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How to Be Consistent

Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat gives advice on how to overcome doubts about one’s faith, and to seek help against self-sabotage.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a question about consistency in my ibada. Honestly, sometimes I feel like not being honest in them because I’m not consistent like in my prayers. I’ll pray for example my five daily prayers for six months and then suddenly stop even though a week ago I just felt like I “refreshed” my iman. I feel like a munafiq and I want to solve this problem by the root.

When I started to pray at the age of eleven, I did it consistently for one year then stopped then started again and so on. There must be something wrong. Now I’m trying again but still having difficulties. I don’t have this desire. I feel like I have to do this and don’t want it – thinking in my soul of being somewhere else when I pray. I’m at the end of choosing what to study in university and finishing school and therefore have a desire to return to Allah because I feel like I’m unsafe without Allah guiding me in making these decisions.

I’m praying istikhara and there is no feeling or any kind of thing I might interpret as a sign to choose option A or B. Therefore I am really feeling like a hypocrite Allah doesn’t care about. There are times I cry out of sadness about my situation but there is always a voice in my head telling me: “Stop crying! You’re just acting. Tomorrow you’ll do it again. Who do you think are you fooling?” And I sincerely believe this voice. Because I am weak.

I think this might be Shaytan or my self-doubt but still, I feel like a munafiq even though I make “tawba.” Something in my iman must be wrong something in the root of my din and I don’t know what it us or how to deal with it. I watched a lecture by Mufti Menk where a man had the same situation and said you are not making your tawba correctly, so what might I do wrong? Please help me I am hoping for an answer that could show me the real problem.

I reflected upon my sins and if I started a new sin that I didn”t do when I prayed but there wasn’t anything “new” or a change in number either. I don’t feel like a real Muslim because of my lack in my prayers. Somehow I can’t establish the importance of my prayers in my heart or mentally meaning there must be something wrong with my heart. What can I do? I visited lectures. I went and still go to the mosque. I have more friends practicing Islam than ever.

Did I maybe just pray when I was eleven because as a child my heart was cleaner? How can I clean my heart? How can I make sincere tawba? Did Allah already seal my heart? Am I already lost? May Allah protect scholars and Islamic websites like these they helped me a lot insha Allah. Allah will reward you for this crucial work.

May Allah protect you from all evil.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Therapy

It seems to me that you have unresolved emotional problems from your past which are affecting your understanding and practice of the din. Usually, a telltale sign on this is a repeated pattern of behavior which tends to resurface from time to time with no apparent reason. There are reasons, however; it’s just that they are not connected to the symptoms on a conscious level.

From your question it is very clear that you suffer from dysfunctional guilt. This sort of guilt leaves people unable to do anything positive. Usually guilt can lead one to repent and change, but in your situation it is overwhelming such that your repentance isn’t ‘good enough’.

Self-Sabotage

Very often, people with issues of this nature do certain things which eventually cause them further problems later. This is known as self-sabotage. It seems like your missing your prayers is of this nature. You pray, and when something triggers problematic emotions or memories, you miss your prayers. This then leads you to beating yourself up for missing the prayers and the guilt.

Voices in Your Head

If you are hearing voices in your head you need to seek professional help immediately. These matters are serious, and if left unchecked, can develop into worse conditions later on. Seek help, and tell your loved one and friends so they can support you through this trial. Don’t try to do it alone.

Ask Allah for Help

Allah sees your situation, and He knows what you are going through. Have a good opinion of Him; believe that Allah will bring the best results for you through this trial, and know that every difficulty the believer faces is a means for drawing closer to Allah, and for sins to be forgiven.

Ask Allah to strengthen you to deal with this trial – no matter how long it lasts. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us, “Whoever tries to be patient, Allah makes him patient. And no one has been given a gift better or wider [in its scope] than patience.” (Bukhari).

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


 

 

 

How to Repent When It Involves Right of Others?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am concerned with instances where I may have infringe other’s rights. I am scared my tawbah will not be accepted until I repair everything and I’m not 100% sure as to how to go about doing that.Could you please offer some advices on how to allow for my tawba to be accepted?

Answer: As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you’re well. All you need to is make a sincere tawba asking Allah to forgive you for your wrong actions, have a good opinion of Allah, and take some simple steps to compensate those who were wronged.

al-Tawwāb

This is one of Allah’s most hope-inspiring names. It means ‘the one who constantly inspires people to repent, and who constantly accepts their repentance.’ In order to repent in the optimal way you should have a bath, perform two units of prayer and ask Allah sincerely to forgive you. After this be certain that Allah is loving and kind, and that He has forgiven you.

