I am a 27-year-old guy who suffers from social anxiety. Allah gave me hidayah, A lhamdulillah, to pray five times, recite Quran, and pray tahajjud every day. My issue arises when I witness immodesty around me. I live in an Islamic country, but Islam is nowhere to be found.
It angers me sometimes, but I try to hold onto my patience and preach good things. People make fun of me by calling me molvi (mawlawi), caveman, bearded guy, and outdated young man. It doesn’t harm me, but it makes me more cautious of society.
The area I live in is full of immodesty. I keep my distance, but I want to move away. However, I don’t have enough money to move somewhere else. Those people are making my life miserable as they insult me every day, and yet they call themselves Muslims in a Muslim country.
I do not know what to do. There’s not much I can do as they are powerful in terms of money and resources, so they can attack me very easily. It makes me feel scared and anxious all the time. My self-confidence is very low, and I feel depressed and sad all the time as it makes me feel very weak and powerless.
Whenever I pray, I ask for help from Allah, but I need advice on what I can do by myself. What actions can I take from my end to make me feel better and get rid of my fear towards these evil people as well as boost my confidence to talk to them eye to eye.
Please advise me. Thank you.
In this counseling answer:
• Understand that we cannot force religion on to anyone. It is only up to Allah to guide.
• Show them that if you choose to live your life as Allah SWT has asked you to, nobody should judge you for it.
• If it gets aggressive, do not to get in a fight, and leave their comments to Allah SWT.
• Get in touch with people who you are more comfortable with and who share your religious values.
• Learn to accept yourself as you are, and do not let other people define who you are.
Assalamu alaikum brother,
I am sorry that you are going through a tough situation in life. Mashaa’ Allah, you seem like a sensible, young man. In your post, you asked for advice regarding your self-confidence, fear of dealing with people, and their lack of understanding towards you because of your religious values.
Brother, firstly, it’s important to recognize that religion is purely something between you and Allah SWT. In these times of fitnah, when there is a lot of unrest, especially regarding religion, levels of tolerance are low, and people are being killed across the globe just because of what sect or religion they belong to. It is creating fear and causing people to shirk away from religion.
It is indeed sad that we live in so-called Muslim societies and countries, but there is a very small amount of people who actually practice religion as prescribed by Allah SWT.
As for your concern about people calling you names because you follow a religion, or they make fun of your beard, it is important that you communicate to them that your appearance is your personal choice. Show them that if you choose to live it as Allah SWT has asked you to, nobody should judge you for it.
However, if it gets aggressive, do not to get in a fight, and leave their comments to Allah SWT.
Brother, it is important that you set healthy boundaries for yourself. Do not let snide comments about your religious beliefs and your appearance get to you. When people make such comments, let them know openly that this is your personal choice and right. Therefore, nobody should have a say in anything regarding your religious beliefs.
I understand that this problem may get more aggravated when you try to preach religion to others. When people do not want to listen or come closer to the religion you are preaching, then they resort to making fun of you.
Therefore, it is up to you to decide whether you want to preach the religion and be patient enough to take in the harsh comments that people throw at you, or whether you want to keep to yourself and practice the religion on your own, and not be bothered about what people do.
Faith Comes from Within the Heart, from Allah
Brother, another important thing is to realize is that Allah SWT gives hidaayah to whomever He wills, and takes it from whomever He wills. Your faith is always between you and Allah SWT. No matter what you do or what people think of you, if your faith is strong and real, it will survive the contempt of people.
In the Quran, Allah SWT says,
“Verily! You (O Muhammad SAW) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided” [28:56]
Therefore, it is also important to understand that we cannot force religion on to anyone. It is only up to Allah to guide.
This Life is a Test for the Believers
Brother, this life is a test from Allah SWT for the believers. We all encounter different forms of pains and sufferings in this world that test our faith towards Allah and how we look up to Him and fulfill the roles He’s assigned for us. Some of us are in financial binds or some have issues with health.
In the Quran, Allah SWT says,
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” [2:155]
Islam is a religion of compassion and peace. I absolutely understand your frustration about the society around you being so non-Islamic despite living in a Muslim country. However, as we get closer to the Day of Judgement, living life as a believer does indeed get more difficult.
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It, however, still doesn’t come anywhere near the trials and tribulations of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and the Sahaba Radhi Allahu Anhum.
Instead of focusing on the people who make fun of you, get in touch with people who you are more comfortable with and who share your religious values. It will not only help you get emotional support, but also help you learn more about the religion and get closer to Allah SWT.
From your post, I understand that there are little people who share your religious values where you live. However, there must be a mosque nearby where you can start connecting to people when you go to offer your prayers.
Confidence Comes with Trust in Yourself
Brother, it is important to know that confidence comes with trust in your own abilities. It also comes with knowing that you are no less than others, whether you are financially equal to them or not. Learn to accept yourself as you are, and do not let other people define who you are.
When you’re sure that your heart is pure, you have nothing to fear from the world. Whatever you do, do it with the best of intentions.
According to a Hadith, narrated `Umar ibn Al-Khattab: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) saying, “The (reward of) deeds, depend upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.”
If you have good intentions about what you are doing, are doing it for the sake of Allah SWT, and you’re not intentionally harming any of Allah’s creation, there is absolutely no need to fear anyone in the world.
Ask Allah for Guidance, Mercy, and Hidayah,
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