Sweeping mental health issues under the prayer mat
There is not a shadow of a doubt that the Quran is full of healing, we must first and foremost place our trust in Allah to heal us, always. However, this applies to every single illness and ailment, not just depression. Mental health issues are equally as important as other health problems. We don’t tell someone with a broken leg to pray more so that she will recover, we fully expect her to seek medical help and perhaps to get a plaster cast for her leg, but we think it’s ok to cover up mental health problems in this manner or Imams are not equipped enough?
There’s a sad assumption that Muslim women don’t have mental health problems and everything relates to her emaan. We are taught that because we have Allah, and we seek solace in our prayer, he heals us all from any illness, therefore how can any of us say we suffer from depression?
Of course Salah heals us, and of course Allah is listening at all times. There’s no doubt that maximising our recitation of the Quran and increasing our devotion to prayer will be of immense benefit, but it’s hypocritical that someone suffering from bronchitis or an under-active thyroid isn’t given exactly the same advice in order to cure themselves.
It’s imperative that we break down barriers and get talking more openly about mental health. It’s not a controversial subject, let’s bring it into our mosques.
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