by Raiiq Ridwan
Life is never a bed of roses. We suffer from heartbreak, pain, and calamity, any of which might drive us to depression. However, at times depression can just be there for no specific reason at all, and when this happens it is imperative that we seek help for it. Allah subhana wa ta’ala has revealed the Quran as a guide for mankind till the end of time, giving us a guide to help us through depression. Some surahs of the Quran are valuable reading during depression and anxiety, as their meanings and messages can help alleviate depression, inshaa Allah.
There have been multiple articles on UnderstandQuran.com about Surah Duha, Surah 93, ma sha Allah. Allah subhana wa ta’ala revealed it at a time when our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was depressed, to soothe him. For the man who suffered the most in this world, it was something very soothing. The Surah reminds the prophet of the blessings that Allah has opened for him and asks him to help the poor and the needy and to make mention of the blessings of Allah upon him.
Along with Surah Duha, Allah also revealed Surah Inshirah, Surah 94, in the Quran. Allah tells the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam about how Allah had eased the pain that the prophet felt internally by revealing to him the Quran. Allah mentions how He will raise the mention of His prophet around the world, and today every second somewhere on earth the adhaan is going on and someone somewhere is saying Ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah. Allah also mentions that both before hardship and after hardship is ease. Then He instructs the prophet to pray to His Lord after he is done with his duties to the people.
Among the early surahs revealed to the prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was Surah Yusuf. This is a unique surah in the Quran in that most of it relates just the story of one prophet of Allah, Yusuf. Countless lessons can be derived from this surah and a lot of it has to do with dealing with hardship— how Yaqub alayhi salam and Yusuf alayhi salam dealt with pain and suffering in this world and how Allah elevated both of them due to their patience. This was also a surah revealed to the prophet to console him, and this should work brilliantly for us too!
Surah Isra, Kahf, Maryam, Taha, Anbiya
The eminent companion of the prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, Abdullah ibn Mas’ood radi Allahu anhu said concerning these surahs (Surahs 17, 18, 19, 20, 21), “They were among the first chapters to be revealed and they are my treasures.”  Imam al-Bayhaqi mentions about this narration, “He was referring to the superiority of these surahs because of what they contain of stories of the Prophets alayhimussalam and the nations. And they were among the first surahs to be revealed at the beginning of Islam, because they are Makkan surahs, and they were among the first parts of the Quran to be recited and memorized.” All of these Surahs contain lots of stories of the prophets, of the nations of old, and of Bani Israeel in particular. All of these stories help with depression and anxiety and help us feel the power and majesty of Allah.
Surah Rahman probably has the most vivid imagery of both Paradise and Hellfire. It also tells us of so many blessings of Allah that are mentioned within it. It is a surah that is soothing to the ears, calming on the heart, and food for the soul. With its beautiful imagery, description of Paradise, and a mention of the blessings of our Lord, it can take us out of depression.
A lot of times depression has a lot to do with low self-esteem and self-doubt. A lot of it is exaggerated by the whisperings of Shaytan who has sworn to deviate every last human being he can on planet Earth. However, Allah is The Most Merciful and among the surahs he has revealed to combat the whispers of Shaytan is Surah Nas. Reciting it often can help in removing doubts and whisperings and is a surah which brings protection from Allah.
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 Sahih al-Bukhari