I recently wrote a blog post about the importance of applying real licenses to newly created and shared content. It would have been quite hypocritical of me to call for something and not practice it myself, so Islamic-Dictionary.com has now had a licensing overhaul and we are applying certain Creative Commons licenses to some of the content of the website.
The words "Open Source" are often associated with software development and open source software is software where the source, the underlying code that makes it work and the content can be read by anybody who wishes to look at how things work internally. You can take the source and make changes to improve it and rebuild the application, or a software developer will often reuse and adapt some parts of it into another program. And the words "open source" are often synonymous with "free" but sometimes open source software is not completely free and the details are mentioned in the license - a legal document explaining how the work may be used. There are different software licenses out there that can limit what you can do with the software and the source code, but not all licenses deal with just software. Licenses and the words "open source" can apply to any number of media, including books, articles, pictures, audio, video clips and anything else. In this article I will try to explain some of options available in terms of licensing and making things open source.
In Islam, the majority of religious books and materials are public domain, meaning they are free to distribute, be re-published and sold or incorporated into other works. This is because they tend to be hundreds of years old, the authors are long dead, no publisher has bought the rights to the books and no government inherits the rights for itself. This is a good thing and has meant that books and the knowledge they hold have been continually passed on throughout the ages; nobody has held a monopoly on their distribution and sale and costs have remained low as different publishers have competed with each other.
There is a strong movement in Muslim communities to keep books available and not attach restrictive licenses and high prices to publications. This is so they can benefit the greatest number of people and continue to be republished and spread throughout the community. It is in the spirit of Islam to spread knowledge and learning and applying a premium to religious knowledge is seen as something that restricts the learning of religion and this is not acceptable. The Quran is a great example of a book that is published by different publishers, in different scripts and languages and it is well distributed and cheap to purchase. This is because Muslim scholars have taught that it is wrong to make significant profits from selling the Quran and most publishers of the Quran keep the price low so they make just enough profit to keep the printing press running. Also, derivative works, such as translations or commentaries are often distributed in the same way. And books about the teachings of Islam are sold for low prices so people are able to purchase them too.
Now, when it comes to the modern age of computers, distribution has become very quick and easy. It is possible to download the text of many books or files such as audio clips, video clips and software very quickly and share it. There are numerous websites distributing Islamic books and other files. But there are a few problems that stem mainly from ignorance...
Some of these resources have been uploaded illegally. For example, some nasheed singers like Yusuf Islam, for example, produce audio CDs (and DVDs) with licenses clearly printed on them, but somebody has taken that CD, ripped the audio from it and uploaded the MP3s to the internet and is now distributing the CD for free. This is theft. It is Haram (forbidden) to take things and distribute them against the permission of the author. You have stolen from your fellow brother. As much as we might think it should be free or cheaper, we are not seeing the reality that someone spent a lot of time, effort and money producing, recording, printing and distributing the CDs and wants to recoup some of that expense in order to continue to produce more works. Theft impedes the production of future quality content and can increase its price, so to support a producer and keep prices low you should do the right thing and buy their stuff.
Other problems with the way things are distributed is the format. For example, a lot of books are published in PDF format or as a Microsoft Word document or in proprietary formats or placed on websites under different encodings and in non-intuitive layouts. There are ways of extracting the text from these but sometimes this requires great technical knowledge or it is impossible to do it because they are locked so they cannot be read by another program. This poses a great problem to people who want to redistribute things in a different format as there is a great deal of skilled technical work and quite often they have to resort to repetitive copy-and-paste manual work in order to get things done and the thought of copying-and-pasting text thousands of times stops anyone starting a project.
And the final problem, is that a lot of Muslim works are not distributed with information about their origins or licenses (if any). If you have produced something and put it on the internet it does not make it free - you still hold all the rights to it and legally I have no right to copy, modify or redistribute it without asking permission from you first! If you're going to create something or share it then please have a READ_ME file in the archive or metadata in the file or a disclaimer somewhere about where it can be obtained and under what license it is being distributed. This is important because if I want to use this content in a derivative work, distribute or sell it, I need to know that I have the permission of the author and it is allowed and I am not harming anyone in doing so.
People. If you're going to share something online or offline, please make sure to:
- Clearly state what license the work is published under (the freer the better), and the conditions for its use.
- Clearly state who the author is and where the original book or file can be obtained and how the author may be contacted.
- Distribute files in a high quality or mention how the high quality version can be obtained.
- Distribute the files in a standard open format.
- Spend some time on formatting the content in a logical and consistent way and distributing the content in multiple formats including useful formats such as XML using text encoded in UTF-8.
There are many licenses to choose from to license your work with. Here are a few I recommend with a small explanation. The licences are listed from most permissive to least permissive:
The Creative Commons (CC) Licenses -
- Public Domain: No rights are held by the original author - the work is free to whoever to do whatever they want with it.
- Attribution: Redistribute, modify, share, sell and add a new license to derived works, but any versions must carry the details of the original author and license.
- Attribution-ShareAlike: Same as above, but the CC license must be maintained and no other license must be used.
- Attribution-NonCommercial: Same as above but the work must not be sold. A different license may be applied.
- Attribution-NoDerivatives: You are not allowed to share modified copies of this work, but untouched copies can be shared or even sold as long as the original author is attributed.
- Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: You may modify, redistribute and share this work but not add a new license nor sell it.
- Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives: The most restrictive CC licence. You can't sell, make derivatives or relicense items under this license. You can only share it with the attribution to the original author.
The Creative Commons website has a great tool, a simple form you can complete to choose the most suitable license for your works.
Software licenses -
- MIT license: A software license allowing you to copy, share, sell and use other licenses are long as the MIT license is passed along too.
- The New BSD License: A software license where source code if free to modify and redistribute and sell, as long as the license is maintained.
- The Apache 2 License: A software license where source code is free to modify and redistribute but not to sell. Derivative works can have a different license assigned to them but must retain the original Apache license. Only the new work that is not under the Apache 2 license may be sold.
- GNU GPL: A software license which requires that the software remains free and that derivative works keep the same GNU GPL license.
And if none of these licenses appeal to you, you can create your own license based on one of the above. A lot of businesses that publish open source software license it under two different licenses - a free one for free projects and a pay one for commercial projects that use their source code. Some licenses have a time limit - they run out and become public domain after a set number of years. Some licenses are created for different forms of the same media. For example, some book writers have one license on hard-copy works but distribute the PDF/HTML copy on the internet under a different license. They are still able to sell hard copies in the book shops but people can also download the book for free. Some authors even allow you to translate the book under the same license. Surprisingly, this model works and there are quite a few example of books that are open source and can be bought from the book store and are available in more than one language thanks to volunteers translating the book! Anyway, whatever you decide in the end is your choice but I recommend you choose the least restrictive license you can to benefit the most people.
If you have produced something please share it in the comments. I can also recommend resources and help with finding good content and extracting text from different formats.
A resource shared is many new resources created.
The words Eid Meelad an-Nabi - The birthday of the Prophet Muhammed broken down:
Eid - celebration
Milad - birth/birthday
an (al) - the
Nabi - Prophet
The picture above is one of many large doors that are entrances into the Prophet's mosque (Masjid al-Nabawi) in Madina. The centre emblem says Muhammed Messenger of God. To view more pictures of Madina you can check out our photo gallery.
Fellow Muslim brother or sister - You might think yourself a regular person, an individual, a citizen of your country who just happens to be following the Muslim faith but you may not realize that you bear a large responsibility. You’re more than just a Muslim or a regular citizen, you're an ambassador, a representative for the Muslim religion and all the Muslims of the world. You may not have chosen this position but the raiment of responsibility is placed on your back whether you are religious or not and the only sensible thing you can do is make good of it.
You know that when a Muslim does a bad thing it affects not only themselves but also those around them. As a Muslim person you know this because people, sometimes fellow Muslims, have hurt you as well and you have seen how it affects the community. We can understand that sometimes people can be bad and it's not their faith (or even race or skin colour) that has made them hurt us. We know people can be good or bad. We know that if they had acted upon the teachings of Islam they would not have harmed us as Prophet Muhammed (SAW) taught:
We are taught to be forgiving. But when a Muslim hurts a non-Muslim who has had little exposure to Islam and the Muslims they don't see a single bad person has hurt them; No, they see that a Muslim, a follower of the religion of Islam has harmed them and they take this singular bad experience in collusion with the negative assumptions and propaganda against Islam and the Muslims to be evidence that all or most Muslims are bad people and that Islam instigates such behaviour. Muslims should know that the Prophet Muhammed said:
When you, as a Muslim person, do a bad thing you are not harming yourself and your victim, but you are harming the whole of the Muslim Ummah and especially your fellow brothers and sisters wherever you are. But when you do a good thing, not only do you benefit yourself and others but your righteous deeds improve the image of Islam and the view of the Muslims is raised. A goodly action may swing false and negative perceptions to a more positive attitude, from distrust to trust, from unfriendliness to friendship and from hate to acceptance. It benefits society as a whole when a Muslim does good things. As Muslims, ambassadors of the faith of Islam, we must take the responsibility of being good citizens and doing good deeds.
But the responsibility of being an ambassador is more than just to do good. They must also educate people. He or she must know what they are talking about. They must know their religion and they must also know their guest and their values because not knowing either or both of these can be disastrous to forming a good
relationship. If a person asks you a question about Islam then you are expected to be able to answer it correctly. Saying they don't know the teachings of their own religion, or responding with a personal opinion, or speaking without knowledge, or taking a stand against what your religion teaches is a terrible fault. A Muslim should be expected to know their faith and they also need to be able to make a valid point and stand their ground because not doing so is a personal as well as a public failure in front of others. What comes out of your mouth may misinform or harm more than the person you talked to so you have a responsibility to educate yourself. The Prophet Muhammed taught:
Even more than this, a Muslim is responsible for the actions of his fellow brother. If a person sees his Muslim brother or sister about to wrong another person then they must act to stop them and guide them towards doing the right thing. This is a proactive responsibility of the Muslim ambassador and is known as "Al-Amr bil Ma'roof wal Nahi 'an al-Munkar" - Enjoining good and forbidding evil. Also, if a Muslim sees that his brother needs help his must act to help him. Muslims need to protect, guide and help themselves, their brothers, their community and other people to make the world a better place. The Prophet Muhammed said:
The job of an ambassador is to build bridges between communities and thus must have a good relationship with his own people and with others. An ambassador spreads the ideals of friendship, community, correct understanding, righteousness and promotes integration. An ambassador follows the law and enforces it making sure that no person comes to harm. And an ambassador helps people before they get into trouble and he helps those he sees with a problem. This is the job of a good ambassador and of a good Muslim.
Over the Christmas holidays and into the new year Islamic-Dictionary.com had a poll about Christmas and if the Muslim visitors to the site celebrate it and a total of 357 votes were cast. Here are the results.
You can clearly see that most Muslims do not celebrate Christmas and this might have something to do with the fact that most Muslims who come to the site come from India and Pakistan where Christmas is not part of their customs. In hindsight it would have been a better idea to limit this poll to a western Muslim audience for a more interesting result... perhaps next Christmas.
Christmas is distinctly a Christian celebration to mark the birth of Christ, Jesus (PBUH), who Muslims love and respect as well, but we don't celebrate his birthday. There are numerous reasons why a Muslim would choose not to celebrate it. These include, in no particular order -
- There is no agreement on the actual date of the birth of Christ, and some Christians celebrate it after the new year and some in Spring. Pagan customs and traditions influenced the date chosen to be the 25th of December where once they glorified their pagan gods, now they celebrated the birth of Christ. Muslims actively avoid things associated with paganism and the worship of anything but the one God.
- Over the years the pagan heritage of Christmas was forgotten and replaced with the Christian belief that Jesus was the literal son of God and a demigod being one part of the holy trinity, or being god himself. This made the event about the celebration of a different God than what unitarians (Jewish, Christian or Muslim) could accept. People who believe in one God don't tend to celebrate a religious event of a group who believe in demigods or many gods.
- Christmas is now identified to be a distictly Christian celebration and as such Muslims do not really have a part in it in the same way as Christians do. If the tables were turned, we would not expect Christians to actively celebrate the two Muslim Celebrations or Eids.
- In Islam there are two official Eids or celebrations - Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhha and all Muslims agree on celebrating these. No other event is celebrated like these two and no other events are officially sanctioned in by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammed.
- The only person the grand majority of Muslims celebrate the birthday of is the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) (but then again not all Muslims believe
it should be celebrated).
- Islam and the Muslims have a distinct identity and the celebration of another religions' event makes us copy other peoples and for a Muslim to celebrate as well could be considered a form of approval for their religion and customs.
I'm sure there are more points to add to that list but let's get on with this blog post. In modern times Christmas has become about spending lots of money, buying large presents and eating lots of food and drinking too much. The social pressure to take part in the glutony is enourmous and the true Christian spirit of the event is quickly ebbing away as even fundamentalist Atheists have taken to celebrating it as it becomes a more secular event. Though it is becoming a more secular event its origins lie in paganism
so it will never be acceptable for the Muslims but there is some leeway.
Muslims in the west are often unsure what to do about Christmas. If their househole is extremely conservative or follow an extreme form of Islam they will actively avoid anything to do with Christmas, including sending Christmas cards or even saying Merry Christmas. Yet Muslims who have a libral background will get involved in everything that Christmas involves save for drinking alcohol and eating swine.
But the majority of Muslims in the west fall between these two extremes. They will avoid parties mainly because of the alcohol (Muslims are not meant to be around while alcohol is being served) but they will receive and send Christmas cards and also reply with Merry Christmas if it is said to them - they do not see their act of neighbourliness and kindness to be against their religion - and they appreciate that it is a joyous time for the people of the country and will be social and joyous as well.
I was recently contacted by a new father of a baby boy and he was wondering about choosing a suitable name for his new son. Quite a lot of emails I get are about the naming of people's new sons and daughters asking what the name means and if it is suitable but this was the first email asking me to suggest a name.
In Islam the naming of a new child is a very important responsibility of the parent. The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) recommended we give our children suitable names, explaining:
Through this blog post I was going to ask you guys to comment with a selection of your favourite boy and girl names and (optionally) explain why you like them.
I can't say I have a favourite name but I'll start off with a few names I like:
Boy's names -
Abdul Wadood - a name that reminds us of God's love
Abdullah - servant of God
Isa - Prophet Jesus - A nice name that doesn't often get used by Muslims as much as it should
Yahya - Prophet John (the baptist) - a reminder of martyrdom
Ilyas - Prophet Elijah
Elyes' - Prophet Elisha - a Prophet few people know about but should
Girl's names -
Jannah - heaven
Ayah - sign/verse from God
Zahraa' - rose
Dhuha - dawn
Noor - light
Maryam - Mary
ps - There's a new poll on the homepage about how you, as a Muslim, celebrate Christmas, if at all.
In the current Middle-Eastern climate of popular "Arab Spring" revolutions, with the people rising up against unjust, despotic and tyrannical dictatorships, understanding who Imam Hussain (AS) is and what happened to him is more important than ever.
"I learnt from Hussain how to achieve victory while being oppressed"
"Imam Hussain's sacrifice is for all groups and communities, an example of the path of righteousness"
Perhaps the most important thing, the thing we hold dear to us after God and our family are our friends, and the influence our friends have on us is not something negligible. There is a lot to consider when we choose our friends as this article will briefly convey.
Humans are naturally social creatures and we tend to try and find other people, groups to belong to - usually people who we share some interests, have things in common or can communicate easily with. This is why lasting friendships tend to lie within racial, cultural, social and religious boundaries, though it is not rare for people to have really good friends who don’t belong to their own community.
When we hear about peer pressure we don't like to admit that we have been affected because we believe we are not so easily influenced, but our friends have a great impact on how we turn out as we get older. Sometimes it's a bad influence and sometimes it's very good but do we pay attention to these things growing up?
If you remember back to your days in school, the people who were friends with "the smokers", for example, and hung around with them, more than likely ended up becoming smokers themselves. As young people, we yearn for acceptance and being liked so we end up doing things that aren't right or good - the feeling of belonging is sometimes stronger than knowing that something is wrong and we tend to forget our stances if all our friends' hold different opinions to us.
This is why, when choosing a friend, it is important to gauge the values of that person before you get sucked into their circle of friends and get negatively influenced and/or hurt. There a number of things to remember when first choosing a friend - what are their values? Are they trustworthy and truthful? do they flaunt the rules, lie, cheat, commit many sins, disrespect their parents, bully or mock other people, backbite, have bad manners and use foul language? Do they respect you and your beliefs and values?
It might seem strange but a lot of people are friends with people who do not respect them or their values and mistreat them. You cannot be true friends with someone who treats you badly and disrespects you so you must break off the friendship. Choose friends who like you for who you are and don't cause you trouble.
More than just being normal friends, a good friend can make you a better person and inspire you to do good things. You can tell a good person had good friends growing up because they do good things and are well mannered. Choose friends who are not only kind to you, but who inspire you to do good things like getting involved with charity, improving your community, increasing your knowledge, remind you of God and pray, and improve your future prospects in this life and the next.
The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) defines a good friend in these words:
A good friend can enter you into the kingdom of heaven and a bad friend can lead you into the fires of hell, so choose your friends wisely.
I expect the Muslims to know what Eid al-Adha is but not anyone else really, so I thought I'd write a little about this celebration to introduce it. The word "eid" means celebration or feast, so Muslims celebrate this day by dressing smartly, going to the mosque and praying the eid prayer, visiting friends and family, exchanging gifts and feasting together. Al-Adha roughly means "The sacrifice/slaughter". So all together it means the "Celebration of the Sacrifice". Muslims worldwide celebrate two eids annually, the other being Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month fasting, Ramadhan. Eid Al-Fitr and is the larger eid of the two.
"The Celebration of the Sacrifice", or Eid Al-Fitr, refers to the slaughtering of a ram (sheep). The backstory goes something like this: Prophet Abraham (PBUH), having lived a long life and being married to Sarah (RA) for a long while, was without any children because his wife was barren. The family wanted to have a child so Sarah asked her servant Hagar if she would like to marry Abraham and she agreed and sure enough she became pregnant. Soon enough the little baby boy was born and they called him Ismaeel (Ishmael). After a few years, Prophet Abraham started having dreams where he was commanded to take his only son to a certain place outside the city and slaughter him with a sharp knife. Now you can probably imagine how overjoyed they were, having been childless for so long, and then they were blessed with a child - now they became especially distressed that they would lose their only child. But Abraham, being a Prophet, knew it was a command from God and went to his son and told him what he planned to do. Rather than screaming, running-away or rebelling, the young Ishmael accepted this command from God and accepted his presumed fate. So the next morning, the Prophet took a sharp knife, some rope to bind the child's limbs together and awoke Ismaeel to guide him to an alter where he would soon carry out the slaughter. They walked a while before they got there and ishmael willingly presented his hands and legs to be bound, and they were, and he was positioned, ready for slaughter. Then Abraham raised the razor-sharp knife and uttered the name of God and was about to strike Ismaeel when God commanded an angel to stop him from killing his son and replace the child with a ram (sheep) to be slaughtered instead. Thus, both Ishmael and Abraham were tested by their Lord and succeeded and their spiritual stations were raised.
This story and many others related to the stories of Abraham, considered the grandfather of the Prophets, are commemorated by the Muslims during the pilgrimage rites. One of the rituals of the pilgrimage is the slaughter of an animal like a sheep, cow, camel or goat, and they cook and eat some of it and give the rest to friends, family and the poor. Eid al-Adha is also know as Eid al-Hujjaj - Eid of the Pilgrims - and Eid al-Adha marks the completion of the pilgrimage event. The day of completion is on the 10th day of the last month of the Muslim Calender, the month of Dhul-Hijjah. To read more about the pilgrimage, or hajj, please check out the About Islam section of the website - The Five pillars of Islam: Hajj (Pilgrimage). And if you would like to view some photos from Makkah and the pilgrimage and also from Madina, then please check out our Photo Gallery.
To commemorate world mental health day, 10/10/2011, I thought I'd write a post about the most common mental health problem people suffer from – depression.
Depression is more than just feeling down or temporarily unhappy, and depression doesn't come in just one form. Many things can affect our mood and increase our risk of falling into depression. Some risk factors include traumatic childhood experiences, conflict, unemployment, genetic predisposition, stress, boredom, bullying, childbirth and many other things and if you're a woman, you're more than twice as likely to seek treatment for it. Current numbers indicate that depression is on the increase and the current statistics state that between 8-12% of the population experience depression in any year with half them getting better after 18 months. (source)
The French philosopher Descartes once said "I think, therefore I am", and when it comes to depression this is key to our susceptibility and prognosis because the contents of our thoughts have a major influence on our emotions. Our outlook on life, our attitude to our own situation, how we interact with our environment all have a major impact on how we perceive the world. If, for example, you feel unloved, the world will appear unloving, and if you continue to have this kind of outlook and continue to tell yourself that you will never be loved then it will lead you on a trip to the darkest recesses of your soul, a downward spiral into a deep depression.
