MINAB urges Imams to raise awareness about Mental Health related issues during their Friday sermon.

MENTAL HEALTH – PRACTICAL TIPS

Imam Qari Asim, MBE

Chair, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board

MINAB urges Imams to raise awareness about Mental Health related issues during their Friday sermon on 12 October.

10th October is World Mental Health Day. The day provides an opportunity “for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide”. This year’s theme is young people and mental health in a changing world.

Mental Health related  problems are an ever present challenge in the modern world and no community is immune from them. Mental health related issues can affect people of any age, religion, race or social standing.

In any given year, across the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health issue.  Despite the number of people affected by mental health, there is still an unnecessary stigma attached to this condition.

Below are some basic and practical tips that can help reduce mental stress but please do seek medical advice as soon as possible:

Even though preventing mental stress is often out of our control, there are many conditions brought on or made worse by our own lack of attention to diet and fitness. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), said, “Any action without the remembrance of God is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target [during archery practice], training a horse, playing [spending time] with one’s family, and learning to swim.” [Tabrani]

In this hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions some of the prevailing sports and activities of his time. Following the same spirit, the scholars have encouraged Muslims to remain fit, keep active and eat a healthy diet.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said a strong believer was better than a weak believer. “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both” [Muslim]. The Prophet was talking in terms of faith and character but also indicating that physical strength i.e. optimum health and fitness were desirable. Islam encourages anything that promotes refreshing the mind or revitalising the body.

There is huge emphasis in the Noble Qur’an regarding caring for others. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to teach peace by giving a gift, no matter how small or large it was and to share moments of joy with neighbours:

“None of you should consider even a sheep’s trotter too insignificant to give to her neighbour.” [Muslim].

This concept of caring for others or volunteering should not become a burden and tiresome rather you should only spend and give so much of your time as is enjoyable and healthy for you.

 

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