Thoughts of not wanting to live are real. They exist in our loved ones, our family, friends, colleagues, in our community, in our societies at large, and sometimes even in ourselves. But what if I told you those thoughts also exist in the Quran? In the book God sent for guidance. And by one of the most honorable woman in the world. In Maryam, Mary, the mother of Jesus. The one God named a whole chapter after in the Quran. The one God calls the chosen one in the Quran. In Chapter Maryam, verse 23, Maryam cries out:
يَا لَيْتَنِي مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَٰذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْيًا مَّنسِيًّا
“I wish I had died before this and became long forgotten and non existent.” How did God reply? Imagine if He replied like so many people around us would reply to someone in a state of depression that has gotten so bad to the point where they didn’t want to live? What if God said, “Be grateful, look at the positives, it’s all in your head, you’re literally the chosen one.” Instead, He immediately sends help. And the verse specifically mentions someone under her. As if someone is getting down to her level.
فَنَادَاهَا مِن تَحْتِهَا أَلَّا تَحْزَنِي قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيًّا
“Then he called to her from below her, saying: Don’t be distressed. Your Lord has made a stream under you.”
Someone is coming to understand her. He sends her an angel to comfort her. And here comes lesson one. When you see someone in this situation, give them COMPANY. Comfort them. What does that company tell her in the verse? “Don’t be distressed.” He acknowledges that she’s sad and in a state of misery. Validate that feeling. Next, he reassures her and tells her God has created a stream under her. He gave her hope. Water is always a good sign. Something to quench your thirst, both physically and metaphorically speaking. And the next thing he tells her is amazing.
وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا
“And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward you, ripe dates will fall upon you.”
He gives her an action item. A to-do list. Shake the palm tree and ripened dates will fall out for you. Do this in order to get the fruit. Motivate. Help them get up on their feet. Then, as the verses continue:
فَكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي وَقَرِّي عَيْنًا فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ الْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِي إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيًّا
“So eat and drink and comfort your eye. And if you see someone, say “I have vowed to fast for the most Merciful (a name mentioned in this Chapter repeatedly but that’s for another post), and I will speak today to no one.””
What we can derive from this is that she didn’t have to explain her situation to anyone. Who cares if people want to talk? If you’re on the right path, and more than that, God’s path, then you don’t have to explain anything to anybody. People will always talk, so save yourself the time and don’t talk back. Stay focused on your mission. And that’s to get back up on your feet and know God is on your side.