How Can I Remove Guilty Thoughts That Stop Me From Praying?

Question: How can I overcome my guilt?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
Know that your desire to remove these thoughts is a sign of absolute faith and Allah placing mercy in your heart. What you are going through is something that many Muslims go through and with the help of Allah, Most High, they overcome!
One of the names of the Quran is “The Cure” (al-Shifa). Whenever we feel sick, inwardly, or outwardly, we should turn to the Quran for its cure and remedy.
Allah, Most High says in the Quran:
  1. Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Quran 39:53]
Imam al-Qushayri comments on this verse saying: “By his saying “all sins”, Our Lord is telling us “I forgive you and I never leave you! I overlook your faults and I never leave you alone!”
[Qushayri, Lataif al-Isharaat]
  1. And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. [Quran 2:186]
Constantly bring this verse to heart and repeat the words of the great Imam Sahl al-Tustari: “Allah is with me. Allah is near me. Allah witnesses me.” [Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din]
These statements mean that Allah’s mercy, generosity, kindness, and forgiveness are always with you, no matter how you feel.
My sincere advice to you is:

Do not give in to these thoughts for they are but whispers from the devil (waswasa). When they come to you, don’t pay them attention and let them flutter away. There will come a time where they will not return.

Make a habit of making fresh ablution (wudhu) before each obligatory prayer. This will help you in bring Allah, Most High to heart, and repel the devil. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The key to paradise is prayer, and the key to prayer is ablution’.” [Tirmidhi, al-Sunan]

Keep yourself engaged in the remembrance of Allah, Most High. This can be by a daily routine of zikr, taking a class, or sitting with righteous people.

Repent to Allah, Most High from any wrongdoings with certainty that he will forgive you.

May Allah, Most High reward you abundantly for taking these steps toward him, and may he place clarity and contentment in your heart.
And Allah alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Should I Worry About the Evil Eye?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. I have noticed that many of my friends are very worried about the evil eye or “nazar.” I recognize that the evil eye is real, but apart from saying mash’Allah and insh’Allah, I have never been too concerned about it. However, my friends also hesitate to discuss future plans or reveal information because of genuine fears of the evil eye. Is it wise to have such fears?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assaalm wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No, you should not go to lengths about worrying about the evil eye. This is very common in some communities, and it just causes paranoia.

Follow the sunnas of seeking protection through the recitation of the last three suras thrice morning and evening, and mention the name of Allah when seeing something you like. Beyond that, excessive worrying about a matter that cannot be controlled, which may or may not happen is not wise.

Please refer to this article, as it provides the Qur’anic perspective on the matter.

 

Please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/black-magic-and-evil-eye/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-can-someone-always-have-trust-in-allah/

 

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

What Should I Do About My Anxiety Over My Children’s Health?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. I experience anxiety regarding the health of my children. A few years ago they had to be hospitalised due to a virus and ever since then, I have just had this severe fear and anxiety over their health. Each time I notice something even slightly wrong, my mind goes to the worst. This anxiety is really difficult to deal with. Are there any reasons for this? Any specific duas to recite? Tried counselling, but it did not help.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

I can understand how this must be difficult for you. There are two routes out of this.

 

Being Prepared – With Faith

Firstly, learning to be comfortable with the fact that there are things we cannot control. Your children have a Loving Lord who wants what is best for them ultimately. If they are tested with health issues, then it will certainly be something that is in their best interest. They will benefit in many ways – if it was to happen.

Know that sometimes a small amount of pain and difficulty can bring much ease and goodness in the long term. Think of it as the pain of a needle when getting vaccinated compared to being saved from a serious illness. Please refer to this article for advice on how to cope with the anxiety.

Secondly, you should consider some form of therapy. Therapy is not the same as counselling. It focuses on the cause of the symptom. Please listen to this seminar for further clarity on the matter. The reason why your anxiety is so strong is that you have been been in situations that have been traumatic. Every time a new incident occurs and reminds you on a subconscious level of those past events, it triggers the past traumatic emotions and you suffer from the compounded effect of all the events. Once you work on this, it should improve.

Ask Allah for help, and leave your children to Him. He loves them and will always do what is in their long-term benefit. May Allah make it easy for you.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

How Do I Balance Between Fear and Hope?

Question: How do I balance between fear and hope? 

Answer:

Dear questioner,

May Allah bless you and increase you in good.

You are doing excellent masha’Allah. Every Muslim should hope to gain this spiritual state of hope and fear. What you are feeling, for the most part, is right in line with the way of true believers.

 

Hope and Fear

One should always know that Allah forgives all sins and they should never fall into despair. Allah, Most High says in the Quran,

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Quran, 39: 53]

“Whoever does evil or wrongs their soul, then seeks the pardon of Allah, will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran, 4:110]

Verses of Fear:
وَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ
And fear the Fire, which has been prepared for the disbelievers. [Quran, 3:131]

We also need to remember that there is punishment but that it always needs to be balanced with hope.

