Should I Love and Accept Myself or Only Rely on Allah?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I am a woman in my early twenties. I have a habit of constantly degrading myself and having minimal self-esteem. On days when I’m low, do you think I should try to love and accept myself, as my therapist says? Or should I entirely and only rely on Allah and take a religious approach only? I’m not sure how to handle it when I get depressed.


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for reaching out, and may He facilitate a way to conquer your depression and low self-esteem.

Given the considerations in such cases, we ask you to consult reliable local scholars or counselors about the situation’s specifics. May Allah facilitate all ease and good for you.


Achieving a balance between low self-esteem and arrogance is very important, as purification of the heart is one of the obligations of our religion. Your therapist is correct that you should love yourself and accept yourself. Also, know that Allah loves you and that spiritually, your jihad al-nafs (striving against the ego) should never cease. You should seek that through Allah (Most High) and not through yourself.

The application of this hadith should be your ultimate goal:

Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) stating that God has said, “If anyone is hostile to a friend of mine, I have declared war against him. No one draws near to me with anything dearer to me than what I have made obligatory for him. If my servant keeps drawing near to me with supererogatory acts, I shall love him, and when I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he grasps, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks from Me, I shall certainly give him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I shall certainly give him refuge. I have not hesitated about anything I do as I hesitate about taking the soul of a believer who dislikes death, for I dislike grieving him, but he cannot escape it.” [Bukhari]

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May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.