Trust in Allah being grateful to Allah

Islam and Mental Health

Islam provides Muslims with a code of behaviour, ethics, and social values, which helps them in tolerating and developing adaptive coping strategies to deal with stressful life events. Psychology in Islam is used in everyday practices but under different guises, such as spiritualism. A healthy mind is important for one to carry out one’s worldly and religious obligations. If it is ignored and not taken care of, it may lead to mental health issues. Allah says:

‏إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُقَتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِهِۦ صَفًّۭا كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَنٌۭ مَّرْصُوصٌۭ

“God loves those who fight in solid lines for His cause, as though they were a well-built structure.” (Surah As-Saf 61:4)

Islam values the importance of good mental health and emotional wellbeing. In Islam, mental health, similar to physical health, is a very important aspect of a person’s well-being, as it is integral to living a healthy and balanced life. The importance of preserving one’s mind and included the preservation of the mind as one of the key and essential elements to be protected. Allah says:

فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

“When you have made the decision, then rely upon Allah. Verily, Allah loves those who trust Him.” (Surah Al Imran 3:159)

Islam teaches how to live in harmony with others. 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 Quran 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. Allah says:

قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ آمَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ هُوَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

Say, “He (is) the Most Gracious; we believe in Him, and upon Him, we put (our) trust. So you will know who (is) it (that is) in error clear.” (Surah Al-Mulk 67:29)

Mental and moral diseases have resemblances to physical diseases. They both kill and need to be remedied. Sometimes they are contagious and must be analyzed. After the main cause is identified, they must be remedies. The Quran is like a remedying medicine for those who suffer from attachment to the world and materialism and unconditional surrender to lust.

Islam values the importance of good mental health and emotional wellbeing:

  1. Mental health is defined as the body’s response to demand
  2. Mental health as a taboo subject in the Muslim community
  3. Mental health has life experiences and family history
  4. Mental health effects on the worldly and spiritual life
  5. Mental health is our emotional social well-being
  6. Mental health affects the way we think and feel
  7. Mental health is caused by biological factors
  8. Mental health help to resolve their problems
  9. Mental health keep you away from trouble
  10. Mental health leads to disposition
  11. Mental health relates to others 
  12. Mental health make choices about life
  13. Mental health act how we handle stress
  14. Mental health live in difficult circumstances
  15. Mental health create our emotional problems
  16. Mental health develop two different emotions
  17. Mental health has important to know about help
  18. Mental health is if there is no ill due to a stressor
  19. Mental health is closely linked with knowledge and insight
  20. Mental health has feared for the members of the community

If the language is destructive or causes harm, the longer we are likely to ruminate on it. This can lead to damage to key structures that regulate our memory, feelings and emotions. This in turn will lead to disrupted sleep, a change in appetite and the ability to feel happy. Each time we vocalise this negativity, more chemicals are released in our brain, increasing anxiety and irritability. This is the way cognitive neuroscience explains how destructive thought patterns and language can affect one’s mental wellbeing. Allah says:

‏ذَلِكَ ٱلْكِتَبُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًۭى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ 

“This is the Book! There is no doubt about it—a guide for those mindful ˹of Allah.” (Surah Al-Baqarah2:2)

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. If we imply contentment and peace, there are no immoral desires. This is the ideal state of ego, there is tranquillity and peace. The Quran explains how these states command our psyche and tell us what to do, they control us and dominate us.

The Quran and Emotional Health, Allah Almighty says:

  • “Do not be a bragging boaster.” (Luqman 31:18)
  • “Do not talk, listen or do anything vain.” (al-Qasas 28:55)
  • “Do not confound truth with falsehood.” (al-Baqarah 2:42)
  • “Say with your mouth what is in your heart.” (al-Imram 3:167)
  • “Enter it today as a result of your having denied the truth.” (Quran 36:64)
  • “And do not mix truth with the error or knowingly hide the truth.” (Quran 2:42)
  • “… And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him…” (Quran, 65:3)
  • “So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty, there is a relief.” (Quran, 94: 5-6)

Stress can cause physical, emotional and behavioural disorders which can affect your health and peace of mind, as well as personal and professional relationships. The impact of family involvement on individual mental health may be a double-edged blade. On one hand, it may be helpful as the family may help in supporting the patient regarding his medications and psychotherapy, which help to improve the outcome. Allah says:

كُلُوا۟ وَٱشْرَبُوا۟ هَنِيٓـًٔۢا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“Eat and drink and enjoy it as a reward for your deeds.” (Surah Al-Mursalat 77:43)

Islam enforces the family role in Muslim’s life and emphasizes the religious, moral, and ethical values. Family is an important socio-cultural component as it is the unit of society, which has a huge impact on personality development and is a potential factor in different psychiatric disorders.

