Cure for Depression in Islam

Islam is a complete way of life and offers a real solution to every problem. Depression is one of the most prevalent mental disorders across the world and its prevalence has increased during the past decades. Literature shows that some lifestyle factors contribute to this rise and depression treatment. We should have complete faith in Allah and overcome depression. Allah says:

قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الْمُعَوِّقِينَ مِنكُمْ وَالْقَائِلِينَ لِإِخْوَانِهِمْ هَلُمَّ إِلَيْنَا وَلَا يَأْتُونَ الْبَأْسَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

“Allah knows those who hinder among you and those who say to their brothers, “Come to us,” and not they come (to) the battle except a few.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:18)

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 The Creator of the Universe has revealed The Quran as a guide for mankind till the end of time, giving us a guide to help us through depression. Allah says:

وَكَأَيِّن مِّن دَابَّةٍ لَّا تَحْمِلُ رِزْقَهَا اللَّهُ يَرْزُقُهَا وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ 

“How many are the creatures that carry not their sustenance? It is Allah Who feeds them and you, for He hears and knows all things.” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:60)

Depression and anxiety are two closely related ailments that will afflict many of us at one time or another during our lives. Periods of grief and worry are a normal part of life, which can usually be cured with prayer, patience, and positive thinking. However, sometimes we unwittingly nurture these negative feelings to the point of developing an anxiety disorder or clinical depression. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ 

“O you who believe! Resort to patience and prayer; surely, Allah is with the patient.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:153)

The human heart is the centre of emotions and feelings.  It dictates what it desires and works in collaboration with a mind to act as a platform of good or evil.  The human heart also has hidden treasures of matchless jewels. If found and applied, we can become beloved of Allah. Our real love should be for Allah. We love someone due to beauty and excellence, perfectness in knowledge and generosity, loving and caring treatment for us. If we look around and think about the blessings Allah is showering on us, we will love Him.

Here are some steps one may take to cure depression and laziness, Insha Allah:

  1. Depression is systematically associated with negative outcomes
  2. Depression does not mean your connection with God is weak 
  3. Depression does not mean that you aren’t a good Muslim
  4. Depression defined as a subjective feeling of tension
  5. Allah has spoken about being tested in the Quran
  6. Allow your mind to keep processing the problem
  7. Seek help through Sabr and Salat (Quran 2:45)
  8. Allah wants His people to ask for forgiveness
  9. Allah’s plans are superior depending on Him
  10. Allah listens to you and your prayers
  11. Tawakkul attribute everything to the Will
  12. Tawakkul connect to a powerful associate
  13. Tawakkul refers to putting your trust in Allah
  14. Tawakkul turn lead to goodness in this world
  15. Tawakkul Allah must be strong and rely upon
  16. Tawakkul means all things are in Allah’s hands
  17. Tawakkul indicate that Allah cannot be opposed
  18. Tawakkul will be going to be an end by His Mercy
  19. Tawakkul greater the chances that we try to please
  20. Tawakkul indicate that Allah’s wish is an occurrence

Every minute is like a gold coin. We must gain control over our thoughts and feelings towards people. When our happiness depends upon material wealth and success, we are bound to be disappointed as such worldly pleasures will never last forever. If we are too deeply attached to a material object, we will become depressed when it is inevitably taken away. Allah says:

وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا 

“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.” (Surah At-Talaq 65:3)

Islam is not just a religion that people follow but it offers a way of life that transforms the overall outcome of life in a positive manner. Islam not only offers a solution to the problem of depression but also has the solution to each and every problem imaginable. Allah says:

وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ

And whoever turns away from My remembrance, then indeed, for him (is) a life straitened and We will gather him (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection blind.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:124)

A little bit of depression is part of life and can be cured by praying five times a day and positive thinking. As Muslims, we have a firm belief that every problem in our life is due to Allah and he will be the one to solve our problems. If one feels depressed and sad he or she should read supplication for depression and strengthen their belief in Allah. Allah says:

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ

“And when proclaimed your Lord, “If you are thankful, surely I will increase you; but if you are ungrateful indeed, My punishment (is) surely severe.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:7)

A Muslim should always believe that the solution to every problem in our lives can be found by making dua to Allah. The best way to avoid depression is to keep yourself busy and there is no best way to keep yourself busy is none other than doing Zikar and remembering Allah. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Those who believed and find satisfaction their hearts in the remembrance (of) Allah. No doubt, in the remembrance of Allah find satisfaction the hearts.” (Surah Ar-Ra`d 13:28)

Depression is a silent monster that can attack anyone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. As humans, it is a constant struggle to balance our emotions and not allow ourselves to get carried away by the situation we are facing at any given point in time.

Dealing with Depression According to the Holy Quran:

  • “Seek help through Sabr and Salah.” (Quran 2:45)
  • “Indeed, after hardship, there is ease.” (Quraan 94:6)
  • “Indeed, mankind was created anxious.” (Quran. 70:9)
  • “….And in Allah let believers put their trust.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:11)
  • “Allah is sufficient for us and He is an excellent trustee.” (Quraan 3:173)
  • “When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.” (Quran 3: 159)
  • “On no soul do We place a burden greater than it can bear.” (Quran 23:62)

The heart and tongue are gifts from Allah to earn millions of rewards (Hasanaat) for the Akhirah. Many of us become depressed because our bodies are not receiving enough nutrients, and such an imbalance affects our whole being. Hence, Allah commands us to eat wholesome foods (tayyibat) produced naturally from the earth. Listening to the Quran is one of the spiritual therapies that have been used for treating mental disorders. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

“O you who believe, eat from the wholesome things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is Him that you worship.” (Surat al-Baqarah 2:172)

Depression is a condition that brings us down and makes us feel like life is not worth it anymore. It slowly creeps its way into our system and turns us into the kind of person who isn’t enthusiastic about life anymore. In addition to diet, we need to make sure we get enough quality sleep and exercise. Allah created the nighttime for us to rest, and our bodies need it to heal and recharge our energy reserves. Neglecting our sleep requirements for any reason, even prayer is a blameworthy excess. Allah says:

وَجَعَلْنَا نَوْمَكُمْ سُبَاتًا وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا

“And We made your sleep for rest and the night as a covering.” (Surat al-Naba 78:9-10)

We should return to the Quran often to hear this message, remind us of the favours of Allah, and keep this worldly existence in a proper perspective. It is through the Quran, which is the greatest way to remember Allah, that our hearts will find rest and assurance. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

“O you who believe[d]! Seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah (is) with the patient ones.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:153)

Depression will take patience, sustained effort, and perseverance to implement a long-term plan for well-being, yet there is hope for healing and a clear path forward in Islam. By adopting healthy habits in our mind, body, and spirit, we can restore the natural balance within us that leads to recovery and prosperity. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا

“O you who believe, avoid much suspicion. Verily, some suspicion is sin, and do not spy or backbite each other.” (Surat al-Hujurat 49:12)

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 tranquillity and peace. May Allah Almighty through His bounty and generosity, protect us from depression and other illnesses. Allah says:

وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

“And when plotted against you those who disbelieved that they restrain you or kill you or drive you out. And they were planning and Allah (too) was planning. And Allah is (the) Best (of) the Planners.” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:30)

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. May Allah ease your worries, fears and anxiety and grant you calmness, peace and healing. Ameen.