Al hamdulil’Allah, by now we all have adapted to teach through the pandemic. We got used to different timetables and we have managed to work remotely, but how will it be in the new school year? Whether we will carry on teaching online or return to teaching in the classroom, the ongoing pandemic will continue to impact our lives. Especially during Covid-times, we must really look after ourselves. How can we feel strong and hopeful while we navigate through maybe longer periods of tension or change? Here are three ways that show us how we can do that in shaa Allah.
From the authentic narrations, we can understand that the Prophet ﷺ had an optimistic mindset, even when life was extremely difficult. His positivity was one of his sublime character traits!
Ibn Abbas reported: ‘The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was optimistic and he did not see evil omens, and he liked good names.’ – Ahmad 2762 Sahih
Although the new school year will differ greatly from what we were used to, we can cope by benefitting from finding this same optimism within ourselves. Our natural constitution is to be optimistic! Despite the insecurity we may experience and that many of us feel limited due to the pandemic restrictions or at times overwhelmed by the unstoppable newsfeed, we will benefit greatly if we use positive wording to manage our homes, work environment and community life. Words reinforce our way of thinking and subsequently our actions. We can generate positivity by using good words and not view our circumstances through a negative lens.
Another way of The Prophet ﷺ to stay positive under difficult circumstances, was his foresight.
It was said to the Prophet sallAllāhu ʿalayhi wasallam: ’Muhammad, Allāh has listened to what the people have said to you. I am the angel in charge of the mountains, and Allāh has sent me to you so that you may order me with what you wish. If you wish that I should bring together the two mountains that stand opposite to each other at the extremities of Makkah to crush them in between [I would do that].’ He responded with vision: ‘No, rather I hope that Allah will bring from their descendants, people who will worship Allah alone without associating partners with him.’ – Sahīh Muslim, Book 32, Hadīth 135
This shows us the sunnah of having an uplifting vision and to be hopeful for the future. While things are hard, disappointing or confusing, we can try to develop the mindset that the Prophet ﷺ showed here; to think long term. To not overreact or get disturbed by major incidents. We will become resilient with keeping in mind this narration as it shows how to respond to negativity or a calamity.
The most important method derived from the sunnah is to understand that being optimistic is a form of excellent worship as explained to us via the following Hadith:
Abu Huraira reported that The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said: Verily, thinking well about Allah is a part of excellent worship of Allah. – Tirmidhī 3970, Sahih
By thinking positively about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, we trust Him. This trust will help to develop our optimistic mindset. This constructive way of thinking will also keep us motivated and consequently (pro)active. With a strong belief in Allah’s Kindness, Mercy and Wisdom, we will be able to embrace whatever it is that comes to us and we will be at peace with it. He is the Source of all Peace and He Al-Fattah, we turn to Him and then we will always feel near Him and believe that He will open doors that we need.
To wrap up, our mind is powerful, don’t let it be a battleground! Try to stay aware of negative thinking and treat them with the three mentioned effective strategies for more positivity. Once you apply these teachings to your life, you will start to feel more hopeful and optimistic. We can build a rock solid trust in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, we can relearn to be cheerful and even start to excel to feel encouraged just like the Prophet ﷺ showed us to be. Whether we will carry on teaching online or return to teaching in the classroom, the ongoing pandemic will continue to impact our lives