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Will a Believer Who Doesn't Practice Islam Go to Paradise?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: If someone who doesn’t pray salah, doesn’t give zakat, doesn’t fast basically he doesn’t do anything Islamic, would that person ever enter paradise?
Answer: Allah forgives all sins except associating partners with Him.
If a person’s final state was that he or she was a believer, it is possible that they are forgiven for all their sins. Allah says, “Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less that that for whom He wills” (Quran 4:48).
Forgiveness is Up to Allah
Thus, regardless of the sins of a person, as long as they were a believer, it is possible that they can be forgiven. This is referred to as a person being in the “mashe’ah”, which means it is up to Allah whether or not to punish them. But, if a person left this life without faith in Allah, then the cannot be forgiven, as the verse mentions.
Deeds Are By Their Final Action
One thing to point out is that a Muslim should never rely solely on the hope that they will leave this life with belief, and thus be forgiven for all their sins. There is no guarantee of that a person who professes the belief in Allah will die with that belief. In a Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, and listed by Nawawi in his 40 Hadith collection.
“By the One, other than Whom there is no deity, verily one of you performs the actions of the people of Paradise until there is but an arm’s length between him and it. Then that which is written overtakes him, and so he acts with the actions of the people of the Hellfire and thus enters it.”
Imam Nawawi, in his commentary on his 40 Hadith collection says that this is a proof that we cannot be guaranteed that a specific person will enter Paradise. The only people that we can say that are those who Allah or His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) stated where in Paradise. The same Hadith prevents us from guaranteeing any specific person is going to Hell, unless we have revelation to prove that.
And Allah knows best.

Struggling to Maintain Faith and Practice After Opening the Door to Doubts

Answered by Dr. Bano Murtuja

Question: I struggle to to practice Islam and to keep my faith for an extended period of time. There were a few years of my life when I prayed five times a day and believed truly in God, but I opened the door of doubt and have not been able to close it since. At the same time, moments of grief over take me when I long to connect to Allah, or I’ll be fully emerged in my hedonism and I’ll hear mentioned the name of our Prophet, and my eyes will well with tears. So I will try to practice again for a while only to awake one morning and find it gone. This cycle repeats itself a few times a year, and I am finding it more and more unbearable, to the point of utter despair.

Ever since I opened the door to doubt my rational and analytical self dominates. In these past few years I’ve read and studied lots of philosophy and social theory, read a lot of literature and history, and science and psychology. All of it though, points to void, and an uncaring universe, and other than personal interest and comfort—I can see no “rational” reason to do anything.

Sometimes it’s all so dark that only the strength of the biology that hardwired me to feel my responsibility as pater familias keeps me from cashing out now. I indulge in sinful, hedonistic, and high-risk behavior to try to wipe all this from my mind. Unless I am in a good period, where I am praying and believing, I can’t go more than a day or two without getting high on pot, or drinking, or taking some drug if I can get my hands on it. I write nihilistic poetry, and debate people who believe in things, perhaps so I can try to make myself sure of the meaninglessness of life—and feel content, and superior even.

Then it’s all not enough. I fall into depression and long to fear Allah again, to have hope in Him. And I miss the guidance of our Nabi Kareem. But I don’t have the energy to do much about it, or if I do for a while, it will weaken with poor company or out of wanting to feel a part of my non-Muslim family. Or I’ll just awake one morning and I would rather do anything than pray.

As of the past few weeks I am praying, and have sincerely re-said my shahada, but I’m afraid I am totally lost… I would love to be able to fully believe again.

Answer: As salam alykum

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

The first thing to mention is that acting against the prescripts of Islam does not itself take you out of the fold of Islam. As your belief in God and His Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) remain, then you remain a Muslim. With this in mind, your question in relation to your marriage and children does not apply.

When it comes to our faith, it is very common to experience highs and lows in the level of faith you have and the degree of connection you feel to God. Often the lows in our faith are an opportunity to re-double our efforts to attain a connection. As our reward is proportional to the struggle, the motivation to regain the connection is a genuine blessing.

There are a number of practical steps you can take to assist you in maintaing consistency:

[1] Keep your acts of worship to the required acts. When we are experiencing a high in our iman we can set ourself targets that become difficult to maintain when we are experiencing difficulty. When struggling to maintain consistency we should aim for small acts that we are able to do so continuously.

[2] When you miss a consistent act at a particular time, make it up during the day. This will help train your self. If you’re going to perform the act regardless then it may as well be performed at the allotted time.

[3] Make dua and remembrance. God Most High says, “Truly it is in the remembrance of God that hearts find rest” (The Qur’an, 13:28). He also says, “And if My servants ask thee about Me – behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way.”

