(And do not kill yourselves.) (Qur'an 4: 29)
(And do not throw yourselves into destruction…) (Quran 2: 195)
Reports were leaked that former President Ronald Reagan fell victim to a state of severe depression. His situation was attributed to his being over seventy years of age while still having to face tremendously stressful problems and to his having undergone periodic operations.
(Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!) (Qur'an 4: 78)
Many famous people, and in particular those in the arts, suffer from depression. The main reason, if not the only reason, for poet Saleh Jaaheen's death was indeed depression. It has also been said that Napoleon Bonaparte, while still in exile, died in a state of depression.
(And that their souls shall depart [die] while they are disbelievers.)
(Qur'an 9: 55)
Not too long ago, a German woman killed three of her children. lt later became clear that her reason for doing this horrible act stemmed from her state of depression. Since she loved her children a great deal, she feared that they would have to go through the pain and hardship that she laid undergone in her life. Thus, she decided to "give them comfort and "to save each one of them" from the difficulties and vicissitudes of life. After murdering them, she took her own life.
The numbers issued by the World Health Organization indicate the severity of the situation. In 1973 it reported that three percent of the world's population was afflicted with depression. The figures increased dramatically and in 1978 the figure was up to five percent. What might come as a surprise to some is that some studies have shown that one out of every four Americans suffers from depression. During the conference of Mental Disorders that was held in Chicago in 1981, the chairman of the conference announced that one hundred million people in the world suffer from depression. What might come as a surprise to some is that most of them were from developed countries. Other studies have even proclaimed a number of two hundred million.
(See they not that they are tried once or twice every year [with different kinds of calamities, disease, famine, etc.]?) (Qur'an 9: 126)
lt is said that, "The intelligent person is not he who is able to increase his profits, but he who transforms his losses into profits."
(There did Allah give you one distress after another by way of requital to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you.) (Quran 3: I53)
The meaning of ` this verse is that things that are over and finished with should not be dwelt upon, since doing so leads only to anxiety, worry, and wastage of time.
When having no work to do, one can fill his time with many useful activities. These are some such activities---- doing good deeds, helping others, visiting the sick, visiting the graveyard (t0 remember and reflect 0n one's final destination), volunteering in the Mosque, participating in charitable work, doing physical exercise, visiting loved ones, organizing one's affairs, and lending aid t0 the old, the poor, and the weak.
Verily you are returning towards your Lord --- with your deeds and actions [good or bad], a sure returning…) (Qur'an 84: 6)
An Arab poet said:
"A generous deed is singular in its sweet taste And in its beautiful appearance."
Look through any history book and you will find among its pages stories of pain, privation, and misery. An Arab poet said:
"Read History as it is filled with morals, A Nation will sink if it knows nothing of its annals."
(And all that we relate to you of the news of the Messengers is in order that we may make strong and from your heart thereby (Qur'an 11: 120)
(Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding) (Qur'an 12: 111)
(So relate the stories, perhaps that they may reflect.) (Qur'an 7: 176)
'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "My goal now remains to find enjoyment in the different things that have been decreed for me," a statement that indicates his contentment with Allah's decree for him.
In the span of one year, eight of Abi Thuaib al-Hathali's sons died during a plague. And what do you suppose he said? He kept faith, was resigned, and submitted to Allah's decree, saying:
"Patience will I show to those who rejoiced in my pain, I will not shake or tremble with the vicissitudes of time, When death looms and bares its claws, No charm or trinket can ward it off."
(No calamity befalls. but with the Leave [i.e. decision and Qadar (Divine Pre-ordainments)] of Allah.) (Qur'an 64: 11)
Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) lost his eyesight, and he said to himself these words of solace:
"lf Allah takes from me the light of my eyes, My heart remains illuminated, My heart understands and my mind is not perverse, And my tongue is like a blade of an unsheathed sword."
He comforted himself by remembering the many favors of Allah that yet remained for him after having lost only one of them.
During the duration of a single day 'Urwah ibn Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him) lost one of his legs and was informed that his son had died. This was his reaction:
"O' Allah, to you belongs all praise. If you have taken away, then you have also given. And if you have tested (me) with hardship, you have also saved me and cared (for me). You have bestowed upon me four limbs and have taken only one away. You have blessed me with four sons and have taken only one away."
(And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient) (Qur'an 76: 12)
(Peace be upon you for that you persevered in patience)
(Qur'an 13: 24)
The following words of consolation have been attributed to Imam Ash-Shafi'ee:
"Let the days bring what they may, And be contented when a decree has come to pass, When the execution of it comes in a land of some nation, Neither earth nor sky can prevent it."
How many times have we feared death and then nothing came of it? How many times have we felt the end near, yet we then returned stronger than before'? How many times have we found ourselves in difficulties, yet after the passing of a short time were allowed to taste the sweetness of ease and relief?
(Say [O' Muhammad]: 'Allah rescues you from it and from all [other] distresses….) (Qur'an 6: 64)
Or how many times have we been sick only to be restored to health?
(And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He…)
(Qur'an 6: 17)
When one knows with certainty that Allah controls everything, how then can he feel any fear of anyone other than Him? And when one fears Allah, how can he fear others alongside Him, especially considering that Allah, the Exalted, said:
(….so fear them not, but fear Me...) (Qur'an 3: 175)
He is All-Powerful:
(And that our hosts, they verily would be the victors.) (Quran 37: 173)
(Verily, we will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this worlds life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth [i.e. Day of Resurrection].) (Qur'an 40: 51)
lbn Taymiyah said that with the phrase, "There is neither might nor power except with Allah," heavy things are carried, obstacles are overcome, and honor is achieved. So remember this phrase constantly, since it is a treasure from the treasures of Paradise and a pillar of happiness and contentment.