A few days back, I got a chance to attend a seminar related to depression. I learned many useful lessons, especially how to treat depression by keeping in view the teachings of our religion, Islam.
Depression is a common disorder; according to research, 2 out of every 5 people are suffering from depression worldwide. So, what is depression?
Medical science says that it is a mental disorder and illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts. Islam is a complete religion, and therefore it is not possible that depression won’t be addressed as well.
What Does Islam Say About Depression?
In the Quran, there is an answer to every question, solution to every query, and remedy for every disease apart from DEATH. It’s a source of complete guide to every human in the world. Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) has presented us with the guidance of Islam through his actions. Here is how we can manage depression in light of Islam:
1. Do Not Lose Hope
And do not lose hope nor be sad – Quran 3:139.
Islam believes in empowering the person and encourages them to focus on the positive while continuing to believe in the goodness of Allah during hardships to overcome depression.
Islam encourages its followers to have faith and not lose hope in difficult times as everything is happening for the reason that we are unable to understand at that time.
Islam is a religion of peace, love, and hope. The doors of Allah’s mercy are always open even if a person has committed a thousand sins. A depressed person is always hopeless and finds no interest in worldly and religious activity. He is always in deep thoughts of dismay and ultimately suicides. For such people, Allah has said in the Quran,
“And for those who fear Allah, He always prepares a way out, and He provides for him from sources he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” Quran 65: 2-3
2. Find Solace in The Remembrance of Allah
‘Verily, in the remembrance of Allah, the hearts do find comfort ‘- Quran 13:28
There’s a spiritual power inside Muslims that can be gained by practicing Namaz and connecting with Allah. This gives Muslim’s calmness, mental strength, and solace. There is a path that is already being suggested, which is the path for righteousness and believers.
The lesson here is too busy oneself in prayer and Zikar to overcome feelings of sadness and hopelessness. The lesson is to have complete faith in Allah and his will even when the odds seem unsurmountable.
Allah has said that He will test His people, test their faith in Him, and those who remain patient will have their reward.
“And certainly, we shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives, and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones.” Quran 2:155
Patience, it’s a small word, yet it makes a big impact on life for a person who is determined and believes in Allah’s plan and strongly holding the rope of patience and praying to Allah. There’s always a bigger, better plan. An optimistic approach is a must for a Muslim.
3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Islam also teaches us to maintain a healthy routine to avoid and overcome depression and other illnesses. Physical activity, diet, recreational activity, social relations, and sleep can help to prevent and cure depression.
- Physical activity
Offering Salat is the best physical activity for the believer and the best way to get closer to Allah. Moreover, Islam and Sunnah encourage believers to take up some physical activity to remain fit and healthy. Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) used to walk regularly and even participated in sports.
A nutritious diet is compulsory for a healthy body and mind. Allah has created lots of vegetables and fruits for us to eat and eating a balanced diet can help regulate the body’s hormones. Balanced hormones can reduce depression.
Allah says, “O’ Believers! Eat the good and pure (lawful) things that we have provided you and be grateful to Allah if you truly worship Him” – Quran 2: 172
Adequate sleep is a must as it helps treat depression, and Islam has also emphasized getting proper sleep as Allah has said in Quran
“And among His signs is your sleep by night and by day and your seeking of His bounty, verily in that are signs for those who hearken” – Quran 30:23
- Social relationships
Depression increases when a person is alone and doesn’t want to meet people. Islam emphasizes the importance of maintaining healthy relationships for this very purpose. In fact, maintaining good familial ties is an obligation in Islam, as each relationship has its own rights.
- Recreational activities
Just working and not having self-time can cause your mind to fizzle out, and it increases the chances of illness. Recreational activities help to maintain the balance, and Islam emphasizes them.
Imam Ali said, “A believer divides his day and night into three parts: he spends some of it in communion with God; another part in repairing his life and needs; and the third part in providing his body and soul with legitimate and admirable joys.”
4. Seek Medical Help
Islam is a religion of logic. Many, even some scholars, believe that depression is a curse or a punishment for our sins. Some believe that only praying, Zikar, and ibadat will cure depression. However, it must be understood that just like illnesses of the body, depression is an illness of the mind and must be treated with medicine accordingly.
From the above discussion, we can conclude logically that along with offering prayers, keeping fast, good medication is also very much necessary. However, the sort of medication solely depends upon the condition and the stage of depression diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Firm belief in Almighty is a prerequisite for combating any source of disorder.
Now You Know What Islam Says About Depression
Cutting it short, Islam is a complete religion that has emphasized the physical and mental wellbeing of human beings. Through the discussion, we found that depression is not a taboo nor a punishment; in fact, it is simply a disease that must be treated.
The Intervention of prayers, ibadat, and adherence to the lifestyle prescribed by Islam with medication can eradicate depression from its roots. If you are suffering from depression, Islam says to get the medical help you need and also continue believing in Allah’s mercy.
Offer prayers and read the Holy Quran daily to sustain your heart and find the will to overcome depression. You can also use Islamic apps to remind you of prayer times and read the Divine book online anytime, anywhere.
Above all, remember:
“And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah; then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed, Allah has set a measure for all things.” – Quran 65:3