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Youth Issues (Counseling Live Session)

Dear Brother/Sisters,

Due to the counselor’s limited capacity of answering questions, here are the 4 questions that our counselor has provided an answer for.

If you have not received an answer below at this time, please submit your question to one of our upcoming Live Sessions. Thank you for your understanding.

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in these responses are very general. They are 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.

Question 1. Ugly Thoughts

Salam Alykum,

I have an issue I always feel negative about everything and always have ugly thoughts. How can I get rid of them? I am worried it might lead to disbelief.  How can I completely get rid of them and forget them completely and stop feeling negative. I even feel negative about doing good deeds because it just seems if you are female less reward and infertility in all aspects of life and the next. Can yoU please help me, I am reallytired and exhausted of these feelings?

Wa aleikom salam sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear that you have been suffering from negative feelings and “ugly thoughts”. It would be important to know your exact thoughts, and also the circumstances that they appear in. It seems they are related to your faith in Allah and Islam as you state “I am worried it might lead to disbelief.” Also, you mention that you have negative feelings for being a female as you feel females receive “less reward”. (I am not sure whether you mean infertility literally or figuratively, therefore I did not mention it.)

Sister, it is completely normal that from time to time we have negative thoughts that worry us or affects our faith, as faith is known to continuously go up or down. Satan is continuously trying to play with our mind and heart.

Therefore, first of all, I would advice you to sincerely ask Allah after every prayer of yours to help you deal with your negative feelings, help you find ease for them. There are many articles written about the power of duas, so I encourage you to read them and get inspired. In the life of a Muslim, prayers and duas are the first and foremost equipment against all the things we perceive as negative. Everything else comes after it, so if you have not perfected this part, then make it your priority.

Next, sit down with yourself and analyze these reoccurring thoughts a bit, even with pen and paper in hand. Negative feelings are usually rooted in thoughts, that are triggered by things that happen around us and for a reason or other we pay attention to. So you need to understand the flow of your thoughts to find a calming solution to these negative ones. What is going on with you when they appear? What are you thinking about exactly? Can you do something about it? For example, you mentioned about females receiving less reward – which is Islamically not true as in the eyes of Allah the only thing that differentiates us is our taqwa (righteousness).

Allah says: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allāh is the most righteous1 of you. Indeed, Allāh is Knowing and Aware.” (Quran 49.13)  

So maybe just studying about how Allah rewards us and how Islam regards women, you will extinguish your negative thought.

There are two ways you can deal with negative feelings: one, you actually do something about the situation like finding answers, stop talking to certain people or going to certain places, making dua, praying more, talking about an exact situation with someone who were in the same shoes – whatever you feel like calming you down. It needs to be something different from how you had been handling the situation before.

OR you change the way you look at the situation that triggers the negative feelings. For example, I had negative feelings toward a person, but later realized that I only had them because what action of her triggered my negative feelings was actually something I myself was guilty of too and I hated myself for it too! So I did not dislike her, I disliked the part of myself that I saw in her.  Just by this realization my negative feelings toward her disappeared.

So think about their source, the exact thoughts that trigger them and whether you can actually do something about the situation or shift your way of thinking to let go of your negative feeling.

You can also share your feelings and thoughts with others to find ease. In some Muslim cultures, (although it is not culture specific), people tend to think that by talking about their problems and negative feelings, they commit a sin, but especially in the case of women, it is highly important that you “talk through” your problems. Of course, do not talk to everyone; choose someone who might be actually familiar and thus helpful with that particular though or feeling. And of course, the best to complain to Allah. Sometimes by just letting the words about your feelings leave your mouth, without receiving an immediate direct response is a relief to the soul.

You also mentioned that “you feel negative about everything.” You mean you feel you are a pessimist, or maybe you are depressed? Anyhow, in case you feel really drowned into these thoughts and feelings and you really cannot see a way out alone, do not hesitate to contact a therapist face to face. Sometimes even a few session can direct you, you do not need to think or long therapies. Or you might want to look around among the group therapies.

May Allah make it easy for you and open your heart to find adequate solutions to your feelings, amen!

Q.2. Will Allah forgive me?

Salam,

I fear I may have possibly hurt someone anonymously in the past.I am a changed person and have began to become more religious and stay on the right track of islam.

However, I fear that I will always have the sin of hurting that person attached to me as I am aware in order to get forgiven from hurting someone, you must ask the person you hurt for forgiveness.

I am unable/it is impossible for me to contact that person and make amends if I did hurt them and therefore, I am worried I will still be punished by Allah for it even though i am sincerely regretful and repentful.I also feel as if I will forever be tainted by that sin and will never be pure because I was unable to ask that person who I no longer know for forgiveness.

I am also aware that when you are with Allah everything will be fine, but i now worry that since I did this thing in the past, Allah will no longer be with me and will be upset with me.

I feel immense guilt and sadness as I want to be part of those who are righteous and be a perfect Muslim but feel like i will never be perfect and pure as I was unable to ask that person for forgiveness.

Will Allah still forgive me even though it is to do with the rights of the people, and will he still love me and not allow the person I may have hurt to take my good deed on the day of judgement.Will I ever be able to have a clean slate?

P.s. I did give charity in their name (is there set amount i should give)

Appreciate the work you do

Salam aleikom,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to read of your feelings of guilt and sadness over hurting someone in the past. The fact that you wrote us shows your sincerity for what happened.

Therefore, brother, please, be more gentle with yourself. Allah, the All/Forgiving and Merciful, says in multiple occasion in the Quran:

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (39:53)

“As for those who commit sins, and then repent afterwards and believe — your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful.” (7.153)

Surely Allah loves those who always turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves ) (2:222).

There are many more, but one last one:

Surely good deeds wipe out evil deeds ) 11:114

And this is what you did: you wrote that you have become to be more religious, you are regretful and repentful, and you even gave charity so that Allah forgives. Mashallah, may Allah reward you.

Brother, we all sin. Allah created us so that we sin, but then inshallah repent and turn to Allah.

In fact,

Abu Ayyub Ansari reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: If you were not to commit sins, Allah would have swept you out of existence and would have replaced you by another people who have committed sin, and then asked forgiveness from Allah, and He would have granted them pardon. (Sahih Muslim, Book 37, Number 6621)

So brother, what should happen that you believe Allah has forgiven you? Because Allah in the Quran has promised that He forgives all sins when the believer repents. As you have already done that, then what exactly prevents you from moving on with life and look forward to the future instead of the past?

Here are two articles that confirm that you cannot do anything else after repentance but to keep living your life, doing good deeds and working on becoming a better Muslim day by day inshallah.

5 Conditions to Get Your Repentance Accepted

Will I Be Forgiven? 6 Practical Tips to Repent

After all, everything happens for a reason, and usually a good one if it makes you turn to Allah and wanting to be closer to Him. I wonder, would you start becoming more righteous, would you give charity if this incident does not happen? Have you thought that maybe this was Allah’s way of drawing you closer to Him?

Brother, there is one thing you wrote that you are really right about: “I will never be perfect”. We were not created to be perfect – Allah alone is perfect. We are creatures that work on excelling themselves, only by the help and power of Allah. We fail million times on the way, but inshallah these failures become our developmental points, occasions that we learn from and become a better person. What would you not know, what would you not do if you had not hurt this person? Allah teaches us with hardships and failures. He says:

With hardship comes ease. (94.5)

May Allah forgive your past and future sins and help you move an with your life, amen!

Question 3. Do Not Want to Loose Close Friends

My friends had helped me through my situational depression. I had to quit all of my social media, and 3 out of 5 reasons were the same and now I’m not in contact with alot of my friends. It has been 4 months, I wish I had been there for them the entire time but because of cutting off social media completely, my mental health is a ton times better. I don’t want to lose on my good friends. What do I do?

Salam Aleikom Dear Sister,

Thank you for writing to us.

Indeed, modern tools such as the internet and the social media can be useful: you might communicate with people more frequently and directly, you might find lots of interesting and important information about things that interest you, you might find people in your shoes and ready to help you with your problems, …etc. However, as everything, they have their own downside such as spending too much time on them, being overloaded by the many impulses they offer, fakes news, …etc. Therefore, nowadays lots of people decide to free themselves from social media and the addiction it might have caused to them. I have even seen zoutube videos advising people how to “detoxicate”!

What is the exact reason you have quit social media? What kind of mental health issues it has caused you?

If you have mental issues, please seek help from one to one therapy. Inshallah a therapist can help you deal with your issues.

I am also asking because many people decide to quit FB, but not the messenger, for the same reason you mentioned in your question. Messenger is a completely different application that works without having a FB profile and using the main FB app. I think this might be a good option you wish to consider for keeping in touch with your friends. However, as I do not know the exact reason of you quitting social media, I can only give you some food for thought, and then see whether you can implement one or the other in your own life.

I am mentioning this option because I do feel a difference between seeing friends online on Messenger and calling or emailing them. Messenger, for me, is a really convenient way to keep in touch with people for more than one reason: 1. as a 60% introvert myself, I prefer typing over talking on the phone. 2. As a busy person, I find it convenient to read or send messages or voicemails whenever I free myself for them. By this way, I keep more direct contact with people I want, I feel I am more in their lives than if we would only communicate when we meet in person. Of course, texting will never EVER replace in-person meetings, and they should not be replaced anyway because face to face interaction gives you so much more than texting. However, we oftentimes do not have the time or mean to meet frequently with loved ones, so a messenger chat or live chat is a very good alternative, I believe. Sometimes it is the only alternative when loves ones live apart. 3. You can call people and see them on video.  

So, Messenger (or WhatsApp, or other platforms) have very useful features to keep in touch. Would keeping the Messenger an option for you? Maybe you want to make a plan when exactly and for how long you would use the messenger. Lets say you have one hour every day for your friends to catch up. Or make a group live chat with them with video.

If you do not want to go back to even the Messenger, then the other solution is to switch your thoughts and make peace with seeing your friends only at school or wherever, talking with them only on the phone. It is easier said than done when everyone else around you use social media to a certain extent, but it is an option too. It takes a strong self/discipline, just like the person with diabetes who is invited to a birthday party. Everyone else around her eats from the cake while she has to refuse it otherwise she gets very sick. I kow how difficult it is to stay strong in such circumstances; I have been on a quite strict diet – no gluten, dairy product, soy, added sugar, red meat -, I can tell, since then family gatherings have become a hell for me in regards to food. It is crazy hard to refuse something for the sake of your health (whether physical or mental) that you used to enjoy so much…  

What do you fear what would you miss out on if you did not keep in touch with your friends on social media? They might forget you? They might talk about things you do not know? I believe if your friends are peers you meet at school, then this second option might feel less problematic. If a distance is created between you just because you decided to quite social media, then what kind of friends are they? True friends help each other, and if they really care about your mental health and that you feel much better without social media, then they would do some effort towards you so that you do not feel of missing out of their friendship. I might think about this situation as a test: who wants to keep in touch with me despite me not being on social media?

Inshallah whaterver you decide sister, May Allah help you and cure you inshallah.

Question 4. I Do Not Pray, Help!

