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I Struggle with Thoughts of Disbelief and Suicide

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked about despair and contemplating suicide from being a lone Muslim.

I struggle with thoughts of disbelief and suicide. I have non-Muslim family members and feel so guilty when I spend time with them during Christmas and so on. I feel ashamed about telling them I am Muslim, because of ISIS.

I have so much uncontrolled anger because I am overwhelmed by my problems. Sometimes I wish I was not brought into existence. I wish for new type of prayer because I’ve been humiliated badly in grade 7, and whenever I want to pray, my mind starts to flashback and then I start to feel shy, embarrassed and then I stop praying,

Can I meet the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and ask him to reverse time? I have so many regrets. My grandfather died a Christian and I am so sad.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.

Suicidal Thoughts

Dear questioner, you sound like you are in a tremendous amount of pain.

Do you have a plan to end your life? If so, I urge you to please seek professional help. At a very minimum, please contact a suicide or mental health hotline in your locality. You need to speak to someone compassionate, to help you break the cycle of despair in your mind.

Thoughts of Disbelief

It may be useful for you to seek out culturally-sensitive counseling to help you manage and eventually overcome these thoughts which plague you.

Please continue a daily litany of repentance and other duas to help protect you from these thoughts: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

Please refer to these links to help start your journey towards healing:

Getting Therapy for Irreligious Thoughts
Having Seriously Evil Thoughts
Types of Thought, Blasphemy, and Sin

Uncontrolled Anger

Please read this resource about the Anger Iceberg. You are lugging around so much unresolved pain, which contributes to you feeling so triggered, so often. When you start to release that pain, then will slowly feel less angry.

I encourage you to try some calming meditations, specifically, Islamic Meditations by Shaykh Muhammad Mendes.

Prayer

I am so sorry that you were so shamed for praying in public while you were in Grade 7. May Allah help you heal from this, and increase you in reward for your struggles.

There is no way for prayer to be changed, but perhaps there are ways you can find a private, secure place to pray. Could you speak to your school counsellor about what happened, and ask him/her to facilitate a safe place for you to pray?

Past Trauma

I urge you to contact Sidi Zuhair Girash of Aafiyah Healing. He is a compassionate and wise Muslim holistic healer who can help you, insha Allah. He can help you loosen the grip of your past trauma, and help you live more easily in the present moment.

It sounds like beneath your anger lies deep feelings of shame, powerlessness and sadness. There are ways to overcome this, with the right help.

Reversal of Time

Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Sura al-Furqan, 25:70)

A wise high school teacher told me once that instead of a “rewind” button for life, Allah gave us something better – He gives us the gift of repentance. Please know that Allah can transform all of your bad deeds into good deeds.

No matter what happened in your past, know that Allah’s Mercy is greater than that. He loves you, even with all of your imperfections.

Non-Muslim Family Members in Hellfire

Only Allah knows where any of us end up in the Afterlife. Because you are already in a troubled mental state, I urge you not to dwell on the fate of your grandfather.

Trust in the Mercy of your Creator. It is not difficult for Allah to have created belief in your grandfather’s heart, before he passed away, for example.

Please seek comfort from this: How to Deal With a Non-Muslim Relative’s Death.

Christmas and Other Festivals

Please know that because you have non-Muslim family members, then it is very important for you to be part of their lives, and attend their festivals. Please attend the social aspects of these gatherings and avoid the religious components, as best as you can.

Please seek comfort from these answers Is Christmas Haram? Being Muslim in a Non-Muslim Family and Partaking in a Thanksgiving Dinner: Permitted or Not?

Meeting The Prophet, Peace and Blessings be upon Him

Narrated Anas, may Allah be pleased with him: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever has seen me in a dream, then no doubt, he has seen me, for Satan cannot imitate my shape.’ (Bukhari)

One interpretation of this is that one will see him in this life in one’s waking state. (Fath al-Bari)

I pray that you do see the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, in a dream. Know that his heart is connected to yours, he feels your deepest acutely, and he is making dua for you. I encourage you to be open to the winds of mercy from God, even if they do not fit your current rigid concept. Rigidity comes from fear and pain – you have endured a huge amount of suffering. Flexibility and openness comes from surrender.

I pray that Allah eases your terrible burden of pain. Please know that you will will feel better, some day soon. It will not always hurt this much. Please choose to keep alive, so that one day, you will look back at your younger self with compassion and love.

You may not believe me right now, but because you have endured so much, you will be able to offer so much comfort to other broken-hearted souls.

Please write back if you need any more help.

Please also see A Reader on the Problem of Evil, Suffering, Destiny, and Allah’s Mercy and A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah.

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Insanity, Suicide, Kufr, and the Need for Scholars

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani untangles certain recurring misconceptions regarding insanity, suicide, kufr, how these misconceptions arise, and how to dispel them through knowledge.

I’ve been told that people who suffer from mental illness may be exempt from certain aspects of Shari‘a. If that’s the case, why is suicide punishable given that a lot of people that commit suicide surely have some sort of mental illness?

Moral Responsibility and Legal Capacity

Our religion is the religion of Allah, the Wise, the Just,the Merciful, and in that not everything is black or white. There are also gradations in between. When we look at a soul there are those who are considered morally responsible. The same adult who is an adult with full legal capacity. Then you have those who don’t have legal capacity, such as the children or the insane.

