I have been divorced for five years and I have two children, one of whom is nine years old and the other is ten. Praise be to Allaah, I fulfil my duties towards them in the fullest sense. I am a religiously committed person; I pray regularly and recite dhikr and du’aa’, and I work in this life for the sake of my children. But hard feelings are always coming to me. I feel desperately lonely and I also feel stressed and depressed. I am also a person who would like to enjoy life within the limits of what Allaah loves and is pleased with. I feel that I strongly need to get married because I have started to feel fed up and I am getting worked up about everything in life, even insignificant things. I feel as if I am in a locked room in which I am the only person, and I feel depressed. Everyone who sees me, whether at work or during social visits, tells me that they can see signs of depression on my face. In addition to that I feel that I need to live life and not be like an object left in one corner of life. I do not want these feelings to take over me because they have started to have a direct impact on my work, and on my relationships with family, relatives and friends. I always keep quiet and am always withdrawn from people so that they will not see signs of depression on my face. I am not able to put a smile on my face; I regard it as something that is too difficult for me. I am in a vicious circle that has no end: divorce, my children, my need for a husband and stability. I feel that I do not want to live, and I know that that is wrong, but humans are composed of feelings and reason. I am a woman and I do not know if I have the right to speak of this subject or not. I am very tired of life, I go anywhere and I sit in gatherings with family, relatives and friends but I am always thinking of this matter… I want to live my life in a natural fashion, but I do not know what to do.
We ask Allaah to bless you with tranquility and peace of mind, and to take away the stress and worry that you are experiencing, and to grant you the means of goodness and success.
We do not think that what you have mentioned of tiredness and pain is experienced by everyone who goes through what you have gone through. But at the least there is a measure of stress that a woman goes through when she loses her husband and has to start dealing directly with the burdens of life. Moreover, women vary in their ability to put up with things and try to overcome them. There are many divorced woman who have been able to overcome these problems, and live happy and contented lives. This depends on certain reasons which may be the solution in your case, in sha Allah. There follow some of them, for you to ponder and try to put into practice, so that you can regain the happiness that you have lost.
1 – Developing a strong relationship with Allaah. That includes believing that this problem and others happen by the will and decree of Allaah and that Allaah is more compassionate and merciful towards you than a mother towards her child, and that His decree is good for His slave, both in the short and long term. Calamities expiate sin, bearing them with patience raises one in status, and when Allaah loves His slave He tests him.
2 – You have two choices: either you can live feeling miserable, worried and anxious, or you can bear it with patience and seek reward, in the hope of attaining reward and rising in status. Your sorrow will neither advance you nor put you back, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allaah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2396; Ibn Maajah, 4031; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
3 – Pondering the blessings of Allaah, and striving to show gratitude for them, and comparing these many blessings with the calamity that befell you. This opens the heart to contentment. So think of how many blessings Allaah has bestowed upon you, in your religion, your self, your health, your wealth and your children. Think of the calamities that have befallen others. How many women are paralyzed, how many suffer calamities that befall their children, or are tested in their religious commitment, or suffer sickness, and so on. If you think about this you will find that you are enjoying blessings for which you are to be envied. You will realize that there are people who are suffering greater calamities than you. This should make things easier for you and make you give praise and thanks, and acknowledge the bounty and mercy of Allaah.
4 – Thinking about the calamity that has befallen you, and seeing the blessings that may be hidden therein. How many married women suffer from harsh treatment and abuse from their husbands and live a miserable life with them. You have been spared all that, so give praise to Allaah.
5 – Filling your time with things that will bring benefit in this world and in the Hereafter. For example, you could join a centre that teaches memorization of the Holy Qur’aan, attend religious lectures, read useful books, learn useful domestic skills such as sewing, and so on.
6 – Paying attention to the ultimate goal, which is to earn the pleasure of Allaah and attain His Paradise and be saved from the Fire. This requires buckling down to hard work and serious effort. That is the basis of true success and true happiness in life. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing)”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:185]
7 – Having certain faith that what is with Allaah is better for you; that He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy; that He is with the pious (those who fear Him) and loves those who do good; He rewards those who are patient and helps the believers, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)”
Beware of complaining about Him to His creation, because you are complaining about the One who has mercy to one who has no mercy. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is struck by poverty and he goes around telling people about it (and complaining about it in the hope of receiving help), then his calamity will not be relieved. Whoever is struck by poverty and he complains to Allaah about it, Allaah will grant him relief sooner or later.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2326; Abu Dawood, 1645; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
8 – Frequently recite this du’aa’ which was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a person who is afflicted by anxiety or sorrow says: ‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka wa ibnu ‘abdika wa ibn ammatika naasiyati bi yadika maadin fiyya hukmuka ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw asta’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana rabee’a qalbi wa noora sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You with which You have named Yourself, or, or You have taught to any of Your creation, or You have revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)’, then Allaah will take away his anxiety and sorrow, and will replace it with joy.”
It was said: “O Messenger of Allaah, should we not learn it?” He said: “Yes, whoever hears it should learn it.”
Narrated by Ahmad; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 199
We ask Allaah to relieve you of your anxiety and replace it with joy.
And Allaah knows best.