Overcoming depression and anxiety with Islam






In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Depression and anxiety are two closely related ailments that will afflict many of us at one time or another during our lives. Periods of grief and worry are a normal part of life, which can usually be cured with prayer, patience, and positive thinking. However, sometimes we unwittingly nurture these negative feelings to the point of developing an anxiety disorder or clinical depression.

For those of us who experience abnormal and unhealthy levels of grief and worry, there is hope in Islam to overcome these debilitating symptoms without resorting to pharmaceuticals. We should seek our cure for depression and anxiety in a holistic manner by addressing its physical, mental, social, and spiritual aspects. These symptoms usually occur because there is something wrong, but treatable, in our body, mind, or spirit that needs to be fixed.

If depression and anxiety persist after exhausting these techniques, then medical intervention by a specialist doctor may be necessary.

First, we must recognize that in Islam our physical bodies have a right over us, that we take care of our health, optimize our nutrition, get enough quality sleep, and physically exercise regularly. These three – diet, sleep, and exercise – are the pillars of physical health.

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَإِنَّ لِنَفْسِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا فَصُمْ وَأَفْطِرْ وَصَلِّ وَنَمْ

Verily, your own self has rights over you, so fast and break your fast, pray and sleep.

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 1369, Grade: Sahih

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