Being Depressed and Suicidal for Many Years
Fatwa No: 446287

Question

I am asking this question on behalf of a sister who came to me distressed. She says that she faces a lot of mental abuse at home and wants to leave and move out. I urged her to bear patience and stay at home until Allah makes a way out for her. But she says that she is suffering mentally and fears she may snap and do something drastic like kill herself. She has felt depression/suicide for many years but she says that now the thoughts are getting stronger and she feels as she is losing control and frequently has odd behavior of an insane person. I told her in this case that since she is unable to find a righteous spouse at the moment it would seem to be the lesser evil to move out. Did I advice her the right thing? I know this sister and the things she tells me is making me fear for her. I have indeed witnessed her behavior changing over the years and I see that psychologically she may not be well.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Firstly, if this sister is in the aforementioned condition, then we ask Allah Almighty to relieve her distress and make a way out to her difficulties. We advise her to abundantly supplicate Allah and sincerely turn to Him, for He responds to the supplication of the distressed person and removes the distress, as He Says (what means): {Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember.} [Quran 27:62]

Besides, Abu Bakrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The supplication of a person in distress is: Allaahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata 'ayn, wa aslih li sha'ni kullahu, laa ilaaha illa ant.” (O Allah, it is Your Mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshipped except You.) [Abu Daawood]

Secondly, we advise her to be patient, for patience is the worship of Allah at times of adversity, and one of the reasons for the expiation of sins. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “An affliction continues to affect a believing man or a believing woman in his/her own self, his/her children, and his/her wealth, until he/she meets Allah without a sin.” [At-Tirmithi]

Thirdly, she should seek the help of wise and virtuous people from her family to help her in finding a solution to these problems. Generally, the parents love goodness for their daughter and have pity for her lest any harm would afflict her. It may be that one of the best solutions is to find a righteous husband who will help her in her religious and worldly affairs. Her family should help her in order to achieve that.

Fourthly, she should strive to be among her family as much as possible, and if she needs to live far away from them as a way to protect herself from destruction, then some jurists have permitted the rational adult woman to live independently from her family if she is safe for herself and her honor. It is more appropriate for her to look for righteous women to share the housing with them.

Fifthly, she must be advised to beware of suicide, for it is a disease and calamity, and not happiness or a cure.

Thaabit ibn adh-Dhah-haak  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam, while telling a lie and deliberately, then he will be as he said, and whoever kills himself with something, then Allah will punish him with it in Hellfire.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Sixthly, she should remember Allah as much as possible, as it is with the remembrance of Allah that hearts are reassured, anxiety is repelled, and psychological pressures are reduced. Allah Says (what means): {Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.} [Quran 13:28]

If she needs to consult some specialists in psychiatry, then she should choose some experienced and trusted people.

For more benefit on the prohibition of committing suicide, please refer to Fataawa 84296, 96097, 22853, 377509, 34194 and 223189.

For more benefit on supplications at times of distress and grief, please refer to Fataawa 343300, 418060, 88282, 13277, 26204, 213715 and 377509.

For more benefit on the virtues of patience, please refer to Fatwa 83577.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa