Islam plays a prominent role in mental health, even though people hardly consider it. If Muslims understand the beauty of Islam, their lives will become peaceful regardless of the problems they face. The concept of Islam is to believe in God despite the circumstances. For example, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the messenger of Allah, had to pass millions of hurdles to spread Islam.
It wouldn’t have been easy, but he achieved it solely because of his faith. It doesn’t mean that the Prophet never was unhappy or fed up. The very first Quranic revelation was tough, and the Prophet didn’t know anything about it, so he was frightened. Hazrath Kadheeja Rail was his solace and reassurance during the first revelation of the Quran.
Therefore, common Muslim folks need to understand that depression and other mental health issues are normal. It is worrisome that mental health is still a taboo topic in Muslim communities.
Reasons Why Muslims Ignore Mental Health
There are several unfathomable reasons why most Muslims ignore mental health. Some consider mental illness as the wrath of Allah, which is insane. Allah (SWT) loves his creations 70 times higher than one’s own mother. Assuming that the illness is due to sinning or not following the religion is outright crazy.
One has to get into another person’s shoes to understand how they feel. Only if you have associated or handled a mentally unstable individual will you realize what they go through.
Like us, common folks cannot predict Allah’s wrath because Allah doesn’t give us the power to judge another human. If a person is struggling with mental illness, it is because of many other health reasons. For example, some people cannot handle stressful situations. In such instances, they are pushed into states like depression, PTSD, etc.
When the assumption is Allah’s wrath, people try to avoid professional treatment. This is something that Islam doesn’t approve of. Of course, Allah has provided us with relevant supplications and surahs to overcome depression, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore professional help.
The next reason that we often come across is mental illness is a shame. If people could take a minute to ponder on this statement, they’d be ashamed of themselves. How can someone’s illness be a shame? But most Muslims push it under the carpet like it’s a shame. Again, this is something that Islam doesn’t approve of. If one understands Islam, he wouldn’t assume things because everything is detailed in the Holy Quran. If we take some time off to learn the Quran, things will become simpler.
Famous Islamic scholar, Mufti Menk clearly states in his tweet how you can handle stress and let the Almighty handle the rest.
Mental health is often looked down upon in the Muslim community. People spend time and money to treat diabetes, cholesterol, or blood pressure. But the same attention is not given to mental health. If someone in a Muslim family is being treated for mental health, it is always kept a secret. By hiding something that shouldn’t be hidden, you are losing a lot of valuable prayers. Moreover, when you treat mental health like normal health issues, others might learn a thing or two. Some of them might even follow in your footsteps and normalize mental health to seek support.
Lastly, another reason to ignore mental health is that they assume that professionals from other religions will impose their religious beliefs. It is dramatic because the professional will be fully concerned about helping the patient rather than worrying about religious beliefs. Also, if you feel like certain professionals are trying to do it, you can opt for some others. There are plenty of choices.
We have just handpicked the top craziest reasons why Muslims ignore mental health, and sadly, there are many more. However, it’s about time people understand mental illness and what Islam says about it.
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How Islam Helps to Heal Mental Illness
Islam is beautiful because it always has a solution to all your problems. Even if you are stressed, Islam gives clear instructions to overcome. You can easily find related surahs and supplications that will help you overcome stress.
But sometimes, you might hear people say that if you are faithful to Allah, you are unlikely to be depressed. Honestly, it is not true because Islam doesn’t expect you to be superhuman. You can be upset, worried, or even depressed, but it shouldn’t consume you. To overcome all these, you need to seek solace through Islam while attaining professional help.
The very reason why we mentioned that Muslims could fight depression better is that they have a clear understanding of life. Allah (SWT) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have provided us with the roadmap, so you are less likely to feel lost. You need to know and learn Islam to understand the roadmap.
“….so whenever guidance comes to you from Me, then whoever follows my guidance, then there will neither be any fear on them nor will they grieve.” Surah Baqarah: Ayat 38
Of course, no matter what we say, there are instances when you feel completely lost. But the best gift Muslims have is Allah. Whenever you feel lost, you should turn to your compassionate God, who’s readily waiting to soothe you.
Muslims are devoted to God, so they are never left alone. Even if your own people leave your side, Allah will not! The powerful connection between you and Allah will make you stronger during crucial times. Most people feel depressed when they don’t have anyone to share their sadness with. But for you, Allah is always with you. If you make your relationship with Allah stronger and steadier, you will surely witness the difference.
For example, we’ve heard people say that they become calmer when they engage in prayers. Whenever they feel worried, they turn to Allah and pour their hearts out to Him. Just like the following Quranic verse says:
“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)
Every line in the Holy Quran would make your life better if you attempt to understand it.
Should You Seek Professional Help
Often you might be advised to avoid professional help stating that Islam discourages it. Before accepting everyone’s advice, you need to think logically. Would Islam discourage it? Islam isn’t a religion that states things absurdly, so, understandably, Islam wouldn’t discourage it.
Normally, you would feel depressed when your state of mind is disturbed, but Islam steps in to make it better. It encourages seeking medical and psychological help while taking heed from religion.
Until we meet with another post, here’s a powerful dua to overcome depression: