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7 Ways to Overcome Depression

The stories in Part 1 are mere surface examples on how the Quran demonstrates that sadness is part of human life.

It will come, but there is resolve.

Anxiety and depression may follow suit, but only if it is left to fester and self-consume then may it have an effect on a person’s level of faith (iman).

Having said that, however, there is always a path to recovery; and by the same virtue of illustrating stories of the past, the Quran is also a comprehensive guide on how to find the remedies, both internally and externally.

Believers Shed Tears Too

Prophet Muhammad, the man of perfected intellect, manners, piety and faith was recorded to have cried in his humanness. Whether it was for family or friends when caught in poorly situations, (as in the one of Ta’if) finding desperate resolutions to avoid battles; and even when talking to Allah.

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It is perfectly acceptable to cry in desperation to Allah (SWT). Crying is not a sign of a weak iman, but a testament of our beliefs that we are in need of His constant help and guidance.

Imagine Yunus’ desperation when he was swallowed by the whale. Imagine the teardrops of Moses mother watching her baby drift off in a basket towards the castle of a mass murderer.

Remember the tears of depression shed by Zachariah when asking Allah for a son for the very last time. Think of the many years of distraught of Moses future father-in-law, having to send out his two young girls to work in a sea of disbelieving men because he was too old and frail to work.

The common thread that marks strength in faith lies in their tears that they shed, while calling to Allah for help.

Don’t Let Past Mistakes Define You

Just because the situation has become a bit strained, or you have made poor choices, or there is someone in your family who is constantly picking on you or even bullying you – don’t let this define you.

Turn to Allah with the will to move on. Imagine if Adam decided that his one mistake was going to define him for the rest of his existence; that would have marked the demise of decent humanity.

This does not mean that we should trivialize the sins that we commit, but own and acknowledge them in order to pave a way to move on.

As with Adam, he immediately admitted his wrongdoings and turned to Allah for forgiveness, and Allah blessed him with the gift of du’a to always stay connected with Him. Obviously, his return to Jannah (as with all Prophets) is testament to this. And if our father was able to make amends, so will we.

Everything in this Dunya is a Trial

This worldly life – dunya – is merely a glimpse of Jannah, so it is wrong for us to think that it should be lived as Paradise. Think of trials as a way to grow stronger and more committed to Allah and the harder they are, the stronger we should feel desperate for Allah’s Mercy.

In one of Prophet Muhammad’s darkest moments, when he was taunted and mocked for the death of his son, Allah revealed Surah Al-Kawthar for him, promising abundance like no other, while having those who taunted and mocked cut off from Allah’s blessings.

What type of worldly comfort could possibly compete with the abundance of the Afterlife?

That is food for thought.

Remove Harm from Others

Helping others out is an integral belief and practice of our faith. After Moses, unfortunate encounter with an aristocrat of Pharaoh, which resulted in the latter’s death, Moses disappeared as a fugitive as a running target through the deserts of Arabia. While finding himself deadbeat, homeless, jobless and without a penny in his name, Moses turned to Allah for redemption.

Right after his du’a, Allah handed him the opportunity to help two young women who were struggling with their cattle. After making more du’a for further recompense, one of the sisters beckoned him for a job interview with their father.

He was then hired, married to the sister, and given a place to live and work for a good eight years. Removing hardship for others ultimately leads to Allah rewarding you with terms beyond imagination.


Allah will not Burden You More than You can Bear

Allah provides believers the tools to work through the problems that they face. It could be using new skills to get a job. It could be looking for a mediator to solve a litigation problem from reaching the courts. And it could be taking new classes to chart out a new career path, or even resolve parenting issues.

In fact, we live in a world with abundant resources to get help. Find opportunities for counseling. Look for a support group. Reach out to sympathetic family members. Don’t remain docile; don’t turn obsolete, work on a plan to move forwards, and in turn, also closer to Allah.

Trusting that Allah Knows Best

Chapter Al-Baqarah reminds us how we may hate something that is good for us, and love something that is bad for us.

In dealing with bad situations, we never know how it would help us grow individually or as a community. Trusting that Allah is the Best of Planners, helps put many difficulties into perspective; it and pushes us to persevere onwards without losing faith.

Revisit the Pillars of Faith

Lastly, these two articles of our iman, Belief in Qadar and Belief in the Hereafter, are important facets in believing that not only will rewards surface in Jannah, but all accounts will be put into balance on the Day of Judgment. These accounts will reflect injustice, oppression, and our levels of patience and perseverance in dealing with difficulties.

Everything that happens has been pre-written, so we need to have full faith in pre-destination; we need to bear challenges with wisdom and patience, rather than relentless fear and self-destruction.

Sadness, anxiety and depression are normal elements that linger in the heart. They come, and they get resolved. They are not a sign of weakness, unless we decide to let them consume us in a negative fashion. The Quran provides us solace with our own stories; only magnified through the histories of the most pious who came before us, to also act as a guide and remedy for our own problems.

This makes the Quran alone a great resource for the grieving, the oppressed, the abandoned, the bereft, the struggling.

After all, it was written for those who Allah took pride in creating with the best of statures and we should make all efforts to live up to that expectation.

Part 1

(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)