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Pain Is an Expiation

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat advises on the pain of ending an illicit relationship and turning to Allah.

Four years ago, I was in a haram relationship with a female. We were both conscious of our din and so had wanted to end the haram and make the relationship proper.

Disobeying Allah and also keeping the relationship a secret from her parents took a toll on our emotional and psychological health and the relationship deteriorated.

At some point I felt that perhaps our fighting was due to us being incompatible not realizing that perhaps these were just relationship struggles that are normal for couples. There was also some dishonesty on my part and then on hers, about talking to the opposite gender during our time together which fractured the trust between us.

I ended the relationship thinking for the best but a year or two afterwards, reconsidered that perhaps I’d been mistaken. I know that she’s an amazing person and so I attempted to approach her again with little success. I regret having let her go and long dearly for companionship, sometimes to the extent that I become depressed and despondent, amd reach out to her. To the best of my ability, I’ve steered clear of dating, although I falter from time to time.

Sometimes I fear that leaving her was a mistake, and that I might never find a spouse who I consider beautiful, loving and deen concious. It makes me depressed and this affects my life and my studies.

How do I go about seeking a spouse and asking Allah’s guidance so that I can find a spouse who will be the coolness of my eyes

I pray you are well.

Pain Is an Expiation

You shouldn’t consider ending that relationship to be a mistake. If you did it for the sake Allah then both of you will be rewarded for the choice and the act. Perhaps the pain you both felt at ending the relationship was a means for the sins from that relationship to be washed away. Allah knows it all. Allah sees it all. Allah doesn’t “lose” any of the reward He has promised for struggling for His sake.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us that “The Garden is surrounded by matters disliked, and the Fire by pleasures.” (Bukhari). Meaning, that is it through struggling with matters one does not readily enjoy that Paradise is granted to a person. And the pleasures that are easy to attain through impermissible means are what lead to Hell.

Ask Allah

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Supplication is the weapon of the believer, the support of one’s relationship with Allah, and the light of the heavens and earths.” (Hakim) You’re in a situation of need. The only way to get out of that need is to express you need to Allah; show your slave-hood to Him by turning to Him and asking Him to fix the problem you have. Then leave the matter to Him. If He makes things go the way you want them or not, He will certainly bring about what is best for you.

I recommend you pray Salat al-Haja, on a daily basis, and ask Allah to facilitate a good marriage for you. We shouldn’t regret having stopped a sinful act. Rather, we should ask Allah for them ability to remove all disobedience from our lives, and for Him to fulfill our needs through means which are permissible. This is where the benefit lies.

I leave you with the words Allah revealed for us to ask Him with:

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Our Dear Lord, grant us, through our spouses and offspring, peace of mind, and make us the leaders of the God-Fearing.

May Allah facilitate the matter for you quickly and easily.

Abdul-Rahim

Why Should I Be Grateful to Allah for Being Created in This Painful World?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

If this world is designed to break our hearts why do we have to be grateful for being created? When we wake, why do we thank Allah for returning us back to this painful world?

Every night I sleep in the hopes that I don’t wake. I’ve heard good deeds extend our lives but why would I want more time in this Dunya?

Why are people punished for suicide – does Allah not understand the depth of our pain?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Dunya

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of people is the one who lives long and does good.” [Tirmidhi]

There is much pain in this world, and there is also much joy.

Think of this world as farmland, which you tend to, and then harvest in the next life. More time on this dunya means more opportunity for you to seek closeness to your Lord, through serving Him and being of service to His creation.

Pain

Dear questioner, you sound like you are in an incredible amount of pain. Your soul can only bear so much, and you have been pushed beyond your limits.

When you are are suffering so much, it may seem easier to die, because it may feel like a cessation of pain.

Instead of looking to death as a lasting solution, I encourage you to seek help. There are other far more reachable means of gaining comfort. Is there a compassionate doctor you can speak to? A counsellor? A psychologist? A holistic healer? Please reach out for support. You cannot, and do not need to, face this alone.

In the meantime, I urge you to please commit to a daily practice from this website: Emotional First Aid.

Even though it may seem unimaginable to you right now, I pray that Allah grants you healing, and the gift of a life which brings you more joy than heartbreak. You sound very depressed and suicidal, and you need help.

Support

Where is your family? Are you connected to them? Are they are a source of comfort for you? Do you have close friends? Friends who support you, and believe in you?

