By Bint Salman
Have you gone through a traumatic phase in life which was followed by: lingering grief , changed appetite, sleep disturbances, lackof concentration and focus, irritability, restlessness, lethargy, low esteem, lack of self-worth? If so, then these are all the symptoms of depression. But look at the bright side: ‘Depression is treatable with a good success rate’
Find a way to normalcy:
Symptoms of depression can be alleviated through guidance from the Quran and Sunnah. Below are a few tips:
– Bowing to the will of Allah, with belief in Qadar:
Belief in predestination is one of the articles of faith. You should firmly believe that all good and bad comes from Allaah and once your conviction is strong you’ll learn to negotiate your circumstances no matter how hopeless you feel about your situation. This belief will assure you that your Lord has done what is best for you and this attitude helps you to be content and happy with Allah’s will. Allah’s plans are perfect, not an affliction befalls a believer but His sins are wiped out if he patiently endures. Allaah says;
‘Whatever misfortune happens to you is because of the things your hands have wrought and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness.’ (42:30)
‘No affliction great or small afflicts a man but for a sin, but there are more which Allah forgives’. (Tirmidhi)
Dhikrullaah- A potent Anti-Depressant:
Make Allaah’s dhikr by following ways:
–By reciting Qura’an and contemplating over its verses;
Remembering Allaah by reciting Quraan while reflecting over its meanings grants peace and tranquility to the heart as Allah says: ”Verily in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts finds rest”: (13:28)
Not only it gives us certain guidelines on how to be steadfast on the face of calamities also It becomes a source of motivation for us and strengthens our imaan and hope in Allaah’s mercy , especially when we come across certain stories like the story of Yusuf and Ayub (‘Alayhimussalaam).
Yusuf’s (‘Alaihysalaam) only son was separated from him ,but he didn’t despair the mercy of Allah and left a wonderful & most powerful advice for us. The Quran highlights it as:
”Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” (12:87).
Ayub (‘Alaihysalaam)) who was left without children and wealth when his health declined miserably and his body got diseased all over remained patient and didn’t utter a word of thanklessness to his Lord but sweetly invoked:
‘’Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” (21:83)
At places the Quran gives us incentives by reminding us of the sweet out come of enduring with patience . Allaah says;
“But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.’ They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance.” (2:155-157)
–Invocations for morning and evening:
Constantly invoke Allaah, in the morning and in the evening. Among the invocations for morning and evening there are duas for sorrow and anxiety. One of them is;
Allaahuma ini aodubika minah hame wal huzne wal ajzi wal kaslee wad dala id daine wa qahririjaal.
O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men. Ameen
Especial invocation for grief:
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a person who is afflicted by anxiety or sorrow says: ‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka wa ibnu ‘abdika wa ibn ammatika naasiyati bi yadika maadin fiyya hukmuka ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw asta’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘indaka an taj’al al-Quraana rabee’a qalbi wa noora sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You with which You have named Yourself, or, or You have taught to any of Your creation, or You have revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)’, then Allaah will take away his anxiety and sorrow, and will replace it with joy.
Remember the way to sakinah is through obeying Allaah Subhanahu watalaa .When a person does not follow the commands of Allah, his chest becomes constrained, he gets encircled by a discomfort zone .Outwardly he might seem to be enjoying the material blessings of this worldly life but inwardly he loses peace, tranquility and happiness.
Allah Subahnau wa talaa says :
”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.”( 20:124)
Sinning causes a soul to wander in agitation. It may be a consequence of our sins that we feel bad and irritable. Despite that, Allaah is so Merciful ,He has shown us the way to drop the burden of sins by means of repentance. It’s one of the tricks of shaitaan that he makes us feel that our sin due to its magnitude is unpardonable. We are humans bound to sin but if one sincerely repents, Allaah forgives all His major and minor sins. The repentance should be sincere, pure repentance ‘Taubatun nasooh”,that one should make a sincere repentance, he should feel guilty of his wrongdoing and he should resolve never to repeat that sin. After a person repents and performs more good deeds the constricting force starts releasing on him and he is granted thorough peace and satisfaction.
-Shukr Brings Contentment:
When you learn to value those blessings of Allah , you will develop the attitude of a grateful person. Prophet (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) said:
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam, said: ‘Wealth is not in having vast riches, it is in contentment.’ (Bukhari, Muslim)
Even if you don’t have anything but a pair of eyes, ears, limbs you should be grateful to Allaah .You only realize the value of something when you lose it, look at those who’re blind, deaf and cripple and thank Allah. Indeed thanking Allah is a blessing itself , Dawood AS used to invoke Allah:
‘O Allah! how can I thank you enough when thanking you is also a blessing’
Jot down a list of all the things you are blessed with and ponder over the fact that what would happen if you lose them all.
–Developing good Interpersonal skills:
Learning good skills in dealing with people takes a person on the road to happiness and triumph. There is no person on Earth who doesn’t like to be respected, adored and held in high esteem. The best way to develop good interpersonal skills is by studying the seerah of our beloved prophet pbuh and emulating it. Learn and incorporate those effective ways in your life which our he pbuh adopted to tackle with people possessing different personalities and natures. Learn the manners he taught and make them your second nature. Show people your care, concern and love and believe me you will be dumbfounded at what you receive in return. Engage in community service, lend your help to the ones in plight, this will help you move past your own plight and depression.
-Have a bowl of Talbinah daily:
Talbinah is actually barley soup which is one of the prophetic medicines. Ayesha (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha) would recommend the grieving and sick women to have it.
Ayesha would say (to the women), “Eat, for I heard the Messenger (peace be upon him) saying, ‘The Talbina soothes the heart of the patient and relieves him from some of his sadness.’” (Al-Bukhari, no. 5690)
In another Hadith the Prophet (Sal Allaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) said:
The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “I encourage you to use (Talbina) which is disliked, but is beneficial. By the One in whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, it cleans your stomach just as water cleans dirt from the face.” (Mustadrak of Hakim, no. 7455, Adh-Dhahabi declared it Sahih)
Recipe for Talbina:
Talbina is made by adding one or two tablespoon of barley flour in one and a half cups of water and mixed homogeneously till it dissolves in water. It is then kept over the flame and constantly stirred till it thickens. Have it by adding a little honey and milk.
A few other tips:
-Exercise daily for 20-30 mins: this helps relieve stress to some extent and provides relaxation to the body. During exercise the chemicals ‘endorphins’ are released which elevate the mood. Exercise leaves positive impact on sleep and behavior..
-Fast: Alright, you do it for the sake of Allah but it not only gives you reward but some other extra benefits: fasting also triggers release ‘endorphins’ which give a feeling of ‘well- being’.
-Take foods that beat stress: Google out a list of foods which fight stress and include them in your diet list.