Lost of hope.

>> Monday, December 24, 2012

Asalamwalaikum, I am in a really big rut and have been using your blog as a "pick me upper" but I do have a question for you. I recently have had to make some major decisions in my life, one of them being to break up with this Christian man I was in a relationship with. He was not willing to convert and I knew the future with kids and Deen would be more complicated then the already huge hurdles we would have to get over. Now I KNOW everyone is telling me this is the right decision and things will get better and to have faith. But that is my problem, I am losing faith and I dont' know how to restore it..I have been praying but am not getting any inner peace and still feel empty. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can "see the light" so to speak, so far I continue to feel lost, and live on an hour to hour basis! I'm 32..single and want to get married., but feel I am soooo behind schedule..CRISIS overload. Any advice will be greatly appreciated...Salaams

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu,

My dear sister in Islam, it sounds like you have definitely been going through a challenging time! May Allah grant you patience and perseverance to get through your trialing times. Ameen!

Alhamdulilah dear sister, you were able to fight your nafs and Shaitan and leave the haram relationship. This is definitely a great challenge and struggle that many Muslims face in today’s society. May Allah forgive you and have mercy on you and replace you with something better.

Here is the thing. Allah is most Merciful and He will never leave a sinful slave empty handed so long as she sincerely repents and does not fall into the same sin again. In this Hadith, we see the Mercy and Generosity of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta a’la,

The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) said: “You will never give up something for the sake of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, but Allah will replace it with something that is better for you than it.” [Narrated by Ahmad]

 I know that right now your heart is breaking and you are wondering why things aren't getting better, why you're still hurting, why things haven't changed...But, have you ever thought for a second that where you are today is a change, in itself, and that Allah is watching over you and that it is He who is guiding you and protecting your faith? 

Think about it. You were given the insight that the relationship was going nowhere (many stay in haram relationship despite the fact they know it’s wrong, merely because they think it will improve). You were given the courage to let go. You have been given the beautiful chance to repent to Allah and to turn back to Him. Have you really sat down and THANKED Allah that He did not take your life while you were committing haram? How many of us say Alhamdullilah that we are not taken when we are committing shirk and putting our love for someone before putting our love for Allah first? Have you really thanked Allah for the blessing to see another day? 

 The truth is that it is absolutely natural that you would be feeling low:  you had to detach yourself away from someone that you loved. Leaving behind something or someone we have emotionally grown attached to is always a true challenge. You built up dreams around this person, envisioned a future... In a way,  you had to experience a kind of "death". The dreams had to be buried. But the good news is this:
Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its lifelessness. We have made clear to you the signs; perhaps you will understand. (57:17) 
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger (in imaan , and all other aspects).  Instead of thinking what once was or how old you are/ what you haven't accomplished, try to think of the positive side of the situation and what lessons you can learn from them. 

 Positive side? Like what? Well, we are all faced with tests from Allah, and some are greater than others, and within every great trial there is always a reward as long as we stay patient and accept the struggles that we are faced with!

 “The greatest reward comes from the greatest trial. When Allaah loves people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it gains the pleasure of Allaah and whoever complains earns His wrath."
[Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2396; Ibn Maajah, 4031; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani]

Sis, I am sure you have heard this verse many times before :

“and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know”[al-Baqarah 2:216]. 

And Subhana’Allah how true it holds in almost every daily situation we are faced with. From smallest of trials to biggest one, this verse Allah has revealed to us is like words of encouragement for His slaves and to let them know, that whatever happens, it is for the best. So everything you had to endure and go through, the emotional struggle and the physical struggles, it is all from Allah and His Wisdom! We will be rewarded for ever hardship that we are given, as long as we remain steadfast and obedient to Allah, The Most High. This is a beautiful hadith that really may help put things into perspective :  

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: I was riding behind the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) one day and he said: “O boy, I shall teach you some words. Be mindful of Allaah and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Allaah and He will protect you. If you ask then ask of Allaah, and if you seek help then seek help from Allaah. Know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you in some way, they would not benefit you except in something that Allaah has decreed for you, and if they were to gather together to harm you in some way, they would not harm you except in something that Allaah has decreed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” {Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2516)}

It is completely normal that you are feeling a loss of faith and hope since we are only humans and weak by nature. Our imaan is like a beautiful garden, if we do not constantly care for it, it will never grow and if we leave it idle it will wilt and die. Everyone will go through high moments and low moments in their imaan. I had a situation that really lowered my imaan, Alhamdulilah it was before Ramadan so I had a real good change to regain all my faith and hope back to Allah. What really helped me, was isolating myself away from technology and society and focusing on Ibadah and strengthening my Tawakkul (trust in Allah).
 I truly understand how you are feeling, in terms of feeling a loss of hope, sadness, and weak imaan. This is a fight that we are constantly battling with and the only way we can be successful is that we constantly remind ourselves of Allah and His 99 names, and to learn them and reflect upon them. Also isolate yourself in your home or even the masjid (though home is better) and detach yourself away from the worldly life for few hours or even a full day, if you can . Read Qur’an, reflect upon Allah and His Mercy and also remind yourself and think about death. I also recommend to listen to the seerah of our beloved Prophet Sallalahu aleyhi wasselam and the Sahabah. It is always a good “pick me upper.” Also maybe take a walk and reflect upon nature and the creation of Allah. Isolating yourself once a week is very helpful and can truly help you take a “break” from the busy worldly life. I truly suggest that you remove yourself from all technology devices (computer, phone, television etc) and take time for just you and Allah. This will be a great way to recharge your imaan and help you rebuild your foundation. Many sisters go through such weak imaan lapses and some stay down and get further into darkness while other sisters work hard to fight through the hole they have fallen into and come out stronger than before! Be the latter dear sister, and don’t let your mistakes bring you down and lose hope. Allah is Oft Forgiving, the Most Merciful. He is the best of Planners and everything that happens to us does not happen except by His will. 

It was written for you to go through everything that you have been experiencing and everything is nothing but a test of your dedication and love for Allah.  The moment that we stop seeking knowledge and learning more about Allah and remembering Him, we get caught up with the dunya . Know also that the importance of seeking knowledge and immersing yourself in it, is the key to success and rebuilding your imaan. This wise quote explains the importance of seeking knowledge and how it helps to increase one’s  iman.

According to Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, who said that Yazid related, on the authority of Jafar Ibn Uthrnan: "Some or of all our scholars heard Abu al-Darda' saying: 'Indeed, it is a part of a man's growth in knowledge to improve his Iman, make up for any decrease, know whether his Iman increases or diminishes, and know when and where Satan's temptations may come."' 

Allah is always listening to our supplications and even though you may feel disconnected during your prayer, take a minute before each prayer to think about death and imagine as if it were your last and final prayer. We all sin as the children of Adam are all sinners, but the ones who repent and ask Allah for forgiveness, are the ones that are near and dear to Him.

And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad concerning Me, then answer them:), I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. (Surah al Baqarah v. 186.)

Also dear sister, you can visit the masjid and meet some sisters (if you have not already done so) who are always there to help and support you with seeking knowledge. Surround yourself also with good companions and insha’Allah you will be well on your way to regaining your imaan! As for getting married, I think it would be best for you to focus on strengthening your imaan and working on your relationship with Allah first and foremost. It is important for you to establish the foundation before you build the house, similarly we must work on our imaan before we can ask for anything else from Allah. When we become closer with Allah, then we will become a better sister, wife, and mother. Allah will bless you with a righteous Muslim husband on His own time. For now, focus on working harder to building your foundation and regaining that inner peace. This is the key to getting back on track insha'Allah! 

May Allah make your situation easier and grant you success with all of your affairs AMEEN

P.S. Don't think that you are behind schedule or anything like that. You are exactly where you should be at this moment in time. Do not compare yourself to others but understand that each of us has different trials/ experiences best suited for the individual. 

1 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  December 25, 2012 at 8:30 PM  

Assalamo alaike WRWB!

"And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance..." (Surah Kahf-- 28)

When I'm feeling low Iman-ed (=p) I remind myself of Hazrat Bilal Radhiallahu unhu; imagine being dragged in scaldingly hot sand in scorching heat, and not wondering why you were bothering to be a Mo'min. Not wondering why your Lord wasn't getting you out of the misery. Not faltering at all. That's faith :)

I don't know if this is relevant to you or not, but quoting Yasmin Mojahed:
We have to ask ourselves what is our ultimate goal.
If our ultimate goal is marriage and we keep praying to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, yet our prayer goes unanswered some of us end up being resentful.
Our problem has to do with what's our ultimate goal. If we find that our ultimate goal is anything other than Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, then this is the root cause of the problem.
What we end up doing is to use Allah as a tool to get our goal. We make du'a for getting married or a job. We do it persistently every day. We then become frustrated.
Unfortunately, we have defined our ultimate goal to be "things from dunya" such as marriage, job, or something else. Then when He doesn't give us what we ask for we become resentful.
What needs to be understood is that, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is not the "tool". He is the GOAL that we should work towards. He has explained us in the Qur'an that everything will fade away. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is the beginning and the end, everything else finishes. All other things are actually tools or means for getting closer to Allah instead of being other way around.
Why we break? It's because we have switched our life. We have taken things from dunya which were a "means" to get closer to Allah as our ultimate goal and made Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala a mere tool to get there [aoothubillah].
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is being "used". This is how we are dealing Him. This is injustice to Him. Allah is the END, He is the GOAL and whatever path He gives us to get there, we should be grateful.
For example, for one person Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has reserved marriage as the path to get to Him. Similarly, for another He has decided not getting married as the path to come closer to Him. If both paths lead to Allah shouldn't we be pleased?
Our problem is that we have not made Allah our destination or goal. We have replaced Him with things from dunya. When we re-orient what's our ultimate goal, we will be pleased. Even if it means marriage or no marriage, children or no children, job or no job.

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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