The vast majority of us will, at some point in our lives, deal with a mental health problem whether we realise it not, or even like to admit. The topic itself is vast, as are the various conditions, diagnoses and treatments, but for many, finding the right answers can be difficult. We hope to clear the air and educate our community in this episode with Shaykh Abdul Hameed.
It’s unfortunate that within the Muslim community, mental health can often times be somewhat of a ‘taboo’ subject, with many Muslims being ignorant on the subject due to lack of education or cultural ignorance. Some Muslims even interpret mental illnesses as a weakness of faith, and advise those who are vulnerable to simply pray more, fear Allah, or completely forget about their situations.
This extremely dangerous approach can lead to many people feeling isolated, lost, confused, and may eventually lead to self harm and even death (e.g. death by suicide).
What is the correct approach to mental health, and how do we as Muslims approach the topic while conforming to our Islamic principles?
What you’ll learn in this episode:
- The definition of mental health
- What islam says about mental health
- Does having a mental health problem relate to weakness in faith?
- The story of Maryam (as) in the Qur’an, and the suicidal statement she made during pregnancy.
- What the most difficult time of the Prophet ﷺ life was & how he dealt with with strong bereavement
- What are the most common types of mental health? (Including anxiety, depression and low self esteem)
- How movies might exaggerate mental illness, and thus gives us an innacurate image of the true nature of mental illness
- How one mental health illness can lead to others or manifest in new ways if not diagnosed correctly
- Why, and how do people suffer from mental health problems? (The bio psycho-social model)
- How we can have a genetic bias towards developing mental health problems
- Why dealing with problems are completely normal
- Shaykh’s advice on how to seek help
- The importance of diet and exercise for healing & increasing one’s mood
- The difference between finding a cure and managing mental health
- Are there any Du’as we can recite to ask for help?
- How some people exploit and victimise individuals suffering from mental health (including a sexual abuse case)
- Who should you visit first – your Imam or your doctor?
Questions from listeners:
1) what should somebody do if they have suicidal thoughts, or are harming themselves?
2) One way I used to cope with low moods and energy was masturbation. I know this is wrong, and I felt guilty. I started to masturbate instead of self harm. How do you deal with these addictions and dependencies until you can get real help?
3) I’m a 19 year old Muslims girl. There are days when I feel good about myself, but then there are times when I become some sort of evil person. My depression makes me act inappropriately with parents, siblings and friends. What do I do?
4) There’s a war going on in my mind all of the time. It feels like there’s no hidayah at all. Help!
5) Is yoga halal (for healing and exercise?)
Recommended books by Shaykh:
Leave a comment!
If you have a question for Shaykh or want to share your story / advice on mental health, leave a comment below!
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Episode Sponsor: INSPIRITED MINDS (Mental Health Charity)
Visit website: www.inspiritedminds.org.uk
Shaykh Abdul Hameed IsmailShaykh Abdul Hameed is a young traditionally trained Islamic scholar from Leicester. He graduated as an Alim from Jamea Uloomul Quran (Leicester) under the patronage of Hazrat Shaykh Adam hafizahullah. He also memorized the Quran during his studies at the institution. He is very well versed in the Quran and has a unique way of simplifying Quranic passages for a variety of audiences.
The Shaykh also completed his BA honors in social work/psychology. He currently is perusing his Masters in education/ psychology. He has a passion to work with young people and is part of many organisations to help serve the needs of the youth.
He currently works as a secondary school teacher in a Leicester state school, and also lectures all over the UK and has been invited by many organisations to deliver lectures in different parts of America.
Some of his hobbies include having a huge passion for Martial arts from a young age, and has competed at a high level. He currently still competes in mixed martial arts (MMA) tournaments across the UK. He also has a passion for riding super-sports motorbikes. His young age, unique hobbies, well grounded Islamic knowledge and passion to “reconnect people to the Quran”, allows him to engage with the youth, in order for them to access and practice Islam in a relevant yet simple manner.
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