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I Lost a Large Amount of Money; I Feel Depressed

Questioner

T

Reply Date

Feb 03, 2017

Question

Salaam Alaikum. I have been living on a very small retirement. I was just given a large payment, thousands of dollars, to my bank, but a swindle debt collection agency has taken it all from my bank where I thought it was safe charging thousands of dollars in interest and outrageous collection fees for past due medical bills. This company has been harassing me for years, but I did not know they could legally withdraw money from my account. I blame myself for not taking it out of the account, and I also feel like a victim of a crime with no recourse to get the money back. I had intentions to do good (charity, help family members, etc.), but I also feared doing bad as people sometimes do when they get a windfall.Should I just accept this as my fate financially and try to forget about this loss, or should I struggle and fight the legal giant collection agency that unjustly stole my money (and others’ like me).Going from poor to rich to poor again within 2 weeks has distracted me from prayers and concentration and left me feeling regretful, blaming myself. I am really depressed. I think also my feeling of "I could have prevented this" is not good for my spiritual health as I don’t want to be ungrateful for all the good Allah has given me. Are there any du’aa’s and prayers or advice you suggest? Jazakhalakhair.

Counselor

Answer


I Lost a Large Amount of Money; I Feel Depressed

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear brother,

This is quite a rollercoaster you have faced in such a short space of time. Going through any such distress is enough to disorientate anyone. May Allah (swt) reward your good intentions in the whole process, desiring to please Him (swt) in the way that you respond to this situation.

Verily, Allah has recorded good and bad deeds and He made them clear. Whoever intends to perform a good deed but does not do it, then Allah will record it as a complete good deed. If he intends to do it and does so, then Allah the Exalted will record it as ten good deeds up to seven hundred times as much or even more. If he intends to do a bad deed and does not do it, then Allah will record for him one complete good deed. If he does it then Allah will record for him a single bad deed.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Based upon this, you can also be comforted knowing that you will be rewarded for your intention to give the money in charity as if you had actually done it, in sha’ Allah. So, in this respect, you are not at any loss as such. In addition, Allah (swt) has already told us that He (swt) will test us in this very way.

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits…” (Qur’an, 2:155)

Everyone will be faced with some kind of test at least once in life that falls into one of these categories, and yours has been a loss of wealth. How could He (swt) justify who gets the ultimate reward on the Day of Judgment if He (swt) does not give us the chance to prove ourselves as true believers? How best to prove ourselves but survive a test of faith successfully?

You are quite correct that looking back and thinking about how you could have prevented it, ruminating over the event, is, indeed, bad for your spiritual health and is evident in your stated recent distraction in prayer. We are warned against looking back and thinking about how we could have done things differently as this opens the door to Shaytan.

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allaah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to do that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allaah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allaah has decreed and what He wills He does,’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to the work of the shaytaan.” (Ibn Majah)

Don’t open the door for Shaytan by looking back and contemplating how you could have done things differently, especially since it has happened now, and there is nothing more you can do except accept it as a test. Ask Allah (swt) to help you through it, learn from it, and take a positive lesson from it.

So, to begin with, letting go of what you could have done differently will close that door to Shaytan and, in sha’ Allah, provide the first step in helping you to become more focused in your prayers as you will no longer be preoccupied with such destructive thoughts. Don’t let your financial loss contribute to your spiritual loss.

You also make a good point about not wanting to be ungrateful. Whilst it might seem like such a great loss to you, exacerbated by the fact that it was in such an unjust manner, you must not lose sight of the blessings that you have in your life. It is especially useful in times like this to follow the advice of the Prophet (saw):

“Look to those who are lower than you (i.e., those who possess less than you) and do not look to those higher than you; this will make you appreciate the bounties of Allah upon you.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

With regards to where you go from here: the money was yours so it is your right to pursue claiming it back, but, on the other hand, if you were owing money for medical bills, then it is also the right of the provider of these services to receive payment from you; however, that does not justify the outrageous interest and collection fees that you cite as well as the collection of money from your bank account without your prior permission. I am not an Islamic scholar; therefore, I advise you to contact our Ask the Scholar section for further help.

In terms of whether you should pursue claiming it, this is your own decision to make, but I would urge you to think about why you are doing it, what you hope to achieve while ensuring that the way you approach is in line with Islamic principles and pleasing to Allah (swt). If you chose to pursue it, remember to maintain the best Islamic manners despite the unjust treatment you have received, keeping in mind what Allah tells us in the Qur’an:

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” (Qur’an 41:34)

There are a number of du’aa’s that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to say during such times of distress that you can include in your prayers. You can find them in the “Fortress of the Muslim”. For example,

Ibn ‘Abbas reported, “when he was in distress, the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) would supplicate: “There is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Forbearing, the Wise, there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Lord of the Magnificent Throne, there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and the Lord of the Noble Throne (Lā ilāha illallāh al-`aliyyul ḥalīm, lā ilāha illallāh, rabbul-`arshil-`aẓīm, lā ilāha illallāh, rabbus-samāwāti wal-arḍi wa rabbul-`arshil-karīm).” (Tirmidhi)

Whichever choice you make, approach it with patience, do not ruminate, accept the test, remember your blessings, remain steadfast; and always maintain the best intentions to please Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) support and guide you,

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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