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I Stopped Praying: How Can I Return to Allah?

17 March, 2023
Q Assalamu'alaikum. May you all protected by Allah, My Brothers and Sisters. I have question about making hijra. This is the heart/submission hijra, not a distance hijra (moving from one place, like a city, to another).I really have a hard time during this time. I'll give a summarised story in the note. I just dropped out from college. I was actually indeed being kicked out but they allowed me to make a resignation plot and paper. And my ibadaat was cut off/really not optimal since November 2015 till now, due to the story I will tell. Now I have the challenge of making this heart indeed convinced to really decide doing the five prayers and get back. But the sense of helplessness and being looked at as mediocre/ a failed person is making it hard. I feel like tired. And it's kind of traumatic because the big bad event happened after I decided to make taubah. And everyone is making their improvements in ibadah and muamalah stuff, while I am being a fitna/ bad image to fellow friends, either muslims or not. What do I need to do to really tie my heart, so sooner than later, I am not rejecting/ clumsy to do the prayers? Because I feel bad so much and afraid if even I make taubah again, I will wreck it in a significant measure again. Because being out from college is not a little thing. I don't think I can bear to have other so big thing in this phase of taubah. It feels like God dislikes me and wants me get out from the path by giving kicking-out events at me.


Short Answer: It is so important to remember that Allah is the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. We never have to worry about Allah not showing Mercy to us, because Allah has promised Mercy towards those who believe. If we ask for forgiveness sincerely and work to improve ourselves so that we don’t keep making the same mistakes, Allah will show mercy to us and forgive us.


Salaam alaikum my sister,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your important question. It sounds like you have been dealing with a lot of tough issues.

I really want to commend you for taking the time to examine yourself, recognize any mistakes you may have made, and feeling determined to improve yourself.

That is no small thing!

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It takes a lot of courage and strength to self-evaluate, especially if we don’t always like what we find out about ourselves.

You’ve already taken a big step in the right direction just by doing this, Masha’Allah.

Mercy and Tawbah, Hand-in-Hand

It is so important to remember that Allah is Al-Rahman and Al-Raheem, the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful.

Allah reminds us of this at the beginning of almost every chapter of the Qur’an and scattered throughout many verses.

We never have to worry about Allah not showing Mercy to us, because Allah has promised Mercy towards those who believe.  Here is one verse that illustrates this beautifully:

And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, ‘Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.’ (Quran 6:54)

And in a verse with a similar message:

Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah.  Indeed, Allah forgives all sins.  Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ (39:53)

We see in both of these verses that Allah’s Mercy is always mentioned alongside asking for forgiveness and repentance (tawbah).

If we ask for forgiveness sincerely and work to improve ourselves so that we don’t keep making the same mistakes, Allah will show mercy to us and forgive us.

It sounds like you have been sincerely repenting, so Alhamdulillah you can be assured that Allah has heard and accepted your repentance.

We Are Weak By Nature

Allah says that “mankind was created weak” (Quran 4:28), so we are bound to stumble sometimes.

Unlike Allah, humans are not perfect; we all make mistakes and do things we may regret later on.  It’s a natural part of life, growing up, and becoming wiser.

One of Allah’s Names is Al-Ghaffar, which means “the All-Forgiving” and “the Repeatedly-Forgiving”.

Allah does not just forgive people once; Allah will forgive people over and over again.  There is no limit to the number of times one is allowed to ask for forgiveness from Allah because Allah will always forgive.

Returning to Salat, Step-By-Step

You mentioned having some difficulty in getting back into the habit of doing the five daily prayers.  Alhamdulillah, that’s wonderful that you are committed to keeping up with salat (5x daily prayers).

The first thing you can do is to make the intention to Allah that you’re going to try the best you can in maintaining your prayers and ask Allah to help make it easy for you.

Start off small; commit to praying at least one prayer a day.  Once you master that, add another, and so on until you’re praying all five prayers on time.

Acknowledge how far you’ve come and reward yourself for keeping on track.

Getting a “prayer buddy” may also help you; ask your friends or people you trust to hold you accountable for praying, and ask if they’ll pray with you so you won’t always have to do it alone.

If you’re having trouble praying on time, maybe you could ask them to give you a call or send a message reminding you when it’s time.

Your Value Is In Allah

As for your academic issues, I understand how frustrating and upsetting it must feel to not be in school.

People attach a lot of value to education and schooling, sometimes to the point where we make it seem like it’s the most important thing in the world, and anyone who isn’t academically successful is somehow deficient or a failure.

While education is certainly important, one’s academic performance does not define their worth or value as a person or a Muslim.

It is ultimately part of this earthly world, and all the education in the world will not benefit a person on the Day of Judgment if they didn’t use it for worshipping Allah and performing good deeds.

Insha’Allah, you will be able to return to school again, but just keep in mind that regardless of whether you are in school or not, you are still a valuable person that can contribute a lot of good to this world.

Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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About Anne Myers
Anne Myers is a proud Wellesley College graduate and holds a Master of Divinity focusing in Islamic studies. She has experience in pastoral care in hospital and university settings. Her passions include Islam, feminism, traveling, reading, watching cooking competitions, and her cats.