Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I am writing on behalf of a friend.
She reverted to Islam when she was 18. Since that time she has being hearing a voice. She claims that the voice has always been a source of comfort and guidance.
She was told that it was an Angel by a scholar. She came to believe that this voice is divine but other scholars refuted this claim. She feels that she was not being heard or understood nor given the understandings of why she is wrong.
Hence she has struggled to ignore the voice and when she disbelieves in the voice she feels reality is empty and depressing as it is not just the voice that she is supressing but an entire perception of reality. The voice is constantly affirming and reasoning its Truth and calling her to submit to this reality of total Oneness.
She describes the voice as being distinct from her own thoughts, it is gentle and comforting, yet holds authority and knowledge, it guides and coaches her to discover and transform psychological diseases, also character refinement.
She says it’s always there its just a matter of her tuning into it, which she does by the simple shift of attention.
Is this voice real? Can she trust it?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well. Thank you for writing in to us.
The obvious difficulty in assessing these types of cases is that it is not easy to ascertain whether the issue is a medical/psychological one or a purely religious one, or a mixture of both. Giving a definite answer long distance is even more of a challenge.
You did not give the details and reasons for the refutation of the qualified scholars your friend referred to, so I am unable to help your friend better understand the advice/explanation given.
Given that your friend has so far been unable to fully understand her experiences, or she feels she has not been given the chance to have her case heard, what I propose below is setting aside the desire to get to the reality of the experience, but rather consider some practical advice for your friend to move forward whilst ensuring that both her psychological and spiritual wellbeing is preserved.
While your friends case may well not be a medical one, it is important not to ignore the possibility.
You mentioned that your friend has undergone some medical treatment. I suggest that your friend seek natural modes of treatment, particularly constitutional homeopathic treatment. The reason being is because holistic therapies such as homeopathy do not supress one’s natural body-mind states, but rather bring them into balance and align them, if they are out of balance, while enhancing and strengthening it if they are in balance.
For many people who experience ‘external communication’, what is often experienced as an external voice is actually a projection of an inner consciousness, though a definite separation is experienced. There are a great many homeopathic cases where people hear voices and feel they are receiving guidance while being unsure of its origins. Successful homeopathic treatment can unify inner thoughts and seemingly separated states, and channel the person’s energy positively.
Even if your friend’s experiences are not a medical issue, she will quite likely benefit from constitutional treatment, and for this reason I strongly suggest natural holistic treatment is sought alongside the suggestions below, and not the below suggestions alone.
What I suggest for now is that your friend abstain from trying to find out the origin of the voice. Submitting to the Divine Oneness entails knowing and submitting to the outward and inward commands of the religion, and this is incumbent on every Muslim. In truth then, whether the voice is there or not, the reality of what is to be done is the same: know what the religion demands from us inwardly and outwardly, and then act upon on it. The below steps will help in this regards, insha’Allah. Along with natural treatment, I advise the following for your friend:
1. Learn her religion by studying the traditional outward sciences, particularly fiqh (law) and aqidah (creed). The reason being is that she should know what is halal and haram, belief and disbelief, and what are the necessary, impossible, and possible attributes of God. By knowing these outward sciences, she will be able to assess at each stage whether the voice is inciting her to do good or evil. If she finds only good, then she should say alhamdulillah and proceed without much further thought. If it incites her to disobedience, then she should know it is not a voice not to be trusted or acted upon and further help is necessary, both medical and spiritual.
2. Find a genuine person trained and authorized in a spiritual path that can guide her and channel her experiences. If the ‘guidance’ is good, a spiritual guide will harness it and it will only propel her in her path but within a safe and ordered setting, while if otherwise, guidance and protection can be given. A daily litany (wird) of invocation and Quran is important.
3. Ensure that she is fulfilling all the outward obligation of the faith, such as prayers, modest clothing, not falling into anything unlawful etc., and fortifying herself with the sunna du’as throughout the day.
I pray the above is of some help.
[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.