#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek (8–14 May 2017)

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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salā­mu ‘alaykum wa-rah­mat­ul­lāhi wa-barakā­tuh

Humans: A composite of body and Soul

It is impor­tant to under­stand that humans are com­posed of out­er phys­i­cal bod­ies and inner spir­it (Rouh). The out­er shell (body) is com­posed of mate­ri­als from this earth while the inner spir­it (Rouh) is not from ele­ments of this earth rather from the com­mand of Allah (SWT). The­se two com­po­nents are nour­ished from the same source from which their ini­tial ele­ments of com­po­si­tion came from. There­fore, the body needs to be sus­tained and nour­ished from ele­ments which come from the earth while the spir­it (Rouh) body needs to be sus­tained and nour­ished from ele­ments which are specif­i­cal­ly rec­om­mend­ed by Allah (SWT) and Sayyid­i­na Rasul-ullah (Sal­la­ho Alai­he Was­sal­lam).

This is the great­est truth which escapes the hearts and minds of those who don’t believe in Allah (SWT) and unfor­tu­nate­ly Mus­lims of today are also look­ing in the wrong place for spir­i­tu­al nour­ish­ment and inner peace and con­tent­ment.

[23:12] We have cre­at­ed man from an extract of clay.

[17:85] And they ask you about the soul. Say, .The soul is some­thing from the com­mand of my Lord, and you are not given from the knowl­edge but a lit­tle.

Lack of bal­ance between the needs of your body and the needs of your soul may pose risk to your phys­i­cal as well as your men­tal health.

WHO (World Health Orga­ni­za­tion) defines men­tal health as “a state of well-being in which the indi­vid­u­al real­izes his or her own abil­i­ties, can cope with the nor­mal stress­es of life, can work pro­duc­tive­ly and fruit­ful­ly, and is able to make a con­tri­bu­tion to his or her com­mu­ni­ty”. WHO stress­es that men­tal health “is not just the absence of men­tal dis­or­der”.

If you think that you are unable to cope with the nor­mal stress­es of life, get help!

Just like minor phys­i­cal issues (if left untreat­ed) have the poten­tial to lead to big­ger prob­lems, minor men­tal issues (if left untreat­ed) also have the poten­tial to lead to big­ger men­tal health prob­lems.

Here are some tips to main­tain your body and soul to reduce the risk of both phys­i­cal and men­tal health prob­lems.

Reliance upon Allah Ta’ala

Remind your­self con­tin­u­ous­ly that it is Allah Ta’ala who has the keys to the heav­ens and earth. If he can unlock the doors of heav­en for you, he can eas­i­ly unlock the door and give you a way out of your prob­lems. Pray as a forced habit until it become an act of wor­ship.

[65:2/3] And who­ev­er fears Allah — He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And who­ev­er relies upon Allah — then He is suf­fi­cient for him.

If due to your cir­cum­stances you hap­pen to skip a prayer, make it up as soon as you are able to and remem­ber that Allah Ta’ala is Mer­ci­ful. Try your best with the best of your inten­tions and leave the rest of Allah Ta’ala.

Don’t skip your daily Prayers!

Skip­ping prayers will dev­as­tate you spir­i­tu­al­ly and dis­rupt your body/soul har­mony and bal­ance.   You may not be an ide­al frame of mind to ful­ly con­cen­trate and enjoy your wor­ship but this is one area where you need to force your­self and come to Salah.

[107:4/5]So woe to those who pray. [But] who are heed­less of their prayer

Your spir­i­tu­al­i­ty has a direct impact on your men­tal health.

Problems are temporary

Noth­ing which afflicts you and noth­ing which reach­es you is per­ma­nent. If you reflect and look back at your life you will recall many sit­u­a­tions which you thought were hope­less but they end­ed. Your life is a cycle of bless­ings of Allah Ta’ala and tests from Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala reminds you “twice” that your hard­ship will be replaced with ease.

[94:5/6] For indeed, with hard­ship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hard­ship [will be] ease.

Sleep is a Blessing

Sleep is as impor­tant to your health as your diet. Sleep is a bless­ing of Allah Ta’ala for your mind and your body to relax, recu­per­ate and repair itself and do not squan­der this bless­ing.

