Finding comfort with OCD in the Quran (2:286)

Finding comfort with OCD in the Quran

The whole Quran has this unbelievable way of amazing me. Its beautifully poetic verses and breath taking words just settle in my heart and mind so warmly. Though the whole Quran has the power to make me feel like everything will be okay, there is one verse that absolutely wins my heart. That verse is "On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" 2:286. (This verse is also repeated in 6:152, 7:42 and 65:7).

I can not think of any other verse in the Quran that empowers me as much as this one does. This is a verse I often reflect on in times of stress, sadness and need. Think about it. Just repeat the words.

On NO soul does Allah place a burden GREATER than it can bear.

Now, tell me, what is it that we can not overcome? What test is too much to bear? What final exam, what major decision, what grief of a loved one passing away, do we not eventually overcome? The answer is simple - none.

This verse really hit me at a time I needed it most. For the last couple of years, I have been suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD. It is a disorder that effects millions of people, and is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain.

This disorder caused me to have many unnecessary thoughts. I would repeatedly replay incidents over and over in my head. The type I have is more of a mental OCD, rather than a physical type. However, I would sometimes encounter physical anxiety. For example, sometimes I felt I had to touch something a certain amount of times or repeat things.

The hardest challenge was when I came to have difficulties in making wudu, the purification washing before performing a prayer. I was always under the impression that my wudu was not good enough or that I missed washing a spot. I would literally stand in front of the sink repeating my wudu until I thought I had it perfect. The same would happen with my prayers. I would pray the same prayer 3 times just to make sure it was "perfect".

Little did I know that on one particularly rough day, I would be inspired. I was feeling very down because of the OCD. I just could not handle it. It is hard to explain to someone who does not have it, it is just so frustrating because it seems like an easy thing to handle, but for one who has OCD it is incredibly exhausting.

So, I am standing in front of the sink, wondering to myself why it is so difficult to just be content with the things I do. I was so angry. So upset. Until the phone rang. It was my brother, calling from his college dorm.

My mom picked up the phone and spoke with him. I assume she told him that I was having a rough day, so he asked to talk to me. When I got on the phone, all he said was, "Go look in the Quran in chapter 2, verse 286".

So I went and picked up my Quran that he had recently bought me. I flipped through the pages until I came to the verse. Then I stared at the words and read them in my head. "On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear." I had to fight back tears. I actually felt like Allah had written those words just for me.

It was that day that I really understood what those words meant. I still reflect on the words every time I need to. So I want to tell you all, my brothers and sisters, let those remarkable words settle in your hearts and minds. Always remember that there is nothing we can not overcome. Allah said so. 

(By the way, OCD can be controlled, please reach out to a doctor if you feel you need too. Always remember Allah is watching over you).

Comments

AssalamuAlykoum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
I have been diagnosed with this crazy madness since 2006 and it has been harming me ever since. It makes me do things which are shameful such as watching Pornography, prevented me from praying EXACTLY 5 times a day...

Location

London

I wish I could understand verse 2:286. It's one of the few verses I really struggle with. The Quran 2:286 says "On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" and yet my burden is so great that I feel like I'm being crushed under its weight and everyday I wish and pray for death everyday because I can't bear this pain anymore. My entire life has been torture as far back as I can remember. I was abused by evil parents and then I had an accident that left me disabled, no longer able to work, I lost my job, my independence and then eventually I lost all my friends. I've spent my life in constant physical and emotional pain with no one to turn to for help. I've been alone and isolated stuck in my bedroom everyday watching the world pass me by. Sometimes I don't go outside for several months. I've never been in a relationship and unlikely to ever be in one because it's impossible to find love when you're disabled and also in chronic pain and unable to get outside independently to socialise. I constantly encounter all sorts of bad luck and misfortune on top of all my problems. I sometimes wonder if I'm cursed. So how does verse 2:286 apply to me when I can't bear the burden placed on me ? If suicide wasn't a sin I would have left long ago but instead I continue to feel tortured and suffer in misery and pain everyday. I have a lot of faith in the Quran so I hate the fact that I can't comprehend verse 2:286. Someone please help me understand. How does that verse relate to me?

Hey brother Jacob. I found this page searching for relief. What you wrote brought it to me. You are a hero and actually a living example that the verse is true and real. You are still here,, surviving and inspiring some one like me to pull through my troubles and keep my head up. Everyone has a calling in life , maybe this is yours. To show us and inspire us that it’s not so bad when we think it can’t get any worse.. thank you for your words, they helps me greatly. May Allah grant you a place in paradise.

