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Youth Mental Health, Exam Stress, Anxiety (Counseling)

Dear Brother/Sisters,

Thank you for participating in the live session with your questions.

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Here are the 4 questions our counselor provided answers for.

If you do not find yours below, please check back for our upcoming live session or submit your question again. 

Thank you for your understanding.

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Question 1. Utilizing the perfect way of Islam to gain success

Assalamualaikum .Im class 11 neet aspirant . Indeed Qur’an is a solution to every problem. Islam has given d Muslims a perfect and most logical way of living . Yet we don’t have that attitude to face d challenges, bcz I fail to organize my day in Islamic way . . A few months ago , I was like a crazy fully determined student but now I m less determined ,I m not living a life of moment ,a believer ,who does d best ,and leave d rest to Allah ,but I m unable to do my best , I want to develop a stable relationship with Allah so that inspite of all d challenges I will be in right path .and indeed Allah’s help z near , as long as we are live problems will knock our door each day ,but Allah will guide me if i keep turn towards him .so how will me problem of studies will be sorted if my relationship with Allah z not stable .I want to schedule my day Islamically , so how will I develop relation with Allah and ,how will I be determined in studies .

Answer:

Wa aleikom salam,

Thank you for writing to us.

In your message, you say you were a “fully determined” student but you lost motivation. You want to schedule your life in a better and more Islamic way. You feel you are unable to do your best either as a Muslim or as a student. You wish to develop a stronger bond with Allah and also to become once again a more determined student.

Let’s look at first your relationship with Allah as it is a basis of everything as a Muslim.

Indeed, we all need to keep a strong relationship with Allah in order to feel successful in life. Allah says in the Quran:

Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O believers, so that you may be successful. (24:31)

O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah and fear Him. And seek the means of approach to Him, and strive hard in His Cause (as much as you can), so that you may be successful. (5.35)

However, in life, we have many things to do and thus we easily can feel overwhelmed and lost among the tasks. We end up dedicating so little time to our most important relationship in life: with Allah. So, you are not at all alone with your struggles. Indeed, I haven’t met a Muslim who sometimes does not find him or herself in the same shoes.

The most important is that you stop for a moment and realize that something is wrong, and seek solutions how it could be better. Just as you did. It shows to Allah your sincerity mashallah, be proud you have done this step.

The first thing I would advise you to do is improving your prayer. Prayer is our number one connection with Allah. He says in the Quran:

And seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, it is a burden except for the humble. (2:45)

If you are stable with praying all your five prayers on time, the next step is trying to deepen your presence in them by, for example, saying your prayers slowly, with much focus on each word. I also like to take care of my breathing during the prayer as it also helps bringing you in a meditative state. Try moving slowly while imagining that you are really in front of Allah.

You can also better your prayer by spending some minutes after it making duas. Again, focus on Allah, imagine that He right now sees and hears you, and you can complain about anything to Him sincerely. He cares about you. Tell Him how bad you feel about not being determined in your faith and studies. How much you suffer from not having a proper daily schedule. Ask for forgiveness and thank Him for the good stuff that happen in your life. Talk to Him as if you would talk to your best best friend, or your mother.

“And indeed We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (50:16)

The second step should be your connection with the Quran, as it is our ultimate guidance in life. Read it with the question in your mind “what does Allah need to tell me today?” It talks to you directly – if you are able to hear it. Try thinking of creating a morning or night routine with it, or read it sometime around the prayer times. It can be just 10-15 minutes of your day, a few pages, but regularly, every day.  

Step by step. Start and inshallah Allah will bless you and you will feel connected to Him more.

About your studies

Mashallah there have been a time when you felt determined. How was it? What did you do at that time that maybe now you are no longer doing? What has changed? Maybe you face sometimes more stress than before that has caused you to become less determined? Maybe you suffer from burnout?

It is important to stop at times and be proud of our achievements. Relax and celebrate. You cannot push yourself harder and harder all the time. Especially if there has been some kind of change lately in your life that causes stress. Put relaxation and having fun in your schedule as well. Reward yourself with something you love doing once you are done with a task.

So please sister when scheduling, try not only focus on the time but your energy as well. Do not just look at how many yours you want to study, but how much energy you have at that day. For women, it is even more important because our energy level goes through a monthly cycle – our menstruation cycle. Accept that for example when you are about to have your period, you will not be able to focus and push hard on things as much as you can after your period ends.

