Why Does the Practice of Islam Feel So Burdensome?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


I would like to know your stance on this matter. As a young Muslim (I am 22 years old) to practise Islam feels very extreme and I have the feeling as if everything was haram and I had a great burden on my shoulders.

How should we think in this instance about the sentence ” When the matter becomes constrained, rulings are made more easy. ” and Umum-Al-Balwa?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The religion of Islam in so far as that minimum requirements of obedience are not difficult. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The religion (of Islam) is ease.” [Bukhari]

This does not negate the fact that there are some sacrifices required which may for some prove challenging. For example, waking up for Fajr is challenging. The level of challenge will be greater for anyone who needs to be more disciplined and has not accustomed themselves to delayed gratification.

In short, for someone who is used to doing whatever they want whenever they want Islam may feel difficult to them. Not because Islam is inherently difficult, but because they lack the basic level of discipline by which they can live a structured and balanced religious life.

Islam Can Be Made Difficult

One’s experience of Islam as being difficult is indeed possible. However, most of the time this is due to external factors for which Islam is not to blame. Some of them are as follows:

1) A lack of knowledge

Many people who have a hard time with the injunctions of Islam lack knowledge. Often people do acts they thought were required of them or abstain from permissible acts out of ignorance. Such people see Islam as the reason, but in reality, they have not truly understood Islam due to their lack of knowledge.

From my personal experience as a convert to Islam, the more one learns Islam the easier it becomes to practice Islam and be amongst people.

2) Imposed Caution

Many times a person may be in the company or under the mentorship of someone who implements a stance of caution in their religious practice. Sometimes this caution is then wrongfully imposed on others. This imposition of caution may itself be out of ignorance of the line between the actual ruling and caution.

Furthermore, when such ignorance is coupled with a lack of wisdom with the gradual nature that people normally require in their religious progress – it puts people into undue difficulty (haraj) in their religion.

Undue Difficulty and Hardship (Haraj)

If one finds their regular religious practice to be unduly difficult, this is a sign that they are doing or abstaining from something that is beyond that which the religion requires. This is only cured by seeking Sacred knowledge and a deeper understanding of the religion.

Or it is caused by an extenuating circumstance for which the religion likely has a dispensation to ease that difficulty. Such a dispensation must be sought from an authorized scholar.

In no way is the undue difficulty from the religion itself.

Allah Most High says, “Strive for ˹the cause of˺ Allah in the way He deserves, for ˹it is˺ He ˹Who˺ has chosen you, and laid upon you no hardship in the religion—the way of your forefather Abraham.” [Quran; 22:78]


If you are finding things unduly difficult, consider finding an authorized scholar in your locality, if available, and formally learning from them your personally obligatory religious knowledge. If there are no scholars available, consider taking the free lessons available here on SeekersGuidance.

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 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 Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.