RE: Depression, Distress, Stress and Sadness, and Sufism

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Do Depression, Distress, Stress and Sadness indicate a lack of iman? How should one interpret these negative feelings and emotions? How would one handle them? One would think that ideally a Muslim should not suffer from depression, is that a correct assumption?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Depression, distress, and sadness can indicate a weakness of faith if they arise out of dissatisfaction with the way Allah has Willed things.

However, often they arise as a result of trials in life, without one’s choosing. In such situations, our duty is to be patient, thankful for one’s countless blessings, and certain that Allah only gives His servants that which is best for them.

The way to lift depression is to make dhikr. See attached answer(s).

Would you say that ‘western medical science’ and Islam are at odds when it comes to such psychological aspects? What about Anti-depressant drugs and things of that nature, what would be the Islamic take on them?

There is nothing wrong, per se, with taking physical and medical means when these are not harmful or contrary to the rulings, guidance, and spirit of the Shariah. In general, however, one should generally avoid interventionist practices and medical treatments of this kind, and seek sound traditional scholarly guidance instead when the problem is a matter of heart and soul rather than flesh and body.

I have noticed that Tasawwuf has sometimes been classified under Psychology? Isn’t that a bit restrictive? How much truth is there to such a classification?

This is just one aspect of Sufism, insofar as it deals with the states of the human soul and faculties.

At its highest, however, Sufism is the science of realizing the station of spiritual excellence, which the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself defined as being, “To worship Allah as though you see Him,” and to make this beholding one’s living reality.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam.

Faraz Rabbani.

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