Does Seeking Therapy Imply a Weakness of Iman?
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 11.60MB
East London Mosque
What do you say to those who believe that seeking counseling for mental health issues is a sign of low Eman?
This is a very important question.
I'll make a confession brothers and sisters.
I used to say this 25 years ago
I used to say exactly this.
When I first graduated from my university when I first studied Islam,
I'm not exonerating but this is exactly what I was taught as well that, you know, people who don't know psychology, psychiatric, you know, this was what I was taught is that if you have Eman, you will never be depressed. I was taught this and I told him, I believe this if you have Eman, it's not going to you're never going to have depression. And I remember vividly I gave hope but thank God it wasn't record hamdulillah wasn't recorded or else Allah knows I have to deal with that recording 10 second clip as well along with that, you know, people change and evolve people have anybody were so humbled that one wasn't a record but gave a whole book in my community in Houston, many, many, many
literally in the, you know, late 90s or something back and there was no YouTube there was no Internet back then. That's how that's how old we are some of the youtubers like how did you live without internet? No, we live without cell phones. Can you believe we live without cell phones back in the day, we saw the rise of all of this soap.
The I gave a hook button I literally said on the member.
A person who has a man shall never be depressed. If you have depression, this means your weekend. Mr. Stafford, I asked us forgiveness. I said this. Afterwards, one of my students who was a therapist and a counselor, and may Allah bless and reward and I still in touch with this therapist. He approached me with wisdom and him older than me is a student in Islam, but he's older than me. And he's as a speciality. I don't have any said to me share.
Before you make such statements, do some research.
Allah has blessed you to be speaking to people. Perhaps you might say something outside of your speciality and it will harm them.
Be careful in what you're saying. And he said it in a gentleman. You know, we are human beings. If I make a mistake, check me because you make a mistake approach like a brother and you don't we might correct ourselves Hamdulillah he approached with wisdom. And he made me think and I began asking, researching, asking researching. And subhanAllah it became very clear to me that I was wrong. And my understanding of certain verses was wrong. And I have met people in the course of my you know, as being an Imam and a chef, you meet people, I have met people who have told me point blank, that nothing could help them. Unless and until they finally went to a psychiatrist or a therapist.
Sometimes it is an imbalance of the brain, some a chemical imbalance. What are they going to do they need the medicine, sometimes it is some type of trauma that happened to them as a child or something I don't wanna get too explicit, but use your imagination, some of the worst things that might happen, you know, to a young man or woman. Think about that, that trauma, it needs to be unpacked by a trained counselor.
You need to unravel that internal damage of the mind. And it cannot be done
except by somebody who's had the appropriate training to do it. And again, allow me to be very frank amongst all of you. We study Islamic law and Sharia and Hadith and Quran and tfcu, which is what we're supposed to study in Madeira says we don't study psychiatry.
We don't study therapy. So understand the Imam has a role the share has a role the doctor has a role the therapist has a role, as the President said Give everyone the role and right that is do unto them particularly after an up bow. So
it is possible for a person to have strong EMA
and still undergo aspects of depression for beyond their control.
As I give you two simple examples, a man is not going to solve a chemical imbalance you need to go to the doctor.
A man is not going to solve childhood trauma necessarily it might it might not. I will say though, I will say this.
There are three things that should help everybody is never gonna harm you. I call them the three F's, when it comes to counseling when it comes to therapy, faith, family, and friends.
These are the three F's of counseling. If you do them, and you still are struggling, then seek out professional help. But try first and foremost see if it's possible for you to grapple with it. And no doubt more Eman is never going to harm you. And for many people having a strong relationship with a religion does help them overcome stress does have to overcome anxiety for many people and having a loving family and having a strong friendship based and speaking with them and engaging with them. But not everybody, not everybody. Sometimes you need to go beyond this
And simply, if somebody like me, were to continue to say this, forgive me for that slip up. I did it once. If I were to say on the member, oh, if you have anxiety and stress, this means you have low Iman. I've actually made a person situation worse he's already struggling with self depression is where he's struggling with his own. Now the chef comes and says, Oh, not only are you depressed, you don't even have him on Subhanallah I was young and foolish, may Allah forgive me. I didn't understand. I have a responsibility when I speak outside of my area to do my research. And ever since then I actually say very publicly, I made a mistake. emaan is not going to solve every issue.
