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With All My Sins, How to Be Mindful of God?

02 May, 2024
Q As-salamu Alaikum. How can I realize God's Greatness? How can I surrender and prostrate submissively to God in my prayer? Every time I start to fear God, the burden of my sins come once again to my mind, and I can not find a new pure way out of this. And when these sins enter my mind, they distract me from God, and lead me to sin again. I've become a prisoner of my own doings. I really want to submit to God, I mean my motivation comes from how pure and blessed one could be when they are in touch with God. But it's as if I'm always discouraging myself with the sins I've done. I have a guilty and filthy conscience, and I feel that I can never be pure, unless I understand God's greatness or the fear I should have in Him. (Satan) is a true artifice, I don't know why, but every single time I pass or fail a trial and a test, again another one keeps on coming. It's been 2 years that I've been dealing with such problems and I think I've become depressed with so much unnecessary thinking. I'm getting tired of thinking for no reason, and my thoughts are not even beneficial, they are just full of filth and disgust. For example, sometimes in my thinking, I try to get the "gist" of God, because I really want to be "closer" to Him, but then it turns into shirk (disbelief), then suddenly a person whom I really admire, for example, the Prophet or someone else may just come into my mind whenever I think of God, and then my fear starts going up, which then turns into me thinking I am mushrik (disbeliever). It's like sin after sin after sin after sin. I'm tired of it, I'm sick of it, I can't take it anymore, it's a cycle of filth which I can not endure. I get in touch with God for one day, and even during that one day I have doubts and miseries. I don't know how to think of God, what feeling to have, I'm so lost, I don't know how to continue being a good PURE Muslim. I am new to Islam, or maybe just a person without enough experience... God knows but please help me out of this chaos.


Short Answer: Not even the greatest sins are beyond His Mercy. To be mindful of God contemplate His amazing universe. In wanting to come closer to Almighty Allah and to know Him better, we must first of all recognize His beauty and His greatness all around us.


Salam Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

All Praises Him

The very desire you have to know Allah more and to be a better person, a better Muslim, is itself part of the way forward.

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Our Prophet (peace be upon him) told us that one of the ways we know Allah loves us when we feel love for Him, since that love is inspired by Allah Himself.

As human beings, though, we make life very difficult, don’t we?

We sometimes see problems, where there are none, and we find difficult that which is really simple and obvious.

I think that you need to step back a little and return to basics, before you begin to look for experiences and compensations in prayer.

The ancient Egyptians, you know, used to worship the baboon as their god of wisdom.

They did this because at the dawn of every day, when the sun began to rise on the horizon, the baboons would sit and watch the sun coming up.

This was seen as a sign of great wisdom.

Since the Egyptians used also to worship the sun, they saw this innate knowledge on the part of the baboons as a reflection of the divine Wisdom.

Now, whilst we do not worship animals, but Allah Alone, we can see that these creatures are drawn towards the divine.

Almighty Allah recreates life for us every morning and these creatures are aware of that new life.

Indeed, as Muslims we believe that in the chirping of every bird or the roaring of every lion, we hear the animals praising Allah in their own way.

Just listen to the sound of the birds at sunset, which sometimes becomes almost deafening.

What are these birds saying?

Muslims believe that they are praising Allah. The whole of Allah’s Creation praises Him night and day and depends on Him for life.

A translation of the meaning of the Quran says this:

{There is no creature that moves on the Earth but its provision depends on Allah. He knows its dwelling and its resting-place. All is recorded in a clear Book.} (Hud 11:6)

Look Around You

In wanting to come closer to Almighty Allah, then, and to know Him better, we must first of all recognize His beauty and His greatness all around us.

There is no use looking for Him in books or debating about Him in discussion groups if we fail to see Him all around us.

Think, first, of a beautiful sunset or the smile on the face of a small child. Think how a young sheep looks after its lambs or how the snow melts on the highest mountain peaks to form water for us to drink.

