Answered by Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat
Recently, I was reading the last verse of Surah Baqarah and started having many doubts. Now I have lost my faith [iman], and I am questioning God, and I absolutely hate it. I feel empty inside, feeling that I don´t have a purpose, and constantly confused and crying.
I feel like Allah doesn’t like me, and I keep on thinking I am going to hell.
Can you please advise me on what to do?
I pray you are well.
Turn to Allah
First and foremost, it seems to me that you are a believer who is undergoing a very difficult trial. Your dislike of the matter is proof of this. I advise you to turn to Allah and to ask for help. Say, “O Allah, I believe in You, and all you command me to believe in, in the way you want me to believe it.”
The pain of your situation must be immense, and the confusion must be making the matter worse. Affirm your faith in Allah as I mentioned and know that the doubts will not do anything to you. You question evinces the existence of true faith; otherwise, why would you feel empty?
Problems Do Not Appear From a Vacuum
The doubts and questions you have certainly did not appear out of the blue, or simply because you happened to read a verse on a given afternoon. Although your question does not give us the details of your issues – let alone the causes.
I cannot tell what they are, but generally there are causes which need to be addressed. From dealing with a number of cases on this matter, it has become clear that two issues usually play a role in scenarios like this.
The first is a lack of requisite knowledge of Islam. People grow up with a cultural understanding of God and His religion, and this understanding is occasionally used by people to manipulate others. Sometimes people do not understand the wisdom and purpose of tests. We found that in places where the masses had a healthy relationship with the ulema, such as Syria, and where the majority of people were literate in Islam; its worldview, teachings, and wisdom; in such places the the laymen were like rocks when tested.
This is what is missing from Muslims today. The benefits of Islamic education stretch far beyond knowing the obligatory actions of wudu and knowing how to pay your zakat. When properly in place, they allow one to see that we are all under the care and protection of Allah.
Trials of the Messenger of Allah
Feeling that Allah hates you is an indication of the second issue: trauma. But before moving on to that let us look at the beloved Messenger of Allah; Allah blessed him and give him peace. We know that Allah loved him more than anyone, and that ʿAʾisha noticed that his prayers would swiftly be answered. Does this, however, mean that he wasn’t tested with difficulty? No.
He grew up without his parents. He went from being the most respected member of Quraysh to being someone the idolaters publicly mocked and insulted daily for years on end. They threw rubbish at him. They threw entails of animals at him. Blamed him for the problems they experienced. Blamed him for families being split. Made nasty rumors about him and spread them amongst all the tribes in the Hajj season.
His life was threatened multiple times. He was chased out of a city by slaves and children, and stoned until his clothes were bloody. His friends and close relatives were killed and mutilated before him. The list goes on and on. Perhaps the greatest trial a person can endure in this life is to watch one’s own child die. Of the seven children he had, he lived through the deaths of six of them – Allah bless him and give him peace.
Having problems doesn’t mean Allah does not like you. On the contrary, it means that He loves you [Bukhari], and that through these problems, He is taking raising your rank in a way that would not have happened otherwise.
The second issue is trauma. People go through difficulties and struggle to understand what is happening. Sometimes the unresolved emotional trauma leads to developing certain symptoms which cause a lot of pain and difficulty.
I suggest you speak to a local scholar who has experience in helping people. Get answers to your doubts if answering them helps. If it just brings more doubts, then don’t try to answer them.
Seek out some helpful form of therapy, and if Allah wills, the doubts will disappear, and their oppressive persistence will lose its power over you.
If you keep in mind that Allah loves you and that He will always bring about what is best for you – that is what you will find. “I am as my servant thinks me to be – and I am with him when he remembers me.” [Bukhari]
Disregard the doubts, disregard the thoughts; turn to Allah, and ask. You’ll find that He responds – even if it takes some time to manifest. And you’ll find He was with you all along.
May Allah bring the best end to your difficulties in the shortest time. Amin.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. He moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time, such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies in Fiqh, Usul al Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. In the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.