TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses mental health and mental illness. Please reach out to organisations where you can discuss issues you have and seek help.
Islam has always validated mental health concerns – addressing the causes and symptoms of mental distress and even providing solutions. We tuned in to a few lectures by scholars of Islam who address the topic of mental health by providing us with Quran and Sunnah backed stories and advice and summarised them for you in this post.
Each of the scholars emphasise on not stigmatising mental health issues and providing support to our loved ones who need it. The scholars provide evidence on spiritual and even physical remedies the Prophet ﷺ used and advised us on, while stressing on the importance of seeking professional help when needed. So even as we adopt a more holistic lifestyle: including dua and dhikr into our routine, eating and sleeping better, it serves us to remember that Islam encourages us to seek remedies, even those that can not be seen by others.
Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving – Surah Al Mulk, Ayah 2
“And he turned away from them and said: “Alas, my grief for Yusuf (Joseph)!” And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing.” – (Surah Yusuf, Ayah 84)
“Perhaps, you, would kill yourself (O Muhammad SAW) in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration (the Quran).” – (Surah Kahf, Ayah 7)
Hadith 1: Abu Huraira reported: the Prophet ﷺ said, “If Allah wills good for someone, He afflicts him with trials.”
Hadith 2: Suhayb ibn Sinān Ar-Rūmi (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “How wonderful the affair of the believer is! Indeed, all of his affairs are good for him. This is for no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is grateful to Allah, which is good for him. And if something bad happens to him, he has patience, which is good for him.”
Hadith 3: We went with The Prophet ﷺ to the blacksmith Abu Saif, and he was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). The Prophet ﷺ took Ibrahim and kissed him and smelled him and later we entered Abu Saif’s house and at that time Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of The Prophet ﷺ started shedding tears. `Abdur Rahman bin `Auf said, “O Allah’s Apostle, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn `Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim ! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.”
Hadith 4: The Prophet ﷺ said to us, “If one of you is angry while he is standing, let him sit down so his anger will leave him; otherwise, let him lie down.”
Hadith 5: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O `Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?” I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)!” He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.”
Hadith 6: Abu Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah sent down the disease and the cure, and for every disease he made a cure. Seek treatment, but do not seek treatment by the unlawful.”
Hadith 7: It was narrated from Aishah, the wife of The Prophet ﷺ, that if a member of her family died, the women would gather together, then they would depart, except her own relatives and close friends. She would order that a pot of talbeenah be cooked, then some thareed would be made and the talbeenah would be poured over it. Then she would say: Eat some of it, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Talbeenah soothes the heart of the sick person, and it takes away some of the grief.”
Seek help in patience and prayer (Surah Baqarah, Ayah 45)
Hadith 8: It is also said that whenever an event of difficulty or hardship comes to the Prophet ﷺ, he would ask Bilal RA to call the adhan by saying, “Bilal, relieve and soothe us through salah (prayer).” – Stories of the Sahabah
Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest (Surah Ra’ad, Ayah 28)
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّي أَعْوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَـمِّ وَ الْحُـزْنِ، والعًجْـزِ والكَسَلِ والبُخْـلِ والجُـبْنِ، وضَلْـعِ الـدَّيْنِ وغَلَبَـةِ الرِّجال
“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by men.”
Our trials are temporary, our deeds are for eternity:
And do not kill (each other or) yourselves. Surely Allah is ever Merciful to you. (Surah Nisa, Ayah 29)
And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer. (Surah Ibrahim, Ayah 34)
We will certainly test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and earnings; but give glad tidings to the persevering and patient. (Surah Baqarah, Ayah 155)
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” (Surah Baqarah, Ayah 156)
Seek and provide support as a community:
O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.). (Surah Hujurat, Ayah 11)
We end this piece by once again linking the organisations and services you can get in touch with for support. May Allah allow us to be part of a supportive community and may he grant us ease in our troubles. May he reward us for all our struggles and patience. May Allah grant you healing. Ameen.
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