Down in the Dumps...

>> Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dear my beloved sisters,

I am in need of motivation :( I can feel like im slipping way....

I feel like i failed everyday for the standards that Allah have given us. My Patience is running thin, i cant concentrate on my prayers properly, i get angry easily. I feel tempted to indulge in this world, i delay my prayers...

I don't know what to do, I feel ashamed of myself.

wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,

Dearest Sister!

awwww, sis!! Big big hugs.

You know, I think we all go through periods like that. But here's the thing. We can either use this feeling of 'shame' to our advantage or we can use it against us. WE use it 'for us', when we use it as a catalyst to becoming a better person. We use it against us when we succumb to the shame and label ourselves as 'hopeless sinners'...

So that's why we're going to stop for a second and take a little geography lesson...

Where does little auntie live?

I live in Taif.

Yes, the city that kicked the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam out. It is the city that threw stones at him. 

Living here has made me get a bigger glimpse of Allah’s Power. This city, this same city that threw our dearly beloved Prophet (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) out, now has masjids everywhere. Women walk out, dressed completely covered, ma'shaAllah. There are halaqahs EVERYWHERE. Shops close for prayers….every prayer…every time…

And the city proclaims “Allahu Akbar”.

God is the Greatest, dear sister.

He is capable of changing an unbelieving city into a believing city. An entire city!
If Taif can go from that to a believing city, then you can go from who you are now to who you want to be. Yes, you can.

In my very humble opinion, you're so down in the dumps because you're thinking too much about ‘whether you can do it’ or not. The thing is, ‘alone’, we can’t do anything. But Allah is Greater. He will help you get there, if you just turn to Him.

In fact, you know what's really going on? You're falling prey to Shaitan..!! 

 He's all "forget it. You stink. You're bad. Look at you losing your anger again. What a hypocrite. You're standing up to pray and you're so baaaad.." 

^He's seizing this opportunity to distance you from Allah. The more you grow distant, the less you want to stand in front of Allah....the more ashamed you are...the more you turn away! It's a horrible devilish cycle that he's trying to suck you into.

So don't listen to him...!

Realize that Allah  never once said that He is giving paradise only to those 'perfect believers'. None of us are perfect!

Instead, He said:

And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous (133) Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good;(134) And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins - and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know. (135) Those - their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow [in Paradise], wherein they will abide eternally; and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers. (Surat Al Imran)

You see?

When we say that Allah is Merciful we mean that He is way beyond the mercy of people. He's nothing like humans, remember.  

He is far more Merciful than that, Far more Gracious and Kind.

Ever heard of Shakespeare's famous quote?

 “To err is human, 
And to forgive is Divine.”

That is how Allah is.  

In fact, Umar Ibn al-Khattab (radhi allahu anhu) relates that some prisoners were brought before Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and amongst them was a woman who was frantically searching for someone in the crowd. When she found a baby amongst the prisoners, she took it in her arms, cradled it next to her chest and suckled it. 

So Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Do you think that this woman would ever throw her child into the fire?" We said: 'By Allah, Never!' So he said: "Allah is more merciful to His believing servants than that mother could ever be to her child."

Think about that! Reflect on that. He is so Merciful and sooooo forgiving.
The condition though is to sincerely repent and to turn back to Him. That's all you have to do.

So when you 'mess up', go right to Him. Realize that there is no escape from Him except to Him.

Make istghfar. Tell the person you 'screamed at' (got angry with) "sorry". Decide you're going to work a bit on your anger management issues and that it's not going to stand between you and Allah, anymore. Try what the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said. Sit down when you're angry. If you're sitting, lie down. Make wudu'. 

And do some extra small good deeds! There are lots of small things you can do that will help make Allah pleased with you.

 For example, you can wake up and pray an extra prayer (dhuha). You can also simply say alhamdillah when you are eating...
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: Allah is pleased with His servant who says: Alhamdulillah while taking a morsel of food and while drinking. Sahih Muslim: Book 34, Number 6592. 
^ All you have to do is say "Alhamdillah" and Allah is pleased. 

And reflect a bit on this name of Allah: Ash-Shakur: The One who is Ever Appreciative. He is the One Who appreciates your deeds, however small they are, and doubles the rewards for you in this world and in the hereafter. 

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that."  

On the authority of son of Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both), from the Messenger of Allah (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam), among the sayings he related from his Lord (glorified and exalted be He) is that He said:

Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. Then He explained it [by saying that] he who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.

700 times. Can you imagine? That's why you gotta do it! You gotta just get up and turn to Him...


1. Focus on your prayers.  That's your connection with Allah. It'd be really great if you could get a prayer buddy. Someone who will message you at each prayer and ask you if you’ve prayed…etc. Is there any ONE religious friend you have?

Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do. (29: 45)

2. Try also get some better friends. If there aren't any,  stick to Islamic forums.  Go to some halaqahs. I know you probably don't feel like it, but if you really want to change, it's better to be around people who will help'll soon find their attitude contagious, inshaAllah. And write about religion! Writing about religion keeps you connected to it. When you actually focus in on an aspect on religion and you write about it, you ‘get more out of it’. You feel it yourself.

3. Make Dua! It is so important that you wake up before fajr prayer and just make dua. And ask Allah to let you be a better person. You can do it. That time is 'like magical'. Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala comes and asks if anyone wants don't miss that time. Your dua will be answered, insahAllah.

4. Check out some other ideas here...:)

And also be sure to read our article 'It's not too Late"!

I hope inshaAllah this motivates you a bit more, sister! 

Readers, tell us some small things you can do to 'get hasnaat easily'. Let's make a collection here :) And add any other ideas/suggestions you have :D

May Allah make things easier for you,

9 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Fida Islaih March 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM  

No matter how bad a day may seem, there is always some sparkle. So smile and say alhadulillah!

Shireen Baig March 23, 2011 at 11:21 PM  

You know sister, I really know what you are going through right now and trust me many of us go through it on a regular basis. Sometimes when i think of my own past I feel SO ashamed that I even think that there's no way that I could imagine Allah swt forgiving me. But guess what? My imagination does not matter because Allah swt himself says 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." Surah Zumar, Verse 53

Do you see that? I mean, Allah swt didn't say 'ok all you sinners who have transgressed against themselves' or like 'all you transgressors' he uses the word 'abd' which means servant and guess what? He swt uses the same word for the ''Prophet'' and for the ''Believers'' and here he's using it for people like you and I who have REALLY messed up. What does it show? His Mercy of course.

He is The Most Loving (Al Wadud) and if you feel like you are lost then Remember He is Al Hadi (The One who guides)

Ask for His guidance sister, because come to think of it. Allah swt has guided even the organs of our body to function properly, even our limbs, eg... Our hearts did not get any training on how to pump blood, our brains didn't get any training on 'how to think' all of this a guidance from Allah swt. SO imagine, when he guides everything then How can he leave us alone? All we've got to do is turn back to him over and over and over again. And unlike humans Allah swt does not get irritated when we go back to him over and over again for the same thing (i.e. Guidance & Forgiveness)

Plus, when you really feel that you are Really Bad you've got no chance, your eyes are full of tears, your heart full of remorse, thats the TIME! yes, thats the perfect time when you are feeling ashamed to take out the prayer rug and pray 2 raka'a ... cry out all your hopelessness to him and make dua for a strong eman.Trust me sis you'd feel a great deal of difference.

Okay this is my last tip and i am gonna end my comment soon :P

When you feel angry or feel like you are gonna lose your temper. I've had REAL temper problems (imagine throwing around things)!
I would just hold on for a moment and think 'I am getting angry on this small thing, what about the innumerable times when i've angered Allah swt' That really helped me. P.s. the above tips in the answer are really useful too..

Unknown March 24, 2011 at 3:28 AM  

I completely agree with TheOneWhoNeedsReminders. This is something that we ALL go through on a regular basis, so never get depressed thinking that this is happening to you alone sis. Even those with the most strongest of eemans have their low points because this is how Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala created our hearts. It won't stay the same all the time and it takes constant work to make it pointed in one direction.

I know how awful it feels when the eeman comes crashing down. Sometimes when I wallow in crater size holes, I think how hopeless it is to begin the climb back up again because I feel like I'm going to fall back in there again.

Once a friend of mine told me that the discomfort and shame that I feel during those days is Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala's greatest blessing on me. It feels like you're being pulled in two right? The Dunya tugs at you, you just want to throw in the towel, but at the same time, you can't really let go of the said 'towel', meaning abandon religion.

This is Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala holding you back dear sister. He doesn't want you to succumb to the Shaytan, and the fact that you recognize and feel shame for your negligence, that is the first step in how He helps you to get back to Him. He shows you the rope, but it's up to you to grab hold of it and climb out of the hole.

Lol, you must be thinking, that's easier said than done right? I agree, especially since we have the evil black person digging his claws into us. But as Lil Auntie said, to get back to Him, we have to ask His help. That's the only way it will work.

Du'aa is very very powerful. Even if you feel completely detached from your prayers, continue to make du'aa. Ask Allah's help to reconnect with Him. Sometimes even I've felt like a complete fraud, because I wasn't feeling sincere, but al-hamdulillahi if you persist, the feelings DO come back. The sincerity, the love and the devotion. Trust me :)

As for the temper issues (which I also have a teensy weensy bit :P), for me, a lot of A'uthu billaahi helps! I once listened to this lecture given at a Masjid during Taraweeh in Ramadan on anger management. The Sheikh shared a tip that he said was tried and tested by the Ulema. When you are angry, drink water and if it still persists, hold the water in your mouth and that will prevent you from saying somethin you will regret. Try it and see :) But above all, remember that the one who controls their anger is beloved to Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala.

Some extra stuff I try to do to pull myself out of these funks include, trying to read a lil more Quran, be a lil more generous, do a lil more dhikr and watching or listening to inspiring lectures. There's an amazing one called Oh Allah Forgive Me, by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. Whether your eeman is at it's peak or at the lowest of the low, this lecture will surely recharge you insha Allah. The abundant and vast Mercy of our Rabb is so clearly explained that even the most hopeless person will smile!! :)

Lol, so since my comment is getting too long, I'm gonna end it with one of my favorite ayahs in the Quran. It's the same one TheOneWhoNeedsReminders has stated above, but I'm gonna say it again because it always has the power to motivate me, and insha Allah I hope it works the same for you too sis :)

"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.'" [Qur'an 39:53]

Fatimah March 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM  

Thanks for sharing, it was helpful to me as well.

Anonymous,  March 25, 2011 at 10:31 AM  

Masha Allah, I love the wonderful advices given above! :)

Dear sis, do not despair! To recognize your state of eemaan indicates Allah's mercy for you. There are some people who commit sins and yet do not have any guilt in their hearts. I remember reading that Allah has set a veil over the hearts of such people thus they cannot distinguish between right and wrong. That feeling of having low eemaan shows you have eemaan but needs rectifying..

One of the ways Ido to boost my eemaan especially when it hits rockbottom, is to simply listen to Islamic lectures. I find that those 'moodlifter' lectures such as description about Paradise would cheer me up. It would simply be a reminder to me of how insignificant this life is as compared to the Hereafter, our final abode. Al-Quran has given us glimpses of what Jannah would be like, and especially when narrated by an awesome sheikh, I find that the sorrows of this life is incomparison to what Allah has promised us in Jannah. Those before us had their faith tested by having trials and tribulations and they kept asking when will Allah's help come to us, but due to their patience and perseverance to struggle on His path, Allah rewarded them with the highest of Heavens! Subhan Allah.

The reason why I'm sharing this with you sis is that when struggling on His path, sometimes we fail and other time we are able to defeat our own nafs. When our eemaan is at its lowest point, don't let shaitan win over you - instead, stand up strong against the devil and fight it out with him! hehe, maybe not literally... but push away all shaitan's whispers telling you to delay your prayers and constantly provoking your emotions, causing you to get angry easily. Like lil Auntie said, recite "Aaoothubillahi minashaitanirrajim!"

There is a hadith which describes ways to stop ourselves from being angry. First, you sit then lie down if it doesnt work. Next is to take wudu' and last is to sleep if all else fails (please correct me if Im wrong insha Allah!).. When you find that anger starting to build up, then use these as a means to prevent it from escalating.. Al-Quran is another way that has soothe me over the years. I used to have anger management problem actually. I recall how scary I would be when anger takes control over me.. it's like shaitan making me its puppet, controlling my mind and limbs and blocks out my sensory perception. Each time when something makes my blood boil, I try to turn to Al-Qur'an quickly and more than often, it has never failed to relax my nerves al-hamdulillah!

The suggestions above might be a bit cliche but al-hamdulillah it has worked for me.. I'm not sure what you're going through sis but I sure hope this helps you somehow. It is normal for the eemaan to increase and decrease but when eemaan is at the lowest, slowly try to find ways to increase it. Ask Allah to help you!

*BIG HUG* sis.. :) We are all here for you insha Allah <3<3<3


A Friendly Stranger March 26, 2011 at 7:40 AM  

As Salaamu alaikum wa rahmathullahi wa barakatahu...
JazakumAllahu Khairan katheera... A wonderful post "Little Aunty"..... most of us go through this phase sister... Shaitaan is constantly on our backs... the moment we forget the rememberance of Allah he slips into our minds and before we know it in our lives and he starts to dictate his terms on us and we also get tempted and fall into his trap.... Audubillahi minsah shaitaan nirajeem.... the key is rememberance of Allah!!! keep doing dhikr whenever you can... while you are cooking, cleaning, driving... anytime and everytime... keep your tongue moist... in my days of jahilya.. I had the habit of humming the latest songs, during my routine daily chores... Nauzubillah!!! but Alhamdulillah!!!! now I have given up that habit... but sometimes when I am not doing dhikr of Allah SWT... some song that had been stuck up in my memory pops up... and I absent mindedly start humming... but I immidiately... say Audubillah and Astaghfirullah and start my dhikr... InshaAllah!!!! keep remembering Allah Ta'ala sis and He Azzawajal will be with you always... InshaAllahu Ta'ala...

Fida Islaih March 26, 2011 at 8:37 AM  

masha'allah!! I've read some great advice since I came back again :)

@Little Auntie: I just wanted to add, you have an award waiting @ my blog-

Cartoon Characters March 26, 2011 at 8:52 AM  

i am not Muslim but I would say you have a very good post here! :) Good words!

Little Auntie March 27, 2011 at 5:24 AM  

Ma'sahAllah, I have to say the comments far outdo the post! ma'shaAllah :)

fida, you're too sweet :D

Cartoon Characters, thanks a lot for your kind words :)

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