But then there are also intermediate cases, e.g. with children there’s a difference between the young child and the discerning child. The child is gradually morally responsible, without being morally accountable. It is a responsibility granted as training for when they hit adulthood. So they’re generally encouraged, then, specifically encouraged, then, commanded with respect to the obligations.

Degrees of Insanity

Similarly not all those lacking mental capacity, short of full sanity, are at the same level. You have what’s called al-majnun. Someone who is legally insane or lacking legal capacity. But then there are different cases of insanity.

Some people are bereft of sanity. Day in day out, they’re not able to discern and distinguish between benefit and harm, right and wrong. They’re not able to make informed choices. That’s one type of insanity: insanity that lasts.

Then there’s also the lunatic. There’s incapacity that affects someone such that they may be sane at times and lacking sanity at other times. For example in our times like someone who’s bipolar in intense cases could be oscillating between when they have capacity and when they don’t.

Then there’s also an intermediate state between full legal capacity and the legally insane or the one without legal capacity, which is someone with partial legal capacity. A person with partial legal capacity is treated like the discerning child. To the extent of their capacity to discern, they’re encouraged to do the good. They’re encouraged to uphold legal responsibility in the things within their capacity but they”re not ultimately legally accountable, just like a discerning child.

Suicide Is a Major Sin

Different cases differ. Allah Most High tells us: “Allah does not hold the soul responsible for more than its capacity.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:286) We have a very nuanced, balanced, fair, set of legal criteria by which to outwardly judge different types of individuals and their capacity so that we are able to guide them towards their best interests.

Ultimately, Allah knows every single person and where they are with respect to their responsibilities. When it comes to suicide, the ruling of suicide is that committing suicide is prohibited, and suicide is itself a major sin. However, committing suicide is not kufr. Sins are one thing. Disbelief is another.

Just as we preserve the lives of others the first life that we preserve is our own, and no one should willfully take their life. That has implications in terms of end-of-life issues and so on. However, if someone commits suicide, we don’t hasten to judge. We don’t know what triggered it. What was their mental state and what would we call legal capacity at the time they made that decision?

Sensitivity Is Key

We have to be sensitive, firstly, with respect to the person themselves. We don’t know what state they were in. Secondly, we also have to be sensitive to the living. Their family has suffered a serious loss and so on. But at the same that we don’t affirm the absurd.

We’re not there to judge in the accusation manner: “That was wrong. They’re going to hell.” – Well, who are you? Are you the Lord? At the same time, we don’t we don’t go into conjectural rulings as well: “O, Allah will forgive him because he was in a bad situation.” It’s not your decision to make. These are sensitive situations.

Most of the times these kinds of confusions arise when things like that happen within a within a family, within a community – the trouble arises in these kinds of difficult situations because of two reasons. One is from people who take religion directly from texts without appreciating their context and understanding.

Textual Literalism and the Need for Scholars

People say, “O, there are hadith that say the person who commits suicide will be punished forever.” No, there isn’t. That’s not what the hadith is saying. What is the understanding sound understanding of that hadith? That’s one danger. And the connecting danger is, especially, the application of specific rules to particular situations is a specialized skill. That is why communities require scholars of guidance.

When people deal with a sensitive situation, how do you deal with it with these considerations? One cannot take a ruling from a book and apply it to a specific situation just like that, without training, because it is likely that the harm would be greater. There’s likely harm.

We should heed the divine command: “Ask the people of remembrance if you know not.” This of course requires attention to supporting institutions that facilitate scholars to be teaching in their communities. We have to have people of knowledge in every community.

It is obligatory that there be jurists who have the capacity, who have learned our religious tradition soundly and reliably, and who are trained to apply that to the the social and lived context of individuals and communities that they operate in. That is critical and we have grave shortcomings in that around the world.


Contemplating Suicide Because No One Will Marry Me

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil answers a question on how to deal with suicidal thoughts and feeling despair about not being able to find a marriage partner.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray five times a day but feel like my life is coming to an end. Allah has not given me height, good looks, or wealth. I know that those who kill themselves are punished in Hellfire forever, but I am already going to hell because I am not a good Muslim anyway. Why am I suffering like this? I have been rejected so many times for marriage, and have given up on marriage because I am only 5 foot 4. I see only two options: kill myself or cut myself off from everyone I know like my family, and this world. Please help me.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us during your time of crisis.

Dealing with Thoughts of Suicide

Dear questioner, I cannot imagine the amount of pain you must be in right now. The fact that you are contemplating suicide shows me how overwhelmed you feel. It sounds like you have tried everything to make things better, but nothing is working. and you feeling that ending your life is the only way to release you from pain.

Do you have a plan as to how you wish to end your life? If so, I urge you to seek professional help. Please look up a suicide hotline in your locality and call them immediately.

If you do not have a plan, then please, consider the possibility that there is a way for you to feel better. You have listed only two ways forward, but there is a third option. You can only access the problem-solving part of your brain when you move out of your current state of fight or flight.

Allah’s Love For You

It was narrated from Mus’ab ibn Sa’d that his father, Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas, said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings be upon him, which people are most severely tested?’ He said: ‘The Prophets, then the next best, and then the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him on the earth with no sin on him.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Dear questioner, please know that Allah tests those whom He loves, and the depth of your trials indicate to me how much Allah loves you. You probably do not believe me, but please know this to be true.

Love, especially Divine Love, does not mean getting everything you want. Sometimes, it is often an act of love to withhold. It is easy to forget sometimes, but we were not created to marry. We were created to worship Allah, and submit to His Decree even if – especially if — what He wants for us does not align with what we want for us.

