July 22, 2012
Pre-Ramadan Depression Part II: Teachers
Posted in Character, Islam, Quran, Sufism, Taqwa, Tazkiyah tagged Change, Compassion, Growth, Inner turmoil, Islam, Mercy, Metamorphosis, musings, Prophet Stories, Prophet Yunus, Ramadan at 3:58 am by faith786
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
(Written: July 20th)
Yes, I am still suffering pre-Ramadan depression.
In a state of contemplation, regret, confusion, remorse and a mix of feelings in my spiritual crucible, I decided to read about other people I look up to for a bit of consolation. And to make me feel a little better, all the great people I look up to have a kind of experience similar to my pre-Ramadan depression. It seems like having this state of inner turmoil and metamorphosis is a common theme with many traveling through life.
Scholars, scientists, famous figures and prophets–they all have a story behind them. And all of them had to have some major setback or period of inner turmoil. What defines them is that they had to overcome that. Life tends to knock people down, which is fine, but the important thing is to get back up again. In that sense, all the people I read about feel like teachers for me in the time I am in.
So as I was reading different stories, I came across the story of Prophet Yunus (as), or Prophet Jonah. He was a beautiful and God-fearing prophet, but at some point in his journey in life, he was overwhelmed by his task of guiding his people and he fled. In the process of fleeing, he boarded a ship with others and there was a great storm. Long story short, he was thrown off the ship and was swallowed by a whale.
It was this period inside the whale when he was separated from the world and everything else, and he was now entering the world inside himself. He had to face his fears and his duty in life as a Prophet of God. Prophet Yunus underwent a huge inner (and outer) turmoil and had to change himself to continue on his path. Without a doubt, it was an extremely trying time, but he underwent a metamorphosis of himself, recited a dua to Allah and the whale spat him out on dry land. It was after this happened that Prophet Yunus was able to complete his task.
Allah swt could have created Prophet Yunus in such a way that he would not have had that fear and he could have fulfilled his duties without fleeing. Or Prophet Yunus could have come to his own realization of his role as a prophet and would not need to be swallowed by the whale. But Allah swt, the Most Wise, had reasons for doing what He does. I am no scholar and I have no idea what God’s Will is, but I have a feeling part of the reason why Prophet Yunus was swallowed by the whale was to show us as people many generations later that going through hardship and tribulation is a part of life. And we must face and overcome our difficulties.
(And also teach us another dua as well as show Allah swt’s Mercy and Compassion, but I’ll stop there.)
As someone going through hardship and inner difficulty, Prophet Yunus has a lot to teach me. We have to call to God if we want to change. We have to accept that Allah swt is the one who takes care of us and will be the one to release us of our hardships. We do our best in life, but only with Allah’s permission can anything happen.
And Allah swt is the one who puts ease in our hearts.❤
Thank you Allah for letting me read about other people, and thank you Prophet Yunus (as) and all the other people I read for teaching me valuable lessons. =)