Belief and dependence on the sovereignty of the Creator in all things, not just disease, can give people salvation. Depression is one of the sources of mental illness. Anxiety is born from frustration. There is instability in the character. Therefore, the objective of Islamic psychotherapy is to help the person concerned (if Muslim) attain mental purity by bringing him back to the Islamic way of life. Analyzing the retrograde, subconscious mind is not the task of Islamic psychotherapy. The task of Islamic psychotherapy is to correct the mental character scientifically and bring it back to a healthy lifestyle by encouraging future-oriented welfare character. Islamic psychotherapy can fulfil your wishes and your expectations and find a new life.
Introduction In the list of terrible diseases in the world, mental disorders rank very high in their complexity and the many grey areas of their incidence, origin and causes which modern science has not been able to accurately pinpoint. Mental health can also have broader societal implications, where the ailments of the afflicted person grow to such an extent that many in society are affected by it. A good mind means a good body. If there is no disease in the mind, the body is healthy. Additionally, faith is needed for the happiness of the mind as well as for the body. Faith is like the root of a tree. Just as a tree cannot survive without its roots, conflict of belief with the mind causes mental turmoil. The moral treatment movement was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries to solve mental problems. Such psychiatry is conducted for respect, dignity and self-control. Currently, this method of psychotherapy is very popular in France, Britain and the United States. William Tuke (1732-1819) in Britain, Dorothy Dix (1802-1877) in America, and Philip Pinel (1745-1826) popularized this school of psychiatry in France. The number of patients with mental illness in all countries of the world is increasing day by day. But what kind of treatment do they take? The answer is found in a survey that states, at present 40 percent, sought advice from a mental health specialist, 45 percent from a general practitioner and 22 percent from a religious figure or a social organization. The position of theotherapy or religious medicine is also recognized among the various branches of medical science. Methods such as meditation, dianetics, yoga exercises etc. have been developed by sheltering some religious ideology. In Islam, the treatments recommended by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) are quite popular.
The Islamic Perspective Muslims believe that there is no disease in the world, including mental stress, which has not been treated by Allah Ta’ala. There are many guidelines in Islam to overcome stress. Therefore, there is no alternative but to follow the guidance of Islam and seek help from Allah to be free from any worries and frustrations. To be free from any mental pressure, the prayer of the Messenger of God (PBUH) often was, “O Allah! Surely I seek Your refuge from anxiety and sorrow, I seek Your refuge from indolence and laziness, I seek Your refuge from miserliness and timidity and I also seek Your refuge from the burden of debt and oppression of people.” The Prophet (PBUH) used to pray for God’s mercy for patients. He used to say,”O Lord, grant healing. There is no healer except You. Give a cure that does cure every disease (Bukhari).” A believer’s sins are forgiven by disease. This is why it is said that disease is the mercy of Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Verily, when a servant is afflicted, Allah says to His angels, I have imprisoned My servant in one of My prisons, then if I take his life, I will forgive him. And if I give health, then I will forgive his sins.” (Hadith Qudsi). It is said in the Qur’an, “When I am sick, He is the one who cures me” (Surah Ash-Shua’raa-80). Belief and dependence on the sovereignty of the Creator in all things, not just disease, can give people salvation. Depression is one of the sources of mental illness. Anxiety is born from frustration. There is instability in the character. Therefore, the objective of Islamic psychotherapy is to help the person concerned (if Muslim) attain mental purity by bringing him back to the Islamic way of life. Analyzing the retrograde, subconscious mind is not the task of Islamic psychotherapy. The task of Islamic psychotherapy is to correct the mental character scientifically and bring it back to a healthy lifestyle by encouraging future-oriented welfare character. Islamic psychotherapy can fulfil your wishes and your expectations and find a new life.
Psychiatry in Islamic History Today, when clinical psychology and mental health are discussed, the names of Muslim thinkers who have made outstanding contributions to this field are not mentioned in the same way as the names of Sigmund Freud, Ivan Pavlov and Carl Rogers are used. Their names have sadly been obscured by the 19th century, and the idea spread that ‘mental health’ science originated in the 19th century—when people became mentally ill for a variety of reasons. But the reality is that people have suffered from psychological crises before also and experimented with its treatment. Many people in the western world, especially people in Europe, do not know that in pre-Islamic Egypt, the treatment of mental illness, and skull surgery was practised for centuries. But while people in other parts of the world were preoccupied with ‘metal surgery’ on skulls, doctors in Islamic lands offered logical, humane and ‘medicinal’ treatment of mental illness. Although these doctors did not claim themselves as ‘psychologists’ or ‘psychiatrists’, they had an outstanding contribution to the innovation and development of ‘psychology’.
The First Hospitals: Greek physicians and ‘anatomists’ were the first to study mental imbalances and identify mental disorders. However, it was the Muslims who established the first specialized hospitals for the treatment of mental patients. The world’s first mental hospital was established in Baghdad in the eighth century AD where mental illness like other diseases was treated regularly and was completely science-based. It was not done through any mantras or spells or scalp surgery. Most of the methods used in psychiatric treatment are now used by modern psychiatrists. For example, medication, healing baths, occupational therapy, motivational discussion, etc. By establishing hospitals, Muslim doctors made an immeasurable contribution to changing the treatment of mental diseases and society’s attitude towards mental patients. They were able to explain that mental illness is a problem like any other physical problem and needs systematic treatment based on science. Of course, Islam is not just ‘psychiatry’ but it made the entire medical science free from superstitions.. No religion before Islam proclaimed “All diseases are cured when the right medicine is applied, by the will of Allah.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2204).
