(Written By: Maryam Amir)
People tell you that your belief is weak if you keep crying. That if you prayed more, if you read Quran more, if you were a better believer, you wouldn’t be sad and wouldn’t have these problems. That you should get over it.
Here’s something you can share with them:
Prophet Jacob (p) cried so much at the loss of his son Joseph. He wasn’t sad for a day. Or a month. Or a year. He was distraught for decades. His tears flowed so intensely that his eyesight was depleted. And despite his tears, despite his very human sadness, he was amongst the best of believers God placed on earth. His tears did not mean his belief in God was weak or his trust in Him wavered.
And the Prophet Muhammad (p) had the Quran revealed directly to him. He prayed the longest, with the most intense concentration and with the strongest relationship with God ever possible. And yet he still missed Khadija 10 years after her death.
He didn’t “get over her.” He moved forward with life, but he missed her intensely. And it’s okay that it hurts.
He cried at his mother’s grave decades after her passing. It didn’t diminish the strength of his belief. He wept as he held his dying son, and it didn’t decrease his trust in God’s wisdom.
His having a strong relationship with God didn’t mean his life didn’t have issues and heartaches. If the most spiritually connected person- who knew the most Quran and did the most worship- could suffer from such intense emotional loss and pain- then what about us?!
Salah and the Quran are a lifevest to keep us afloat when we’re drowning. It doesn’t mean we won’t be thrust in an ocean. It doesn’t mean we won’t sometimes feel like we can’t breathe and like we’re being dragged under. But even when facing the highest wave, even if at times we’re swallowing water and gasping for air, it’s knowing we have Someone Who will bring us back and keep us afloat and help us get back to the safety of the land again.
Go to therapy (SO important). Seek social support. Invest in self-care. And don’t let anyone take your safe space- your intimate relationship with God- away from you.
He is the One to Whom we can be vulnerable. Where we can shatter. Where we can show every insecurity and know that we are still worthy.
And when people say, “Hasn’t it been long enough?” Let them know: For the Prophets, sometimes it was longer. And yet the Prophets- may God send His peace upon them- have shown us that with God, we can.