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Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind. [114:1]

Ramadan: A Time of Healing for Victims of Sexual Abuse

Bismillah

Dearest Sister,
Forgive me that I have not written to you sooner, I hope this reaches you in time for Ramadan. I want to share with you my intention for writing to you. It really frustrates me that with the non-Muslim clients I have worked with in Social Work, that professionalism holds me back from giving them advice which will truly benefit them. I feel every cell in my body wants to break it down to them what they should do to  start the process of healing. I try my best in simple terms but I walk away feeling unfulfilled and disappointed that I could not truly make a difference. So I am writing to you from my heart so it reaches yours.

One cannot truly understand what you have gone through or are still going through other than you and Allah (swt). Unfortunately the harsh reality is that we live in a world where women are not only pearls but also a prey for the vicious predators out there that are driven by their base desires. I know it probably hurts deeply to the core of you but the hurt needs to pass. Do not destroy yourself with your own hands otherwise the life you will lead will be that of self destruction and that of misery. You have a choice to pick yourself up, heal those wounds on the inside and outside and have a breakthrough this Ramadan. Have that brighter future you deserve and can have through constant effort and perhaps life long struggle.

You may or may not be aware but your hardship has strengthened your heart and atoned for your sins. The one upon whom calamity has fallen can display courage and patience; and your circumstances, unlike the one who is drunk with worldly pleasures, permits you to solemnly prepare for a meeting with your Lord.

Do not be sad, for sadness will weaken your determination and the quality of your worship. Sadness, grief and anxiety are the roots of mental health problems and the deterioration of your body and soul. Do not be sad for you have with you the Quran, supplication, remembrance, and prayer. Do not surrender yourself, instead have hope in Allah (swt), pray, glorify your Lord, read, write, visit relatives and friends.  Do not allow yourself to become a prisoner of idleness and inactivity. Allah (swt) is Al-Jabbar, the Mender of Hearts, so never give up hope in Allah’s mercy and power in healing your heart.

“’….Allah [Alone] is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs [for us].’ So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allah. No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah. No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty”
{Surat Ali Imran  3: Ayaat 173-74}

The one who has trust is in Allah, is helped by Him.

Ramadan…A Time for Change
As a Muslimah, you will already know the significance of Ramadan but let me remind you and myself again. Ramadan is a special time for Muslims, a truly magical chance to make changes. The doors of hell are closed and Shaytaan is chained and the gate of heaven is wide open for our prayers to reach Allah (swt). Any evil which we display now is from our selves.  Allah says:

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).”
{Surat Al-Baqarah 2: Ayaah 185}

Ramadan will provide you with a rare opportunity to think about yourself, your future, and your families. It is truly a unique month of self-analysis, a time for action and change. Let’s all face the truth, we all need to change. Take steps towards being the best versions of ourselves. In order to do that, we need to know Allah, submit to Him. Only then will we truly know ourselves.

Fasting in this month is one of the Five Pillars upon which the “house” of Islam is built. Every Muslim who is free from illness and is of age is required to fast, for 29 or 30 days from dawn until dusk. Fasting in Arabic is called, “Sawm”, which means ‘to be at rest’. The purpose of the fast is to help develop self-restraint, self-purification, God-consciousness, compassion, the spirit of caring and sharing, the love of humanity and the love of God.

“O you who Believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may develop consciousness of God”
{Surat Al Baqarah 2: Ayaah 183}

Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said: “Three duas are never rejected: the dua of the father, and the dua of the one who is fasting, and the dua of the traveler”
[Reported by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan (3/345). Albani declared it to be authentic in al-Sahihah]

Dua is the essence of worship and the weapon of the believer.

