How to overcome depression, anxiety and sadness as per Islamic teachings


Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. This is a very interesting issue because according to psychological studies, a huge percentage of people alive today are accountable to some kind of depression so it is important to explore this issue in relation to being better Muslims.
Islam being not just a religion but also a complete way of life has provided us with a solution of every problem, and depression is one problem the solution to which can be found in the teachings of Islam. Psychology in Islam is used in everyday practices but under different guises, such as spiritualism. Islam values the importance of good mental health and emotional wellbeing. The Qur’an can be used as a guide to those suffering from emotional distress and aims to lead people to a meaningful quality of life. ‘There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment’ (Hadees).
The Qur’an describes the nafs, or self, as operating out of one of three states: nafs al-ammara (commanding self); nafs al-lawwama – accusatory self; and nafs al-mutmainna (peaceful self). The Qur’an explains how these states command our psyche and tell us what to do, they control us and dominate us. If we have nafs al-ammara, it means we are subjugated by the self, we listen and follow its commands. This stage describes the part of us that requires material possessions and sensual desires. With nafs al-lawwama we are conscious of our own imperfections and, inspired by our hearts, we see the results of our actions and our weaknesses and aspire for perfection. Finally, nafs al-mutmainna implies contentment and peace, there are no immoral desires. This is the ideal state of ego, there is tranquillity and peace. Sins are a major factor in our unhappiness and therefore our depression. When we sin, we feel guilty that cause depression, stress, and anxiety. It is that depression which may actually lead us to repent to Allah or to spoil even more in sin. Allah Almighty said in Quran: “And whoever turns away from my remembrance to him there will be a difficult life.” (Quran, 20:124)
A little depression and anxiety is a normal part of life which can be cured with prayer and positive thinking. For those of us who experience abnormal and unhealthy levels of depression and anxiety, there is hope in Islam to overcome these disable symptoms. If we are feeling depressed, we should strengthen our belief in Allah and should recite the supplication for depression and worries.
Allah says in Holy Quran: “Allah is the Protector of those who have faith He will lead them from the depths of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are the devils: from the light, they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (forever).” (Quran, 2:257)
surah Duha : Allah subhana wa ta’ala revealed surah Duha at a time when our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was depressed, to soothe him. For the man who suffered the most in this world, it was something very soothing. The Surah reminds the prophet of the blessings that Allah SWT has opened for him and asks him to help the poor and the needy and to make mention of the blessings of Allah upon him.
Surah Inshirah: Along with Surah Duha, Allah SWT also revealed Surah Inshirah, Surah 94, in the Quran. Allah tells the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam about how Allah had eased the pain that the prophet felt internally by revealing to him the Quran. Allah SWT mentions how He will raise the mention of His prophet around the world, and today every second somewhere on earth the adhaan is going on and someone somewhere is saying Ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah. Allah SWT also mentions that both before hardship and after hardship is eased. Then He instructs the prophet to pray to His Lord after he is done with his duties to the people.
Surah Yusuf: Among the early surahs revealed to the prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was Surah Yusuf. This is a unique surah in the Quran in that most of it relates just the story of one prophet of Allah, Yusuf. Countless lessons can be derived from this surah and a lot of it has to do with dealing with hardship – how Yaqub alayhi salam and Yusuf alayhi salam dealt with pain and suffering in this world and how Allah SWT elevated both of them due to their patience. This was also a surah revealed to the prophet to console him, and this should work brilliantly for us too! There is a huge impact of Islamic religion and spirituality within psychiatric clinical practice. Using Islamic values and beliefs can be beneficial in treatment of mentally ill Muslims, through incorporation of Islamic beliefs that help in drug adherence and modification of different psychotherapeutic techniques to suit Muslim patients. Such aspects provide the basis for specific guidelines in working with Muslim mental health clients.
Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allah said: “There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says: O Allah, I am your slave, son of your slave, son of your maidservant; my forelock is in your hand, your command over me is forever executed and your decree over me is just. I ask you be every name belonging to you which you have named yourself with, Or revealed in your book, or you taught to any of your creation [Narrated Ahmad:3528]
Our success depends on our sincere efforts to the best of our abilities. It is the mercy of Allah that He does not demand results, Alhamdulillah. He is happy if he finds us making our best sincere effort. Thank you Allah!
Life is never a bed of roses. We suffer from heartbreak, pain, and calamity, any of which might drive us to depression. However, at times depression can just be there for no specific reason at all, and when this happens it is imperative that we seek help for it. Allah (SWT) the Creator of Universe has revealed The Noble Quran as a guide for mankind till the end of time, giving us a guide to help us through depression. Some surahs of the Holy Quran are valuable reading during depression and anxiety, as their meanings and messages can help alleviate depression, In Sha Allah.