Allah loves it when a servant repents, so if any further doubts come to mind read the chapter of repentance from Riyad al-Salihin and reflect on the story of the man who killed a hundred people only for his repentance to be accepted (Muslim). Your sins are not greater than his.

Returning Rights

As for the things you said about the individual, if informing him and apologising will make matters worse between you then it is better not to tell him (Radd al-Muhtar). You damage of the car is not something you can now take reasonable to steps to compensate. You should stop worrying about it.

The solution, then, to these and other similar situations is to ask for forgiveness, regularly perform a small act of worship – such as sending ten blessings on the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) – daily, and then asking Allah to give the reward of it to everyone you have wronged. Shaykh Abdul-Wahhab al-Sha’rani mentioned that on the Day of Judgement this will be a means of compensating and appeasing those one has wronged (al-Shaʿrani, al-Kawkab al-Shahiq).

May Allah bless us all with continued repentance and protect us from all sins and the avenues which lead to them.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Will We Be Forgiven for Major Sins Committed in the Past?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Me and my spouse knew one another prior to our marriage. We ended up having intimacy together and sexual intercourse.

We fear that we have committed a major sin numerously. What should we do? We are worried and often get upset over this? Can we be forgiven for our major sins?

Were we required to tell anyone of our sins?

Answer: Wa‘alaykum assalam. Thank you for your question. I hope you’re well insha’Allah.

None other than the noble Prophets are infallible, and therefore all of us are liable to fall into sin, even major ones. The Prophet ﷺ, said, ‘Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.’ [al Tirmidhi]

Repentance

The Prophet ﷺ informed us that, ‘O’ son of Adam, if you come to me with enough sins to fill the earth and you meet me without associating a partner with me, I will come to you with enough forgiveness to fill the earth.’ [al Tirmidhi]

Any major sin requires earnest repentance (tawba) and the resolve never to return to the sin again. Repentance from major sins requires that one makes wudu, prays two cycles of prayer, and then makes a heartfelt du’a to Allah to forgive them. One may make one prayer of repentance for all the sins together, though it would be optimal to make a separate tawba for each sin or occasion of the same sin.

Once you have sincerely repented and resolved in your heart not to return to the sin, then you should assume that you have been forgiven, consider the matter finished, and that you will not be held to account for it.

Informing others of sins

It is impermissible to inform anyone of past sins, regardless of the circumstance, including one’s parent’s, imam etc. Neither should you mention the matter between yourselves. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Every one of my followers will be forgiven except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings.’ [al Bukhari, Muslim]

Allah Most High, through is Mercy, covers our sins from the eyes and knowledge of people. We should not then expose ourselves by mentioning it to anyone else. Instead, take shelter in the cover of Mercy that Allah has given, make repentance in private to Him, and then move on.

You may also find the following answer helpful:
Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?

I wish you all the very best and a life full of blessings and success.

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.

Is It Too Late for Me to Be Forgiven by Allah?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I was born to Muslim parents, but did not practice Islam at all during my college years. I essentially lived like a disbeliever. I feel so far away from Islam. Is it possible for me to return?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Repentance

‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “Some prisoners were brought to Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) amongst whom there was a woman who was running (searching for her child). When she saw a child among the captives, she took hold of it, pressed it against her belly and nursed it. Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Do you think this woman would ever throw her child in fire?” We said, “By Allah, she would never throw the child in fire.” Thereupon Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Allah is more kind to His slave than this woman is to her child”.

Dear sister, the very fact that you have asked for counsel is a wonderful sign of Allah’s Favour upon you. It is absolutely not too late for you to return to Allah. His Love and Concern for you is even greater than your own mother’s.

The conditions for repentance are well known:

1. Leaving the sin;
2. Remorse over having committed the sin;
3. Resolve never to return to the sin;
4. (If it relates to the rights of another person, then to) Return the rights or property one wrongly took. [al-Bariqa fi Sharh al-Tariqa; Riyad al-Salihin]

If these conditions are truly met, then one can expect one’s sins to be forgiven. However, one has to be very careful about how sincere one is in fulfilling one’s conditions. It is recommended to seek forgiveness a lot, and to repent every time the sin comes to one’s mind. (Excerpt from What is Sincere Repentance? by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)

Moving forward

I encourage you to make good on your Islam. Make daily intention to be of service to your Creator, and to His creation. You are still young, and still capable of being a force of tremendous good.

