Islamic Teachings for Mental Health: A Holistic Approach

The importance of mental health has been increasingly emphasized over the last few years. Experts warn us that the world is in the midst of a mental health crisis that negatively impacts our health, quality of life, and even our economies. Governments around the world are dedicating more resources to address mental health issues, including modern medicine, therapeutic procedures, and scientific innovations. As Muslims, we also have the luxury of turning towards the words and teachings of God to find solutions to our problems.

Islam provides divine guidelines for every facet of life, including our mental health. While these tips are intended to complement, not replace, professional help for any mental health concerns, we firmly believe that Allah is the ultimate and true Healer, Al-Shafi, and we put our trust in Him for all our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Remembrance of Allah for Anxiety and Peace of Mind
Anxiety and restlessness are closely related to mental health challenges. Islam teaches us that remembrance of Allah can help mitigate this challenge. Allah says in the Holy Quran, “Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Aye! it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort” (Surah ar-Ra‘d, Ch.13: V.29). The Holy Quran has also explained the reasoning and wisdom behind this concept. In verse 173 of Surah al-A‘raf, Allah explains that love, attraction, and longing for God have been ingrained in human souls even before our creation. As such, it is only natural that remembrance of our Lord brings comfort and peace to human beings.

Hope Keeps Us Going
Hope can do wonders when it comes to mental health challenges or any other heavy burden or difficulty in life because it allows us to see the ray of sunshine despite all the darkness. Allah has instilled a great message of hope in the Holy Quran. For a person who may regret something he or she has done or continues to dwell on the past, Allah gives the following message in the Holy Quran, “Say, ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls! despair not of the mercy of Allah, surely Allah forgives all sins” (Surah az-Zumar, Ch.39: V.54). Allah tells us that whatever has happened in the past or whatever mistakes you may have committed, they can be fixed, or reparations can be made in the present.

Purpose and Meaning in Life
Islam seeks to free human beings from the shackles of this world through submission to God Almighty alone. It teaches us that our salvation and deliverance lie in accepting Allah as our Creator and submitting ourselves to follow His teachings. While human beings are allowed to enjoy and entertain themselves within God’s limits and achieve their worldly aims and goals, the pursuit of God takes precedence over all. It provides a singularity of purpose in life. The Promised Messiahas has taught us that the pursuit of God should be our highest aim in life, and that if we recognize this fact and work towards achieving it, it can satiate our thirst and feeling of purposelessness.

Ease After Hardship
For any individual struggling with depression or feeling down, another uplifting message contained in the Holy Quran is the universal truth that life is filled with periods of hardship and ease. With every hardship, Allah has promised ease. As the saying goes, the light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion – the tunnel is. Thus, the Holy Quran teaches us to fight through hardships and periods of affliction with courage and bravery and not lose hope.

Do Not Isolate Yourself
Studies have demonstrated that social isolation, in some cases, is closely related to issues of mental health. Islam, being the most communal religion, can help with the problem of social isolation. Muslims are encouraged to gather in mosques or prayer centers to offer prayers together in congregation. The weekly Friday prayers bring people together from a much larger area. Finally, Muslims from all over the city gather for Eid prayers twice a year. Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, goes even further as it enables Muslims from all parts of the world to unite for the pilgrimage. In this way, the religion of Islam provides ample opportunity for a Muslim to socialize with others, find people of similar natures and inclinations, and leave behind social isolation.

There are also many other Islamic teachings and practices that can help a person struggling with social isolation. Some of them are fulfilling the rights of elderly parents, visiting individuals who are sick, feeding the poor, and attending community gatherings.

Relief from Grief
From an Islamic perspective, a person should always have a strong belief in Allah, accompanied by His remembrance and worship. In times of trials and difficulties, he or she should not give up hope. In fact, Islam teaches us to use all our God-given faculties to resolve problems while placing our trust in Allah for the best possible outcome. Even if the results are not what we expected, we accept them as a divine decree. Lastly, as Muslims, we always remember that this life is temporary, and that ultimate justice and reward are due in the Hereafter.

Final thoughts, Islam provides divine guidance and teachings for our mental health challenges. We should take advantage of these teachings to help us live a more fulfilling and satisfying life. We should also remember that seeking professional help for any mental health issues is important and should not be overlooked. At the same time, we should always place our trust in Allah, who is the ultimate Healer and the One who can guide us towards the right path.

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