“The main cause of depression is the effect of memory upon people. Most people harbor in themselves some very deep regrets about their own past actions or about what they feel to be wrong decisions or mistakes made through the course of their lives. When we recall such painful events, a fire roars out of control through our hearts. Then, we arrive at a gaping hole in our hearts which cannot be filled, no matter what we try to fill it with – so deep are our regrets.
Our present life becomes a bridge between the past and future, between two terrible visions: haunting memories and anxiety-filled anticipation of the future. Worrying about our future makes us crazy, and all that modern medical science acan do about it is to offer people some dangerous drugs specially designed to cloud both memory and anticipation. These are terrible and dangerous methods, for when people regain their wits, their despair will become even more acute. Allah in His Wisdom created brain cells non-renewable. Those dangerous drugs kill brain cells, and once they are killed they are never replaced.
Since it is impossible to change the past, we must be patient in the face of painful memories and no one can attain such patience without being a believer – and not just a believer in name, but also a person of deep faith. Those memories will persist as memories, but faith may effectively neutralize their painful effects. He who has been absorbed in the love of God may feel himself to have made a new beginning and to have left painful memories far behind.[pullquote_left]He whose faith is strong will never doubt that his Lord ultimately intends good for him in this life and the next, and he will be patient through adversity, looking for the Lord’s promised respite. [/pullquote_left]
There is a tradition of the Holy Prophet: “Of actions, only the final one counts.” We must know that the only step of real importance in our lives is the last step – was it on the right way or on the path of iniquity? So many saints have once been big sinners, and every mistake we make is an opportunity to realize something valuable about ourselves, and to awaken to the need for improvement. The past had best be left behind us. It is a completed chapter, and there is no need to harp upon it. What is important is to consider where you are headed. Even though you may be nearing the end of your life, don’t be discouraged if it seems to have been spent frivolously – just make your last step count.
Another cause of depression is hopelessness. We, as servants of a great God, have no right to be hopeless – no. The Lord may change everything in a second – everything. He whose faith is strong will never doubt that his Lord ultimately intends good for him in this life and the next, and he will be patient through adversity, looking for the Lord’s promised respite. As for unbelievers, abysmal despair follows on the heels of worldly ambition, as all their hopes are dashed on the rocks of time. But the heart of the believer is a vessel that sails safely through such danger, with the Lord as his guide, and his faith in the guide keeps his heart afloat through stormy seas, until at last the goal is attained – endless Mercy Oceans.
I know my bad actions are a hindrance between my Lord and myself, but I believe that His Mercy Oceans will engulf my heart and that I will be freed of my bad attributes, and be granted a new personality, suitable for Mercy Oceans.”
– Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani
“In the Mystic Footsteps of Saints Volume 1”