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I Don’t Want to Live Anymore

Questioner

Am

Reply Date

Feb 02, 2017

Question

I am at that stage of my life where I do not want to live, but at the same time I don't want to die. The reason I don't want to live is that my life is full of stress and tension. Major ailments ranging from temporomandibular joint disorder to mental disturbances which are due to stress. I am stressed because of the following things; 1. My parents never appreciate me although I bring 80-90% grades in my college. Plus they never support my decisions. When I compare my life with other students, it really makes me feel stressed. I have few serious ailments which, if not cured, they will lead to surgery, but my parents say it is normal. I am the man who gets a pocket money of 10 rupees a day while my father’s salary is 40000 rupees almost. Still, they look at me as if I am a spendthrift. I remain aloof from people because they spend as they wish, but I can't. Still no worries. They are my parents, but at least they must appreciate my engineering degree. They still say you don't study. 2.Till the time I was in my village, I used to pray regularly. In fact, I was the favorite student of my Islamic teachers because of my talent, honesty and love for Islam. But since I had to move to the city for study purpose, I have never prayed regularly. I got involved in social networking sites and I am still in that habit. I strive very much, but never get successful. It makes me stressed very much. I spend 10 hours on average on phone and chats. I always try to develop a study habit and establish prayer, but I haven’t succeeded so far. My inspiration dies almost after two or three days. So, neither people are happy with me nor I have made my Lord happy. Why am I living then? I don't want to die because I don't have such deeds that I can go to jannah with directly. Also, I don’t have any one who could understand me. Tell me what I should do.

Counselor

Answer


Don't want to live anymore

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear brother,

I am so sorry you feel as if you do not want to live, nor do you want to die. It is a very hard place to be emotionally, and this feeling sometimes results from severe internal conflict and loss of hope of resolution. You referred to it as a “stage” in life wherein not wanting to live and not wanting to die is not a stage of life but rather a deep feeling based on a variety of factors such as hardships in health, finances, family issues, depression and other mental illnesses.

Dear brother, I urge you to consider your statement and make a list of those things in your life that are worth living for. Then make a list of your accomplishments. In sha’ Allah, please make a list of your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Please, review these lists in depth. Ponder upon them and their significance in the desire to live. Write a few paragraphs as to what is the significance of your living, and what it means to you as a Muslim.

Next, please, write a list of your reasons for not wanting to live. Above you mentioned a few of your concerns. You mentioned that your parents do not appreciate or support you, or appreciate the hard work you did for your engineering degree. While we seek to please our parents, brother, you are now 23, a full grown man capable of choosing your field of study as well as taking care and pride in attaining it. While you may feel that your parents may not appreciate your studying and attaining good grades, the only important is that you strive to fulfill your obligations for a career path that will enable you to be a productive, self-supporting man who will someday, in sha’ Allah, support a family. Your career choice is in alignment with Islamic guidelines, brother, so while your parents don’t appear to be happy at the moment, in sha’ Allah, they will be in the future, and you should be proud of your efforts now.

You mentioned that you have some health issues and health issues are not a surprise but things that most humans go through at one time or another. Your time is now, and I kindly suggest brother that you attend to your health issues now rather than wait.

Additionally, while you may feel it is unfair for you to have health problems now, and you may feel depressed because of it, please do remember that Allah (swt) tests us with many things in our life. For every pain or illness we go through, Allah (swt) removes one of our sins. Additionally, if you trust in Allah (swt) and seek the needed treatment, you can, in sha’ Allah, be rid of these concerns soon and continue on with your life in a stronger manner having survived one of life’s tests. Regarding life’s tests and trials that we go through, the Qur’an states,

 “And that Allah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers”. (3:141)

Brother, you also compare your life with other students which stresses you and makes you feel bad that you get only 10 rupees a day while your father’s salary is almost 40000. First of all, do not compare yourself to others. The only one you need to please is Allah (swt), your family (to a certain degree relating to respect), and your goals in life as a Muslim and a man.   Further, as a young man, your father does not owe you any rupees; what he gives is out of the kindness of his heart. Do you know that some young men (and women) get no assistance from their parents? They must not only go to the university but also work to pay their way. So, please brother, in sha ‘Allah, re-evaluate your perception of what you think your father owes you and please show gratitude for what he does do for you. Allah (swt) loves a grateful heart.

Given you have identified some of the things that bother your soul, dear brother, I would say you have great insight into some of your problems. This is the first step towards healing and resolution. Identifying strong points (such as getting an engineering degree) and knowing our weak points (not keeping prayers) is vital to coming to a resolution of how to take the necessary steps towards healing. One of the main points in healing our despair is rectifying our relationship with Allah (swt).  You mentioned that you have tried to do so by establishing a study and prayer habit but have failed to do so. So, I would ask, what is interfering with these most important things? Your praying is your core lifeline in the here and in the afterlife, and your studying is the core for your career and success in this life.

Also, you stated that you used to pray, but you no longer keep your salats although you feel you have been trying to make efforts. Additionally, you (as a lot of students who live away from home) have gotten caught up in excess chatting and internet use.

I would kindly suggest brother that you look at the environment and circumstances under which you were able to serve your Lord (swt) and keep your prayers. If needed, make a list of the factors, activities, and variables that were conducive to your keeping your salats and feeling close to Allah (swt). When you have identified these factors, try to replicate the environment and activity status in order that you may get on the right path as soon as possible.  This may include going to the Masjid more, increasing time spent with Muslim friends, as well as reading Qur’an on a daily schedule, doing dhkir and making du’aa’ for Allah (swt) to grant ease and mercy in your journey to get closer to Him as well as getting back on your deen.

Also, cutting down on your internet and chatting time will help greatly as it sounds it has become a distraction as well as possible addiction which interferes with not only your studies but your relationship with Allah (swt) as well. These points are vital brother, and I pray that in sha’ Allah you seriously consider revising your habits regarding this.

Brother, you stated that “people are not happy with you nor is your Lord”. I would kindly suggest that you focus on your relationship with Allah (swt). Don’t worry about what other people think regarding your studying and career as long as you are doing your best and it is a career you will be happy and productive in.

I also kindly suggest that you seek counseling for possible depression. Please, call the suicide hot line should you ever feel overwhelmed with suicidal ideation. Their numbers are: 913324744704 or 9133 24744704, depending on your location.

I am confident that you will do the right thing, brother. I am sure that you will be able to see the value and joy in your life and strengthen your iman to increase your hopefulness and happiness. Allah (swt) loves you and is most merciful.

You are in our prayers brother, please let us know how you are doing.

Salam,

***

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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