Can I Trust the Prayer of Consultation of Someone Else?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have asked to an Imam to perform the prayer of consultation on why we cannot have a baby. After praying it this Imam told to my husband that if he would marry someone else he would have a baby. As for having a baby with me it won’t happen.

Can we trust this Imam?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

There are a few points of consideration regarding your question:

1. A vision that one may see at the time of praying istikharah should not be taken as fact. Neither is a vision a requirement when performing istikharah.

2. Istikharah is not a means via which one reads the future. The Dua of istikharah explains clearly that istikharah is for the one that faces two options. He then, after studying both options and inclining towards one over the other, prays istikharah, asking Allah that if he is inclined towards the correct option that Allah makes it possible and easy for him. However, if it’s the incorrect option that Allah turns it away from him and him away from it.

3. While some of the Maliki scholars allowed a second person to pray istikharah (in your case a third person) on behalf of himself, the origin and preferred method is for each person to pray istikharah for themselves.

Consequently, my advice is to ignore the vision of this third person and pray to Allah that He grants you a child. Many sisters tend to only conceive a few years after marriage and three years is not a long time. Also, you may explore what medical options are available to assist you in falling pregnant. It is also advisable that both you and your husband visits a doctor to determine exactly what is the problem, if there is one.

Lastly, and in no way leastly, you may recite the following often, placing your trust in Allah:

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاء

Rabbi hab li milladunka dhurriyatan tayyibah innaka sami`u-du`a

“O my Lord, grant me a progeny that is pure, for You hear (our) prayers!” (3:38)

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Rabbana hab lana min azwajina wa dhurriyyatina qurrata `ayun wa’ja’lna lilmuttaqin imama

“Our Lord, grant us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” (25:74)

May Allah bless you in your marriage, protect you from all harm and grant you pious offspring, Amin.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Can I pray Tarawih Prayers If I Have Overdue Obligatory Prayers to Complete?

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question related to praying Tarawih salaah when one has overdue obligatory prayers to complete (according to the Shafi school of thought).

 

Question:

Assalamu alaikum.

For the past three years I haven’t been praying salah consistently and sometimes didn’t pray for months on end. I’m now taking my deen more seriously and I am making up these missed prayers. Inshallah it will be easier in the future.

I wanted to ask, since Ramadhan is coming up – am I allowed to pray Tarawih?
Here’s my specific situation: Me and my family sometimes go to a community mosque during Ramadhan, a small place, for iftar and tarawih. We follow behind the imam, as he makes intention for the women behind him too. My family are not aware of me missing prayers for so long and I am too afraid to tell them – I want to keep this
private. I read somewhere that one should not do sunnah prayers when they have fardh to make up, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to wriggle out of Tarawih. In this case, is it okay for me to offer my Tarawih prayer? I could try and make an excuse to go home, but I don’t want to end up having to lie. And praying Tarawih, I feel, would help me become more connected to Allah, and I would really love to participate in it. Ramadan is also during my exam season, so I need all the blessings I can get. I would love some guidance with this.

Jazakallah Khairan.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Short answer
You can just make-up prayers behind the imam as he prays Tarawih.

The principle
The issue of praying supererogatory prayers (sunna/nafl) while one has make-up prayers (qada) is nothing particular to do with supererogatory prayers themselves; rather, the issue is delaying making up obligatory prayers without a valid excuse, such as another more pressing obligation.

For example, if one had an obligatory prayer that one had missed without a valid excuse, such as just being lazy or finding it awkward to pray at work, one could not delay making it up for, say, answering a personal email or having a cup of tea. One could only delay it for something obligatory, such as eating main meals, sleeping, going to work if one supports oneself. One such non-obligatory thing is supererogatory prayers.

For this reason, the Shafi’i scholars tell us that one cannot pray supererogatory prayers while one has make-up prayers to perform because it entails delaying an immediate obligation for other than another more pressing obligation.

The practice
Okay, so based on this principle, someone who has years of make-up prayers no longer has any free time whatsoever: it is just them and the prayer mat until the finish. Is that right?

The answer is that Islam is reasonable, and while this principle might apply to one or two make-up prayers that one might well take a day off work or stop a conversation to pray immediately, one cannot apply this for weeks or months on end. To do so would most probably make one go insane, or cause one to lose one’s job or marriage, or the like.

