Depression and Islam:
Hazrat Abu Saeed Al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah (RA) narrate that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Whenever a Muslim faces fatigue, illness, worry, grief, hurt and sorrow, even gets pricked by a thorn, Allah in lieu of his sufferings removes his sins.” (Sahih Bukhari Hadith)
Major depression is 4th most disabling condition in the world, and 2nd most in the developed world. As well as the human cost, the burden on society is incredible. At the rate of increase, it will be the 2nd most disabling condition in the world by 2020, behind heart disease. It is estimated 35 to 40 million Americans living today will suffer from major depression at some time during their lives, with about half of this amount suffering from recurring depression symptoms. A major risk outcome of depression is suicide. Here are some facts correlating depression and suicide:
- About a quarter of suicides in the US are felt to be due to undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed major depression.
- Up to 80% of suicide deaths are in sufferers of major depression.
Given that suicide is the 8th largest cause of death in the US, its no wonder that major depression is classed as "the nation's leading mental health problem."
Feeling down in the dumps, depressed, having the blues: these are just some of the terms used to describe a feeling of hopelessness and despair that can hit even the most optimistic of us at some point in our lives. While clinical depression requires proper professional treatment, the occasional feeling of sadness due to factors ranging from economic difficulty to harassment and discrimination can be helped through some simple spiritual practices.
Depression is caused by displeasing Almighty Allah. When a person transgresses the Laws of Allah, he/she is inflicted with various types of harms such as depression. It is for this reason Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said Who ever makes Istighfaar in abundance, Allah will make a way out for him from every difficulty, free him from depression and anxiety and Allah will grant him sustenance from avenues he will not imagine.
“Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All Appreciative (of good), All Knowing.” [An-Nisa 147]
Therefore, the depressed person should repent for the past and turn his/her attention to Allah. Focus on pleasing Allah by fulfilling all His commands and He will grant you ease, peace and satisfaction of the heart, mind and soul. In the Zikr (obedience) of Allah is complete tranquility and peace. Allah is the controller of all situations. If a person is in any difficulty, Allah is the only being that would assist him in coming out of that difficulty. Therefore, turn to Allah and He will take care of all your problems and misfortunes.
Here are a couple that can help:
1. Look at those below you
The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam, said: “Whenever you see someone better than you in wealth, face or figure, you should look at someone who is inferior to you in these respects” (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim). If you are reading this article online, consider this: you are one of the lucky set of human beings on the planet who can afford a computer and internet connection or at least have access to one. The United Nations Development Program’s 2007 Human Development Report notes that there are still around 1 billion people living worldwide at the margins of survival on less than $1 a day, with 2.6 billion living on less than $2 a day. Also consider that in the Quran (14:7), God says that if you are thankful to Him for what you have, He blesses you with more.
2. Serve your fellow human beings
The best way to thank Allah is to serve humanity, especially those who have less than you. Serving others is uplifting and rewarding. It helps us gain a better perspective on life’s challenges, making us realize how very often, are problems seem so small compared to the awesome difficulties others face. That’s why when the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wasallam and the Muslims were a small, poor and persecuted community, they used to give to the poor even more. They understood that when you are generous when you have less, you achieve the perspective of a winner. You are focused on the bigger picture.
3. Read Surah Ad Duha
According to one report, after Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam had begun receiving revelation from Allah, at one point a long period of time passed with no such communication from Allah. As a result, the Makkans ridiculed the ur Beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam and he became severely depressed. That’s when this chapter was revealed (Quran 93: 1-11). The chapter is a beautiful reminder to us to see life in the greater scheme of things, to be grateful for what we have and to never give up striving for what is right. This chapter of the Quran can be considered a direct recipe from Allah for depression.
4. Turn to Allah in all situations
Remember that nothing can harm you without the consent of Allah. While you must take care of yourself, rely on Allah and know that Allah is always with you and only Allah can give you strength in difficult times. Also remember that He will help you can come out of a trying situation as a better person if you deal with it positively.
5. Remember Allah’s Names
Allah has many beautiful Names which describe Allah's attributes and powers. These are reminders of His Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Justice, Strength and much, more. Supplicating to Allah using these Names reminds us that Allah has these attributes more than any other being and that we can and must rely on Him during good and bad times.
6. Say "Hasbun Allahu wa Ni’ mal Wakeel"
This has been translated as “Allah suffices me and He is the best guardian.” It is an excellent way of reminding us that whatever worries we have or problems we face, Allah has the answer and cure to all of them and is the only One who can really do what is best for us.
7. Make sure when you leave home,
you read this Dua ‘In the name of Allah, I place my trust in Allah, and there is no might nor power except with Allah. "Bismillah e tawakkaltu al Allahe la haula wa la quwwata illa BiAllah "
8. Take your spiritual break from the world,
Five times a day Taking a break away from school, work or other life activities to spend a few minutes to remember Allah helps you reconnect with the Creator of the Universe, fortify your soul and strengthen your resolve to live a better life that is in tune with your faith and principles.
9. End your day on a good note
Shakespeare once wrote a play entitled “All’s well that ends well.” That’s good advice for dealing with depression too. End a day that may have been riddled with challenges and frustrations by making Wudu before going to bed, thinking of Allah and our Beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam and counting every blessings you have
10. Stop Shaytan in his tracks
Shaytan is the source of many of our negative emotions. It’s his job to make us feel pessimistic and to despair of any good in life. When you feel these feelings coming on, stop him dead in his tracks: say "Aoutho billahi minash Shaytan ir Rajeem (I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan)."
The life is too short to spend time in arguments and quarrel, which are waste of time, energy and resources.
The life is too short to spend time in criticizing others, thinking badly about others – trying to edit other’s book of deeds while we will need to clean up our own book of deeds. We must not die with jealousy, malice, greed, pride, arrogance, Riya and other spiritual diseases in our heart!
Three-directions to invest:
Today is the day for action – engage in worship, Da’wah, learning and serving others.
Turn your time into gold and earn mountains of rewards in a few minutes.
The past – clean it up by making Taubah!
The future – invest by having good intentions.
Increase time for Du’a, especially if you could wake up during the last part of night. Ask Allah to ease difficulty, clean the heart to focus on good deeds.
Iqra bismi rab bikal lazee khalaq
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