Weak Faith & Mental Illness (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.

Saturday, Feb. 08, 2020 | 08:00 - 09:00 GMT

Session is over.
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.  


Question 1

I usually remain in anxious mood about my future.


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

It is usual to feel a level of anxiety about the future primarily because of the uncertainty that lies within what is to come. There are a few ways to tackle this.

Firstly, without any details about your specific situation, I would ask you to consider if there is any particular reason you are feeling anxious, or if there is any particular aspect if your future that is causing you this anxiety, for example, is it relationships, career, finances.. Etc..? If you can locate exactly what is causing the anxiety this will give you something specific to focus on in trying to ease you transition to the future.

You might also spend time contemplating over whether this anxiety had come of a particular event. Perhaps something has happened in your past that has lead to this increased anxiety. If it is something major then you might consider getting counselling related to this issue otherwise you may continue to get irrationally anxious about things that may or may not happen in your future due to this event that has made you sensitive to some in particular about your future.

Once you are clear on what is causing you this anxiety in particular you can focus and stabilising things in this field in order to reduce the anxiety. For example, if it is finances then you could start saving small amounts now to set aside for your future. Likewise, if it is your career, sit down and make a plan for how you will reach your career goal and make the necessary enquiries and steps to make progress towards this through training or engaging in activities that will get you closer to this goal.

This last point is particularly useful to note thinking a out what is to come in your future is what is causing you anxiety, yet in the present moment you have control over your situation. By initiating control in your current situation in things that will contribute to the betterment of your future this will relieve you of your anxieties to some extent as it will give you that heightened sence of control over your future.

Aside from managing your anxiety from this angle you can also look into treating the physical symptoms that accompany the feeling of anxiety as these feelings can be so debilitating that they inky make the anxiety worse. If you can control your physical response it will help you to feel more calm which will assist you in being more emotionally calm also.

Firstly, if you had a hard time identifying exactly what was making you nervous and are finding that you are just generally feeling anxious all the time and sometimes even for no reason then you should go to your doctor and be sure to get assessed for an anxiety disorder so you can be treated accordingly. This may come in the form of medication or a psychological therapy or a combination or the 2.

To complement this treatment you could also work in relaxation exercises at home too. This is usually done through recognising the symptoms of anxiety that you experience and when you feel them coming on engage is relaxation exercises such as paying attention to your breathing on purpose, or progressive muscle relaxation. Use an audio or video recording to guide you if necessary.

May Allah relieve you of your anxieties and grant you happiness and success in this life and the next.


Question 2

Assalamu alaykum. I’m devastated, been subjected to a marriage without sex and companionship. Resolved to masturbation and watching porn. Got divorced a year ago. Tried to hold on to prayers in controlling my urge. But unfortunately got into Zina twice recently. Each time I cried and seek for forgiveness and promised not to indulge in it. But I found myself in it again. I’m begging you to help me pray and seek for forgiveness from ALLAH. I want a husband so I can’t get back to it. Please help me, save me.


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wabarakatuh, sister,

It is very unfortunate that you have had such a terrible marital experience and this has lead you to commit a few sinful acts seemingly as a means to make up for the things that were lacking that you needed in your marriage.

However, the fact that you feel bad about it and are repentant about it is a good sign. Don’t ever stop this. Continue to turn to Allah and ask for His forgiveness. He loves to forgive and in sha Allah He will forgive you. As part of this, it is important that you do all you can to never fall into these sins again. One of the best things you can do is to avoid being in mixed gatherings where possible and not allowing yourself ever to be alone with a non mahram male, especially not in quiet places where there are no other people around. This will automatically make it practically impossible to fall into things such as zina as you simply not have the opportunity to be even tempted.

Then, regarding the porn and masturbation, as the advabove won’t necessary stop your turn to these options, you should seek to keep yourself doing useful things so that you don’t have the time to even consider turning to them. Try and make these task those that keep you close to your Deen. On top of your usual daily tasks, increase your acts of ibadah. If you find yourself with nothing to do, pray voluntary prayers, make dhikr or read the Qur’an. Set yourself goals that will keep you motivated to do these things and increase your closeness to Allah that your fear of Allah and His punishment will make it easy to stay away from the haram acts that you have found yourself engaging in of late.

As well as busying yourself with these things in your spare time, also busy yourself with others too. Be active in your local Muslim community, attend halaqahs, join classes, incr3your knowledge in the company of others. Being surrounded by righteousness people will also support you in staying away from Haram and prevent you from even having the opportunity to do such things to.

Whilst doing these things do be in active pursuit of seeking a spouse if you are in the position to do so. Seek support from your family and friends as well as the local masjid in doing so. This way you wi3ha e the support of others in finding a suitable spouse and they will also be able to assess if he is suitable for you too based on what is kn2of his background and character.

Additionally, never give up on turning to Allah in repentence. Allah loves to forgive. This will also strengthen your connection with Him which will bring you confidence in His Mercy, but also fear of His wrath should you consider falling into sin again. Tur2to Him in the depths of the night in sincere repentence and ask for His guidance in being strong enough to stay away from it as well as granting you a good spouse in the future.

May Allah forgive you and guide you aright. May He grant you strength to remain on the righteous path and grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.


Question 3

I am a 19 year old and I was involved with a boy for 9 months until I called quits the other day. I did this because despite the affection i have for him I kept feeling anxious and thinking about the religious aspect of it. I have no plans of getting married soon neither does he so i just kept feeling bad. My mom and dad knew about the relationship and they were cool w it bcs it is like that in our culture but I couldnt stop feeling bad.

Because he is really serious about me, and an amaazing guy but doesnt get the religious aspect. I told him I do not love him like he does because I cant picture a future w him within the boundaries of islam. We went long distance after i moved to study but even if its just chatting and videocalling I didnt feel like it was right. Everyone tells me I lost a gem. And they tell me i shouldve waited a little more to see if I stopped feeling anxious. Im feeling guilty for breaking his heart. Please guide me.


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

Even though you are feeling bad right now, I can reassure you that you did the right thing in calling things off. There was a good reason why you were you were experiencing bad feelings about the situation since you had no intention to marry him so your bad feelings caused you to do just the right thing. Even if he was a good person who would make a good spouse, having a relationship outside of marriage is not permitted in Islam. That also includes video calling and chatting from a distance. In fact, this type of contact can be even more dangerous l than face to face contact as it is easier to lose one’s inhibitions from behind a screen and falls into even more sinful activity. Not only that, but it is easier to chat more frequently and therefore develop stronger feelings for one another which can lead to sin more easily and make it even more difficult to distance yourself from one another. As a result it leave you feeling guilty about calling this off as you are feeling now.

Sister, you do not need to allow yourself to feel bad for breaking his heart because what you had together was haram and you did the best thing. Your uncomfortable feelings led you to do the right thing. Even though you feel your fight is decreasing, you still acted in the best and most pleasing way by calling it off. You both made a mistake by having such an intimate relationship with one another outside of marriage and that is his adult as much as yours and its OK to feel guilty about that because it was wrong, but this uncomfortable feeling will prevent you from doing the same again for fear of having to go through these feelings again.

Use your feelings now to actually push you to Allah, to turn to Him in repentence for what has happened and not allow you to have relationships with other males outside of marriage again. Use these difficult emotions to better yourself in moving forward.

Despite the fact that your mom and dad didn’t prevent this happening as it is is normal in your culture, you will still strong enough to do the right thing. Masha Allah. You might now try to link in with a good group of local sisters in the community that will be able to direct you should you find yourself falling into the wrong path again. This way you can feel comforted by the support of others knowing that they will be a positive influence on you and do all they can to prevent you falling into such sins. It will also give you the sence of companionship that you need right now in finding your faith back again, helping to boost your eman once more and strengthen your connection to Islam.

May Allah forgive your mistakes and guide you back on the path. May you always find comfort in the remembrance of Allah.



Question 4

Assalamu alaikum,

I have tried very hard to be a good Muslim growing up. I did the basic things like pray and fast, and generally stayed away from the haram things. I had good self control in that aspect. I still do, but I’m starting to question why I bother.

I don’t know what it is. After everything that has happened in my life, as well as reading about other people’s experiences, I can’t help but feel that Muslims are meaner and more unhappy than others. Most of the adults I know, in my family in particular, are terrible people with narcisstic tendencies.

I had to read about the positive things about Islam myself. The way many parents teach things makes it seem very unfair. For example, I understand why women should wear hijab, but had I not gone and read about it, I would have assumed it was yet another unfair burden on women. To this day, I have not heard my parents talk about religion in an enlightening way to make us appreciate it, its just “you have to do this or you will go to hell”.

I am not attached to this dunya. I want it to end. I want to enter jannah, inshallah, but there is yet another thing that many muslim girls such as myself worry about: hoors. It seems silly, but this one thing is destroying ny faith. My one goal was to try as hard as I can to get to jannah, because there are things I dont think i will experience in this world, and a big one is love. I heard we can have whatever we desire, and that is what I would want, more than gold or food, because I havent received love from anybody. I want a monogamous, happy relationship, but learning that if I get into jannah I will be in a semi open relationship never fails to crush my spirit.

When I post questions about marriage, or when i read somebody else’s question, the answer usually includes something along the lines of “disney love isnt real” or “you watch too many movies”. With all do respect, I do not think it is crazy or fantasy-like to expect somebody to be with me and only me. It seems men dont have to worry. They have all the power and have no reason to be insecure. Why would they be? It seems simple for them to me, they just have to follow the religion and they will make it.

But women have to deal with things like “more women will go to hell” and “men will have more than one wife in jannah” and “women have less intelligence” and “slave girls” and “aisha was 6 when she got married”.

I have heard explainations for some of these things so many times, but its still so so disturbing to me.

I just feel like everything is so impossible. I try hard in school but in my low moments, i think about how maybe im not intelligent. When I watch the disney movies I loved so much, all I can think about now is how I will not have a monogamous relationship, let alone a happy one. When Im studying something difficult for the sake of my parents and enduring unfair treatment, I remember that I can go to hell for upsetting them and I just shut down.

I feel like I am losing control of my life and ny faith. I cannot afford counselling. I dont have a good support system. I dont have friends. I am repsuled by marriage and I am afraid I will never be somebody’s favorite or priority at all. What can I do at this point. Is it hopeless?


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

Even though the things that you are addressing here seem to be heavily negative, and they are, but many women also go through the same thoughts at some point. We all go through dips in iman that make us question some of the things that are seemingly preached in Islam. The inky thing is we take these things at face value exploring them further and looking for the truth behind them.

For example, regarding more women going to Hell. If we believed this as it was then perhaps this might make all women question what is the point in even striving for Jannah, right? And on top of that, if men will have more than one wife in Jannah, why would you even want to go to Jannah if you don’t get a spouse of your own, right? If we look at these facts from this perspective, we certainly will be left feeling downhearted about our lives as Muslimah. After all, it doesn’t seem like theres anything good in it for us if we think of it like this! This is exactly why it is very important to understand concepts like this beyond how they seem in the surface.

For example, sure maybe there will be more women in Hell, but there will also be more women in Jannah too. The fact is, there will be more women altogether. After all, how would a man even be able to have multiple wives in Jannah if they are all in Hell? And, then regarding this point, you must remember that the afterlife is not like this life. In Jannah we will be happy, we won’t feel anything like jealousy and we will have everything we want.

So, even if a man does have many wives that won’t be a bother to the women because they won’t experience jealousy like we do in this life. This can be quite difficult to comprehend, but it is something that is also beyond the limits of our abilities to do well in this life.

You should remember that Islam is good, but people can be bad! Islam is perfect, but people are not! Sadly there are bad people out there, Muslims included, but we should make sure that we don’t judge Islam on the bad acts of other Muslims. This is why it is very important to be around good, Allah fearing people because these can be key to helping us stay strong in the path. It is unfortunate that your family are not people that can provide this for you, but that does not mean that you can’t get this sence of positive community from elsewhere. There are many large and strong Muslim communities in Canada so I would suggest that you link in with any existing sisters groups locally. Yes, there may be concern that you will continue to meet people that make you feel the way you are now, but this is how you will be able to tell which sisters will be good for you and not. Those that strengthen your faith are those who are good to spend time with. These are the people that you will be able to get support from where you seem to be lacking in your family.