[4] Make sincere repentance for your actions. Once you have done so you should have complete faith in His forgiveness. Have a good opinion of Allah. Know that if He has inspired you to ask for forgiveness He will forgive. Allah loves those who ask for repentance, and tells us as much. To be loved by Allah is an incredible station. To be one who asks for repentance and joins that fold is a true blessing. The trial of people knowing your sins should not be taken as the removal of protection.

[5] Do not allow lapses in consistency to cause you to lose hope in God. The important thing is that you sincerely intend to step away from bad action. Sidi Salman gives a very comprehensive answer on how reliance on needs can impact the hope you have in God. This can be found here: Good Deeds & Salvation: Putting Our Works Into Perspective

[6] Once you have stepped away from your post mistakes, you should also step away from the company you kept, and those who consistently remind you of the mistakes. Good companionship is an essential step in ones spiritual development. I am not suggesting a permanent break. It is difficult to do so when one is emotionally vested. However, until you are strong enough to be the one who influences and not the one who is influenced, it is important you protect yourself.

May Allah (Exalted be He) grant you ease and facilitation in all your affairs.

Ma’salam

Bano

How Do I Encourage My Siblings to Become Muslim?

Answered by Dr. Bano Murtuja

Question: I was blessed to accept Islam, but my siblings still haven’t done so.  How can I encourage them to become Muslim without being too aggressive or appearing wierd to my family.   Also, how can I tell them to become Muslim when I sometimes have doubts in my faith.  I feel hypocritical doing this.

Answer: Walaikum salam

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

In a well known aya of the Quran Allah (Exalted be He) speaks to the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and tells him “Verily, you (Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills.” (Quran, al-Qasas, v. 56).

One of the most profound ways in which the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and the companions spread the message of islam was through their character and practice. InshaAllah you should seek to maintain the best of character and continue to struggle in your own path.

Openly practicing your faith in front of your siblings goes a long way towards offsetting the obligation to inform them of the duties associated with Islam.

As they become more comfortable seeing you practice, the more interested they are the more they may be willing to approach you, and thus create opportunities to discuss your own thoughts further inshaAllah.

In addition to this, communicating with your siblings will be easier through stories of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and about yourself.

To not look weird in front of your family, you first have to accept that your practice of Islam is not weird. It is simply a different choice than your siblings have chosen to make.

As for feeling hypocritical, one should not leave one good deed because another is not being observed. That said, dips in iman are natural, and provide us with an incentive to strive to attain the higher state we were once in. To perservere in practice despite struggling with ones iman is a very high state inshaAllah. To then talk of faith does not make you hypocritical.

Ultimately, know that Allah (Exalted be He) guides whom He wills, and as such, your greatest tool is dua.

May Allah (Exalted be He) make the path easy for you and your family bi’idhnillah.

Ma’salam

Bano

Weak Iman, Misgivings, and Loving the Messenger (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)

Answered Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am dealing with extreme thoughts of shirk that bring me to tears. My imaan is extremely low and at I question my faith nearly all the time. I know one of the things you can do to remove these thoughts is increase the amount you practice. I confess I have never been very practicing however I am now trying to learn and pray and read the Quran more. The first day I began this I felt a lot more at ease, and Inshallah I will continue with this. However recently I have encountered a new predicament, I keep on disrespecting the Prophet (pbuh) and Islam in general. When I hear someone say something bad about the Prophet (pbuh) or Islam my first instinct is to laugh (astagfurallah). Please help me.

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

You’re sadness and seeking to do away with such thoughts is a sign of sincerity. Such doubts are never to be turned nor given any attention to. Make this juncture of your life a time of turning to Allah in repentance, longing, and love. Make a point to continually renew your repentance. (See: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance) )

Strive in increasing your worship and knowledge. Learn sound and proper understanding of religion. Seek to emulate the states of the beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) inwardly and outwardly. And seek to become of the foremost of believers. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to seek the assistance of Allah and not to deem oneself incapable. You are worthy just as much as the next person. Ask Allah with a heart full of conviction that He will answer. The Most Generous of the generous always answers.

Increasing in Love of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Send much salawat upon him (Allah bless him and give him peace), learn about his character and beauty, observe his sunnas to the best of your ability, pray for him (Allah bless him and give him peace), and sit with those who love him (Allah bless him and give him peace). “Say: If you love Allah, follow (and love) me, Allah will love you.” [Qur’an, 3:31] Strive and strive more. Nothing worth having is easy. Realize that it will come with time, sincerity, and love.

I’d advise taking the following classes at SeekersGuidance: [i] Knowing the Messenger of Allah [ii] Prohibitions of the Tongue [iii] Meccan Dawn: The Life of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad

Please also see:

[a] What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

[b] AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER: The Obligation to Love the Prophet (PBUH) and the Signifance of Sending Prayers Upon Him | Nur Sacred Sciences

[c] How Much Should the Prophet (Peace be upon him) be Loved and How

[d] I Have Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) About the Soundness of My Faith and My Marriage…

[e] Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How to Advise a Non-Practicing Muslim

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: As salaamu alaykum

A co-worker of mine who claims to be Muslim but does not practice has taken very ill. I want to talk to her about returning to Islam and perhaps Allah will rekindle iman in her heart, inshaAllah. When I’ve tried in the past to speak of this I feel awkward because it doesn’t appear as if she welcomes such talks, although she doesn’t reject them. She likes for me to come to visit. What should I do/say while visiting that would be beneficial to her?

Shukran for any help you can offer me in this matter.

Answer:In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

I pray this message finds you well.

Thank you for writing to SeekersGuidance; your question is very important to us.

I apologize for the delay in responding and pray your co-worker’s health has improved. When someone lets it be known that he or she is a non-practicing Muslim, lapsed Muslim, or former Muslim, one has to tread very carefully. Often, some type of hurt is involved, whether at the hands of a (former) Muslim spouse or parents. In many cases, the person may have experienced a serious spiritual crisis that led to them abandoning their faith. Remember: Allah is in charge of guiding whom He wills. My advice is to reach out to your co-worker in the spirit of friendship and concern and manifest the graciousness of the Sunna. If she seems receptive, you can talk to her about what you love about Islam, but be careful not to push the issue if she seems to shut herself off.

May Allah Most High open her heart,

Zaynab Ansari
April 5, 2012
Jumada I 13, 1433

Dealing with Devilish Insinuations Regarding the Existence of God

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Shaitan is making me doubt the existence of Allah and putting wrong things about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in my mind. How to deal with it?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states. The following are some short pieces of advice that can help deal with your problem inshaAllah:

(1) Ignore the devil. There is no doubt that you believe in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad. You hold the Beloved Messenger in high regard, and you believe in his sincerity, truthfulness, gracious character and prophethood. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and all prophets.

You are a believer, and the fact that you are concerned and disturbed by these whisperings is a proof of your faith. You are disgusted by such notions, and only a believer hates the devil.

Turn to Allah with love and gratitude. This is the most potent weapon against the devil, who hates the servant who is sincere and grateful. Our sincerity to Allah renders the devil’s insinuations utterly weak and useless.

(2) Stay busy and preoccupy yourself with beneficial things. Participate in activities that enrich yourself and others, and find projects of service to those in need. As the English idiom goes, “Idle time is the devil’s playground,” as well as “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

This is a reality, and we should take heed of it. If a person is exhausted at the end of the day — from work, from studying, from serving others, from taking care of their family, or from any other righteous action — then such a person has no energy to entertain foolishness. The devil leaves such people alone, as he knows his baseless whisperings will have no effect on them.

(3) Keep good company, people who motivate you and elevate your spiritual state. Too many of our young folk get caught up in bad virtual company, and doors of satanic whisperings and doubt become opened. Indeed, garbage and filth only attract fleas.

Allah Most High states, “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and be with the sincere and truthful.” (9:119)

When you are around beauty, you will not think of ugliness; and when you are around light, darkness dissipates.

(4) Be a person of prayer and remembrance of Allah.

Realize that the devil is a creation of Allah, and that Allah alone is in full control. So seek refuge in Allah, the only One with power, by saying, ‘A’udhu bi Llahi min ash-shaytani r-rajim.’ [Bukhari, Muslim]

Recite Ayat al-Kursi, as well as the last three surahs (Ikhlas, Falaq, Nas), every morning and evening. [Tabarani, Mu’jam Kabir]

Be consistent in the remembrance of Allah (dhikr), especially by sending salutations upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Maintain a strong relationship with the Qur’an, reading some portion daily, however little.

Make sure you pray all five prayers on time, and try to attend the mosque for as many of the five as you can. Again, when a person is busy with good, there is no time or energy for its opposite.

Make supplication (dua) to Allah to help you deal with these thoughts. Be keen to observe the various etiquettes of dua, such as eating lawful and wholesome food, praying with sincerity and focus, and being certain that Allah will answer your dua.

I pray that these whisperings cease, and that you come out of this trial with strengthened faith and conviction in Allah Almighty.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Increase My Iman and My Sincerity By Doing Things For the Sake of Allah?

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: Assalam Alaikum.

 

Hello I am a teenage girl and my iman is at an all time low. I worry about this, yet I still can’t get up to pray. I feel myself falling more and more into the darkness. I also made a promise to Allah that I would read Quran for 45 minutes a day. But now it is so hard to do that.  Must I fulfill my promise?  Also, please help me find some way to do things just for the sake of Allah and not for the sake of others.  I think I have done good actions in the past, but a  lot of them were because people were around me.

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

Wa alaikum assalam Sister-in-Islam,

Thank you for your question.  If we could see the love and mercy of Allah Most High surrounding us and carrying us through each moment, even when we are at the lowest point in faith, we would never lose hope that Allah wants good for us.