Three Muslim thinkers who contributed to psychiatry and their contributions are: Ibn Sina (980-1037 AD): Muslim scientist Ibn Sina’s outstanding contribution to medicine is universally acknowledged. He also plays an important role in mental health treatment. He developed the first framework for the treatment of various types of mental disorders and analyzed the sources and opinions of Greek philosophers including Aristotle. He played a role in their development. He recognized Aristotle’s concept of ‘Three Souls’: that is, the vegetative, the sensitive and the rational. Analyzing this theory of classification of souls, he says, the vegetative and sensitive souls are concerned with the worldly activities of man and through the rational or judgmental soul, man acquires the power to know the Creator and connect with Him. It is essentially the third type of soul that separates man from other beings (animals). Ibn Sina proved the theory that ‘seven senses are active in man’. That is, ‘Common Sense’, ‘Retentive Imagination’, ‘Compact Animal Imagination’, ‘Compact Human Imagination’, ‘Stemative Power’& ‘Memory’ and ‘Processing’. Through these senses people can judge, think and analyze. From this theory of Ibn Sina, one can get an idea about his wisdom and knowledge. His ‘Seven Senses’ theory helped advance ‘The Theory of Reasoning’ in the 9th century AD. His ‘Al Qanun Fit-Tibb’ or ‘The Canon of Medicine’ was the text of medical departments in European universities for more than 500 years. Al-Razi (854-925 AD): Another Muslim scientist who contributed to mental health treatment was Al-Razi. He was working as a psychiatrist in a mental hospital established in Baghdad. In his books ‘Al Mansoori’ and ‘Al Hawi’, he has described several mental diseases and their treatment methods. In his ‘Back Flap’ of ‘The Book of Medicine’, he is known for using the theory of ‘Psychology of Self-Esteem’ to treat diseases. Imam Ghazali (1058-1111 AD): A hundred years before Watson’s famous observations of children and the idea that ‘children are frightened by their surroundings’, Imam Ghazali (RA) said, “Bad experience accumulates fear in the child.” Imam Ghazali (RA) first analyzed how human qualities like hunger and anger make people behave and how to cure them. Much later Maslow and Hull discussed this. At one time, mental patients—who needed special care—were abandoned by their families and society, or subjected to unspeakable torture in the name of warding off ‘Satan’, but when Muslims established hospitals and provided them with scientific treatment, society underwent a revolutionary change. People are focusing on the improvement of mental health and science-based treatment of mental disorders instead of scumbags. This is how the journey of modern psychology began. Treatment methods and drugs for complex psychosis are discovered.
By performing several Sunnahs and other good deeds, the mental state of a man can be brought to a stable level. They are
- Drink honey regularly: In Islam, honey is considered a cure. Honey is mentioned as healing in the Holy Quran. Prophet Isa (a.s.) and Ayyub (a.s.) especially benefited from this honey.
- Praying to God: No disease can be cured by medicine alone except by Allah’s permission. Therefore, there is no alternative to praying to Allah for the cure of any disease besides taking treatment.
- Ruqyah: It means to ask Allah for deliverance from danger or gain a cure from an illness by reciting a verse of the Qur’an, Dhikr of the name of Allah or a prayer narrated by the Prophet (PBUH). Sometimes, Satan turns people’s hearts away from all good things. So the importance of reciting the word of Allah to get rid of Satan’s possession is undeniable.
- Always consume halal and healthy food: You are what you eat. So consuming unhealthy and haram food will definitely harm our body and mind. Sometimes we see many people who eat haram and are perfectly healthy; but if you ask them, you will know that although they are physically healthy, they are mentally very upset.
- Consuming only halal medicines: Islam says to take halal medicine for all diseases. So, before taking any medicine we have to make sure that no haram material is used in making it.
- Recitation of the Quran: Al-Qur’an has given the solution to every problem of a person’s life. The Holy Qur’an was revealed as a healer and a mercy for the believers. So, we have to turn to the Qur’an for the cure of all mental and physical ailments. A regular time must be fixed for reciting the Qur’an with meaning.
- Purify your faith: Sometimes, mental instability can be a manifestation of Satan’s evil influence on the person concerned. For people who turn away from the path of Allah, Satan easily enters their hearts. So, we need to strengthen our faith by praying five times a day and reciting the Qur’an regularly. Then Satan will not be able to make a nest in our hearts.
- Always be busy in the remembrance of Allah: Wherever we go, whatever we do, we should always keep our tongues moist with the Dhikr of Allah. Constant remembrance of Allah will guide us to the right path. Allah Ta’ala says – Those who believe and whose hearts are calm in the remembrance of Allah; Know that the mind is calmed by the remembrance of Allah. (Surah Ra’ad: 28)
- To repent: All men are guilty of sins to a greater or lesser extent. We often make mistakes in life, but we rarely feel remorse for the crimes committed. There is no alternative to being free from sins to keep the heart and mind pure.
- Receiving Therapy: In addition to adopting spiritual means to get rid of insanity, one needs to take prescribed treatment for it. Regular therapy with an experienced therapist is one of the best treatments for these mental disorders.
- Staying close to the family: The most effective solution to any mental illness is to gain family love. Always try to be in the company of loved ones, it will remove all the anger and frustration in the mind. It should be remembered that happiness and peace of life depend on peace of mind.