Broken Relationships: Dealing With Feelings of Forsakenness

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I had a falling out with some of my friends. I feel very bad for what I did and have made constant repentance and supplication. Even though I tried to reconcile a number of times by messaging them, calling them, and talking to them online, there was no luck. The people I wronged only agreed to return my greetings when given, and that too after a long period of not talking. There are alot of details and back and forths to the whole scenario. Please advise what I should do. Is what they are doing to me considered forsaking someone?

Answer: Thank you for your question, Sister in Islam.

I will be brief in my response; not because I don’t want to take a detailed look at the issue, but because the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent with the ability to speak with the most comprehensive and concise speech to benefit the listener, and I am only trying to learn and emulate that. Also, the incidents in life are many, and complex; feelings are even more complex. But learning the guiding principles will help in all of those situations.

What your sisters are doing, according to your account, is not forsaking you the way the prophetic narratives prohibits. The impermissible forsaking is to not give salams at all or not acknowledge a person; it doesn’t mean that they have to go back to being on friendly terms as before. They can give you another chance if they want, but if it doesn’t happen, you can’t blame them, nor should you pressure or guilt-trip them.

Rolling back, I want to commend you for what is obviously your great concern for your own religion. Also, for the fact that you recognized that your initial outburst of anger was wrong and repented. A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands another Muslim (and in general, another human being) are safe. You also apologized and continue to greet the sisters with good character. You also forgave others in your heart for what you perceive to be their prolonged forsaking of you, and you are putting your trust in Allah Most High and making supplication for the situation.

It seems like nothing else is needed right?

The only thing that may be missing, and Allah knows best, is that your heart is attached to a certain outcome. Your “Self” (nafs) wants it, and if it can’t have it, it causes you to cry for lengthy periods and feel depressed. This is because we need to realize that these things are a test for us. Ultimately, we lose some things because they are good for us and they wake us up. This is only for a Believer.

We need to sometimes see these things as ways to improve. Also, friends and people in life come and go through various life stages. College is especially trying in this respect. Things are not over, insha Allah.

Don’t attach yourself to things or people. Attach yourself to Allah Most High.

People can always let you down.  Allah Ta’ala will never let you down.

Develop your relationship with Him stronger than any demand you can have for yourself, and don’t dive into your devotions in a manic or binging way (as Shaytan wants you to do this so you get fed up later on), but build your relationship slowly, surely and get independent again. This will hurt at first but the sweetness of faith that will come insha Allah cannot compare.  I say this to myself first.  And Allah knows best.

Wasalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

p.s. Also, just practically speaking, people don’t like to keep the company of people if they feel that they are desperate, clingy or needy. They want to be with people they benefit from mutually and do not emotionally over-burden them; those who are confident and independent make the best friends. So be strong and still keep good character with them if you pass by them, but don’t push yourself forward with them in person or on MSN. If you happen to be in their area, be the first to give salam, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the person who does that is the better one, but let them make the next move indefinitely. Allah is in control of the hearts, and things could come around, but whether they do or don’t, fixate your own heart on the One after whom you need no other thing.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani