woman in gray and white stripe shirt sitting on couch
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Book Review: ‘Don’t Be Sad’

Life isn’t simple. We’re constantly being tested, whether it’s in significant, life-changing ways or minor ones. Sometimes we feel like the whole world is against us – and then there are moments in which we feel we have conquered the entire world, yet we are still unsatisfied with our accomplishments. While at times we may believe that true happiness comes around less frequently than those of turmoil, we have to remember that we are human. We will undoubtedly experience sadness… and melancholy has a tendency to quickly take over our emotions and body, making it difficult to even recall our purpose in this world.

For those of you struggling with your emotions and looking for advice on how to deal with it in a way that won’t compromise your faith, “Don’t Be Sad” by Dr. A’id al-Qarni is an excellent read.

“Don’t Be Sad” is a book filled with an inspiring collection of historically-based anecdotes, stories, and lessons of prophets, scholars, and people from all over the world who have achieved success and overcome their own trials and tribulations.

The book is full of practical advice on how we as Muslims can replace our sadness and unhappiness with a more positive and fulfilling outlook in life. We learn to look into our purpose and the meaning behind living in this world.

What I appreciate most about this book is that there is no sugar-coating.

I picked the book up after struggling with my own mental health and began reading it after Ramadan. To my surprise, the material in this book made a huge difference in the way I think about things.

“Don’t Be Sad” is divided into very short chapters across almost 470 pages containing meaningful lessons. We learn about how everything that happens to us is preordained and written in our Qadr, to learning how embracing contentment from the smallest things we are gifted will change our outlook on life.

Some chapters contain relevant stories from the times of the Prophets, while other chapters tell stories of influential people in the Western World. And almost every chapter contains advice directly from the blessed Ayah’s of the Quran.

What I appreciate most about this book is that there is no sugar-coating. The advice given is straightforward and direct. It makes you think about your own habits. Because we live in such a world where every little thing is dictated by media and entertainment, our train of thought can easily veer off from the simplicity of the Muslim way of life. “Don’t Be Sad” is a gentle but extremely powerful reminder that there is so much more to life than what we can see on our screens.

It’s the type of book you need to take your time with, take notes, and reflect on the meanings of each story.

Throughout this book you will find the beauty behind the many sayings and Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH.) Sometimes we forget that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) endured test after test. Through his trials we learn how he overcame each hardship by relying on Allah (SWT) and reaffirming his faith and belief in the Almighty. We begin to understand that this life is only temporary.

Dr. A’id Al-Qarni writes:

“Every man, whether he admits it or not, is in need of a god and it follows that that god must possess certain qualities such as omnipotence, power, richness and everlastingness. The One Who has all of these – and all other perfect qualities – is Allah, the Lord of all that exists. Therefore the sincere seeker is drawn to and then finds comfort in his belief in Allah. He is the sanctuary of the weak and of the ones who seek refuge.”

This is not a one-sitting read. It’s the type of book you need to take your time with, take notes, and reflect on the meanings behind each story. It’s a book that will make you question your behavior and mindset, one that will encourage you to implement better practices in your life. While we are only human and will feel sadness, we have to remember that navigating how we deal with those feelings will make a difference in the life we live. “Don’t Be Sad” is a book that will help you implement better change in your life.

Asiya is a writer and journalist based in Brisbane, Australia.