I stopped praying almost 2 months ago as I felt that I was doing empty prayers. I also felt perhaps that Allah was not listening to my cry.
I’ve married to a wonderful Muslim man for 4.5 years. I was married before and have 2 children. He lives in the Middle East, and I live in Australia. We used to see each other very often, but after that it became only 2 times a year when we visited each other. His family were always against our union. This is because of several reasons. 1, I was divorced with 2 children. 2, I was older then him, 3, I am not from his country. Until this day, none of them bothered to try and connect with me, which is fine. It hurts, but it’s ok.
My husband desperately wanted to have children, but I found out that my chances of having more children were very small. I went on to do all kinds of natural treatments and nothing worked! I begged Allah to bless us with children, for him to get a job so that we could be together as a family, but nothing.
2 years ago, my mother passed away overseas. It was the worst time of my life! I had a planned trip with my husband and my children a few days after my mother’s funeral, so we still went ahead with it. everything was already paid for, and I couldn’t cancel it. This was to be our 1st family holiday and it was though. Everything felt different, and I thought it was just because of my mother’s passing. Kids and I returned home and my husband returned to his home in the Middle East.
Exactly one month later I find out that my husband was actually making arrangements to marry someone from his country. My whole world came crumbling before my eye. He desired having children / for sure.
He promised me that nothing would change, that we would get married properly (no one in my family knew we got married. For them we are engaged). I wanted to have a proper wedding.
Everything has changed. At the end of August, he got married and went off on his honeymoon. I was left in Australia to deal with this new situation. I went to many counselors, psychologist and tried very hard to overcome it. But couldn’t. I enrolled back at university to keep my mind busy. I also have a business and with my teenager kids, I became very busy.
He had a child exactly a year later. Coincidentally, the baby was born on the anniversary of my mother’s burial.
I didn’t know the child was born, but on the day I had an extreme anxiety attack during an exam at the university out of nowhere. I went back to counseling.
In one of his visits, my husband attended with me and simply put to the counselor that it was not his fault that I was feeling the way I was. I went to my local sheik and told my story. The sheik said that I should proceed with a divorce. The counselor said the same.
Now, all of this is happening, and I haven’t been able to tell anyone in my family. My kids would be devastated, and of course as I’m the only Muslim in the family , I’ll hear a lot of things that I don’t want to.
For the past few months I’ve become very depressed. This Ramadan was the worse Ramadan ever. I couldn’t fast, I couldn’t do anything. I’ve had to leave my university and also some of my jobs. I’ve become a recluse and I feel so depressed.
I’ve had some problems with my teenage children, which I’ve had to sort (their father is not around).
My husband visited us for 7 days during Eid. In one of our conversations I asked him what was the most important thing for him in this life and he said money. That threw me off completely.
He left a few days later, I wouldn’t stop crying. I gave him a big hug and said that I hope to see him one day. All of these things have affected my faith. There have been many times that I’ve questioned myself if I was really a Muslim. I’m so confused and I’m so heartbroken.
I hope you can explain to me what I should do to gain my faith back and to start praying again. Jazakallah khair.
In this counseling answer:
• Just imagine yourself in an empty place. In a garden, green grass, sunlight and a cool breeze. This is how you will feel when you stand to pray and give away all your worries to Allah.
• Sit down and have a vision for yourself. Despite these problems, do you have any dreams that you would like to accomplish? Do you have any goals?
• Do not depend on others for your happiness. Your happiness is what Allah gives you and withholds from you.
• Count your blessings on a daily basis.
• You need to relax your mind.
• Exercising will boost your mood.
Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,
Always remember this: tough times are meant to make you, not break you.
Before you read any more, please forget everything about your past and your present. Forget everyone and everything that happened and is happening. Just imagine yourself in an empty place. In a garden, green grass, sunlight and a cool breeze. There are no worries, and there are no problems, and no responsibilities. Someone else is managing them all. How would you feel? Light? Burden free? Happy?
This is how you will feel when you stand to pray and give away all your worries to Allah. He is there watching us, observing us.
Dear sister, when problems overwhelm us, we are quick to forget that we are not in control. Allah is in control. He is the ultimate, the omnipotent. Prayer is not meant for Allah. We do not pray because Allah needs our prayer. We pray because we need Him. Please, before you pray, I suggest that you cry to Allah. Pray in humility. Dear sister, no one can do anything without Allah’s direction and guidance.
