A lot of stuff written on the topic of not giving up, being positive through rainy days and being grateful despite the odds deals with the stuff that happens to you like the death of a loved one, financial loss, accidents, etc. Meaning being positive when Allah tests you. This is something we should always practice, knowing that our status is being elevated by patience, gratitude, and Duaa. Also, we are told to look at the bright side, e.g. a small disease might be preventing you from a bigger loss. This can be difficult at times. When your loved one is fighting for his/her life, it’s heartbreaking and it’s difficult to stay positive.
I wanted to write about a slightly different topic. What to do when you are in a downwards spiral of despair and self-loathing when you yourself made a mistake i.e. sinned and the consequences are affecting your life in a negative way.
Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself
You can be hating yourself because you made your life miserable yourself. Everything was fine. You had a near perfect life with the usual ups and downs and then in pursuit of temporary stuff, you slipped from the right path. Maybe you battled and struggled but still you slipped. Satan came over you or it was the Nafs. Whatever the reason might be, now you are here, where there is no escape.
What you hear in your head is: “I AM SO BAD. Allah gave me a beautiful life and I ruined it with my own hands.” There seems no hope. Your life is damaged beyond repair. You are in a black room with no glimmer of hope. “I damaged my life and there is NO hope” is all what you can think about. It’s hurting you because you know YOU are the reason behind this and you cannot blame anyone else.
You are in despair and sad, it is affecting your daily routine. Maybe you stopped praying because you think you are so bad, Allah is not going to forgive you anyway. And the worldly life is damaged too. You think that there is no point of living. So, you’ve stopped doing productive work which you otherwise used to do. You’ve stopped doing good deeds. You can’t help but be sad. Your happy and bubbly nature is gone somewhere else. You badly want to fix everything but you can’t and you can’t share this openly with anyone either because people will judge you.
If this is your situation, O dear soul, I am writing this for you. Come here, lemme give you a hug. Let’s cry together for a while.
Okay so, sit down, wipe your tears, have a cup of coffee. I know it’s bad. I know it’s dark. I know it’s something damaged beyond repair. Calm down. Look outside the window. Look at the birds chirping and building a nest. Look at the snow falling. Look at nature. Look at the beautiful flowers. Beautiful isn’t it? :’)
And now listen to me. I know it’s hurting very bad but please, please listen to me. You know what, Satan is actually dancing right now. He LOOOOOOOVES it when a servant of Allah is in despair and distress and is not benefitting people like he usually does. The Khayr originating from you has stopped. Because you cannot stop self-loathing and sadness. Can you see Satan happy? He is your NUMBER ONE enemy. He wants to see you in hell, burning. It hurts him when you are up and about, being productive, working for this Dunya and Akhirah. And now, since you are immobile, he is happy beyond your imagination.
Secondly, you are so sad, because you failed everyone. You failed everyone who taught you good. You failed Allah. You are so bad. How can someone in this world ever think of doing what you did? Hey! Hey! Calm dowwwn. You are human. You made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. EVERYONE! Even the pious of people sometimes make unimaginable of mistakes. Allah has placed the love of this Dunya, love for the pleasures of this Dunya inside you as a test and you slipped.
And you know what? WHATEVER the sin might be which you are guilty of doing, there is forgiveness. You say: “But forgiveness is for those who don’t know. I knew everything and I still did it.” There is no condition that if you knew this is wrong and still did it, you won’t be forgiven. YOU CAN BE FORGIVEN by Allah DESPITE the ENORMOUS amount of sins that you have done.
Allah says (this is my favorite verse):
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Say: ‘O you servants of Mine who have transgressed against your own selves! Despair not of God’s mercy: behold, God forgives all sins – for, verily, He alone is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!’
Allah is the Most Merciful
Allah forgives AAAAAAAAALLLLLL sins no matter how grave they might be.
Allah knew you will make mistakes, so HE sent this down in the Quran. Islam is a religion of HOPE. Allah is giving you hope. He FORGIVES despite your mistakes, despite your sins, despite your ingratitude. Despite you being so lured by the pleasures that you forgot Him.
DON’T despair! Ask him for forgiveness. Pray your Farz Salah first and foremost and make Duaa. Duaa gets accepted after Farz Salah. Make Duaa for forgiveness! He is, above the seven heaven, listening to you intently. He has not forsaken you. He will run towards you if you walk towards Him. He LOVES you despite your sins. He loves you more than 70 mothers. Turn to Him NOW! And along with Farz Namaz, pray Nafal and ask forgiveness.
In another verse Allah says:
وَإِذَا جَاءكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ أَنَّهُ مَن عَمِلَ مِنكُمْ سُوءًا بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, “Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.”
When I read this verse, I felt that Allah will forgive those who did wrong when they didn’t know it was forbidden but I was wrong. Jahalah (Ignorance) here also includes the incident when one slips due to his/her emotions. Our Tafseer teacher told us that and I didn’t quite bring myself to believe in it but then I found what she told us, in the Quran. The Daleel is that Hazrat Yusuf said to his brothers:
قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُم مَّا فَعَلْتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنتُمْ جَاهِلُونَ
He said, “Do you know what you did with Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?”
The word Jahil (ignorant) is used here too. Now, the brothers knew they were wrong but they were ignorant because of being blinded with jealousy of Hazrat Yusuf.
So, even if you knew and you did wrong, Allah is still going to forgive you if you ask for his forgiveness. This is exactly what your poor soul is begging for, right now.