  1. Don’t take your lap­top, Tablets, iPod to Bed
  2. Switch off your Wifi
  3. Put the Phone on Silent
  4. Get some Sleep

[25:47] And it is He who has made the night for you as cloth­ing and sleep [a means for] rest and has made the day a res­ur­rec­tion.

Eat Halal & Tayyab (wholesome)

Islam is divine­ly guid­ed and hence pays equal atten­tion to phys­i­cal as well as spir­i­tu­al well­be­ing and the con­cept of “bal­anced diet” in an Islam­ic frame­work means a com­bi­na­tion of good whole­some phys­i­cal as well as spir­i­tu­al nour­ish­ment. For the phys­i­cal body Mus­lims are com­mand­ed to eat “Halal” and “Tayyab (good, whole­some) food, unfor­tu­nate­ly most of us go to great lengths in ensur­ing that our meat is Halal (Masha’Allah) but pay no atten­tion to the source of the ani­mal and its well­be­ing where Allah Ta’ala has spo­ken about “Halal” and “Tayyab (good, whole­some) in the same verse.

[5:88] Eat from what Allah has pro­vid­ed you as good and law­ful, and fear Allah in whom you believe.

Don’t con­sume junk food just because it hap­pens to be Halal!

Exercise Regularly

Your phys­i­cal health has a direct impact on spir­i­tu­al­i­ty and your men­tal health. The fit­ter you are, the bet­ter you will be at wor­ship­ing Allah Ta’ala and cop­ing with every­day stress­es of life. Did you know that a stronger Mus­lim is bet­ter than a weak­er Mus­lim?

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (RA) report­ed Prophet Muham­mad (Peace be upon Him) said, A strong believ­er is bet­ter and is more lov­able to Allah than a weak believ­er, and there is good in everyone…[Muslim]

You don’t need to buy a Gym mem­ber­ship, an easy way to health is through walk­ing. Get your­self, your spouse and your chil­dren involved in walk­ing. Strength­en your rela­tion­ship while improv­ing your health; it’s a win win solu­tion.

Keep Good company:

Your com­pan­ions and your envi­ron­ment will make or break you and there are no two ways about it. If you choose to asso­ciate your­self with peo­ple who are dis­obe­di­ent towards Allah (SWT) and rebel­lious towards the noble Sun­nah of Prophet (Sal­la­ho Alai­he Was­salam) then soon­er or lat­er you will be dragged along with them. Don’t over­es­ti­mate your pow­ers of resis­tance and your best of inten­tions of hang­ing around “bad com­pa­ny” with the inten­tion of giv­ing Dawah! There is a rea­son why this point has been placed first on your road to recov­ery. Lim­it your con­tact with those who will drag you head­long along the path of sin and vice and seek the com­pa­ny of Schol­ars, obe­di­ent and pious ser­vants of Allah Ta’ala as Prophet Muham­mad (Peace be upon Him) said:

Sayyid­i­na Abu Musa (RA) nar­rat­ed that Prophet Muham­mad (Peace be upon Him) said: “The exam­ple of a good com­pan­ion (who sits with you) in com­par­ison with a bad one, is I like that of the musk sell­er and the blacksmith’s bel­lows (or fur­nace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bel­lows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell there­of.” [Bukhari]

Make Dua, Be Positive, be Hopeful

Allah Ta’ala is there to accept your prayers while the dev­il is there to deter you from turn­ing to Allah Ta’ala. Dev­il is there to whis­per into your heart and make you despon­dent and depressed. To turn to Alah Ta’ala and to ask for your needs is a com­mand­ment. Learn to cry to Allah Ta’ala for your needs, shed your tears and beseech the Mer­cy of Allah Ta’alah.

Allah Ta’ala will respond to you when you turn to Him.

[40:60] And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.”

A true Mus­lim is eter­nal­ly pos­i­tive and eter­nal­ly hope­ful. It is a qual­i­ty of Faith to be hope­ful. Hope will drag you from your (spir­i­tu­al) dol­drums and put you a sure­foot­ed path to achiev­ing an equi­lib­ri­um between your body and your soul.

[12:87] …Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the dis­be­liev­ing peo­ple.