelligence and knowledge?
I am certain that you would the latter. Likewise, people who commit crimes with the fake title of Islam are not truly aware of the amount of information they do NOT have. They read a line, and act on it. They only quench their thirst to be violent. It is not in any way related to Islam.
Educate yourself with true Islamic knowledge and educate others.
In the Quran, Allah says,
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”. (Quran- 4:65)
There is an agreement between the scholars that whoever denies that the Sunnah founds shar‘ia evidence in general, or rejects a hadith of the Prophet knowing that it is his words, is a disbeliever, who has not attained even the lowest level of Islam and submission to Allah and His Messenger.
Islam promotes a different way of life.
To be completely honest, I am not entirely sure why people make religion into determinants of hatred for one another. It is something that confused me for the longest time. Then, I realized what the problem was.
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The problem was that Islam promotes a different way of life. It promotes what many people around the world do not readily accept because they are delusional about life. They believe in this life and not the afterlife. Their ideology is “You only live once.”
The Prophet said,
“The world is a prison for a believer and Paradise for a non-believer.” (Sahih Muslim)
This indicates that Muslims are forbidden from engaging in many things around the world which others can freely enjoy, which often leads to disagreement and lack of interaction. Muslims are forbidden to from engaging in premarital affairs, enjoying alcoholic drinks, displaying nudity, taking part in interest, seeking fame,
The Prophet also said,
“Islam began as something strange and will go back to being strange, so glad tidings to the strangers.” It was said: “Who are the strangers?’ He said: “Strangers who have left their families and tribes.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
The stranger who left their families and tribes refers to those who accepted Islam and a true way of life despite their families being of a different religion.
As you know, many people around the world are not readily tolerant of differences. This is why there are many campaigns to promote acceptance of differences and inclusion of people of diverse backgrounds.
Seek Guidance through Prayer
The world is huge, vast, highly populated and polluted by crime, injustice, violence, corruption and pollution. Evidently, being able to help all 7 billion people is certainly not a human possibility. Even superheroes are not able to help all simultaneously. Therefore, start off by praying to Allah. Ask Allah to help those around you who are suffering.
The Messenger of Allah said,
“The supplication of a Muslim for his brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this task says: `Ameen! May it be for you, too’.” [Muslim]
Allah says in the Quran,
“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” (28:77)
In the Quran, Allah tells us that we all have a share of the world. We are a part of this world, and we must strive to do good.
In the verse above, Allah also warns those who plan corruption (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts). However, you will not see the media highlight this verse of the Quran. But this kind of knowledge can only be attained by true devotion to learning Islam the right way.
Take control of your mind
Aldous Huxley, a prominent English writer, once said, “I wanted to change the world, but the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”
Although feeling depressed is human nature, we must not let it take control of ourselves.
The first thing you can perhaps do is to study. You also need to disconnect to reconnect. Too much exposure to the media is any form is detrimental to an individual’s mental and physical health. It leads to depression, hopelessness, lack of energy and loss of productivity. Therefore, I would suggest that your friend not share every bit of news with you. This is simply a wastage of time for both yourself and your friend as you simply can’t stop the news or change it.
Dwelling on the many urgent global issues that need fixing isn’t going to help anyone else. So, instead choose just one cause about which you feel passionate about and get involved in it.
Volunteering is a beneficial and productive form of charity or helping give to those in need. Not only are you benefitting others, you are also earning a reward for donating your time and efforts.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why people are not readily accepting of Islam. However, there are also news in which you will see where Islam is spoken highly of, leading to many conversions around the world.
I would suggest that you share the knowledge which will change your friend’s perspective and will encourage you to seek more knowledge yourself for getting others properly informed about what is right and what is wrong. The war between what is right and what is wrong will continue towards the end of times.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.