Dealing With Depression and Marriage

QA young sister from UK wrote:
“I pray that you and your family are well and happy. In regards to this email, I have a question why do elders think that whenever a young sister is in trouble with herself in any matter with her deen in Islam or society the result should be marriage? Do you not think this problem will be brought up again later in this marriage which would result in an unhappy marriage for both the couple and the families that are also involved?

I am in a situation that I seem to be very depressed and nothing seems to be going well for me in all parts in my life, and older person told my mum that I should come forward for marriage but I do not feel that it is the best way for it and I dont think it will resolve anything.”

ABismillaahi walĥamdulillaahi waŝŝalaatu wassalaamu ‘alaa rasoolillaahi
I agree that marriage is neither a panacea for all ills nor solution to all problems. And if it is not done with the right intention and attitude, for the right reasons and in the right circumstances, it would cause problems in life and negatively affect not only the couple but all concerned.

Although marriage is not an appropriate response to all problems, it is a very basic, strong and legitimate human need. The sooner it is fulfilled the better it is. After coming of age, the sooner people marry, the healthier the society, the cleaner the environment and the happier the people will be. Delay in marriage, as encouraged and promoted by the Western model, causes many behavioural problems that can be avoided if we Muslims encourage and support our youth to marry at an early age. For details on this point, please refer to my series on “The Muslim Youth, Sex and Marriage” (published under the title “Finding a soul-mate – guidelines for parents and youth”).

As far your personal situation is concerned I am sorry to hear that things are not going well for you and that you feel depressed. Without knowing the cause or nature of your depression, it is not possible for me to comment on your situation. Also, not being a professional in this area, I am not qualified to give any advice. However, I can share with you some experiences and observations that many people have found useful.

I have observed that establishing a closer relationship with Allaah SWT is very therapeutic and healing to human psyche. It boosts confidence, enhances self-esteem, gives courage, bestows tranquility and raises spirit. The best way to establish that relationship is to talk to Allaah as if He is right there next to you, listening to you attentively, responding to you lovingly, and helping you graciously. Talk to Him in your own words and express yourself to Him as you would to very close trustworthy friend. Make Him your confidante, tell Him everything that bothers you or worries you. Tell Him what is not going right and request His help to make it right. Humbly ask for His support and kindness. Then feel His mercy surrounding you. Tell Him your problems and leave the solution to Him. Let Him know that that you are relying on His boundless mercy reposing all your trust in Him and hence, presenting all your problems for Him to take care. Make it clear that after requesting His help in those problems, you are not going to worry about them any more at all. After giving things in His wonderful hands, you are leaving the results to Him. You will be happy whatever outcome He chooses for you, because you know that He is going to take care of your needs in the best manner.

The best place to talk to Him is in solitude where nothing interferes your intimate talk with Him. The best way to talk to Him is in words, not just thoughts. Say in your words what you want to say. Use expressions and gestures as you like. No it is not weird or crazy. It is intimacy with our Lord. When you want to be more intimate and closer, go into Sajdah position and pour your heart out. Let the tears flow if they come. He loves those tears. He pours His mercy over those who pour their hearts out to Him and cry to Him for help.

Once you have talked to Him, you must have faith in Him. You must feel positive that He will come to your help in the best possible manner. After relating your problems to Him, you must not worry at all. That is what trust is all about. Knowing that He will respond to you in His own ways and in the best way. You must have faith that whatever He delivers will be the best for you in the long run. Sometimes you may not understand what good in hidden in what you are going through, but if you have sincerely leave the matters to Him, and then stop worrying because of your confidence in Him, you will always be pleased in the long run. You will look back and see the wisdom of the things that happened in the past, which at that time you did not understand.

When you talk to Allaah to confide in Him and to express your feelings, it may not need any other action on your part. But for those issues where you seek His help, ensure that in addition to seeking His help, you do your best to address that issue on your own. Whatever you want form Allaah SWT, make sure that you do your best for that yourself as well, because Allaah’s help comes when a person has done his or her best in their endeavours. Allaah does respond to the prayers but only to those that are accompanied with action and hard work by the one who is seeking help. So keep doing your best and keep talking to Allaah. You will be glad that you did.

And remember, life of this world is a temporary test. It really does not matter much what we face here. What matters is how we respond to what we face. It is the hereafter that really matters. From that perspective, remember, a believer is always a winner. He or she never fails. If good things happen, a believer thanks Allaah with humility and earns reward. When difficulties are encountered, he or she remains patient and steadfast and that also earns rewards. So let us be winners by adopting the right attitude – an attitude that never fails.

Please feel free to discuss further if you like.

Ayub Hamid
April 2, 2004

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