Brother the verse that you have mentioned gives you courage that if you are under duress due to various reasons, God has blessed you with the power to overcome it. However, the actual cure for diseases which are more spiritual than physical lies wihtin another ayat of Quran..ala bizikrillah e litatmainal quloob...the meaning of which is ...the peace of heart lies in zikar of Allah..so my humble suggestion is.. beat obsessive compulsive disorder with obsessive compulsive zikar...one specific technique which i practiced in the past is specifically useful in this regard...practicing zikar with breath...close your eyes in sitting prayer position or whatever postion you deem comfortable..and start taking deep breath inside imagining that you are inhaling word Allah with it...and then start exhaling it by imagining that you are exhaling word HOO with it...increase the pace of this zikar just like you increase the pace of a car through excelator..you will find it difficult initially but overtime you will start loving it..the actual fruits of this exercise will start coming when you will do it with such an intensity that start sweating...besides that when you are comfortably sitting in your room alone.. focus on your breath...just focus on it coming in and going out.. mindfulness they call it...(if you have read rumi you might know that he urges again and again to close your eyes and look inside).. this is one way to look into your self.. May Allah bless every muslim brother and sister and every human being struggling with OCD with peace of heart and above all with obsessive ishq of Allah-the ultimate aim of this life..

Location

Pakistan

As salaamu 'alaykum brother,
What I understand from the verse which says that Allah swt does not burden us with more than we can bear, is that if we feel burdened by something then it's we who put it there, not Allah swt. So, by knowing it's our own self that is burdening our self, we can be informed by that fact and begin to perhaps make small changes in our thinking towards improving slowly but surely. Improvement can come by understanding that Allah swt is our best source of help and to strengthen our connection to Him through prayer, remembrance and making dua, in which we may ask for His enlightenment and forgiveness and ability to trust Him more. His help comes when we make sincere personal efforts towards our self improvement. We are also expected to draw on expert advice from trusted professionals who can offer mental health support or add to our understanding of what is considered a good mental health and wellbeing in general. Sincerely brother I hope you find this a little helpful for the issues you are struggling with at the moment and I pray that as you further strengthen your connection with Allah swt that you find understanding and contentment in your heart. Ameen

Location

Bedford

I feel very sad for you brother. Sometimes i find no answers to my and world setuation as well. Though i have everything but i feel i have nothing . My both parents are suffering from mental illness scince i understand the world. At lest i know their conditions, so i forgave what they have done to me. With my little understanding i found that if you want to find the cause of every thing you have to go in the beginning of the creation which is Qudar. We are so help less to know Allahs will because think through our little human mind . People would say we are making excuses but i will say we want to believe Allah in our purest form where no doubt exist. People will indicate traditional treatment where we need iner treatment. We fear not the his hell but ashamed to be representing ourself to him how we are today. Because all those things came out of love. And its for not Allah. I believe he knows that. We love thus we care if we dont love him we would care we will just shut down ourselves. And if Allahs will i will not leave this earth without knowing he loves me.
Please forgave if im wrong. I dont wana hurt anyones belive all i wana the real truth and i know that it cannot be obtain blindly following traditional Islamic TV programme or youtube chanell.

Location

bd

Assalmualaikum brother Jacob,
Remember brother your are not alone... Allah is always there for you and the greatest love you can find is the love of Allah.. He loves us, all of his slaves and do you know that he loves us 70 times more than our mothers... Subhanallah...so why does he inflict us with sufferings and pain because he has placed something really better for us in place of that in aakhirah... And remember brother this duniya and its life is temporary and all its sufferings will end soon...but aakhirah is eternal.. Just make lots of dua and Allah will respond sooner or later and fix things when it's appropriate. Just keep asking him like a kid keep nagging him he will for sure answer.. And do not keep yourself isolated in your room.. Go to your nearest masjid pray with Imaam there and spend some time in masjid. InshAllah you'll feel better and connect with brothers at masjid. We all are there for you brother, we all...your brothers and sisters in Islam. May Allah make things easy for you...

Location

India

I have suffered too but your position is difficult. I can only tell you what has helped me to feel and be better. After I started praying salah again, major pressure on me reduced. I try to keep praying 5 times a day at home. My life is much better now than it was 1 year ago. I was hoping for death too but a Muslim killing himself makes matter worse. Try to repair your faith. Watch Islamic lectures from youtube. Search in internet for The Inconspicuous Shirk. Make sure you are not involved in it in any way.

Location

Dhaka

I have suffered too but your position is difficult. I can only tell you what has helped me to feel and be better. After I started praying salah again, major pressure on me reduced. I try to keep praying 5 times a day at home. My life is much better now than it was 1 year ago. I was hoping for death too but a Muslim killing himself makes matter worse. Try to repair your faith. Watch Islamic lectures from youtube. Search in internet for The Inconspicuous Shirk. Make sure you are not involved in it in any way.

Location

Dhaka

that means you are lucky to have that problems. inspites of these problems still you r alive and has courage to live life. think, wat if God has placed your burden on someone else, he might may have died of that burden or committed suicide. may be due to these problem you come accross right path of life...!!!

Location

Pakistan

Pages

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.