Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I am getting treatment for anxiety. I have prayed to Allah for so long that I ask, “when will Allah’s help come”? I know Allah is always near. I am angry and bitter at Him for my suffering because I try to please Him; the next day, something goes wrong; why would He allow this? Why doesn’t Allah facilitate things for me? I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t like to make du`a anymore because it is repetitive, insincere and nothing will change. What should my expectations be? I used to be such a positive about Allah, but I am now miserable and cynical. I feel upset when others are happy with wealth and marriage without being religious. Is my mental health issue making me ungrateful or lack iman? Does Allah love me?
Answer: Assalamu alaykum brother,
I pray that Allah gives you relief from your anger, and gives you guidance in all aspects of your life. I empathize with your feelings of frustration, sadness and emptiness.
I want to begin by asking you to do three things:
1) Trust in Allah
2) Don’t try to do business with Allah.
3) Keep a balance throughout your life of hope and fear
The basis of a relationship between a Muslim and his Lord is trust. We trust that He gives us what is best for us without knowing it. We trust that worldly events happen for a good reason that Allah, Most High knows. We trust that calamities befall us, trusting it is good for us, without knowing how or why.
Allah, Most High said, “Why should we not put our trust in Allah, when He has truly guided us to the very best of ways? Indeed, we will patiently endure whatever harm you may cause us. And in Allah let the faithful put their trust.” [Qur`an, 14:12]
This verse sums up the very essence of the believer. He stands as a soldier in the face of any challenge, has excellence all the way through, and trusts in Allah for the outcome. Not matter the outcome, and no matter the gravity of the situation, it always ends up being good for the believer. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.“ [Muslim]
Allah, Most High, tells us that the Prophet Ya`qub, said to his sons, after losing one of them for many years, “In Him I put my trust. And in Him let the faithful put their trust.” [12:67]
And to sum it all up, Allah, Most High, says, “Yes, indeed, everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to God, and He is enough for those who trust in Him.“ [Qur`an, 4:132]
Business with Allah
It is incorrect for a believer to worship his Lord in order to get something back from Him in this world. A Muslim’s expectation from Allah is for the hereafter (akhira) alone, and he should treat this world as a place only to worship and be tested. Allah, Most High, say ,“I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me.“ [Qur`an, 51:56]
Praying to Him, or fasting, or giving charity is a way to increase blessings and forgiveness in one’s life, but it doesn’t make one immune to problems. The very notion of having problems is in line with the nature of this world. As a huge benefit, one gains wisdom, clarity, patience, experience and tactics to help with future problems. This is the good in the matter of the believer that we saw above.
Allah, Most High, says, “Do people think they will be left alone after saying ‘We believe’ without being put to the test? We tested those who went before them: God will certainly mark out which ones are truthful and which are lying.“ [Qur`an, 29:2-3]
So, from now on, try to worship Him, solely for His sake, because He deserves it, with utmost sincerity, and continue to pray for ease and well-being. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “[…] Do (good) deeds within your capacity as Allah never gets tired of giving rewards until you get tired of doing good deeds.“ [Bukhari]
Balance hope and fear
Fear your Lord and have hope in him. Some scholars have said it is better to fear Him in your youth and place hope in Him during your old age. Either way, have both equally your faith will be complete. It is not permissible in the shari`ah to feel protected from Allah’s devising (makr), or to have despair from his mercy (qunut/ya’s).
Know that Allah loves you and sees your worth. In the Qur’an, Allah states, in different verses, that He loves those who do good, those who are just, those who are God-fearing, those who repent and purify themselves and those who are patient. Aim to have these qualities and turn to Him to guide you. It takes years to purify oneself and gain this tremendous qualities, consider yourself at the beginning of the path.
Please continue to get help for your mental health issues, with medication, therapy and religion, I am certain that Allah will lift you up out of this. Don’t despair and Allah will help in the right time, from His infinity wisdom.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.