Practically, one should make a realistic schedule of prayers that one makes up a day, and stick to it no matter what, without going to extremes.

For more detail, please see: http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2017/06/18/18205/

Tarawih
A simple solution to praying Tarawih when you have make-ups is to intend praying a missed Fajr for each two rakas that the Imam does. This is acceptable because, in the Shafi’i school, it is valid to pray an obligatory prayer (fard) behind a supererogatory prayer (nafl/sunna).

This way you would not be delaying making up prayers without a valid excuse.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


 

 

Can I Pray Asr at an Earlier Time Due to Work?

Shaykh Tabraze Azam answers a question related to performing the Asr prayer at an earlier time due to work commitments, according to the Hanafi school of thought.

 

Question:

Assalaam Alaykum
Respected shaykh(s), I have an issue in that I find it difficult to pray Asr at the later (predominant) Hanafi time due to work commitments (there is slight danger I could miss it altogether). May I therefore pray Asr at the earlier start time according to the fatwa of the Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammed Shaybani (as well as 3 great mujtahids of the other schools)? I would pray on my own and not in jamat unfortunately.
Also may I resort back to normal Hanafi Asr start times on days off or whenever it becomes easier to do so?

 


Answer:

Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, you may pray the mid-afternoon prayer (‘asr) at the earlier time. Deeming the prayer time to have entered at this earlier point is a sound and follow-able position in the Hanafi school.

Usually, it would be proper to follow the practice of your local community’s congregation. Failing that, you should try to pray at the later time as doing so is more religiously precautionary.

When neither is a reasonable option, you may pray at the earlier time. But you should be wary of using both times interchangeably as you can fall into laxity, and also lose something of the sanctity of the prayer time.

Nevertheless, even if you don’t make the early position your regular and consistent practice, it would be acceptable to follow it on occasions in which there is a need or benefit in doing so.

Please also see:https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/can-pray-asr-isha-earlier-time-country-times-followed/ and: https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/when-should-i-pray-asr-when-my-local-mosque-is-following-the-earlier-time/

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam, Tabraze Azam

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


 

When Do I Recite the Ta’awwudh in Prayer?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat advises when to recite the ta’awwudh in prayer, according to the Hanafi school of thought.

 

Question:

Salamu alaikum,

I am trying to bring my salah in line with Hanafi fiqh.

  1. Should I say ta’awudh (“I seek protection in Allah from shaytan, the accursed one.”) and bismillah after reciting surah al-fatiha and before reciting 3 verses (or more) of the quran in salah?
  2. Is this permissible or would it count as unnecessarily delaying a wajib?
  3. Should I simply say it once before surah al-fatiha and then after saying ‘ameen’ continue to recite 3 verses (or more) of the quran?
  4. Should I repeat the ta’awudh and bismillah for the surah al-fatiha of the second raka?
Jazakum Allah khairun

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykuk as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

The ta’awwudh should only be recited once, in the first unitbefore the basmala and the Fatiha. Repeating it, or reciting it elsewhere would contravene the sunna, and therefore be disliked.

After finishing the Fatiha, one says ‘Amin’, and then proceed to recite a at least three short verses, or one long verse of the Qurʾan. In the case where one is going to recite a full sura, such as sura al Karin it is good to repeat the basmala, though this is not a specific sura. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al Muhtar)

I pray that helps.

Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Is My Prayer Valid If I Recite Silently?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat answers a question related to the audibility of recitation in prayer, according to the Hanafi school of thought.

 

Question:

Assalamu alaikum,

I only recently learned that one must move their lips during recitation in prayer. Are all of my past prayers invalid?

Does that ruling also apply to duas made throughout the day? Or tasbih? Or istighfar? Do all of them have to be done with the lips moving?

Jazzakum Allah khair.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakaruh

I pray you are well.

What is ‘Recitation’ in the Prayer?

According to the Hanafi jurists recitation in the prayer must be audible – meaning that one must move one’s tongue and produce sounds which one can hear. There is another position which deems moving one’s tongue to articulate the letters without producing a sound to be valid.

So, if you were just thinking the words in your head, I’m afraid the prayers were not valid, and they will have to be repeated. If you did say the words but they were inaudible, you can assume the validity of past prayers – but recite audibly from now on.

Allah commanded us to recite the Qur’an in the prayer – “…so recite that which is easy of the Qur’an” (73:20). Recitation is a form of speech, and inaudible words are not speech.

