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Anxiety Disorder

One issue that people simply do not understand is that I suffer from an anxiety disorder. I have had it since I was a young man and it can be a nightmare. It is not a form of psychosis – it is an emotional disorder that probably stems from arguments I had with my father about my mother.

Unlike some people who suffer from similar emotional disorders I am not ashamed to talk about it. There is a stigma attached to mental issues in our society, but I am not concerned about that.

The reality is that such a problem is from Allah – just like all illnesses are from Him – and I deal with it accordingly by turning to Him for help.

As I said above it probably stems from arguments I had with my father.

He could, as Allah well knows, be a most unpleasant person and his treatment of mum was utterly contemptible. Some men simply don’t appreciate Allah’s blessings.  God gives them righteous wives and loving children and they think that because they have gone up in the world that they can behave any way they please.

They forget it was God who raised them up in the first place – Who blessed them with success and prosperity - and it was He who blessed them with a faithful wife and loving children.

They forget that unless He forgives them they can face a terrible day of reckoning. There is no escape. He does not take lightly the abuse of women – the abuse of righteousness.

My beloved Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala - glory be to Him, the Most High)(tabāraka wa-taʿālā - blessed and exalted [is He]); (‘azza wa-jall - Prestigious and Majestic (is He)] never forgets and if it pleases Him neither do I.

The anxiety disorder poses major issues for me and is invariably triggered by stress – including harassment. I manage it by dhikr, meditation, driving and sleeping.

It can cause me to miss prayers or behave in other ways that some may think impious. For example, I find some music soothing – it can have a calming effect – but as everyone knows music is haram in Islam.

Another example: if I fail to go to the mosque or fail to pray it doesn’t mean I’m leaving Islam or that I’m rejecting Allah. It just means I’m in turmoil again and I’m quite all right as long as He is there to nurture me and comfort me.

If I resort to practices such as listening to music, then I wish some people would learn that it is my business and Allah’s business – He knows only too well how sick I can get – and leave me alone.

The continual pressure on me to return to Pakistan has had appalling consequences – I would never go there again - and Allah knows only too well why.

It doesn’t mean I dislike the Pakistani people or that I’m rejecting the religion – it just means there are serious matters that remain unresolved.

I’m facing difficulties in deciding whether or not to give evidence about what happened during the years I lived in Pakistan and it is Allah who will resolve those problems for me.

He doesn’t need any help from imprudent, ignorant people who do not understand the enormity – the consequences – of any comments I might make. 

Because it is forbidden in Islam to lie or do anybody an injustice, I have to pick my way through what I want to say – taking care not to break any of the rules.

Despite the ruling that it is halal to lie or play tricks in Jihad I try to refrain from doing so. Whether a person is a Muslim or not – even if they are an enemy of Islam – Insha'-Allah I try to shun any form of untruth.

I have never forgotten that years ago when I was living in Pakistan, I read a book by a scholar who was discussing this very issue – whether or not it was halal to lie in Jihad.

This sage gave some sound advice. He said words to the effect that even though it was halal to lie in Jihad if possible it was better not to do so.

Many of the scholars agree and warn that even in circumstances where it is halal to lie (there are three such circumstances in the Hanafi school) it is better to avoid doing so and choose words that are true but still serve the desired purpose.

One of the key issues I am facing is that if I identify any Muslim when I’m testifying I have to avoid humiliating them or giving the impression that I’m seeking after their punishment.

If I go ahead and testify then I’m spelling it out I’m not doing either. I’m only trying to arrive at the truth and if my suspicions are correct then that could be a horror – a disaster that might be better left unspoken.

I want to make it clear that I’m not committing myself to testifying. I frankly think in many ways it would be better to be silent.

As such, I would suggest that some people should learn to mind their own business about the matter. Allah is my carer and my guide. He does an excellent job. He doesn’t need anybody’s help!


First published at LAKEMBA, NSW, on 24 August 23.