by Nahida Shafi
Muslims should remember Allah in times of suffering and pain and have faith and hope in His mercy and compassion to ease the suffering.
The world is going through the worst due to Covid19 pandemic with hundreds of thousands of people already dead and lockdowns enforced across countries that would otherwise never shut.
People are left with some sort of hollowness in them, which some call anxiety, depression or clinomania. But this hollowness is all the same – a disturbance to one’s mentality or we can say mental health disorder.
However, this situation is nothing new to Kashmiris, who have suffered a lot for the past several decades. Kashmir has in the last three decades seen the worst – be it the turmoil, loss of innocent lives with bullets fired, enforced disappearances of loved ones, children not able to go to schools for months, and threat to lose land, identity post the abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370.
All this has led to great distress among the people of Kashmir and their mental health.
In Close Circuit
Since last year, I have noticed that a friend of mine, who is just 18, has inherited the disorder called clinomania – an anxiety disorder, where a person likes to stay in bed for as long as possible and has no intention of waking up.
Recently, while having a chat with a friend on WhatsApp, it left me in utter shock when she told me that she was having clinomania.
Another close friend said that she was suffering from depression for the past year and she keeps herself isolated, talks to none, hates the people around her. The friend has been ignoring her family members, wakes in the middle of the night and starts crying for no reason. She dislikes everything and every action, which is more than devastating news for me.
I thought there might be just a few going through this sort of mental disorder. But as I hear this from more and more people, I doubt that not only Kashmir but most humans are going through mental disorders in one or other way.
The WHO Definition
According to World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is 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 disable to make a contribution to his or her community “.
According to WHO, mental health disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychoses, dementia, and develop mental disorders including autism. These types of disorders lead to various changes in humans as I mentioned above “clinomania”, and other behavioural changes.
The disorders lead to committing suicides, addiction to drugs and various harmful substances like smoking, alcohol etc.
One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide, according to WHO.
According to WHO, bipolar disorder affects about 45 million people worldwide, Schizophrenia – a severe mental disorder affects 20 million people worldwide. Approximately 50 million people have dementia, about 450 million people suffer from mental and behavioural disorders worldwide, and globally an estimated 264 million people are affected by depression, the world health organisation figures say.
These figures are shocking to not only normal minds but those with disturbed mind setups and make one think about how many of the same reasons can affect so many people worldwide with such disabilities.
Prevention Is Vital
But as the old saying goes: “Prevention is better than cure.”
I believe anything can be prevented by having constant belief and faith in Almighty Allah (SWT).
Islam and mental health, a study by TA Baasher from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, concludes: “Islamic culture is rich with essential guiding principles, appropriate directives and models of excellence for the promotion of mental health and the realization of the meaningful quality of life.”
As Islam uplifts people to stay hopeful, even if someone has committed the worst in or faced the most troubling life event as there is always Allah’s mercy.
In Holy Quran Allah (SWT) has mentioned; “and we send down, of the Quran, that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers ” (Quran,17:82).
So, Quran can be used as a guide to those suffering from emotional distress and leading sufferers to a meaningful quality of life.
People are sometimes disheartened and at times say that some diseases have no cure and can’t be prevented, but again it is mentioned in the book of hadith Sahi Al -Bukhari (71:582): “Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said, ” There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment. ”
No Suicides Please
Such disorders leading many people to end their lives which we call committing of suicide, but in Islam suicide is strictly prohibited and today on every alternate day we see the news regarding the ending of young lives due to suicide which is heart-wrenching. It is mentioned in Quran; “do not kill (or destroy ) yourselves, for surely God has been Most Merciful to you.” (Quran,4:29).
Besides, it is also mentioned in the book of Hadith Sahih Al –Bukhari (2:23:446.): “Prophet Muhammad said; “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell-Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire.”
Life can never be a burden as people think of it today.
The saying of great Kashmiri poet Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki, inspires me in this case as he has beautifully said it:
“adian afsoos duniya kyazi fanni
Adian Hasrat thaewain fanni jawani
Me atcham panasye haisath zindae thawaan
Na gham poshaan na rozaan shadmaeni”
The lines translate to:
“Some regret for the end of the world,
Some desire for why there is end in youthful life,
But only this hope keeps me alive that neither lasts the sorrow nor happiness.”
One should never think of ending his/her life but should be thankful to the lord for existence and every situation in life be it bad or good.
In Quran Allah (SWT) has clearly mentioned: “So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty, there is a relief.” (Quran,94:5-6).
One cannot achieve something in life without a struggle or a difficulty and when it’s mentioned in Quran then why to fear the time or curse the luck that leads to mental disorder. People should have faith in themselves and the creator. Allah is the best planner.
Quran says: “And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].” (Quran,3:159 ).
On the contrary, Muslims should remember Allah in times of suffering and pain and have faith and hope in His mercy and compassion to ease the suffering. Using Islamic values and beliefs can be beneficial in the treatment of mental disorders and help people get out of any emotional distress.
(The author has done masters from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)