Question: I have been making my parents displeased with me since I was little. I used to be very rude. Was that a sin? I always seem to get on their nerves. I have tried to do things right, but I figured I will always get things wrong. I stopped making a concerted effort to make them happy. Is that a sin? I have tried again, but I keep on getting things wrong. When I get some things right, I get other things wrong. I have a reputation for this now, can I change?
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are going through this difficult time, but I urge you not to give up on yourself. The devil has a way of dissuading a person from good, don’t let him.
People are not born perfect, and we make mistakes all the time. I, personally, make mistakes every day of my life. Everything that I do, I most certainly could do better. I do not want you to think about your mistakes, but I want you to be grateful to Allah for everything that you have, and I do not want you to feel guilty. Listen to this for more details:
Your intention is what matters. If your intention is to please Allah and your parents in everything that you do and if you take a little longer to learn to do things than others do, your reward will be commensurate with your efforts.
The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, Allah does not look at your forms or your wealth, rather He looks at your deeds and your hearts.” [Ibn Majah] Please take this hadith to heart and know that Allah is only interested in your sincerity and not how nimble you are.
It is not sinful to “stop trying“ or “to put less effort“ in what you do, but it is sinful to despair in Allah’s mercy. Believe in yourself, do not tire of good works, and leave the rest up to Allah. Please see this excellent answer for more details:
May Allah give you the best in 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 Masters 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.