Anxiety attacks and depression can happen to any of us. While being Muslims means having our faith rooted within us, it doesn’t mean that we are invulnerable to experiencing such challenges.
Having depression does not negate one believing Allah s.w.t. and His divine decree or may cause one to have a lesser Iman. The fact that a person still strongly depends on Allah, despite the mental challenges faced, shows how resolute his or her faith is.
To manage anxiety and depression, we can use a holistic and comprehensive approach. While prayers are very much a part of Muslims, it is also important to couple it with the right measures and taking the appropriate steps to manage mental health issues such as seeking professional help. The solution to managing anxiety and depression does not necessarily have to be confined to specific ritualistic acts. Someone who experiences mental health challenges needs to seek proper medical intervention and support.
Asking for help doesn't mean you're weak. It means you're strong and brave. For psychological and emotional support, you may contact the National Care Hotline at 1800-202-6868 or Club Heal at 6899 3463. If you would like to seek therapy, you may refer to this list for pro-bono/discounted services.
Allah s.w.t. reminds us in the Quran:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
Those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort.
(Surah Ar-Ra’d, 13:28)
We remember Allah s.w.t and seek help from Him. Here are 5 duas that you may want to recite in facing anxiety and depression:
Source: Office of The Mufti Instagram
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said to me: “Shall I not teach you some words to say when in distress?
اللهُ اللهُ ربِّي لا أُشرِكُ به شيئًا
Allah, Allah, Rabbi La Ushriku Bihi Syai'a
Allah, Allah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him
(Narrated by Imam Muslim)
When stranded in the belly of a whale, Prophet Yunus a.s. realised his shortcomings and made supplications to Allah s.w.t:
لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ سُبْحَـنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ
La ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz zalimin
“There is no god but You, exalted are You! Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”
(Surah Al Anbiya, 21:87)
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ جَهْدِ الْبَلَاءِ، وَدَرَكِ الشَّقَاءِ، وَسُوءِ الْقَضَاءِ، وَشَمَاتَةِ الْأَعْدَاءِ
Allahumma inni a’uzu bika min jahdil-bala’, wa darki shaqa’, wa su’il-qadha’, wa shamatatil-a’da’
O Allah, I seek refuge in You from severe calamity, from misery to fall upon me, from misfortune in the decree, and from the joys of the enemies.
رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي
Rabbi-shrah li sodri, wa yassir li amri, wahlul uqdatan min lisani yafqohu qawli
Lord, lift up my heart and ease my task for me. Remove the impediment from my tongue so that they may understand my speech.
(Surah Taha, 20:25-28)
رَبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
Robbana, ‘alaika tawakkalna, wa ilaika anabna, wa ilaikal-masir
Our Lord! In You we have placed our trust, and to You we turn in repentance, and to You is the final return.
(Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60:4)
Allah s.w.t. will grant whoever recites this 7 times in the morning or evening whatever he desires from this world or the next:
حَسْبِىَ اللَّهُ لآ إلَهَ إلّا هُوَ، عَلَيْهَ ثَوَكَّلتُ، وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
HasbiAllahu la illaha illa Huwa, ‘alayhi tawakkaltu, wa Huwa Rabbul arshil adheem
Allah is sufficient for me. There is none worthy of worship but Him.
I have placed my trust in Him, and He is the lord of the Majestic Throne.
[ibn as-Sunni 71, abu Dawud 4:321]
Allah is with you wherever you are, Insya’Allah. Seek the proper help you need, beyond invoking these prayers. Mental well being is important and we have a duty to take care of it. Seeking professional medical intervention and support is essential and indeed part of our endeavour (ikhtiar) in getting ourselves better.
May Allah ease your worries, fears and anxiety and grant you calmness, peace and healing. Amiin.