In an utterly confusing world where stress has become the norm and negative thinking has become quite part of our daily routine, to break through the negative cycle and overcome depression can become challenging.
While we tend to shy from speaking out our minds and sharing our mental and emotional disturbance, just rest assured that everyone is fighting their own battle; be it mental, emotional or spiritual. There is absolutely nothing shameful about it. Suffering from depression or anxiety is a sickness and has to be addressed, just like any other physical pain in your body.
There are several natural depressants treatments that you can do on your own to overcome depression and negative thoughts, yet if the depression persists, professional help has to be sought.
While there are lots of scientific researches performed about depression which you can find in medical publications and online. Today we will discuss the topic from an Islamic perspective. Let’s see what guidance does the Quran offer to help overcome depression and negative thoughts.
Before discussing the cure, we need to understand the root cause. And according to our religion, these factors may cause/nurture your depression.
1. Being distant
When you turn away or distant from God, you deprive your soul of its oxygen. Same to what happens to your body when you cease from eating or drinking for a long time.
Your soul seeks to float when connected to its creator, otherwise, it slowly suffocates, dims and feels heavy, and no matter what else you do, you feel miserable.
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰسورة طه -124
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.”Surah Taha 20:124
2. So focused on Donia
Being so focused on Donia (life) day and night burdens your hurt, deprives you of sleep and tires your body and soul. Yet when we live our life on purpose and have a higher goal towards the hereafter, God subjects the universe to our service to ease our affairs and He belittles our day-to-day calamities.
Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) said: “Whoever makes the Hereafter his goal, Allah makes his heart rich, and organizes his affairs, and the world comes to him whether it want to or not. And whoever makes the world his goal, Allah puts his poverty right before his eyes, and disorganizes his affairs, and the world does not come to him, except what has been decreed for him.Vol. 4, Book 11, Hadith 2465
3. Not realizing that it is all written
All our matters have been written in the book of decrees; our health, wealth, status…etc.
مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ . لِكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍسورة الحديد 23-22
No calamity occurs in the earth nor in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. 23. In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.Surah Al Hadid 57:22-23
4. Relying on yourself
Relying only on ourselves, our abilities and making decisions totally on our own is mentally hectic and draining. We get to feel the full burden weighing us down.
Quranic ways to overcome depression
There are different methods used to overcome depression. In this article, we discuss natural cures that anyone can do on their own to reduce their negative thoughts and overcome depression, yet if it persists, seeking professional help is important.
How to start?
It all starts in the mind. Mindset is powerful. If we change our mindset, we’ll have the ability to do significant shifts in our mood, health and overall life quality.
1. Rely on Him
Why carry the burden of your world, when you can rely it on your creator? Overthinking is painful and it gets us into vicious circles.
We are a nation who is blessed with Tawakol (Reliance on Allah). Which means we do istikhara, we plan, we take action and we ask God to guide us and take us through the highs and lows.
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُسورة الطلاق – 2-3
And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.Surah Al Talaq 65:2-3
2. Difficulty lies ahead
There will be challenges and trials for the believers. Hardships are never meant to break us, they make us stronger, purify us and elevate our rank. There is always victory in patience.
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ . الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ . أُولَئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَاليقرة 155-157
We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But give good news to those who are steadfast. Those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return.’ These will be given blessings and mercy from their Lord, and it is they who are rightly guided.Al-Baqarah 2:155-157
3. Goodness in all cases
قَالَ رَسُولُ الله ﷺ: عَجَباً لأمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ لَهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لأِحَدٍ إِلاَّ للْمُؤْمِن: إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْراً لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خيْراً لَهُرواه مسلم
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him”.Muslim
4. He knows us better than ourselves
Allah knows what’s best for us. Even though we might not get what we asked for or end up somewhere different than where we wished, He knows what suits us. We might be attached to something or someone that could harm us or be repelled from someone/something that might be of goodness to us.
He knows our ins and outs, our capabilities, and our endurance. He might behold some bounties until we’re ready for them or redirect our routes for a higher purpose.
Yet when we truly believe that He is the All-knowing, we will not hold grudges towards our life, we will accept our circumstances and peacefully work to better it.
وَعَسَى أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَعَسَى أَنْ تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُمْسورة البقرة 216
But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.Surah Al Baqarah 2:216
5. Allah is enough
When we fully depend on people, we’ll be eager to please them. We’ll remain anxious until our affairs are done. We’ll suffer from inner struggles and anxiety because we are left to ourselves, and our focus is on the creations, not the creator.
Believe that Allah is sufficient to entrust Him with your affairs and You’ll be granted peace in your life.
وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚسورة الطلاق -3
And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.ٍSurah Al Talaq 3
6. Remember Him
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُسورة الرعد 28
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.Surah Ar-ra’d 13-28
7. Be mindful
Abu al-‘Abbas ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas(ra) reports:Related by Tirmidhi
“One day I was riding (a horse/camel) behind the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he said, ‘Young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. If you ask, ask of God. If you need help, seek it from God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so. The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’ ”
Last but not least, whenever you intend to take any new step, start a new phase or begin your healing journey to overcome depression…
8. Ask Allah for support
Remember this duaa day and night to help overcome depression as taught by the Prophet (PBUH)
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ
“O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from care and grief, I seek refuge in Thee from incapacity and slackness, I seek refuge in Thee from cowardice and niggardliness, and I seek in Thee from being overcome by debt and being put in subjection by men.”Book 8, Hadith 140
Finally, rest assured that whenever you’re going through a dark phase, that you’re not alone. Allah is Al samii Al Aliim (All-hearing, All-knowing)
whenever you feel there’s no way out, remember…
حسبي الله و نعم الوكيل
Sufficient for us is Allah and he is the best disposal of affairs
and live with it…
To better health, more peace, light and blessings.