How Can I Find Hope When Resisting Desires Is So Hard?

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question

I find Islam hard, especially today, where even many Muslims follow their desires like music, pornography, illicit relationships, partying, and not praying. I also have an immense desire for these. So I feel different, and thus, I get sad and find it hard to hold onto Islam.

Sometimes I think that even if I don’t do these bad things and keep holding onto Islam, maybe Allah will still throw me in Hell for some other sins which I do (sins which I am trying to leave but I’m unable to). Please help me and give me some motivation.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

It’s not Islam that is hard; rather, resisting immoral temptations and controlling one’s desires for them is hard. Islam is merely guiding you to what is good for you and more beneficial, but the environment around you makes it difficult.

Do not get impressed or carried away by the charms of these sins, even if you see others indulging in them. Instead, be thankful that Allah, out of His immense mercy, saves you from things that others will severely regret doing one day.

Allah Most High says, “Say: Good and evil are not equal, even though you may be dazzled by the abundance of evil. So be mindful of Allah, O people of reason, so you may be successful.” [Quran, 5:100]

Do not think your resisting these temptations is going in vain. Whenever you intend to refrain from these things and hold yourself back from them, you are reaping great rewards from Allah Most High.

Your struggle with lesser sins is also not a cause for despair. It is normal to have strong desires during youth, and part of maturity is learning to control them for one’s benefit. If you ever slip, repent to Allah, ask His forgiveness, and try your level best to leave it, even if you slip again and again each time. One day, Allah will make you overcome them in sha Allah. [Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din]

Keep the company of good Muslims, control and restrict what you view on social media and entertainment, and find wholesome alternatives that are beneficial and entertaining but keep you busy and productive. Be steadfast in your prayers and attend the mosque.

Allah says, “Indeed, prayer deters from indecency and wickedness. And the remembrance of Allah is even greater. And Allah knows all that you do.” [Quran, 29:45]

Finally, pursuing beneficial Islamic knowledge is one of the best ways to keep your faith strong and mind productively engaged. Consider following a live course from SeekersGuidance Academy.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.