As Muslims, we believe that everything happens according to the preordainment of Allah. We should always look at the bounties that Allah has conferred on us. By looking at people’s misfortunes, you may easily reflect and realize how easy your problem is when it is compared with them. You should thank Allah that your problem is not worse than what it is now.

Answering the question, Dr. Hatem Al-Haj, dean of Shari`ah Academy of America, said,

First of all, as far as accountability, if one still has insight and can sort out right from wrong, he or she should not assume that the religious obligations do not pertain to him or her. Once someone entertains a question, it means he or she has enough insight to be accountable. As for the severe depression that could become incapacitating, one should do his or her best, and Allah is the Best Judge.

Secondly, as for depression, here is my advice for prevention and treatment:

1. Tawheed (Oneness of Allah)

It is expected that one who serves more than one deity will be distressed. Allah says,

(Allah sets forth an example: There is a slave in whom are (several) partners differing with one another, and there is another slave wholly owned by one man. Are the two alike in condition? (All) praise is due to Allah. Nay! Most of them do not know.)(Az-Zumar 39:29)

If there is only one to whom your heart is attached and you try to please, you will feel that the task of your life is doable and clear.

2. Belief in destiny

Allah is the one in control. No Dualism in Islam; Almighty Allah says, (Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs.) (Az-Zumar 39:62)

Allah is the controller of all things:

(No calamity befalls on the Earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the book of decrees before We bring it into existence; verily that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get or rejoice excessively because of that which has been given to you and Allah likes not prideful Boosters) (Al-Hadid 57:22–

Put your trust in Allah and serve Him, and know that you can’t change His decrees. You can only do your best to avoid harm. The one who tested you is the only one who can relieve you.

3. Certainty in the great reward stored for the patient.

Almighty Allah said,

(And certainly we shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives, and fruits. But give Glad tidings to the patient who when afflicted with calamity say truly to Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return. They are those on whom are Salawat (blessings & forgiveness) from their lord and mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones)(Al-Baqarah 2:155-156)

4. Knowing the true value and worth of this life

Allah said,

(Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain there of the growth is pleasing to the tiller afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow then it becomes straw. But in the hereafter there is a seven torment and there is forgiveness from Allah and good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is only a deceiving enjoyment.) (Al-Hadid 57:20)

Is this transient life of deceiving enjoyment worth much grief over it.

5. Having higher aspirations and goals

Do not get consumed in your own problems.

6. Mixing with the right crowd

A wise friend is a treasure. To rely on Allah Alone doesn’t mean that you may not go out to a wise, righteous friend who may entertain you or give you good advice or help you in other ways.

7. Learn to be a minimalist or close

Abu Ad-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) would say, “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from the diversion of the heart.” And when he was asked about this, he said, “To have riches and possessions in every valley He who is in need of the dunya [worldly life] has no dunya [no happiness in the dunya].”

That doesn’t mean that Allah forbade the enjoyments of this dunya, but the aggressive pursuit of them could lead to the grief.

8. Recreation

Smiling livens the heart. `Abdullah ibn Al-Harith tells us about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), saying that he had never seen someone smiles at other’s face as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do.

9. Supplication

Allah says, (Or, who answers the distressed when he calls on Him, and who relieves his suffering?)(An-Naml 27:62)

The following supplications are particularly useful in times of hardship:

(Verily distress has seized me and You are the most merciful of all those who show mercy!)(Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:83)

10. Medicine and lifestyle change

Medicine may be needed, but also try healthy lifestyle.

Exercise, lose weight, eat natural foods with fiber and less meat, expose yourself to the sun, learn to relax, etc.

The Messenger of Allah said with regard to medicine for mental health, “Verily, At-Talbeenah [boiled barley with honey] brings well-being to the heart and takes away some of one’s sadness.”

Barley has tryptophan, which is a precursor of serotonin and an important neurotransmitter in the brain that causes mood elevation. May Allah relieve your distress and that of all of His righteous servants.