How Shall I Deal with Doubts About Allah & Faith?

21 August, 2019
Q I'm a 19 years old university student. I have always struggled with my inferior appearances all my life. I am short and ugly. Now for the longest time, I thought that the only effect that my disability in finding a wife would have on my life would be unhappiness. I was ok with that because I knew that my happiness is not an important issue; God wouldn't care about my state of being as long as I do my deeds and treat people nicely.

However, today I found out that my conditions, essentially lack of intimacy, will cause me a great deal of brain deformation which will ultimately ruin my character. I believed that I was made for doing what I'm best at, physics and making others around me happier. Now I realize that because of the way that I've been born, there will come a time when I would be unable to maintain my personality and, thus, I will be unable to be as effective of a Muslim.

Now that I know my unhappiness can affect my efficiency in being a Muslim, I am confused. Would Allah not expect me to excel in physics? Would he not expect me to make the world a better place? I think he would. I think that since He made me the creature that I am. He has put a way for me to work around my future psychological problems.

My questions are: How can I get rid of my fitrah? How to focus on serving God and undermining our mental problems? How is God benevolent when he has made our world a wicked one in which we will all inevitably sin and thus go to hell?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

•  People who find ways to boost their eman during these difficulties will experience benefits of all kinds that serve to both improve eman, as well as develop conducive ways of managing difficulties.

• Being with other good, Allah fearing people.

• Remember Allah in everything you do.

• Remember your blessings and strengths rather than the things you lack.

• If there were no tests in the world and everything was perfect and people were all nice and good, then wouldn’t everyone just be destined for Jannah and what would be the purpose of life altogether?


Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh brother,

Thank you for posing such interesting questions. I can assure you are on the tips of many a tongue.

At some point, we all find ourselves asking such questions, especially as we face serious tests. In your case, the positive thing is that you have come forward to ask these questions and seek assistance in overcoming them. The very fact that you are asking for advice implies that you are open to hearing answers that will in sha Allah enlighten you more widely on your situation. It helps you to see things from an alternative perspective that will help you to move forward successfully.

How Shall I Deal with Doubts About Allah & Faith? - About Islam

Boost your faith

Questioning the Deen often occurs as a result of experiencing a dip in faith. This can frequently occur as a result of experiencing difficulties in one’s life and wondering why. It is this experience that can cause you to experience a sense of distance from Islam in search of the answers to these questions.  This is a perfectly normal response to a difficult situation; however, prolonged experience of such can lead to different consequences if not managed effectively.

Sometimes such thoughts and feelings can lead people to use coping mechanisms that take them away from the path of Islam, finding alternative ways to cope with difficulties which in turn can only be even further detrimental to one’s wellbeing as well as damaging the level of eman. However, people who find ways to boost their eman during these difficulties will experience benefits of all kinds that serve to both improve eman, as well as develop conducive ways of managing difficulties.

 There are several ways that you can work on boosting your eman.

Being with other good, Allah fearing people: Not only will their attitudes rub off on you in a positive way, encouraging you closer to your Deen, but being with others in social interaction is also well known in the psychological literature to be essential to boosting one’s wellbeing.

Establish your obligations: At the bare minimum, aim to fulfill all your Islamic obligations. This will help you to get closer to Allah. This may be difficult at first, but beginning with the essentials and gradually adding in voluntary acts also will take you on a steady path.

Remember Allah in everything you do: When taking part in the obligatory acts of worship we remember Allah, but only remembering Him during these times leaves some gaps where you may act without Allah in mind. Therefore, remembering Him in everything you do, for example, before eating or leaving the house, He is constantly in mind. This will guide you to always behave in a way that you are conscious of His presence and will, therefore, act in ways most pleasing to Him.

Lose the doubts

Even the most pious and knowledgeable amongst us experience dips in their eman which leaves them vulnerable to doubts and questioning Allah. Whilst this is something we all face to some extent or another, the most important thing is to not allow Shaytaan to take advantage of this and lead you to disbelief.

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘…. If anything befalls you, do not say, “if only I had done such and such” rather say “Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).” For (saying) ‘If’ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.'” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Focus on your strengths

Following on from losing your doubts, use this as an opportunity to focus on your strengths remembering that Allah blesses everyone in one way or another. It may be in their kind characteristics, or their smarts, such as physics in your case. It’s easy to get caught in a trap of focusing on the negatives in one’s life, as well as towards the world in general. This can lead to a cycle of negative thinking.


Check out this counseling video:


In order to break free from this, remember your blessings rather than the things you lack. Focus on the things that you are good at rather than those you are not. Use these things for the betterment of yourself and others with the aim of pleasing Allah.

Allah expects you to excel in all you do

You are correct; Allah does expect us all to excel in all the good things that we do. Alhamdulillah, Allah has blessed you with the knowledge and skills in physics. You can use this to your advantage as a chance to receive the reward in this world and the next. However, we must also understand that there could be numerous things that stand in the way of us using whatever blessings Allah has given us for the better. It is how we approach these challenges that will determine the reward of what we do with this blessing. We either face the test, and pass it for the sake of Allah, or see it as a barrier and do not take full advantage of the blessing bestowed by Allah and potentially lose the reward altogether.

Did you think that we will not be tested?

In seeking to excel in everything you do unfortunately you will almost inevitably face challenges along the way. The most important thing is not that there are challenges, but lies in how you deal with them. There is a lot of evil in this world. There is much temptation to commit sin and leave Islam. See it this way: if there were no tests in the world and everything was perfect and people were all nice and good, then wouldn’t everyone just be destined for Jannah and what would be the purpose of life altogether? If all were good then how would Allah know who was good and bad if there was no evil, how would He be able to exhibit His quality of being the most just? If there was nothing to tempt us to commit wrong or evil in this world, then how could we prove ourselves to Allah? That we are true believers?

Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried? (Qur’an, 29: 2)

Regarding fitrah

We are all born in a state of fitrah.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: “No babe is born but upon Fitra. It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.” (Sahih Muslim)

Therefore, it is not something that we should want to get rid of as it is the correct way – the way to Jannah. Our job is to make sure that we remain in this state which can be attained by strengthening our relationship with Allah and remaining on the true path, resisting sin and the evils of this world by seeking refuge from Shaytaan.

Summary

Overall, it is important to try and remain on the true path, that of the fitrah on which we were born. We will face challenges and tests in attaining this, but it can be done by doing all we can to stay close to Allah and seeking His pleasure, using our blessings as a means of helping ourselves and others in this life and the next as much as possible. Focusing on our strengths and engaging in eman boosting activities can be the best way to achieve this.

May Allah guide you on the straight path and may He support you in succeeding in all that you do.

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

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)