New Year, New Page (Counseling Session)

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Hannah for answering the questions.

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 | 09:00 - 09:30 GMT

Session is over.
DISCLAIMER
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.  



I feel so restless even I can’t sleep properly i don’t know what is bothering me i just want to cry every time I fear that m so alone i’ve no one i don’t even talk to anyone.

 

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

It sounds like that are a couple of different components to your situation that are causing you distress; the physical side of actually being constantly restless as well as the emotional and psychological component that stems from your loneliness. Due to this combination there are are couple of ways to move forward and overcome this dealing with all the components of your situation.

The first thing you should do is visit your doctor to check that there is not an underlying condition that is causing your physical symptoms of restlessness as there are conditions that can actually cause such symptoms and there are medical treatments available to treat It. It may be that the secondary consequences of having a medical condition such as this is causing psychological distress due to something like a lack of sleep due to a restless pattern not permitting the body to get the necessary rest to function properly.

If all medical conditions are ruled out then you should look into possible psychological causes for your symptoms. The fact that in your short query you mention feeling lonely with no one to talk to indicates that this could potentially be the cause of psychological distress which is causing the physical symptoms of restlessness too. It is often the case that psychological symptoms are accompanied by physical manifestations of the same, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish whether a physical condition is the primary cause resulting in psychological distress as mentioned above, or whether the primary cause is psychological resulting in physical symptomology. If the latter is the case then you can begin by trying to identify the causes of your restlessness by identifying what precisely is bothering you. You mention here that you don’t know what exactly is bothering you so you knight consider keeping a journal where you regularly check in with yourself during the day rating what’s happening and how you feel (in words or a simple 1-10 scale of happy – sad) . After a week or so take some time to analyse your journal to see if you can notice any patterns. Does there seem to be any particular event, or time of a day, or place when you are reporting low feelings? Understanding what your triggers are will make it easier for you to deal with the exact cause of your difficulties more effectively.

In addition, perhaps your journaling will reveal that it is specifically moments when you feel alone or need others by your side that you are feeling particularly down, or perhaps it will not, but your query suggests that this may well be the case as you are conscious that this is an issue for you. This is not surprising as social contact with others is key to healthy psychological and emotional wellbeing. So, regardless of whether you identify this as the cause of your restlessness this is something you should work on for your overall health too. If you have some old friends, make contact with them, organise a meet up, or invite them to your house. Make it a regular thing to maintain contact. If not, or in addition to this, attend local sisters meet ups in your local masjid if this exists in your local community and get actively involved in things that they do. This will be a great eman booster as well as a chance to meet others who follow the same Deen as yourself. Alternatively, if you have a particular hobby, or even a hobby that you have always fancied trying but haven’t, find a local club and sign up to meet with others who share similar interests to you. Either of these options will give you an opp3to meet with others and do something meaningful with yourself. This will certainly help with the feelings of restlessness that you are experiencing in terms of filling a void, providing you with psychological comfort and even keeping you busy so that you will be more likely to sleep well so therefore serves multiple beneficial purposes for you.

May Allah ease your affairs and grant you good health, both physically and psychologically.




Assalamu’alaikum wrb.

Recently, I have a fear that the girl I have a crush on is spying on me with sihr that can make her read my mind. I first thought about this like a month ago if I’m not mistaken. Now my question is not whether or not it’s possible, but whether or not this can be considered paranoia, negative thinking or irrational fear. Gradually, the worry/fear get worse, I started to worry whether or not she can actually read people’s mind even without sihr, and eventually to the point that she is all-knowing…. (astaghfirullah)

Now it is important to note that I am not 24/7 stresses or depressed or overwhelmed with that fear. It’s episodic.  And it appears that it gets less severe. However, my questions are:

1) Am I experiencing paranoia, or is it just an overwhelming fear?

2) Everytime that thought came, I try to not think about it. My question, is ignoring those thoughts the same as I stop believing in them, or just simply not to dwell in them (like I still believe in them, but choose to ignore it)?

 

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh brother,

Whether or not this is a case of paranoia, negative thinking or and irrational fear, the fact that it is causing you so much distress at times is cause for concern even if it is not something that affe ts you 24/7 because it could be something that eventually causes you more serious issues where perhaps you become over focused on the last point of your first paragraph relating to the potential feeling that she is ‘all knowing’ and this becomes something that takes you away from Islam because as you know Allah is the only one who is All Knowing and we cannot and should not attribute this to anyone else.

