Are there things in Islam that help with depression?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

Yes, there are many things in Islam that help with depression. Firstly the belief itself and relationship with Allah Most High. As well as many religious practices and teachings, as detailed below.

أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Indeed in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquillity. (Surah al-Rad, 28).

In addition to making Dua (see link below for details), there are many other things a person can do to escape sadness or depression. If one is suffering from clinical depression then expert assistance may be required. However these spiritual practises will certainly help to reduce the intensity of one’s condition.

Being constant in the Dhikr of Allah Most High will have a significant impact on one’s state and will assist. Remaining in a state of ritual purity is also important. Not only is this the Sunnah of the holy Prophet ﷺ, but it has been linked to angelic presence in Hadith.

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: لَا تَدْخُلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ بَيْتًا فِيهِ صُورَةٌ وَلَا كَلْبٌ وَلَا جُنُبٌ

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The angels do not enter a house in which there is a picture, a dog, or a person in a state of major ritual impurity (Janabah).’ (Abu Dawood 227).

The Hadith above (see the link below for a discussion regarding the authenticity of this Hadith) speaks about the absence of angelic presence when a person is in major ritual impurity (Janabah). This will lead to relative spiritual darkness. Whereas angelic presence brings about light, blessings, and an illuminated state.

It is also important not to remain alone constantly. Most people need the company of others to raise spirits and feel better. There are numerous Hadith narrations discouraging people from being alone for long periods of time.

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: لَوْ يَعْلَمُ النَّاسُ مَا فِي الوَحْدَةِ مَا أَعْلَمُ، مَا سَارَ رَاكِبٌ بِلَيْلٍ وَحْدَهُ

(Sayidina) Ibn Umar (May Allah Most High be pleased with them both) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘If people knew what I know about being alone, then nobody would travel alone at night.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari 2998).

It is also beneficial to busy oneself with good works. We have been created to worship Allah Most High. When a person works to accomplish this purpose then he or she will be more fulfilled and satisfied, the sense of achievement can raise spirits greatly.

وَما خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ

I have not created the Jinn and men except to worship Me. (Surah al-Dhariyaat, 56).

Studying Islam is also very important in combating sadness and depression. Not only is it fundamental to all the above practices. Since you cannot practice correctly without knowledge. But the knowledge itself is a cure and means of illumination.

Our religion teaches us that the human being is more than just this physical body. He is mind and soul too. That is why we have religious guidance for every aspect of the individual. Studying Islam nourishes the mind. When this is brought together with that which nourishes the body and soul too, then a person is more holistically provided for.

هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

Say, are those who have knowledge and those who do not, equal? Indeed only people of intelligence will be guided by this. (Surah al-Zumar, 9).

This is not an exhaustive list. Rather there are so many religious teachings that can help a person fight depression and sadness. The more one studies the Deen the more familiar they become with such guidance. May Allah Most High protect us all from such trials and difficulties. Those suffering must continue to search for remedies and never give up.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (12.07.2022)

See also:
Dua for depression
Hadith about angels not entering a house in which there is a person in Janabah

See also video: