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I’ve Been Losing My Faith in Allah; I Feel Miserable

Questioner

A

Reply Date

Jul 31, 2017

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom. Recently, I've been losing my faith in Allah. I feel like He never listens to me. I'm not an extremely religious person, but every now and then I go through phases of being very religious. What puts me off is the fact that nothing changes for me, like people say how prayer brings you peace, but somehow it doesn't work for me. Also, we have been having issues at home and I swear I've never prayed and wished so much for things to get better ever, but I feel Allah has turned deaf to my prayers. I've stopped praying, I'm getting into stuff that is forbidden, and I want to stop them, I seriously want to stop, but I'm not consistent because my prayers not being answered puts me off. I know that whatever Allah plans is the best for us, but I just see no improvement. I seem to lose hope with every passing day. At times, I feel like running away from my Muslim country into some foreign, non-Muslim country. My parents keep forcing me to pray, but what's the use of it if I don't do it whole-heartedly? Please, I'm miserable and depressed. I don't know how to restore my faith.

Counselor

Answer


Mom Forces Me to Marry Instead of Collage

Answer:

Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam my dear sister in Islam,

I am so happy that you wrote to us seeking help with your problems of losing faith and getting into haram things, because that proves that you want to not do those things, and you would prefer serving Allah. That is the first building block of what I want to say to you: you don’t want to not have faith and do bad things, so believe in yourself to that extent. Thank Allah for that.

The reason this is the first step and so important is that Shaitan capitalized on hate and self-hatred. To counteract his false way of “growth” (no one ever grew from being hated), you have to find that in you which is lovable and love it. You want Allah. You believe in Allah. You feel guilty when you don’t serve Allah! Start loving that and treating yourself with respect for that, and thereby stop condemning yourself for your shortcoming, please.

That desire in you is YOUR first step, but it is actually the second step in your relationship with Allah, and that, I think, is what you are missing. To understand any problem, the way to get at its meaning and essence and thus at a true route to its solution is to put it in its proper perspective (its context), and then you can see it for what it is. What is the context of your first step, which is actually the second step in your relationship with Allah?

Allah already took the first step (in your relationship with Him) by giving you so many things for which you FEEL a need. He gave us an earth to walk on, because we want to move around and travel, go to see our loved ones, go to school, etc. This provision (rizq) is a blessing which you know you need to thank Allah for. Allah gave us the Sun, which, through photosynthesis, gives us food when we are hungry and feel the need for food. Again, we need to say thank you. Allah gave us water to quench our thirst when we feel thirsty. He gave us a night, the very thing we need when we are so tired. When you wake up in the morning and you are motivated to do things and to be a good person, to get attention and get rewarded for doing a good job, it is Allah who made you feel that way and gave you the things that satisfy your feelings of need. We need to thank Him or else we feel like a really lousy person.

So, what is our response supposed to be? The first thing the Prophet (saw) did with his life before Islam was thought, and think, and think, and think some more, for which he (saw) used to go into the cave. He also worked, and learned, and grew up, and married – all before he was commanded by Allah to pray 5 times a day. Next, the Prophet (saw) was given prophethood. He argued with his tribe about the bad things they did (like circumambulating the Ka’bah in the nude and burying their female newborns alive, or filling the Ka’bah with idols.), taught them the pillars of faith and called them to the Oneness of Allah (tawheed). The obligation to pray 5 times a day was revealed years later – when Muslims were firm in their Islamic belief.

This is what you need to focus on to feel the power that comes to you from a careful understanding of tawheed and how to live. You will soon see that prayer will come to you, in sha’ Allah – you will want to pray! You will desire to pray, because you will want to thank Allah, and ask of Allah, and seek the understanding of tawheed. Prayer is like a hammer is to building a house – only a tool. Build the house and then you will see how the hammer is useful. And, by the way, the house also needs to be filled with something, because it is really only a tool, too. And what fills it best to make it a wonderful house is tawheed and the love of Allah, not the physical movements of a prayer itself. Only when that prayer is filled with soul does it draw you to it, instead of feeling useless to you.

I hope this helps, In Sha’ Allah.

***

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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem

Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery. For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.

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