Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
I feel lost in my religion; I believe I have lost my Iman due to waswasa; I have not been able to feel my Dua; I do not feel sincere in my repentance, and I feel like a hypocrite. I don’t think I feel too bad after making a mistake, but what I’m trying to say is that I don’t feel like I used to.
I’m not religious. Although I pray on time unless I am occupied, give Charity, and pray tahajjud, I do not feel Allah’s presence around me. Is there anything that can bring my Iman back? I want to feel religious once again.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The human heart in Arabic is called Qalb. The word Qalb has within its root the meaning of “to change”. The relationship here is that the heart is constantly changing from state to state. For this reason the scholars would say, “Dawam al-Hal Muhal” or “Remaining in the same state is impossible.”
Sometimes this can be part of the larger test of faith in this Life. Allah Most High created us to worship Him, alone. He said, “I have not created the Jinn or Humans except to worship Me.” [Quran, 51:56] Sometimes we worship Allah Most High with very subtle ulterior motives, amongst the most common of which is to feel good.
This doesn’t affect the validity nor the acceptance of our deeds, but sometimes Allah Most High takes away the good feeling of worship in order to raise our intentions to higher levels of sincerity: that we worship Allah Most High without seeking any portion or benefit that comes back to us.
He is Always Near
Despite the above, it is important to remember and to always reflect on the fact that Allah Most High is always near. Whether we are cognizant of it (which occurs when our faith is high and our hearts are present) or not, Allah Most High is nearer to us than our very life giving blood.
Allah Most High says, “Indeed, (it is) We (Who) created humankind and (fully) know what their souls whisper to them, and We are closer to them than (their) jugular vein.” [Quran, 50:16]
The beautiful thing within this reality is that regardless of our current state, if we are sincere in wanting a relationship with Allah Most High we are already on a path of success, for if Allah Most High did not want us to have a relationship with Him, He would not have put the concern for Him in our hearts.
Concern for Allah Means Love From Him
The fact that you find yourself in a desperate situation, reaching out for help regarding your relationship with Allah Most High, asking how to reconnect with Him is in itself a glad tidings, something to rejoice at and show gratitude, and something, if you reflect on it, that should raise your spirits.
Allah Most High says, “When My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond (with obedience) to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided (to the Right Way).” [Quran, 2:186]
Consider the beginning of this verse. Allah Most High says, “When My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me…” Note that Allah doesn’t say “then go and tell them that I am near.” Rather Allah Most High says, “I am near.” It is as if Allah Most High is directly addressing the person who is asking about Allah.
Raising Your Hands – Another Sign of His Love
The great scholar and saint Ibn ‘Ata Illah al-Sakandari (Allah have mercy on him) said in one of his aphorisms, “Whenever (you find that) He has let your tongue loose to ask (of Him), then know that He intends to give you.” [Ibn ‘Ata Illah al-Sakandari, al-Hikam]
The fact that you are waking up for the Tahajjud prayer and raising your hands in supplication to Him – this is a clear indication that Allah Most High loves you, cares for you, and intends great things for you.
Dealing With Misgivings (Waswasa)
As you may know, since you admit to suffering from misgivings, that the basic response to misgivings (waswasa) is to reject them and ignore them. These misgivings are from Shaytan and Allah Most High warned us that he is a clear enemy to us and commanded us to disobey him. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
One of the most dangerous things that Shaytan calls to is to have an ill opinion of Allah Most High. He makes people think that Allah Most High is some sort of tyrant waiting for us to slip up so that He can chastise us. This could not be further from the truth. Allah Most High clearly dispels any such thoughts right within the opening words of the Quran.
Do not burden yourself with such pessimism. Continue doing what you are doing and reflect on the above meanings. I would also advise you to increase your connection with seeking Sacred Knowledge. This is arguably the greatest cure to the spiritual illness of misgivings.
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.