Know that Shaytan is the one who despaired, and he wants you to despair too. Do not fall for his lies. None of us know whether we are destined for Hellfire or Paradise. That is why we strive, and have a good opinion of Allah.

Source Of Your Pain

Please know that the true source of your pain is disconnection from yourself, and disconnection from Allah. When you remedy these disconnections, then only then can you find lasting relief.

Self-soothe First, Counsel Next

When you are physiologically flooded, nothing I say to you will calm you down. You need to work on soothing yourself first.

What helps you relax? Does listening to Qur’an help? Nature sounds? Going for a walk? I recommend guided meditations from apps such as Calm and Headspace. Find your breath, and be connected to it. Imagine breathing in relaxation, and breathing out your pain. Being in nature is also very calming, so I recommend that too.

The deepest healing lies with dhikr and dua. I recommend that you consult with Aafiyah Healing as soon as you can. In the meantime, pour your sorrow out in dua: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

Perspective

Perfectionism is a lie the world teaches us. So many of us believe that if we were only more attractive, more successful, more charming – anything – then we would finally get what we long for.

It sounds like you believe that the reason you are not married is because you are not tall and handsome. I invite you to consider this possibility: perhaps you are not married yet because Allah, All-Knowing, knows that you are not ready.

Marriage, and then child-rearing, is both blissful and difficult. I encourage you to learn better self-soothing and emotional regulation skills before you become a husband and a father. Too many men around the world unleash their unhappiness and anger upon their wives and children, causing them great trauma.

The greatest gift you can present your future wife and children is this – good character. Work on acceptance, contentment, gratitude, forgiveness, and other Prophetic qualities.

Born without Arms or Legs

In the modern day context, I encourage you to reflect upon the life of Nick Vujicic, who was born with no arms and no legs. His story is a deeply moving one. After a failed suicide attempt at 10, he drew meaning from his great hardship, and now touches the lives of millions of people around the world. He is also married, and has four children.

If he had succeeded in ending his own life, he would have missed out on marrying his loving wife, and fathering his children. He is not Muslim, and Allah blesses Him with blessing upon blessing. What wonders lie in store for you?

Please, dear questioner, choose life. Choose to have a good opinion of Allah. Trust in His plan for you.

I pray that one day, you will be playing with your children, smiling at your wife, and that your terrible pain will be a long forgotten memory.

Please see A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah and Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Transcend This World – Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir expounds on the crises of despair in society, its impact on the Muslim community, and Islam as the cure for this disease.

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَابَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجًا

Our praises due to Allah who has revealed the scripture unto his servant and has made no crookedness therein. (Sura al Kahf 18:1)

Allah Most High has blessed us to live in interesting times, as they say. One of the characteristics of our time, speaking specifically of this land that we reside in, is the despair that we see. That despair can be measured by what collectively are referred to as the diseases of despair: drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide, depression.

In terms of drug addiction, just discarding other forms of drugs, every day in this country, there are 170 fatal overdoses from opioids alone – heroin, morphine, percocet, oxycontin – the whole family of opioids. One hundred and seventy.

Were it not for Narcan which revives overdose victims, maybe it would be eight hundred a day, because for every one who fatally overdoses seven or eight are revived who would otherwise fatally overdose.

The Ravages of Despair

There are 241 alcohol consumption related deaths every day in this country. Just consumption. Excluding alcohol-related deaths, most fatal fatalities from auto accidents, the majority are alcohol-related. Most killings in domestic violence are alcohol-related. Maybe not most. A large percentage. But excluding all of that, 241 who die from overconsumption of alcohol every day.

There are 123 suicides every day. Almost 4,000 suicide attempts every day, which means that there are far more, because a lot of suicide attempts aren’t reported to the authorities. Increasingly large numbers of our children who should be the most hopeful find themselves dead as a result of suicide. Diseases of despair.

You see Muslims increasingly falling into many of these categories which indicates two things. One is a ignorance of our religion, because one who has knowledge of this religion understands that this is the antidote to despair: the anti-despair medicine.

The other is weakness of faith, which means there might be knowledge of the religion, but that knowledge hasn’t penetrated to the depths of the heart, so that it affects the hearts in ways that insulate the individual from the ravages of despair.

Understanding of Religion

We should understand. Understanding is very important. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, says: “The one Allah desires good for, He gives him or her a sound understanding of the religion.” We can mention a balance of the hadith because it has benefit in it.

It was related from Mu‘awiya, Allah be pleased with him, who said, “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, says: ‘The one Allah desires good for, He gives him or her a sound understanding of the religion. I dispense the Revelation, it is Allah who gives understanding.’”

So the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, gives it freely to everyone but Allah causes those seeds that he, Allah bless him and give him peace, spreads out to take root in some hearts. “And there will always remain from this community of believers a party, a group, who will establish their affair on the basis of the commandment of Allah.” (Bukhari)

What the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, is telling us is that understanding translates into action. The foundation of our action is establishing our affair on the commandment of Allah. People are rejecting their traditional religious teachings. As people increasingly turn to atheism and that’s part and parcel of the crisis of despair.

Atheism and Meaninglessness

There’s no coincidence that as atheism goes up suicide goes up, because atheism is telling a human being that you’re no different from this […] this minbar I’m standing on. You are no different than these walls. You’re no different than a fly. You’re no different then feces or urine. You’re just physical stuff.