Yes, it will solve a lot of them. No doubt. I'm not gonna that's true. And yes, Eman will always help. But sometimes it is beyond just a simple faith. Sometimes it is something that has happened to you that as I said, needs to be unpacked, I'm have met people like this. In my own community, I know them that they have had some trauma in the past or another person was having suicidal thoughts goes to the doctor turns out, he literally has a hormonal imbalance, literally, and he has to take some medication that makes the hormonal imbalance normal, and all of a sudden, he's normal. And when he was going through those suicidal thoughts, his friends is always saying, oh, Imam, Imam, it has
nothing to do with fate. At that stage, it was his hormonal imbalance. You have to go and get tested by professionals. So we need to remove the stigma. We need to remove the stigma that unfortunately, a lot of us have with mental health. Again, I grew up in the 80s. Many of us who grew up in the 80s, we felt mental health was a bit of a sham. We felt that only if you do need to look crazy, right? Only if you're something that you're not normal, you have to go to a psychiatrist. We are now discovering that this is a very new field.
And let's leave it to the experts of that field. Okay, as you Brits say it's not everybody's cup of tea.
Okay, so let's leave it to the experts is their cup of tea. Nobody should be discouraged from going to seek help. And you know, I'm coming to you from America. I don't know about the situation in England, I don't know. In Dallas last year, we had six Jeunesses of young men and women who committed suicide.
Genesis in our masjids six
our extended all over the massage it in Dallas, in one city, young, bright future ahead of them. I don't know why this is happening. I don't understand I gave a hug. But listen, as of now I'm an elder and out. You guys have so many things we didn't have. To us. It looks like the youngsters are literally they have their iPads, their iPhones, they have the internet, they have so many perks. Why would you possibly be depressed. But the number two cause of young men and women's death in America is suicide overall, not Muslims, overall number two costs is taking your own life. I mean,
we need to learn and educate ourselves that dynamics outside our community is affecting our community as well. So please, brothers and sisters don't trivialize mental health. If you have a family member struggling with anxiety issues, if you see symptoms of depression, which means all of us need to study symptoms of depression. I don't have time to get into a shot where you're fatigued, and your counselors who will tell you if you see symptoms of possible suicide in extended family,
isn't it over here? So if you see something, say something, right, if you see something of your family members say something, get involved, get involved, speak to them, see what can be done. I had a young man in my own office, this is me speaking to him last year during the COVID crisis. He's crying. He's 1819 years old. And he goes, and I had a long discussion with one of the things he said it really resonated with me. He goes, where it not for the fact that I know my mother loves me.
And if I did what I want to do, she would be hurt. I would commit suicide right now. This is a Muslim young man telling me this. I'm not qualified to deal with this type of mental issue. I didn't train like this in Medina. That's not what they're supposed to be trained. I immediately put him in touch with a specialist and a counselor. But he's coming to me because I'm the shear figure, he trusts me. And I said, Okay, no problem show that we're gonna we're gonna deal with this together. And later on at Hamdulillah. A few months later, he came to me hamdulillah things are much better now on a track of normalcy, whatnot. He needed to unpack whatever it was he needed to have a
professional therapist, and he said to me, I'm reading Quran. I'm praying to Hedrick, but these thoughts are still coming. This is the one that had the chemical imbalance by the way. Subhanallah you tell me. The chemical imbalance was the one that is causing him to contemplate suicide.
And the poor guy is being told, it's your iman your image and he says, I'm trying I'm praying tahajjud I'm reading Quran miskeen he was told your mind is weak. And now he feels even worse. I didn't say this one better not me. Somebody is coming to me. I said no, no your mind is not weak. You're trying and hamdulillah it's but no problem seek help in therapy. So please brothers and sisters remove the stigma for mental health. It's a new world we're living in and we're discovering that mental disease is just like a physical disease. You know, there is no stigma we have for physical disease, right? Somebody has cancer, we encourage them to go to the best doctor, but for
some weird reason, if somebody has a mental issue, we think there's nothing Oh, it's just in your mind. Maybe it is but first find out I'll be the first to say maybe it is something imaginary but first find out and make sure and verify that it is something that can be treated with faith family and friends. If not then therapy and counseling will help we should embrace this insha Allah Tala
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