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Caught between Guilt and Fear at Work

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 23, 2018

Question

I have been recently facing problems and increased stress at work because of which I have started delaying certain tasks at work and for which I end up over-promising and under-delivering. I understand that this is one of the signs of being a munafik (hypocrite). Essentially, my case is that of not having enough tawakkul on Allah (trust in Allah). I have always had an anxious personality, and I have feared things that I don't understand. Sadly, at work, I am being tested by the very same fear over and over again. I understand and appreciate the fact that as a Muslim life is a test and we will be tested by the things that we fear but we should never lose hope in Allah; however, I have been caught in this vicious circle about losing hope and feeling guilty.

Counselor

Answer


Caught between Guilt and Fear at Work

In this counseling answer:

• If you feel the need to understand yourself better, then you might want to consider some kind of counseling or therapy.

• Allah (swt) puts these things in our path to make us stronger and to prove that our fear is for none but Him (swt).


As-Salamu `Alaikum dear brother,

Thank you for your question. Fear is an interesting phenomenon. One of its characteristics is that it will increase if you continue to avoid the very thing that is its cause. The vicious cycle you find yourself in sounds like it is due to the simple fact that you have not been able to or refuse to address that source of your fear head-on.

Once you do that, and bring it into the light of truth, with Allah’s (swt) help, it will disappear because it will no longer have the power over you that you have given it until now. Fearing something other than Allah (swt) is to give power to it which we know in Islam is not acceptable for all power belongs to Allah (swt). As I don’t know what the cause of your fear is, I cannot say much more than that.

Remember also that tawakkul or trusting Allah (swt) can only be successful if we ourselves act. Remember the famous hadith of the Prophet (saw) where he told the companions to tie your camel and trust in Allah (swt). Allah (swt) works through His creation and, thus, trusting Him (swt) can only be realized when we ourselves act in trust; when we strive to do what we can and put our trust in Allah (swt).

So, brother, it sounds to me like you need to act – address this fear of your head on, and ask Allah (swt) for His (swt) help and strength to make it easy for you. If you keep running from that which is causing you to fear, it will never leave you.

If you feel the need to understand yourself better, then you might want to consider some kind of counseling or therapy to help you to really understand the cause of your anxiety. However, if you feel that you know what the cause of your anxiety is, then you need to start acting despite whatever discomfort you might be feeling initially.

In sha` Allah, with persistence and struggle, you can overcome it. Allah (swt) puts these things in our path to make us stronger and to prove that our fear is for none but Him (swt). Please write us again if you’d like to discuss this matter further.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Leave the Future Alone Until It Comes

Please Help Me Getting Over My Fears and Anxiety

How Can I Get Rid of Fears and Doubts?




About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah

Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.

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