How do we cope with psychological distress, some of these ways are listed below:

  • Creating and implementing a new lifestyle change your life
  • Develop self-potential based on faith and devotion to God
  • Rely on religious beliefs and values to cope
  • Seek out alternative forms of treatment
  • Spiritual care is a medical treatment
  • Turning to prayer, worship, and Allāh
  • Turning to loved ones for support
  • Changing routine, diet, or exercise
  • Letting go of things not in our control
  • Cope through prayer & turning to religion
  • Identifying and resolving conflicts in their lives
  • Developing an in-depth understanding of themselves
  • Learning new skills and techniques to manage yourself
  • Religious and spiritual values are imperative in decisions

Islamic approach is to bring happiness to man, to develop his faculties and talents and to create a balance between man’s desires and needs so that there is no extremism Islam as a divine religion places so much emphasis on humanity, and not on man’s class, race or family. This is a universal standard that goes beyond all places and times.

The Medically Connection Between Mental Health:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: An excessive feeling of fear or worry about things that are independent of a stress-causing event.
  • General symptoms include problems: such as sleeping, feeling of panic, cold or sweaty hands, dry mouth, shortness of breath, and not being able to stay calm.
  • Panic Attacks: Sudden onset of intense fear and discomfort that reaches its peak within minutes
  • 4 of the following symptoms: increased heartbeat, trembling, sweating, nausea, feeling of choking, chest pain, dizziness, fear of losing control, fear of dying, feeling of unreality, and numbness or tingling sensations.
  • Major Depressive Disorder: A feeling of constant hopelessness and despair. Consists of a combination of symptoms that affect the individual’s daily ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy things in life. 
  • Marital Issues: Common disputes between spouses, family members involving physical abuse and/or psychological abuse.

Man’s life is like a rusty wheel that moves slowly and noisily. What makes it move smoothly is spirituality. If we as a society are to move forward and remove the stigma associated with mental health, the first thing we should do is not emphasise unjustified prejudices and put more hate into the world. We should all push for the same common goal of love and humility in a place where people can live free from fear.

Role of Islam in the management of Psychiatric disorders

  • Spiritual Resilience: Islam offers a spiritual sanctuary for Muslims to live a peaceful life by using their inner strengths and having a strong relationship with Allah.
  • Role of Patience: Patience is a virtue that enables Muslims to proceed towards worthy goals, undeflected by adverse circumstances or repeated provocations.
  • Evil Eye (Ayn/ Nazar): The concept of an evil eye is the belief that an individual can look at people, animals, or objects and cause harm due to jealousy.
  • Spiritual Possession- The belief that Jinn has the power to possess an individual causing harm to the person and those around them.  
  • Spiritual health: Our connection and relationship with Allah, dua as well as completing our mandatory obligations to Allah such as prayer and fasting.
  • Social/behavioural health: The ability to accept and enjoy happiness, as well as recognize and resolve conflict.
  • Physical health: Diet and exercise, regular checkups with doctors, and hygiene
  • Mental health: Our thoughts. Are they positive, realistic, and functional? Are they helping us complete our day-to-day goals and tasks?
  • Emotional health: Awareness of feelings–both positive and negative–and the ability to regulate them in a healthy manner

Islam encourages people to stay hopeful, even if someone has committed the worst sin or faced the most troublesome life event as there is always God’s mercy. To counter maladaptive thoughts related to hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed with life, as there is no place for despair because Muslims believe that it is God Himself who is in charge of everything, the All-Seeing, All-Knowing, and All Fair and Wise God. Allah says:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّلِحَتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّتُ ٱلنَّعِيمِ

“Those who believe and do good deeds will have Gardens of Delight.” (Surah Luqman 31:8)

In Islam, religion and spirituality are not mutually exclusive as you cannot have one without the other. Islam plays an important role in helping Muslims to cope with negative life events, which helps them in both prevention and treatment of depression. The Quran highlights the importance of psychological wellbeing. 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)

As Muslims, our connection with Allah and our religious values are integrated into our daily lives on some level or another. So, religious considerations and building a religious identity with Allah is needed in treatment considerations for mental illness. It is essential to neither downplay the role of religion and spirituality in mental health nor attribute mental illnesses exclusively to low faith and lack of religiosity. The Quran provides guidance to learn and practise relaxation exercises to weaken the influence of negativity.