As salamu alaykum dear brother,
Shokran for writing to our live session. After reading through your question and your situation brother, my heart really goes out to you. I am so sorry that you are going through all of this confusion, uncertainty, and feelings of inadequacy.
A Good Heart and Intentions
First of all, I would like to say that based on what you have written in your cry for help, you are a very good Muslim. People who are not good Muslims or who do not love Allah, or strive to please Allah, do not bother seeking answers or looking for help concerning Islam or personal problems. They just go about their business with no regard to resolving their problems. You however, have a conscience and you care, you are striving to be a good Muslim and Allah loves you for that.
No one is Perfect
No one is perfect brother. Not one perfect Muslim exists. We are all striving at different levels. As you know Allah looks at our heart. You have a very good heart. You work hard, you take care of your family, you support them financially, and you think of everyone else besides yourself. You make sure that your parents are taken care of, and you still strive to somehow take care of yourself as well.
Immense Stress & Pressure
From what I could tell, and based on what you have written, you are under an immense amount of stress and responsibility. For the past 5 years you have been working very hard to support everybody in your family. I am sure that you work long hours and then come home and deal with problems that must be resolve as well. I honor and respect your dedication and love for your family. However, you must also take care of yourself. Self-care must come first because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of others. This is not a selfish ideology, it is a real one. If you do not take care of yourself by eating good foods, quality sleep, and exercise, having an adequate social life with good friends, and attending to your spiritual needs Islamically, you are bound to feel mentally, physically and emotional exhausted. You may even feel hopeless and depressed. This may even be indicative of adrenal fatigue and/or a stress syndrome.
Confusion, Guilt, Feelings of Failure
You state that there is so much confusion in your head that you feel like you’re going to implode. That is a symptom of stress and possibly anxiety. According to you, you have a lot of guilt about not being a good Muslim and you can’t handle the thought anymore. Brother please rest assured that you are a good Muslim. You have a wonderful heart and you are sincere. Insha’Allah, if you can love and accept yourself where you are at right now and turn to Allah for help and guidance things will get easier. The emotions you are feeling right now in regard to guilt, pressure, and feeling like a failure is due in part to everything you are trying to accomplish.
You are trying to do the job and live up to the responsibilities of two or three people. You must remember you are you are just one person. I kindly suggest if there are any other siblings, uncle’s or aunties in the family who can help out, please do enlist their assistance. You need to have some time for yourself. Brother regarding your feeling torn, I asked you to please sit down take a deep breath and relax your mind in your body. I encourage you to practice some stress management techniques which I have included in the references. Why you are relaxing, and your mind is in a good place, I asked insha’Allah that you write down a list of five positive things about yourself. I know there are many more but let’s start with 5. Next, I would like you to make a list of the top five things of importance in your life right now. It could be a job, going to the Masjid, going for social activities, studying, or whatever is important to you right now. I am sure there are a lot, but please limit your choices to the top five. I would like you to focus on these two lists. One, which are your good points and your strength, the other is regarding things that you would need to do or would like to do in your life or are currently doing. Insha’Allah for the next few months try to focus on these five top important items and reflect back to your five strengths. Often times when we prioritize the things in our lives in order of importance, other things can fall to the wayside for a while and we realize that it really didn’t make that much of a difference in our lives.
Versions of Islam
You spoke about the many different versions of Islam that you have seen, and now you don’t know what to believe. I understand this can be very emotionally draining and depressing. However, there is only one Islam. To find it brother, please read the Qur’an. I’m sure you are already reading the Qur’an or have read it many times before. However, I’m asking that you read it in a different light. Read it with nothing in your head heart or mind except the will to please Allah. By approaching the Qur’an with this in your heart, Allah will surely open the doors of knowledge for you. I will make duaa for you that Allah swt clarify your path.
End of the Rope, Hold on to Allah
What I hear from you and I may be wrong, is someone who is at the end of their rope. Someone who has taken care of everybody else except themselves. Someone who has strived, someone who has sought knowledge and found confusion. Someone who’s cried out to Allah but yet feels alone. Brother you are someone that Allah loves very much. Regardless of how many sins you have committed or what you have done, Allah is merciful, and Allah loves you. There is no perfect Muslim, seeking Allah is striving. When we do sin, it is during these times of suffering with these sins that we seek forgiveness and learn what true freedom is. We see that the freedom lies in pleasing Allah as best as we can. It often takes hardships, stress, falling down and getting back up again to realize this. It is said that Allah tests those that he loves the most. You are being tested brother and you are loved very much. Insha’Allah you will pass these tests. The shaitan doesn’t want you to of course and fill try to fill your mind with all sort of defeating thoughts. You have the rope of Allah, the blessings of Allah to get you through. Should you truly feel suicidal, please-call the suicide hotline and tell a family member. This darkness and hard times in your life will pass, don’t give up as the light of Allah is with you. Prophets before us walked this earth in great tests and trials. Our beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a beautiful example of surviving tests, trials, confusions and losses. Yet he trusted in Allah’s mercy, love and protection.
You stated that you have been going to therapy for a while now and they recently told you to talk to a father in the church. I do not understand that, it sounds unethical. Perhaps they are related to a church organization and that is part of their treatment. Please do seek out a new therapist, one who can be impartial, correctly diagnose you and lead you on a path of healing and wellness. Insha’Allah, please do seek referrals for qualified counselors in your area. Regaining composure after years of prolonged stress, confusion and possible depression is not easy, but it is so worth it. You just need to take the steps forward into a new life.
Delegating & Self Care
Brother, please do find a way to delegate some of the household responsibilities among family members. If you are like every other Muslim, you feel like you are a great sinner. Make repentance to Allah and ask for forgiveness. Read the Qur’an and ask Allah for guidance while reading it. Seek a balance in your life that includes loving yourself enough so that you can be healthy both mentally and physically, as well as spiritually and emotionally. You have great and wonderful things coming to you in this life insha’Allah. What you’re going through now is like a testing ground. You are not weak, you are strong. In trials and tribulations strength grows. One day soon insha’Allah, you will look back and be amazed at how much you went through and how victorious you rose from these things that hurt you now.
Brother, I want you to know that you can talk to us anytime. In fact, please do write to us and let us know how you’re doing or feel free to submit another question that you may be concerned about. In any event you have a family here in AboutIslam who cares about you. This is what the ummah is for. We are brothers and sisters and we are to be there for one another. With that said, insha’Allah please do try to follow up on the tips in this response. Insha’Allah they are of some used to you and bring some sense of peace and resolve. Let us know how you’re doing, and please do contact us should something come up. We wish you the best you are in my prayers
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.