To summarize, in order for the recitation to be valid, one must move their mouth and recite loud enough to hear their own voice. If there is some background noise preventing one from hearing himself that’s fine as long as it’s loud enough to be heard by oneself if there are no other excessive sounds.

(Shurunbulali, Imdad al Fattah; Tahtawi, Hashiyat Maraqi al Falah).

Allah Does Not ‘Lose’ Anything

If it is the case that you have to repeat some prayers, please bear in mind that Allah sees, and knows all. All the effort made to pray those prayers, all the devotion, love, gratitude, and neediness you expressed, it was all seen by Allah. He will reward you for that.

In fact, it may be that the prayers you repeat are the means Allah loving you. We know from the famous hadith in Sahih al Bukhari – known as the Narration of Sainthood (hadith al wilaya) – that Allah states, “My servant does not draw closer to me with anything more beloved to Me than what I have obligated him to do; and my servant keeps drawing closer to me with voluntary worship right until I love him.” (Bukhari).

May Allah make us of those who He loves and is loved by in return. Amin

Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


 

Mistake in Sajda al-Sahw

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if making mistakes in the forgetfulness prostration invalidates the prayer.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

What do I do when I make a mistake in sajda al-sahw [forgetfulness prostration]? And I mean the sajda al-sahw that you do by giving salam to the right and then do two sajdas. Is my prayer valid if I make a mistake? And is it a mistake to pronounce words incorrectly in tashahhud? Is it still a mistake when I correct myself?

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Unfortunately, your question isn’t entirely clear.

1. If you mean that you omitted the prostrations of forgetfulness (sujud al-sahw) accidentally, and instead, ended the prayer entirely, you may still perform them at this point as long as you didn’t do anything which would otherwise affect the validity of the prayer, such as talking or eating. If they were omitted and you remembered later within the prayer time, you should make up the prayer.

2. Making a mistake in the recitation of tashahhud is normally going to be excusable. Work on perfecting its recitation, pronunciation and the like (tajwid) outside of the prayer, and focus on doing your best and directing yourself and attention to the one whom you are addressing in the prayer. Ask Allah Most High to facilitate the matter for you.

Please also see Is My Prayer Still Valid If I Fail to Recite the Tashahud Correctly?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Invalidation of Prayer by Inaccurate Pronunciation

Ustadh Jamir Meah clarifies the rulings on mistakes in pronunciation during prayer and what one can do to rectify them.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

A long time ago I read an answer to a question on a different site which has been causing problems I could not resolve until now. Therefore, I would like to base this question on the following content: https://islamqa.info/en/answers/50536/ruling-on-prayers-being-led-by-one-whose-pronunciation-is-defective.

The problem is very much summarized in one paragraph, which I would like to quote:

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmu‘ (4/359): “It is essential to recite al-Fatiha in prayer with all its letters, including those which are doubled (letters with shaddah) … if a shaddah is omitted or one letter is substituted for another even though the person is able to pronounce it, then his recitation is not valid.”

Thus, it is to be understood that the established ruling regarding the matter of pronunciation mistakes differentiates between two cases, the first being in one who makes a mistake and fails to correct it despite his ability to do so, the second being in one who is intrinsically unable to produce the required letter and cannot learn to do so.

But what then about one who, despite being of Arabic tongue and able to pronounce all letters with ease, happens to frequently make mistakes in his speech? He certainly is capable of correcting his error since he can pronounce Arabic letters, but will this still be required of him? What is the minimum rate of mistakes for which an exemption could be made?

I understand that all the letters of the fara’id of the prayer must be present and none more, but merely being able to correct a mistake does not make it easy when they occur so often, especially in inconvenient situations like the takbir during transition, or the taslim.

Please elaborate on this matter and explain how the general ruling, represented by the quote of al-Nawawi, applies to the described situation. This issue has seriously eroded me since I could not find an explanation for so long.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

What has been quoted from al Majmu’ is correct and your understanding of it is accurate, namely, that if a person makes mistakes in his recitation of the Fatihah and he is able to correct it, then he must do so, while a person who makes mistakes in it while genuinely unable to correct it due to a valid excuse, is exempted and his recitation valid.