Quran: Allah is speaking to you
The Qur’an is the word of Allah that was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and is recited as an act of worship. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And We send down of the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) nothing but loss”
{Surat Al-Isra’ 17: Ayaah 82}

The Quran is a healing for the body and soul. It brings light and gives certainty to the Believer and it is the strong rope to Allah which can never be severed. He (swt) clearly tells you what He will do to those who have harmed you. Be assured that it is better to be oppressed than to be the oppressor. What I mean by this is if a person has been wronged by someone, Allah accepts the dua of that person against the person that wronged him. This ‘wrong’ could be that he has cheated of his rights, oppressed, persecuted, slandered, or any form of wrong that a person may be inflicted with. The Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam mentioned in numerous ahadith: “Fear the dua of he who has been wronged, for verily it ascends to the skies faster than sparks (of light)” [Narrated by al-Hakim from Ibn Umar]. Leave the wrongdoer to the court of the Hereafter when there will be no judge but Allah.

It has been authentically narrated that peace and tranquility descend on the one who recites the Qur’an. Therefore, after reciting any portion of the Quran, we are encouraged to make dua as it is more likely to be responded to. Take your time to ponder on the verses, every Word is Allah (swt) speaking to you, to reassure you and give glad tidings and invite you to the Blessed Path.

Dua…The Weapon of a Believer
If you are beset with fear and anxieties dear sister, stand up right now and pray: your soul will find comfort and solace. The prayer, as long as you perform it sincerely and with a wakeful heart, is guaranteed to have this effect on you. Allah says: “O’ you who believe! Seek help in patience and the Prayer”.

As I have mentioned, dua is the essence of worship which you can do at any time.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah has stated, ‘…dua and the seeking of protection from Allah are like weapons, but the sharpness of a weapon is not sufficient for it to cause effect, for the person that handles it also plays a role. So whenever the weapon is a perfect one, having no flaw in it, and the forearm is strong, and there are no preventing factors, then it will cause an effect on the enemy’.

Making supplications during Ramadan, whilst fasting and in salaah- sharpens your sword.

It is important to have correct tawhid. You must believe fully that only Allah is capable of hearing your prayer, and Allah has the power to grant you what you desire.

Allah says:

“Invoke me (ask me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation)”
{Surat Ghafir 40: Ayaah 60}

Supplications from the Qur’an and Sunnah
Do not destroy your own heart with your own hands. Remember that with Allah are the keys of the unseen, and He, the Al-Mighty, Al-Merciful, is the One Who brings relief from worry and distress. So turn to Him and call upon Him and always repeat these duas:

“Allahummak-fineehim bimaa shi’ta’ (O Allah, suffice (i.e. protect) me against them however You wish)

“Rabbi inni lemaa anzalta elayya min khairin faqeer” (My Lord! I am needy of whatever good You Send down for me, Surat Al Qasas 28: Ayaah 24)

“Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min al-hammi wal hazan wa a’udhu bika min al-‘ajzi wal-kasal wa a’udhu bika min al-bukhli wal-jubn wa a‘udhu bika min ghalbat ad-dayn wa qahr ar-rijal” (O’ Allah, I seek refuge with You from distress and grief, and I seek refuge with You from incapacity and laziness, and I seek refuge with You from miserliness and cowardice, and I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from being overpowered by men)

“La hawla wa la quwwata illa Billah” (There is no power no strength except with Allah)

Conclusion
Ramadan is just the beginning and the best way to start the healing process. It is not merely a two or three step process but a continuous journey. I sincerely hope you make the most of it as will I. We are all in need of Allah. I pray my letter to you has brought you comfort and instilled in you the want to make the most of this auspicious month. I pray Allah answers all your duas and completes His Blessings on you.

Authored by Fateha Majid  is a seeker of knowledge, a philanthropist and an activist. She is a Psychology Graduate from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and Development Studies Postgraduate from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Fateha is fuelled by human empowerment and development and truly committed to making a positive difference to individuals in the UK and internationally. She is psychologically trained working as a Social Worker for the Child Protection Safeguarding and Support Team for Local Government. She successfully completed NSPCC (National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children) Key Skills Counselling training. Fateha is a Director for a Not-For-Profit charity, Wishful Smiles, which has‘a vision to see hunger, pain, poverty and social injustice eradicated from the world ; as it acknowledges that every human life matters and deserves a chance to flourish. Fateha is fascinated by the psychological dimensions of the Quran and is drawn to the writings of Imam-Al Ghazali on purification of the soul. She aspires to be a talented writer producing inspiring books to educate and empower the Muslim Ummah.
Edited by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob

Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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