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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is worry so bad?

None of us is a stranger to worry. In fact we may be better acquainted than we want to be. But is all worry bad? What if we were to never experience worry? I know a few people who seem to never worry. While they do seem happier and more spontaneous than most other people, yet sometimes they are driving others crazy with their carelessness and lack of concern. Concern can be another name for worry. If we brush away all doubts, all fears, we may end up not being concerned about anything.  Is that how we want to be?

Allah tells us in the Quran to be concerned about how we are spending our lives, to think about the consequences of our actions, to care for others and to consider how we will answer for our life and reap its results in the next life. To me, this means that I shall spend much of my time thinking about these matters, for if I don't think about them, if they do not bother me in the least, how can I change my behavior for the better? Does this mean we should worry? I think that, to a certain extent, we should. Our goal in life should not be a worry free existence, nor should we always be preoccupied with concerns about the past or the future. As in most cases, a happy medium is to be found. Often when we worry, we pray, so worry leads us to acknowledge our helplessness and need for Divine guidance. Once we have engaged in heart lfelt prayer, we should be able to hand that concern over to Allah, and not agonize over it so much.

For years I was worried about driving on the freeway and deathly afraid of thunderstorms. These two worries would bring me closer to Allah for I would then pray for Allah to help me, to make these matters easier for me. Now that both thunderstorms and freeways do not bother me, I find I can pass through both without even reciting the name of Alla! I have to remind myself that they both can be dangerous, that a little worry would be wise, especially in the form of prayer.

What do you worry about? Is is something that requires some prayer and action. Good worrying will produce that action. Bad worrying will create fear that prevents one from moving forward.

May we never be overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, yet I would never wish anyone worry-free. Being worried is being human. It means we care about ourselves, about others, about the world.

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