From an Islamic perspective, the way to deal with such thoughts is to continually seek refuge with Him from Shaytan, remembering Him at all time throughout the day and increasing you acts of ibadah so get even closer to Allah and push Shaytan away. This way thoughts such as the latter will be gradually reduced.

From a psychological perspective there a several of ways to deal with such thoughts. At present you try to push the thought away and not dwell on them. This is one way that can be successful in dealing with such intrusive thoughts. However, sometimes using this method can only make such thoughts and feelings even stronger. For example, think of a random object and then for 5 minutes try not to think about this chosen object. After 5 minutes ask yourself if you truly succeeded. The truth is the object probably popped into your mind multiple times! Often, the more you try to suppress a thought the stronger it becomes.

Alternatively, you can instead pay attention to the thought. You can do this in a couple of different ways too. One technique suggests that you simply pay attention to the thought and don’t try and push it away. Allow yourself to think it and feel it, give it your attention, accept it as a thought and then let it pass. Repeat the same every time the though arises. Don’t judge the thought it any way, just simply allow it to pass.

In the other hand, you can pay attention to the thought but do pass judgement on it. Pay attention to it and analyze it in depth. Ask yourself how likely it is that your thought is true? Could she really be reading your mind? Not likely, but even if she could, what’s the worst that could happen? Is she really the ‘all knowing’? Of course not because only Allah is. Is she really spying on you with sihr? Not likely, but possible. What’s the worst that could happen if this was the case? And what can you do about it? Simple, you can protect yourself from sihr by taking the matter to Allah by always remembering to say your morning and evening adhkar. Make sure to to do this every day then place your trust I. Allah and no harm will be able to afflict you as a result of sihr. This way whether you choose to truly believe your thoughts or not, you will be protected from the potential harm of them.

Experiment with these different methods of dealing with such thoughts until you find which method works best for you and in sha Allah you will find yourself in a much stronger position to manage your thoughts successfully moving forward.

May Allah protect you from harm guiding you on the straight path to the best in this life and the next.




Assalamualaikum.

I have been suffering from OCD for many years. To cure this illness I tried everything eg taking counseling sessions, going to Raqi but to no avail. I am really giving up with everything. I get intrusive thoughts every time I study on my table. I couldn’t control my sexual desires hence I went to massage to release my desire note that I didn’t have sex with them. I feel so guilty every time I do this as if I think I am a hypocrite.

I pray regularly but trust me I cannot get over them. Now I feel like committing suicide as I can’t take it anymore. One of the intrusive thoughts I get that as I didn’t go to a good university I will not be successful in my life. I want to do something so that people will remember me but I think my university background is holding me back. Moreover, I want to be an Islamic scholar but knowing the fact that I am a hypocrite I don’t think I can’t be a scholar. I have given up !!! Please help me.

 

Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh brother,

Sorry to hear that you have been experiencing this problem for some time now. It must be very distressing for you especially since you have tried various things to overcome this to no avail as yet to the point that you are now feeling suicidal. Due to such intense feelings, I would urge you to continue with the counseling and perhaps even go to your doctor to get some medication to help you with your symptoms and make it easier for you to engage in other treatments such as counseling. If possible, it would be best for you to seek counseling with a Muslim counselor who will be able to support you from an Islamic perspective as it seems that what you are experiencing is quite a severe case of waswas. In the meantime whilst you pursue these op3there are some things you can do to support yourself.

As well as going to a raqi, you can even perform ruqya on yourself, in fact this is even more recommended that having someone do it for you. Get advice from your local imam on how to do this.

Do all you can to stay close to Allah. Engage in increasing amounts of acts of ibadah. Fast more often, make dhikr more often, spend more time reading the Qur’an, pray more voluntary prayers, watch Islamic lectures, be with other brothers more often, read your morning and evening adhkar for protection and say all the recommended duas at various points during the day (before you leave the house, enter the bathroom.. Etc..). All things things will keep you close to Allah and push the Shaytan away. Increase these things gradually so that you don’t become so overwhelmed that you will eventually give up on them feeling they are too burdensome. Shaytan does not like to see people get closer to Allah and if he sees that he sees that his words are having no effect on you and are in fact pushing you closer to Allah he will eventually leave you alone and the whispers will cease in time. Beyond this, the key is to not give up once they are gone as they will find a way to come back again so keep on top of these acts of ibadah to keep your eman strong. Not only will this help you to get closer to Allah and push the waswas away but it will help you to control your desires too and avoid doing the things that make you feel guilty such as going for massages.

You will also notice that as you implement these things and get closer to Allah, you thoughts about feeling like a hypocrite and not going to a good university will also disappear. As you get closer to Allah and realise what your true priorities in life are you will come to see the irrelevance of going to a good university and the importance actually of pleasing Allah rather than people. Striving to be an Islamic scholar is something that would be far more beneficial to you that going to a good university so please don’t let thoughts that you can’t pursue this get in the way of your efforts. This is something far more valuable to be remembered by than having gone to a good university; valuable to others as well as to yourself in both this life and the next. Perhaps you could even use your current experience to help others. There are many people who go through what you are going through so you could be an open inspiration to help those in this situation reach the other side successfully by showing them that it is possible. Use your own experience to inspire them and support them in their journeys. This will give you a sense of purpose in an activity that is pleasing to Allah as you support others in their journey closet to Him.

May Allah ease your affairs and make your journey in this life and the next a fulfilling one filled with contentment and success.


N



I’m a 22 female currently in a relationship with a guy who loves me deeply our parents met and we’re planning to get engaged next year inshaAllah.

This guy is everything I have asked god for, but sometimes I feel like i take him for granted.

My questions are: any advice for not taking a spouse for granted? And is it Haram to find yourself attracted to others? And does having thoughts or fantasies considered cheating? Any advice for lowering ones gaze and sexual drive ? my conscious is killing me.

 

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

 

The first and most important thing in this situation is to air a word of caution regarding having relationships like this before marriage. Islamically it is not acceptable and since you are not married yet you should be very careful regarding any contact with him until you are formally married in the name of Allah.

 

Being in a relationship with someone outside of marriage will naturally result in the development of feelings and will only heighten the feeling of sexual attraction and likelihood of committing zina. Therefore, the best thing for you to do to control such desires is to cut contact with this man until you are married. If you are serious about marrying him, he really is a good guy and your parents are in support of the marriage then why not hasten to push the marriage forward so that you are able to meet your needs in an acceptable way? Having the means to do so in a halal way will automatically assist you in lowering your gaze and inappropriate sexual drive as you will have your needs met in a way that is acceptable. It will also take any feelings you have towards others away as you will have a partner in life to provide the love and security that you need and you won’t feel the need to loom elsewhere. The longer you remain in a relationship where you cannot achieve all the things that a married couple would the more you will be preoccupied with the thoughts you are having.

 

It might feel like the thoughts you are having are part of taking a spouse for granted, but the thing is, because you are not married such thoughts are running wild in your mind because you don’t have the security that marriage brings. Keep in kind that whilst you are not married to him you are not obliged to him so any thoughts you have about others shouldn’t even make you feel guilty because you are not committed to him! They are causing you some bother because you feel obliged to him, but since you are not there should be no cause for feelings of guilt. It is advisable that you cut contact with hom for now until you are in a position to get married otherwise these negative feelings will only get stronger and Shaytan will only make it more difficult for you to control yourself as your feelings become stronger over time.

 

Cutting contact with him will also contribute to raising your ability to lower your gaze as you will be reducing the temptation in your life. There are also other things you can do to assist you with this.

 

Fasting is one of the first things prescribed to assist with lower the gaze and sexual desires. It is a task that helps you to learn to control all of your desires and with regular practice, perhaps every Monday and Thursday as per the sunnah it could eventually become a habit for you that assists you in controlling all desires.

 

Additionally, as well as cutting contact with this guy himself, avoiding being in mixed gatherings will also help. Also, things such as avoiding watching TV programmes or reading Internet articles that promote the same or have Haram adverts or implied sexuality can also help to tame such desires. Instead, keeping busy in acts of ibadah will help to increase your remembrance of Allah that you strive to do all you can to please him and fear doing anything

to displease him. You can do this by gradually replacing activities that might arouse such feelings with those that do not and in fact have the opposite effect due to increase your Allah awareness. You can do this by keeping busy in acts of ibadah at home such as reading Qur’an, learning about Islam and watching lectures. Of you struggle with self discipline then you can do this with others, either with a sisters group at your local masjid, or even online.

May Allah guide you and protect your from the traps of Shaytan. May He grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.