When we think of these things we begin to see the hand of Allah at work. Our minds can never grasp His greatness, but we can see His greatness all around.

We believe that:

{There is nothing whatever like unto Him, He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing. To Him belong the keys of the Heavens and the Earth. He enlarges and restricts provisions to whom He wills. Surely He has knowledge of everything.} (Ash-Shura 42:11-12)

We should take time every day to reflect on the greatness of Allah and to appreciate the gifts we receive every day in abundance from Him.

Health and strength come from Him. Food and drink are His provisions.

We cannot expect to go to prayer and feel the power of His might if we ignore His signs that are with us throughout the day.

We must never take life for granted.

Every Muslim’s Motto

At the time of the Hajj, that once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Makkah which is enjoined on all Muslims, the pilgrims have certain words constantly on their lips: “I respond to Your Call, O Allah, I respond to Your Call.

These words are most beautiful, but they need not be restricted to the time of pilgrimage. They should be on the lips of every Muslim every day, from the time of waking up in the morning to the time of going to bed at night. “I respond to Your Call.”

This is how we should live our lives as Muslims. Reminding ourselves throughout the day of His presence is a sure way of beginning to appreciate His greatness.

In the same way, as we see the hand of Allah at work in our world, we should also begin to appreciate that He is closer to us than we can possibly imagine. We see, once more in the Quran:

{With Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them but He. He knows what is in land and sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. Not a grain in the deep darkness of the Earth, not a thing green or dry but it is in a clear Book.} (Al-An`am 6:59)

Instead of being overwhelmed by our own shortcomings, we should listen to these words which He speaks to us in the Quran.

There is no one on the face of the earth who is worthy of such care, or who actually deserves the mercy which Allah bestows upon us. Even the greatest Muslims fall far short of His mercy and Compassion.

Think of Allah First

Concentrating on our own weaknesses is putting things the wrong way around.

Instead of making ourselves the focus of attention, we should focus on Allah.

Being Muslim means that we do not think of ourselves first, but we think of Allah.

Being Muslim means that we submit ourselves to His will. And, by the way, as Muslims we are not promised that in prayer we will feel good or have great spiritual thoughts.

The command is simply to pray five times a day, for Allah’s sake – not for our own.

Getting Prepared for Prayers

To make the most of our prayers, though, and to benefit from them in our daily lives, we must prepare for them first. No one would go to meet the President of France, for example, without making some preparations, would they?

At the very least, they would wash and make themselves tidy. I imagine that most would take a lot of care before such a meeting.

How can we expect to place ourselves in the presence of the Maker of the heavens and the earth, then, without preparing ourselves for the meeting?

We cannot switch in just a minute from the busy concerns of life to prostrating ourselves in prayer, without at least a little preparation.

In washing ourselves before prayer, for example, we are doing this. We are not just washing the dust from our hands, are we?

We are washing away the concerns of our hearts which prevent us from thinking of Allah. We should also feed our hearts throughout the day, then, so that we are ready to meet Allah when we pray to Him.

Reflect on Ayat Al-Kursi

The greatest verse of the Quran is to be found in what is known as Ayat Al-Kursi.

If we come to know and love these words, repeating them often and pondering on their meaning, we will come to appreciate the greatness of Allah, insha’Allah, and begin to place all of our worries and concerns in His care.

Not even the greatest sins are beyond His Mercy. These words can help us all to be better Muslims and to serve our Lord and Creator with happiness and great humility:

{Allah there is no God but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber does not seize Him, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not encompass anything of His knowledge except what he wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, the preservation of them does not burden Him; He is the High, the Great.} (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.


(From Ask About Islam archives)

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About Idris Tawfiq
Idris Tawfiq was a British writer, public speaker and consultant.He became a Muslim around 15 years ago.For many years, he was head of religious education in different schools in the United Kingdom.Before embracing Islam, he was a Roman Catholic priest.He passed away in peace in the UK in February 2016 after a period of illness.May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, and accept his good deeds. Ameen.