Mistakes in the Fatiha

In regards your situation, you are able to recite the Fatiha and other integrals in Arabic with ease but you commonly make mistakes. In this case, you would have to identify the reason(s) for making the mistakes, which you have not explained.

If the mistakes are changing letters, and it is due to lack of concentration or neglect of learning correct recitation while being able to, or similar, then this would mean that your recitation is not valid. If, however, you have a valid excuse, such as you are learning correct pronunciation and still sometimes make mistakes, or if you are a very new Muslim, then you would still need to correct what you notice as errors, but are excused otherwise.

If the mistakes are changing vowels (tashkil), then the recitation is invalid if the mistakes change the actual meaning of the word, and the mistake is due to neglect of learning or lack of concentration. If the change of vowels does not change the actual meaning, then the recitation is valid if unintentional, though it is better to correct it, while if done on purpose, the recitation is invalid. If the mistakes are due to a valid excuse, such as the ones given above, then the recitation is valid, even if it changes the meaning.

If the change of letters, or vowels which changes the meaning, are done intentionally and knowingly, the whole prayer is automatically nullified. All the above applies to native Arabic speakers and non-native Arabic speakers.

Takbir

Generally, the same rules above apply to other spoken integrals of the prayer, such as the takbiratul ihram (The opening takbir). The takbir has conditions which also apply to the sunna takbirs during the prayer. In regards pronunciation, the following conditions must be met:

  1. That the Name of Allah proceeds the Akbar.
  2. That one says it loud enough that one could hear himself if the surrounding was silent.
  3. That it comprises of the words “Allah” and “Akbar.”
  4. That the takbir is said in Arabic if one is able.
  5. That one does not extend the hamza in the Divine Name “Allah.”
  6. That one does not extend the “ba” of “Akbar.”
  7. That one does not add a shadda, a double letter to the “Akbar” (i.e. Akabbar)
  8. That one does not add “و” before the Divine Name of “Allah.”
  9. That one does not add a “و” between the two words.

(Bushra al-Karim)

Doubts

Lastly, be careful that you do not open the door to satan and waswasa, giving rise to frequent doubts about what you have recited. If this is the case, you should ignore the thoughts and continue to pray without hesitation.

I pray the above clarifies the matter for you.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Being Patient Despite Financial Hardship

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat advises on how to bear the trials and hardships that one faces with patience and acceptance.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’m a young adult and it seems my family and I have never ending financial difficulties. I feel we are all doing our best, yet we struggle even with meeting our daily needs sometimes. The fact that money controls a lot in your life is taking a toll on me.

This question can go much deeper because everyone has different circumstances but what I”m trying to get at is how do I make sure I’m being patient, pleased with, and grateful when I feel so beaten down by life.

Is there a specific dua you would recommend? At times I do get angry and discontented with my situation. and often at myself because I feel like I’m not helping out in my family financially as much as I should. What limits me is my mental illness, I can’t really function due to it. Any advice will be appreciated.

Thank you.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Everyone is tested in life. The tests are not necessarily a bad thing. Allah changes us through the tests for the better. Sometimes we feel pain because others hurt us, and sometimes our situation in general pushes us to the limit of what we can bear.

Throughout all of this one should remember the words of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, “[I am truly] amazed at the affair of the believer. Everything that happens to him is the best for him – and that is not the case for anyone except the believer! If good times come to him He is grateful and that is best for him. And if difficulties come to him he is patient and that is better for him.”

It is important to note that the one expressing wonder here in this hadith is the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. He was granted more knowledge of the reality of things than anyone else created by Allah. If he was amazed by the great consequences of the tests a believer faces in life, then we should realize that everything that happens to a believer is a gift from our Loving Lord.

Allah Makes Us Grow Through Trials

Our difficulties do not leave us as the people we were before we were tested with them. This growth is on many levels – but most importantly, it is a means of drawing closer to Allah. The key to it is patience.

Patience (Sabr), in many prophetic narrations, is connected to expecting a reward from Allah (Ihtisab). This means that one of the means to getting through a difficulty is to keep your focus on the rewards Allah has promised His believing servants. This will help you look beyond your immediate difficulties and see the bigger picture.

Maryam – the Mother of Isa

It is possible to become overwhelmed with emotions when in very difficult situations, as was the case with Sayyidi Maryam when she was giving birth the prophet Isa, Allah bless them and our Messenger, and give them all peace.

She was from a family of righteous people with prophets as relatives and ancestors. She had been known for righteousness, and had been pledged to worship in the synagogue by her mother from before her birth. She was the paragon on virtue, religiousness, and chastity. And suddenly she found herself all alone, giving birth to a child who had no father.

Imagine all her feelings, her pain, her worry, her fear of people leveling accusations against her out of ignorance, and what her family must endure because of it. All of this, combined with the difficulties of labor made her say, “O how I wish that I had died long before this, or that I was some worthless object, forgotten.” (Sura Maryam 19:23).

Shaykh Ahmad ibn Ajiba, when commenting on this verse said that it is possible to say something unbecoming when overwhelmed by a situation, but one should not stay in such a state. How? By looking at those before us, and how their trials ended up being the means of them being raised above others.

She gave birth to one of the greatest of the prophets, and someone through whom Allah will give the ultimate victory to the Muslims through at the End of Times. She attained the highest rank of iman a believer can be blessed with and was used as a role model for believing women in the Qur’an. She is fortunate to be the mother of Isa, and he is also blessed to be her son.

Where are all these virtues, and where is the pain she experienced in those fleeting moments?

Practical Steps

Keep reminding yourself that Allah – the All-Merciful – is using this test as a means of making you draw closer to Him. He has been giving you blessings all your life. In reality, if we think about matters, we live better than many kings did in the past. Just the blessing of being able to flush your waste down the toilet, and not having to haul it outside to dispose of it is something many people could not do without.

Shaykh Ahmad b. Ataʾillah advised us, “Let the pain of your tribulation be lightened by your knowing that it is He – Transcendent beyond imperfections is He  – who is the one testing you. The one from whom the blows of fate have come is the very same being who has accustomed you to Him choosing the best for you.” (Ibn Ataʾillah, al-Hikam).

If he has granted you priceless gifts such as faith, He certainly has a plan for you. Watch it unfold.

Seek Treatment

You mental issues clearly play a part in your difficulties. Seek medical treatment and try to keep the company of people who will inspire and support you. This is critical. You cannot rise if you spend time with people who kick you down.

One Day at a Time

Don’t worry about the next week, month, or year. Live each day with your concern being the five prayers, and thanking Allah for what you do have in them. Worrying about the long term leads to anxiety.

Part of the trick here is letting things unfold as they do. Resisting leads to pain. Let things happen. Allah will take care of you. Remembrance of Allah helps a great deal with this. Send blessings on the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, with the focus on Allah raising His rank and giving him more blessings. This will help avert your focus on your own pain.

Ask Allah

Whatever the difficulty is – financial or otherwise – the only one who can fix things in reality is Allah. Turn to Him, pray for others in a similar situation, and you’ll see a response. Even if it takes a while to come. It will come.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim.

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


 

Constantly Skipping Prayers

Shaykh Jamir Meah offers counsel on how to establish prayer, to make up missed prayers, and how to deal with emotional stumbling blocks.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have been suffering from this problem for years. It is the worst problem in my life and I’m very scared. I have tried so many times not to skip any of the obligatory prayers but to no avail, even in the month of Ramadan. Sometimes I will write down the prayers that I missed and pay them back, but it will keep piling up. Then I will leave it and start fresh saying to myself, “I won’t skip it again,” but I always do.

I am so emotional and I become easily sad too. When i am sad I feel lazy and don’t offer prayers. I feel bad all the time when I miss or skip prayers, but I still do. I can go a full day without a single prayer. I am so scared because I know the great sin I have been committing by not offering my prayers, and I know if I don’t rectify this problem and die with it, then I will be in serious trouble on Judgement Day. Please what do I do? Please help me.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

While the prayers are serious obligations, they are also meant to be the “comfort” of the believer’s eyes. They are by no means meant to be torturous!

Current Prayers

Simply pray your daily prayers on time, preferably as soon as the adhan goes off. Pray in congregation at the mosque at each opportunity. If it is overwhelming, stick to the obligatory prayers for now.
Also, when you make wudu, do it with high resolve and remind yourself that you are washing your limbs from sins and heedlessness and preparing yourself to stand in front of your Creator.

Make Up Prayers

While you must make these up, you need to be realistic in how you go about it. Make a daily schedule for them and stick to it, even if you make up one day’s prayer each day.
Please also refer to these answers: Missing Prayers Archives.