If there has been abuse and trauma in your past, then suicide may feel easier than living with your tremendous pain. Please trust that you can recover from your trauma. Life can be joyful and meaningful again.

Suicide

“Indeed We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.’ [Qur’an, 50:16]

Allah understands the pain you are going through. Despite this, He forbids suicide. Your Loving Creator wants you to choose life.

Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to help you choose life.

Gratitude

Gratitude comes when you recognise your blessings, and the One who continually gives them to you.

A Reader on Thankfulness to Allah and True Gratitude

Right now, because you are in so much pain, it may feel impossible for you to see the blessings in your life. Your priority right now is not gratitude. Your priority right now is your survival, and your sanity. Please reach out for help.

Please see:

Ridding Oneself of Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
Doubts, Difficulties, and Suicidal Thoughts
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Is Praying Mandatory for Women Who Have Extreme Menstrual Pain? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have pre-menstrual pain that is so intense that I can barely walk straight. It has gotten so bad to the extent that I only get up from my bed for food. Is prayer indeed mandatory for me in this case?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Menstrual pain

Dear sister, you are in a tremendous amount of pain. Pain is a sign from your body that something is amiss, and needs your attention.

Have you seen a gynaecologist for help? Please see your doctor. I urge you to also consult complementary therapists such as a naturopath, homeopath, Ayurvedic practitioner, or a TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) doctor.

Ayurvedic Remedy for Menstrual Cramps
Period Back Pain Relief

Prayer

Narrated `Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings adn peace) said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” [Bukhari]

In short, yes, prayer is still obligatory upon you. I cannot stress upon you how important it is still for you to strive to uphold your prayer, even while you are in immense pain. May Allah reward you for persisting, out of love for and obedience to Him. Please do your very best, even if you are sitting or lying down.

When you are not in any pain, I urge you to perform the Prayer of Need. Beg Allah to send you healing, and the gift of prayer without pain.

Spiritual nourishment

Nourish your heart with a SeekersHub course, podcasts and/or lessons sets.

When your connection to Allah is stronger, then it is easier to bear physical pain. I pray that Allah eases your suffering, and rewards you for striving to uphold your prayer.

Please see:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

What a Second-Degree Burn Taught Me About Focus, by Chloe Idris

Chloe Idris writes about losing focus and the searing pain of regret.

I’m writing this right now as I sit in bed, with my leg elevated and wrapped, nursing a second-degree burn. This is in fact my second second-degree burn since I left my home country to seek sacred knowledge, which seems oddly poetic – my first burn was in Jordan (where I was studying Arabic), and now my second has happened in Egypt (where I am studying the Islamic sciences). And although they’ve both been extremely painful, it’s clear that sometimes our most important life lessons come from that which hurts the most (and there’s nothing like sharp, searing pain to really drive a lesson home).

For this to make sense, I’ll have to tell you the story of how I got this latest burn. Since living in the Middle East, my husband and I have always had troubles with our kitchens and bathrooms. Blown fuses and exploding light fixtures that don’t get fixed for months, periods of no running water, periods of no hot water (always fun in the middle of a cold Jordanian winter)… I could go on. At the moment, we’ve been lucky enough to get the bathroom lighting repaired and the water running again, but the hot water seems to be gone for now. We’ve learned to take things in our stride and just have fun with it (it is an adventure, after all).

Which brings me to tonight, when we were doing the washing together – my husband was pouring the hot water (which had been boiled on the stove) and I was pouring the cold water into a single container to use. Of course everyone knows that any time boiling hot water is involved, you have to pay full attention. And we were paying attention, that is until the fifth round of water-pouring.

It was late, we were tired and joking around as we normally do, so it’s no surprise what happened next: something got bumped, the boiling water that was supposed to be pouring into the container was now pouring down my leg, and I was crying in pain.

My husband, being the quick thinker that he is, had me bundled straight into the bathtub and had cold water running over the burn in no time. And I know at this point you’re probably thinking ‘well that sounds painful Chloe, but I’m not really sure what you getting burned has to do with life lessons and seeking sacred knowledge.’

When You Least Expect It

We were discussing later how it had happened, because even though it was an accident, my husband felt terrible for even having accidentally caused me pain. And the reality is, it happened because we both stopped focusing. We took our eyes off the task at hand, and became distracted. We had nearly finished up with the washing, we felt like we were all done, so we stopped paying attention. And then I got burned.

