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I Feel Left Out & Far from Allah

Questioner

AR

Reply Date

Dec 22, 2016

Question

Salam. I am a 19 years old engineering student from India. I love Islam, I listen to ustadh Nouman Ali Khan a lot. I have two issues: 1, I used to love Islam so much, but now I’m not that interested. I still pray 5 times, but I used to love to go to the masjid and pray the nawafils, but now I just pray at the last minutes and pray fajr late. I loved Ust. Nouman so much that I downloaded the entire juz amma tafsir, but now I don’t feel like listening to it. I do listen to it sometimes and I love it when I start listening, but I usually don’t feel interested to start listening. There’s something missing. Sometimes, I do remember death and the inevitable meeting with Allah and for some time I feel close to Him, but then later I lose the contact and only worry to pray 5 times. I have a semester break now. When I have classes, I don’t get much free time after studies (I have little time, so I pray 5 times on the correct time and read Quran daily), but now I think I am avoiding Allah (swt) since I have lots of free time and prefer other things. 2, I feel so left out. Obviously, I’m very different from my not-seriously-into-Islam (including non-Muslims) peers; I don’t like hanging out with useless talks, I don’t use Facebook, I am not much into games (though I like text games). I’m not a sport guy. So, there’s nothing much common with friends. It’s not that I hate them. I am nice to others and very quiet so we are friends, but not close enough. My Muslim friends who are really into Islam (very few in 19 years) are different from me. You see, we have strong religious leaders who teach inspiring stuff & most of these friends have their family into this and they are by default really into masjid, lectures etc. (they study Quran intensively, but very academically ) with an exception of one convert friend who followed ust. Nouman rationally. I always feel left out. I am usually alone and can’t talk much, to any friends for much time. Even the really-into-Islam friends don’t talk to me as they think Islam is the best to be followed blindly. Now I am in vacation so I really feel alone. Now, because of these issues, I just waste time watching series, episode after episode, praying at the last minute, no Quran and no Islamic lectures. I’m scared to make Allah angry, so I just pray and nothing else. But I feel that will not be sufficient. I am trying to stop watching series and doing other time killers and is looking forward some help.

Counselor

Answer


I Feel Left Out & Far from Allah

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear brother,

First off, I want to tell you to relax. I believe that you are overstressing. Sometimes, when we overly indulge in a certain activity, we get psychologically drained, and emotionally exhausted and lose motivation as a consequence.

Let me give you a real life example. If you have participated to run in a 10km race, sprinting for the first kilometer will render you tired and physically drained to successfully complete the entire run. However, if you slowly jog and gradually increase your speed, you will reach the finish line with a lot more ease.

Therefore, the same concept needs to be applied to our worship with Allah (swt). Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“Take on only as much as you can do of good deeds, for the best of deeds is that which is done consistently, even if it is little.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

As a result, I feel that your first issue, repulsion towards NAK’s lectures and regular visits to the mosques, comes from overindulgence. You mentioned that you downloaded all of the translations of Juz Amma and then lost the interest or the motivation to listen and learn from them. Likewise, you said that you used to pray 5x at the mosque every day, including the Nafl prayers, but you have completely stopped.

This is the exact reason why Prophet Muhammed (saw) told us to decide on a set of deeds and comply with them with consistency. Praying 5 times on time, going to the mosque regularly, praying voluntary Nafl prayers, listening to lectures and worrying about meeting Allah (swt) overwhelmed you.

Your second issue is also an extension of the first one you discussed. Being psychologically drained has rendered you in isolation. However, you need to follow a series of actions in order to overcome your psychological exhaustion and replenish your mental energy.

Get active

Exercising is the best way to feel happier and more relaxed. It releases various chemicals in the brain which leaves you feeling stress free and better about yourself. Exercising regularly also boosts your confidence levels, improves self-esteem, and clears your mind of unwanted, depressing thoughts and builds motivation and positive mental attitude.

In addition, it also improves your physical health, which is very important. Dear brother, you need to start working out regularly, a simple walk to the park or around the neighborhood, or moderate intensity sports are adequate. Getting tired very fast is not something to be taken lightly. I would advise you to get a physical checkup to ensure a healthy body and mind.

Distract yourself with something productive

Having a relationship with Allah (swt) or being a great Muslim does not mean you cannot spend time doing other activities you love. In fact, Prophet Muhammad (saw) often used to race with Ayesha (ra) and play with children. Please, do not confine yourself to your home. Pick up on new activities. Perhaps, think about your future career plans and try to pursue some activities which will make you a competitive applicant in the future.

Wasting time is definitely not a wise thing to do. You can even watch documentaries of your interest online. The internet is a source of knowledge for those who use it. There are many free courses that are offered through free online programs which even provide you with a certification! The possibilities are endless, you just need to keep an open mind and try new things! India is a place of great diversity!

In addition, a change of scenery is shown to cause a positive change in the mental state of even depressed individuals. Therefore, because you lack motivation and feel helpless, visiting different places, given your vacation time, will be a great way to get yourself motivated and inspired once again.

Binge watching is detrimental to your overall mental and physical health. Given that India is one of the most populated countries of the world, I am sure that there are many more people you can interact with aside from your limited group of friends. How about family? Cousins are great to spend some quality time with.

Stay positive

Part of your depression comes from your inability to see positivity in your life. One of the best ways to be positive is to see and count the blessings that Allah (swt) has blessed you with.

Change your attitude day by day

Change happens slowly. Therefore, do not expect to perform a 100 acts of worship a day! Make a plan, something realistic, that you can successfully comply with. If you find it hard to go to the mosque at all at this time, plan to visit at least once a week. Slowly but surely, you will develop a new relationship with the mosque and your desire to visit at every prayer will return, in sha’ Allah. Likewise, if you want to learn more about the Quran and the beautiful religion of Islam, do not do it all at once. Start off be reading a page of translation a day, understand it, contemplate on it and apply it. Knowledge is of no benefit if it is not applied to our daily lives and if we are not improving after acquiring it.

Never leave your daily prayer

No matter what happens, never leave your 5x prayers.

Narrated Abdullah bin Shaqiq Al-‘Uqayli: “The Companions of Muhammad (saw) didn’t consider leaving anything to be disbelief except for the Salat.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Therefore, it is of utmost importance to hang on to your prayers, for if you lose it, you will lose everything else. (Umar ibn Khattab [ra]).

Salam,

***

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About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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