Episode 26 - Dua for Fear
A Muslim’s Guide to Conquering Fear Using A Powerful Dua
Sep 20, 2021
The dua for fear is “La illah ila Allah” (Reference Sahih Al-Bukhari: 3346). Recite it often so you do not let fear of “false gods” take over your life. Put Allah at the centre of your life, love and be conscious of Your Lord. Only fear Allah using this powerful dua of “La illah ila Allah” to stay grounded.
Episode 26 Transcript:
I’m Saba Malik, and this is a Mini Mental.
I recently got sick again. You would think that because I podcast about mental health, and I talk about it so much that I would have bipolar under control, and would never get sick but that’s not the case. I still have my ups and downs just like you.
The body that I love and cherish so much literally turned against me. I lost total insight, and I could not control the suicidal thoughts, delusions and all the lovely stuff that comes with it. I realized there’s one problem. What I love most is what I fear losing the most.
Is that true for you? You might think that love and hate are two opposite things they’re really two sides of the same car. Whatever you love most is actually the thing you fear losing the most. Today’s Mini Mental is about what to do when you feel afraid. What do you say?
Dua for Fear
In Islam, we’re taught to say, “la illah ila Allah.” Why? When you’re afraid, why are you affirming that there’s no God except Allah? Why do that? I just want to reflect on that today. When you say the first part, “la illah.” What are you doing? You are negating all false gods and clearing the path, clearing your heart of any other thing that you might worship.
Does worship mean that you stand in front of a statue and you pray? No. This is a more subtle kind of worship, which is that you obey what you love. In your heart, if there are false gods, let’s say the god of money, the god of body where you worship your body, god of what other people think of you, the god of your mind, where you think your opinion is “god,” if all those things are competing for your love, then that is your diety. That is essentially what you worship.
You Fear Losing What You Love Most
Anytime you lose the thing you love the most, let’s say you get sick or people don’t love you anymore or you lose your job, what’s going to happen? You are going to get destroyed along with the thing that you worship. When you say, “la illah ila Allah” you’re cutting all that garbage out. You’re not worshipping those things. You’re reaffirming, that there is no other God except Allah.
When you have that fear, and consciousness, you know you can lose everything in your life, including your sanity and mental health, yet you are still alive. You are still standing. What matters most to you is your connection with Allah, not how sane you are now, how pretty you are, not how many followers you have, not how many kids you have or what kind of job you have, not your marital status. Nothing. What matters most is your connection with Allah. That’s your reason for being.
My Experience with “la ilaha illa Allah”
What did I do when I was going through the episode? I was repeating la ilaha illa Allah so much. There came a point where it was even hard to say the whole dua so I was just saying, “Allah, Allah, Allah.” And let me tell you, it was scary. It’s something you try to prevent, every single bipolar episode, but there’s things that are unpreventable.
I ask myself, “Why did I go through this?” Let me learn the lesson and use it to become closer to Allah and to help you realize the benefit in saying la ilaha illa Allah. I thought maybe this is a punishment. So let’s turn it into a blessing because I’m using it to become closer to Allah.
Recognize How Fear Manifests in Your Body
When you feel afraid, how does that fear manifest in your body? What happens to your hands, breathing and stance? How do you stand? What are some of the behaviours that you do? Do you stonewall? Do you run away? Or do you attack a person out of fear but you mask it with anger? How does that fear manifest in your body?
Find that out because if you cannot identify that fear, you are not able to say la ilaha illa Allah. You’re not able to have that response because you’re not even conscious of what you are feeling.
Build a Habit of Saying “la ilaha illa Allah”
Does saying la ilaha illa Allah magically get rid of all your fear? Do you finally feel super brave and you feel like you can conquer everything? Of course not. It’s not a magic pill but it will get you through those tough moments because it really centers you. It changes your perspective and you realize what is the most important thing. Every single thing you have, including your mental health is from Allah. There’s no guarantee you’re gonna have it forever because it’s a gift.
If somebody gave you a book to borrow and then after months, they came back and they asked you for it back, you wouldn’t be surprised because you knew that it was never yours to begin with. So you return it. Same thing with every single gift we have. The problem is, do you forget that it actually belongs to Allah? Do you remember that one day it will be taken away from you?
I sometimes get so attached to this podcast. And I have to pull myself back and say it is from Allah. It is a gift from Allah and one day, it’s going to be taken away from me and I’m going to have to pass it on and give it to someone else. I need to do the best I can to use it to come closer to Allah.
Saying the Dua for Fear
La ilaha illa Allah is not a magic pill for fear but it is a great and an essential tool for any Muslim who’s going through a mental health challenge, especially during this time of COVID.
What are some tips that you can use right now to start implementing this in your life? I have three easy ones. One of them I mentioned already, which is ask yourself, how does fear manifest in your body? For me, I start to feel like I’m suffocating. I don’t have enough oxygen. I almost start to tremble. Interestingly, I also start to mask it with anger and aggression. I know that those are the signs of fear in my body.
How does it show up in your body? Ask yourself that and you will answer it for yourself. Next tip is to say la ilaha illa Allah in the moment you are NOT afraid. When you do that, you are building that consciousness of Allah. You realize He’s the only Deity. He’s only Being worth worshiping. He is Constant. Your mental health challenges are not constant. Your relationships are not constant. They’re not going to be there forever. Things come and go. The only Eternal, Ever Living Being in your life is Allah. Center your life around him.
The next tip to start using la ilaha illa Allah in your life is ask yourself, what do I say when I feel afraid? Do I say, “Oh my God!” or start to swear and yell? Recognize that sign, and then replace it with la ilaha illa Allah.
“Piggyback” Your Habit
Even if you have to say it in English first, or if you just have to say the word Allah, start to make that tiny, little change. I have this term called “piggyback” which is essentially a way to start a new habit. Let’s say you want to start reading more so at nighttime, you put your book beside your bed. When you head to sleep, you see your book, you pick it up and you start reading it. So you’ve “piggybacked” the habit of reading with a the night time routine of sleeping.
How can you piggyback this amazing dua, this amazing tool that we have in Islam? How can you add it on to a small habit that you already have? Maybe it could be when you wake up in the morning? The first thing you say is la ilaha illa Allah. Maybe when you are with your child or you’re having a really good moment at work and you’re really enjoying it and all of a sudden you feel like you’re gonna lose it. You have this horrible thought in your mind of your child going into an accident. Do the piggyback right there. Say la ilaha illa Allah. Become conscious of Allah. Become conscious of your Creator and use it to come closer to Him.
If you benefited from this Mini Mental, please share it with your family and friends. Subscribe to my podcast and remember to check out my premium show “MorningWind on Apple podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/morningwind-memoir/id1570192392
Alright, see you next time.
As salaam alaikum