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Losing Hope and Struggling with the Din

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question about struggling with one’s din, not feeling worthy of Islam, and losing hope and trust in Allah.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’ve been struggling with the din since Allah drew me back into the religion when a calamity had befallen me because there was no other way out. Since then I’ve been practicing. I think to myself, “Why me?” because I disobey Allah a lot and then I repent and then intentionally go back to it. This same cycle repeats over and over again. Eventually I give up. I start to pray less and fall into despair.

There are times where I also disobey my parents. I try my best to obey as much as I can but when it comes to matters which are prohibited in Islam I don’t listen. There’s a hadith that says, whoever is disobedient to their parents will never enter paradise. When I read this, I just start to give up and think to myself, “What’s the point? Might as well just go all out.”

This was one of the reasons why I nearly left Islam. I really don’t know what to do anymore.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an,

“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’”

“And return utterly in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.” (Sura al-Zumar 39:53-54)

And the Holy Prophet has said, Allah bless him and grant him peace, “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would do away with you, and bring a people who would sin and then they seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)

And he also said, “Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert on whose back is his provision of food and drink which is then lost. He, having lost all hope (to get that back), lies down in shade despaired of ever finding his camel; when all of a sudden he finds the camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then, out of boundless joy, blurts out, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ making a mistake out of extreme joy.’” (Muslim)

So we can learn from these divine teachings that we should not despair of Allah’s forgiveness, and that the cycle of sinning and then repenting, that sinning and then repenting again is part and parcel of our relationship with Allah, and that He loves us to repent to Him. All we have to do is keep striving.

Hope and Fear

In the verses above, Allah first reminds us of His mercy and then reminds of His punishment. This is a repeated theme in the Quran: always having hope, but not forgetting to fear Allah.

The Devil likes to trick us by making us give up hope, or by making us too hopeful. The way of safety is in between, with fear and hope always vying to control our hearts and always encouraging us to keep going.

Company

Allah Most High has told us, “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (Sura al-Tawba 9:119) And the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look well to whom he befriends.” (Abu Dawud)

This verse and hadith tell us that we have to be very careful about those with whom we associate, be it in friendships or in the virtual world. Often we get held back by the bad company we keep.

It is not a lack of loyalty to politely avoid your friends of the past who keep dragging one into sin. In fact it is from loyalty to Allah that one do that.

If you don’t change your environment to the extent you can, it is very, very hard to change your life and progress.

Persistence

You are not alone in your struggle. This is what all of us face in life on various different levels. We just have to keep working on ourselves bit by bit, trying our best, relying upon Allah, and seeking His forgiveness when we fall on our nose.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


How Should I Deal With My Inward Struggle?

Answered by Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: I love guidance but within me there are two voices; one calls me to the world and the other calls me to religion. What can I do?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

Resolve in Following the Truth

This inward battle is real. Allah says, “Satan threatens you with poverty and calls you to foul things and Allah promises you forgiveness and bounty from Him. And Allah is Vast, All-Knowing.” [Quran 2:268 ]

So make your choice of the two, immediately, without hesitating for even a moment. Allah says, “And Allah is better and more lasting.” [Quran 42:36]
And consider, “He only calls his party to be companions of the fire” [Quran 35:6 ] and, “and Allah calls to the Abode of Peace” [Quran 10:25 ]
Glorified and Exalted is He. So which will you choose?

Only the Faithful Struggle for Allah’s Pleasure

And this struggle has only appeared within you due to your faith, by which it is hoped that He will save you and grant you salvation. For indeed the one without faith would never struggle against the internal call of the world and Satan. Rather he would flow in obedience to these calls as naturally as water flows down a slope. But rather the struggle continues within you by what persists of your faith.

So strengthen the army of the All-Merciful, Who calls you to the Abode of Peace and Who will guide you to the straight path. And disregard the whispers of the one who threatens you with poverty and calls you to foul things. And say “Allah is better!” And do not follow the footsteps of Satan, “for indeed he is a clear enemy to you.” [Quran 2:168 ]

The Company of the Most Honored Women in the Hereafter

Answer the caller of Allah, and bear in mind that you will soon depart: either to the companionship of our Liege lady Fatima (al-Zahrah), Khadijah (al-Kubra), Asiyah, Maryam, Aishah, and the Mothers of the Believers, or to the companionship of the fallen, the vile, the rejecters of faith. Who do you wish to share your company with? And that time will come soon.

