Loneliness Awareness Week 2021Assima Alam
You are never alone
Loneliness is a universal human emotion that is experienced differently by everyone. Although it has no single common cause, loneliness is often attributed to feelings of sadness due to a lack of social contact and relationships. In particular, the Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated physical, emotional and financial problems which can make us feel isolated and lonely.
According to the office for national statistics, almost 1 in 14 people aged 16 or over in Great Britain say they are lonely – which is up 40% since last spring. Moreover, 40% of people will sadly not speak about feeling lonely to anyone.
The effects of loneliness on our well-being are vast. In studies of psychology, loneliness has been shown to increase risks of chronic disease, cognitive decline and depression. However, loneliness does not have to define us; it is an experience, not a condition.
As believers we know that this entire world is temporary, therefore we can take comfort in knowing that our experiences of loneliness can only ever be temporary too. When we are lonely and in a state of despair, we can become vulnerable to the whispers of Shaytan who tries to make us lose hope in the mercy of Allah (swt). As Muslims, we must never lose sight of Allah’s mercy. He (swt) said in the Quran: ‘And do not lose hope in the mercy of Allah, for no one loses hope in Allah’s mercy except those with no faith.’ (12:87).
In the Quran Allah (swt) tells us that He is closer to us than our jugular vein (50:16). In another chapter of the Quran, Allah says, ‘And He is with you wherever you are.’ (57:4). How can we ever despair when the Most Merciful is always with us and knows our innermost thoughts and feelings? The company of men can be fickle, but in a Hadith Qudsi Allah (swt) reassures us that He is always eager to receive us if we turn to Him: ‘If you come to Me walking, I will come to you running.’ This is the compassion of our Lord to His believers – so even in your loneliest moments, never lose sight of the fact that Allah (swt) is with you.
Prayer and dhikr are underrated cures for loneliness so it is important to maintain these as a form of spiritual self-care for our mental and emotional wellbeing. Allah (swt) says in the Quran: ‘Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort.’ (13:28).
Alhamdulillah, at GLMCC we offer a number of services and opportunities that may help you if you are feeling lonely. In light of the pandemic, we launched our Hear4U listening service which offers free talk therapies and counselling to both brothers and sisters. The weekly Jumuah prayers also provides brothers and sisters with a great opportunity to connect with the community and find a feeling of belonging. Our Link Up youth club also offers a fantastic opportunity to youth who may be feeling lonely over the pandemic, and wish to meet with other young people in a productive and positive environment.
At GLMCC we recognise the importance of tackling the growing loneliness epidemic head-on, and strive to offer safe social spaces for our community to connect, talk and build meaningful relationships.
Remember, if you’re ever feeling lonely don’t forget first and foremost to turn to Allah. GLMCC is always here for you to contact too – our confidential HEAR4U listening service is available for both brothers and sisters every week. To access this service please call: 0121 713 0095.
- Tuesday 11:00am 1:00pm
- Thursday 6:00pm- 8:00pm