This year we were blessed with an extra day in Ramadan. It created mixed emotions when we were so keen for the celebration of `Eid to come but also did not want the month of Ramadan to depart.
This is perhaps the one day in the year when we can feel both happiness and sadness at the same time.
Feeling both positive and negative emotions at the same time creates an interesting dynamic for Muslims and gives us a lot to consider.
Professional and academic research looking at the relationship between positive and negative emotions shows that experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio with negative ones leads people to a tipping point beyond which they naturally become more resilient to adversity and effortlessly achieve what they once could only imagine.
With positivity we learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of ourselves.
We experience emotions constantly in our daily lives- related to people, experiences or events like Ramadan. It’s how we allow ourselves to be affected and consider these emotions that really matters.
|The more you see how Allah has blessed you, you see His presence in your life, the more you will have a soothing heart.|
As Muslims we know that we should be moderate in all things, aiming to create a balance so that we are at peace with ourselves and with what Allah has given to us in our short time on earth.
We should avoid extremes in every thing; including emotions- any extreme can be destructive whether it is positive or negative.
Positive emotions are things like love, hope, enthusiasm, determination, gratefulness, optimism, elatedness, and confidence. Negative emotions are irritation, annoyance, embarrassment, sadness, fear, being unhappy, being afraid or overwhelmed.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, said an authentic hadith narrated by Bukhari”None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” So you have a positive attitude when you are experiencing good emotions, when you look at the life blessings you are receiving; by then remember that you have so much more than others. And I urge you to take a few moments and pray for your brothers and sisters all over the world who do not have what you have. Do this while you are in a positive state of mind.
Thanking someone is realizing and valuing what they have done for you. The more you thank someone the more you will see better things about yourself and about the others.
The more you see how Allah has blessed you, you see His presence in your life, the more you will have a soothing heart. “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” [Qur’an, 14:7].
|We should avoid extremes in every thing; including emotions- any extreme can be destructive whether it is positive or negative.|
Taking time out when you are busy to thank Allah may mean you are overwhelmed because you will never be able to thank Allah for everything He has given you… but you will truly cherish Allah’s existence in your life.
Now, let’s briefly look at negative emotions we may feel – perhaps because we are disappointed with ourselves because we haven’t performed to the best of our ability, or because we are feeling anxiety or depression or envy. Only we know when we feel these emotions, but it’s how we deal with them that matters.
In the last hours of Ramadan I knew that we might feel guilty about not doing enough but don’t let that stop you from improving. If you ever make a mistake, admit it right away- whether that is to Allah or to someone you have wronged.
Never be arrogant about it as arrogance was the reason for Shaytan's downfall.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Every action is based upon its intention"(Bukhari), and in another hadith, "The best actions are those which are small and consistent (Bukhari & Muslim).
Consider what consistent positive changes you have made that can become part of your life forever. This can help take any anxiety and negative thoughts and use it as a motivator to help positive change in your deeds and actions for this life and the next.
Lastly, don’t feel bad and never lose hope. As you search for happiness remember that all of us are trying to achieve happiness in this dunya and we keep striving for it in so many ways- nice clothes, nice food, lovely house, great wife/husband, etc.
If a person is grateful to Allah they will achieve what they are striving for i.e. true happiness!
Related Links:Arab & Muslim Women: Like a Bee
Happily (N)Ever After
For Housewives: Balancing Those Finances
On Productive Muslims: Interview with a Doctor