Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Question: I had a baby five months ago. I had this outburst of fear because someone recently committed suicide and that had stayed with me. I am having thoughts of doing something similar. This overthinking leads me to doubt my faith and trust in Allah. I don’t understand my problem.
Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,
I am sorry that you are going through so much pain. Knowing someone that has committed suicide is very difficult, especially when she has stayed with you and you knew her well. The short answer to your question is that you must ignore all doubts and whisperings concerning your religion and your Lord. Cut off the thought immediately as it comes to you, and recite a blessing on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace.
I want to recommend that you read this link to give you a better idea of strengthening your faith and fighting these thoughts: Doubts, Difficulties, and Suicidal Thoughts. In addition, read this excellent article on baseless misgivings (waswasa): Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?
I also recommend that you step back and re-establish your priorities. Here are some ideas.
1) Establish your daily prayers five times a day, and pray to Allah after each prayer to help you follow the path of Allah and His Messenger.
2) Learn your personally obligatory knowledge in all aspects of your life and apply it.
3) Ask Allah to send you a good company. Religious friends who are a good influence can console, comfort, and remind you when you are having these doubts.
4) Make a daily invocation of the Qur`an, dhikr, and du’a in the amount that you can handle. This collection of du’as is fantastic for your situation: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
5) Take care of your health. A woman who isn’t taking care of herself will eventually collapse when she tries to take care of others. Spend time in nature, even if it’s just a walk. Exercise, eat healthily, take enough vitamin D, etc.
6) Focus on your child’s religion. Read du`as to your child when he wakes, sleeps, before he eats, drinks when you change his diaper. Recite Qur`an to your child. As your child grows up, tell him the stories of the Prophets, the stories of excellence from his Companions. Teach him Qur`anic chapters (surahs) and their meanings. Teaching your son is a great act of worship that will renew your faith and strengthen you as well.
7) Devote at least on the religious family activity a week. Talk to your husband about going to the Friday prayer with him, or a weekly halaqa (lesson). You could also sign up for a class online, attend it together and discuss what you learned. Worshipping Allah together is more conducive to keeping your faith intact as a family.
8) Make du’a that Allah help you through this trial. Ask Him to remove your doubts. Be sure to see all the links above. They are key.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.