These are also the people that will be able to support you in seeking authentic knowledge as it also seems like you have picked up on or been told some things that are not reported in Islam, such as women not being intelligent. Having thoughts like this in mind is likely why you are thinking the way you do at school regarding not being intelligent. If you have these thoughts in your mind about this apparent perspective in Islam then this will leave you feeling that you are not intelligent and can never be and this will reduce your motivation to perform well at school.

Additionally, if you notice, the focus of your thoughts is on the negative views or perceptions of women in Islam. There are also all the positive aspects as well that it is important to remember. Women have many rights in Islam too. In her marriage, she has the right to be taken care of by her husband. He must take care of all her needs, physically and emotionally. She does not have to any of this for herself if she doesn’t want to, and if she does go out to work then she has the right to keep all her earnings for herself and her husband still must provide for her (except they mutually agree otherwise). All these burdens are laid upon the husband, not the wife. So, its not like he has an easy life as marriage is a huge responsibility for him, whereas the woman is taken care of by him and she does not need to worry about the many burdens that a husband does.

Naturally, as a result of your present feelings, it is understandable why you feel repulsed by marriage, but in time, when you are ready to get married these sisters may be those who could help you in finding in a suitable spouse through friends of their own husbands who may be seeking spouse. This way you will be able to be more confident that any man that comes forward as a result of this is a good one as people in the local community will know him well enough. And, not all men want to be in polygamous relationship and if you are really against then since you are not married yet, you could make it a topic of discussion in your meetings with him before marriage to find out his perspectives in the matter.

May Allah guide you in finding strength and happiness in Islam. May He grant you happiness and success in this life and the next.


Question 5

As salaam u alakuim ..I pray to Allah this reaches you and I get a response. I have been married to a brother for almost a year  who I believe is a Narcissists, I’ve been verbally abused, called names, ugly, and things I can’t even describe. The first time it happened I left and he begged me to come back promising to never do it again ,but it happened again..I’ve been having feelings that he’s been being dishonest to me so I questioned him, I received a text from him this morning telling me that he wants a divorce and the reasons he puts everything before me is because he doesn’t want to be at my home or with me.

I feel like a fool because I went back, I feel used and my self esteem is so low because he’s called me ugly telling that he only married me for my deen. I am emotionally and mentally broken because this has been an endless cycle since I was a child because my father was and and is abusive as well as a Narcissists. I’m trying to hold on but this has taken a toll on me, the brother and I are both dealing with a health issue and I’m afraid one of the reasons I went back.

Please advise me this will be the second talaq and he is adamant  about placing me in it. He told me that he thought he could learn to love me simply because I am a Muslim but he can’t. Please keep in mind that the brother saw me on Many occasions so he knew what I liked liked and even after I left the first time he begged me to come back.. I can’t even look in mirror without seeing myself as ugly. I’m 42 and have been married seven times and I’m embarrassed to say this I feel so low about myself. Please help me.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

When you have dealt with so many people treating you this way in life beginning in childhood with you father and now in current times with your husband there is little wonder why you are feeling so down about yourself. It would be near impossible to feel otherwise if you are constantly being belittled by those closest to you who are actually supposed to a source of comfort to you and bring you happiness, not sadness. This is not fair, and it is not Islamic either.

If you choose to continue in this marriage I would strongly suggest that you seek counselling together. This will give you a space to openly express your feelings without fear of judgement so that he realises how his behaviour is affecting you in the case that perhaps he doesn’t. However, if he is genuinely a narcissist then it is likely that as much as he can make temporary changes he possibly continue to treat you like this on and off. And, even if he doesn’t physically touch you, to call you bad names and make you feel like this is actually emotional abuse and you have every right to walk away from this marriage yourself in this case. Either way, it is certainly something that you should take to Allah and ask for guidance on.

Regardless of whether you choose to stay with him or not, it is very important that you take care of yourself outside of the marriage too. Find ways to feel good about yourself. Be with good people, do things you enjoy doing that make you happy, do something new and achieve new things.

If you have friends then connect with them and meet with them. If you don’t, or if they are busy with other things then you could actively seek to make new friends. If there is something you had always fancied trying or learning, now is a good time to start. Learning something new gives you the opportunity to set new goals for yourself and feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence in yourself as you achieve new things. It also gives you the chance to meet new people that share similar interests to yourself. These people will form the supports that you will need when you face difficult times and you will come to realise that just because someone doesn’t seem to care for you or offer you good words there are many people that do. An ideal place to forge such connections is in your local masjid. This way the activities you engage in will likely be Islamic in nature perhaps through studying Islamic, or reading Qur’an together. Otherwise, even if it is just attending a coffee morning it is a chance to be with sisters who at least share the same religious values as you and will serve to strengthen your eman which will really help during times in which you feel your eman slipping.

