Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have done some bad things two weeks ago, and I need to make tawba. I keep trying, but I feel insincere or that my remorse would disappear. I feel like my heart is blocked. My heart doesn’t listen to me because it is hardened.
How can I feel true remorse and make tawba? I started getting really bad waswasa a year ago, and I used to fight it really well, but now it’s hard. I either forget all my problems or am in despondency when I remember. I’ll never let shaytan win, but how do I get rid of the waswasa once and for all? The lowering of my iman worries me the most because I feel like every day that passes, it gets worse. I’m worried that a time will come when I can’t fix my situation. I have read your reader on repentance, but I don’t think anyone has the evil of feeling little to no remorse. How I could
bring it back?
Thank you for your question. Feeling that you have done bad things and need to repent is a clear sign of your faith. This is good news and you should not worry about what you think might be in your heart.
Don’t Assume that You Are Insincere.
Allah, Most High, accepts repentance in any form by the one who is sincere. Don’t assume that you are insincere and continue to make your tawba. The Shaytan’s job is to trick you into not repenting even when you are inclined towards it. He has thousands of years of experience with mankind, so don’t fall into his trap. Follow your heart and repent with its conditions.
If you feel that your heart is hard, there are many ways to soften it. The first and foremost way it to bless the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, night and day. Learn about his life and his sacrifices, make dhikr, and keep the company of those who are striving for Allah. Try listening to these heart-soothing lectures by SeekersGuidance or take a free course.
Getting rid of your waswasa is key to having a successful and happy religious life without undue hardship. Please see these links for good tips:
A Reader on OCD and Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)
Please make yourself accustomed to discarding any negative thoughts that come to you immediately and make dhikr when they do come. Eventually, the Shaytan will see that his whispering doubts lead you to dhikr and he will stop. Also, address the topic of your waswasa by acquiring correct reliable knowledge. This is the best weapon against it.
Low Iman and Remorse
I know that you feel that your iman is low but you should not obsess with trying to measure it. The only thing that you should measure is your obligations. Make a checklist and check off your deeds every day, it’s the only way to grow and change. Try something like this:
Prayed 5 times a day today on time: Y/N
Did I backbite today?: Y/N
Am I caught up on my zakat and missed fasts?: Y/N
Did I do a charitable deed today: Y/N
Did I read my daily litany of Quran?: Y/N
Did I read the translation and understand it?: Y/N
Did I do something for my knowledge and growth today?: Y/N
Once you have a list, just focus on completing it and you don’t need a measuring stick for anything else. Continue to do good deeds for verily faith increases by good deeds.
As for your remorse, please don’t measure that either. Feeling a little remorse is fine and be sure to repent when you get that feeling. Ask Allah to increase you in every good, and pray the Prayer of Need to increase your reliance on Him and hand all your problems over to Him. He will not abandon you. Please see this link:
What Can I Do to Strengthen and Increase My Faith?
[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.