I do not know where to categorise this 'beautiful piece' by Shaykh Hussain Yee on STRESS, whether it is under religion or philosophy, and at last I put it under HEALTH, and Prayers/doa.
If you are not Muslim , it does not matter,.....consider it under the broad base of SPIRITUALITY.
All of us living in this present day crisis of values and loss of meaning of our very own existence, a big dose of SPIRITUALITY seem to be the panacea. In my humble estimation at least several 'table spoonful' a day of 'spirituality, if indeed it can be quantified and so defined!
Sit back, listen and enjoy Shaykh Hussain Yee....he is a 'cool guy'.
The good Shaykh has got it right. Stress is usually the domain of the ulama', the sage and the guys with wisdom. It is multidimensional and religion and spirituality play a major role in its dissipation and solution. Stress not handled properly can be a precursor to a major depression [..and even suicide ]. By then, one need real professional help from doctors and/or psychiatrists. By the way, psychiatrists are very much 'under-visited' in our soceity as there seem to be a stigma attached to being seen in their company. This has to change because they as a group of medical professionals , are the best to settle your problems related to 'disturbed emotion'.
Convoluted stress that has degraded to the extent of depression need medical help to clear the 'dark cloud of pessimism'. And really you can take my word for this: No one, practically no one is entirely immuned to DEPRESSION. It is just a matter of degree.
Often times depression can lead to suicide and please do not under rate this prospect. In Islam, suicide is a NO NO. You automatically get demoted to the 'bottom of the heap' for ETERNITY.
Nonetheless, while still at the early stage, only by just attempting dhikr and prayer can play major role in STRESS reduction. A heart that remembers Allah 'sitting, standing, while in prostration and even in sleep' are usually impervious to 'internal pain and stress'. Oftentimes even if your problems do not get solved by the ways you would want it to be, the dimension of dhikr, prayer and spirituality are able to modulate your stress level to acceptable level. Remember this: even if the equation on the ground does not change, our attitude to the equation may take a significant positive shift, and often, this is all that is needed.
The rest of the world call this ACCEPTANCE. We Muslims have a deeper and more meaningful term: RIDDHA.
In the realm of chronic , incurable illnesses we have another gift from Allah: the concept of KAFFARAH, the continuous shedding of minor sins for as long as the illness last and as long as one's approach to his or her illness is one of 'patience'[ sabar/endurance ], combined with increased piety and RIDDHA.
Oftentimes on the superficial level our prayer, doa, sabar and endurance may not seem to work.Allah in His ultimate wisdom know we are not yet ready for the solution and thus our problem and stress remain high; maybe to avert a greater crisis looming in front that we do not know; maybe what is deemed stressful for us is in actual fact a blessing....and of course lastly that possibility that in His view,we have not yet tried or prayed hard enough or the method we took 'instead of leading us northward to the 'Arctic' lead us to the 'Antartic Circle'. There is a method to correctness and numerous methods to pure madness. Science and technology, applied in the right way with wisdom, will lead us upward, the 'Arctic Circle'.
This apparent world is consisted of the 'visible' and the 'invisible' and most of us will do well to remember the epic story of Prophet Mosses and Nabi Khaidir. The clever chaps amongst us, though ignorant of the 'invisible' aspect of this world, do recognise it's presence. Only the very very gifted by their high level of piety and 'zuhudness' are able to move in and out of both at any one time. Let us just aim to be the clever ones. The gifted are certainly beyond us.
Dr Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah
"Unto Allah (belongeth) whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will bring you to account for it. He will forgive whom He will and He will punish whom He will. Allah is Able to do all things. (284) The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (285) Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it hath earned, and against it (only) that which it hath deserved. Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as thou didst lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, Thou, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk. (286)"
Surah al Baqarah , 2 : 284-286
Translation of The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal