Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
I am active in community projects and have important positions in this. However, I’m stuck in some serious private sins that I regret—and which I’m struggling with. Should I leave community service?
I hope you’re doing well, Insha Allah. May Allah bless you for the recognition of your shortcomings and evident remorse. “Remorse is repentance.” [Ibn Majah; Ahmad]
The Commitment and Striving Needed
Commit to (1) sincere repentance and (2) actively tacking the means to leave the sin. If you struggle with this, seek direct mentorship and counsel of a scholar you trust on how to work on this.
Normally, one doesn’t leave a door of good that Allah Most High has blessed one with due to other shortcomings. However, leaving sin—especially major sins that have become habitual—is a serious matter.
Continuing or Leaving: Consider Progress in Leaving the Sin
If you find you are able to actively leave the sin—then continue in the position. This is if the sin is—as mentioned—a private sin and not a matter in which you are wronging others or harming them.
If Not Able to Progress, Prioritize Your Spiritual Wellness
If not able to make progress in leaving the sin, then give your full focus to addressing these major, ruinous sins. Sometimes, one needs to step away and focus on the state of one’s heart and soul.
Ibn Ata’illah (Allah have mercy upon him), “Nothing benefits the heart like some stepping away [from one’s routines] in which one enters the plains of reflection.” [Hikam]
Trust in Allah, Don’t Lose Hope, and Keep Striving
But in all this, have complete trust in Allah Most High—and don’t lose hope. Allah loves the repentance sinner striving for change. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents from sin is like one who never sinned.” [Ibn Majah]
Allah Most High says: “Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]
Note, too, that this is general religious counsel. Do reach out to a trusted scholar or mentor for specific guidance and counsel. May Allah grant you success in the best of what you seek.
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.