Depression is a serious mental disability affecting Muslims and non-Muslims alike, whether pious or sinful. It is not simply a feeling of being depressed as its name suggests; even relatively cheerful people can become victims of this condition. This article will give you a tried and tested way to successfully overcome most mental illnesses.
Research shows that ‘good’, moral people become depressed, not evil people. However, it would not be possible for a Nabi (Prophet of Allah SWT) or a Sahabah (companion of the Prophet Muhammad SAW) to suffer from a mental illness since mental conditions relate to Nufs (desires and ego) and Emaan (faith in Allah). A Muslim may have reasonably good faith in Allah SWT but if their attitude towards Allah or life in general is slightly negative then depression may occur as a trial from Allah so that they correct themselves, as Allah SWT hates negative attitudes.
Mental illnesses generally arrive as a result of trauma. For example, a husband loses his wife due to death. This trauma may cause the widower to become angry or disheartened with his loss. Such negative feelings are the result of Nufs. The bereaved should always seek to be positive and accepting. Even a non-Muslim knows that negativity is self-destructive and doesn’t help matters. Allah SWT loves patience and hates impatience. Disagreeing with Allah’s decision is a kind of impatience. Allah SWT will protect even a non-Muslim with His Mercy as long as they are positive. When the Nufs has become dominant, after impatience has taken control, the Mercy of Allah SWT recedes, allowing the Shaytaan to step forward and use this negativity to create depression or another mental illness.
“Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the Dhikr of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest.”
“Whoever turns themselves from the Zikr of Allah, We appoint for him a Shaytaan, who becomes his companion.”
Trauma & Nufs are used by Shaytaan to create mental illness and thereafter, Nufs is used by Shaytaan to perpetuate this condition.
Allah SWT warns mankind about following our Nufs. Allah SWT warns us about following Shaytaan.
Trauma is a test from Allah SWT. The Saliheen (early pious Muslims) suffered far greater traumas throughout their lives but because they practiced Islam fully (externally as well as internally), they were protected. Today, even ‘pious’ Muslims suffer from mental illness due to an incorrect attitude. They occasionally think Allah SWT is wrong to test them so ‘harshly’ or that the test was too much for them. So ultimately, their view of Allah SWT (whether they believe in God or not) has deviated. They have in fact directly challenged the Creator’s perfect names which is an incredibly serious error to make. It is not possible for One who is Truly Perfect to be in any way unjust.
Trials are a Mercy from Allah SWT. Dealing with these trials according to the Qur’an and Sunnah (way of our Prophet SAW) will increase our Emaan (faith). Dealing with these trials according to our Nufs is the way of Shaytaan and may result in protracted mental illness.
“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.
And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah is Sufficient as a Witness.”
“O you who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.”
“No burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear …”
The Ulema (scholars) state that Prophet Yunus (Jonah) did not sin but he did inadvertently displease Allah SWT by ending his mission (to guide his rebellious nation) without seeking permission from Allah. As a trial he had to endure being imprisoned within the darkness of the deep sea as well as the darkness of the stomach of the whale. Prophet Yunus was in such great mental distress that at one point, he even thought he had died. Imagine being in complete darkness and dragged underwater. All you know is that you are going deeper and deeper underwater within the stomach of a giant beast. Imagine being extremely cold and drenched through, trapped in a body of water with the fear of drowning to death, along with the fear of being digested by this sea monster which has just swallowed him. The deep-sea water pressure is increasingly crushing his body and internal organs. His delicate lungs feel the brunt of the pressure, breathing is becoming more and more difficult. He knows that he could be easily spat out into the oceans depths at any time to drown to death or he could simply drown within the belly of the whale. He is unsure why this is all happening to him. It is just one disaster after the other but he quickly realizes that he must had done something wrong and that he wasn’t innocent.
Alhamdulillah, with all of this, Prophet Yunus was positive and did not blame his people, nor did he blame Allah SWT. He continued calling out to Allah not ever once thinking of giving up on Allah’s sweet mercy. He only blamed himself. He contemplated about what he had done wrong and realized his hastiness in leaving his people. He knew the problem had to be with himself only. His humility didn’t allow himself to blame anyone but himself. Sometimes we also find ourselves in similar stressful situations as if surrounded by darkness upon darkness. This darkness begins with trauma and can end up as mental illness.
Prophet Yunus didn’t say, ‘Oh Allah why are you doing this to me?’ Or, ‘why are you punishing me, my people are the wrong doers, not me.’ Or, ‘Oh Allah, there must be some kind of mistake, I am innocent.’
Most people will call out to Allah only as a last resort. Yunus remembered Allah from the beginning and when things became bleaker, he did not once give up on Allah SWT. He even fell into prostration inside the stomach of the whale, talking to his Lord constantly, never thinking that Allah wasn’t listening.
“There is no God but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.”
The humility of Yunus AS saved him. People with mental illness tend to stay imprisoned within their darkness, (depression, anxiety, bipolar etc.) until they reflect and concentrate on their own faults rather than the obvious errors of others. Once they recognize that they themselves have wronged themselves then Allah will release them from their dark prison.
This reflection and penitence suppresses our Nufs, and once done, the Shaytaan can no longer influence us. Nufs loves to blame others rather than to look within for fault, and Shaytaan loves us to give up hope.
Trauma + Nafs (negativity) + Shaytaan = Mental illness
Allah SWT is free of imperfection, as such, everything that He allows to happen to us is just; even if we are harmed through an oppressive person they are just the vehicle for the trial Allah has written for us.
For a victim suffering the horrors of mental illness it can be very hard to face the idea of their own error bringing on their condition. However, once they find the courage and humility to do so, recovery is entirely within their grasp Bi’ithnillah. The victim may be entirely innocent and the blame may be totally on the assailant but the victim may not be innocent of the way he or she handles the trauma.
Anyone who suffers from depression should perform he following actions:
1. Recognise that Allah SWT is Perfect, the most Kind, the most Loving and free of all blame.
2. Recognise that Allah SWT only tests those He loves.
3. Recognise that you and no-one else is guilty of making a mistake.
4. Recognise that you are wrong and that Allah is Just.
5. Recognise that this mental illness has come from you following your Nufs and being negative.
6. “There is no God but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.”
Understand this prayer (Du’a) made by Prophet Yunus and apply it to yourself.
7. Perform Tawbah (ie. repent to Allah SWT) for earning His anger which has brought about this mental illness.
8. Ask Allah SWT to remove this Shaytaan and illness from you.
9. Start to be more positive in regards to life and Allah SWT.
10. Concentrate on controlling your Nufs.
11. Be regular in reciting daily Masnoon (as practiced by Prophet Muhammad SAW) Dhikr or Dhikr prescribed to you by a Shaykh.
12. Recite the 3 Quls and Ayatul Kursi after the five times Salaah and lightly spit into your hands and wipe those hands over your body.
13. Whenever you feel low or disturbed, recite the 3 Quls and Ayatul Kursi and lightly spit into your hands and wipe those hands over your body.
This article is based on the teachings of the Ulema along with first hand experiences of their students and is published courtesy of NafsSaid: https://www.facebook.com/nafssaid/
Jinn and Sihr Youtube.
Mental illness is generally related to Jinn and people with Sihr (black magic) are more susceptible to Jinn influence. If there is no clear event of trauma, then black magic may well be involved.
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