Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam my dear sister in Islam,
I am so happy that you wrote to us seeking help with your problems of losing faith and getting into haram things, because that proves that you want to not do those things, and you would prefer serving Allah.
That is the first building block of what I want to say to you: you don’t want to not have faith and do bad things, so believe in yourself to that extent. Thank Allah for that.
The reason this is the first step and so important is that Shaitan capitalized on hate and self-hatred.
To counteract his false way of “growth” (no one ever grew from being hated), you have to find that in you which is lovable and love it. You want Allah.
You believe in Allah. You feel guilty when you don’t serve Allah! Start loving that and treating yourself with respect for that, and thereby stop condemning yourself for your shortcoming, please.
That desire in you is YOUR first step, but it is actually the second step in your relationship with Allah, and that, I think, is what you are missing.
To understand any problem, the way to get at its meaning and essence and thus at a true route to its solution is to put it in its proper perspective (its context), and then you can see it for what it is.
What is the context of your first step, which is actually the second step in your relationship with Allah?
Allah already took the first step (in your relationship with Him) by giving you so many things for which you FEEL a need.
He gave us an earth to walk on, because we want to move around and travel, go to see our loved ones, go to school, etc.
This provision (rizq) is a blessing which you know you need to thank Allah for. Allah gave us the Sun, which, through photosynthesis, gives us food when we are hungry and feel the need for food. Again, we need to say thank you.
Allah gave us water to quench our thirst when we feel thirsty. He gave us a night, the very thing we need when we are so tired.
When you wake up in the morning and you are motivated to do things and to be a good person, to get attention and get rewarded for doing a good job, it is Allah who made you feel that way and gave you the things that satisfy your feelings of need. We need to thank Him or else we feel like a really lousy person.
So, what is our response supposed to be? The first thing the Prophet (saw) did with his life before Islam was thought, and think, and think, and think some more, for which he (saw) used to go into the cave.
He also worked, and learned, and grew up, and married – all before he was commanded by Allah to pray 5 times a day.
Next, the Prophet (saw) was given prophethood. He argued with his tribe about the bad things they did (like circumambulating the Ka’bah in the nude and burying their female newborns alive, or filling the Ka’bah with idols.), taught them the pillars of faith and called them to the Oneness of Allah (tawheed).
The obligation to pray 5 times a day was revealed years later – when Muslims were firm in their Islamic belief.
This is what you need to focus on to feel the power that comes to you from a careful understanding of tawheed and how to live.
You will soon see that prayer will come to you, in sha’ Allah – you will want to pray! You will desire to pray, because you will want to thank Allah, and ask of Allah, and seek the understanding of tawheed. Prayer is like a hammer is to building a house – only a tool.
Build the house and then you will see how the hammer is useful. And, by the way, the house also needs to be filled with something, because it is really only a tool, too.
And what fills it best to make it a wonderful house is tawheed and the love of Allah, not the physical movements of a prayer itself.
Only when that prayer is filled with soul does it draw you to it, instead of feeling useless to you.
I hope this helps, In Sha’ Allah.
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