I also advise you to put exercising into your schedule. It recharges your body and soul and you will find that you will be able to concentrate more on your studies.

Restating your intention with your studies might also help you find the fire you need to keep it going.

Most importantly, make sincere due to Allah to help you with your studies.

I hope you find some comfort in my answer.

Salam,

Question 2. I’m not able get good grades no matter how hard I study

how do I deal with being a disappointment to my mom?

I constantly let her down and don’t know what to do and I feel like cutting myself again.

Im not able get good grades no matter how hard I study and feel like Im a disappointment to my mom.

Answer:

Salam Aleikom dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry you feel you disappoint your mother.

Is it only that, as you mentioned, you do not get good grades? How do you know you disappoint her? Has she told you anything that made you believe she is disappointed at you?

You provided very little information so my answer will be very general, but inshallah you will find it useful.

What you need to know that everyone lives in their subjective, own world. There is no right or wrong per se. There are happenings we consider right, wrong, pleasant, uncomfortable, disappointing, etc. subjectively. Something we think is good might be considered bad for another person. Something difficult is easy for someone else.

That is why it would be very important that you actually check this thought of yours: is your mom truly disappointed with you, or it is all just “in your head”, in your own world so to speak. Maybe you are punishing yourself for no reason and she is actually very happy with you.

Another question you need to ask yourself: is she really always disappointed at you? Can you recall a time you perceived that she is happy with you? I am sure you can.

If you want to increase these memories, then pay attention to what actually makes her feel happy and do it sometimes. What if you cooked something for her? Or brought flowers? Or you made a mom-daughter afternoon during which you made some fun together? Notice what your mom’s love language is and “speak on it”.

In Islam, our parents and especially our mother, who has given birth to us, is a very unique and important person, thus we always need to take care how we behave with her.   

A person came to Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Who is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (ﷺ) said, “Your mother” He again asked, ”Who next?” “Your mother”, the Prophet (ﷺ) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (ﷺ) said again, “Your mother”He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon he (ﷺ) said, “Then your father.” (Riyad as-Salihin 316)

Thus, your worry whether your mother is happy with you or not is understandable, but do not be over. Notice what you can do for her that makes her happy, but do not feel anxious. Your thoughts are not true – you do many things that makes her happy.

I would also recommend you open a discussion with her about your fears and worries. She is your mother, you should have a relationship with her when you can talk about anything to her. She might laugh with kindness on your worries and thus make you calm that you actually do your best. Just the mere fact that you have written us shows your sincere love towards your mother. I am sure she is happy with a daughter like you.

About your studies: How do you feel what is it that makes you not get good grades despite studying? Maybe you stress too much that makes you unable to focus? Was the subject not well explained? Maybe changing your way you study materials can help; for example, if you study with someone else. Maybe you can ask your mother to help you with your studies like telling her aloud the material, so that she can also see you really do your best.

If it is stress that withholds you back, I recommend you learn some stress release techniques such as deep breathing.

In the meantime, make dua to Allah that you are a good daughter of your parents. Make dua that He increases the good memories with your mom and have a good relationship with her.

Salam,

Question 3. I am stressed should I tell my mother about my past sins

Aoa. I have some past sins. Now I am repent to Allah. But they often comes in my mind and I just become so anxious, and heart beat increase, and I am close to my mother. Share things live with the most, when past sins comes in my mind I stressed a lot I can’t even contact my eyes with my mother, I really feel like to tell her, sometimes I tells her little bit. It’s a big challenge for me to say things like that to my mother. I feel worst my heart beat go really fast I started little shaking, I feel vomit it’s a deadly situation for me to tell my mother so I often put it in my heart, with soooooo much of pain, that I spend each second of my breath in pain, when this situation comes. Whenever my mind remember anything from 1,2 years ago. It’s like a little heart attack for me. It pains so much that I can’t describe it in words. For both situation. But it’s sometimes more difficult to say that. Or even hide it.

Answer:

Salam Aleikom dear sister,

Thank you for reaching out for help. I am so sorry to read that you experience immense anxiety over your past sins. However, it is a sign of pure intention that you want things right.

Sister, we all make mistakes, this is our human nature.

By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them. (Saheeh Muslim)

Therefore, anxiety over past sins should not be too much to the extent it interferes in your life as you describe. Allah said He would forgive all our sins if we turn to Him in repentance.

Aboutislam’s sheikh says:

“If you committed evil but have repented sincerely, and changed your life around for better, then Allah has certainly promised to grant you mercy and forgiveness. It is one of the basic principles of belief in Islam that Allah is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful.

Allah says in the Quran:

{Do they not know that it is Allah Who accepts the repentance of His servants and receives (approves) their charity, and that Allah is the Relenting, the Compassionate?} (At-Tawbah 9: 104)

{Say: ‘O My servants who wronged against their souls, do not despair of Allah’s mercy! For Allah forgives all sins; for He is indeed Forgiving, Compassionate.} (Az-Zumar 39: 53)”

Therefore sister shift your focus now on what good you can make that compensate your sins. Increase your worship, do something extra such as the Sunnah prayers, read Quran every day or fast outside Ramadan, anything that your heart goes to. Make sincere duas to Allah to forgive your sins but leave anxiety behind.

Saying istigfar is even recommended when we are not aware that we have done something wrong specifically because we oftentimes even unconsciously fall into mistakes. Our morning and night dhikr includes saying istigfar.   

Sister, trust in Allah that He has forgiven you. Trust and believe that He is all Merciful.

Therefore, you should not expose your past sins to anyone. There is no need to do that. If Allah kept it secret then let it be.

There is a good video about exposing our sins.  

May Allah help you overcome your anxiety and make you focus on doing good deeds.

Amen,

Question 4. Regarding prayer

SalaamuAlaikum, This isn’t exactly a question but hopefully looking forward to getting some guidance. My prayer pattern is unstable, I sometimes pray and stop for a while. I’ve tried watching dawah videos but it’ll work for a bit and then ill get back to not praying! it’s becoming a habit ,,,,, There’s this feeling in me that makes me ignore the consequences and it’s really sad. i really do need some help!!  May Allah make it easy for all of us, Ameen

Answer:

Salam Aleikom sister,

Thank you for writing us. Just the mere fact that you have written us shows your pure intentions that you sincerely feel bad about neglecting your prayers.

Prayer is the most important pillars of all worships: The Prophet says:

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

Therefore, a Muslim should never neglect their prayers and work on being present in it as if it was their last prayer.

” The Prophet said, “When you stand for your prayer, pray as if you are saying farewell. Do not say anything for which you must apologize, and give up any desire to acquire what people have.” (Sunan Ibn Mājah 4169)

So the issue of you not praying constantly 5 times a day is crucial. Sister, prayer can sometimes feel like a burden, but do not let Satan whisper you. Even if you are not fully present in your prayer, you should encourage yourself to always pray. Maybe a bit fast, maybe with some thoughts going on in your head, but at least it is done properly.  

Allah says in the Quran:

And seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, it is a burden except for the humble. (2.45)

What is happening is that your faith has weakened, which can happen to anyone as we are human beings who often fall into sins. And as we know, faith is something that is sometimes up and sometimes down, so do not despair: this can happen to anyone.

The most important is that you want to improve yourself and be better. Mashallah, you need to be proud of you to have written to us. It is a very good first step on the path, may Allah always keep you on it.

What makes you not keep your prayers? Maybe you get busy with daily tasks, maybe you are at school or somewhere where you cannot pray?

There might be some excuse when you can actually combine your prayers if it is difficult for you to pray them on time. For this, please write our Ask about Islam section.

If you do not have much valid reason to miss your prayer, then I would advise you to do is making an oath. An oath you take for yourself and for Allah that you will never miss another prayer again. It is a decision at the end.

In the meantime, I would advise you continuously turn to Allah. Sincerely. Talk to Him as if you would talk to your mother or someone very close to you. He is there listening. Tell Him how you feel about not praying. Tell Him how much you feel sorry for missing prayers, and ask Him to strengthen your faith and help you to perform them all. Dua and prayer is our primary connection with Allah.

I would also advise you to start having a stronger relationship with the Quran as it is our ultimate guide in life. Dedicate some time in the morning, or night, or whenever you find the time to read and contemplate on it. Read it with a question in mind “what does Allah want to tell me today?”. Inshallah it will strengthen your faith.

Also, be more around with Muslims if you are not. Go to lectures to the mosque, socialize with other sisters. Community also helps you to refresh your faith.

May Allah make it easy for you. I hope I was able to give you some guidance.

Salam,

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

Session is over.
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