Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’m overthinking my intentions when I worship. Why am I doing this anyway? Do I really want to be Muslim or is it just because of the trend or my friends are looking so pious? Do I even really love or fear Allah? And it’s immobilizing. I’m overthinking to the point that I’m scared I might become an apostate (murtadd) or perhaps want to become that. Please urgently advise.
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration of living with doubts and I pray that you come to realize who you are and what you want.
Believing in Allah is an honor and gift, and you should not refuse it. Allah and His Messenger have brought the perfect religion to us, as is told to us in the Quran: “[…]Today the disbelievers have given up all hope of ˹undermining˺ your faith. So do not fear them; fear Me! Today I have perfected your faith for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen Islam as your way. […]” [Quran, 5:3] Your rank is far above that of non-Muslims right now, regardless of your worship, and you don’t want to give the devil what he wants. You should take this course to understand the scope of our beliefs and stand firm in them.
The stress of baseless misgivings can be enough reason to make someone give up on their religion, but I encourage you to cease this and simplify your life. Seek refuge from the devil when you perform your ablution or pray, and ignore all else. Waswasa (baseless misgivings) is just a tool that the devil used to dissuade the believers and make them lose hope. Only the devil himself is hopeless and lost, so don’t join his ranks.
You have certainly not become an apostate, and you shouldn’t ever worry about that. Only worry about strengthening your faith, and living Islam so that you will have a beautiful life and be present at every moment that you are in. If you are grateful for your breath, your food, your health, and those around you, then you do love Allah and you don’t need to doubt that. What you need to do is act on your love for Him. Allah Most High told us, “Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Quran, 3:31]
Please see these links for excellent tips:
How Do I Strengthen My Faith and Truly Repent?
What Can I Do to Strengthen and Increase My Faith?
How to Strengthen Faith in Allah and Return to Him? A Reader
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.