Dealing with toxic situations in life
There may be times in our lives where we find ourselves in situations that involve us having to deal with people that have a toxic and unhealthy effect on us. We must understand that although patience is an extremely important virtue in Islam, this does mean that we required to endure these situations without looking out for ourselves. In fact, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a hadith:
“Verily, your own self has rights over you, so fast and break your fast, pray and sleep.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
Therefore, we must ensure that we are remembering our rights and not carelessly allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of or treated badly.
Staying in touch with people who are toxic for us or make us feel bad is detrimental for us as it can stop us from living our lives in the way we want to. The aims and ambitions we have can end up getting delayed and possibly even destroyed because of the impact of the toxic situations we are having to go through.
Furthermore, situations like these have a very negative impact on our mental and emotional stability. Our whole lives begin to revolve around that negative situation or person. We may feel so anxious that we start to feel as though we can barely live our lives in a normal way. We become more stressed about each part of our lives due to that one negative aspect of it. We may feel drained and demotivated because of this.
These situations can also affect our physical health. We may feel less focused on the fact that we need to be maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and be exercising regularly. We may begin to not take as much care as we should be of ourselves and our health.
In these situations, we must remember the importance of patience in Islam. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Qur’an 2:153)
We ought to keep in mind though, that as much as we should be patient, this does not mean Islam teaches us not to look out for ourselves. We read in the hadith below about the importance of putting in our own efforts to look after ourselves and then rely on Allah, as opposed to just being careless about ourselves:
“One day, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered: “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said: “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah”. (Tirmidhi)
We must take responsibility for our lives and realise that we are accountable to our Lord for our actions. We should always do the best we can to protect ourselves in toxic situations. We put our trust in Allah, but we also have a responsibility to be proactive. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Qur’an 13:11)