Salamualikum . i struggle to quit sin .it started in 2018.after some try searching for solutions i found islam is the way .i am a born Muslim.after I Found islam watch ton of Islamic scholar video.but i dont pray. Inwant to pray and start quit then sin.but the problem is when i fully quit sin and started to pray there is a problem in my life.some difficulty to quit sin.after lockdown starred i start having waswasa, doubts questions about religion.day and night i watch famous islamic scholar video but i dont pray.when i started praying I doubts and questions always came in my mind.i leave the prayers and solve then questions in entire day.as.lockdown passed i solved the doubts ,waswasa problem my faith is back.but the main problems i get some definitely to quit sin and start the pray.if i leave sin slowly and start the Prayer is there any problems.i want to pday but what is the purpose of praying if dont fully quit sin with it. .i try so many time stop all the sin and started praying i failed .what should i do can you help.

Salam Aleikom Dear Brother,

Thank you for writing to us with your problem.

You mentioned you have problems quitting sins and start praying regularly because any time you start praying you get a difficulty in your life. You get doubts, questions, and waswasa about the religion that prevents you from praying. Dear bother, what you experience is what Allah has promised us in the Quran:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” (2.155)

Once a Muslim decides to get closer to Allah, Satan triples his army that attacks him hoping he would stay away from the Right Path. “..give glad tidings to the patient” – instructs the Quran, so follow it.  

Patience means that you do not give into these thoughts. Despite how troublesome they feel, you keep up with your prayers and worshipping Allah. You keep up doing good and asking Allah for His forgiveness for your sins and asking Him to make things easy. You keep searching for answers for your questions. So, you accept these bothering feelings and thoughts, and you do not let them affect your ACTIONS.

Prayer is a believer’s strongest connection with Allah. It was the Prophet’s most beloved way of worship. The Prophet said:

“Between Islam and polytheism and unbelief is the abandonment of salah (prayer).“ (Muslim, Iman 134; Abu Dawud, Sunnah 15)

Therefore, Satan will obviously attack this armor of ours the heaviest by making us feel sleepy, lazy, confused whether we still have our wudu or not, …etc. The most waswasa I have met as counselor was related to prayer. So, we need to expect this would happen, and despite keep up our prayers. We might not have our best prayer at times, we might sometimes oversleep a prayer, but it is OK inshallah, it can happen. The most important is that we try our best to no matter what but never miss our prayers.

So I encourage you brother to keep up with your prayers, do not dwell too much on whether you are sinning or whether you have doubts about the religion. Let me tell you that Allah has created us as creatures that continuously sin. So waiting for the time you stop sinning or “stop all sins” as you wrote in your message is literally impossible.

“As for those who commit sins, and then repent afterwards and believe — your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful.” (7.153)

Surely Allah loves those who always turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves ) (2:222).

The second aja is one of my favorite one in the topic because it says that in order to repent and purify ourselves so that Allah loves us, we need to sin, subhanAllah! Unlike the angels who can only follow Allah’s order, thus they never sin, sinning is part of our human nature. So brother, do not wait until you stop sinning because it will never happen. Just make sure you try avoiding the major sins and sins you are already aware of you have been doing. You might fail a couple of times until you can truly stop it, but never make this a pre-condition to start praying.

I am not sure whether your family is Muslim or not or whether you live with Muslims under one roof, but in any case, if you find starting to pray difficult, then try joining someone and pray together. Prayer in congregation is rewarded more than praying alone anyway.

Regarding your doubts about your religion: it is also completely normal and accepted that you sometimes question the pillars of your life. Just like in certain Christian groups the “confirmation” event, this time could be your confirmation of faith in Islam. These thoughts offer you the opportunity to strengthen your bond with your religion and God by the increased knowledge you get if you start looking for answers to your questions. Just make sure you ask truly knowledgeable Muslims who has authentic information about your topic.

Trz going to the mosque or Muslim community often, connect with other brothers inshallah to strengthen your faith and get further motivated to pray. Inshallah if you open up to them, you will find that they also have or had your problem.

Make duas to Allah, and may Allah make it easy for you, amen!   

Monday, May. 02, 2022 | 10:00 - 11:00 GMT

Session is over.
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