With every difficulty, there is relief: Quran
Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioural and emotional well-being of an individual. It is all about how people think, feel and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder. Mental health can affect daily living, relationships and physical health. However, this link also works in the other direction. Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal connections and physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions.
Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Conditions such as stress, depression and anxiety can all affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine.
There has been a sharp increase in mental health related issues among people since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdown had its direct impact on people’s mental health while being mostly restricted to homes. However, as every sector now except education returned to normal following SOPs; people got engaged back to their schedules. But from students point of view it is the same as was before. Too much screen dependency has increased which can also affect one’s mental health. Students have to pick up their cell phones/laptops in morning and attend classes till evening.
Thus, it becomes indispensable to establish a balance and not let this virtuality create any adverse effect on our mental health. A walk in the morning/evening, daily exercise can help refresh your mind. Moreover, suicides have also become common that too among younger generation in this pandemic time. Why it becomes so easy for young people to leave everything and make this terrible choice? It clearly highlights the multitude of challenges we need to confront simultaneously.
Everybody tries to know from studies or any other; how to remain mentally fit? A lot of articles also on regular basis come from experts suggesting dos and don’ts in managing ones mental health. However, it is necessary if people also get to know how a strong relation with their Creator can bring peace of mind and heart.
I would like to give an Islamic perspective of remaining mentally healthy. First of all if we see, Islam offers a spiritual sanctuary for Muslims to live a peaceful life by using their inner strengths and having a strong relationship with the Ultimate power, Allah, being optimistic, purifying their feelings, and not waiting for outside events to improve. Islam acknowledges the importance of spiritual status as an interior power that can be exercised to have a calm mind, healthy consciousness, and positive thoughts.
Further, Islam attaches great importance to patience and it is the focus of about 200 verses of the holy Quran and referred to indirectly in many others. Patience is the virtue that enables Muslims to proceed towards worthy goals, undeflected by adverse circumstances or repeated provocations. Allah mentions in Surah al-Inshirah: “With every difficulty, there is relief.” So, being Muslims we should have a strong belief that one day Allah will ease our hardships and pray always to Him.
If someone has faith in Allah they shouldn’t be depressed or have mental illnesses, should they? I strongly believe if one possesses strong faith and is a true believer; no matter what happens in life, he won’t feel depressed or helpless. Ultimately, this life is a journey from Allah to Allah; true believer will always bear in mind; this life is a temporary thing to have merely of 60-70 years of age approximately; so why to overthink too much and take stress which can lead to depression.
Who feel down in life and even take extreme step of suicide despite being Muslims is disheartening. Such people need to bear in mind, suicide is strictly prohibited/haram in Islam and has a harsh punishment thereof; even his/her funeral is prohibited. No matter you take a short cut to end this temporary life but you have a real/permanent life ahead, you are answerable there. Don’t take short cut at the cost of risking your permanent life. Instead, face this life with great vigour and determination with Almighty Allah’s help.
As a Muslim, you get affected by life’s troubles and disturbing thoughts like everyone else but you can deal with them much better because you have a clear roadmap where you came from, where you are going and why; so you have a head start having this fundamental knowledge from its source. Someone who feels completely lost and alone in the face of a crisis would probably feel helpless and depressed. But someone who feels supported by a compassionate God who genuinely cares, who listens to desperate pleas, and who grants generous help, has a better chance of getting back on track much better because there is a strong helping hand to reach for while dealing with life’s troubles.
Allah says in Quran, 65: 2-3: “And for those who fear Allah, He always prepares a way out, and He provides for him from sources he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.”
Author is a student of Economics, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh