Depression, Friends and School
Answered by Shaykh Mazhar Mahmood
I really don’t know what to do. I am depressed and I really need help. I feel like I have drifted apart from my friends. I feel useless, unwanted, and alone. I want my friends to be good Muslims but no one at my school is like that, though I go to an Islamic school. All my friends are obsessed with unlawful things, like music, boys etc. I want to have better company but I cannot find anyone like that. I am thinking of switching schools and starting fresh. My two friends (who are very Islamic and like me) go to a public school and I feel like I should go there. I feel so lonely and I cannot find anyone to help me!
To begin with, I express my most sincere sentiments and sympathy upon your situation. I pray to Allāh Almighty that He eliminate all forms of depression from your life.
Adherence to the blessed teachings of Allāh and His Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) is the first and most definite step on your way to a life of peace and bliss.
Below are a few steps to productively enhance one’s life to be at ease and contentment, provided that they are exercised with consistency.
- Ensure that the connection between slave and Lord remains positively intact. This is achieved by one trying his/her utmost to fulfill the commands of Allāh; such as, performing the five daily prayers and maintaining good conduct with one and all.
Many a times, Allāh admonishes His devotees by afflicting them with trials and depression when they astray off the path of His obedience. Allāh confirms this fact in the Qur’ān: “One who strays from my remembrance will definitely face much narrowness in his/her life.” (Qur’ān 20:124)
- Dedicate a portion of the day to the remembrance of Allāh (dhikr). This will prove as an indubitable means of bringing peace at heart. Allāh says: “Verily, in the remembrance of Allāh do hearts find contentment.” (Qur’ān 13: 28)
- Habitually supplicate to Allāh by means of invocations specifically taught to believers afflicted by stress and depression. Some of these invocations could be found in the following link:http://mathabah.org/mathabah/debt-and-stress/
- Actively participate in Islamic youth events/initiatives, sisters programs (halaqah) or any productive events. This will introduce you to other sisters who are also yearning to achieve the motive of progressing in faith and character. Participating in such community events will also give you the opportunity to socialize with the right crowd and keep you active. Inactivity often leads to depression. Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said: “Righteous company is always much more bountiful than isolation.” (Al-Jāmī’ al-saghīr: 9666)
- Keep connected to a local scholar who will guide you in your daily matters, as the need arises. One of the best ways to do this, is by enrolling in an institute which conveys fundamental teachings of Islām, classes on self-reformation and discourses on how to please Allāh whilst maintaining a positive identity as Muslims living in the West.I encourage you to check out the curriculum on Mathabah.org, where dedicated scholars teach, support and stay connected to their students for the sake of their reformation and Allāh’s pleasure. It is narrated that Zirr bin Hubaish said: “I went to Safwân bin ‘Assâl Al-Murâdi and he said: What brought you here?’ I said: ‘I am seeking knowledge.’ He said: I heard the Messenger of Allāh say: “There is no one who goes out of his house in order to seek knowledge, but the angels lower their wings in approval of his action.”
If the above measures are taken into consideration, I feel it would not be necessary for you to switch schools, rather you would become a means of making a difference at your school Allāh willing. Kindly consult a local scholar for further guidance.
Allāh Almighty Knows Best