Emotions (Part 5 of 6 – The Cause of Dis-ease)
Emotions broken down is e-motions, so feel what you are feeling and keep it moving.
It is common knowledge that the body is certainly affected by emotions to such a degree that often high levels of stress and anxiety can lead to physical illnesses. Allah (SWT) gives the cause and remedy for unrest in the heart. In TICM, we call it Restless Heart syndrome.
“But whosoever turns away from My message, verily for him is a life narrowed down full of grief, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgement” – Al-Qur’an Surah 20 Ta Ha.
“Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction” – Al-Qur’an Surah 13 Ar-Rad.
The Prophet (SAW) himself regularly supplicated to Allah to save him from anxiety.
Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “O Allah, I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by other men” – Al-Bukhari Volume 8 Book 75 Number 380.
This does not mean that a believer should be free of all worries. The true believer will worry to a certain extent but regarding those things that really matter.
Hind ibn Abi Halah (RA), a sahaba is reported to have said whilst describing the Prophet (SAW), “The Prophet was always concerned and always in deep thought, he did not enjoy freedom from anxiety” – Ash-Shamail Al-Muhammadiyyah of at At-Tirmidhi.
Commentating on this, scholars write that this anxiety of the Prophet (SAW) was not for the dunya; rather it was for the akirah and the state of the Ummah.
Anxiety if just one of the detrimental emotions. Another is anger and everyone to a certain extent experiences anger. The Prophet (SAW) himself is reported to have on occasions become extremely angry particularly when a commandment of Allah was broken. Through this we come to learn that anger triggered by wrong things and what is uncontrollable and can lead to someone committing such actions which they may later regret.
“Whatever you are given here is but a convenience of this life; but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting: it is for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord; those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and when they are angry even then forgive” – Al-Qur’an Surah 42 Ash-Shura.
“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a garden whose width is that of the whole of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous. Those who spend freely, whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon all men – for Allah loves those who do good” – Al-Qur’an Surah 3 Al-Imran.
Abu Hurayrah (RA) narrated, “A man said to the Prophet (SAW), ‘Advise me’, The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Do not become angry and furious’. The man asked the same question again and again and the Prophet (SAW) said every time, ‘Do not become angry and furious” – Al-Bukhari Volume 8 Book 73 Number 137.
Abu Hurayrah (RA) also narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger” - Al-Bukhari Volume 8 Book 73 Number 135.
Anger which also encompasses the emotions stress, bitterness, frustration and resentment, affects the functioning of the Liver system. Our Liver is the General commander of our body, responsible for managing the smooth flow of Blood, energy and our emotions throughout our entire being. Constant stress, anger or any of the mentioned emotions weaken the Liver, and over time take their toll. Symptoms of a weakened Liver are being easily angered, agitated and stressed, physical symptoms manifest as high blood pressure, migraines, insomnia, digestive disorders, weight gain, changes in vision and menstrual difficulties.
Women especially have certain times where they have to manage their emotions particularly well, according to TICM, and it all has to do with reproductive health.
1. Pregnancy: during pregnancy if the soon to be mother is experiencing positivity and happiness, her energy, Blood and fluids are circulating smoothly, resulting in a peaceful womb and healthy state. The mother's health is the greatest importance, as that is the same vessel of health that the baby receives. If the mother feels consistent agitation or anger, the Liver is affected, disrupting the flow of Blood. Once Blood flow is disrupted, stagnation occurs and there aren't enough fluids (especially Blood) to provide to the baby.
2. Nursing: during nursing, if the new mother feels angered, TICM refers to the milk secreted during that time as tarnished. Feeling calm and not disturbing the flow is very important during nursing to create peaceful and healthful fluids for the baby.
3. Before/ during period: the feeling of anger and agitation creates internal cold, bringing cold down into the reproductive organs. Cold is the most harming environment for the reproductive organs to experience. This effects the blood vessels greatly, stopping the smooth flow of fluids. If this occurs every month, it can eventually close up the vessels and stop the period causing amenorrhea, the absence of menstruation, or one or more missed menstrual periods.
Joy is a quality which is acceptable and commendable if it is in moderation. It is said that it strengthens the inward energy.
Allah says in the Qur’an, “Say: In the bounty of Allah, and in His Mercy – in that let them rejoice that is better than the wealth they hoard” – Al-Qur’an Surah 10 Yunus.
Extreme joy and happiness are not approved by Allah (SWT), “Exult not, for Allah loves not those who exult in riches” – Al-Qur’an Surah 28 Al-Qasas.
This does not mean that happiness is forbidden, but the meaning of this is that happiness should be expressed and indulged in moderation. The example of the Prophet (SAW) bares testimony to this.
Jabir (RA) narrates that the extent of the Prophet’s laugh was to smile.
Anas (RA) narrates that one day the Prophet of Allah (SAW) addressed us and said, “By Him in Whose hand Is the life of Muhammad, if you could see what I see, you would have laughed little and wept much more. They said: What did you see Messenger of Allah: He replied: I saw Paradise and Hell: - Sahih Muslim Volume 1 Book 4 Number 961.
Laughing relates to any amusing thing that a person may come across. One may note that even in the severity of the above Haith, the Prophet (SAW) did not prohibit a person from being happy, but rather explained that one must always try to have one’s hereafter in mind. The method of achieving success in the hereafter is crying to the Lod in repentance and supplication.