In Australia, Sydney and many of its surrounding areas are now experiencing a lockdown. This stay-at-home order was put into place on 28 August, following high numbers of the Delta variant, and is planned to last 4 weeks longer than initially expected.
Considering the effects of lockdown on mental health, it can be difficult to readapt to this situation yet again. The adjustment is challenging, especially for people impatient for things to finally improve.
Fortunately, by revising the Holy Qu’Ran and the tenets of Islam, you can find ways to improve your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
In this article, we’ll review how you can look to the Muslim faith to understand how to deal with this difficult time.
Finally, with the help of the Holy Quran and Sunna, Allah, and the Prophet Mohammed, you can stay mentally healthy during this difficult time. Read on to learn more.
Use Coping Strategies Provided by Islam
As a follower of Islam, you can benefit from the coping strategies provided by your religion. Islam provides you, as a Muslim, with a code of social values, ethics, and behaviour that is a pillar of strength you can lean on during difficult times.
By reminding yourself of this code, you will be able to adapt, using coping strategies that get you through this difficult time.
One of the most important teachings of Islam is living in harmony with others, which can be helpful when you’re at home sharing a space with the same people for hours at a time.
The Qu’Ran says, “Do good to others as God has done good to you.” By improving the small bit of the world you are in during lockdown, you can follow these teachings and improve the wellbeing of yourself, your family, and your friends.
Another coping strategy available to you is to turn to Allah during this difficult time. As the Qu’Ran says, “Whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.”
However difficult this time in lockdown feels to you, you will be more psychologically resilient because of the strong connection you have to your religion, which will help you during life’s most challenging moments.
Find a Mental Health Professional Who Understands Your Faith
Many Muslims believe that mental health professionals do not entirely understand their values and needs, and are therefore hesitant to go to them. Often, Muslims will feel uncomfortable seeking out psychiatric help because they are afraid it will conflict with their religion.
However, if you are struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, you can benefit from seeing a mental health professional.
For this reason, it can be helpful to find a mental health professional who understands your faith. Find a Muslim practitioner or one who advertises working with clients who are Muslim.
As the Prophet Muhammad said, “Down a cure even as He has sent down the disease.” You will be following his words by seeing a professional, who will help you treat your mental health issues.
Speak With Your Imam
An alternative to going to a mental health professional, if you are not comfortable doing so, is to speak with your Imam. They will provide you with guidance based on the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad and the Quranic principles.
They can help counsel you on a variety of issues, such as family and marriage issues. They can also cover, more broadly, mental health and social issues.
Whatever issues you are dealing with as a result of the lockdown, whether they are internal or impacting your family relationships and friendships, your Imam can provide you with advice on how to deal with the issue yourself.
They will also provide you with guidance on how to maintain your relationships with others during this trying time.
Take Mental Health Medications as Needed
One of the challenges that come with taking any medication, including mental health medications such as antidepressants, is being able to have a schedule that can match up with fasting periods, for example, Ramadan.
However, if you are prescribed a mental health medication, your doctor should be able to come up with an alternative schedule for you.
This said, if you are taking a medication that requires you to take it consistently, even when you are not fasting, you don’t have to worry.
As the Qu’Ran says, “And whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, let him fast the same number of other days. Allah desired for you ease; He desired not hardship for you.”
This demonstrates that, when it comes to your health, you can make exceptions during Ramadan.
Another worry you may have is whether the medications you are being given are Halal.
In this case, you should speak with your doctor, reminding them that inert ingredients which might contain pork are not always listed.
Ask them if they can find out all the ingredients and learn about the processing of the medications.
Complete Group Therapy With Other Muslims
Considering that it can feel uncomfortable to open up with others about what you are currently going through, especially if they are not Muslim, it can help to complete group therapy with other Muslims. They’ll understand where you’re coming from and you’ll feel less alone.
Additionally, you will be able to share coping strategies with each other based on the religion that you share.
For example, you could find passages in the Qu’Ran that you repeat to yourself when you’re struggling. They might, in return, provide you with uplifting and inspiring words from the Prophet Mohammad.
Engage in Self-Care
One of the tenets of the Islamic faith is that you should not harm yourself. You have been created by Allah, and if you harm yourself with an unhealthy lifestyle, you are going against the wishes of your creator. Your body is your amanah, or responsibility.
To engage in self-care, exercise regularly, eat well (and according to your religious requirements), and take time for your mental health, too.
Engage in activities you enjoy that keep you socialising (on Zoom, for example, or with your family at home) and ones that engage your mind, too, such as reading a fun book or revisiting your favourite passages of the Qu’Ran.
Schedule time every day to do this. It will not only make it easier for you to get through this difficult time, but it will also help you become healthier, honouring yourself as your God’s creation.
Remember, too, that substance abuse, including alcohol and cigarettes, is not an acceptable part of the Muslim way of living.
If you are going against your creator and using this as an escape, you should seek the help of a medical professional or go to a programme that can help you stop.
Connect With Your Family
Connecting with your family can also help you when you are struggling with mental health. The family unit is incredibly important in the Islamic faith, so by spending time with your family, you will be following your religion while building up your family relationships.
If many of your family members are far from you, schedule Zoom calls with them to connect regularly.
Stay Hopeful As Advised by the Holy Qu’Ran
During these difficult times, it can be easy to fall into despair. However, you must stay hopeful. It can help to look at the words in the Holy Qu’Ran which remind you of how things are not up to you but instead to Allah:
“And for those who fear Allah, He always prepares a way out, and He provides for him from sources he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him.”
The passage goes on to say, “For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.”
If you begin to feel hopeless, use some of the other strategies that we have covered here, all the while holding onto the hope that is provided to you by the Holy Qu’Ran.
This difficult time will eventually come to an end. It’s all a matter of being able to weather the storm with the help of your faith.
Need More Information?
Now that you’ve learned about how following the Holy Qu’Ran and Islamic tenets can improve your mental health and emotional wellbeing, you might need additional information. Maybe you want to learn about additional ways you can maintain your mental health.
Or maybe you’re looking for advice on other Islam-related topics, such as Islamic investing.
Whatever information you need, we can help. At Crescent Wealth, we can help you live a full, Muslim life. We also offer the only Super Islamic Fund in Australia. To learn more about how we can help, contact us now.
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Ethical Finance and Innovation
Dr. Sayd Farook is the Executive Director of Crescent Foundation. He is Group Chief Operating Officer of Crescent Wealth and Managing Director of Crescent Finance. He previously served as Advisor to the Executive Office of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In this capacity, he envisioned and executed strategic / transformation initiatives for Dubai and the UAE. Prior to that, he was the Global Head Islamic Capital Markets at Thomson Reuters, where he advised and served large corporates, multilaterals and governments in the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia.