For more on this topic, see Trauma: Your Lord Has Not Forsaken You
I can’t deal with this.
I’ve lost so much. What do I have left to appreciate?
There’s nothing I can do to change this; it’s hopeless.
Allah is sending me hardship after hardship but He promises ease too. Where is the ease?
I just don’t understand why Allah would deny me so many blessings.
There is no point in going through this—nothing good can come out of it.
Magnification and minimization are two of the most common forms of cognitive distortions. Most of us fall prey to them occasionally—even people with relatively healthy thinking patterns. Magnification
Everywhere I look, it just seems like tragedy follows me.
There is nothing but bad in my life.
No expectations means no disappointments. I’ll just accept that Allah has cursed me so no matter how much I try or how much I pray, only bad things will come my way.
Ward off passing thoughts, for if you do not, they will become ideas. Ward off ideas, for if you do not, they will become desires. Fight them, for if you do not, they will become resolve and determination, and if you do not ward them off, they will become actions. If you do not resist them with their opposite, they will become habits and it will be difficult for you to get rid of them.
Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as my servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’’
Minimizing capabilities and magnifying shortcomings
Cognitive distortion:I’ve accomplished nothing in life.
Cognitive distortion:My husband never helps with anything at home.
‘He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.’ A person (amongst his hearers) said: ‘Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine.’ He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: ‘Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people.’
Minimizing blessings and magnifying struggles
Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians—those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness—no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.
His Wisdom (the Glorified) determined that happiness, pleasure, and comfort are not reached except by the bridge of difficulty and fatigue, and they are not accessed except through the gates of hardship, patience, and enduring difficulties. What great disparity exists between the joy of someone He relieved after affliction, and enriched after poverty, and guided after being astray, and collected his heart after its dispersal, and the joy of someone who did not taste those bitter pains.What is this bridge of turmoil leading you toward? Your joy is on the other side, waiting for you to find it as you journey through this
- Appreciation of life
- Relationships with others
- New possibilities in life
- Personal strength
- Spiritual change
No, rather I hope that Allah will bring from their descendants people who will worship Allah alone without associating partners with him.
The beauty of a gift has less to do with what's actually given, and more to do with the relationship between the gifter and the receiver. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Give gifts to one another and you will love each other.” So it's not about gifts, really. It's about love. When you love someone, you want to show it - and one way to do that is through gifts. Sometimes I think about the endless gifts that Allah (swt) gives us. We tend to think of the beautiful, happy things in our lives as ‘gifts,’ and the difficult, painful things as ‘tests.’ And so they may be! But what if we recalibrated our hearts a little and convinced them to believe that everything is a gift. Everything. The terribly painful to the unbelievably blissful. I know it's hard, but gifting is about fostering love, right? It's about strengthening bonds and bringing hearts together. Every happy thing you're given is a chance to be grateful to Allah. Every difficulty you're given is a chance to be patient and seek help and comfort from Him. Everything you're given is either about fostering gratitude or patience - both of which are things that Allah loves and both of which strengthen your connection with Him. So yes, everything from Allah must be a gift because it's an opportunity to do better and be better. Our entire existence is about worshiping Allah. All that comes our way is calling us to this one, true purpose. He is Allah, Al-Wahhab. The Giver of gifts.
Shift your focus: Big picture vs. pixel
Inspirational sayings for reflection
Verily, if I am afflicted with a calamity, then I praise Allah four times. I praise him that it was not worse than it was. I praise Him when He provides me patience to bear it. I praise Him when He guides me to supplicate appropriately and hoping for reward, and I praise Him for not making it a calamity in my religion.
A person may hope for some matter of trade or position of authority, until he is close to attaining it. Thereupon Allah looks at him from above the seven heavens and says to His angels: ‘Divert it from him, for if he attains it, he will enter into the Hellfire.’ Thus, Allah diverts it from him and the slave of Allah remains pessimistic, saying ‘So-and-so preceded me to it, So-and-so outwitted me,’ when in fact it is a favor from Allah.
What do you need to accept about your life at this moment in order to move forward?
Has anything happened in the past that you imagined was detrimental to your life but ended up turning out for the best? When has Allah shown you that His plan for you is better than the plan you imagined for yourself?
What is within your control at this moment? What can you do to address the factors in your control in the best way possible?
What qualities do you possess that will help you through this struggle?
Who are you as a person? What is at the core of your identity? What are the different facets that make you who you are?
How are you feeling right at this moment? Write it all out and allow them to come to the surface rather than keeping them at bay.
“Nothing will ever be the same.” “I can’t do anything with my life anymore.” “Everything is falling apart.” “There’s nothing good in my life.”
When Salwa realized that she could no longer get out of bed in the morning even on days when she didn’t feel nauseous or weak from the chemotherapy, she talked to a friend who encouraged her to work with a therapist.
During her time in therapy, Salwa realized that she had been magnifying all of the intense hardships in her life and minimizing her capabilities and the good she still had that cancer had no power to take away. By working to conquer her self-defeating thoughts and replacing them with self-endorsing ones, Salwa’s emotions and behaviors also began to change. When she woke up without nausea, she was able to get out of bed and start her day with a smile. Instead of thinking, “Nothing will ever be the same,” Salwa began to tell herself, “There are some things in my life that have changed and that’s hard but in this moment, it feels really good to wake up without feeling nauseous. There are many things in my life that are still here—my kids, my husband, my home. I’m grateful for that.”
As she worked on her self-defeating thoughts, Salwa learned about posttraumatic growth and strove to:
 Burns, D. D. (1981). Feeling good: The new mood therapy. New York, N.Y: Penguin Books.
 Qur’an 15:97-98.
 Sunan Abi Dawud 4986.
 Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyah, Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr, 1292-1350 (1394/1974). Kitab al-fawaid al-mushawwiq ilá ulum al-Quran wa-ilm al-bayan talif al-Imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah. Kujranwalah: Dar Nashr al-Kutub al-Islamiyah.
 Sahih Muslim 2675; Sahih al-Bukhari 7405.
 Burns, D. D. (1981). Feeling good: The new mood therapy. New York, N.Y: Penguin Books.
 Sahih Muslim 91.
 Sahih al-Bukhari 6075; Sahih Muslim 1048.
 Qur’an 5:69.
 O'Rourke, J.; Tallman, B.; Altmaier, E. (2008). Measuring post-traumatic changes in spirituality/religiosity. Mental Health, Religion, & Culture, 1, 719–728.
 Tedeshi, R.G., & Calhoun, L.G. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 1-18.
 Ibn al-Qayyim, Shifā’ al-‘Alīl fī Masā’il al-Qaḍā’i wal-Qadari wal-Ḥikmati wat-Ta‘līl (pp. 448-449).
 Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (1996). The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory: Measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9(3), 455-472.
 Sahih al-Bukhari 3059; Sahih Muslim 1759.
 Hussein, Asmaa. A Temporary Gift: Reflections on Love, Loss, and Healing. Toronto, Ontario: Ruqaya’s Bookshelf, 2015.
 Siyar A’lam An-Nubula 4/105.
Ibn Rajab in Jami al-Ulum wal Hikam.