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Broken Relationships: Dealing With Feelings of Forsakenness

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I had a falling out with some of my friends. I feel very bad for what I did and have made constant repentance and supplication. Even though I tried to reconcile a number of times by messaging them, calling them, and talking to them online, there was no luck. The people I wronged only agreed to return my greetings when given, and that too after a long period of not talking. There are alot of details and back and forths to the whole scenario. Please advise what I should do. Is what they are doing to me considered forsaking someone?

Answer: Thank you for your question, Sister in Islam.

I will be brief in my response; not because I don’t want to take a detailed look at the issue, but because the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent with the ability to speak with the most comprehensive and concise speech to benefit the listener, and I am only trying to learn and emulate that. Also, the incidents in life are many, and complex; feelings are even more complex. But learning the guiding principles will help in all of those situations.

What your sisters are doing, according to your account, is not forsaking you the way the prophetic narratives prohibits. The impermissible forsaking is to not give salams at all or not acknowledge a person; it doesn’t mean that they have to go back to being on friendly terms as before. They can give you another chance if they want, but if it doesn’t happen, you can’t blame them, nor should you pressure or guilt-trip them.

Rolling back, I want to commend you for what is obviously your great concern for your own religion. Also, for the fact that you recognized that your initial outburst of anger was wrong and repented. A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands another Muslim (and in general, another human being) are safe. You also apologized and continue to greet the sisters with good character. You also forgave others in your heart for what you perceive to be their prolonged forsaking of you, and you are putting your trust in Allah Most High and making supplication for the situation.

It seems like nothing else is needed right?

The only thing that may be missing, and Allah knows best, is that your heart is attached to a certain outcome. Your “Self” (nafs) wants it, and if it can’t have it, it causes you to cry for lengthy periods and feel depressed. This is because we need to realize that these things are a test for us. Ultimately, we lose some things because they are good for us and they wake us up. This is only for a Believer.

We need to sometimes see these things as ways to improve. Also, friends and people in life come and go through various life stages. College is especially trying in this respect. Things are not over, insha Allah.

Don’t attach yourself to things or people. Attach yourself to Allah Most High.

People can always let you down.  Allah Ta’ala will never let you down.

Develop your relationship with Him stronger than any demand you can have for yourself, and don’t dive into your devotions in a manic or binging way (as Shaytan wants you to do this so you get fed up later on), but build your relationship slowly, surely and get independent again. This will hurt at first but the sweetness of faith that will come insha Allah cannot compare.  I say this to myself first.  And Allah knows best.

Wasalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

p.s. Also, just practically speaking, people don’t like to keep the company of people if they feel that they are desperate, clingy or needy. They want to be with people they benefit from mutually and do not emotionally over-burden them; those who are confident and independent make the best friends. So be strong and still keep good character with them if you pass by them, but don’t push yourself forward with them in person or on MSN. If you happen to be in their area, be the first to give salam, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the person who does that is the better one, but let them make the next move indefinitely. Allah is in control of the hearts, and things could come around, but whether they do or don’t, fixate your own heart on the One after whom you need no other thing.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Spiritual Struggle: The Trial Of Dealing With People

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: I often encounter rude behavior from sisters when I attend the mosque and other events. This burdens my spirit and I’ve concluded that Islam is the relationship between you and God and the ummah part is just extra if you can deal with it. In other words I don’t enjoy the company of many sisters and just rather be at home. Tonight from prayer I was walking towards my door and I thought “maybe I shouldn’t be Muslim anymore” and as soon as I thought it, I fell down a flight of steps, hurt my right hand and nearly broke the fingers on my left. If the shayateen are bounded during Ramadan where is all this from?

Answer: I pray that you are doing well inshaAllah and that Allah will ease the pain in your heart and safeguard and increase your faith.

The scholars of Ihsan (spiritual excellence) note that dealing with people is one of the greatest trials that a person can face. It tests one’s whole being — one’s physical, emotional and mental reactions. Dealing with the ill-treatment of a fellow Muslim and being forgiving is a great mujahada (spiritual struggle) whose reward is commensurate with the difficulty one finds in doing it.

You are right in that one should not have to expose oneself to verbal or emotional abuse. Try to put yourself in situations where you can avoid this. If you know certain people cause you harm, stay away from them. But seek out others who are kind and upright. Each community has members that are difficult to interact with, but each community also has members that uphold the excellence of Islamic character. Look for the good and you will find it.

When you see a person’s bad traits, make a sincere supplication for them, turn away from noticing their wrong actions, and remember that everyone has areas in which they need to improve. However wrong the actions of a Muslim may be, they still have an immense rank with Allah, because He has chosen for them faith (iman), which is the greatest of all deeds. The best way to not have rancour in one’s heart for a person is to replace every negative thought about them with a heartfelt prayer for the person.

The Prophet  (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told us that the weightiest deed on our scale on the Day of Judgement will be good character (husn al-khuluq). Try to embody this yourself and you will inshaAllah be a source of guidance and an example for others. During these special days and nights of Ramadan, make sincere supplication to Allah to help you find some good company.

In the meantime, do not completely discontinue your socialization and become isolated. There is blessing in the group, for the wolf comes after the lone sheep. I have seen Muslims who have distanced themselves because they were disillusioned by their community, and their connection with the religion became weaker and weaker. There is protection with being with the group, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “ِAllah’s hand is with the group.”

Lastly, Allah tells us, “If you are thankful, I will certainly increase you (Surah Ibrahim, 7).” Gratitude for something is the secret for being increased in it. Thank Allah that you have a masjid, a house of Allah, to attend and that you have other Muslims that you can see and spend time with and He will send you blessings and increase in your company and gatherings. This goes hand in hand with keeping a positive attitude. If one enters a gathering with a warm smile, looking for the good, they will find benefit inshaAllah.

May Allah grant you increase in all things good and grant you righteous company.

wassalam,
Sulma

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani