Dear brothers and sisters,
Thank you for participating in the session.
Please find the 4 questions to which our counselor provided answers. If you do not find yours here, check out our upcoming session or submit it there again.
Question 1. I can’t seem to focus on anything
Assalamu alaikum :), I have been depressed this whole year due to various reasons and I’m not able to do anything other than sleep. I have important exams coming up in about a week which I desperately need to get through and it’s stressing me out a lot because I cannot get myself to study. I have stem subjects and it’s really hard for me to understand them and score well but I constantly try to escape the reality by sleeping. I will be graduating in a few months after my final exams but the chances of me failing are high. I am always tired and unmotivated to move and the exam stress caused me to self-harm relapse. I have seen around 8 to 10 therapists before, been on pills but nothing seems to work because I always end up relapsing. I pray for myself too but I don’t think there’s any hope left for me or my future. Please guide me.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
I understand that you have been experiencing depression for some time now. The effects of the depression are causing you to feel unmotivated, sleep a lot and even self harm. With some very important exams coming up, this is obviously and understandably going to make you feel extremely stressed. Even without the depression, exams are stressful for most people. To feel stressed in response to your pending exams is perfectly normal. However, your other experiences seem to be more enduring.
Based on the information you have provided, I’d first encourage you to think about the following…
Did you discuss the underlying reasons for your depression with any of the counselors you have seen? If you didn’t, I would strongly suggest talking to a counsellor about this. I would like to hope that the reason you saw a counsellor was to address these issues? On the other hand, the fact that you have seen many counsellors suggests that perhaps you did not get satisfactory outcomes each time you worked with someone new. If this is the case, consider what it was that they were doing wrong. With this in mind, if you should get counseling again, perhaps you could take a different approach. Make sure to make clear your goals from the outset so that the counsellor is aware of what you are looking to achieve from these sessions. If there is anything else that provides a barrier along the way, then don’t be shy and speak up. These things may be difficult and uncomfortable, but ultimately, your counsellor is supposed to be helping you out so it is important that you make sure you do your bit. Alternatively, it may have been about the therapeutic approaches that have been incompatible with what you want. You may not even be aware of what approach was used and may be that’s what caused the unsatisfactory outcome. If so, you might ensure that you find out about the therapists approach and the techniques they use before fully engaging in therapy. This will help you both establish how you will work together with an understanding of your personal goals. Your therapist will be able to talk you through the process, what you’re doing and how they plan on working with other. The reason I make a point here of ensuring that you are getting the most suitable ongoing therapy is that with a condition such as depression, it is paramount that you get sufficient support to manage your depression such that it doesn’t interfere with the other areas of your life, such as taking exams as it is now. If you can deal with the underlying issue associated with these secondary problems, such as avoidance through sleeping and lack of motivation, then it will be a whole lot easier to tackle problems related to your schooling as these barriers will be managed.
In the meantime I can suggest a few things that, in sha Allah, can help with your current situation.
Firstly, you have mentioned that you do pray, but at the same time, you have lost hope. Alhmadulillah that you are praying, but do not lose hope. Stay close to Allah and have hope in His Mercy. Direct your prayers about your depression and exams to Him and surely, He will provide you with an oath put of these difficulties. As you get closer to Him, your hope will rise, for when your level of eeman is higher, it becomes a lot easier to trust in His Will and be motivated to do all you cab to achieve your prayers then leaving the rest to Allah if He wills. Then you can be confident that if pass, your hard work and Allah’s will allowed this to happen and if nit, then you can also be content that whilst you tried your hardest, Allah had other things in mind for you. Perhaps He wants to push you to a different path that is more suitable? Maybe He wants you to try again and perform even better forward better opportunity further down the line. You see, with faith in Allah, you can be content with His will and try hard to achieve your goals. To achieve this, you might also introduce some other acts of worship into you daily routine to support your connection with and awareness of Allah as a form of motivation.
Another practical tip that can be useful at exam time is to find ways to hold yourself accountable. On a simple level, you can find yourself accountable to yourself by creating a study plan and keeping it in open view so that you can visually see what you need to study each day. Having a plan can also help with focus and reducing overwhelm as you are clear in what you need to do each day. As you complete each revision session, you can mark them off. Seeing it visually can be a way to help with motivation as it adds to a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Additionally, or alternatively, connect with other young ladies who are also sitting the same exams. Compare notes and motivate each other. This is another way to hold yourself accountable. You could’ve ask a family member who is not part of your study group to be checking in with you to make sure you are on target with your revision.
