According to WHO, almost 5% of adults have depression which proves that many suffer the same. Additionally, depression is natural, not someone’s mistake.
However, when it comes to Muslims, you may have heard of “sadness is forbidden, or you’ve to pray and be thankful to Allah SWT for everything.”
In a way, it is correct. After all, everything that happens with us is from Allah SWT. Moreover, Allah promises us in the Qur’an that “No soul shall be burdened more than it can bear.” (Surah Baqarah Verse – 286)
So if you’re sad or depressed, is it against Islam? If not, then what is depression in Islam? Are depression and Islam against each other? What do the Qur’an and Hadith say about it? As a Muslim, what can you do to tackle depression? These are the questions that ring the bells in every Muslim’s mind.
Take a deep breath and heave a sigh of relief because this article is all about answering your question concerning “Depression in Islam.”
So let’s start with the first and most important question.
Are Islam and Depression against each other?
Many Muslims think that one shouldn’t be depressed, sad, or afraid of the future. Besides, if someone is depressed, he doesn’t have faith in Allah, but all of these thoughts are solely a misconception.
Depression is a mental disorder, and there are millions of individuals who deal with it. The only problem is we don’t accept it as an illness.
What is the difference between depression and other deadly diseases or illnesses?
Yes, as Muslims, it’s our faith that Allah is with us and has better plans for our lives. But do you ever heard someone saying whether cancer and Islam are against each other? Certainly not, and the reason is we treat cancer as a disease.
If we talk about faith, then a cancer patient shouldn’t be worried about death or for anything, but that’s not the case. Instead of saying be faithful, don’t overthink to a cancer patient. What we say is don’t worry, we’ll pray for you, it is your test Allah SWT is always with you.
Now you may understand, Islam is not against any disease or illness. The only thing that makes them against each other is our thoughts.
Undeniably, there’s a considerable difference between cancer and depression, but both are dangerous. One is a disease that takes many lives, and the second one is a mental illness that can force a person to commit suicide. In the end, both are enemies of a person’s health.
In short, any (psychological or physical) disease or illness or its treatment is not against Islam.
How does the Qur’an Heal Mental Illness (Depression)?
Depression kills a person in such a way that no one else can see the harm except the one who deals with it. Moreover, the first thing depression takes away from life is “hope.”
Hope, which works as an effective medicine against all diseases and illnesses, particularly in depression. And that’s the point where the Qur’an protects a person, heals him spiritually by giving hope in depression or anxiety.
As Allah SWT says in the Qur’an:
“And We send down the Qur’an that is healing and mercy for the believers.” (Surat Al Isra|17:82)
Qur’an gives hope that no matter what happens, Allah SWT is always with you. In the Qur’an, Allah SWT says:
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Al-Inshirah, 94: 5-6)
Always remember that there was a time when our beloved prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was worried and sad when no revelation had come down for a certain period. At that time, people say to our prophet (ﷺ) that your Lord has forsaken you. Then Surah Ad-Duha was revealed, and Allah SWT says:
“By the bright forenoon, and by the night when it covers the world with peace. (O Prophet), your Lord has neither forsaken you nor is He displeased. Indeed what is to come will be better for you than what has gone by. Verily your Lord will soon give you so amply that you will be well-pleased.” (Surah Ad-Duha, 93: 1- 5)
These verses of the Qur’an are enough for a Muslim to understand that there’s nothing wrong if you’re sad, worried, or depressed for any reason. Just don’t lose hope because Allah Almighty will never leave us in any situation.
Why is depression more common in females/women?
According to research, the depression rate in women is twice in contrast to men. And the reason why the depression rate is so high has no particular answer. Since there’s no individual-specific reason for it.
Like men, women also get depressed because of society, family behavior, job stress, or trauma. However, some specific causes of depression are only found in women, related to their body hormone level.
Hormone level changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause are also the causes of depression in a woman’s life.
Can my Depression be Cured?
Our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful.”
Depression is a most common mental disorder, from teenagers to older people; everyone deals with it worldwide. However, the good thing is, it’s a curable mental disorder.
How a person wants to treat it depends upon his personal preferences. Though medication, therapy treatment is imperative but neglecting Qur’an and Salah is not a wise decision. Medication lessens the symptoms of your depression, while Qur’an and Salah give you hope and peace.
Note: Bear in mind that seeking help from a professional (psychiatrist) is also essential, as well as asking for help from Allah through Quran and Salah.
Three Effective Ways for Muslims to Deal with Depression in Islam
In depression, people feel hopeless, broken, sad because of loneliness. They think there’s no one for them, and these feelings lead them to a point where doing regular tasks and activities seem nearly impossible.
That’s the point, where Salah the second pillar of Islam, plays an essential role in curing depression. It connects people to Allah SWT directly. While praying, you can cry, tell all of the problems to Allah SWT. It feels like having someone who’s powerful, loves us, and can solve all of your difficulties.
As Allah SWT says in Quran:
“And do not let their saying grieve you. Surely the might belongs altogether to Allah. He, Ever He, is The Ever-Hearing, The Ever-Knowing” (Surah Yunus, 10:65)
Qur’an is the most effective way to cope with depression in Islam. While praying (Salah), we talk to Allah SWT, tell our problems, but at the time of reading the Qur’an, you understand Allah’s messages. The positivity you’ll feel after learning how much Allah loves us is enough to give hope and relax a person:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ المُتَوَكِّلينَ
Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him] (Surah Ali Imran, 3:159)
Allah SWT promise us:
Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised. (Surah Fussilat, 41:30)
3. By Following Allah SWT Command
It is clear as crystal that depression is an illness, not someone’s mistake. The primary cause of depression in most cases is the lack of peace in life and high stress.
Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing for us in this world; no one loves us. Undeniably there can be many reasons for it, but there’s something essential, but many individuals avoid, which are these questions “Is Allah pleased with us? Or Are we sure that we’re not doing something against Allah’s command?”
Some things are prohibited in Islam, such as Alcohol, fraud, gambling, bribery, or hurting someone feeling. These things are banned, and Allah SWT commands us not to be involved in any of these things.
It does matter whether you agree with this thought or not, but we can’t find peace and happiness in life if we do something against Allah SWT’s command.
9 Ways To Reduce Depression: Simple Tips You Can Implement from Today
1. Consult a Psychiatrist
Undeniably, Qur’an and Salah heal our souls, help us to find peace in life, but we can’t deny the importance of psychiatrists. As mention above that depression is a mental disorder, and we should treat it in the same way as we tackle other illnesses and diseases with the help of doctors.
2. Healthy Diet Plan
According to research, a healthy diet plays a positive role and helps in depression. Just like salt, fried food, fast food are not beneficial for high blood pressure patients. Similarly, some foods can affect your mental health. For example, drinking alcohol or eating snacks, fast food is not good, particularly in depression.
Additionally, unhealthy food can become the reason for weight gain, turning into other problems like depression. Due to this reason, one should always make a healthy diet plan that contains fruit, vegetable, fish, meals made from healthy oils like olive oil.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:
Eat olive oil and massage it over your body since it is a holy (Mubarak) tree. (Al-Tirmidhi-1775)
3. Sleep Well
A good sleep cycle is essential for our mental and physical health. According to research, lack of sleep can affect your daily life and cause physical and psychological health problems. That’s why it is essential to sleep more than seven hours daily if you’re an adult.
Note: Contact your doctor immediately if you are not getting good and adequate sleep regularly.
Almost all of us know that exercise is necessary if you want to keep the body healthy. However, the thing you may not know is it effectively works as an antidepressant.
Enrophines is a name of the chemical that our body releases when we do exercise, which leaves positive impacts on our body. For example, it reduces the perception of pain and triggers the state of “runner high,” in which a person feels relaxed. That’s why one should do moderate-intensity exercise daily for up to one hour for good physical and mental health.
5. Meditation and Yoga
Mediation and Yoga therapy works well against depression. Both of them helps in reducing anxiety and stress which are the common trigger of depression. Other than that, it also relaxes your mind and body, increases body awareness, increases your energy, and so forth.
You can seek help from yoga and mediation professionals or watch videos on the internet to learn the process.
6. Love Yourself
Low self-esteem is a situation where people don’t like themselves, their personalities and feel incompetent, which causes stress, anxiety that trigger depression. If you’re dealing with the same kind of situation, then don’t be shy about yourself.
Bear in mind that you’re perfect as Allah SWT says:
“We have indeed created humankind in the best of molds.” (Surah At-Tin, 95:4)
Don’t believe in everything that people say; you should love yourself. In the end, the only thing that matters is what Allah SWT thinks about you and what you feel about yourself.
7. Avoid your Triggers
Our brains work with a pattern; some things can change our mood in an instant. For example, if we eat our favorite foods or meet a person that we like, we feel happy. At the same time, when we see news channels or meet with a person who mocks us, it triggers stress that leads to depression.
So if you feel that something is triggering stress, anxiety, depression, then avoid it. After all, nothing is important than your mental peace.
8. Think Positive
There’s no doubt that everyone has plenty of problems in their life. But only thinking about the negativity will not be going to solve the difficulties. Instead, it will only lead you to depression.
So always be grateful and think positive; think about how you can change your life rather than what you don’t have in life.
In Quran, Allah SWT says:
Be grateful to Allah;” and whoever is grateful is, in fact, thankful for his own benefit, and whoever is ungrateful, then Allah is free of all needs, worthy of all praise” (Surah Luqman, 31:12)
9. Have Fun and Enjoy your Life
In the last, it’s your life, your body, and your soul. Hence, do what makes you and your soul happy. If you love traveling, then plan a trip, or if you want to do something in your life, then do it and enjoy your life.
Hopefully, now you may have understood the concept of depression in Islam. Our religion is not conservative; it is clear as the sky is blue Allah SWT told us everything in detail through Quran. The only thing that creates problems and misconceptions is our thoughts.
We don’t search for the answer in Quran and Hadith and ask for help from people who know nothing about the seriousness of mental health.
Hence, the bottom line is, there’s no such debate as what is depression in Islam. Is it against or not? It is solely a mental illness, and we have to treat it as an illness. We should perform Salah, read Quran, follow Allah SWT commands, and seek help from a psychiatrist.