The Art Of Detachment


Attachment can be described as obsession. It is when you are overtaken by thoughts about another person. Suddenly, you no longer know how you feel or think, but can only think about what they are doing or saying. You might start off just with your mental energy being drained by these thoughts, but you may graduate to trying to control the person and the environment around you too. You may lose the ability to act of your own free will because you are reacting to every crisis that comes up. The next stage is emotional attachment to this person, and finally, you become a caretaker, enabler, and rescuer.

Now your energies are being depleted. On top of that, you are gripped by anxiety, an extreme fear that just won’t leave.

How To Detach

To be able to detach with love from a person, or a problem, we must believe the following precepts:

  1. no one is responsible for anyone but themselves
  2. we need to MYOB, because their problems are their business
  3. worrying does not do any good

When you are detached, what does it look like? You are not encumbered by other people’s problems. Instead, you are living your own life, with full direction and attention to yourself. You accept what you cannot change. You are living in “the present moment”. Gratitude is a habit that you practice, to keep in the moment and focused on the good in your life.

Role of God

Faith in a Higher Power plays a role in detachment. When you have the belief that very moment is meant to happen, that it is predestined, then acceptance of the events at hand becomes a lot easier. You may feel happy even in the face of adversity.

Furthermore, we become stronger in our belief that Allah will take care of everything. And that is the opposite of codependent thinking, in which you think you have to take care of everything. Also, you realize that another person is not your Higher Power. Strengthening your tauheed will help in becoming detached.

How To Detach

This article on does a great job of detailing how to detach. Scroll to the middle of the page to find these stages of detachment described in more detail.

Stage One: Acknowledgement of your attachment
Stage Two: Self-inquiry, which is the stage of just allowing your feelings to surface
Stage Three: Processing, when you actually find the thoughts behind your feelings
Stage Four: Creative Action that comes after you’ve healed
Stage Five: Freedom from the attachment, and it doesn’t hurt anymore

When To Detach

According to author Mellody Beattie (“Co-dependent No More”), the time to detach is when it seems to be the hardest thing to do. In other words, when the attachment has gotten too strong, it is time to break it. So assess where you are in your giving of time, value, and attention. If you are overcome and over-giving, it is time to let go.

Jehan founded this magazine and site to help Muslim women and men learn to stay away from abusers, to strengthen their relationship with Allah SWT and to find better healthier relationships.

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