Is there a Dua for depression?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

Yes, there is a Dua for depression or sadness in Sahih al-Bukhari. However, if a person is suffering from clinical depression, then he or she may require the assistance of a specialist too.

أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَمِّ وَالحَزَنِ، وَالعَجْزِ وَالكَسَلِ، وَالجُبْنِ وَالبُخْلِ، وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ، وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

Anas bin Malik (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) said, the Prophet ﷺ used to say, ‘O Allah, I seek refuge with You from misery and sadness, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from weighty debt and from being overpowered by people.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6369).

The Islamic guidance certainly helps to combat sadness or depression, and it can resolve it. However, people who are suffering from clinical depression or a disorder may also require the assistance of a specialist. Ideally this specialist should be a Muslim. Since he or she must not contradict Islamic guidance when assisting people with depression.

If the depression is persistent and inexplicable then it may be clinical. In such cases the above Dua, as well as other spiritual means should be employed. However, one must seek out trustworthy experts in the field to assist in overcoming it too.

Regarding the Dua above, there is some difference of opinion amongst classical scholars regarding the words Hamm and Hazn:

وَقيل الْفرق بَينهمَا بالشدة والضعف فالهم أَشد فِي النَّفس من الْحزن لما يحصل فِيهَا من الْغم بِسَبَبِهِ. (تحفة الذاكرين)

It has been said that the difference between them is in regard to strength and weakness. Therefore, al-Hamm is more intense on the person than al-Hazn because it leads to al-Gham. (Imam al-Showkani, Tuhfatu al-Dhakireen).

قلت: أكثر الناس لا يفرقون بين الهم والحزن، وهما على اختلافهما في الاسم متقاربان في المعنى، إلا أن الحزن إنما يكون على أمر قد وقع، والهم إنما هو فيما يتوقع، ولما يكن بعد. (شرح صحيح البخاري)

Most people do not differentiate between al-Hamm and al-Hazn. The wording is different the meaning is similar. Although al-Hazn is regarding something that has already taken place. Whilst al-Hamm is regarding something that is expected (to occur) but has not yet occurred. (Imam al-Khatabi, Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari).

As seen in the Nusoos (text) above, there is clearly a difference of opinion regarding the words Hamm and Hazn. One opinion differentiates between the two from the perspective of intensity of sadness.

This Dua and other religious guidance (see link below) will help in all cases, in sha Allah, so it should not be neglected. However, if the issue is not resolved then specialist help should be sought. The Prophetic example teaches us to combine between spiritual and practical means (Asbab) and depression or sadness is not an exception to this general rule.

Therefore, people who suffer from more persistent depression should continue to seek a solution, and not restrict themselves to a limited number of possible remedies.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (12.07.2022)

See also:
Combating depression

See also video: