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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Salam, I know that my quandary may sound very odd to many... if not most people of this forum. Every time I start to read religious books I start to feel really depressed... as if there is really no point to life and everything is about the hereafter. I start to feel guilty about everything from the music I can hear on adverts, to whether I have hurt someones feelings when I spoke in haste. What I basically mean is that I go to a very dark place where contemplating over action consumes me and it is all I can think about. But not in a good way, because I start to question everything I've done in my life and I feel petrified of Barzakh. I find it difficult to strike a balance. I feel so depressed that I find that in order to feel not so depressed I kind of then stop reading/practicing so much and go back to my usual routine. Does anyone feel this way or is it just me? Is there any way to be religious and happy? With all due respect I don't need a preachy response about the fact that I shouldn't feel this way because I already know that. I'm looking for constructive advice. Thanks. 

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Salam,

Sometimes when we're so indulged in sin(not implying that you sin or anything) - we often forget the reality that we'll all be questioned in Barzakh and on the Day of Judgment. The more we sin and forget about the very essence of our soul, we identify ourselves and our entire existence through our body. Therefore, when you read about the hereafter, you might feel a bit shaky and weird at start, because you're reminding your body that there will come a time that it will cease to exist. This feeling you described is totally normal and it is a phase you might be going through. The more you realize that your soul is what matters after all, and our only purpose in life is to use our body to serve Allah - you won't get anxious or anything. The process will be gradual and to me it seems as if you are heading towards the right direction. There will come a time when you'll find it so joyful to acquire knowledge, train your soul, do good deeds, remember Allah etc.

Therefore be patient and remember that our main purpose in life is to rise above our animal state and attain perfection. Allah only created us so he could test who is willing to understand his/her true 'self'.

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Bro, I have not been engaged in a sinful life. Agreed that I haven't been reading namaaz regularly enough and that in itself is a major sin. I have been completely devoted to my family life, educating my children in deen (ironic as I don't read namaaz regularly) and duniya, and organizing our home and household. I'v been trying to be my children's best friend - which I believe I've succeeded in. My son who is not even baligh reads majlisis at various mosques and has a lot more "theoretical knowledge" than most kids his age. He is academically in the top 0.001% of the population as per independent tests carried out in his private school and I've played a key role in supporting his educational development. I've been trying to ensure that my kids are emotionally and socially balanced. I've brought them up in such a way that they are able to fit into the western world (they attend a posh and predominantly white kids school) whilst having full confidence in and respect for their islamic roots. Personally I've never touched alcohol; dated a guy (marriage was arranged) and I don't like to indulge in gheebat or malice talk. See I wasn't busy partying or frolicking - just completely absorbed in my family life. Though I realise that I must practice what I preach to my kids when it comes to namaaz. It may sound weird but I was so petrified of making a mistake in my arabic grammar that 10 years back I stopped reading namaaz altogether. Stupid I know - but I read in numerous places that if your arabic accent is not near perfect then your namaaz will not be accepted. So I decided that I would attempt to perfect it b4 I continued and before I know it 10 years have passed. Its awful I know - but hopefully, God willing, InshAllah I will long enough to address this. Ameen. Thanks for your reply. 

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12 hours ago, Aflower said:

Salam, I know that my quandary may sound very odd to many... if not most people of this forum. Every time I start to read religious books I start to feel really depressed... as if there is really no point to life and everything is about the hereafter. I start to feel guilty about everything from the music I can hear on adverts, to whether I have hurt someones feelings when I spoke in haste. What I basically mean is that I go to a very dark place where contemplating over action consumes me and it is all I can think about. But not in a good way, because I start to question everything I've done in my life and I feel petrified of Barzakh. I find it difficult to strike a balance. I feel so depressed that I find that in order to feel not so depressed I kind of then stop reading/practicing so much and go back to my usual routine. Does anyone feel this way or is it just me? Is there any way to be religious and happy? With all due respect I don't need a preachy response about the fact that I shouldn't feel this way because I already know that. I'm looking for constructive advice. Thanks. 

Salam,

The feeling of guilt, depression, fear and darkness of soul is the result of the lowest part of the human being (his earthly part of his being) predominating over his higher areas (his, luminous spirit).  If the spirit predominates the result will be peace of mind, tranquility, calmness and confidence or safety.  It is important to see these "feelings" for what they are.  As the other brother has said above, the more we identify with our body the more we forget our higher aspects.  I would like to add that as far as you are concerned you might not even want to identify with the feeling of guilt, being sad, depressed, or being dark, or even being sinful.  To say, "I am ---> sad", or "I am --> happy", or "I am -- depressed" is the result of a failure to discriminate between your real Self and an object (whether it be a good or bad feeling, a good or bad thought, or a good or bad sensation).   This is not who you are.  You real Self is beyond these fleeting thoughts, feelings, and sensations... because if you know your Self then this means that you have most certainly known your Lord.   So what you are feeling is normal  in the sense that every human in the fallen state feels the way you have described.  This is why to despair of God's mercy is considered, by the Quran, as a form of kufr.   

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On 3/4/2018 at 11:09 PM, Aflower said:

Salam, I know that my quandary may sound very odd to many... if not most people of this forum. Every time I start to read religious books I start to feel really depressed... as if there is really no point to life and everything is about the hereafter. I start to feel guilty about everything from the music I can hear on adverts, to whether I have hurt someones feelings when I spoke in haste. What I basically mean is that I go to a very dark place where contemplating over action consumes me and it is all I can think about. But not in a good way, because I start to question everything I've done in my life and I feel petrified of Barzakh. I find it difficult to strike a balance. I feel so depressed that I find that in order to feel not so depressed I kind of then stop reading/practicing so much and go back to my usual routine. Does anyone feel this way or is it just me? Is there any way to be religious and happy? With all due respect I don't need a preachy response about the fact that I shouldn't feel this way because I already know that. I'm looking for constructive advice. Thanks.

It sounds to me like you are experiencing religious burnout and probably some level of cognitive dissonance. It's okay to hold conflicting views at once, you know. Let go of expectations and stop holding on to absolute certainty. Don't read religious books that reinforce your fears. Read other books. Read history books. Read Harry Potter. Or don't read at all. Go do something fun. I also find it really helpful to keep a journal and reflect on my entries later. 

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Bro, I have not been engaged in a sinful life. Agreed that I haven't been reading namaaz regularly enough and that in itself is a major sin. I have been completely devoted to my family life, educating my children in deen (ironic as I don't read namaaz regularly) and duniya, and organizing our home and household. I'v been trying to be my children's best friend - which I believe I've succeeded in. My son who is not even baligh reads majlisis at various mosques and has a lot more "theoretical knowledge" than most kids his age. He is academically in the top 0.001% of the population as per independent tests carried out in his private school and I've played a key role in supporting his educational development. I've been trying to ensure that my kids are emotionally and socially balanced. I've brought them up in such a way that they are able to fit into the western world (they attend a posh and predominantly white kids school) whilst having full confidence in and respect for their islamic roots. Personally I've never touched alcohol; dated a guy (marriage was arranged) and I don't like to indulge in gheebat or malice talk. See I wasn't busy partying or frolicking - just completely absorbed in my family life. Though I realise that I must practice what I preach to my kids when it comes to namaaz. It may sound weird but I was so petrified of making a mistake in my arabic grammar that 10 years back I stopped reading namaaz altogether. Stupid I know - but I read in numerous places that if your arabic accent is not near perfect then your namaaz will not be accepted. So I decided that I would attempt to perfect it b4 I continued and before I know it 10 years have passed. Its awful I know - but hopefully, God willing, InshAllah I will long enough to address this. Ameen. Thanks for your reply. 

Not praying wajibat regularly is actually engaging in sinful life. You should focus more on wajibat, because Salat is better than your Dunya and Children. In the Day of Judgement, no wealthy or Children is going to help you expect your sincerity heart that always repents. Insha'Allah when you are illuminated with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى guidance, reading all about barzak and hereafter is reality and you will also realize that this dunya is just a play and diversion.

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@hasanhh

10 hours ago, hasanhh said:

@Aflower  From your writing, l surmise that you are not reading what you want to be able to read in religious books. The books are not written to confirm your preferences. 

I simply can not fathom why you made that comment. It does not reflect my thought process in the slightest. But non the less, thank you for taking the time to respond.

@Abu Nur.

9 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

Not praying wajibat regularly is actually engaging in sinful life. You should focus more on wajibat, because Salat is better than your Dunya and Children. In the Day of Judgement, no wealthy or Children is going to help you expect your sincerity heart that always repents. Insha'Allah when you are illuminated with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى guidance, reading all about barzak and hereafter is reality and you will also realize that this dunya is just a play and diversion.

Seriously? Must you state the obvious when one is already expressing in writing that they are already guilt ridden about not reading namaaz? I had already stated, and I quote, "Agreed that I haven't been reading namaaz regularly enough and that in itself is a major sin", so why rub it in even more? 

You state:"In the Day of Judgement, no wealthy or Children is going to help you expect your sincerity heart that always repents." Well, if I am dedicating my time into making my children pious, God fearing, humble and balanced individuals then hopefully that will help me in the hereafter too? Surely giving your children a sound Islamic upbringing is important in Islam? My son expressed to me on his own accord that he would like to become, and I quote him: "a part time Maulana on the weekends with a full time job during the weekdays". My son has a genuine love and passion for his religion and that is something I am proud of because getting the balance between education, extra curricular activities, a social life and religion is a difficult one in the West. InshAllah if he pursues this of his own will, is that not a good thing? At such a tender age he can hold philosophical conversations with Maulanas who visit us and many Maulanas have expressed with surprise that they feel that he is articulate, wise, knowledgeable and inquisitive many years beyond his age. If my son continues on this path InshAllah, will my sons good deeds not help me on the Day of Judgement? Has my time not been well invested?

The only person that I am harming by not reading namaaz is I, me and myself. At our mosque the women read all their namaazs on time and (by and large) they back bite about other momins 24/7, are habitual liars, are having extra marital affairs, are neglectful towards their husbands and children, are defrauding others and the benefits system etc etc. Funnily, in their eyes they see themselves as being the most pious people on earth and I'm pretty sure by the way they rate themselves, they believe they have a direct ticket to heaven. Why? Because they read namaaz on time. By the grace of Allah I've began referring to some audio files and with practice I am gaining more confidence in my arabic. InshAllah, God Willing, I will start reading my namaaz soon and I have every intention to catch up with my outstanding qaza namaazs too. I acknowledge that qaza namaazs do not have the sawab of the ones read on time. My point is that many people who read their namaazs on time think that they are holier than thou but don't blink an eyelid when committing crimes against humanity; the system, their brothers and sisters and their own families. I accept and acknowledge that I have engaged in a big sin by not reading namaaz - but that crime is only against me and I intend on correcting that now InshAllah. Not one person will tell you that I have spoken ill of someone else or that I haven't been a true friend. Our income is halaal and lawful and I pray to Allah that it continues to be this way. 

A general point - people in our community are so judgmental of others and regard themselves to be far superior to every other person. They never seem to introspect. I am always looking for ways to improve and better myself so I find this attitude rather shocking and unpalatable. You see there are some people who wouldn't think twice when stealing from their own brothers and there are others who would feel guilty even if they accidentally/unintentionally raised their voice to their parents. I fall into the latter category. I would pick up the phone and apologise to my mother profoundly if I unintentionally did so. My mother often laughs her head off saying that she doesn't even know what I am referring to but I say I remember and I just want to know that she didn't mind. She never minds anything I do or say but non the less I seek that clarity for my own peace of mind. I even sincerely apologise to my own children if I have wrongfully told them off or not kept my word about something. I see no shame in it. So you see, we all have different value systems and when one says they ponder on the past and feel bad about things it doesn't necessarily have to be something on the extreme end of the scale. It's such a subjective matter. One must not always think the worst. 

@lola20. You are a breath of fresh air. Thank God people like you exist. I loved your response.  :party:

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. 

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Seriously? Must you state the obvious when one is already expressing in writing that they are already guilt ridden about not reading namaaz? I had already stated, and I quote,"Agreed that I haven't been reading namaaz regularly enough and that in itself is a major sin", so why rub it in even more? 

Because in previous post you think you are not engaged in a sinful life, which you are from Islamic viewpoint. That's was my point.  

Quote

You state:"In the Day of Judgement, no wealthy or Children is going to help you expect your sincerity heart that always repents." Well, if I am dedicating my time into making my children pious, God fearing, humble and balanced individuals then hopefully that will help me in the hereafter too? Surely giving your children a sound Islamic upbringing is important in Islam? My son expressed to me on his own accord that he would like to become, and I quote him: "a part time Maulana on the weekends with a full time job during the weekdays". My son has a genuine love and passion for his religion and that is something I am proud of because getting the balance between education, extra curricular activities, a social life and religion is a difficult one in the West. InshAllah if he pursues this of his own will, is that not a good thing? At such a tender age he can hold philosophical conversations with Maulanas who visit us and many Maulanas have expressed with surprise that they feel that he is articulate, wise, knowledgeable and inquisitive many years beyond his age. If my son continues on this path InshAllah, will my sons good deeds not help me on the Day of Judgement? Has my time not been well invested?

It is good that you are raising your children in Good way, MashaAllah, but focusing on self is most important thing. No where I did criticize your raising of your child, and raising him in Islamic way is best thing to do.

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will my sons good deeds not help me on the Day of Judgement?

If you follow what Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى have instructed us, then yes you will get great reward by raising your child in Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى way. But not doing Salaat and dying in that state, well no.

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I will start reading my namaaz soon and I have every intention to catch up with my outstanding qaza namaazs too. I acknowledge that qaza namaazs do not have the sawab of the ones read on time.

Alhamdulillah, may Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى guide us.

