Health isn’t complete if mental health is absent.

الحلقة 05: الحلقة المفقودة بين الإسلام والصحة النفسية مع الدكتور عمر رضا

Religion and mental health should not be separated. Unfortunately, many religious figures neglect the mental well being aspect. Any religious figure must have a background in psychology that allows them to look at the different cases from both a mental-health perspective and a religious perspective.

That is why Dr. Reda believes that Imams, and religious figures must work together with psychologists and specialists to treat symptoms. We are all made of body, mind, and soul, and must take care of them individually.

To take care of the body, we must follow a healthy routine, get enough sleep, and work out. To feed the soul, we can meditate, pray, and practice our religion accordingly. But what about the mind? Dr. Omar emphasizes the importance of taking mental issues seriously, and not mistaking any mental health issue for “lack of spirituality.”

It is haram [prohibited] to let people suffer on their own and tell them that that is what religion is about.

الحلقة 05: الحلقة المفقودة بين الإسلام والصحة النفسية مع الدكتور عمر رضا

Mental Health in The Qur’an

It’s funny how many Muslims ignore mental health, and underestimate how dangerous certain illnesses may be. Especially when the story of Maryam (The Virgin Mary), Um-Issa (Jesus) is highlighted in the Qur’an and was given its own chapter.

Following Maryam (SA)’s pregnancy, God reassures her in the Qur’an and tells her not to despair. God tells Maryam to look after herself, to eat, to sleep, and to rest assured. Her mental state had worsened to the point where she considered taking her own life.

Many more instances exist in the Qur’an and in the Prophet Muhammad’s sunnah that looks at mental health not through a religious lens, but rather through a human one that cares for the individual’s wellbeing.

Moreover, many stories in both the Qur’an and the Sunnah, encourage families to build a support system for the members. Such stories encourage households to provide a safe space for their children and themselves to come back to in hard times.

This goes to show that mental health should not be underestimated, in any case. And although the spirituality of one can be of help, we must not completely only rely on it. Mental health professionals exist to exactly help someone through their suffering and ease it. But in no way, does it mean that religion does not help.

It’s important that we take into consideration our spirituality, and religion, as most people find their peace in their religions. The latter is just one side of the coin and must not be taken for granted.