By: Sr. Kanwal Malik Saba
As I decide to call my friend, I grab my phone and start texting instead. What did I just do? I asked myself. I did what I usually do nowadays. It has become a habit of mine to text my family and friends instead of calling them. Not only that, I find myself having some really important conversations with people via text messaging, Facebook or other social media. Has talking become obsolete? Is “talk therapy” a thing of the past?
I have always been a huge advocate of talk therapy. But, what is it, you must be wondering by now? According to the Mental Health Foundation UK’s website, “Talking therapies can help you work out how to deal with negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes. They can help people who are feeling distressed by difficult events in their lives as well as people with a mental health problem.”
As a Muslim female in today’s fast paced society the answers to all my problems coincide with talk therapy. When I have a question about deen I pick up the phone and call a graduate of Al Huda Institute Canada, established by the renowned Pakistani scholar Dr. Farhat Hashmi. This confidante is always there to listen and offer advice that comes directly from the highest source of all, the Mighty Quran. What better way to alleviate a problem than to use the word of Allah? But the first step in order to achieve this is engaging in talk therapy and opening up.
My dear sisters, it is imperative to talk to someone about our problems. Talk therapy opens a door of communication and if nothing else eases the burden secrecy might be causing. It creates a much needed outlet and by discussing our problems we can get the opinion of an outsider - an objective listener - who can sometimes change our perspective. There are times when an issue seems mountainous, but by remembering that Allah never tests us beyond our limits we can approach a family member, a friend, or a community member who can listen to our problems and offer a listening ear.
I urge all my sisters to pick up the phone and actually talk to someone about their challenges. Or, better yet at the next ladies halqa let’s talk about the challenges we face as Muslim mothers and females. Instead of discussing mundane and trivial topics, if we were to talk about what we can do for our Ummah and how we can achieve it - anything can be accomplished. It is our job and duty to shape the Ummah as females. Without having a healthy mind set we can’t be the movers and shakers of society the way Allah intends for us to be. Instead of succumbing to depression or other stress-related problems if we talk to someone, our stress level can be curbed.
So dear sisters, let’s keep the lines of communication open. Let’s remember to engage in talk therapy with our spouses, children and other family members so we can listen AND talk to them. Remember the Quran says” "The believers, men and women, are Awliyaa (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another.”.