How Can I Live a Religious Lifestyle When I Find It So Daunting and Overwhelming?

Question: I’m lost. I’m a 15-year-old trying to practice the deen after being lax, but I’m not strong enough for it. I feel like I have to give up all my hobbies, interests, friends, passions; I have makeup fasts and prayers, my family isn’t supportive, my friends aren’t religious and sometimes make fun of me, and I have problems with porn and masturbating. I want to seek knowledge, but I fear for my sincerity. It’s all so much, and I have no one to reach out to nor any idea what to do.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Dear student, may Allah reward you for your sincerity and for wanting to reach Allah. Trust me; this is all that you need; leave the rest in Allah’s hands.

Strength

You mention that you weren’t strong enough to practice your religion, but I disagree. I believe that Allah gave you the gift of wanting to know Him, and you have a treasure that many others don’t have. Hold fast to this treasure and take the steps that you know how to take, one day at a time. Remember that Allah sees and knows all that you do and feel. See this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophet-muhammad/strength-in-islam-the-prophetic-understanding-of-strength-faraz-rabbani/

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, ‘if only I had done such and such‘ rather say ‘Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).‘ For (saying) ‘If‘ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.‘“. [Ibn Maja]

Program

Come up with a program, and don’t despair. Fit your make-up fasts into a daily routine so you can finish them in a year or year and a half. Fast 2 or 3 times a week until you have finished your make-ups and combine intentions when you perform sunna fasts. Every wall is built one brick at a time, and every mountain is climbed one step. Ask Allah to help you, rely on Him, and be certain that He will not abandon you. Keep on seeking knowledge and practice what you learn, slowly but surely.

Company

The company that you keep can make you or break you. You must seek out religious and motivated friends and are on the same path as you. Being around like-minded friends is as easy as breathing and being around immoral people who don’t help you and support you is a burden. Pray that Allah sends you such people and search for them.  See these links:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/where-can-i-find-good-company/

Turn to Allah with your sincere intention, place all your trust in Him, proceed slowly, consult, and learn. The next thing you know, you will be a practicing Muslim who has repented, moved beyond his sins, and is illuminated by his remembrance of Allah.

Please see SeekersGuidance youth Curriculum – https://academy.seekersguidance.org/local/track/?id=43

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, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, 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.