And whoso honors the sacred things of Allah, it will be good for him with his Lord. … Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth, remaining ever inclined to Allah, not associating anything with Him. And whoso associates anything with Allah, falls, as it were, from a height, and the birds snatch him up, or the wind blows him away to a distant place. (Al Quran 22:30-31/31-32)
Research shows kids raised with spirituality are happier and healthier in the vulnerable teen years.
Eighteen years ago, Lisa Miller, now the director of clinical psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College, had an epiphany on a New York subway car. She had been poring over the mountains of data generated by a three-generation study of depressed women and their children and grandchildren. The biological trend was clear: Women with severe—and particularly with recurrent—depression had daughters at equally high risk for the psychological disorder. At puberty, the risk was two to three times greater than for other girls. But the data seemed to show that the onset and, even more so, the incidence of recurring bouts with depression, varied widely.
Miller couldn’t discern why. Raised in a close-knit Midwestern Jewish community, she had already looked for what she says psychologists rarely bothered to seek—religious belief and practice—and found some mild benefit for both mothers and children, but nothing that stood out among the other variants, such as socio-economic status. Then came the subway ride.