What in The Qur’an can help me?

What in The Qur’an can help me?


so im depressed, whats in the quran that will help me?

The first thing I would say is that you should seek out counseling. Even if it is a single session that is exploratory, it can benefit you.

Depression is something that is serious, and many times, our community has stigmas related towards mental illness. As far as resources go, there is a directory (I’m unsure where you live) at muslimmentalhealth.org and another resource, if you’re from the DC area is muslimcounselors.org

Many times, Muslims feel that their depression is a result of their lack of belief, lack of appreciation, and then they’ll go up to their local Imam, who’s not trained to deal with depression or other issues, and then find themselves alienated. Some of us are blessed by having a person in our lives that can help us, but, even great people in our lives might not be the right person to help you with certain issues, Imams included.

Talking to a counselor can be rewarding, it can be great to simply let go and just be honest and frank with someone who will not judge you, and that human element is not a denial of God’s importance or a rejection of God’s grace. Rather, it is simply a recognition of what we are: human beings. People are people, through other people.

As far as what is in The Qur’an that can help you, I guess it really matters what’s bothering you. If you’d like to share with me, I’d be more than happy to discuss this privately with you, so, if you wish, send me a way I can contact you privately and I will do so. If not, and you’re just looking for something more general, I think the story of Prophet Yunus (Jonah) is particularly interesting, especially if you feel like you don’t have anyone to turn to (even if, don’t be afraid to go to a counselor)

Yunus famously gets swallowed up by a whale. This is after he leaves his city (out of frustration and arrogance), after he gets on a boat not knowing where its going, in which the second he steps on it, they are suddenly in terrible waters, and after casting lots, he loses (3 times) and must be thrown overboard, only to be swallowed up by said whale.

Most of the time, people can’t get past the fact that Yunus was swallowed up by a whale, and many contemporary scholars like to keep this story for children.

I disagree.

Whether Yunus was actually swallowed up by a whale or not, is immaterial. The point of the story is that there is nothing worse that could happen to Yunus; death would be a release at this point. He is at the lowest point in his existence, and it wasn’t because he turned away from God, Yunus never denies God. Yunus loses patience with people not listening to him, that’s what sparks this chain of events. It was because he turned away from his duties, responsibilities, and most importantly: his passion. As a Prophet for a city, he’s like a minister, the guy who helps guide the city. That was what his purpose of life was: to help and guide others. By turning away from what made him happy (in this case being a Prophet), from what mattered most in his life, he was not denying God, but his very being.

In this dark place, with no hope, he reached out to God. He accepted his limitations, he accepted his errors, he made peace with what he had done wrong. Again, this is not just what “he did wrong to God” but what he did wrong to himself and others. By recognizing this state, that he was deviating from that path, that’s when God removed Yunus from the whale.

This story really hit me, because, many times, when we’re faced with pain and suffering, we ask why God didn’t give us what we wished. We compare ourselves to others, forgetting the gifts that we have and ignoring the possibility that the people we are comparing ourselves to, might be way worse off than ourselves.

The point is that, in order to move forward, we need to look inside. Through understanding ourselves, we can better deal with issues as they come forward. That being said, I’d like to underline, the simple story of Yunus is not enough, I urge you to seek out help, even just a single session. I’m not a counselor, and I’m not trained in this, so please, don’t rely upon me, I can only help in what limited way that I can.

I hope you take from this post that its okay to ask for help, I know that its difficult to admit that you need help, but you’d be surprised at how much better it feels to get help then to stress about whether you should ask.

To conclude, I’ll leave you with this from The Qur’an: “God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear” [2:286]

Insha Allah, I hope that I have answered your question, and I hope that you seek out help from someone who is trained to do so. If you or anyone else has any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, I will answer as soon as I can, Insha Allah.

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