This last week has been a difficult one. To say the responsibility that comes with looking after the entire Ummah is exhausting would be an understatement. The unexpected situation in Burma meant that I haven’t seen my family in a week now. Every night after Isha before I head back to the office I make dua to Allah (swt) to forgive me for the countless, immeasurable mistakes and sins I have committed since the previous Isha.
With so much pressure and so much responsibility on my shoulders It’s important for me to look after my self and in particular my mental health. For so long the wider Muslim community has created a stigma around mental health that not only causes harm to individuals but contradicts the way our deen works. We know through countless sociological studies that mental health issues, when left unchecked, result in a variety of destructive attributes that can manifest in the home, in the work place, in public and in private.
Creating a Khilafa that is equitable for all citizens, free from corruption, free from oppression, with representative political systems and accountable public officials requires the help first and foremost of Allah (swt). Those that are tasked with running the Khilafa also have to work hard though. Very hard. The expectations that we rightly have to meet to support you, as our citizens, can be difficult and can be both physically and emotionally draining. Thats why It’s every individuals responsibility to ensure they’re monitoring their own health and well being as well as those around them.
Over the last week I felt my own energy fall. The late nights, the time away from my family and the stress started to make me feel unhappy, anxious and also sad. I miss getting good nights sleeps. More though, I miss my family. I miss hearing my children argue, I miss listening to what my wife achieved at work and I miss just having them near me. These feelings and emotions are natural and healthy, but it’s important to recognise that and I know inshaAllah that the long work days will give way to shorter work days, that the time spent away from my family will be replaced with time spent with my family and that my mental health may dip at times but it will rise again.
I wanted to share these thoughts with you because I want you to know that even though I am your Khalifa, I’m still human. Even though I’m a man, I still have emotions. I want to press home the importance of being in touch with your emotions and understanding how your feelings and mental state can influence your actions. I want my citizens to know that it’s normal to be sad at times but also that if you think what you’re experiencing is too difficult then you have an individual, a societal, a moral and a religious obligation to seek help. Whether it be through your friends, your loved ones or trained specialists, you have to look after yourself.
By the grace of Allah (swt) this Khilafa is finally back. The Ummah spent a long time fractured but through hard work and the blessings of Allah (swt) the Ummah has united. Now is the time to look after ourselves and look after one another so we can support this great project and make this system thrive.
To repeat previous points: I represent you all, I work for you and though I have my own shortcomings and failures I know I can depend on you to succeed where I don’t. The only thing I ask in return is to protect me from my own sins and misjudgments. To hold me to account. To make sure I’m serving your interests and the interests of the Ummah first before anything else.
- This week I will be visiting the western regions of Africa if time permits. My advisers haven’t determined where I will be giving the Khutbah this week but we will announce it as soon as possible.
- If you or anyone you know looks like that may be experiencing any mental health issues please talk to them, give them sincere naseeha and support them in their time of difficulty.
- Finally, and as usual, please make dua. Please ask Allah (swt) to forgive my sins, my shortcomings and my failures. Please ask Allah (swt) to give me the strength and wisdom to lead this ummah to success. Please ask Allah (swt) to bless this ummah and grant us all the highest level of Jannah forever.