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6 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

Because in previous post you think you are not engaged in a sinful life, which you are from Islamic viewpoint. That's was my point.  

@AbuNur

You have on two occasions judged me and said that I am leading a "sinful life" because I had not read my namaz regularly in the past. The whole reason I joined SHIACHAT was to address this. In my very first post I openly and honestly said that I have not been reading namaz and that I need guidance so that I can read my namaz properly going forwards. Clearly, I had made the mental niyat to dutifully read my namaz properly going forwards even before I joined SHIACHAT. I have never said in any of my posts that namaz is not a wajibat or that not reciting it does not amount to a sin. You are misquoting me by saying that I said otherwise, and that is very disappointing.

What gives anyone the right to tell any other person that they are leading a "sinful life"? Are we not all committing sins knowingly/unknowingly on a daily basis? Only the Infallibles were perfect. Only Allah can judge who has lived a "sinful life" as you put it. It could be that one man's lifetime of namazs amount to nothing on the day of Judgement and it could be that one good action of another outshines all that individuals bad deeds.

@AbuNur

I would kindly request you not to ever judge because only Allah has the right to decide who has/hasn't lived a "sinful life". Anyhow, the way I see it, we are all sinning every day in one way or the other. Lets be nice and civil. Even if someone is erroring, why do we feel the need to use such strong terminology. Why can't we politely say: "Sister, Namaz is a wajibat and one must recite it daily". As it is, I already know this and the ONLY reason that I joined SHIACHAT was to rectify this.

A humble request - even if we do see flaws in another person lets please highlight it in a kind way that does not hurt the other person. Lets not cast sweeping aspersions that one is "leading a sinful life". Who is perfect? No one! So to some degree we are all engaged in commiting sins in our life. Lets as a community try to offer constructive advise to each rather than attacking/humiliating/belittling each other. Utimately, only Allah has the right to judge whose life has been sinful. May Allah help and guide us all IA. 

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You have on two occasions judged me and said that I am leading a "sinful life" because I had not read my namaz regularly in the past. The whole reason I joined SHIACHAT was to address this. In my very first post I openly and honestly said that I have not been reading namaz and that I need guidance so that I can read my namaz properly going forwards. Clearly, I had made the mental niyat to dutifully read my namaz properly going forwards even before I joined SHIACHAT. I have never said in any of my posts that namaz is not a wajibat or that not reciting it does not amount to a sin. You are misquoting me by saying that I said otherwise, and that is very disappointing.

Sister, I'm not judging you, because you already stated publicly your state. I'm not looking flaws in you.

Quote

What gives anyone the right to tell any other person that they are leading a "sinful life"? Are we not all committing sins knowingly/unknowingly on a daily basis? Only the Infallibles were perfect. Only Allah can judge who has lived a "sinful life" as you put it. It could be that one man's lifetime of namazs amount to nothing on the day of Judgement and it could be that one good action of another outshines all that individuals bad deeds.

Because this is a public forum and you openly stated your concern, and according to Islam Not Me, staying in such a state is Sinning, going out from that state is Guidance, and repatence and not sinning.

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 It could be that one man's lifetime of namazs amount to nothing on the day of Judgement and it could be that one good action of another outshines all that individuals bad deeds.

Salat is so important that not doing it will nulfill all other deeds and acts;

But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil -
Except those who repent, believe and do righteousness; for those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged at all. [Maryam 19:59-60]

Quote

A humble request - even if we do see flaws in another person lets please highlight it in a kind way that does not hurt the other person. Lets not cast sweeping aspersions that one is "leading a sinful life". Who is perfect? No one! So to some degree we are all engaged in commiting sins in our life. Lets as a community try to offer constructive advise to each rather than attacking/humiliating/belittling each other. Utimately, only Allah has the right to judge whose life has been sinful. May Allah help and guide us all IA. 

 

I'm sorry, I'm not interested on seeing any flaws in others, I'm just advising a serious matter that  me and you see it very differently. This no one is perfect argument is nonsense, it does not give any excuses to anyone to give them smile even when they have been sinning, we should be very shame and humble in front of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى and repent to him. I believe He will save us from all sinning.

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If you feel that I have been very rude, then I'm sorry the way I put it, my intention is not to insult you or judge. But understand that what I say is Reality, sometimes hearing the reality may Insult the person or he/she can't take it.

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@ Abu Nur 

4 minutes ago, Abu Nur said:

If you feel that I have been very rude, then I'm sorry the way I put it, my intention is not to insult you or judge. But understand that what I say is Reality, sometimes hearing the reality may Insult the person or he/she can't take it.

You are "not judging" but what you say "is reality". :hahaha: I rest my case.  

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