Do you know what are the dangers loneliness can cause?
Don't stay lonely and give attention to your fellow brothers and sisters.
One of the worst feelings which may exist within any human being is the feeling of loneliness. Loneliness is not only an unpleasant feeling or emotion, which may exist in the life of human beings, but at the same time an extremely dangerous emotion.
Studies show that at any given point in time, in this country, 40 million people will be feeling lonely. Studies also indicate that 25% of Americans will be born and they will die, and during this entire life will not have one true friend, which can take them out of the feeling and the emotion of loneliness.
The majority of Americans will only have two friends. Only two friends to take them out of this feeling of loneliness. And, like I said, loneliness is not just a terrible feeling, but in the same time, it is indeed a dangerous one; for scholars of human behavior suggest, there are causes for early death. Obesity at 15%. Air pollution at 5%. Excessive drinking at 25%. And loneliness at 45%. Especially, at times like this, holidays, where everyone is going shopping. People are going on vacations, they are traveling, they are reuniting with their families. Studies indicate that 61% of Americans look forward to such times, such seasons, not because they receive gifts, and not because they do not have to go to work, and it is not because they get to go on vacation, but it is indeed because they get to see and mingle and interact with those who they have missed throughout the year.
And loneliness is indeed the number one cause behind depression. Today, 1 out of 10 Americans are chronically depressed. Studies indicate - look at this shocking number, it is unbelievable - studies indicate, if you were to gather all the causes of death around the world, HIV, AIDS, murder, civil wars, the global war, drive-by shootings, any cause of death combined together; depression still remains the number one lethal weapon against human life, with all of them combined together. Depression takes the life of millions of people around the world every year.
And this is a topic that sometimes we take lightly. I remember, several years ago, I had the pleasure of going with one of my friends from California to Hajj, so we want to Hajj together. He was very involved in the Islamic Center. He would pray 5 times a day. He would even pay his charity. One day, I received a text message from one of his family members, that my brother has committed suicide. He has thrown himself off the bridge. Mid 20s. And indeed, it is a matter that sometimes we take lightly. If we see people in our family, in our community, amongst our friends, who are feeling lonely or depressed, and they open up to us, they speak to us, or we just observe them to be depressed; all we know how to say or to do, even as parents sometimes, even as family members sometimes; is remember the tragedy of Ahlulbayt, have faith in Allah, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala will give you ease.
and we think that this is going to have an instant effect on this individual that is suffering from chronic depression. Yes, this definitely helps. This definitely reminds them. But this is not going to end their depression. Our responsibility, there and then, my dear brothers and sisters, the parents, the siblings, the friends, the community members, is what? For us to create a bond of trust with that individual, to be genuine towards them.
Rasool-Allah, SallaAllahu 'alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, says that there are many different forms of Sadaqa; one form of Sadaqa is when I give a dollar, a hundred dollars, a thousand dollars, ten thousand dollars, with the right hand, while the left hand would not be aware. True? Have you not all heard this Hadith? Rasool-Allah says another form of Sadaqa is helping a brother, helping a sister, a smile to them, a kind word to them.
But you know, the problem in our community is if someone comes to me and tells me, Jawad, I am depressed, I have family problems, I am going through a very bad time. I tell them, brother, Insha-Allah, everything's going to be okay. The next thing I do is what? I tell everyone. Do you know that this Muhammad, he is depressed, he is taking antidepressants? He is even contemplating suicide. So, instead of actually helping the person, I have not only destroyed my obligation towards this brother or sister, I have not only missed my chance of giving sadaqa, but I have also exposed this person in the same time. I have exposed their weakness ...