"Try reading Qur'an. You're probably struggling because your faith is weak." These are among the many statements Muslims suffering from mental health problems often hear.
The struggle with mental illness is all the more challenging in some Muslim communities, where mental health patients face a slew of misconceptions.
Well, to all the Muslims who ascribe mental illness, particularly depression, to lack of faith, one Muslim sheikh has the perfect response.
Sheikh Azhar Nasser, a Vancouver-based Muslim lecturer, recently took to Twitter to urge people not to tell others to "treat their depression by solely reciting Qur'an."
"When someone breaks their leg, you don't tell them to just read Qur'an without seeing a doctor"
In his tweet, which has garnered over 16,000 at the time of writing, Sheikh Nasser addresses those who undermine the struggle of depressed Muslims.
He asserts that depression is undoubtedly a health condition and asks people to treat it as such.
He notes that when someone suffers from a leg injury, no one tells him/her to cure it by reading Qur'an. He goes on to ask, "Why do we do this to those who are depressed in our communities?"
Speaking to StepFeed, Sheikh Nasser explained that "mental illness and depression are serious issues in our communities," adding that society will be held accountable for the repercussions of its ignorance.
"They (depressed people) are often dismissed as people just 'feeling down.' With that attitude, God will hold our communities responsible for any person who ends up taking their own lives," he said.
In a previous tweet, Sheikh Nasser said he has recently met several depressed individuals, sharing some friendly advice to all those suffering from the disease.
"Remember that patience isn't suffering in silence. It is looking at the thorn but seeing the rose. Stay hopeful," he wrote.
The people of Twitter lauded Sheikh Nasser for his views on depression in Muslim communities, especially since the majority of Muslim clerics fail to adequately address the issue.
It's high time we acknowledge that depression is a serious health condition
People agree that mental health is a taboo topic in Muslim communities
Many are thanking Sheikh Nasser for highlighting the issue
"Say it louder for the people in the back"
Here's hoping the message resonates
But it's not just a Muslim problem
Sheikh Nasser is not your typical cleric
While Muslim clerics and preachers are often thought of as characteristically serious and stern, Sheikh Nasser boasts an active social media account in which he uses humor and witty analogies to send his message across.
He recently garnered online attention with his funny takes on his role as a Muslim scholar. He won the internet over with tweets about some of the most common questions he receives, along with his sarcastic responses to them.
Sheikh Nasser also often highlights important yet inadequately discussed topics.