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Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran that problems are a normal part of this world (verse 3:186 and others). Here are the top 5 Islamic ways to cope with life’s problems. 

  1. Find Peace in Qadr/Destiny

Qadr is the Islamic belief that everything is predestined and part of Allah’s will. This belief brings a sense of peace and acceptance for whatever happens. Shaykh Umar Abd-Allah writes:

“To be content with a thing doesn’t mean that you are personally happy with it. It means that: I am content with God, my Lord, who has ordained this for me. We can be content in happiness, and content in sadness. All the things that transpire in our lives are from God. He willed for it to be. Contentment is a type of submission: I have no complaints against Him, and I can do the best in the situation I am in, and I will seek to find the wisdom that God has in this.” (https://healing-hearts-blog.com/category/dr-umar-faruq-abd-allah/)

According to Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi states, “We use Qadr to console ourselves about the past but not to justify about the future” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do_K4kj-itQ&t=1656s). Qadr does not negate responsibility for one’s actions, however. Allah will judge people based on their life choices and not on their destinies (https://www.whyislam.org/on-faith/destiny-and-free-will/). 

  1. Repentance

Repeatedly saying the dhikr of “Astaghfirullah” (Allah forgive me) brings solutions to many problems. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Whoever does a lot of repentance, Allah will provide him a way out of each concern he has, and will solve all his troubles, and will provide him with livelihood from sources that were not known to him” (Bukhari, Muslim).

Many Muslims feel guilty for past sins. Allah’s immense forgiveness is a core value of Islam. Allah encourages us to sincerely ask for His forgiveness and to never lose hope in His mercy. The Holy Quran states, “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)!  Despair not of the Mercy of God: verily, God forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (39:53)” and, “…Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (11:114).” Rather than dwelling on guilt, Muslims are advised to follow up bad deeds with good deeds. 

  1. Patience and Gratitude 

Patience (Sabr) and gratitude (Shukr) are core values of Islam. Keeping a gratitude journal will help you to focus on the positives in life. Some hadiths about patience and gratitude are as follows:

How excellent the affairs of the believer! His affair, all of it, is good for him, and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If prosperity comes to him, he is thankful, and if adversity falls on him, he perseveres patiently. So it is all good for him. (Muslim)

When one of you sees another who is superior to him in point of wealth and creation, let him look to him who is below him. That is more proper that you hold not in contempt the favor of God towards you. (Tirmidthi)

Whoever among you wakes up secure in his property, healthy in his body, and has his food for the day, it is as if he were given the entire world. (Tirmidthi)

  1. Istikhara Prayer and Consulting with Others

Istikhara prayer asks for Allah’s guidance in making a decision. Before praying Istikhara, Muslims should use their reason to identify the pros and cons of a decision, and to consult with trustworthy people. The Holy Quran states, “And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when you have decided upon a course of action, place your trust in God…” (3:159).

After a Muslim has considered the pros and cons of a decision, he/she prays two rakats of Istikhara prayer at any time. After praying, he/she says the following dua:

Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi ‘ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’alaka min fadlika al-azim Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu lghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or ‘ajili amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or fi’ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.

O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, and power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this matter is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter–(or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)–then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, and then bless me in it, and if You know that this matter is harmful to me in my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter–(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)–then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, and make me satisfied with it.

  1. Dua and Tahajjud

“Dua,” or personally talking to Allah (swt) and asking of Him, is a powerful solution to many problems.

Duas can be made in any language, at any time. Allah says in the Holy Quran, “Call on Me, I will respond to you” (40:60).

 The Tahajjud prayer is an optional prayer done in the night time after the Isha prayer and before the Fajr prayer. Praying Tahajjud is extremely spiritual and pleasing to Allah, and any dua made after this prayer is highly likely to be granted. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught: 

“Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it to him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?” (Bukhari, Muslim and others)

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