Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in our century with Muslims making almost 25% of the world’s population and yet our community seems to fail at helping our own hold back from suicide.

The Sunnah of strengthening the Ummah and community wellbeing is one of the core teachings of our faith which many of us treasure in our daily lives.

You may be someone who organises regular gatherings, treats friends like family and warmly greets any Muslim brother or sister who passes you by during your day. A question that remains for us all to reflect on is, how well are we looking after ourselves and those closest to us?

Allah says, “Surely We will test you with a bit of fear and hunger, and loss in wealth and lives and fruits, and give good tidings to the patient.” (Quran 2:155)

Hardship is ingrained into our lives in unique ways as Allah’s Way of drawing us near to Him in worship, but we can also look for aid through the blessings He has gifted us.

According to research conducted in 2020-21 by Australian Bureau of Statistics, nearly 20% of adults living in Australia experience severe psychological distress at any given time, including 3139 suicide-related deaths.

That’s nearly 4 million people living right here in Australia and unfortunately Muslims are not immune to this.

As Muslims in Australia, we face a wide range of mental health issues, including suicidal tendencies, stemming from stress, stigma, racial/religious discrimination and societal disadvantage as migrant populations.

Most of us force ourselves to strap up our boots and walk on, while many of us are still left behind.

Suicide is a harsh reality many families are facing following the death of their loved ones, but unfortunately their stories only make it a few steps into the community before being shut down as a taboo.

As a community, we have to reach out to our children, brothers, sisters, parents and friends, ask them how they’re really doing (physically and mentally), what is taking up their headspace.

Their answer might be a simple “I’m good” but that’s still a good start. Soon, these simple chats open up into conversations that could save their lives without even realising.

Knowing that someone cares enough to check up on them can make a big difference on how they view their lives and self-worth. The same goes for yourself. Are you OK? How are you feeling? Is there someone who you can trust to provide support and guidance?

Remember, our Prophet Muhammad (s) once said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with sleeplessness and fever” (Bukhari & Muslim).

The faith and trust we keep in Allah’s Plans are a strong protector against hardships, but it is also important for us to seek for support through the people Allah has blessed us with.

Contact us at www.nzf.org.au/contact or call 1300 663 729.