Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Depression: A Lack of Faith in God?

Assalammu'alaikum brother Aiman.

First of, thank you for reading my email. I hope you can have this question of mine to be discussed thoroughly, or you can just give your own opinion on it.

I know someone with depression and she has been ridiculed for it.

One person said, that the girl has lack of faith and not strong enough. The person kept on saying that lack of faith in God is the cause for her depression. So the person said that her depression must have come from within herself. 

So here are my questions:

  1. Are we even allowed by the Islamic law to have depression? Or any mental illnesses for that matter?
  2. Should we blame the patient for not having faith in God, just because the patient said she want to kill herself?
  3. Giving in to haters is one thing, but do we even have the right to judge or ridicule those who did, and ended up being diagnosed as depressed?
  4. The user said depression relates with religion. You lack faith, you might get depressed. What's your opinion in this?

I really feel sorry for her too. And I do hope that people have more awareness about mental illness and it's not something to ridicule of.

I hope you can give your thoughts in this, because it has been bothering me for a very long time even before the situation happened.

Thank you.


Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah.

Thank you for your question.

Having a legitimate mental illness like clinical depression is like having a physical illness like diabetes. Mental illness has similar components to physical illness namely biological component and environmental component. It is human nature to fall sick every now and then, and to say that it is not allowed in Islam is downright ridiculous.

Just like you wouldn't say to a person with diabetes that he lacks faith in God, you shouldn't say the same thing to a person with depression. Clinical depression is real and we should treat it with the same level of care as we would with any physical illness.

We shouldn't put the blame on anyone. What we should do is stop engaging in pointless debates and start focusing on helping the person in his or her difficult times. We should start becoming a community that heals pain, not causes it.

If you have problems, then seek help accordingly. There is nothing in our religion that discourages us from seeking help from other when we need it. If you have diabetes, you go to a doctor. If you have depression, you go to a psychiatrist.

That is my thought on the matter.

Allah knows best.

May Allah give her strength. Ameen.