Therefore every time you feel a real sadness about your sins to a point where it starts becoming too much to bear, remember and have hope in your Lord. Have a good opinion that Allah will forgive you. To repent is to forget the sin. You repented and you have moved on. Simple as that.

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who never committed it.” [Ibn Majah]

However if you slip ever, repent again immediately, this is the way of the true believer.

Hasan al Basri (Allah be pleased with him) was asked about a believer who constantly sins and then repents and then sins and repents (continuing in this manner) He responded by saying, “That is the character of the believer.”

 

Balance and Moderation

As long as you do not despair nor get too comfortable in the mercy of Allah where you commit sins without regret, then you are balanced. Remember to always stay balanced. Too much fear without hope leads to despair. Despair is dangerous as it can lead to a path that is not healthy at all. This could be depression or even giving up on doing good deeds at all.

This is why if you ponder on the names of Allah Most High, you will see the balance. A believer rejoices in the good news of the mercy of Allah, in the blessing of the mercy to mankind, in the beautiful religion of truth.

So stay happy and joyous, yet regretful over your wrong actions. But you must go on to live life also.

 

Humans Are Not Perfect

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)  said, “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek forgiveness from Allah and he would forgive them.” [Muslim]

 

Further Advice

I would recommend you make some quiet time and listen to this wonderful talk and you will enjoy and feel better.

https://seekersguidance.org/podcast-feeds/dont-fear-truly-god-is-with-us-the-unconditional-hope-shaykh-faraz-rabbani/

May Allah continue to inspire you with faith and wisdom and guidance and piety.

Allah alone gives success.

[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Does Motherhood Via Milk Relations Require Witnesses?

Question: Is it true that one cannot prove that in an Islamic court a woman cannot be proven to be a man’s milk-mother without four witnesses?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Proving that a woman is a man’s milk-mother before the court can be established in the Shafi’i school by the testimony of two men, a man and two women, or four women. [Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar]

There is a sound hadith in Bukhari and Abu Dawud that seems to suggest that one witness is enough. The hadith mentions that a Prophetic Companion got married, and then a woman came and claimed that she had breastfed both the groom and bride. Even though the woman was suspected of lying, the Prophet told the groom to leave his new groom on the basis of her claim.

Commenting on this hadith, Khattabi (d. 388 AH) says, “When he told him to leave her, it was merely out of precaution. It was not a court ruling. There is no proof in this that the testimony of one woman is enough to establish the likes of this [milk-motherhood] and other such things that men are not usually privy to and are only seen by women. This is because a witness in court, be they male or female, must be [proven to be] upright. [Furthermore,] testimony does not work by someone just coming and telling someone else what happened, rather it should be said in the presence of the ruler or judge…These words of her’s were not a testimony before the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) such that it could be used to establishing a court ruling. To try to use this [hadith] prove that having a single testimony of one woman in court matter of this ilk is baseless.” [Ma’alim al-Sunan]

To summarise his argument, the hadith cannot be used to prove that one woman can suffice as a witness in such cases because the hadith is not even talking about a woman bearing witness and marriage being annulled on that basis. It is simply talking about a man divorcing his wife because of the possibility of the two of them being mahrams to each other.

This tells us the importance of studying fiqh before we read hadiths to do with fiqh. If we do not know the difference between divorce and the annulment of marriage and we do not know the difference between informing (ikhbar) and testimony (shahada), we end up drawing baseless conclusions.

It is for this reason that the great jurist and hadith narrator Sufyan ibn Uyayna (d. 198 AH) said, “Hadiths are a source of error (madilla) for everyone except jurists.” [Al-Jami, Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani] There are similar quotes to the same effect from many other of the Early Muslims.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

What Is the Nature Of the Prophet’s Intercession?

Question: How do we understand the hadith where the Prophet says “I cannot save you from Allah’s Punishment..” in light of the Intercession of the Prophet on Judgment Day?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

 

Only Allah Most High Can Save

Intercession is essentially an admission to the fact that no one can intrinsically save another from the punishment of Allah Most High and that whatever Allah Most High wishes to occur – will.

Therefore, intercession is not the Prophet’s intrinsic prevention of Allah’s wrath.

Rather it is His appeal for Allah’s mercy toward His community. In the end, only what Allah Most High wants occurs, however, Allah has promised the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that his intercession will be accepted.

 

A Point Of Belief

It is a point of correct belief to affirm the ultimate intercession of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). This point is affirmed by the Qur’an, the Prophetic narrations, and the consensus of the scholars. [Laqqani, Jawhara al-Tawhid]

Imam Laqqani (Allah have mercy on him) said, in his famous work on Islamic creed, “It is necessary to believe in the intercession of the one whose intercession is accepted, Muhammad, ahead of all, do not deny.” [Ibid.]

