Importance of Muslim Mental Health in Islam
Muslims come from a diverse background and experiences. Each has its struggles and obstacles to facing life challenges and maintaining mental health.
However, to maintain a balance, we must understand Muslim mental health, what does Islam say about it, and what are the tips guided by the Quran and Hadith?
Is it necessary to self-examine whether or not an individual has a mental illness, or do they need professional assistance, and how Islamic counselling can help in maintaining mental health?
To obtain answers to all of your questions, please read this article all the way through.
What Is mental Health ?
Mental health by The World Health Organisation (WHO) is our state of wellbing includes of emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It informs us us how we think, feel and act. It underpins our we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.
Mental Health with Islamic Perspective
Religiously speaking, a person’s psychological well-being is directly related to that person’s ability to realize religious purposes in the modern world.
Muslims are programmed to lead their lives with specific rules and regulations that ensure salvation after death. Therefore, theologically, mental health is the ability of a Muslim to stay connected to Allah and follow the pathway He has instructed.
Regardless of the hurdles and obstacles, a person faces on his way, he must stay consistent in doing worship of Allah. Moreover, following a pathway leads to encompassing overall well-being and health, which includes:
- Mental Health: engaging our thoughts. Are we thinking positively and practical? Are we opting for ways to help others around us?
- Physical Health: maintaining physical health like taking a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining hygienic conditions.
- Spiritual Health: our relationship with Allah like praying to Him, asking for forgiveness, and offering His mandatory obligations.
- Social Health: our interactions and behavior with Allah’s creatures. Are we kind? Or do we hurt everyone’s sentiments?
If you want to achieve calm and composed mental health, you must have a balance in all of the sections mentioned above. Mental health is a liquid. You need to work and explore to find a balance constantly. A balance in our spiritual, psychological, physical, and mental states can help us achieve a successful journey that can transverse our lives.
However, the term ‘balance’ refers differently at different stages of life. For instance, students will be more focused on getting an excellent academic score, or you might find a balance by taking back a step from socialization to recalibrate yourself.
Gaining mental health and stability is not linear. Every person strives for it on their manner. If you cant find balance and consistency in your life, you might need to reconsider your lifestyle to be back on track.
What Can Trigger a Mental Illness?
Mental illness is caused by a multiple of factors and sometimes the mental illness develops gradually and others times can appear when a stressful event triggers it. It can affect the human body emotionally, physically, socially, and mentally.
Some of the triggers of mental illness are:
- Lack of support and resources.
- Major life changes.
- Family stress and conflicts.
- Experiencing tragedies or traumas in life.
- Genetics – It can run in the family
- Drugs and Alcohol
The severity and range of a mental illness vary from person to person. Sometimes, it is non-clinical, and a person can cure it by making minor changes in a lifestyle. However, sometimes, when the clinical threshold is achieved, a person should seek professional help.
Some of the types of mental illness include:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
- Personality Disorders.
Muslim Mental Health
Spiritual and psychological health is an essential lifelong process widely discussed in Islam. If a person wants to build a strong relationship with Allah, it is necessary to understand a person’s spiritual and psychological functioning and follow the essential mandates of Islam.
Building a psycho-spiritual side of oneself is as important as a person would like to build an academic and intellectual side. Once Sahl bin Abdullah (may GOD be pleased with him) narrated,” if one knows his mind, one also knows his state between Allah and himself.”
The Last Prophet ( Peace be Upon Him) established the base of refinement and development of a good character. To that end, every Muslim scholar and spiritual practitioner focuses immensely on good characterization and psycho-spiritual development.
Moreover, the entire Islamic heritage is filled with positive attitudes and actions. All the messengers of Allah instructed the Muslims to balance their activities, thinking, behavior, and emotional utterance.
Subsequently, the intentional nurture of human behavior contributes to mental illness resilience and acts as a preventive measure against mental illness. Many Islamic scholars emphasize mental health over physical as every Muslim is prone to mental illness, and only a few succeed in escaping from it.
Therefore, a lack of practicing positive behavior and spreading kindness can decrease a psychological strength that may cause unnecessary significant suffering.
Maintaining a Stable Mental Health with Islamic Counselling
Firstly, many Muslims often don’t understand how to maintain mental health and stay positive and composed in their daily routine. You can include the following religious practices in your routine to stay focused and relaxed:
- Turn to Allah, worship, and ask for forgiveness.
- Stay connected to your loved ones and make a strong bond with them.
- Seek awareness and gain knowledge related to mental health.
- Make slight changes in lifestyle like take healthy diet, exercise, etc.
However, sometimes, a person practices everything to avoid mental illness, but it doesn’t help. In such a case, it is perfectly acceptable to seek professional assistance.
Tips to Maintain a Mental Health from Quran and Hadith
“Indeed, for every hardship (disease), there’s a relief; with every hardship, there is a relief.” (Quran, 94:5-6)
As mentioned in the Sahi-Bukhari, two gifts given to a human by Allah are leisure and good health. Every Muslim knows that our physical and mental health is Amanah (trust) from Allah, and we have to take the best care of ourselves to return our body to Him in the best condition we can.
Therefore, some tips are mentioned in Quran and Hadith to maintain our good mental health. Let’s have a look!
1. Be Available for Others to Help Yourself
Being available for your loved ones and the people you know means being generous and kind to them. Whenever you help others, you will feel better. It is also a gift from Allah that He has made you capable of helping others.
The research was conducted at the University of Zurich. It resulted in people with kind and helping hearts having more life span and better health (such as having low blood pressure levels).
Whether it is about spreading smiles, charity, or serving a cup of tea to your colleague, it’s a Sunnah to help others and make the world a better place.
2. Always have Faith in Allah
Regardless of what emotion is bothering you, whether stress, anxiety, depression, or anger, remembering Allah and seeking His help and forgiveness will always rescue you from troubling thoughts.
However, sometimes it feels that you are praying to Him, but it is not helping. You are not getting desired answers to your questions. To that end, reciting Surah Dhuhaa will help you in these times. This Surah was revealed when the Last Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was anxious and worried.
3. Keep Your Focus on Positive Thoughts
When you live in the era of social media, this point matters a lot. People displaying their lives and lifestyles on social media are perfect and glossy without flaws. However, the reality is quite different.
Instead of focusing on what they are showing, count your blessings and positive things in your life. Thank Allah for what you have and what others lack. It will release your stress and make you calm.
4. Have Faith in Yourself
We don’t always have perfection in life. Sometimes, we are going through tough and demotivated days. There are three things you must do when feeling in such a way:
- Put your problems on paper and analyze how to find a solution.
- Always take time to destress yourself, no matter how busy your routine is.
- Regardless of how much is on your plate and how hard your sufferings are, there will never be more than what you can bear.
Maintaining good mental health is necessary for every person to lead a composed life. Every person, at some point, has a mental concern; it depends on you how you cope with the situation. Always connect yourself to professionals and Allah for guidance and courage to increase your emotional resilience and faith.
Never think that your problem is big; always remember Allah is bigger than your problem. He never leaves His follower alone in their time of need.