Strive to establish your daily prayer, and make a timetable to pay back your missed prayers and days of fasting. I pray that by striving sincerely to fulfill your debt to Allah, you will be transformed.

Strive to fast and pray this Ramadan. The priority is for you to pay back your obligatory prayers, before you can do supererogatory prayers such as tarawih.

Please begin with small steps. Start with a small amount you can manage, instead of overwhelming yourself with too much, and then giving up.

Knowledge

Please connect your heart to nourishing traditional Islamic courses such as Introduction to Islam: What It Means to Be Muslim.

In the meantime, nourish your soul with lesson sets such as “Who Is Allah?” and podcasts such as Content of Character.

Life Coach

Please find a Muslimah life coach to help you get your life in order. There are many you can choose from online. Alhamdulilah, you have the rest of your life to orient yourself towards Allah, and I pray that Allah sends you the means to help you do just that.

I pray that Allah helps you make good on your Islam, and elevates your rank in Jannah. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
A Reader on Missed Prayers

[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 Repentance Accepted If You Sin Again? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is repentance accepted if you sin again?

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).

Would I Need to Repent From Intending a Sin Despite Not Commiting It?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Am I sinful if I intend to commit a sin and come near to committing it but refrain from doing so? Would I still need to repent?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

If someone intends to commit a sin, the majority of scholars stated that he or she would not be held accountable for it.

However, other scholars stated that one would be accountable for the actual intention itself but the act of sin will not be recorded against one until it is actually performed.

Given this, you should sincerely repent to God and thank Him for preventing you from actually committing the act of sin. Unlike good deeds whose reward we are given merely by making an intention to perform them, the sin of committing a bad deed is only recorded when the actual act is done. Nonetheless, it is very possible that we are taken to account for our intentions. Even if this was not the case, repentance is something that we should be engaged in for even the slightest of slips whether they relate to the heart, mind, or the limbs.

[al-Ayni, Umda al-Qari (1:39)]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Worshipping in a Room One Commits a Sin In?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: If one committed sins in a particular room, is there something you can do to start over and make that room a place of worship?

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

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

May Allah bless you for your evident remorse–which the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) described as the essence of sincere repentance (tawba); and for your concern for doing things right—which is essential to sound submission to Allah.

It would be from completion and perfecting of one’s repentance to Allah to turn a place once used for sin into a place now used for the worship of Allah.

The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) said, “Be mindful of Allah wherever you may be; follow any wrong with good and it will wipe it out; and deal with people on through good character.” [Tirmidhi]

This is why many scholars, such as Ibn Arabi, recommended going to places one disobeyed Allah and doing a good deed in that place—so that (1) this wipes away the traces of the sin; and (2) the place then bears witness for one, rather than against one, on the Day of Judgment.

May Allah facilitate all good for you.

Useful related reading:
The SeekersHub Reader on Repentance (tawba)

Take a SeekersHub online course. All courses are completely free.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and translator of several Arabic works to the English language. After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersGuidance to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner.

Is an Expiation Necessary for Not Fasting During Ramadan?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

A Muslim, ignorant of the importance of fasting in Ramadan, did not fast nor make the intention to fast for many years. After repenting he calculated he had missed about 400 fasts in his life. Does he have to make up the 400 fasts? Is an expiation (Kafara) necessary?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

The person would need to make up the missed fasts, and repent for his mistake. However, an expiation would not be due in such a case because expiation is only due upon fasting persons who commit major contraventions without excuse.

Please see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Chongkian

What Are the Conditions for Repentance in Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

For repentance, would it be enough to stop the sin, make dua for forgiveness of that sin and then never to return to that sin?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

The third condition is to feel remorse over having committed it, and the fourth is that you return the thing if it involves the right of another party. [See: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)]

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I Committed Sexual Misdeeds: What Must I Do to Repent?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I committed some sexual indiscretions due to some errors in judgment with respect to some company that I had begun to keep. I realize that it was a mistake, but what do I need to do to repent? I feel ashamed, guilty, and fear falling into despair.

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. Be grateful that the way of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk)—Allah’s gift to all creation—is a way of absolute Mercy.

As such, sincere repentance wipes away all sin and all traces of the sin and all its harmful effects are wiped away by busying oneself with good, keeping good company, and learning from past errors or events.

Allah Most High says: “Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 39.53]

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) advised, “Be mindful of Allah wherever you may be. Follow any bad deed with a good deed, and it will wipe it out. And deal with people through good character.” [Related by Tirmidhi]

Read in full: Reader on Repentance (tawba): A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

If you have further questions, we’re at your service,

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani