How Can I Deal With Living With My Brother's Drug Problem?

How Do I Overcome Doubts About My Religious Practice and Past Sins?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

If a muslim does not fulfill the five pillars of Islam, does his practice just becomes vain?

I never ever gave zakat, I pray sometimes and never completed a Ramadan. I have done so much sins that I doubt about deserving Allah’s forgiveness.

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for courageously overcoming the life challenges you have been facing and striving towards the religion. That takes a lot of sincerity and determination.

The 5 Pillars

While the 5 Pillars of Islam are the cornerstones of the religion, each pillar is still an individual pillar and act of worship. Therefore, neglect of one pillar of the religion does not vitiate the validity or reward of performing another pillar.

What it does mean however, is that that the person’s overall religious practice is wanting and needs to be worked on. As the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The strong believer is more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them.’ [Sahih Muslim]

Have no doubt in your mind that Allah Most High knows everything about the journey that you have been through and are still on. Allah loves those who make mistakes and yet continuously comes back to Him, just so He can forgive them.

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah would forgive them.’ [Sahih Muslim]

And Allah Most High says, ‘And despair not of Allah’s Mercy; surely none despairs of Allah’s Mercy except the unbelieving people.’ [12:87].

Therefore, there is no one or no sin that Allah will not forgive if the person repents with sincerity. Do not think you are beyond forgiveness, for Allah’s Mercy, Gentle Kindness, and Compassionate Love is greater and vaster than we can fathom.

Take refuge in Him, and seek out His Love and Protection by slowly but steadily performing the basics of the religion.

Practical Steps

– Pray the Prayer of Repentance (Tawba) for any sins and make sincere du’a to Allah to forgive you, and resolve to not return to them. Once done, do not look back, nor carry on praying Tawba for the same sins. Rather, considerate it finished and move on.

– Read Qu’ran a little bit each day, even with an English translation alongside if need be.

– Keep good company and avoid any company that have a negative influence on you.

– If you are not working, try to get steady and regular employment.

– Seek out recreational outlets such as sports, art, or anything else that interests you.

– Consider doing some occasional community work, whether it’s with other people, animals, or environmental. Helping others and caring for the community and environment has tremendous therapeutic effects, and on many levels.

– Consider taking some basic courses in Islamic studies. If there are local classes or a teacher available this would be best. However, if not, then consider taking one of our free, beginners online courses, found here.

You may also find the following answers helpful:

Struggling to Maintain Faith and Practice
Why Does Islam Seem So Difficult to Follow?
Overwhelmed by Guilt?

I wish you success in your affairs. May Allah increase you in faith and in every good.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.