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Summer feels like so long ago, when the sun was beaming, when we were relaxing and of course when Inspirited Minds’ epic workshop took place (if you haven’t read the review, you’ll find it below!). Now, school, college, university, and job hunting, has commenced, and we’re all just about settled into our refreshing ‘new’ year. Inspirited Minds has blossomed over the past few months, with the team expanding, with events in the process of planning, and small changes to make a big difference, In Shaa Allah.

Of course this article is not just an informal “welcome back, and bismillah!”, rather it’s the beginning of something noteworthy this month. Although October is pretty cold and you can feel winter kicking in, the light of hope beams through the bitter breeze of the promising days ahead. Get your calendars out and reminders up because, 10th October is World Mental Health Day! It’s not a holiday (unfortunately), but it is a celebration, not as in balloons and cupcakes, but a collective celebration with the intent to spread awareness and give hope. Having a day dedicated specifically to all mental health is a fantastic way of reaching out to millions of people, without even trying. Even if you reach one in a million people, you’ve still reached that one person. You could write a status, tweet about it, snap away for Instagram, or make it a topic of conversation. However way you want to express your support, you can do it – you can make someone feel acknowledged and hopeful. Therefore, we shouldn’t treat this day anything less than what it is, nor should we be pessimistic about the outcome, as it can and it will make a big difference (bi’idthnillah), but all it needs is a little effort and a small change to make it happen. Are you ready?

This year’s theme is “Dignity”.

Is that really all there is to it? The dictionary definition simply scratches the surface of what it means in our day to day lives. The word “dignity” has a different underlying meaning in all cultures and all religions, for example, in south Asian cultures, dignity for men and women vary in different ways. However in general for both genders it usually means upholding family traditions, behaving and dressing within cultural boundaries, and to not be the one that makes a scene i.e follow the crowd like sheep in whatever situation. In many cultures around the world, being respected and being considered of any worth means being in constant competition with your neighbour, but you should only outshine them in a halal way, so you wouldn’t brag about your new car if the only way you could afford it was to deal drugs, this applies to western cultures too – that way you don’t lose your dignity. However, dignity isn’t only referred to artificial objects and external appearances; it also applies to what’s inside you.

How is dignity and mental health related?

“Certainly We have given dignity to the children of Adam and carried them on land and sea and provided for them the good things and preferred them over much of what We have Created with [definite] preference.”
Qur’an 17:70

Allah (swt) has given us dignity, honour, value, worth and respect as human kind, regardless of race or nations. He has elevated us, by giving us many provisions and preferring us over other creation. As human beings, emotionally and mentally we can be content that we have been given dignity by Allah alone, and we know that no one has rights to subject us to humiliation or oppression – even prisoners in Islam have their rights upheld. We should take pride in being blessed creations of Allah, remembering to stay away from arrogance and remain humble, and always be content with what Allah has Willed us to have and battle through the tests of life. If Allah has given us dignity, what right do we have to take it away? Regardless of whether someone is depressed, has anxiety, suffers from eating disorders, or any other mental health problem – why should their dignity not remain intact?

Are you worth respect, honour and value if you are suffering?

Should you be ashamed and stripped of your dignity if you don’t fit the “normal” label in society?

What takes your dignity away?

Share your thoughts below!

Devon Muslimaat

Meanha Begum is currently studying a degree in Islamic Psychology where she has been given the blessing to explore her passions, Islam and Psychology. She relishes in the insight of an Islamic perspective to incorporate into psychology, to help those who have never been given a chance that every devout muslim, and non muslim deserves. Which is why she considers Inspirited Minds to be a huge blessing in her life. She has been brought up in a heavy western environment, where Islam was once far from her reach, but through trials and tribulations, she has managed to come out stronger and closer to Allah than ever before. It's simply her experiences, ideas, and open nature that pushes her towards wanting to help others out of their vulnerable places, through their journey, and into happiness, with tranquil souls.

One Comment

  • Abir says:

    Another great article (MashAllah), well done. They are always very informative and helpful if not for myself then for people around me. Keep up the good work In Shaa Allah. :)

    Answering your questions, yes, I think everyone is worth respecting, honouring and valuing even if they are suffering. If Allah ta’la treats us all equally then who are we to pick and choose who we treat good and bad? Nothing should take your dignity away and there should be nothing to be ashamed about, it can happen to anyone and everyone. Whether it’s mental illness or physical, it’s just a means of getting your sins cleansed, purifying the soul and having the Mercy of the Almighty. From my personal experience, I’ve seen almost everyone around me experience some sort of illness at some point in their life (and I don’t think I’m even that old) so don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to get the help you need regardless of what it is. Every illness requires a cure and it should not be left alone just because its not big, well known or ‘normal’. Wait, what is ‘normal’? Is it normal to be a bad person if 80% of the people in this world was bad people? No, so normal doesn’t mean anything in almost everything. Normal is just one stupid word invented to represent a common or consistent thing. Just because mental illness is not talked about as much as physical illness that’s the reason why its not normal? What are the chances of mental illness being ‘normal’ if it was talked about just as much as physical illness? High right? Yes, therefore it’s really important for us, and our society to promote all mental illnesses and make everyone aware of it. We all need to know most of the illnesses and recognise them when we see it and act upon it.
    May Allah ta’la give us all Tawfeeq, strength and understanding to stay on the right path and overcome such difficulties we may face, Ameen.

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