What is the definition of mental health?
Mental health, like physical health, is a crucial part of a person’s well-being in Islam, as it is necessary for living a healthy and balanced life. Religious scholars have also emphasised the necessity of protecting one’s mind, citing it as one of the most important and necessary things to safeguard. It is necessary to have a healthy mind in order to fulfil one’s worldly and religious commitments. Mental health difficulties may arise if it is overlooked and not addressed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental illnesses as disruptions in a person’s mental health that are generally characterised by a mix of disturbed thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and interpersonal interactions. According to WHO statistics, at least 379 million individuals worldwide were suffering from mental health difficulties in November 2019, ranging from depression to schizophrenia.
In society, there is a taboo
Unfortunately, despite the gravity and seriousness of the situation, mental illness remains a taboo topic in both our larger society and the Muslim community. There are sure to be misconceptions when a person is diagnosed with a mental illness, there are prevalent ideas that the person is being “disturbed” by evil spirits or that Allah is punishing him or her for committing a sin. Some people believe that the illness is an indication of a lack of faith.
In the Muslim world, mental health is a big deal
It’s important to remember that Muslim physicians and philosophers in the past, such as Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariya Al-Razi and Abu Zayd Al-Balkhi, recognised the reality of mental diseases and argued for a holistic approach to health that included both psychological and physical components. World’s first mental hospitals and psychiatric wards were built. during Islam’s Golden Age in the 8th century.
There are treatments for this condition, as there are for other ilnesses:
Taking care of mental health problems
For those of us who are dealing with mental health concerns or worry and negativity, one of the numerous approaches we can try to overcome these obstacles is to combine spirituality and practicality in a balanced way.
We can refer to and relate to the Quranic and prophetic texts spiritually by internalising the meaning of the verses and sayings, embracing our humanity and frailty, acknowledging Allah’s strength, and never giving up on His Mercy. Those who remember Allah at all times will find happiness and relief.
Ibn Taimiyyah once said:
On a practical level, it is highly advised to seek expert assistance and treatment. Instead of rejecting those with mental health concerns, those of us who know them should encourage and support them throughout their journey.
Finally, mental health is a serious issue so do not be hesitant to seek expert treatment if you are suffering from any mental health difficulties. There is no danger in doing so, and there is no guilt in doing so.