Home Quranet Chapter 12 What can we say to someone who is depressed because of sickness or an injury?
What can we say to someone who is depressed because of sickness or an injury?
Chapter 12

وَنَبِّئْهُمْ عَن ضَيْفِ إِ بْراَهِيمَ * إِذْ دَخَلُواْ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُواْ سَلاماً قَالَ إِنَّا مِنكُمْ وَجِلُونَ * قَالُواْ لاَ تَوْجَلْ إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلامٍ عَلِيمٍ * قَالَ أَبَشَّرْتُمُونِي عَلَى أَن مَّسَّنِيَ الْكِبَرُ فَبِمَ تُبَشِّرُونَ * قَالُواْ بَشَّرْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَلاَ تَكُن مِّنَ الْقَانِطِينَ * قَالَ وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إِلاَّ الضَّآلُّونَ (سورة الحجر, آية 51-56)

Tell them about the guests of Abraham. When they entered his presence and said, "Peace!" He said, "We feel afraid of you!" They said: "Fear not! We give thee glad tidings of a son endowed with wisdom." He said: "Do ye give me glad tidings that old age has seized me? Of what, then, is your good news?" They said: "We give thee glad tidings in truth: be not then in despair!" He said: "And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord, but such as go astray?" (Surah 15, Verses 51-56)

Ayad finished school early one day. "What fun! We were let out early. I'll go and rest a little and then I can go for a training session before the big contest", he thought to himself. The day he was awaiting was coming closer. Next week was the bicycle competition, which he had been eagerly waiting because he hoped to win the cup. It had always been his dream but suddenly....
He woke and saw vague figures dressed in white around him. What was going on? Was this a hospital? What was he doing there? How did he get there? Why was he in such terrible pain...his leg and arm were suspended in the air. Suddenly he heard a nurse calling out to a doctor: "Come here, he's awake". Why was his mother crying? The doctor came over to the bed and said: "Good morning, Ayad, how do you feel?" "Tell me what happened to me", replied the frightened boy. The doctor told him he had been hit by a car while crossing the road on the way home from school. "You lost consciousness and they brought you here. It's a miracle that things are not worse", he added. Ayad's entire body hurt and he asked the doctor how long it would be before he was better. The doctor said it would be some time because he would have to undergo surgery on his leg. Ayad said nothing but thought to himself that now he would not be able to take part in the bicycle contest and was very depressed at the thought...His depression deepened, he refused to eat or drink and when his friends came to visit him he refused to talk to them. He had been obliged to give up his dream of winning the cup, so what was left to him in life?!

Ayad's parents and siblings tried to console him, and so did his friends, but without success. They brought him candy and gifts, and promised that he would be able to ride his bike again but nothing helped. Ayad cut himself off hiself from the world. Then one day his teacher, Faten, of whom he was very fond, came to visit him. She asked him how he was and he told her that the doctors had inserted a plate in his leg and told him that he would never be back to his old self. Faten took out a copy of the Quran and asked his permission to read him the story about the Prophet Abraham: "Tell them about the guests of Abraham...They said: "We give thee glad tidings in truth: be not then in despair!" He said: "And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord, but such as go astray?" "Since I know you", she added, "and I know that you are not one of those who go astray, I am sure that you, like Abraham, will not despair. And I want to teach you one more thing. With determination you can achieve anything. If you want to, you can go back to being the way you were". For the first time since the accident, Ayad smiled.

Explanation: many people sink into depression when they are seriously ill, undergo surgery or are injured. When someone feels that their body is betraying them, they naturally tend to be depressed. This is true of people recovering from surgery. Relatives and friends can help and encourage the patients and their presence is vital to the convalescence process. However, when the crisis is great, as in the case of Ayad, whose dream has been shattered, convalescence can be even harder. In such cases, faith is a vital element which can endow the individual with strength and extricate him from his depressed state. Faten said it beautifully through a story from the Quran which made the point that only those without faith despair while true believers never lose hope. It is not surprising that Ayad smiled. His faith had been restored.