 

The Ultimate Intercession

Imam Bukhari narrates a hadith describing the Day of Judgment and the people seeking intercession from the Prophets until they are directed to the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). Though the previous Prophets denied interceding for the people, our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) will say, “I am for it (i.e. this is my duty). I will then seek permission from my Lord and He will permit me. He will then inspire me with praises by which I will extol Him; I don not recall them now; I will then fall in prostration. He (i.e Allah Most High) will say, ‘O Muhammad! Raise your head and speak, you will be heard. Ask, you will be given. Intercede, and your intercession will be accepted.’ Then I will say, ‘O my Lord! My community. My community….'” [Bukhari]

 

Only Those Who Allah Permits Can Intercede

Allah Most High says, “On that Day no intercession will be of any benefit, except by those granted permission by the Most Compassionate and whose words are agreeable to Him.” [Qur’an; 20:109]

 

Summary

The Prophet’s negation of his own ability to save others from Allah’s punishment refers to the absolute sense (i.e. He is negating his ability to intrinsically stop the decree of Allah). Allah’s acceptance of His intercession is an honor that Allah bestows upon him.

This shows us the extent of the greatness of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his status with Allah Most High.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences

Can I Repent From Incorrect Beliefs?

Question: Is it true that someone who has errant beliefs (mubtadi’) can never repent?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

To repent from heretical beliefs (kufr), one simply enters Islam. For example, to repent from being an Isma’ili, one simply enters Islam.

To repent from errant beliefs (bid’a) that are wrong but do not constitute disbelief, such as personal simply learn Sunni creed, and abandons ideas that are not Sunni.

If such a person did not leave such beliefs and was not excused due to ignorance, they would meet Allah in sin, even if they repented from other sins.

Please see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-to-deal-with-sectarian-differences/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/who-or-what-is-a-salafi/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/human-actions-bida-shirk-related/

It is worth noting that even though having errant beliefs (bid’a) is sinful, there does not seem to be any sound hadiths that mention that the repentance or actions of someone with errant beliefs will not be accepted. One such hadith has come in Ibn Majah and Ilal Ibn Abi Hatim and it reads, “Allah has refused to accept the deeds of someone of errant beliefs (sahib bid’a) until he leaves his errant beliefs.” This hadith, among others like it, is weak. [Ilal Ibn Abi Hatim; al-Ilal al-Mutanahiya, Ibn al-Jawzi; Sunan Ibn Majah, ed. Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut]

While the concept is true, it seems like such hadiths are actually the words of  Hasan al-Basri, Sufyan, and other early Muslims. [al-Shari’a, al-Ajurri; al-Sunna, Lalkai]

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

What Does Seeing Prophets In a Dream Mean?

Question: What does seeing Prophets in a dream mean?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

In general, seeing the Prophets and Companions in a dream is a good thing. It can indicate that one loves them, and ”You will be with those who you love,” as the Prophet said (Allah bless him and give him peace). [Bukhari] Take a good sign from it, and ask Allah to bring you the good of the dream.

As for the specific meanings of the dreams, I do not know what they mean. Dream interpretation is a gift and a skill, and those who are skilled in it usually say they have to know the person who saw the dream in order to know how its meanings relate to the one who saw it specifically.

Ask Allah for the ability to embody the good qualities of the din. That will make you beloved to Him – and what a gift that would be!

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Did Adam Sin In Paradise?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. As we know prophet Adam ate from the forbidden tree, so I want to know was this a sin? I have read that Prophets are sinless, so how did the Prophet Adam eat from that tree? He also asked for forgiveness from Allah for that thing.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

No, the Prophet Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not sin. Sinning requires a determination and resolve to do a forbidden act. For example, someone who takes a sip of white wine thinking it is water or lemonade is not sinful – because he did not resolve to commit a sin.

In the same way, the Prophet Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not have a resolve to do what was forbidden for him. Allah said, “Indeed We took a pledge from Adam in the past, but he forgot, and we did not find that he had a resolve [to break his pledge].” [Qur’an, 20: 115] [Zada, Hashiya Zada ‘ala Tafsir al-Baydawi]

He asked forgiveness because he made a mistake, and was saddened by this. It was a display of his nature being the opposite of that of Iblis. Please refer to this lesson for more details.

Please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/was-the-earth-created-before-adam-or-after-him-as-a-punishment/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/adam-eves-children-marry-else-offspring/

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is It Ok To Refuse the Maidens In Paradise?

Question: As we know, all permissible wishes will be fulfilled in Jannah, so is it permissible to live only with my worldly wife without any Hoor Ain? I am not rejecting them as they are among the bounties of Jannah, I just want to live alone with my wife Here and in the Hereafter. Is this a transgression? I love her so much and do not desire any other woman, not even a wide-eyed maiden of Paradise.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. You have made my heart melt with your question, and I pray that Allah gives you and your wife the very best happiness, love, and devotion that any couple could have and increase your love by leaps and bounds along with the love of Allah and His Messenger.

You will not be forced to be with anyone that you do not want to be with in Paradise. Your desire to only be with your wife is not a sin or transgression or ingratitude. May Allah reward you and guide you to the very best in this world and the next.

https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/what-does-it-mean-to-love-allah-friday-reminder-series/

[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.