In the two previous parts of the solutions to depression, we introduced some of the recommendations on how to avoid anxiety and stress in Islam. Those examples included both spiritual and material advice. And they show that Islam considers the existence of human beings as a whole. That is why Islam has forbidden the unlawful (Haram) “temporary solutions” of relieving stress and emotions (like starting a dangerous relationship or spending the time in bars, etc.). Since in those cases, one usually gets nothing for what he\she spends.
Many people try to keep up with the newest standards of body hygiene to prevent various diseases. The same should be done for the mental hygiene. Much effort is needed to have a healthy soul and prevent disorders like depression, anxiety, stress in Islam, etc.
Some approaches to reduce depression act like an immediate treatment. The problem with those solutions is that they give a good feeling at the beginning. It normally does not last long and later on results in adverse effects. So, one should avoid whatever undermines the consciousness or causes deeper depression. These are:
Whatever destroys one’s mind and deprives him of the ability to thinking and reason is a sort of intoxicant, then, must be abandoned ;
Alcohol is harmful and adversely affects the mind and the body. Imam Reza (AS) said that God has prohibited drinking alcoholic beverages since they contaminate the mind ;
Spending a lot of time with such a person will destroy the wisdom  and misleads whoever he/she interacts with;
Eating too much will degenerate one’s mind and weaken the thinking power [4,5]. According to Islamic teachings, overeating turns one to a weak-willed, sleepy, stupid person ;
Wasting time and doing nothing in life corrupt the mind ;
Making jokes and laughing too much causes one to seem stupid .
Moreover, anything that causes one to forget God and weakens one’s faith acts like a poison that darkens one’s soul:
The one who thinks that will live a long life and forget about his/her death insists on his/her mistakes and cannot catch up. Since he/she supposes that there are still many chances to compensate. This clouds his/her heart and soul ;
Vain conversations and hostility with others will weaken the soul ;
Having such great wealth can harden the heart ;
Whoever does a sin several times and repents each time but does not stop committing that sin, is known to mock God . It is also said that repeated sins seal and kill the heart ;
To spend time with those who are lost in their lives and oppose the divine guidelines, will mislead one to the wrong path .
Looking freely at any scene and anybody, especially non-Mahrams, causes anxiety and inquietude. Looking at a beautiful flower, for example, might take only some seconds but its smell and beauty stays in our mind longer. The same thing happens when looking at another person; especially due to the emotional impacts that men and women have on each other.
Staring at a non-Mahram will busy one’s mind with different thoughts for some time. It might also stimulate his/her feelings. Repeating these looks will cause one to get distracted and lose control in his/her mind. Also, it disturbs his/her inner peace and causes mental problems . That is why Imam Ali (AS) said: “Whoever keeps the gaze down, relieves” .
- M. al-Kulaynī, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 6, p. 412.
- S. H. al-Amili, “Wasail al-Shia”, vol. 25, p. 329.
- Karajaki, “Kanzul Fawaid”, vol. 1, p. 199.
- H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wasail”, vol. 16, p. 458.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 63, p. 72.
- N. Makarem Shirazi, “Tafsir Nemooneh”, vol. 6, p. 153.
- “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, p. 222.
- Ibn Babawayh, “Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih”, vol.4, p. 366.
- Ibn Babawayh, “Al-Khisal”, p. 228.
- M. al-Kulaynī, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 2, p. 300.
- M. al-Kulaynī, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 4, p. 168.
- Sheikh al-Mufid, “Al-Amali”, p. 83.
- stress in islam
- M. Reyshahri, "Mizan al-Hikma," T. 6141".
We already wrote an article on the concept of freedom of thought and freedom of expression in Islam. We argued that Islam encourages people to think about their actions and choices. And even when it comes to accepting Islam, Allah wants people to think and choose their path in life with reason and knowledge.
But the question that sounds a little contrary to freedom of thought is that if people are free to think, and then make their choices based on their knowledge and understanding, then why if a Muslim chooses to leave Islam, in some specific cases he is sentenced to death? Is it even true that leaving Islam is always followed by execution?
In this article, we will examine possible conflicts between freedom of thought and expression, and apostasy. We will also clarify if everyone who leaves Islam should be afraid of Muslims who want to kill him?!
There are so many verses in the holy Quran that show Allah does not want people to be forced to accept Islam. The most famous verse is when Allah clarifies that “There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become distinct from error” (2:256).
He explains that the truth has been explained by the Lord and whoever is willing can believe, and whoever is not willing is free to disbelieve. Nevertheless, He also mentions the consequences of being a disbeliever in the hereafter (18: 29). He emphasizes that it wasn’t a hard job for Him to make all the creation believe in Him, but He didn’t, and He tells His prophet: “will you then force men till they become believers?” (10: 99), while God has created human with free will and the capability to choose.
Freedom of thought is encouraged in Islam as long as it does not lead people and society toward divorcement. “The objective of speech and expression according to Islam is to build up love, tolerance, social harmony, and understanding among members to ensure a peaceful coexistence.”  Therefore, freedom of thought is permitted in Islam as long as it does not harm the society.
There is a fundamental rule in Islam, to which other rulings must not be contrary. A Muslim should neither be harmed nor should he harm anyone else. When thoughts are harmful to people in the society, Islam limits freedom in expressing the thoughts that may create social disorder, since one point that is important in Islam, is to provide people with efficient rulings and ideologies to prevent them from bewilderment.
If one believes in any other religion or ideology rather than Islam and lives with his belief, no one can force him to convert to Islam. Nor can anyone condemn him for not being a Muslim, because accepting Islam is a personal and rational issue and people cannot be followers of others in this regard.
But if a person who was born a Muslim or was converted to Islam freely and after personal investigations, leaves Islam, he is among apostates in Islam. However, not everyone who leaves Islam is sentenced to execution. An apostate who is sentenced to execution is the one who “renounces a religious or political belief or principle, not a person who is doubtful about principles of religion.” 
There are some main beliefs that denying them will make a person an apostate based on Islamic jurisprudence:
1. Denying God,
2. Denying monotheism,
3. Denying prophet-hood of the prophet,
4. Denying the prophet himself,
5. Denying the necessities of religion after knowing their necessity, such as prayer, fasting, almsgiving, etc.
6. Enmity with or humiliating the religion and its sacred places or books or beliefs.
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran; “He who disbelieves in Allah after his having believed, not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith, but he who opens (his) breast to disbelief-- on these is the wrath of Allah, and they shall have a grievous chastisement.” (16: 106)
In the above verse and other verses that talk about apostasy, there is no ruling about an execution sentence for the apostate. But in all the verses Allah warns them of a huge punishment in this world and the hereafter. 
Therefore, according to Most Muslim Jurists, if Muslims leave Islam because of their misconceptions about Islamic principles, they are not to face a death penalty, but even they have to be supported by other Muslims and Muslim scholars to continue their investigations until they find the right path in their life. 
But if an apostate leaves Islam, while he knows that Islam is the real truth, and expresses his ideas against Islam overtly and extensively, in a way that he misguides other people from this faith, then under some conditions he is sentenced to execution.
According to Mutahhari, the death penalty for an apostate is applicable only in the realm of the Islamic government for the interest of the Islamic society. 
Also based on the ruling of Ayatullah Khomeini with regards to Salman Rushdie’s book against Islam and the Prophet of Islam, if someone who lives outside the realm of the Islamic government, commits acts by which he would insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims, or threaten the interests of Islamic government, He is ruled to be sentenced to execution.
As the rulings on the execution sentence for apostates in Islam is based on different aspects that can be realized by the jurists and may vary from time to time, based on the conditions of the time, there is no exact definition for the apostate who is sentenced to death. And if the death penalty applies to an apostate, it will be notified by the Muslim jurists.