May Allah guide you and make your path easy. May He open doors of hope and success to you that bring you joy and happiness in this life and the next.
Question 2. What should I do to please Allah after falsely accusing someone?
3 months ago, I had brought a maid to help me take care of the kids while I worked during my stay at my parents’ house. At the same house, there was another maid that was there longer (working for my parents) my parent’s maid didn’t like that I brought a new maid and started to cause problems.
So, I asked her to leave. 2 weeks after she left, I realized a pair of new shoes I had bought had gone missing. And when I asked my parents maid, she pretended to not know where it was. I immediately thought of the previous worker that I let go. And went to her agency’s office where she was and humiliated her and checked her stuff. As I was checking her belongings, she pushed me so I pushed her back and took one of her shoes and threw it away and left.
3 months later I found out my parent’s maid took my shoes and hid it. How can I repent? I feel so guilty. I have tried to contact the person I wrongfully accused to apologize and repay her for how I made her feel. But there are no traces of her. Will Allah punish me? Nothing justifies what I have done but during the maid stay, she always asked me about my jewelry, clothes, shoes etc. and would make negative remarks about Islam even though I’d correct her. So, I assumed it was her after all. And I feel terribly bad. What can I do?
Assalamu alaikum wa rahamatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
I can understand how this is making you feel so guilty and repentant. Sure that the maid had been doing these terrible things you accused her and publicly humiliated her and possibly caused others in the agency to think ill of her. Knowing her innocence must have made her feel devastated since she actually did nothing wrong.
It is clear that you are feeling very bad for what happened and have gone to some lengths to rectify issue. However, you have not been able to find her to reach out and apologize which is unfortunate. There are a few things you can do however.
Firstly, turn to Allah and ask for His forgiveness for behaving in a way that is not very Islamic by making unjustified assumptions about others. Ask Him that your paths will cross again so that you can make amends.
Additionally, don’t stop the search for her. Ask at the agency and other agencies that she may have gone to. Ask in places where you know she may be, or people who may know her. Perhaps she is even on social media? This is a common and easy way to track down people that you may have lost contact with.
Whether you are able to find her or not, what you have experienced is a great lesson. It was a tough and hard hitting one., but the discomfort that it has made you feel will surely make you think twice before you even contemplate accusing others of anything. Although you feel terrible, and rightfully so, this is an opportunity for growth for you to learn from such mistakes. We all make mistakes of a kind multiple times during our life time. As is the nature of man. We all do it. However, what we do with the consequences of the same is what matters and gives you the chance to prove yourself to Allah that firstly you feel bad for committing a sin, secondly that you are remorseful and seek forgiveness and that finally you do your level beat to avoid doing the same again. It almost serves as a way to purify yourself of such sins and stay away from them with an ease greater than would have been present had you not been through this experience. It is very tough, but there’s such a positive lesson to be gained from it at the same time.
May Allah forgive you and guide you on a path of righteousness. May He soften the heart of the maid to forgive you and grant her and life of happiness and success in this life and the next.
Question 3. Too tired to pray and parent abuse
Assalamu alaikum sister. I am a high school student. So, I come home and pray dhuhr prayer which I cannot pray at school and I feel really tired that I cannot remember or recognize what I’ve said sometimes. I came up with a hadith where the prophet told us to pray when one is conscious and in energy to pray. I can sleep but the problem is when I wake up, I have to pray the asr and the maghrib sometimes cannot wake up before it as I need more sleep. So, when I pray those prayers combined, I feel very tired. And another problem is that my mother believes that sleeping in the time of maghrib is not ok. She will not listen to me. Now, she even beat me to wake me up from my sleep. She just says that I’m too lazy to make some tea for her so that I sleep after coming from school. What can I do..
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh
It can be quite the challenge to juggle many responsibilities in life. You are at school at the moment so are engaged full time in your education, but also, given your age are obliged to keep your daily prayers.
It is unfortunate also that your mother isn’t making things any easier. Beating you is completely wrong and unacceptable, even relating to obligations like prayer. She is right to be concerned about you sleeping too much and /or missing prayer, but to beat you is not the correct way to deal with it and is certainly not going to make you feel happy about praying and may even be causing you to experience negative feelings about prayer. Prayer shouldn’t make people feel this way, but given the number of problems that seem to be resulting from it, it would surprising if you had negative feelings about prayer and don’t feel motivated to pray.
Whether or not this is actually happening in your mind, you can cling on to this understanding to help yourself. If you get a positive feeling from prayer, than you are more likely to be motivated to pray on time and enjoy it regardless of if you are feeling tired.
That said, feeling tired a lot could be a result of having an underlying condition. Lots of physical health conditions can cause tiredness. If you feel that you sleep more than would be normally expected for your age, or if you are still feeling tired after a good night’s sleep then you need to go and visit your doctor to check if there is any cause for your excessive sleepiness. If this is not the case, then it might be that you need to look at your sleep routine. Are you going to bed at an acceptable time? Are you getting good quality sleep, falling to sleep in a reasonable time and are easy to wake. Check your sleep hygiene. Are you avoiding caffeine in the evening? Not engaging in any device close to bed time? Eating with sufficient time for food to digest before sleeping? Also, are you eating healthily and getting sufficient exercise as this too can impact on levels of sleepiness regardless of whether you have had sufficient sleep or not.
These are all things to consider initially to deal with your tiredness which is really what seems to be the source of your problems.
Additionally, to boost your desire and motivation to pray, take steps to get closet to Allah. I understand that you are probably feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork and other commitments, but prioritizing Allah can gone long way. You will not necessarily understand all feel this until you do. During idle time, engage in dhikr. This doesn’t even have to take extra time, you can be doing it as you walk or catch bus to school or when transitioning between classes. I would also highly recommend starting your day with reading Qur’an. Even if its only 10 minutes you spend to begin with. This ensures that you start your day with Allah in mind committed to worshipping Him. It can be a way to put barakah in your day before it has barely begun.
We must not finish without addressing your mother’s unacceptable behavior towards you. She is doing the right thing to point out that you must pray and is doing so for your own benefit, but beating is not the correct way to do this. In sha Allah, following the advice I have laid out here will make it increasingly easier to fulfil your obligations and your mother will be pleased, but if her behavior continues, or reaches a level where you are actually getting hurt to the point of causing marks and bruising…etc., then you need to go and get help before something bad happens and things get out of hand, whether it’s from family or friends or nevertheless Muslim community.
May Allah give you strength on the path of Islam and bring you contentment in His remembrance. May He soften your mother’s heart and keep her rightly guided and soften her heart.
Question 4. Fall in love with 20 years young office colleague
My question is I fall in love with 20 years young female as she is my office colleague, from last 2 months I have been thinking about her, sleep disturb, even I wake up in Tahajud as well, I start five-time prayers as well with Tahajud prayer, and I am asking her from Allah in prayers
I am not inspired by her looks nor have any sexual attraction she is very ordinary looks but I can’t stop my self-thinking about her, she offers 5 times prayer, always in hijab, she doesn’t have any brother and her father passed away. When I heard her family background a soft corner developed in my heart and I start to help her in her profession, she never give any response regarding love in her mind.
It is true love? Or infatuation or what, because of her I become praying all times.
I have 3 children and wife but in our society 2nd marriage is question mark as husband although in our religion it is allowed.
I am doing right or I should send a marriage message, but in same organization we work I can’t purpose. What should I do please reply me.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,
It sounds like you have become very preoccupied with this other woman and your thoughts are constantly of her.
Due to the intensity of these emotions I would encourage you to do something about it as soon as possible before something bad happens. You could either outback marriage proposal to her as a second wife, or seek to distance yourself from her such that your overwhelming thoughts should be lessened. You work in the same office so will enviably cross paths, but if there is a way to prevent this, that is better. You might consider asking to transfer to another department if possible or find any other way to manipulate the situation so that your do not see this other woman so often. If you are not going to as forever hand in marriage, then this would be better.
If you chose to seek to marry her, then please be sensitive to the consequences that this may have for your first wife and children. It would be a big change for them all and quite possibly one that they would not welcome. Whilst it is not necessary for you to inform them either, again, consider the consequences of either path and ways that you could ease the situation for all.
It’s a big decision either way so it’s important to carefully consider your options – seek to marry her or seek a transfer in your workplace, or even get a new job altogether. If you choose not to marry her and stay working together, be aware that things will continue to be awkward and may lead to Shaytans temptations taking hold if not managed correctly. Taken time to think of all you options and potential benefits and negative consequences of each. Take your time making such an important decision before diving in. if you have a trusted friend or relative, seek a second neutral opinion. Most importantly, take the matter to Allah. Once you have made you choice, make iskihara and Allah will allow your choice to happen if its meant to be or He will please barriers in your way if it’s not.
May Allah guide you to make the choice that is best for you and your family and most pleasing to Him. May He grant you happiness and success with your choice in this life and the next.
Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.