Is depression one of the disease of the heart? And if so what is the cure?
Question on Nov,21 2017
Is one of the disease of the heart depression? And if so what is the cure?
Assalāmu ʿalaykum waraḥmatullāhī wabrakātuh,
At the outset, we should not see everything in a linear fashion. While the linear thought process is easy to grasp, life is not linear. It is constantly being influenced by different factors. There can be a number of these factors which leads towards depression.
Just as there are medical and psychiatric procedures to tackle depression, Islam also gives guidelines towards restoring such balanced state of contentment.
Every individual will have different conditions and factors that cause his depression may be different. This is why the psychiatrist would go through multiple sessions to assess the key factors contributing towards the depression. Sharīʿah does not discourage taking such medical treatments. In fact, Islam complements these efforts to keep a healthy mindset and disposition.
In Islam we recognize that Allah Taʿālā is the absolute power over all the factors that may contribute towards one’s depression. Hence, it is pivotal that along with medical procedures which tackle any physical factors, we ultimately rely on Allāh to guide us through emotional, mental and religious factors as well.
Rasūlullāh ﷺ taught a great supplication for such instance.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَمِّ وَالحَزَنِ، وَالعَجْزِ وَالكَسَلِ، وَالبُخْلِ وَالجُبْنِ، وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ، وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Allāhumma innī aʿūẓu bika minal hammi wal hazan; wal ʿajzi wal kasal;
wal bukhli wal jubn; wa ḍalaʿi dayn wa ghalabati rijal
O Allah, I seek your protection from stress, depression, weakness, laziness, miserliness, cowardice, the burden of debts and being overpowered by men.
This beautiful duʿāʾ should be recited as much as possible, while focusing on the meaning and concientizing oneself that Allah is more powerful than all these factors and with the aid of Allah, overcoming these factors can become a breeze.
May Allah grant you complete contentment in life and rest from any difficulties therein, Āmīn
And Allāh Taʿālā Knows best,
Mufti Faisal al-Mahmudi
صحيح البخاري – دار طوق النجاة (8/ 79)
6369 – حدثنا خالد بن مخلد، حدثنا سليمان، قال: حدثني عمرو بن أبي عمرو، قال: سمعت أنس بن مالك، قال: كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: «اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الهم والحزن، والعجز والكسل، والجبن والبخل، وضلع الدين، وغلبة الرجال»
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned the following to a person who was overcome by depression and grief:
What is the need for such worry and grief? When a person is overcome by depression and grief, I generally advise them to engage in a certain muraaqabah (meditation). This meditation is a cure for all types of depression, worries and anxieties. The method of this meditation is for one to always reflect and ponder over the fact that “Allah Ta‘ala loves me and wants the best for me”. In the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala says that He is the true friend and guardian of the believers. Hence, Allah Ta‘ala always decides the best for His servant. If any person experiencing depression and grief engages in this muraaqabah, then he will find that all his worries and anxieties will come to an end.
An example through which this muraaqabah can be understood is the love of the mother for the child. Every child believes that his mother loves him and wants what is best for him. Despite this, the mother still does certain things that outwardly seem unpleasant to the child. In some instances, she even reprimands and disciplines the child. However, even though the child gets scolded by the mother, the child feels satisfied that his mother has the utmost love for him, and that whatever she is doing is for his benefit. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 8/352)
The Cause for Insecurity
Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhu) mentioned:
The amount of comforts and luxuries we see around us today was probably never experienced before. But strangely the more the items of luxury, the more the discomfort and depression.
The same applies to medicine. Doctors have progressed to this level that a man’s heart can be removed from his body, get treated and then replaced. But here also every coming day there are more and more complications. Similar is the case with security. We enjoy so many levels of security yet we still feel so insecure.
The reason for all of this is that we have removed Allah Ta‘ala from the equation. We need to firmly believe that Allah Ta‘ala does. The controls are solely in His hands. The stronger this conviction becomes the more comfort, mental ease, guidance and direction we will find. On the contrary the more godlessness comes into a person, the more he will find himself falling into depression and despondency.
The Effective Cure for Depression and Worry
عن عبد الله قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ما قال عبد قط إذا أصابه هم وحزن : اللهم إني عبدك وابن عبدك ابن أمتك ناصيتي بيدك ماض في حكمك عدل في قضاؤك أسألك بكل اسم هو لك سميت به نفسك أو أنزلته في كتابك أو علمته أحدا من خلقك أو استأثرت به في علم الغيب عندك أن تجعل القرآن ربيع قلبي ونور صدري وجلاء حزني وذهاب همي إلا أذهب الله عز وجل همه وأبدله مكان حزنه فرحا قالوا : يا رسول الله ينبغي لنا أن نتعلم هؤلاء الكلمات قال : أجل ينبغي لمن سمعهن أن يتعلمهن (مسند أحمد رقم 4318)
Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “If any servant of Allah Ta‘ala is afflicted by worry and grief and recites the following du‘aa, Allah Ta‘ala will remove his worry and replace his grief with happiness:
اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ عَبْدُكَ وَابْنُ عَبْدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ نَاصِيَتِيْ بِيَدِكَ مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤُكَ أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ فِيْ كِتَابِكَ أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِيْ عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيْعَ قَلْبِيْ وَنُوْرَ صَدْرِيْ وَجِلَاءَ حُزْنِيْ وَذَهَابَ هَمِّيْ
“O Allah, I am Your slave, the son of Your slave, the son of Your slave woman. My forelock is in Your hand and control, Your decree will surely prevail over me, Your judgment in dealing with me is full of justice. I beg of You through the medium of every name of Yours with which You have named Yourself or You have revealed in Your Book or which You taught to any one of Your creation (e.g. any of the Ambiyaa (‘alaihis salaam)) or which You have kept hidden within Your knowledge, that You make the Holy Qur’aan the source of comfort (and happiness) for my heart, and the light of my chest, and the means of removing my grief and sorrow, and the means of removing my worry.”
The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) then asked, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Should we learn these words of du‘aa?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes! The one who hears these words of du‘aa should learn them.”