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How Can I Regain My Faith After Doubts and Exploring Other Religions?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Khan

Question: After being faithful for several years in my youth, I fell into depression because of life circumstances and lost faith. I had very blasphemous thoughts, and I can not imagine much worse than that. I even experimented with other religions and philosophies, even with polytheism, although I could never find truth in them, I always failed to find truth in them, although I tried.

Now that led me to a situation in life where I am desperate and fearing that what I did is unforgivable. I am regretting what I did, I do my prayers, but it seems that my faith is not as strong as it was before. It seems that even while I read the Kor’an I seem to have doubts. I wish to have no doubts, and to have pure faith, but I feel that I no more have the right to ask for that, because I have left Islam for a period of time. How can I clean myself and is that even possible, regarding to what I did.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

A sincere repentance (tawba) to Allah Most High is the most powerful gift we have been given. It conquers all, in that no past sin or mistake — even disbelief, heresy, or murder — proves too great for repentance. If one turns to Allah in sincere remorse, having stopped the sin with a commitment to never return to it, then Allah has promised us He will forgive it, for He loves to forgive.

Allah Most High states:

“Will they not then turn towards Allah in repentance and ask His forgiveness? And Allah is Ever-forgiving, All-merciful” (5:74), as well as “Those who commit evil yet afterwards repent and believe: verily, after such repentance, your Master is indeed Ever-forgiving, All-merciful” (7:153).

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) once described a man alone in the desert with a camel carrying all his belongings, which then disappeared, leaving the man in utter despair for his life. The man eventually sits down and readies himself for death, only to turn and suddenly find the camel beside him.

Overwhelmed by utter joy, he exclaims, “O Allah, You are my slave and I am your Lord!” He erred in speech due to the intensity of his joy. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught that when we turn to Allah in repentance, Allah is more overjoyed than that man upon finding his camel. [Bukhari, Muslim]

The Vastness of Divine Mercy

Relax and focus on Allah’s unimaginable mercy, of which He states, “Your Lord has prescribed mercy upon Himself” (6:54). He has not described any other divine attribute in this manner.

Our Masters explain that one of the reasons Allah describes Himself as “The All-merciful” (al-Rahman) in the verse, “The All-merciful has assumed the throne” (20:5) is that just as the entire cosmos is like a speck in an ocean compared to Allah’s throne, so too is the throne like a speck in an ocean compared to Allah’s vast mercy. Never despair, and always keep the best opinion of Allah.

Our Master Ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) used to frequently say, “I swear to Allah, no person ever maintained a good opinion of Allāh save that Allah in fact blessed him accordingly,” based on the hadith qudsi related by Imam Bukhari, in which Allah Himself says, “I am in the opinion of My servant.” And remember that Allah created one hundred parts of mercy and sent down only one part to creation, which is the basis of all kindness and good in this life. Ninety-nine parts remain with Him, awaiting His servants on Judgment Day. [Bukhari, Muslim]

Whatever good we think of Allah, that — and even better — is what we shall find inshaAllah. Keep up your prayers, perform them on time, and try to inculcate as much good in your life while focusing your mind and thoughts on Allah’s mercy and love.

Understanding Doubts

As for the doubts and misgivings you experience, Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih collection that some of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came and asked him, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.” Imam Nawawi clarifies, “Considering it too enormous to mention is pure faith.” [Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Will Allah Forgive Someone Who I Forgive for Wronging Me?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: My father was negligent and did not fulfill his obligatory duties towards me. He had children from a second marriage who got all the inheritance. I did not stake any claim and forgave him.

 

What I want to know is whether my father will be forgiven by Allah because I forgave him, or will there be some punishment for him for breaking the rules of Allah? If it is the second case then how can I save him? I have performed Hajj & Umrah for him and spend regularly in charity for him.

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

In general, when a person is unjust towards another, they must seek the victim’s pardon in addition to asking Allah for forgiveness. If the victim pardons them, the matter is left to Allah. He Most High may decide to forgive or He may decide to punish.

Having said that, Allah is far more kind and merciful than anyone in His creation, and it is hoped that Allah will forgive those people whose victims forgave them — particularly amongst family members, and particularly if the family member that was harmed is doing extra good deeds on their behalf.

Turn to Allah and ask Him to forgive your father and have mercy on him. Continue to do extra works on his behalf. Trust Allah that He will do what is best. And remember that Allah created 100 parts of mercy and sent down only 1 part to creation, which is the basis of all kindness and good in this life. 99 parts remain with Him, awaiting His servants on Judgment Day. [Bukhari, Muslim]

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answer:

Understanding Allah’s Attributes: Love & Mercy

Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I had a very small period of time where I had relief from blasphemous thoughts I was having. Now the terrible thoughts are back and they are worse. They have a terrible effect on my imaan and I feel empty I remember Allah and I feel no joy when I think about his greatness.  They are very bad when I pray, but I still pray.  It is hard to persevere though.  Now I started delaying my prayers because I know I will get these thoughts when I start praying.  I am  scared that Allah might count that I did shirk because the thought entered my mind when I was in the act of praying. I have been begging Allah for His help, sometimes I think that I know relief will come but then I think how dare I think Allah will help me now that I have become so wretched. I feel like such a prisoner in this dunya now and I feel as though my chances of jannah are ruined

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

The thoughts you mention are from the devil, so be vigilant in ignoring them. Give them no weight whatsoever. Your disgust of them are indications that you are a true believer, alhamdulillah. Your chances for Paradise (jannah) are by no means ruined.

Disgust of Bad Thoughts as a Sign of Faith

Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih collection that some of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless
him and give him peace) came and asked him, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.” Imam Nawawi clarifies, “Considering it too enormous to mention is pure faith.” [Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]

The Vastness of Divine Mercy

I would specifically advise you to relax and focus on Allah’s unimaginable mercy, of which He states, “Your Lord has prescribed mercy upon Himself” (6:54). He has not described any other divine attribute in this manner.

Our Masters explain that one of the reasons Allah describes Himself as “The All-merciful” (al-Rahman) in the verse, “The All-merciful has assumed the throne” (20:5) is that just as the entire cosmos is like a speck in an ocean compared to Allah’s throne, so too is the throne like a speck in an ocean compared to Allah’s vast mercy. Never despair, and always keep the best opinion of Allah.

Our Master Ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) used to frequently say, “I swear to Allah, no person ever maintained a good opinion of Allāh save that Allah in fact blessed him accordingly,” based on the hadith qudsi related by Imam Bukhari, in which Allah Himself says, “I am in the opinion of My servant.”

Whatever good we think of Allah, that — and even better — is what we shall find inshaAllah. Keep up your prayers, perform them on time, and focus on Allah’s vast mercy and love.

Related Answers

Please also see these related answers (as well as the many answers on waswasa):

Moments of Bad Thoughts About Allah and the Prophet

What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

Waswasa

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani