In the era we are living in today, stress and stress-related illnesses such as depression and anxiety are becoming of the biggest killers, and the effects that they have on our emotional and physical health can be devastating. Stress, as a highly personalized phenomenon, varies between people depending on individual vulnerability and resilience. How could one build up that strength required to beat the stress in Islam?
Here are some of the solutions that Islam proposes.
In Islamic teachings and narrations, the faith in God is known to be the first and the most efficient approach to achieve the inner peace and the control over anxiety and stress in Islam. Imam Ali (AS) said that having faith in God equals being safe and secure  &. Believers know that there is a goal behind every happening. They believe that God is just; hence, they have not been just created and left to live some days in this world and suffer for nothing. But, they are created to pass all the difficulties to reach the perfection that they deserve.
That is why a believer rarely loses hope and even if gets disappointed, knows that he/she has a God who has promised to help him/her: “you who have faith, if you support Allah, He will support you” (47:7); “Whoever is wary of Allah, He shall make for him a way out [of the adversities of the world and the Hereafter]” (65:2). The opposite view on this matter is that life evolved spontaneously. This implies that there is no wisdom or goal behind the actual and future happenings, and this can be stressful by itself.
As stated earlier, the faith in God is the key to the inner peace. To be efficient, the faith should be practiced and manifested in one’s acts. Here are some practices that increase one’s faith in God and also relieve the stress in Islam.
The two possible ways to remember God are prayer (Salat) and invocation (Dua). In Surah R’ad it is stated that the hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance (13:28). Also, God has promised: “Remember Me, and I will remember you” (2:152). The more consciously and concentrated one does the prayer and invocation, the more relief he\she will experience. During prayers, one spends some moments talking to God as the superior infinite power in the universe. This helps to overcome sorrow, just as talking with another person might do.
Reading the Quran and perceiving the divine messages is another practice that brings considerable relief. The caring advises that exist in Quran and that nice feeling of knowing that the creator of the whole universe is mindful of us, are relaxing. It is narrated from Imam Ali (AS) that the cure for the illnesses can be found in the Quran . Also, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has advised reading Quran regularly as it lightens the heart and makes it alive .
Fasting is known to be an anti-stress practice . One of the reasons that one feels stressful and anxious is the lack of determination. He/she often thinks that he/she is not able to ameliorate such a condition, nor can he/she control his/her confusing thoughts. But fasting is a good chance to strengthen one’s character and to change the attitudes and acts.
In addition to spiritual practices mentioned above, some other activities are known in Islam to heal the stress:
Seeking knowledge and wisdom is believed to enlighten the heart and keeps it alive and active. Imam Ali (AS) said: “Surely the hearts get tired just like the bodies, so seek for them new objects of wisdom” . It is encouraged to seek wisdom, for Allah enlivens the dead heart through the light of wisdom just as He enlivens the dead earth through water from the sky . So, one should dedicate some time every day to read or listen to the wisdom that inspires him spiritually.
Idling the days away and almost doing nothing in life are severely blamed in Islam since it is believed to corrupt one’s mind and body . A corrupted mind might tempt to perverted thoughts and imaginations, evil intentions, laziness, etc. that will ruin one’s life in this world and the Hereafter . Imam Sadeq (AS) has strongly disapproved laziness and apathy &. The reason is that these two characteristics hinder one to profit from this world and the Hereafter  and cause him to be humiliated by the others  which can lead to the isolation of the lazy person and the consequent psychological problems.
- “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, T. 771.
- “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, T. 2839.
- “Nahj al-Balagha”, p. 223, no. 158.
- H. al-Bahrani,“Al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Quran”, vol. 1, p. 19.
- M. Reyshahri, "Mizan al-Hikma," T. 10671".
- “Nahj al-Balagha”, No. 197.
- stress in life
- Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, "Al-Irshad", vol. 1, p. 298.
- “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 300.
- M. al-Kulaynī, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 5, p. 85.
- “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 304.
To address this question, we need first to clarify what we mean by ‘human rights’. Does the term refer to the so-called Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UDHR? Or does it simply refer to the rights of humans in a general sense?
To start with, Islam does indeed confirm the basic human rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UHDR. That is to say, rights such as the right to life, freedom, equality, etc. are acknowledged by Islam. However, the way Islam looks at these concepts may be different.
That is probably the reason why the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, the CDHR, was composed some years later. The declaration included nearly the same basic human rights mentioned in the UHDR; what distinguishes the two, however, is the special perspective of Islam on the Human Being and the subject of rights.
Before examining human rights from an Islamic perspective, the following points may be considered: Is the concept of human rights a ‘modern’ phenomenon? Are human societies, let’s say human authorities, to define certain rights for human beings? If so, are these established rights all-inclusive? Can they be applied to every human being regardless of time and place or any other particular circumstances?
It seems that Islam has a distinct perspective on human rights; something that has to be elaborated in more detail.
Firstly, Islam views rights as being inherent in human beings. This means that, according to Islam, God has granted humans certain rights since the very beginning of creation. There seems no need for a group of people to establish rights for human beings; whether it be the United Nations or any other international institution.
This can explain, to a great extent, any dissimilarity between Islam and the UDHR. Accordingly, there may be certain rights recognized by Islam that are not found in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and equally, there may be rights stated in the UDHR that are not recognized by Islam.
If we have a closer look at the Islamic traditions, we realize that not only they have addressed human individual and collective rights in some great detail, but also gone beyond our ‘modern’ definition of the rights of humans! They have introduced something much more valuable, that is, ‘human dignity’!
