The fear or phobia can reach to the extent of seriously affecting our lives. These fears are truths of life which cannot be denied, and none of us is immune from them. But the mind which is too engrossed in these fears reacts abnormally to otherwise normal phenomena of life, and consequently, problems are caused. These fears may also lead to serious mental problems and psychiatric disorders.
The suffering which is a truth of life – "certainly We have created man to be in distress." (90:4) – cannot be fully averted. The deep and true faith in Allah is the way out. The faith in the promise of His mercy and reliance on His might to deliver us from all unfavorable circumstances, combined with patience and contentment with His decree and will, is the path salvation.
In his book Ethics and Spiritual Growth, Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari discusses the importance of faith in mitigating and relieving the fears in our life:
Faith not only removes anguish and anxiety from the human heart, it can protect it from being overwhelmed by agitation and agony. The Qur'an describes the preventive role of faith in these words:
"If you have faith, do not yield to fear and sorrow, for you have an upper hand over the others on account of this asset of faith." (3:139)
This verse drives home the point that faith is a firm shield for the soul in its encounter with the agents of anxiety, producing a certain immunity in the human being. If one should lack a complete faith, and should the agents of anxiety penetrate to the core of his soul, it is again faith by relying on which he can free his mind from the burden of agony and purge the effects of suffering from the tablet of his heart. The Qur'an says:
"In God's remembrance do the hearts find peace." (13:28)
"It is He Who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the faithful." (48:4)
The Qur'an considers steadiness and security to be the characteristics of those whose hearts are full of faith:
"Mental peace and security are qualities of those who have faith and who have not drawn a veil of wrongdoing over their faith." (6:82)
"Lo, fear and sorrow do not affect the friends of God." (10:62)
In a sermon on the benefits of remembrance of God, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) describes the characteristics of Godly human beings:
"God, the Exalted, has made His remembrance the light and burnish of the hearts. It is by the means of His remembrance that the hearts recover their hearing after being deaf, regain their sight after being blind, and become soft and tractable after being savage and rebellious. It has always been the case that in periods of spiritual torpor, from time to time, God Almighty has confided His inspiration to the thoughts of His sublime servants and spoken to them through their intellects.
"The state of people possessing faith is not at all comparable with the condition of materialistic and irreligious persons in encounter with life's vicissitudes and its bitter experiences, for the two are as apart as the earth and the sky." (Nahjul Balagha)
Our Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) have taught us supplications which connect us to Allah and teach us the ways in which we should implore His mercy in difficult times of our life. Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) states in Sahifa Sajjadia, Du'a 54:
"O God, some rise in the morning having trust or hope in other than Thee.
I rise in the morning,
and Thou art my trust and my hope in all affairs ,
so decree for me those which are best in outcome and deliver me from misguiding trials,
O Most Merciful of the merciful!"
In Du'a 59, the Imam acknowledges the power of Allah and implores Him to replace suffering with comfort:
surely Thy power to remove
that in which I dwell
is like Thy power in
that with which Thou hast afflicted me!
And surely the remembrance of Thy acts of kindliness
and hope in Thy showing favor and Thy bounty
for I have not been without Thy favor
ever since Thou created me...
So, my Patron and Master,
place within that which Thou hast
and made unavoidable for me,
and that wherein lies
and my deliverance from that in which I am!
I hope for none to repel this other than Thee,
and I rely in it only upon Thee.
O Possessor of majesty and munificence,
be with my best opinion of Thee."
The Ahul Bayt teach us that a true believer is content with Allah's will and always expects the best from Him. We conclude our discussion with quoting Du'a 33:
I ask from Thee the best in Thy knowledge,
so bless Muhammad and his Household
and decree for me the best!
Inspire us with knowledge to chose the best
and make that a means to
being pleased with what Thou hast decreed for us
and submitting to what Thou hast decided!
Banish from us the doubt of misgiving
and confirm us with the certainty of the sincere!
Visit us not with incapacity
to know what Thou hast chosen, lest we
despise Thy measuring out,
dislike the place of Thy good pleasure,
and incline toward that which is
further from good outcome
and nearer to the opposite of well-being!
Make us love what we dislike
in Thy decree
and make easy for us what we find difficult
in Thy decision!
Inspire us to yield
to that which Thou bringest upon us by Thy will,
love the delay of what Thou hast hastened
and the hastening of what Thou hast delayed,
dislike what Thou lovest,
and choose what Thou dislikest!
Seal us with that which is most praised in outcome
and most generous in issue!
Surely Thou givest generous gain,
bestowest the immense,
dost what Thou wilt,
and Thou art powerful over everything."