State of Mind

In regards your emotions and sadness, it is imperative that this is addressed. Please do consult a therapist that you feel comfortable with to help you work through and resolve the root causes behind these. This will help you with how you get on with prayers, Insha Allah.
Also, seek out good company, stay away from all forms of sins, from distractions; such as too much entertainment, even if lawful. Read the Qur’an daily, get involved in community work, social hobbies, and take care of what you eat, the exercise you get, the amount of sleep you get, and go to sleep early.
I pray the above helps.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


 

 

 

How to Be Consistent

Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat gives advice on how to overcome doubts about one’s faith, and to seek help against self-sabotage.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a question about consistency in my ibada. Honestly, sometimes I feel like not being honest in them because I’m not consistent like in my prayers. I’ll pray for example my five daily prayers for six months and then suddenly stop even though a week ago I just felt like I “refreshed” my iman. I feel like a munafiq and I want to solve this problem by the root.

When I started to pray at the age of eleven, I did it consistently for one year then stopped then started again and so on. There must be something wrong. Now I’m trying again but still having difficulties. I don’t have this desire. I feel like I have to do this and don’t want it – thinking in my soul of being somewhere else when I pray. I’m at the end of choosing what to study in university and finishing school and therefore have a desire to return to Allah because I feel like I’m unsafe without Allah guiding me in making these decisions.

I’m praying istikhara and there is no feeling or any kind of thing I might interpret as a sign to choose option A or B. Therefore I am really feeling like a hypocrite Allah doesn’t care about. There are times I cry out of sadness about my situation but there is always a voice in my head telling me: “Stop crying! You’re just acting. Tomorrow you’ll do it again. Who do you think are you fooling?” And I sincerely believe this voice. Because I am weak.

I think this might be Shaytan or my self-doubt but still, I feel like a munafiq even though I make “tawba.” Something in my iman must be wrong something in the root of my din and I don’t know what it us or how to deal with it. I watched a lecture by Mufti Menk where a man had the same situation and said you are not making your tawba correctly, so what might I do wrong? Please help me I am hoping for an answer that could show me the real problem.

I reflected upon my sins and if I started a new sin that I didn”t do when I prayed but there wasn’t anything “new” or a change in number either. I don’t feel like a real Muslim because of my lack in my prayers. Somehow I can’t establish the importance of my prayers in my heart or mentally meaning there must be something wrong with my heart. What can I do? I visited lectures. I went and still go to the mosque. I have more friends practicing Islam than ever.

Did I maybe just pray when I was eleven because as a child my heart was cleaner? How can I clean my heart? How can I make sincere tawba? Did Allah already seal my heart? Am I already lost? May Allah protect scholars and Islamic websites like these they helped me a lot insha Allah. Allah will reward you for this crucial work.

May Allah protect you from all evil.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Therapy

It seems to me that you have unresolved emotional problems from your past which are affecting your understanding and practice of the din. Usually, a telltale sign on this is a repeated pattern of behavior which tends to resurface from time to time with no apparent reason. There are reasons, however; it’s just that they are not connected to the symptoms on a conscious level.

From your question it is very clear that you suffer from dysfunctional guilt. This sort of guilt leaves people unable to do anything positive. Usually guilt can lead one to repent and change, but in your situation it is overwhelming such that your repentance isn’t ‘good enough’.

Self-Sabotage

Very often, people with issues of this nature do certain things which eventually cause them further problems later. This is known as self-sabotage. It seems like your missing your prayers is of this nature. You pray, and when something triggers problematic emotions or memories, you miss your prayers. This then leads you to beating yourself up for missing the prayers and the guilt.

Voices in Your Head

If you are hearing voices in your head you need to seek professional help immediately. These matters are serious, and if left unchecked, can develop into worse conditions later on. Seek help, and tell your loved one and friends so they can support you through this trial. Don’t try to do it alone.

Ask Allah for Help

Allah sees your situation, and He knows what you are going through. Have a good opinion of Him; believe that Allah will bring the best results for you through this trial, and know that every difficulty the believer faces is a means for drawing closer to Allah, and for sins to be forgiven.

Ask Allah to strengthen you to deal with this trial – no matter how long it lasts. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us, “Whoever tries to be patient, Allah makes him patient. And no one has been given a gift better or wider [in its scope] than patience.” (Bukhari).

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.