To begin with, the Holy Scripture of Islam, the Quran, looks upon humans as one endowed with dignity. Human beings’ dignity refers to their advantages. This means that God has endowed them with sublime traits .
"Certainly We have honored the Children of Adam ….. and preferred them with a complete preference over many of those We have created" (17:70).
Also, all humans are children of Adam and are created from clay. They are equal regardless of gender differences, ethnicity, color, etc.
"Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another"(49:13).
There are plenty of writings on the subject of rights in Islamic resources, amongst which Imam Sajjad (AS)’s The Treatise on Rights is one of the best. Imam Ali b. al-Hussain (AS), known as Sajjad (the Often in Prostration) , has left a comprehensive account on the issue . Almost 50 rights and duties are introduced and discussed in this momentous document; it includes various social relations of any individual such as rights of parents, spouses, children, neighbors, teachers, students, believers, the leader of Congregational Prayer, the government, etc. It also defines the duties that humans have towards their ‘self’ and even their organs:
“The right of your ‘self’ (nafs) against you is that you employ it in obeying God.”
“The right of the tongue is that you consider it too noble for obscenity, accustom it to good, refrain from any meddling in which there is nothing to be gained, express kindness to the people, and speak well concerning them.” 
The treatise was written centuries ago, yet it addresses not only the issue of rights in an extensive manner, but also illustrates the ethical principles of citizenship in detail:
“The right of your neighbor is that you guard him when he is absent, honor him when he is present, and aid him when he is wronged… if you know of any evil from him, you conceal it…You do not forsake him in difficulty, you release him from his stumble, you forgive his sin, and you associate with him generously”.
“The right of the people of your creed is harboring safety for them, compassion toward them…you should love for them what you love for yourself and dislike for them what you dislike for yourself…” .
Our concise examination of the Islamic viewpoint on the subject of human rights implies that Islam does recognize human rights. Nonetheless, a particular Islamic perspective on human beings as the honored creature of God with specific rights and duties has to be taken into consideration.
- "Statement on Human Rights" (PDF), Retrieved 2017,
- Islami, S. H. (2005). Retrieved 2017, from Noormags
- Javadi Amuli, ‘Abdullah. Sources Of Human Rights In Islam. Retrieved 2017, from
- ‘Life of Imam Sajjad (a.s)’. Retrieved 2017, from http://shiastudies.org/article/imam-ali-b-al-husayn-al-sajjad-beginner
- ‘Risalat al-huquq’. Retrieved 2017, from http://en.wikishia.net/view/Risalat_al-huquq_(book)
- TREATISE ON RIGHTS (RISALAT AL-HUQUQ). Retrieved 2017,
We are far ahead of the time when people lived in actual social networks. People living in a town or village were in a strong relationship with one another, and of course, it served them well.
But, maybe people were too closely related back then. And it had its downsides, too. “Give me a break, please, I need some privacy!” That’s what we said to the social life of the past times. The modern way of life ascribed so much importance to our privacy. This, too, had its downsides and sometimes made us feel so lonely. It didn’t quench our need to see and be seen. We needed to share more.
But, modern life and technology also had the answer to that. They provided an unaccountably cheap and easy way of making relationships, without the need for getting quite out of our private zone; virtual Social Networks!
Well, that’s great! We can get to know about our family and friends without spending much time or money. We can easily make thousands of friends from around the world. We can share our ideas and lifestyle with them and get to know about theirs. Like all other inventions, there are many good ways to benefit from social networks. And there being many good ways to benefit from something, is somehow equal to its lawfulness in Islam.
“… who bids them to do what is right and forbids them from what is wrong, makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things…” (7:157).
But is using social networks in Islam forbidden? Does Islam have any special resistance to these networks? Well, not really. And the rules on what we should do and what we should try to avoid are pretty much the same as the ones we need to observe in actual communications.
Therefore, as we are always careful to avoid any harm in our actual relationships , we should also do the same in these virtual sites of getting together, and try not to go for the bad things that might be found in there, nor spread things that might do more harm than good to others or to the society.
That means even if it is a boy-girl or man-woman relationship, there is nothing wrong with it as long as it is an upright, righteous, and honest one, and as long as you observe modesty and the rules of covering, the same way as a relationship between men and women in the outer world.
Also, Islam very much calls us up to mind the circles we move in , which are, more or less, a representation of our character and inclinations! Do our friends and groups in social networks –as well as in the real world– help us and change us for better? Or that they are just fun for a short time and may bring us lasting sorrows and regrets? 
You might have noticed that conventional social networks, being inherently so cheap and easy, tend to make everything cheap and easy in all respects… and maybe too much so sometimes!
Suppose you share a highly valuable and precious post on Facebook –which is the easiest way to share it, of course– and your friends would barely spend five seconds to look at it!
We are in the habit of taking everything easy in these virtual places; even our relationships. We don’t care that much about what we see or share, and sometimes about the kind of relationships we are making, while, to the contrary, a Muslim is always required to be watchful of his or her doings! 
So, apart from the benefits of being cheap and easy for use, they also make it easier to lie, to pretend, or to do any wrong. We may not be quite conscious that some of our relationships in the social networks could be, more or less, a kind of betrayal of our wedlock! Or a little too open to be modest and righteous! For, according to Islam, a husband’s level of modesty affects that of his wife and vice versa.  That means, the more righteous a spouse, the more so will be the other! That’s why it is even more important here never to forget that, little as it may be, a wrongdoing is always wrong, whether in a virtual social network or out there in the real world.
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (99:7,8)
- Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 26, p. 14, Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, vol. 1, p. 90
- Al-Amali, p. 518, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 167
- Quran, 25:27,28
- Quran, 59: 18, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 349
- Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 5, p. 317