If a human being comes to believe that he or she is just physical stuff, there’s no relationship to a higher power, there’s nothing to hope for beyond the demise of this physical body, why not commit suicide? Why not end it all? There’s nothing beyond this to hope for. That’s one of the reasons you see this upward trajectory.

The believers must hold on to the commandment of Allah. The believers must hold as lawful that which our Lord through his Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, has declared to be lawful. And the believer must maintain and hold on to what our Lord through his Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, directly from Revelation, which came through the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, or through his Sunna, have declared to be unlawful.

The lawful is unambiguously clear. The unlawful is unambiguously clear. Between those two are doubtful matters. Most people don’t know their rulings. There are people who want to make that which is unambiguously clear from the mutashabihat in terms of its lawfulness, and that which is unambiguously clear in terms of its unlawfulness, amongst the doubtful matters.

Adhere to The Book and The Sunna

Well, we need to reassess this. 1,400 years of Islam and scholarship from some of the most brilliant minds to ever walk this planet couldn’t figure out how Muslims are supposed to dress? 1,400 years of scholarship with clear unambiguous evidence, scriptural evidence, couldn’t figure out who Muslims should go to bed with?

We need to reassess? No, we need to adhere to the Book of Allah and the Sunna of his Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, and die upon that and pass it on to our descendants. If we do that, we’ve done our job. If we fail to do that, there’s going to be more suicides. There’s going to be more alcoholism. There’s going to be more drug overdoses, because people will be lost.

The prophets were sent to guide people. And this Umma, the scholars of this Umma are the heirs of the prophets. And their communities are the community of believers in this world. They will establish their affair on the commandment of Allah. They will not be harmed by those who oppose them until the command of Allah.

Some scholars say [the command] is the emergence of the dajjal. Some scholars say it is the wind that will blow at the end of time and take the souls of the believers. Most scholars say it is Doomsday. They won’t be harmed.

Hold on to Your Inheritance

Our task, brothers and sisters, if you want to be safe and you want to be sound, make sure you’re in that group. Ibn Hajar al Askalani says it could be one group in one place, but most likely it is many groups. There’s some here, there’s some there. Some in America. Some in Africa. There’s some in Asia. There’s some in Europe.

This is a source of mercy, not just for us but for the world. As we said, the world, this country and the world in general, is being besieged by despair and hopelessness. We are the people of hope. Not foolish optimism, but the people of Hope.

We are the people of prophetic guidance and prophetic guidance brings clarity. We are the people of mercy. One of the reasons a lot of Muslims are so downcast and gloom-struck in our day and times is because they believe the lives of people who profit from their being no source of hope for people.

There are people that profit from that and say, “Oh, you Muslims, you have no mercy and compassion in your heart.” And Muslims start believing that. You want to know no compassion? No compassion are people who would sell nine million narcotic pills in a small town in Appalachia.

The Invention of Falsehoods

Prescribe nine million knowing this is going to addicting entire population. Where is the mercy in that? Then the people are dropping like flies from overdoses. Where is the mercy in that? Where is the mercy in fabricating enemies for the sole purpose of feeding a war machine that’s financed by 700 billion dollars of our tax money to keep the factories making bombs?

Inventing enemies in this country to keep this a machine of Islamic hate going. They’re stealth jihad. They’re taking over. Taking over what? “The Muslim Brotherhood’s taking over Congress and the Senate and our institutions.” Well, they’re doing a terrible job. there are 535 congressmen and 100 senators; 435 representatives.

There are zero Muslim senators and one Muslim congressman. Zero out of 100 and one out of 435 and that’s stealth jihad. That’s a merciless scheme to demoralize the community, to villainize and demonize the community, for the sole purpose of making money. They’re financed by tens hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s an industry.

Where is the mercy? Right now, this hurricane, the winds died down, but the rain is coming. And they have open lagoons of pig manure and pig fetuses and pig blood from these hog farms next to African-American communities. Poor people who can’t go anywhere. They’re going to flood over. Even without flooding the spraying in the air coats their houses. They can’t breathe the air. People have respiratory problems. They have to breathe that garbage.

And the North Carolina legislature banned a bill that would even declare this a harmful practice. Where’s the mercy in that? You go up and down the ledger, there’s no mercy. There’s total exploitation of people.

Industrialized Despair

They won’t even give you a meal. You can fly on Ethiopian Airlines – one of the poorest countries in the world – you can fly from Addis Ababa to […]; they give you a hot meal, a hot towel to clean your hands with, for a two-hour flight. You fly from New York City to Los Angeles, five and a half hours, you’re lucky if you get a bag of pretzels.

When you got on the plane, the sky cab, the company is going to take their tips. Where is the mercy in all that? And they’ll tell you, “Muslim, you’re not merciful.” And then you believe it and get all demoralized. Stand up! Be proud to be a Muslim. Don’t hang your head. Don’t give those people the satisfaction of demoralizing you. Thieves and killers.

A lady, Beth Macy, wrote a book about this whole opioid epidemic recently [Dopesick] and the subtitle: “[…] the [drug] company that addicted America.” Purdue Pharma, responsible for tens of thousands of dead Americans and no one went to jail. Tens of thousands of dead people, millions of addicts, and to misdemeanor charges for false advertisement, because they said this stuff isn’t abusive.

Pure morphine repackaged is not abusive. So when the abuse rate was almost a hundred percent, “Oh, we’re guilty.” Misdemeanor on two of their executives. No one goes to jail. But all these little people, not selling heroin, selling marijuana on the street corner, are going to jail feeding this prison industrial complex. Where is the mercy in that?

