Help: I Think I May Have Faith Crisis

08 June, 2020
Q I have a problem. I actually might have a faith crisis. I don't know

I just read something that made sense, but at the same time other things with different opinions made sense.

So I have two parties that both make sense and contradict each other.

I also am afraid of reading the Quran, which leads me to search, which then leads me to the things that I read.

I don't know.

Thank you Alsalamu Alaikum

Answer


In this counseling answer:

 Loss of faith could come from a tragic event which makes us question things.

Sometimes the process of losing faith is slow and the person does not realize it is happening until there is a challenge that illustrates that faith is weak or in crisis.

Mental illness can also cause a faith crisis.

Please be aware that most people who go through a faith crisis emerge with a renewed and stronger faith.

Reading and understanding the Qur’an is what will give you true knowledge, freedom, and clarity.


As salamu alaykum, 

Thank you for writing to us with your most important concerns. As I understand your problem and concerns, you are worried about having a crisis of faith.

Help: I Think I May Have Faith Crisis - About Islam

Faith Crisis

I am sorry to hear that you are having a crisis of faith, however it is not something that is unusual. Many people from all walks of life have faith crises, including Muslims.

Sometimes when one is going through a faith crisis it is most confusing. I can imagine you are feeling very scared and in a position wherein you are not sure what to do.

Please be aware that most people who go through a faith crisis emerge with a renewed and stronger faith.

Processes

During one’s life there are often times when yes, faith may become weakened to the point where one is fearful of losing their faith. This can be most unsettling and cause much chaotic feelings and even affect thoughts, decisions, and behaviors.

Sometimes the process of losing faith is slow and the person does not realize it is happening until there is a challenge that illustrates that faith is weak or in crisis. Other times it can happen quickly, or one has a revelation about something and their faith base changes. 


Check out this counseling video:


Possible Reasons for Faith Crisis

 Loss of faith or a faith crisis could come from either a tragic event which makes us question things. Hearing or learning about new information which may lead one to question principles of faith. Or other events or information gathered which causes one to pause and compare ideologies leading to a question one’s faith.

In these cases, it may take removing oneself from people, things and places which pull us away from our faith base. It also requires praying and drawing closer to Allah, especially so when it regards a tragedy, loss or disappointment. 

Turning to Allah

In times of distress and loss of faith, it can be difficult to turn to Allah for guidance. This may be due to fear, shame, or other emotions which put up a block between the seeker and Allah.

Turning to Allah may be hard to do when there is a loss of faith, however when one pursues and keeps crying out to Allah for help, Allah does hear the cries and Allah understands the ones in pain. Allah does answer, because Allah in His mercy loves us.  

Tests and Trials

Tests and trials in life can make one pull away from faith, thinking it is the best thing to do when faced with fear, disappointment, tragedy, and so on.

Oftentimes, Muslims will seek out other answers rather than the Qur’an to try to satisfy perplexing emotions and become more confused. 

Other Possible Causes of a Faith Crisis

Mental illness can also cause a faith crisis. Some of the mental health issues may include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, toxic stress, and other disorders.

Oftentimes mental health issues can get in the way of what one truly understands and believes, thus convoluting the thinking process. 

When our thoughts become convoluted overthinking can happen and distort the one thing that can give us comfort and ease which is faith and belief in Allah.

For instance, when a loss of faith is due to a mental health disorder such as depression, one may not even know this is the cause. One may think that it is other things causing the faith crisis when in fact it is from depression.

Depression can be insidious as it may start out small and get larger and larger without us being fully aware of its impact until things are so unmanageable and different it causes one to pause and think. I am not saying that this is the case with you however it is something you may want to look into.

Reading Same but Conflicting Material

As you did not state your age, I am not sure if the things that you are talking about that you have read are from grade school, college or some other source you are learning from.

You stated that one thing you have read makes sense, and the other thing you have read makes sense. However, the two items you have read contradict each other. Perhaps there is some truth in each, but in the contradiction is a different approach to what was written.

It can be that the reading material was written as a metaphor in one case but not the other. Also, perhaps the materials do not contradict one another but were presented in a way that makes it seem as it does. It may be that the materials that you read were both wrong and deceptive, thus they appear to be right (trickery), yet are contradictory-causing confusion. 

The Qur’an as Our Source

I am not sure what material you are reading but the most reliable source to go to is the Qur’an. You stated that you are afraid of reading the Quran which has led you to search other things. I must ask you why are you afraid of reading the Quran?

Reading and understanding the Qur’an is what will give you true knowledge, freedom, and clarity. As you said your fear of reading the Qur’an has led you to search for other things, perhaps this is why you are confused and having a faith crisis.

I kindly urge you to read the Qur’an. Before you do, please make duaa to Allah to remove your fear, and to help you. Ask Allah swt for clarity when you are reading the Qur’an to make it easy for you to understand. Insha’Allah, Allah will bless your efforts and grant you peace, knowledge and insight.

By reading and gaining understanding of the Qur’an, insha’Allah the confusion and contradictions you are getting from the materials that you are reading will be resolved.

If you continue to feel fearful, conflicted, or have other symptoms of mental health issues, please do consult with a local mental health counselor who can help determine what is going on. We wish you the best.

Salam,

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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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/compulsion-religion-two-interpretations/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/criteria-true-faith/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/worldview/islamic-beliefs-appear-irrational-outsider/

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.