Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “If a Muslim is living in fear, the beginning of the healing process is for you to convince yourself that you are not doomed to be a prisoner of your past; you have the ability and power if you choose to transcend your bad past; you have the power to choose the kind of present and future you wish for yourself not tomorrow or weeks or months from now, but from today itself.
The way to go about achieving your healing is to convince yourself that you would not allow yourself to be a prisoner of the past. Tell yourself that you can rise above it by having sound faith in Allah, trusting in Him, and taking the necessary steps.
Here are a few tips you can put into practice immediately to reverse the process and recondition yourself to free yourself from those fears and anxieties that are crippling you.
1. List each of the fears that creeps into your mind and analyze them one by one and dismiss them as being completely irrational and unfounded.
2. Remember the fear is an acquired habit; just as you have acquired it through conditioning, you have the power to break free of it through conditioning. So think, read, see, and reflect on stories or scenes or narratives that develop courage, trust, and hope, and thus reverse the fears.
3. The surest way to overcome fear is to know that Allah alone is All-Powerful and to believe that nothing can happen to you except by the will of Allah.
4. The devils and evil spirits that you are worried about have no independent power of their own, as Allah has assured us in the Qur’an. Their power is derived from Allah, so you can surely defeat them by aligning yourself with Allah, Who alone is Irresistible, and All-Powerful. Allah says, “As for My servants, you (i.e. Satan) cannot exercise any control over them; your Lord is sufficient for you to place your trust in” (Al-Isra’: 65).
5. In order to align yourself with Allah and derive strength from the Source of all power, you must perform your daily Prayers as diligently and as consciously as you can, with feeling and reverence. Remember, as Allah said, “Lo, it is only through remembrance of Allah that hearts find true peace and tranquility” (Ar-Ra`d: 28).
6. Besides performing daily Prayers, make dhikr (remembrance of Allah) your second habit. This can be done by repeating words and phrases such as “subhana Allah; al-hamdu lillah; la ilaha illa Allah; wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah; Allahu Akbar,” (glory be to Allah; praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah; there is no strength to gain good nor power to resist evil except by the will of Allah; Allah is Great). As Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “Consistency in dhikr removes all fear, feelings of insecurity, restlessness and anxiety that assail the soul and bestows a true sense of joy, peace, serenity, and peace.” This is not a mere claim; it has been experienced by millions of people throughout the ages, and you can also experience it yourself, if only you condition yourself with it.
7. Seek refuge and protection only in Allah. Let these du`a’ be part of your daily practice, in the morning as well as at night before retiring to bed:
Bismillahi alladhee la yadhurru ma`ismihi shay’un fil-ardi wa la fi-s-sama’i wa huwa as-samee`u al-`aleem.
(In the name of Allah, with His name nothing whatsoever on either earth or heaven can inflict any harm; He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.)
Hasbiya Allahu la ilaha illahuwa `alayhi tawakkaltu wa huwa rabbu-l-`arshi al-`azheem.
(Allah is sufficient for me; there is no god but Him; in Him alone I place all my trust; He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.)
Rabbi a`oodhu bika min hamazati ash-shayateeni wa a`oodhu bika an yahdhurooni.
(My Lord, I seek refuge and protection in You from whisperings of devils, and I seek Your protection against their presence around me).
Repeat them as many times as you can in the morning and at night while believing that your prayer is heard by Allah, then feel the grace and protection of Allah.
8. Read the Qur’an; especially the following before going to bed: Surat Al-Fatihah, Ayat Al-Kursi (Surat Al-Baqarah: 255), Surat Al-Ikhlas, Surat Al-Falaq, and Surat An-Nas.
9. Finally, close it all with the following du`a’ for overcoming insomnia:
Allahumma gharat an-nujum, wa hada’at al-`uyun wa anta hayyun qayyoom, la ta’khudhuka sinatun wa la nawm; ihdi laylee wa anim `aynee.
(O Allah, stars have set, eyes have rested; You alone are the Ever-Alive, and the Self-Subsisting Source of all beings; neither slumber nor sleep overtakes You. Make my night comforting for me, and bring sleep unto my eyes.)”