Ibn ‘Abbas once said to me (’Ata bin Abi Rabah),
“Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “This black lady came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, ‘I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allah for me.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said (to her), ‘If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.’ She said, ‘I will remain patient,’ and added, ‘but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.’ So he invoked Allah for her.”
Bukhari :: Book 7 :: Volume 70 :: Hadith 555
Imagine you were this black woman and you went to the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam asking him for help. He then offered you the same choices as this woman.
Would you jump at the sight of an invocation for a cure? Or would you remain patient and have Paradise? What would you choose?
I wonder what possesses this black woman to choose patience over cure. After some digesting, I realize despite her epilepsy, she is actually very intelligent. I love natural stigma busters. Why does she turn down a prayer of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasalaam which could have cured her epilepsy as his du’a is always accepted.
She declines the du’a because she has her eyes set on the eternal pot of gold. She knows she can get some pleasure now. But she restrains herself and chooses to have patience so she can work now and play later.
Question: how will we be patient with Depression, Bipolar or Anxiety? How will we using our illness and trails to buy Paradise? Will our tests bring us closer to Allah or closer to Shaytan? It’s one or the other.
Patience is at the time of sickness, at the moment of hardship. We must do our best to stay calm when we’re in the mental storm.
And when you find it challenging to stay calm, here are two tips to add to your tool box:
- Prostrate to Allah often. When you want to complain about your illness, do sujood and cry your heart out. Allah is the only one who can really understand you.
- When you feel really depressed, replace the word depress with calmer words and notice the changes in your feelings and behavior. For example, replace depressed with ‘out of sorts’, or ‘down.’ Be creative and add your own.
I’ll leave you with some words from Kay Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind: reflect on being patient and being a patient.
Read the original Article by Saba Malik on her Blog