DON’T BE SAD | لا تحزن

Review & Reflections by Rushna Ali Khan

“ Be happy, at peace, and joyful; and don’t be sad.”

Don’t be Sad by Dr. ‘A’ id al-Qarni is one book which enlightens the readers about the Islamic way of dealing with the trials and tribulations of this world. 

Based on references from the Qur’an and Sunnah, this book also takes into consideration the philosophies of many Western and Eastern thinkers which align with the truth. The author’s writing style is clear and simple, making the reader understand the words effortlessly. The book is divided into small sections with timely verses from the Qur’an, Hadith of our beloved Prophet PBUH, poetry verses, excerpts, pauses to reflect upon, and anecdotes making the book more interesting rather than monotonous. 

This was the first book that came to my mind when I thought of writing a book reflection for the ISIP blog. This book has taught me the thick and thin, black and white, good and bad of this through the eye of Islam. If I start writing the reflections from this book, I can write pages and pages but let me mention the top 5 lessons from this book which have changed the perspective of my life.

  1. The past is gone forever. Today is all that you have so leave the future alone until it comes-

The author reasonably points out that we humans ignore dealing with the present, brood over the past and dream about the future. 

Just like we cannot return the sun to its place of rising nor the baby to its mother’s womb, similarly we cannot undo what’s already done. The trees shed their leaves welcoming the new season and so should we.

Being mindful and living in the present saves us from the regrets of the past and anxieties of the future. We should plan the course of our day thinking today is all that we have. Our day should revolve around obeying Allah (SWT) and planning to part ways with this world. We should live as if today is our last day in this world. 

Rushing for things that haven’t yet come will only make our living worse. We will engage in constant hope for the future neglecting the blessings with which Allah (SWT) has already bestowed upon us.  “The important thing to know is that tomorrow is from the world of the unseen, a bridge that we do not cross until it comes,” says Dr. Qarni.

2. Patience is most fitting – 

One achieves success after a journey full of hardships. Patience is the key to everything. We must put our trust in Allah (SWT) and arm ourselves with patience. Difficulties need to be faced with firm resolution and patience needs to be displayed.

Once time passes by, the one who is patient will be rewarded with success.

Be patient. Certainly, Allah does not let the rewards of those who do good go to waste (Quran 11:115)

  3)Do not carry the weight of the globe on your shoulders-

They think that every cry is against them (Quran 63:4)

The author mentions that some people have a heart that is like a sponge absorbing all kinds of fallacies and misconceptions. Such a heart is troubled and shaken by hardships. We must have a brave heart and firm faith to overcome the challenges that life throws upon us. We must be more ferocious than the winds of calamity whereby we are putting our complete trust in Allah (SWT). 

 He knew what was in their hearts. So He bestowed inner peace upon them and rewarded them with a victory near at hand….. (Quran 48:18)

4. The blessing of knowledge-

Read! In the Name of your Lord, who has created all that exists (Quran 96:1)

“The soul, by its very nature, longs for the acquisition of new knowledge to stimulate it and the  mind.” If we crave happiness then we should seek knowledge. Knowledge is a light that leads to wisdom. Through knowledge, the path to reach our goals becomes clear, making us get rid of anxiety, depression and grief. 

5. Do not grieve. There is another life to come-

Quoting a verse by an Arab poet, 

“If the minister and his delegates rule despotically, 

And the judge on earth is unjust in his judgments,

Then woe, followed by woe after woe

Upon the judge of the  Earth from the judge Who is above.”

Dr Qarni realistically puts forward the ultimate truth,

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon ( Verily we belong to Allah and verily to Him do we return)”

Life of this world is temporary and there is another permanent life to come. The day will come when Allah will gather together the first of the creation and the last of it. There will be no grievance and injustice in that life.

Surely, one should live like a traveller in this world preparing for a world hereafter. 

Subhanallah! These are my top 5 reflections from this book. 

Indeed, one cannot find true peace and happiness without putting their trust in Allah (SWT). One must follow the divine truth, and be patient. All this will make the course of our lives in this world much easier. 

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