Are you a Muslim who is having suicidal thoughts and need advice?
Untreated and undiagnosed clinical mental illness is one of the leading causes of suicide. If you are depressed, and are truly suicidal, you should consult a psychiatrist or a primary care physician as soon as possible.
The majority of people who are suicidal are clinically depressed and require medication to function normally, and stabilize themselves. They lack the ability to control these types of thoughts because their thinking is distorted. The filter through which they view the world is flawed because of a chemical imbalance.
They may feel that they have failed as Muslims, or are unloved by Allah, and such thoughts persist and reinforce their depression.
So the first thing you should do is see your doctor and talk about the feelings you are having. If you are clinically depressed, meaning there is something wrong with your brain chemistry that is causing your depression, or some other medical related matter, there may be a medication that can make a huge difference for you. There's nothing wrong or shameful about this, any more than it would be if it were medication for a heart condition.[i]
Now, for emotions and thoughts that are not having medical/clinical origins, from an Islamic perspective.
You should understand that man is the one who produces his waswaas and negative thoughts, and he is the one who causes himself to hear these voices inside his mind. In most cases it is an echo of what he is thinking about and the details thereof that preoccupy his mind, or it is a reflection of the reality he is living, or it is an accumulation of past bad experiences the effect and traces of which he has not been able to erase and overcome (and he is still dwelling on them).
But persuading yourself that you are helpless in the face of these insinuating thoughts and that it is something beyond your control is the most significant part of the dilemma; in fact this is one of the deepest pits that humans in general fall into with regard to thought, reason and contemplation. This is the difference between our father Adam (peace be upon him) and Iblees. Adam (peace be upon him) admitted his sin, declared his repentance, turned to Allah and was confident that he could overcome this situation, so he and his wife said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers” [al-A‘raaf 7:23]. In contrast, Iblees, may Allah curse him, blamed his Lord for his disbelief and stubbornness, and behaved as if he was weak and helpless, unable to save himself from the situation in which he found himself. He said, addressing Allah (may He be glorified): “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path” [al-A‘raaf 7:16].
The remedy to this problem begins with realising that you are able to deal with it and that it will be easy once you arm yourself with resolve, determination and willpower, and follow the example of millions who have gone through all kinds of problems and troubles, but they remained steadfast and overcame their troubles, and became a cause of happiness for those around them and brought development and success to their countries and communities. You are not less significant than them and your trials are not greater than theirs; rather it is nothing but a voice echoing inside your mind. So let your reason be the thing that leads you and energizes you to turn a deaf ear to these whispers, no matter how loud they are; the passage of time will help to reduce this voice bit by bit, until it has diminished completely, by Allah’s leave.
Remember the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be throwing himself down in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever drinks poison and kills himself will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron will have that iron in his hand, thrusting it into his belly in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5778; Muslim, 109.
If you ponder this hadeeth you will realise the seriousness of the matter. There is nothing standing between you and this punishment except the barrier of death, which could come at any moment. On the other hand, there is nothing standing between you and the promise of paradise and eternal happiness except the same barrier. So why choose for yourself punishment and pain; why deprive yourself of eternal bliss? The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Paradise is closer to one of you than the strap of his sandal, and Hell is the same.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6488.
Whatever the case, the most beneficial and most powerful remedy for all destructive psychological problems is the wisdom that Imam ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) learned from his experience of life. He used to say: Pay attention to your nafs, for if you do not preoccupy yourself with the truth it will distract you with falsehood. The truth with which you can preoccupy yourself requires a great deal of sacrifice from us and from you. This world is full of different kinds of good in which you can immerse yourself, so you will hardly have any thoughts except thoughts about doing good things, and you will not pay attention to anything but what those good deeds require. So this will be a means of raising your status before Allah, may He be exalted, whilst also helping you to overcome your psychological problems.
Finally, we also advise you to see a doctor or psychologist, and do not take this matter lightly. Many doctors can reduce the impact of (negative) ideas and thinking by means of medicines that correct hormonal imbalances in the body. Many people have benefited from treatment by trustworthy doctors, in addition to the spiritual and Islamic advice given above.
We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to grant you a speedy recovery.
And Allah knows best.[ii]
Depression with an organic, hereditary cause or chemical imbalance needs to be treated with many tools such as these:
Regular salah (prayers)
Therapy such as psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy
Good sleep routine
Keeping up with physical hygiene
Active and meaningful social relationships
Support groups or blog
Giving back to your community
For situational depression (caused by trauma, loss and death), the above remedies can also be used for the everyday woes alongside medication.
Dr. Abdullah al-Khater gives eight remedies in his book “Grief and Depression: From an Islamic Perspective.” Dr. al-Khater gives the following eight solutions:
Using the Islamic creed
Doing righteous deeds
Contemplating the worst cases
Having good opinions
Living with a realistic – not idealistic – point of view
Behaving well towards other and yourself
"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, 'Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.' Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided." (Qur’an 2:155-157)
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Qur’an 2:216)
“On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear” (Qur’an 2:286)
“So verily, with the hardship, there is relief.” (Qur’an 94:5)
“And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” (Qur’an 4:29)
Islamic Solutions for Depression (Article - extensive, goes into types of depression too)