Emotions are one of the many blessings that Allah (swt) has made us, as humans, capable of. Although, we tend to pick and choose which emotions are the right ones for the right occasions. A lot of the times, we do understand what the other person is going through, and we use the word “patience” among each other as if patience means that we should not have feelings. As if having patience means the same thing for every single person. We, as Muslims, are taught that life is full of tests, and there is no doubt that patience and trust in Allah (swt) is the key to passing these tests. However, we are not robots. Patience does not mean that crying is a sign of low iman. Grief and sadness, while negative emotions, are necessary and can be a sign of wisdom, of emotional intelligence. Even though, at certain times, we feel as though our prophets, peace be upon them all, are people whom we cannot compare ourselves to because of their time periods, these prophets show us answers to all our questions in the way that they lived their lives. In Surat Yusuf, Allah (swt) shows us this very example of emotional intelligence through Prophet Yaqoub (as) and how he reacts to the loss of his son, Prophet Yusuf (as).
Being sad, feeling grief, at the loss of a loved one is not a sign of weakness, and it is certainly not a sign of impatience or distrust in Allah (swt). However, there are better ways of dealing with grief. The Quran quotes Yaqoub (as) when his sons reprimand him for grieving over the loss of Yusuf (as) for years after his death. Yaqoub (as) says, “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know” (Quran 12:86). Every human being goes through grief in one form or another, and it helps to talk about our problems with one another. While that is fine, Yaqoub (as) shows us an extremely good point. Nobody in this world will understand your pain like Allah (swt) does. No matter how similar our situations are, no two hearts ache in the same way. Only with Allah’s support will your pain lessen and become healthy. With Allah (swt), sadness and grief is not dismissed or denied. If our prophets, the best of us, were ones who felt that emotion, there is no way that these emotions should be ignored.
Yaqoub (as) grieved the loss of Yusuf (as) for years. Keeping that in mind, I ask that the next time you witness someone’s sadness and grief, please do not dismiss it. Do not make them feel guilty for their emotions by implying that they are being impatient. Allah (swt) created people with emotions, and in some shape or form, all our emotions are necessary, and they are blessings. He (swt) will not look down on someone for their grief. That is what we should be telling our brothers and sisters in their times of hardship and grief.
By Aydah Nofal