Never Despair of Allah’s Mercy

And you, demoralized, believe your religion has no mercy. “Oh, my servants who are going to excess in terms of abusing the rights of their soul.” This is addressed of people who are idolaters. What does Allah say about the idolator? Allah doesn’t forgive that partners are joined with him, but he forgives any sin other than that to whomsoever he pleases. But if that idolator repents, then Allah says, even if you are an idolater, “do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins.” (Sura al Zamar 39:53)

Allah forgives the idolater. Allah forgave the man who killed 100 people. Allah forgives people. One man came, long story short, and mention his sin and he couldn’t do this, he couldn’t do that to atone. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, he started laughing and said, “Just scram. Get out of here.” Allah bless him and give him peace.

Your sin is one against you. You do a good deed and it’s immediately multiplied ten times. Seven thousand. Seventy thousand. Seven million. Allah is Rahim and Karim. How hard do you have to work to go to hell, if that’s how things are reckoned? One sin is one against you.

The Reason for Hope

Even if you conspire to sin and then you leave it, then it’s credited as a good deed. Leaving a bad deed is a good deed. You know, I’m gonna do this and that, masha Allah. I get home, get dressed, go call up someone. I’m gonna go visit and we’re gonna go out and … “astaghfir Allah, that’s totally haram.” That’s the good.

You left the bad deed, it’s a good deed. Don’t you say you’re a sinner. Leaving the bad deed is a good deed and so the cycle kicks in. How hard does one have to work to go to hell? This is the mercy of Allah Most High. Allah forgives all sins. What did you do? Just repent to Allah and Allah will forgive you.

Why do you have no hope? Why are you despairing of Allah’s mercy. If those are the odds and if this is the mercy of Allah, then it’s rightfully said, “It is only a disbelieving people that despair of Allah’s mercy.” (Sura Yusuf 12:87)

So believers, never despair of Allah’s mercy. Don’t walk around here in a state of doom and gloom. Lift up your head, smile in the face of your your fellow believer. Smile in the face of everybody: the ordinary people. Spread peace, spread greetings of peace to people. Feed people.

“Oh, Messenger of Allah, what is the best manifestation of Islam, the most virtuous manifestation of Islam?” “That you feed people and greet people, those you know and those you don’t know.” Our sister, in the Rainbow Rec Center, just feeding people for 20-something years. Every Saturday. It’s one of the best manifestations of Islam.

And greet people those you know and those you know not. You should be a greeting machine. Everyone you pass:

– Assalam alaykum, how you doing? Ahlan wa sahlan wa marhaban.
– What does that mean?
– That means, Hey, you’re welcome. You’re like my family.
– Really? No one ever said that to me.
– We Muslims. That’s how we roll.

Islam Is The Beautiful Religion

Pick your head up. This is a beautiful religion. Don’t despair. It’s not a believing characteristic. It’s a characteristic, as we said, of people who have no faith. Those are the people, unfortunately, falling into drugs, falling into despair, falling into suicide, falling into alcoholism. We’re the antidote. We should be going to people.

That’s why they want to demoralize the Muslims, so we don’t believe we have anything to offer anybody. “Who wants to listen to us? They all think we‘re a bunch of terrorists.” I’ll tell you who wants to listen to you, those hundreds of people every day who are taking their Shahada, all over this country. They don’t want to see that.

We have to organize ourselves to serve them. And to serve those people who aren’t Muslim. The sister feeding the people at the Rainbow Rec in East Oakland, most of those people aren’t Muslim, but they’re human beings and they have human needs.

We should be rising up and organizing ourselves to meet their needs and don’t let them politicize our religion. They’re willing to politicize it so they can frame the discussion and frame the way that they present Islam to people. No, we have to we have to spiritualize it. It’s not a political struggle.

This Is Not a Game

We. as Muslims, we do a disservice when we frame it like that, because we’re playing into their hands. It’s a spiritual struggle. It’s a struggle between truth and falsehood. It’s a struggle between people who want to victimize and exploit and destroy people, and people who want to give them life, and to give them hope, and to give them direction.

That’s the struggle and we have to keep it at that level, because that’s our strength. Everything else will take care of itself. The politics, the economics, will take care of themselves.

But if we become wrapped up into this political struggle the parameters of which have been defined by the enemies of Islam, we’ll never get to the spiritual and the people will never get the hope, because in their mind they’re looking at Islam through a frame that we as Muslims sometimes help to reinforce.

We have to frame the issue along the lines that play into our strengths. When you have one congressman and zero senators, politics is not our strength. I hope you understand that. You can hoop and holler all you want. But when those are the odds, I’m not saying there’s no politics in Islam, I’m saying that our struggle is a grassroots struggle.

Our struggle as a struggle to save people. Our struggle as a struggle to give people hope. Our struggle is a struggle to inspire people. Our struggle is a struggle to put people back in touch with their humanity. And when that happens to tens and hundreds of thousands of people, to millions of people, everything else will take care of itself. May Allah give us tawfiq.

We Are a Joyous People

Let me leave you with this verse, brothers and sisters. Allah Most High mentions in the Qur’an:

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّـهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Say, [O Muhammad]: In the grace of Allah and in His mercy let them rejoice. It is better than anything they can gather [from this world.] (Sura Yunus 10:58)

We should be a joyous people. All this stuff has happened out there. Islamophobia and all this other stuff is happening. Depression, suicide, we went through the whole gamut and the first khutba. We still should be a joyous people, because we have faith in our heart, because we have belief in the Hereafter, because we know no matter how bad things get in this world, if we patiently persevere, if we struggle and we forge on, then we’re opening the gates for unimaginable bliss for the rest of eternity.

Eternal bliss. When we understand what eternity means, and we understand that everyone’s life in this world will end, young or old, rich or poor, black or white.

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. (Sura Aal Imran 3:185)

Life Begins in The Hereafter

Everyone is going to die. Everybody’s going to die and so our life really begins when we die – in the big scheme of things, in the greater scheme of things – and once we die the gate is opened to eternity. This world is finite. Paradise and Hell are eternal.

خالدين فيها
dwelling therein forever

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا
dwelling therein forever and ever

Either Hellfire. Not forever and ever for believers, but who wants to experience a second of that? Or Janna [The Garden]. That’s what it’s all about. And Allah Most High, in giving us faith, has blessed us and placed us on a path to Janna.

We have to nurture our faith, and cultivate our faith, and rejoice in our faith. “Let them rejoice in this. I is better than anything anyone could gather from the world.” What does it mean that someone gets all the cars? They have the whole collection. They have the 1965 Mustang all the way up to their 2018 Tesla. They have them and everything in between. They got the Rolls Royce, they got the Lamborghini, you name it. They even got the Bugatti.

They got the whole lineup. They have the whole residential lineup. They have the condo at Lake Merritt. They have their chateau in the Rocky Mountains, in Aspen. They have their home in the Hamptons that they never get to. They have the whole line up from the condo to the chateau to the the house in the Hamptons. Check everything on the list. They got it.

Wardrobe. They have it all. From the alligator shoes to whatever you’re supposed, if you have money. They got it. In the house in the Hamptons they have horses they never ride. Because they never get over there. But they got the horses, too. They got the house and they got the horse.

Faith Is Proof of Allah’s Love

What does it mean if they don’t have faith? What does it mean that as soon as they get the house with the horses and they’ve checked the final check the final box on the list, they die? People are deceived into thinking all this means something.

“If this world meant to Allah as much as a gnat’s wing,” do you know how small a gnat is? If it meant a gnat’s wing “He wouldn’t have given an arrogant rejecter a single drop of water to drink.” (Tirmidhi) Allah gives it freely to whomsoever He pleases.

He gives it to the Muslim. He gives it to the person who’s not a Muslim. He gives it to the rich. He gives it to the black. He gives it to the white. He gives it to those who come who inherit it and those who get it because they can throw a ball in a basket. He gives it freely to whomever He pleases.

But He only gives faith to those He loves. That’s why the believer rejoices. May Allah give us faith that leads us to rejoice no matter what is happening in the world, because we can look beyond the world. We can look at something that transcends the world. We can look at something more valuable than the world and everything in it.


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.

How to Deal With a Verbally Abusive Father?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Throughout my childhood, I witnessed my father beat my mother. I have reach the point of hitting him. I regret this so much and have asked him for forgiveness, but he continues to verbally abuse me to the point where I want to commit suicide. What do I do?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

Help

Dear questioner, please seek out professional help. You are in a lot of pain, and it sounds like you need a culturally-sensitive counselor and psychiatrist.

I am so sorry that your father hit your mother until she bled, and that you and your sister have resorted to self-harm. You have been through a tremendous about of pain.

You need to learn better ways of coping with your strong feelings. A healthy, sound mind does not contemplate suicide, and the fact that you are reveals your deep trauma. Please look into the trauma healing work of Hakim Archuletta and Peter Levine.

Father

Your father sounds extremely volatile and unwell. I pray that Allah grants him shifa.

Please keep yourself safe from his harm, but please do not cut ties with him. If you are still living in his house, then please do your best to find a better living situation. Do you have any other family members you can stay with? Find a group of good housemates you can live with.

Limit interaction with your father to a point which you can handle. Your sanity and emotional health matter to Allah. I pray that over time, you can heal, and then slowly increase your exposure to him.

Repentance

Never despair in the mercy of Allah. The door of repentance is wide open for you. I urge you to wake up in the last third of the night and perform The Prayer of Need as regularly as you can.

I pray that Allah helps you transform your trauma, heals you, and makes you a means of good in this world and the next.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Dealing With a Dysfunctional Relationship With Parents

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and 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.

Why Are Those Who Commit Suicide Punishable in Islam? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Why are those who commit suicide punishable in Islam?

Answer: Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

My Suicidal Thoughts Are Coming Back and I Have No One to Trust. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I had to endure a very difficult life. I ended up with severe mental problems. I sought help and after several years of treatment I felt better.

I am now in the military and I can feel my suicidal tendencies coming back strong. I can’t trust any of my fellow soldiers because they will abuse my trust.

What should I do?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

I would strongly advise you to seek professional help regarding your situation and talk to someone you trust for further advice.

You mentioned in your question that you had previously received treatment for your issues and saw improvement. You should return to this as soon as possible.

If your fellow soldiers are unable to provide the needed assistance, seek out someone who will, such as a private doctor or someone outside of the army. The important thing is to find people who you can lean on to get better.

In regards to religious practice, you should try your utmost to engage in prayer, supplication, reading the Qur’an, and connecting with good people around you, such as your family and friends.

These are all means by which the heart finds rest and ease. Use these practices to distract yourself from the troubles around you; don’t spend your day and night thinking about your work and the distress you feel as this will only worsen the situation.