Even when outwardly, things seem to be going wrong, yet inside, you are filled with regret, and inspired to nothing more than longing for change in yourself, then know that Allah is trying to bring you closer to Him by making you realize your neediness to Him.  He’s showing you how to come to Him, so seek refuge in His mercy from your mistakes, admit your dependency on Him, ask Him for His aid- and then take baby steps towards Him.

Do not despair of Allah’s mercy.  Allah Most High says in the Qur’an, “Oh My servants who have transgressed upon their own souls!  Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah!  Indeed Allah forgives all sins.   Truly, He is the Oft-Forgiving and Compassionate.” [Qur’an 39:53]

Despair is how Shaytan tricks good believers into thinking they can’t come up.  Although making a promise and breaking it is wrong, you’re intention was to improve.  Return to Allah in repentance sincerely, but do not focus on “things” and “acts” to do.  Focus on the state of your heart with Allah in fulfilling your basic duties such as prayer first.  Take on small extra worships as you feel grounded, and if you falter, don’t lose hope.  Reflect on Allah’s love for you, and make remembrance of Him in gratitude.

Shaytan will also say that you only did good things in the past to show-off, so your acts are all nullified.  Don’t listen to this, rather commit yourself to sincerity from today.  Try to do things in private if you can, and do not increase or decrease your regular worship whether people see it or not.  If good company encourages you to seek Allah more, this is not shirk or hypocrisy, rather the blessings of community, so seek out practicing, believing sisters to be around.  Seek knowledge to promote your inner growth.

Wasalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Get Over My Difficult Upbringing to Become a Self-Confident Person With a Fulfilling Life?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: When I was growing up I faced constant humiliation. It was so bad that by the time I was a teenager I was almost completely mute, incredibly self conscious, completely lacking in confidence, and I had isolated myself from others.  My inability to speak or do anything when I needed too resulted in many missed opportunities, and as I approach my middle age years I have no-one and nothing. I took my Shahada over 10 years ago and I have prayed perhaps 2 months worth of prayers in that time and have never completed a Ramadhan either. If everything that happens in life is from Allah to test your sincerity and see if you will turn towards him, why have I been denied almost everything? I feel like my existence is empty. I’ve recently started praying again, but I’m not sure how long that will last before feelings of hopelessness overwhelm me again and I sink into a swamp of morose self pity. I feel like I’m at my breaking point sometimes.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Dear Brother,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are doing better.

Let me be frank. At age 42 you cannot afford to spend another second in self pity. If you are a healthy, able-bodied male, there is so much you can do for others.

You absolutely must heal from what others did to you when you were a child. Allah will hold them to account for every slight, every put-down they sent your way. Don’t waste another moment letting them dictate who you are today.

Why ruin your relationship with the Eternal One who will be there when everyone and everything else is gone?

This is Ramadan. Resolve to turn over a new leaf. Fast. Pray. Take your meal with the community and reach out to someone. Volunteer. If you start to care about others, insha’Allah, Allah will care about you.

Be well,

Zaynab Ansari

How Can I Strengthen My Iman When It Hits Rock Bottom?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: My Iman has really hit rock bottom. I pray 5 times a day only because its fard, not out of desire of passion. Before  I used to passionately wake up for tahajjud and Fajr, now even waking up for Fajr is difficult.  Before I used to make all the sunnahs, fards and nawafil. Now I just want to make the fard and run off. Also, there are serious domestic violations in my household.  I completely dislike my father, and I absolutely detest to even look at him. I realize this is wrong and I fear that perhaps Allah has turned his back on me because of how I turned by back on my father.  Could you tell me what I can do to elevate my iman to how it once upon a time used to be?

Answer: Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum.

I pray this message finds you and your family well.

Thank you for your question.

Our iman can ebb and flow, often based on what is happening around us.

Even the strongest people need a good support system and a shoulder to cry on when things become difficult.

I feel that your situation may be a result of the violence in your household. If your father is abusing you or your family members, then you need to seek help from the proper authorities.

While it is true that in some cases it is better to exercise sabr (patience) with a family member, it is never okay to be abused or tolerate others to be abused.

Keep on praying but don’t try to make your day so regimented that you feel compelled to write down every act of worship. Let the recording angels do this for you. Perform your dua, dhikr, and nawafil because it is the right thing to do and gives solace to your heart.

And please try to seek help for your household.

May Allah Ta’ala give you ease.

Regards,

Zaynab Ansari

Related answers:

Losing faith

How to Increase Iman

Strengthening of faith: when slipping into spiritual sickness

Having Doubts About Allah

Studying Literature and the Ways of Strengthening Religious Practice

On How to Advise those Not Practicing

Family members are non-practicing, married to non-Muslims…

None practicing in the family