As I was laying down later that night nursing my wound, I reflected over this incident. I believe everything always happens for a reason, that God has planned our lives perfectly, and that in hardships there are always lessons to be learned. And I realised, what if my distraction that lead to my burn, was really a reflection of my current state in life?

I mentioned earlier that I’m currently studying the Islamic sciences in Egypt, and I have exams just around the corner. But the process is being delayed and dragged out, and I could feel myself losing focus. It’s hard to maintain the same level of discipline and focus over a long period of time, whether it’s a university degree you’re working towards, your own private Islamic studies, or even just your personal ibadah (worship) that you are wanting to improve in.

Eyes On The Prize

So here’s the lesson: if you have a goal that you’re working towards, it’s essential that you keep your eyes on that goal, especially when you’re close to the finish line. It’s easy when you’re close to achieving your goal to start slowing down, to relax a bit more, to start looking around at what else is going on. But the final stretch isn’t the time to lose focus; that’s the time to renew your intention, fix your eyes firmly on your goal, and double down on the work that will get you there.

If you need to take the breaks, take them. If you need to recharge, do it. Do what you need in your daily life to keep yourself healthy and well, and then get back to work with focus and intention.

Because I can tell you from experience, there’s nothing like the sharp pain of regret (or a second-degree burn…) to make you wish you had paid more attention when it really mattered.

[cwa id=’cta’]

Is It Sinful to Keep Exercising Despite the Pain?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My right leg is somewhat shorter than my left leg. Due to this imbalance I get painful muscular trigger points.I am getting waswasa with regards to the hadith “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” . Whenever I feel some pain while exercising I feel that I am going against this hadith. Can I continue being active such as weightlifting and cycling even though I will get pain?

Answer: In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate

Thank you for your question. May Allah grant you the best of states and guide you to what is pleasing to Him.

THERE SHOULD BE NEITHER HARMING NOR RECIPROCATING HARM

The hadith ‘There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm’ is found in the Sunnan of Ibn Majah and Imam Malik’s al Muwatta.

The scholars have offered different explanations to the hadith, but the common theme running through all these explanations is the impermissibility of harming another person, or each other, for no reason or for an unjust reason [Jami’ al Ulum wal Hukm].

The hadith is not referring to harming oneself, though the prohibition of harming oneself is evident elsewhere in the Qur’an and hadith.

HARMING ONESELF

Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an, ‘And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction’ [2:195], and ‘And do not kill yourselves’ [4.29].

Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.’ [al Bukhari]

The above references, as well as being established in the sacred law, make it clear that we are not permitted to cause harm to ourselves. Our bodies, like everything else we make use of and enjoy in this life, do not belong to us, but belong to God, and are things entrusted to us to look after. On the Day of Judgement our limbs and body parts will either speak for us or against us, depending on what we did with them. For this reason, we should look after our bodies, faculties, and senses as best as we can.

TRAINING SAFELY AND MEDICAL ADVICE

Given what you have said, it seems that you are training sensibly. However, you should seek professional medical advice. If the medical advisors say that the pain is normal and poses no long term risk to your health, then you can take their advice and continue. If the minor, passing pain continues then there is no blame on you. Though you should stop and seek further medical advice if it worsens.

If, however, they tell you that continuing on your current training/sports activity will lead to further complications in the future and deterioration of your condition, or they suggest methods and techniques which can minimise any risk, then you should adapt your program and activity accordingly.

Seeking advice from Islamic scholars, as you have done, and from medical professionals, will mean you have done all you can. Therefore, do not give the waswasa a second thought, or think you are doing anything wrong. Good health and keeping active is encouraged in the religion, and as long as the experts say you are not causing harm to yourself, even with the minor pain you experience during training, then you are doing something praiseworthy. And Allah knows best.

I wish you all the best,

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

What Should I Do if I Was Taking Medication During Ramadan?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam aleykum
I have been in a lot pain recently and had to miss some days of Ramadan because of pain medication. On some days, I would take pain medicine once after sunrise but before noon and then continue with my fast. Should I make up these days?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
You must make up all the fasts you invalidated. This includes those invalidated by taking medication during the fasting hours.
Make the intention to make up a fast before Fajr on the day you wish to fast, and then do so.
In future, you should consult with an expert doctor to see if it is possible to take an alternative medicine, or at least to be able to take the medicine outside the fasting hours.
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani