Dealing With Depression An Islamic Perspective
Islam has peaceful and life-changing cures to depression.
By Bazil Hulmani
Depression can mean different things to different people. Not everyone who experiences depression experiences it the same way. Some of the most common symptoms of depression are feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest of things once loved, trouble with sleeping and eating and thoughts of death or suicide. Symptoms last anywhere between a few weeks to years depending on the type of depression being experienced.
At any one time, it is estimated that more than 300 million people have depression – about 4% of the world’s population when the figures were published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015. Women are more likely to be depressed than men.
Things have improved since people with mental illness were believed to be possessed by the devil and cast out of their communities or hanged as witches. But there remains a widespread misunderstanding of the illness, particularly the persistent trope that people with depression should just “buck up” or “get out more”.
Islam has peaceful and life-changing cures to depression. Islam, being a complete way of life, has provided us with a solution to every problem.
Here are some ways in which depression can be tackled from the perspective of Islam.
First: Seek for forgiveness of Allah. Many times during phases of depression, we feel like crying. So why not cry in front of Allah? It will only bring you closer to Allah, lighten your heart and give you mental peace.
Second: Salah. Not only should you focus on offering Salah five times a day, but also offer extra Salah such as Salah of Repentance. Allah is merciful and will definitely cure your depression if you make this a regular practice.
Third: Recite Quran daily. Also, read it along with meaning in whichever language you are comfortable. This brings a lot of improvement in your thought process and helps you get rid of blank spells, which is a common symptom of depression.
Fourth: Educate yourself with Islamic values. This can be done by reading Islamic educational books. This gives a lot of knowledge about the social values taught by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This practice will take you away from illusions of this tyrannical world and provide you a motivational thought process.
Fifth: Make lots of dua to Allah. Dua is one of the most vital aspects of Islam. By making dua, you will not only overcome depression, but also earn the generosity of Allah. What can be more amazing and beautiful than Allah’s generosity!?
Sixth: Make sadqa a routine of your life. No matter how happy or sad you are in life, sadqa will make every kind of hurdle in life for you a cakewalk. Sadqa closes the doors of evil thought processes plus protects you from Allah’s punishment.
If all the aforementioned tips fail, then this will certainly jolt you out of your reverie. Think about what you’re going through and ask yourself “Can it in any way compare to what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went through? Am I going through even 1% of what he went through?” He lost his parents at a very young age. He lost his wife and uncle at a time when he needed their support the most. He was persecuted by his kinsmen and banished from his own homeland. What on earth are you going through that even remotely compares to that?
I know fighting depression is not as easy as it sounds, but, God willing, with determination and sincerity, the above ways will help in the fight to step out of it.