Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
I am an 18-year-old Bangladeshi boy. I’m not very good at studying. I’ve recently begun to doubt my abilities. Because I am unable to study as effectively as others. This intense study is too much for my body. I can’t even pray properly anymore because I don’t have khushu. I pray very late because of my studies. Now I’m wondering what I can do properly. I also lack direction. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do.
I am aware that we require tawakkul on Allah (Most High). But I keep doubting myself subconsciously. I have the impression that everything has begun to shrink. I sometimes feel like I’m going to explode. Could you please give me some advice, Sir?
How should I proceed? How should I choose my goal? How can we create more tawakkul? I’m not sure how to pray on time, and I’m exhausted.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
Reliance on Allah Most High is defined as the expectation of something desirable in the future after one has taken all the means available in pursuit of goal. [Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]
From this definition we can see that part of reliance on Allah Most High is striving to achieve what we are aiming for.
This leaves the question: What do we aim for?
The Ultimate Purpose
Your ultimate aim or purpose in this life is to achieve the contentment and good pleasure of Allah Most High. If Allah Most High is pleased with you, you are necessarily successful in this life and the next.
The contentment of Allah Most High is attained by obeying Him out of gratitude for all His blessings upon us.
Allah Most High says, “If you are ungrateful, remember God has no need of you, yet He is not pleased by ingratitude in His servants; if you are grateful, He is pleased [to see] it in you.” [Quran, 39:7]
Every other pursuit that one takes in their life should be aligned with this ultimate goal, either directly or indirectly.
Learning the Religion
In order to truly obey Allah Most High in the way He deserves, one must follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace). This begins by seeking Sacred knowledge.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Seeking (Sacred) knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim.” [Tabarani]
The knowledge referred here as being obligatory is that knowledge one needs in order to fulfill their religious obligations as they pertain to one’s personal circumstance. [Birgivi, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]
This knowledge can be studied slowly and deliberately. “Hyper-study” as you mentioned is not a criteria.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The most beloved actions to Allah Most High are those that are consistent even if few.” [Tabrizi, Miskhat al-Masabih]
Besides the above, one’s main objective is to obey Allah Most High in whatever they choose to do.
Any pursuit that does not go against the dictates of the Sacred law is what the scholars refer to as the playground of permissibility. In this regard, you should reflect on those things to which you incline.
Perhaps you live helping people and fields like social work, charity work, and other human services may interest you. Perhaps you enjoy technology and an engineering position or major may interest you.
This requires great introspection. The most important thing is to keep oneself busy in the good.
Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) said, “I dislike seeing any of you wandering aimlessly, not doing anything of benefit for their worldly life nor their Hereafter.” [Abu Ghudda, Qima al-Zaman ‘Ind al-‘Ulama’]
Whatever it is you decide to proceed with in your life, always do two things. Seek guidance from Allah Most High using the prayer of seeking guidance and consult wise respected religious people.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “He who does the prayer of seeking guidance does not fail and he who takes counsel does not regret.” [Tabarani]
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.