It may well be that you need to change aspects of your life in order to cope with these thoughts.

Your life is more valuable than a job or an occupation. As Muslims, we are taught that the lives of ourselves and others are inviolable and anything that seeks to challenge this has to be challenged in the appropriate manner.

Hopefully, by seeking professional help, leaning on the support of those around you, and turning to God, you will be able to overcome the problems you mention.

With prayers,
Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is Suicide Permissible to Prevent Exposure of Sensitive Information during War?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I know terrorism is impermissible (haram), but following events in Madrid, is it permissible for a Muslim soldier to commit suicide when captured to stop the release of information to the enemy?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Those people are not “Muslim soldiers,” but renegades acting on anger and frustration rather than acting on the basis of law, restraint, and dignity. The latter is the way of believers; the former, the way of those whom Allah has left in the lurch.

In normal war situation, where one fears general harm, one could not kill oneself in such a situation; rather, let them kill one.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Doubts, Difficulties, and Suicidal Thoughts

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: as salamu alaykum

Recently my iman has been very low. The only thing that prevents me from killing myself is the knowledge I have about suicide in the Islamic perspective. It seems unfair, I didn’t choose to exist.

 

I have made dua to Allah so many times to give me my iman back, but none of my prayers are answered. And, yes, I know that maybe they will be answered with something better in the akhira, but I can’t use that, because if I die as a non-believer I know where I’m going!

 

The reason why my Iman is so weak is also because I have read many things that is against religion and the existence of God. I would be very glad to hear someone destroy the theory of evolution for instance. I really need help. I don’t see any reasons to live if Islam isn’t the truth. It is so difficult. My mind is filled with so many doubts. Many questions pops up in my mind, such as:

– What have I done to deserve iman? What about all the other billions of people out there? Why are my prayers never answered?

It is not the existence of a God that is most difficult to believe in, but in my mind Islam has to be perfect if God really exists. And I don’t see Islam as perfect. Every time I read translations of the Quran my iman decreases because I don’t see anything special in what I’m reading. I love to recite it in Arabic though. And inside the folds of Islam I have not been able to determine which path is the right one. Sometimes salafis appear to be right, and sometimes non-Salafis appear be right.

I have read all your other answers on how to increase your iman, but it doesn’t help me at all. I have prayed 5 times a day and fasted during ramadan since I was a kid, I know a lot of Quran, and I am well educated in the religion.  I have always loved going to the masjid as well.

 

I think the fact that I’m pretty intelligent contributes to my doubts. I know I’m not using my intellect the right way. I really want to die as a Muslim.

 

Please help, I really need advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Jazakum Allahu Khairan for all of your questions. I pray that Allah removes this trial for you, increases your faith, and enters you into His garden. Your question reflects a deep sincerity and longing for God, which is very important.

You have posed many questions, and I am sure that you have many more. I will try to answer what I can as best as I can, but I want to emphasize 3 points of advice at the beginning:

1. Seek the help of a counselor or mental health professional who can help you deal with depression.

 

2. Purify your intention and continue a deep pursuit of knowledge to decrease doubts and increase faith.

 

3. Focus on your relationship with Allah, and don’t get distracted by other thoughts.

I will now attempt to address your questions point by point insha’Allah:

Dealing with Depression

“In many weeks my faith in Allah has been very weak. And the last couple of days has been the most difficult days in my entire life… and when I’m alone I often cry.”

Depression is a very serious affliction that can’t be dealt with in isolation. While this answer will address some of your doubts, your suicidal thoughts indicate a deeper problem that cannot be solved over the internet. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to seek the help of a qualified counselor.

Seeking proper help is of utmost importance, and Allah commands us in the Qur’an to seek qualified advice if we are unsure about something (16:43). Similarly, a hadith relates that when two of the companions gave bad advice to an injured man that resulted in his death, the Prophet (peace be upon him) proclaimed, “Do you not ask if you do not know?” [Abu Dawud]

Alhamdulillah, contacting us at SeekersGuidance is an important first step in the process of seeking help. We can provide some general religious guidance, but I strongly recommend that you find a professional counselor – perhaps one at your school – who can help you deal with your depression.

You can find some general guidance about dealing with difficulties in the following answers:

Advice to a Young Man with OCD and Struggling with Pornography and Other Major Sins

Advice to a Young Cancer Patient

Family Problems: Maintaining Conviction in Allah During Difficulty & Tribulation

Fighting Depression Through The Remembrance Of Allah

Patience and Dua

“I have made dua to Allah so many times… but it doesn’t work.”

As created beings, our limited understanding of reality often prevents us from seeing how and when our duas are answered. Still, we must have certainty that Allah will answer our supplications, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said “Make Dua and be assured of it being answered” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi). This is an essential part of the etiquette of dua, which is explained in the following answer:

Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

Another deficiency we have as human beings is that we do not always know what is best for us at any given time. Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “Perhaps you may hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you may love a thing and it is bad for you. Allah knows, while you know not.” (2:216)

This applies to our supplications as well. We might ask for something and desire it to come immediately, but it is often better for us that it either not be fulfilled in the exact manner or time-frame we wish. In this case, it is from Allah’s mercy and wisdom that He provides us with what we need, not what we desire. Allah knows what is best for us more than we do, so part of our spiritual struggle (mujahada) is to be content and patient with His will.

So rest assured that your du’as are indeed working, but that they’re being answered in the way that’s most beneficial for you and your spiritual development. Perhaps – and Allah knows best – Allah is answering your dua by pushing you to seek help and knowledge, after which you will increase in health, faith, and certainty.

