The Prophethood and Sadness

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad & Jesus were known to be men of melancholy.  Jesus in the bible is depicted as a “man of sorrows”.  European paintings of Jesus, such as Matthias Grunewald’s The Crucifixion and Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross, show him in a sad state.  The Quran states, in regards to the Prophet Muhammad’s sadness that people are not accepting the truth of Prophethood, “Perhaps (O Muhammad) you will kill yourself over them, that they do not believe.”, The prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad also said, “The Quran was sent down in sadness so read it in sadness.”

Popular religous leaders, however, such as Billy Graham describe Jesus as a divine therapist who can quickly eliminate depression and other troublesome emotions.  Graham even encourages people to pray to remove thier sadness, which he maintains, is a result of of sin. However, science has confirmed the link between genius and depression.  As Henri Freideric Amiel said, ” Melancholy is at the bottom of everything, just as the end of all rivers is the sea.”

Why is melancholy is important to a balanced mental health?  Psychologist Carl Jung researched this principle after the Toaist treatise, The Secret of the Golden Flower.  Through his studies, he came to believe that two things that appear to be opposites often are really “interdependent manifestations of the same principle”  Jung learned from his research that melancholy leads to understanding, Without melancholy, there is no “shaping of identity”. He concluded that melancholy is essential to mental health.  It prompts people to turn away from superficiality and to look deeper into the meaning of things. A melancholy mood keeps the mind questing, questioning, and leading to introspection.  In an increasing shallow world it helps people stay in touch with reality.

People nowadays do not accept their melancholy moods or view them as beneficial.  They seek to do away with it for good, its become a sort of religion itself, and guru who help people get rid of thier melancholy moods are treated as priests and priestesses.  Peoples aversion to sadness and pain stems from thier fear of dying.  Connecting to your melancholy state involves recognizing that everything and everyone is temporary.  There is no question that clinical depression is real and that for the severly depressed, such treatment is necessary.  Melancholy is the telescope to truth.  Instead of trying to lead a life of total happiness, the Prophet taught us to lead a life of “predictible opposites; with happiness comes sadness, with life comes death.  Life is a flow between these opposites, any attempt to stop this flow, is in fact connected to the fear of death.

The Prophet of Islam, encouraged people to be in a state of melancholy.  He said, “you would cry more and laugh less”, he taught to cry while reading Quran, he taught to cry in praying to Allah (God).  He many times went into spells of sadness.  Just as there is night and day, light and darkness, our sad mood can throw us into reality about ourselves and our world.  Every Prophet of God is depicted in the Quran in some state of melancholia.  So, embrace your sadness.

People nowadays do not accept their melancholy moods or view them as beneficial.  They seek to do away with it for good, its become a sort of religion itself, and guru who help people get rid of thier melancholy moods are treated as priests and priestesses.  Peoples aversion to sadness and pain stems from thier fear of dying.  Connecting to your melancholy state involves recognizing that everything and everyone is temporary.  There is no question that clinical depression is real and that for the severly depressed, such treatment is necessary.  Melancholy is the telescope to truth.  Instead of trying to lead a life of total happiness, the Prophet taught us to lead a life of “predictible opposites; with happiness comes sadness, with life comes death.  Life is a flow between these opposites, any attempt to stop this flow, is in fact connected to the fear of death.


The Prophet of Islam, encouraged people to be in a state of melancholy.  He said, “you would cry more and laugh less”, he taught to cry while reading Quran, he taught to cry in praying to Allah (God).  He many times went into spells of sadness.  Just as there is night and day, light and darkness, our sad mood can throw us into reality about ourselves and our world.  Every Prophet of God is depicted in the Quran in some state of melancholia.  So, embrace your sadness.

Comments are closed.