May Allah guide you to make the best choice regarding your marriage and may you find comfort in His remembrance. May He make a way of this situation for you that will be best for you in both this life and the next.



Question 6

I have spend my entire youth in major sins. i have committed every sin there is. I am a degenerate and a pervert. i have committed zina a lot times.I have lost count how many times. To me sinning has become as easy as breathing. I don’t regret my sins, i think i have lost my sense of regret. I want to change, but i don’t.

i just can’t understand myself. i want to change, but i don’t put in the effort required to change. Immorality has become my way of living. I am drunk on the pleasures i get from my immoral behaviors. I know that these pleasures are temporary, but i don’t seem to care. To be honest, its not about letting go of this part of myself. i just don’t seem to care about morality.

I just don’t care about morality that much to make the change. As long as i can remember i have been living like this. My parents divorced when i was very little….since then i have been left alone and i walked the path of immorality since then. Whenever i look at women my mind is filled with perverted thoughts. I want to change this and look at women as women.. ..not some object of pleasure.

My mind and personality have become very twisted. Some times i am a good guy and some times i transgress beyond the boundaries and become something you cannot call human. My heart, soul and mind are corrupted. As everyday passes i become more and more corrupted and evil. It feels like i am a car without any breaks. I just can’t seem to stop. I have become very self destructive. I know what i am doing is ruining me , yet i still do it.

I want to stop before i reach a point of no return. i want to turn back. I want to change and become a better person. Will Allah except me and love me ?


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh brother,

It seems like you mind is very much confused right now, but with Allah there is always hope. The fact that you begin on the most part talking about how you have no regrets and don’t want to do anything to change, yet mixed in amongst this and clearly at the end you do also make it clear that you do want to change. This, on top of the very fact that you are reaching out for assistance is a clear sign that you are willing to put some effort in to change after all. Even more reassuring is that you are concerned about whether Allah will love you. This will be the key turning point for you to make the necessary changes in your life.

It does sound very much like your self destructive behaviour is some kind of defensive mechanism. Saying that you have no regrets almost seems like a mechanism so that you don’t feel bad if you are not successful in changing your ways or if you are successful but are strong enough to maintain the change.

The other issue is that perhaps your experience of your parents divorce caused ongoing and unresolved problems for you. This may be a result of the actual experience itself on the effects of not having a stable family background to support you during times of crisis that you might ha e faced especially in your adolescent years when such crises occur that can easily lead people in this age group to go astray and tread into grounds immorality possibly because you have not had the necessary role models present to correct you.

Given that you have said you have little motivation to change because you feel like you get some kind of pleasure from your immoral behaviours perhaps you might begin by not specifically trying to change you behaviours at this point since the motivation is not there yet. Instead, I would suggest you seek pleasure from other activities instead as a first step to recovery. Is there anything else in your life that brings you pleasure and makes you feel happy about yourself?

This may not be something that you do now, but perhaps there is something you have done previously that made you happy, such as taking part in a sport, or studying a particular topic? Otherwise, is there something you always wanted to try that there is an opportunity for you to take up? Not only will this give the opportunity to gain pleasure from something other than being immoral, but it will keep you busy in something productive rather than destructive. Taking part in these things may also open the doors to other positive things also.

Once you have channeled your pleasure seeking urges into better activities the desire to seek pleasure through immoral activities should diminish, in sha Allah. Also, once reach this point you will likely feel more repentant from your formal immoral actions and it will be a lot easier to turn to Allah and seek His forgiveness. The fact that you have made these efforts to change will be more pleasing to Allah that continuing with the immoral and displeasing behaviour. Having made these changes you are clearly showing that you have made the effort to make these changes and in sha Allah He will forgive you and continue to guide you to a better life free from immorality.

May Allah forgive you and guide you in the straight path. May He love you and take you on a path that will bring you pleasure in both this life and the next.