Prophet Muhammad SAW said:
كُلُّ ابْنِ آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ وَخَيْرُ الْخَطَّائِينَ التَّوَّابُونَ
[Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
Every son of Adam is a sinner and the best of sinners are those who repent.
See! Every human makes mistakes. If you want to be the best of them, turn to Allah and ask forgiveness now!
Allah Loves to Hear You Make Duaa
ALLAH is WAITING for you to turn towards him. Just pray for his mercy!
So, okay you got it, you have to stop making the Satan happy and you have to ask Allah for forgiveness and he will forgive you no matter what! But what about the damage you’ve done. What about the consequences of your sin which are hurting you beyond anyone’s imagination. MAKE DUA!
Pray like crazy! Ask Allah to ease your pain and make everything right. People get angry when you ask them for a favor, but Allah is Allah. He LOVES it when His servant asks him for anything. So pray!
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.
Listen to the explanation of this ayah by Nouman Ali Khan. This will be one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever heard.
Allah is NEAR and He is listening to YOU. He is your best friend. He knows what you’ve been through and He knows how much it’s hurting right now. He will make a way out. He WILL teach you what to do.
What we’ve done so far? Don’t let Satan happy! Pick yourself up! Ask Allah for forgiveness! Ask Allah to help you fix everything!
Some Practical Tips
And now, take practical steps for fixing your life.
If, as a consequence, a loved one is angry at you, say sorry! Try to make them happy by doing something good for them.
If, as a consequence, you’ve caused loss to someone, make it up to them.
If there is anything which has anyyyy kind of solution, work on it.
If you can see no solution, maybe try taking someone trustworthy into confidence and ask them for advice.
If that is not possible, ask Allah. He is there, ready to listen to you.
So, dear broken soul, pick yourself up. There is no use in shutting yourself down. There is no use in leaving the positive stuff that you were doing. There is no use in despairing.
Instead of that, with all the pain that you have, get up and start doing good. Start praying! Start reading the Quran! Start giving charity! Start making people smile instead of showing them your sullen face! It’s hard but remember, Satan will be happy if you don’t.
The Positive Side of Sinning
Now for the positives!
WHAT positive side there can be to a person sinning and wrecking his/her life?
Honey, there is a positive side to everything. 🙂
You are at the point where there is a storm in your life. What if Allah didn’t send this and you kept doing the sin again and again and you DIED without asking for forgiveness? See, Allah sent this pain to wake you up. Because HE cares.
Another positive side is that since you’ve seen the immense dark side to the human soul, you won’t judge others. You will be kind to every sinner out there and maybe… maybe you’ll give hope to a lot of souls and bring them back to the light because now you know how it feels to be here.
Recently, I saw a beautiful post on Facebook. Here it is:
How Sins can Cause you to Enter Paradise – Imam Ibn a Qayyim
By Shaykh ul –Islaam Ibn Qayyim aj-Jawzeeyah as-Salafi -Rahimullaah-
Translated by Umm Yahya
Shamsuddeen Muhammad bin Abee Bakr Ibn Qayyim aj-Jawzeeyah (d.751 A.H.) -Rahimullaah-said:
‘Indeed a slave commits a sin and enters Paradise through committing it and he performs a good deed and enters the Hellfire through performing it.’
It was asked ‘How is this (possible)?’
Ibn Qayyim -Rahimullaah- answered:
‘A sin is committed and thus does not cease to be before his eyes (causing him to be) fearful of it, concerned about it frightened and weeping due to his regret of doing it. Feeling ashamed due to this action before his Lord The Most High, with his head lowered between his hands, and his heartbroken and despondent due to it.
Therefore, that sin will be more beneficial to him than numerous acts of obedience could be. As a consequence, these previously mentioned matters are the cause for this slave of Allaah’s happiness and success until that sin will be a reason for him to enter Paradise.
A slave of Allaah performs a good deed and he continues to view it as if he has performed a favor for his Lord and is egotistic due to that good deed, and he is conceited, vain, and arrogant due to the sin. So he says I did such and such action (boasting) causing to him to inherit the characteristic of pride, haughtiness and adopting an overbearing attitude.
This becomes the reason for his destruction.
Thus, if Allaah Ta’ala intends good for the needy slave He trials him with something in order to bring him down and to lower his neck in humiliation and to decrease his importance to himself. However, if Allaah intended for him (the slave) anything other than good He (Allaah) would have left him alone in his vanity and pride and this is the deception which necessitates his destruction.’
[Taken from: ‘al-Waabil as-Sayyib min Kalim at-Tayyib’ By Ibn al-Qayyim page 15]
Beautiful isn’t it? Your sin can cause you to enter paradise, now that you regret doing it and pray to Allah!
Dear Broken Soul
I know it hurts. It hurts so bad that you want to scream but see, Allah loves you. He sent this to save you from eternal torture and the fact that you are reading this right now shows how much Allah cares that HE made you click on the link and read this. Ask for forgiveness! Ask HIM to help you! Ask HIM to ease your pain! He will forgive you and HE will help you.
Now you will be kinder and more understanding. You won’t judge others who are struggling in following the right path. You can give hope to a lot of people out there. Isn’t it beautiful! <3
Pick yourself up and start doing good! NOW!
And I want to end with this:
The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous and hopes you all benefit from it in shaa Allah.