When treating a physical ailment, a medical professional would seek the root causes for it and begin treatment. In a like manner, the common causes for grief will be sought and listed along with guidelines towards avoiding and dealing with each cause bi idnillāh.
One very profound cause of grief in this day and age among Muslims is sin. When we distance ourselves from Allah Ta'ala, we feel like birds fluttering when they're caught or like a life boat without an anchor. This dark shadow that poses as grief is often the displeasure of Allāh. Restlessness and fear sets in and this, dear reader, is your calling back to Allah. Our Allah is so Merciful that He calls us back, warns us several times despite our initial clear message, He gives us respite and doesn't resort to immediate punishment. Allāh says: و من تاب و عمل صالحا فإنه يتوب إلي الله متابا
“Whoever repents and does good deeds, surely turns to Allah in a true manner of repentance. “
Seeking forgiveness and attributing one's suffering to one's own wrongdoings is the first step. Allah loves humility and humility urges ones to turn to Allāh. Even if one turns to Allāh in his heart, with no verbal utterance, this will be accepted and in turn, goodness will be your lot.
Allāh says in surah Nooh:
فقلت إستغفروا ربكم إنه كان غفارا • يرسل السماء عليكم مدرارا و يمددكم بأموال و بنين و يجعل لكم جنت و يجعل لكم انهارا •
“Seek forgiveness from your Rabb, certainly He is the oft-forgiving. He will send down for you rains in torrents and bless you with wealth & children in abundance and grant you gardens and flowing rivers…”
The above verse among many others, elucidates the benefits of merely seeking forgiveness. Imagine the benefits of turning to Allah in such a manner that you start anew. Subhānallah.
The second step is change of action. Yes, we all sin, but the best among us are those who repent. When a person finds himself repeatedly committing mistakes, falling into a particular sin or missing salāh etc, he must make a firm resolution to follow it with a good deed immediately, no matter how meagre or make qadhaa (in the case of salaah) as soon as he realises that he has missed it. These efforts count and will slowly but surely contribute towards his peace at heart and graceful living inshāAllāh.
“Seek forgiveness for verily the forgiveness of your Allāh is more vast than any ocean of sins.” -Maymoona
(Coming up: Prophetic Remedies – diet related – for Depression & Heart Diseases.)