So, a lot of the potential for treatment lies in our own selves and how we think about things. Where possible and permitted, a person should identify and tackle the root cause of their ailment. Be proactive, try solving the problem or speaking with people who can help, like your family, friends, employer and doctor. If you can't solve the problem nor make a massive change in your life then you have to find a way to deal with it. Talking with friends and family is a starting point, but from hereon, your aim is not to deal with the root cause of the problem as you cannot change the past, your aim is to change your future, to handle the symptoms or secondary problems and reduce their influence. Your aim is to create a more positive outlook on your life and a better future.
As Muslims, we find strength from our faith and our belief and trust in Allah. Sometimes we feel all alone and with no one to seek help from when in fact we have God there to seek help and support from. If we seek treatment, Allah will help us on our way to getting better. We need to form a better understanding of life. We have to understand that we will all have some adversity in our life but we need to be patient:
[2.155] And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient,
[2.156] Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return.
[2.157] Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.
On the face of it, the reality of life is that we will all get diseases, suffer, grow old and die, but our attitude towards this reality makes all the difference. This is the human condition and there is nothing you can do about it apart from change your attitude towards it. In Islam, life isn't viewed as the be all and end all of existence. Our life is a gift from Allah and He uses it to test us to see if we are patient and obedient before He takes us into the afterlife where we will discover our fate. We need to understand the value of our own soul and this is why we need to form a better relationship with God. When we feel lonely and unloved, we must always remember that God is with us and that He loves and cares about us and He is never far from us. We can talk to Him and seek help from Him and He can help us get better and He has the power to improve our situation. Allah asks us to call on Him for support:
[2.186] And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.
Humans have an unmatched ability to make their own lives miserable and ruin the lives of others with them. Isn't it strange how we commit sins against our very own souls and against the people we love and our neighbours and wonder why we feel bad and ashamed or ask why we get punished in this life? The first step to becoming a better person and a better believer who Allah is more likely to help, is to reduce your sinning, right your wrongs and seek repentance from those you wronged and from Allah. Never lose hope in the forgiveness of Allah and pray to Him. It is said that one of the worst sin a person can do, aside from the obvious ascribing partners to Allah (shirk), or disbelieving in Him, is despondence and despair, or losing all hope in God and in His mercy and forgiveness. If we are depressed we may feel hopeless and powerless, but if we lose our trust and faith in Allah then we have committed a great injustice against our very own souls.
The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) has related:
"No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that" [Sahih Bukhari]
We might suffer in this life, but if we are patient and obedient to Allah then He will remove our sins and bless us manifold in the hereafter. If we go through a hard time, and we fight a good fight and we remain patient in adversity, we may come out better people, mentally and spiritually stronger at the end of it. Let us not forget, that there is something good in the bad things that happen to us and we are in far less dire a condition than other people in the world. Other people are dying of terrible diseases, people are watching their friends and family getting hacked to death and others are being tortured while we here are worrying about ourselves. And let us not forget that the most beloved people to Allah suffered some terrible fates – one has only to remember the fate of Imam Hussain ibn Ali (AS) and his family members, including his children, close friends and companions getting slaughtered one after the other, but he never lost trust in Allah and he prayed to Him throughout the massacre. And also of the Prophets of God, like Nuh (Noah), Ayub (Job) and Muhammed (PBUT). All of these holy and most beloved people to God were physically harmed by their enemies, belittled, called liars, became ill and suffered the loss of their own children.
Brothers and sisters, you are not alone and you have people who care about you. There is no shame is seeking help. You have Allah, your family and friends and if you need further help then please speak with your doctor. There are also books, help lines you can telephone (Muslim Youth Helpline 0808 808 2008) and websites you can visit to help you overcome depression inshallah.
I should state that I'm not a therapist of any sort, nor can I give any professional advice, and the aim of this article is to help guide you to seeking professional help if you require it. The statistics and non-religious advice mentioned in the article have been paraphrased from the books I read in researching the subject: Overcoming Depression by Dr Windy Dryden and Sarah Opie, and Overcoming Depression by Paul Gilbert.