Today we are speaking and discussing these matters, and the years will pass us by, and all of us will return to that destination. And soon those who will live in this world will be people other than us, and the time will not be long for them either. Allah says, “Indeed they see it far-off. While We see it imminent.” [Quran 70:7]

So make good your answer to the caller, “And answer the caller to Allah. Whoever does not answer the caller to Allah, has no place of refuge in the earth and no protecting friend besides Allah.” [Quran 46:32]

Invoking the Name of Allah and Praying for Steadfastness

May Allah strengthen your heart, and take you by the hand. Repeat often:

يا مقلب القلوب والأبصار ثبت قلبي على دينك
“O Turner of Hearts and Visions! Establish my heart upon Your Religion.”

And mention often the name of your Lord: Allah, Allah. You will find that His support will overcome the foul enemy who makes you turn towards the world and its adornments. And the remembrance of Allah will surely bring His support. Allah says, “When you sought help from your Lord and He answered you.” [Quran 8:9]

So pray often, “O Turner of Hearts and Visions! Establish my heart upon Your Religion.” Allah commands, “And mention the name of your Lord [in prayer] morning and evening” [Quran 76:25]

And what is the name of your Lord? Allah. Allah. Allah. For this will destroy the army of Satan. May Allah divert him from us and all believers.

Translated by Fazil Ahmed Munir

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

هذا صراع داخلي صحيح: ((الشيطان يعدكم الفقر ويأمركم بالفحشاء * والله يعدكم مغفرة منه وفضلا والله واسعٌ عليم )), والآن اختاري واحد من الاثنين بسرعة, لا تتأخري ولا لحظة واحدة: ((والله خير وأبقى))، هذاك يدعو: ((إنما يدعو حزبه ليكونوا من أصحاب السعير)), ((والله يدعو إلى دار السلام)), سبحانه عز وجل, وهذا يدعو لنكون من أصحاب السعير.. فمن تجيبين؟
وما جاء هذا الصراع في باطنك إلا وعندك من الإيمان ما لعل الله به ينجيك وينقذك, فإنه من لا إيمان له لم تتصارع دعوات الدنيا والشيطان في باطنه, بل هو منحدرٌ معها انحدار الماء إلى السفل, ولكن بما بقي عندك من الإيمان قام الصراع فقوِّي جند الرحمن, الذي يدعوك إلى دار السلام, و يهديك إلى الصراط المستقيم, وارفضي خواطر ( الذي يعدكم الفقر, ويأمركم بالفحشاء), وقولي: ((الله خير)), ولا تتبعي خطوات الشيطان، قال: ((فإنه لكم عدوٌ مبين)).
فأجيبي داعي الله, ولبِّي مناديه, واستحضري الآن أنك عما قريبٍ سائرة: إمّا إلى مرافقة الزهراء, والكبرى, وآسية, ومريم, وعائشة, وأمهات المؤمنين.. وإما إلى مرافقة الساقطات الهابطات الكافرات، مع مَن تريدين؟ وقريباً الوقت يأتي، اليوم نتكلم ونتحدث عن هذه الأشياء, وتمر بنا سنوات معدودة والكل بعد ذلك يرجع منا إلى ذلك المصير, وعما قريبٍ يكون الباقون في الحياة الدنيا دوننا وغيرنا ممن سوانا, ولا يطول أيضاً بهم المدد, وما جئنا إلا والدنيا في آخر أمدها, ((وإنهم يرونه بعيداً ونراه قريباً))، أحسني الإجابة لداعي فوق: ((أجيبوا داعي الله و من لا يجب داعي الله فليس بمعجزٍ في الأرض و ليس له من دون الله من أولياء)).
ثبت الله القلب, وأخذ باليد, ورددي: يا مقلب القلوب والأبصار ثبت قلبي على دينك, وأكثري من اسم ربك: الله الله, تجدي أن الإمداد ليصرع العدو الخبيث الذي يحملك على الالتفات إلى الدنيا وزخارفها, ويحق نصر الله بذكر الله: (( إذ تستغيثون ربكم فاستجاب لكم)), فأكثري من: يا مقلب القلوب والأبصار ثبت قلبي على دينك, ومن اسم ربك سبحانه وتعالى: ((واذكر اسم ربك بكرة وأصيلا)), و ما اسم ربك؟ الله … الله … الله … الله … الله فإن ذلك يهزم جند الشيطان, صرفه الله عنا, وعن جميع المؤمنين.