There is one thing that I am asked about repeatedly and that is about my battle with Anxiety. I have been wrangling with it for many years now and know my triggers well. My family are so used to me spending car journeys praying some of these Duas for anxiety. I hope these duas are as helpful to you as they have been for me.
My experience of anxiety has changed over the years. Nowadays I rarely suffer from panic attacks Alhamdulillah. Anxiety though, still looms away in the background waiting to turn up uninvited to special events with me. Forever my trusted companion.
For me, anxiety has been the reason for countless panic attacks, hundreds of missed events and opportunities, days spent zoned out in bed, weeks spent sobbing uncontrollably, years spent hiding from loved ones, and worst of all – a decade of self loathing.
Nowadays I have an acceptance, gratitude and an appreciation for the intensity of the panic attacks I experienced (they lead me to make changes in my life and eventually to trust myself again) and the quietening down of my anxiety now. (If it were to come back at the level it was at, I know Allah has my back and it is there FOR me, to help me, to guide me and to steer me in the right direction).
How Dua helped me
When I felt like I was on the brink of giving up and there was no way out, Dua (Supplication) is one of the things that really helped me.
At times of heightened anxiety, I turn back to these Duas over and over again until my heart feels lighter and I feel like I can breathe again.
Much has been said over the years about anxiety from an Islamic perspective and there are still some views out there that link depression and anxiety to weakness of iman. To anyone who needs to hear this, please ignore those opinions and remember:
When Allah wants to be good to someone, He tries him with some hardship.
For every misfortune, illness, anxiety, grief, or hurt that afflicts a Muslim, even the hurt caused by the pricking of a thorn – Allah removes some of his sins.
Are you listening?
It is only when we slow down that we are able to tune into what our bodies are trying to tell us. It takes some observation and reflection to truly understand our own needs and it took a complete break down for me to finally admit defeat and allow myself to slow down long enough to try and understand what was going on inside me.
When the body starts to become tired and needs a break, it shows signs of fatigue to force you to stop and take a break so the body can recover. If ignored, the body continues to give more and more signs such as illness and ailments, in order to be heard.
Similarly, the mind and the soul throw up symptoms of distress when something isn’t quite right. This shows up in a number of ways, such as stress, anxiety, anguish, or a feeling of emptiness.
The mind is communicating that it needs something. Sometimes it is asking you to slow down, change direction, connect spiritually, or come back home to who you really are/what you really want. Sometimes it is all of these and sometimes it is none of them.
Sometimes these feelings are so overwhelming that we turn to temporary solutions or addictions to fill the void e.g. Netflix, Food, Drugs, Shopping.
But no amount of distraction helps when your body begins to scream to be heard and when that happens there are a few things that help – Counselling, Journaling, Exercise, Getting enough sleep, Eating well, Supplements, Medication, Talking, Essential Oils, Therapies such as EMDR or CBT, Meditation, Breathing exercises, Self Care, Decluttering, Grounding, Fresh Air, Having a nurturing morning and evening routine and of course Dua.
Many years ago, I shared a couple of posts about my experience with anxiety. (I since deleted the posts – I really wish I hadn’t but ‘it is what it is’). Since then many of you have shared your own struggles with me and I feel like we have been on this road together. Some of you have asked for tips to help you with your anxiety and I have spoken with many of you at length about your own battles. I will forever be humbled and grateful for you sharing your stories with me.
What is anxiety
‘Anxiety is a persistent feeling of worry, fear or nervousness. Many people feel anxious at times, especially when faced with stressful events and changes to our lives, it’s a natural human response when we perceive that we are in danger. However if these continuous feelings of anxiety impact your ability to carry out life as normal, you could have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety might be becoming a problem if:
- Your feelings of anxiousness last for a long time
- The feelings of worry are out of proportion to the situation
- You avoid situations which may cause you to feel anxious
- You feel distressed and unable to control these feelings
- You regularly experience symptoms of anxiety such as panic attacks
- It’s becoming difficult to enjoy and live your life in the way you want to.’
Definition via Mental Health UK.
Duas for Anxiety/Worry
1. لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِين
‘La ilaha Illa anta Subhanaka Inni Kuntu Minazalimeen.’
The dua made repeatedly by the Prophet Yunus عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ when he was in the belly of the whale.
2. لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ الْعَظِيمُ الْحَلِيمُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ رَبُّ السَّمَوَاتِ وَرَبُّ الْأَرْضِ وَرَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيمِ
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports that when Nabi (ﷺ) was distressed he would recite:
‘La ilaha illalahul ‘Azimul Halim, la ilaha illallahu Rabbul ‘arshil ‘azim, la ilaha illallahu Rabbus samawati wa Rabbul ardi wa Rabbul ‘arshil karim’
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 6346 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2730)
3. Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports: “Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) was worried about something, he would lift his head to the sky and say ‘Subhanallahil ‘Azim’.
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3436)
4. اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ و أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ
Sayyiduna Abu Bakrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (ﷺ) said:
The du’a of a distressed person is:
‘Allahumma rahmataka arju fa la takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘ayn wa aslih li sha’ ni kullah la ilaha illa Ant’
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 5049. Declared authentic by Hafiz Ibn Hibban-rahimahullah-; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 970).
5. Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrated that whenever Rasulullah (ﷺ) used to be afflicted in any worry or concern, he used to recite the following supplication:
‘Yaa Hayy Yaa Qayyoom birahmatika astagheeth.’
ياحي ياقيوم برحمتك أستغيث
(Mustadrak al-Haakim vol.1 pg.509; Shu’ubul Iemaan of Imaam Bayhaqi Hadith No.:10231)
6. اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّي عَبْـدُكَ ابْنُ عَبْـدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِـكَ نَاصِيَتِي بِيَـدِكَ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤكَ أَسْأَلُـكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّـيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أِوْ أَنْزَلْتَـهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْـتَهُ أَحَداً مِنْ خَلْقِـكَ أَوِ اسْتَـأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الغَيْـبِ عِنْـدَكَ أَنْ تَجْـعَلَ القُرْآنَ رَبِيـعَ قَلْبِـي، وَنورَ صَـدْرِي وجَلَاءَ حُـزْنِي وذَهَابَ هَمِّـي
Allâhumma innî cabduka, ibnu cabdika, ibnu amatika. Nâsiyatî bi-yadika. Mâdin fiyya hukmuka, cadlun fiyya qadâ’uka. As’aluka bi-kulli smin huwa laka, sammayta bihi nafsaka, aw anzaltahu fî kitâbika, aw callamtahu ahadan min khalqika, aw ista’tharta bihi fî cilmi-l-ghaybi cindaka, an tajcala-l-qur’âna rabîca qalbî, wa nûra ssadrî, wa jalâ’a huznî, wa dhahâba hammî.
Another due for relief from anxiety is as above. A supplication in these words will be answered. Allah will remove one’s affliction and replace it with joy and happiness. (Ahmad and Ibn Hibban).
7. اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّىْ اَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنْ جَهْدِالْبَلَاءِ وَدَرْكِ الشَّقَاءِ وَسُوْءِ الْقَضَاءِ و شَمَاتَةِ الْاَعْدَاءِ
‘Allaahumma ‘innee ‘a’oothu bika min jahdil-balaa’i, wa darakish-shaqaa’i,wa soo’il qadhaa’i, wa shamaatatil-‘a’ada.’ (Sahih Al Bukhari #6347)
This dua relieves hardships and afflictions.
8. أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
‘Annee massaniya alddurru waanta arhamu alrrahimeena’
Prophet Ayub A.S was ill for many years with a terrible disease. He was known for his patience in enduring one calamity after another and remaining steadfast in his belief in Allah SWT. After a long time of suffering, he turned to his Lord asking for His Mercy with this dua.
99 Names for relief from Anxiety
I also used to recite some of the names of Allah and still do:
- As-Salam : The giver of peace
- Al-Fattah : The remover of all difficulties
- Al-Mujeeb : The one who answers
- Al-Wali : The protector, Helper, Friend, patron
Surah for Stress and Anxiety
Surah Ad-Duha was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) at a time when he had not received any revelation for six months, not even in the form of a dream. The Prophet (saw) was in a very disturbed state of mind, feeling negative and depressed and believing that Allah was displeased with him and had forgotten him. Surah Ad-Duha was revealed to the Prophet (ﷺ) to provide relief and hope. It was a way to reassure the Prophet (ﷺ) that Allah had not abandoned him. Through this Surah, we too can find relief from anxiety and sorrow.
Image via Tadeebulquran.com
I really hope these Duas, Surah and Asma – ul – Husna are beneficial for you. I pray that you find relief from anxiety. May Allah grant you the very best of states and tranquillity of mind and heart. Aameen.