Whenever I feel stressed, this verse comes to my mind.
In the Quran, Allah SWT says,
“Call upon me, I will answer.” (Quran 40-60)
In addition, read the names of Allah: Ya-Hadi (the One Who Guides) and Ya-Khawwiyu (the One Who Gives Strength).
Dear sister, Allah will guide you and give you the strength to keep on going. Read these at least 100 times a few times a day, and when your thoughts start to overwhelm you.
Dear sister, Allah is hearing and seeing everything that is currently going on in your life. These difficulties are there to make you stronger.
What is good for you will sometimes be hard for you
Dear sister, you mentioned that you are the only Muslim in the family. This is the clear definition of guidance from Allah. Whereas other people in your family will not truly understand you, or value you, Allah SWT will continue to guide you.
I am certain that when you were young, you never imagined that one day you’d be a Muslim. You would know the meaning of this world, about the Creator and the creation. Do not let some people break the most important relationship in your life, with Allah SWT.
Dear sister, sometimes it is not easy to drink certain medicines that taste bad. However, we know they are what we need to thrive. Please reflect on this and apply this to your life.
Distract your problems with a vision
Dear sister, I am very, very pleased and proud to hear that you enrolled yourself in a university course/degree to keep your mind busy. This is the courage you need. This is the courage that many lacks.
In fact, Allah has guided you to a university course, and it is this what is better for you.
Please, sit down and have a vision for yourself. Despite these problems, do you have any dreams that you would like to accomplish? Do you have any goals? What made you enroll in the university course? You possibly could not have enrolled in a course without having any prior knowledge about what will be covered in the course. Perhaps it is something of interest to you.
I suggest that you expand that interest and pursue towards expanding your knowledge. Dear sister, your jobs and university are a blessing to you. Given that you have dropped, please try to enroll again. Please go back to work with a new mindset.
Do not depend on others for your happiness. Your happiness is what Allah gives you and withholds from you.
Dear sister, if we do not control our minds towards thinking positively, we will purposefully affect our mental health. Dear sister, many people who appear to have a complete normal life once had trials and tribulations of their own. However, they are the ones who did not prevent themselves from moving ahead when walls were encountered. They went around them.
Check out this counseling video:
Please do not limit your values and your worth to how people treat you. Their definition of you does not exist. In fact, their behavior is their definition.
Do not think about what you do not have
Dear sister, everyone in life is blessed differently. Some people get married very early, are happy and satisfied, and then problems come later. Some people get married late, and the wait hurts and is not easy, but lead a very happy life later. Some people get their degrees fast and lead a normal life with a normal job. Some people obtain their degrees late and work hard and lead a life of passionate work and innovative careers. Some people have a lot of kids and they are stressed in other means such as health or finances, etc., and other people have one or two kids and they are happy.
Dear sister, be happy with your blessings and continue counting them. Can you imagine life without even one of the things that you currently have? Absolutely not.
Dear sister, Allah SWT knows what is best for us. Yasmin Mogahed said in one of her lectures, “ if Allah made life perfect, then none of us would yearn the Jannah.” Perfection cannot be sought in this imperfect world. We are all to struggle to attain a life in which we strive to please Allah and work hard to make our lives a reflection of the Quran and the teachings of Sunnah.
(Editor’s note: In any case, sister, please do not feel shy to seek help from a counselor face to face and/or the local community, especially the sisters. Inshallah, they will help you get back on track again and deal with your issues in a healthy way.)
Good physical health is good mental health
Dear sister, I know that tough times are not easy to deal with. However, you need to exercise. Exercise is the most important thing that you can do to your mind and body. It is the fuel, alongside good diet, that helps keep you positive and energetic.
Relax your mind
You need to relax your mind. Everyone relaxes differently. However, I suggest you take the following steps to ensure that you are not consciously or subconsciously stressed about what is bothering you.
Take slow, deep breaths. Or try other breathing exercises for relaxation.
Soak in a warm bath.
Lastly, I want you to focus on what is about your life that you appreciate. You may want to write them down so that you can review them from time to time.
I hope my words helps,
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 be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.