- Bhat AM (2014) Freedom Of Expression From Islamic Perspective. Journal of Media and Communication Studies 6: 69-77.
- apostasy in Islam
- the Quran: [2: 217] & [5: 54]
- Hilli, Hassan bin Yusuf, Tahrir Al-Ahkam, vol.2, p. 336
- Makarem Shirazi, N. Maktab e Esalam, year 24, No. 6
Islam, as the last divine monotheistic religion, is the most perfect of the religions: “Today I have perfected your religion for you… and I have approved Islam as your religion.” (5:3). By introducing Islam, Allah has completed His blessings upon human beings (5:3). In other words, Islam provides everything that humans need to reach their perfection and salvation in the afterlife ; what they require for a divine life in this world and the tools they need for their social life, too; including their rights and responsibilities. The Islamic responsibilities of each individual towards others were thoroughly discussed previously. Here, the focus will be on Islamic responsibilities that concern the rights and benefits of people in society.
When reviewing the Islamic teachings, one can notice the importance of congregation, unity, and brotherhood in the society. That is why many duties such as those to parents, neighbors, relatives, sick people, the elderly, the young people, mentors, etc. as various members of society are defined in Islam. Doing good to orphans, those in need, the traveler and the beggar, and freeing slaves (2:177) is another Islamic principle that concerns the members of society.
Hence, it can be concluded that in most cases, Islam has preferred the benefits of the congregation over the individual, even if it imposes a limitation or a loss to the individual. This can be compared to some of the social rules that aim to bring order in society but are limiting to individuals (e.g., red light).
In Islam, there is no place for arrogance and racism, but brotherhood towards other Muslims and a general sense of humanity towards every human being have been encouraged . According to the Quran, the diversity of life and the various languages and colors of human beings are all signs of Allah’s majesty (30:22). Also, as Islamic teachings suggest, no privileged class exists, and everyone is equal in society, the only criteria for superiority over others is having piety or moral excellence (49:13).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) has also emphasized this in a narration where he (PBUH&HP) says that all human beings are from the same father (Adam (AS)) and no nation or race is superior to the other . In another narration, he (PBUH&HP) says that whoever knows more than others is more respected , and he repudiates the discriminations based on tribe, origin, color, and wealth.
By many of its rulings and duties considered for its followers, Islam aims to direct the attention of each individual to other’s needs. One way of achieving this goal is through the Alms-Tax (Zakat). Zakat is an exact amount of money that must be paid according to the rules of Sharia to be used in favor of the people in need or for certain beneficial deeds in society. Zakat can be given to poor people or can be spent on public welfare or creating jobs.
It should be noted that one can directly pay Zakat to the needy people only under the permission of his/her religious expert (Marja’). The aim is to manage and organize the resources by an expert aware of the requirements of the society; Marja’. This is one of the solutions to prevent a particular group of community to manipulate the economy. It empowers those who have been neglected in society to become productive and useful.
Sadaqah is giving away something (money, clothes, food, teaching, etc.) voluntarily to someone in need without expecting anything in return and with the intention of pleasing Allah: “spend from what we have provided you” (63:10). Giving charity in the form of Sadaqah is highly recommended in Islamic teachings. However, the manner of giving charity is of high importance in Islam. Sadagah should be offered discreetly to needy people rather than in public with the intention of showing off and pretending to be generous. This means that Islam encourages the preservation of human dignity.
Here, we reviewed a general Islamic viewpoint that guarantees the rights of every member of the society and the importance it gives to social expediency. These Islamic recommendations will ultimately promote human rights and dignity.
- M H Tabataba'i, “Tafsir al-Mizan”, Surah Al-Maidah.
- islam and humanity
- M. Karajaki, “Ma’dan al-Jawahir wa-Riyadat al-Khawatir”, p. 21.
- Shaykh Saduq, “al-Amali”, p. 27.