“Been a Muslim is Depressing”, there I said it, and the repercussions of doing so are very typical. Immediately comments come through asking me if I want to talk, recommending I should change my friends, change my wording… change my attitude.
My motivation behind such a status was provoked by a hadith which I’ll relate at the end (God Willing) and my struggle to see changes that really matter. Over the last year my invitation to events has increased which I’m grateful for, but overall it has given me a birds eye view of what’s really happening on a local scale in our Muslim communities.
I’ll get straight to the points-
Multiple charities seem to be coming out of the wood works that raise Thousands upon Thousands of pounds been invested into charities that help people abroad. Now of course my issues is not helping those abroad but it is why people feel the need to replicate charities that meet the needs of others while they ignore the needs of those around them closer to home.
I’m not saying those abroad shouldn’t recieve aid, of course I will continue to champion for anyone raising money for my brothers and sisters abroad. But when I get calls or see people, majority been women wanting to commit suicide or with mental health issues because they don’t know how to find contentment with their hardships, I also see a need for charities to look closer to hope before helping those furthest from home. BE BALANCED??
These needs that I talk about are divided into various groups and most certainly need some attention.
Youth- I see so many parents struggle to establish healthy relationships with their children as a result of them not been able to connect. In addition to this youth have no where to go, especially those from single parent families. Rather than invest money into making masjids look prettier, its time to invest the money into employing youth workers that can deliver sessions compatible to the needs of youth.
Elderly- I’ve seen a new culture emerging where parents of ‘so called Muslims’ are now been put in care homes. I know majority of peoples circumstances are different if reference to why they would choose to do this but ‘having a break’ just ain’t good enough.
Prophet Muhammed SAW has already related to us that masjids would go in this direction, and further more the recent video of Bradford been ambushed by a bunch of angry men highlighted that they are just empty buildings when Salah is not been performed.
Our parents didn’t drop us off to social services so they could do what ‘they like’! Further more, majids need to get more involved in providing elderly coffee mornings or activities for them to meet. Nothing is healthy about been in doors most of the time on your own.
Hygiene- “cleanliness is half your deen”, apparently, so why I attend Muslim areas and see so much mess is beyond me! I’ve heard the argument that council focus on the posher areas, well if this is the case there is a process waiting to be exercised when people are ready to take action. (Inform Your local Council)
Mental health- Some blame it on Jinn, some say their attention seeking whilst others don’t even tell anyone else till its too late. One aspect of neglecting this area is the treatment of women unfortunately isn’t something high on the agenda of big Muslims establishments. While for the west it is! If Masjids and other organisations do not recognise they need to change their approaches differently then it will not be long before we see the result of this, just look at our younger generation.
Medical health- Everywhere I go I see an abundance of fat Muslims. Our religion is meant to have all the answers including been overweight, tackling diabetes and other illnesses that result from the gut.
Finally I’m not depressed alhamdulilah, May Allah Protect me from such a thing Ameen!
Indeed I’ve gone through a collection of experiences that forced me to be depressed, and it was through that Allah presented me with Tawakkul (Dependence Upon Allah SWT). But in doing so I’ve seen many things that need to change as a result of my own experiences. I feel like my pain has a purpose. Islam has definitely been medicine for my soul providing me the naseeha that continues to strengthen me Mashallah!
Solutions- Please write to or contact your local masjid. Let us make the masjid the hub of every community once again.
Khutbahs need to address the many stigma’s attached to Islam, FGM, Domestic Violence, Sexual Exploitation, Honour Killings, Forced Marriages, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, raising children in the 21st Century and meeting the needs of those with special needs.
Hadeeth narrated by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh which he attributes to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.”
I’ve done enough talking, now I’m getting in their with my hands, helping, writing and speaking.
I commend the many organisations like Muslim Women’s Network, Women’ Networking Hub and Amirah Foundation who continue to stand up for these changes. How different our communities would be if Masjids aided these organisations to aid the thousands of families collectively helped by these organisations Mashallah.
If you want to know what a community is like then look at the women, a well known quote from Islam. Well the reality of this statement can clearly be seen in the statistics coming out of our criminal justice systems and mental health care to name but a few of what is really happening. May Allah Forgive me for that which I did not know of, and aid our Ummah to help each other as they would themselves Ameen!