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. J
(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).