In this counseling answer:
• No one can wear the cloak of judgment, only Allah owns that right and the ability.
• If you have friends who are visibly not having a good impact on you, then you need to seriously reconsider their friendship with you.
• Get a journal and write down what you are seeking.
• Schedule your prayers.
Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for placing your utmost trust in our ability to propose a solution and to help you find your way.
Contrary to everything you have said, I would not judge you a bit in the negative. I truly and sincerely think that you are a good person at heart and are sincerely and truly seeking the Pleasure of Allah. I feel that your future is bright, and you will lead many people towards what is right.
Every son of Adam Sins
Prophet Muhammed SAW said,
‘“Verily Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces, but He looks to your hearts,” and he pointed towards the heart with his fingers.’ (Sahih Muslim)
This implies that Allah does not judge by the color of the skin or the physical health condition of your body. If your heart is in good condition and sincerely seeks to Please Allah, then Allah will see the light and guide your hearts towards what is right and detract it from what is wrong.
The Prophet SAW said,
“Every son of Adam sins and the best of the sinners are repentant.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi)
He also said,
“Whoever has a mustard seed’s weight of pride (arrogance) in his heart, shall not be admitted into Paradise. And whoever has a mustard seed’s weight of faith in his heart, shall not be admitted into the Fire.”
Many people consider themselves to be the best and do not feel that it is Allah who is to be judging them. Many people are arrogant about their quality of worship and readily insult others.
Dear sister, no one can wear the cloak of judgment, only Allah owns that right and the ability. We are all sinners in one way or another. It is possible that some of us who consider ourselves to be outwardly “religious” are inwardly not at all connected to Allah and are deceiving ourselves and others.
Dear sister, we are all unsure of our level of connection with Allah and this is why you can tell that the best of people exhibits humility and kindness and no arrogance. There is no guarantee.
You are 17, and you have realized that whatever your past consisted of was not right and you need to straighten your life for the future. You also mentioned that you wanted to do what is right before “it’s too late.” This is something that you have realized at such a young age. You fear to die in the wrong state. I pray that Allah grants everyone the ability to see that eventually, good deeds will matter at the time of death.
Many people are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s, who do not realize their sins or mistakes and continuously consider to be the best regardless of some of the mistakes they have made or continue to make.
Intention to change
Dear sister, like a tree, grows from a seed, your actions will also grow from your intentions. When you committed any sin in the past, you had no intention. You were simply a prey of the western decadence and were not thinking before doing anything. Dear sister, now there is a seed planted in your heart: the seed of consciousness of Allah, a seed of Love of Allah, a seed of righteousness. You need to help that seed grow. And the seed will grow when you start to love Allah, learn about Him, and seek forgiveness.
The Prophet said,
“Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam! I shall go on forgiving you so long as you pray to Me and aspire for My forgiveness whatever may be your sins. O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins should pile up to the sky and should you beg pardon of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you come to Me with an earful of sins and meet Me, not associating anything with Me in worship, I will certainly grant you as much pardon as will fill the earth.”‘ (Jami at-Tirmidhi)
If someone steals a pen from you once, you will forgive them and forget the act. However, if someone repeatedly steals it from you, you are bound to get annoyed.
Now, imagine someone who you dearly love, a sibling, a friend, your father, and imagine them doing something wrong. You will no doubt get annoyed at their repeated mistake, but you will be able to easily forgive them because you love them.
Dear sister, Allah loves us more than we can imagine. It is not in human nature to feel or express that amount of love. Regardless of the kinds of sins, or the number of times you have sinned, Allah is there to forgive you.
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Dear sister, when you start to seek Allah’s forgiveness, you will realize that you will change without much thought. When your heart gets attached to something that you love and feels the importance of the love and the presence of Allah, then you will not be tempted to pursue what is wrong, you will never think of anything that now makes you feel regret.
Occupying yourself with what is beneficial
During student life, many of us spend a lot of time around friends. Friends are the people we share things with, talk to regularly, and experience a large part of our life with. After student life, people are married and share our lives with different people. Therefore, the Prophet said,
“A person is on the religion of his companions. Therefore, let every one of you carefully consider the company he keeps.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi)
We are always advised to seek the company of those people who will help us see the right the wrong in the committing of some of the actions.
The Prophet also said,
“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
I am certain that you can tell that smelling the fumes of the furnace has a lasting bad impact on your health. If you have friends who are visibly not having a good impact on you, then you need to seriously reconsider their friendship with you.
In addition, when you will begin to change for the better, I am certain that some of the friends who once had a bad impact on you will be deterred away from you, however, you should take this as a blessing, and not stress over their distancing.
I sincerely advise you, dear sister, to go to your local mosque and try to befriend with sisters there. It is very important to surround yourself with people who inspire you to become a better Muslim.
The future is more important than the past
The past is always where we make mistakes. I understand that it is not a good feeling to have, but even worse than the past is the fact that we dwell on it in the present and ruin the chances of a better future.
Here a few steps that I advise you follow:
Get a journal and write down what you are seeking.
You are seeking the love of Allah. You are seeking forgiveness for all that you have done in the past. You are seeking a better direction in life towards a better end of life and death. Write everything down.
Get a Tasbeeh and seek Allah’s forgiveness. Count 100 beads at least 2-3 times/ day, remember the sins you have committed while reading and sincerely seek a forgiveness. Do not feel ashamed to cry in front of Allah.
Schedule your prayers and pray right away during days when you do not have school. It will be very hard at first, but as days go by it will become easier.
Do not stress over your clothes. If you are not dressing appropriately to your own comfortability, then know that you’re torturing your heart and ultimately yourself. Your heart does not want you to wear those clothes. Wear what is making you feel physically comfortable and comfortable at heart. Do not fear other’s comments. Others will comment regardless.
Offset any negativity you might receive from others about your change with love of Allah. Remind yourself that life is temporary, and your change will bring you eternal glory in this world and the afterlife.
I pray that Allah will make it easy for you and us to do what is right and always be on the side of His Pleasure.
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