Above all, Allah has promised that He will answer those who call upon Him (2:186), so never think that your du’as are not being heard.

Sacred Knowledge is the Key to Certainty

“The reason why my Iman is so weak is also because… I don’t see Islam as perfect.”

Sadly, this is a reality for many Muslims today. The only way for them to remove such doubts is to actually study their religion in a proper manner, which is why the Prophet said that “seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” [Sunan ibn Majah]

Generally speaking, I advise that you invest a lot of your time in studying this beautiful and deep tradition. Take courses here at SeekersGuidance: listen to the lectures, take copious amounts of notes, and ask a lot of questions. Since you know some Qur’an and fiqh, focus on classes related to belief and spirituality, and start learning Arabic (I’ll explain why soon).

Also, I recommend that you stop reading anti-Islamic materials because they can have a poisonous effect on one’s psyche. The authors of such materials know little about Islam, or religion for that matter. They bury their ignorance in spurious arguments, baseless generalizations, and outright attacks. Ignore these materials and focus on learning more about the deep and complex world of traditional Islamic thought.

As for your specific questions, they can only be answered by taking courses and reading books. I will try to offer some recommendations here:

1. Islam and Science – In reality, science and religion are not at odds with each other: science explains the “how” of the world while religion explains the “why.” Even if all of the current scientific theories about the universe are true, they will only help us understand those laws that Allah set in place to govern His universe.

That said, some works provide noteworthy objections to the theory of evolution, such as Darwin’s Black Box. The following article also provides an intelligent critique of the theory from an Islamic perspective:

Islam and Evolution

I want to stress that Islam is not opposed to scientific progress; to the contrary, Muslims have been at the forefront of scientific research for many centuries. Rather, Muslims object to the manner in which some scientists try to use their data to make absurdly grand claims about the existence of God, the nature of reality, and the value of religion.

If you are interested in these discussions, I recommend you read the works of Seyyed Hossein Nasr related to Islam, science, and modernity, as well as Professor William Chittick’s Science of the Cosmos, Cosmos of the Soul.

2. Islam and the Salvation of Others – While we do not know the final outcome of ourselves or of those around us, we should trust Allah when He says that He is al-Rahman (the all-merciful), al-Raheem (the oft-merciful), al-Ghafur (the oft-forgiving), and many other names that emphasize His mercy over His creation.

In our times, most people are not Muslim, but that does not mean that they are all destined for the fire. Allah says in the Qur’an, “And We do not punish [a people] until We have sent [them] a messenger” (17:15). Based on this and other evidences, most Sunni theologians maintain that people who do not receive the message of Islam will not be held accountable for their disbelief. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]

Furthermore, the great Muslim scholar Imam al-Ghazali argues that even those who receive a distorted message of Islam will not be held accountable, since they were not presented with a true and accurate depiction of the religion. [al-Ghazali, Faysal al-Tafriqa] In the end, our concern is not to judge the fate of others, but only to practice the faith and present it to others in the most merciful and beautiful manner possible.

3. The miracle of the Qur’an – There are numerous reasons as to why the Qur’an is miraculous (see below), and translations of the Qur’an rarely capture the true beauty of this noble and generous text. I therefore urge you to study tafsir (commentary) and learn Arabic.

The best English commentary you can find is Mufti Taqi Usmani’s translation of Ma’ariful Qur’an. Of course, English commentaries only offer a glimpse at the Qur’an’s depth and beauty. To truly appreciate the extraordinary nature of the Qur’an, you must learn the Arabic language.

In addition to the Qur’an, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is himself a tremendous proof of this religion, so I urge you to read works that detail his biography and character. The following answers outline some proofs regarding the veracity of the Qur’an and the Prophet (peace be upon him):

The Truth of Islam, the Qur’an, & the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)

How Do We Know That the Qur’an Is Inimitable and Thus From Allah?

4. Navigating scholars and sects – Islam is a diverse tradition with many differences of opinion, but there is much agreement on its core teachings: the five pillars of Islam, the six articles of faith, the necessity of following the Qur’an, sunnah, and qualified scholars, the importance of avoiding the haram and sticking to with the halal, and the goal of achieving Allah’s pleasure, which results in greater spirituality in this world and entrance into Paradise in the next. While important and controversial differences of opinion do exist, we must recognize that the scholars involved are sincere in their efforts and diligent in their studies.

Most importantly, remember that above all else, we are all Muslims. Despite all of our differences, we are a community united around the testimony that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger. You should not feel pressured to choose sides, as we are all striving for the same goals. That said, I highly encourage you to continue benefiting from SeekersGuidance, which has teachers from a variety of schools of thought, all of whom are qualified, accessible, and willing to answer your questions.

5. Study with teachers – regardless of how you continue your pursuit of knowledge, make sure you do so with qualified teachers who can answer your questions and guide you along your path. You, like many Muslims, have thousands of questions, and, insha’Allah, you will find answers to all of them throughout the course of your studies. However, the path of seeking knowledge and purifying one’s heart is not easy; it requires much patience, diligence, and deep reflection.

Insha’Allah, I pray that these few words have helped settle your heart and increase your resolve to reconnect with Allah. But I want to reiterate the importance of seeking help for your difficulties regarding depression and suicidal thoughts. This is a very serious matter, and I pray that Allah makes it easy for you and makes it a means by which you enter into His eternal mercy.

Baarak Allahu Fikum,
-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani