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In the Name of God بسم الله

What am I supposed to do? Please read and drop your opinion.

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Salam Alaikum guys, hope you all are well. 

I'm going to do my best to summarize what's been on my mind for a very long time. It's caused me lots of internal struggle and suffering. 

Basically, from my understanding, there are two paths one can take in this world. That of a person who wishes to further his spiritual pathway OR they may choose to pursue the world. With that being said, this past year, I have completely focused entirely on spirituality and getting closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the Ahlulbayt AS. I have read from their teachings, watched YouTube videos and mainly through the "Al-Hadith" app, which is Shi'i based I assume (totally recommend it) and essentially, have come the conclusion that for true success, one should mainly focus on the spiritual realm of Life. I agree with this, however, my mental health has suffered severely it seems. I feel as if none of my practices are coming into fruition. I still get very upset, depressed, anxious, and basically, excuse my frank-ness but, just looking forward for my Life to end. It becomes very hard for me to feel any reason to continue any of my worldly obligations, since I'm going to die anyway and it's all going to go.

On the other hand, whenever I let myself feel the joys of the world, I can tolerate existence in this world, I actually enjoy being alive and look forward to the future possibilities. I become less anxious and depressed, which is something I deal with constantly. To be frank, it's the worst part of it all. I can be "normal" it seems like. Here's the issue though, now I do things that are attached to the world, i.e. using social media actively, talking just to talk or catch up, wanting to speak to women and basically just become more heedless.

I don't know what to do. I don't see myself being able to provide for myself if I put my emphasis on my spiritual journey. I have Trust in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but I don't think He expects me to pray only and wait for sustenance to drop out the sky. Is there something I am not understanding about the faith? Why do I still feel depressed and ashamed once I feel happy? I'm in pain and I hate to say this but, the longer I sit in it, the longer I wish for the coward's way out.

Jazakulla for your responses. 

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Alaikum Salam, Read Quran everyday, see a muslim doctor (therapy) also try talk to a shiekh best solution read Quran it's the devil tryna make you depressed do zikr remember why you here - this world is a short life. Maybe you need a friend to talk too. May Allah Guide us.

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Salaam,

The struggle is understandable but it seems to stem from a misunderstanding in your approach.
Always keep this in mind, who is your role model? When you say you want to be spiritual and gain proximity to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), based on what? How do you go about doing that? How do you get there? What should and should you not do?

You have not been created in this world to just ignore it and to just pray and read day in and day out. If that was the case you wouldn't need to be born into a family, and have to encounter others whilst growing up, or live on a planet occupied by 7.9 billion others, you would have been placed alone on Mars. You have been created in this world to play a role in it.
Your role model in this regard should be Imam Ali ((عليه السلام)) and we do not read about him leaving the workplace, or the marketplace, or the people.
This idea that spirituality means you should wait for sustenance to drop out of the sky is meaningless? Where did you get that idea? Did Imam Ali ((عليه السلام)) wait for sustenance from the sky or did he go out and work?

Why do I mention Imam Ali ((عليه السلام))? Because the Holy Prophet (sawa) said that Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali, Ali is the straight path (صراط المستقيم), our litmus test and our scale to see whether we are on the path of truth is Imam Ali ((عليه السلام)).

Don't make the mistake of thinking being spiritual is abandoning the worldly affairs, and technology and just reading Qur'an and Hadiths and watching lectures, you are part of this world whether you like it or not, ignoring it wont change that fact and in turn you have to live accordingly and discover your potential, and use your God given intellect and pursue your worldly goals and dreams that are worthy of deeds in the hereafter.

It's not at all Black and White as you put it, the world is complex and colorful, the Imams ((عليه السلام)) were not hermits neither were they completely immersed in worldly affairs, rather they were balanced and our religion is one of balance, everything has a time and a place. I believe you've overwhelmed yourself and your spirit and you are denying yourself feelings and emotions that are innate and God given, and they should be there, because without somebody pursuing their goals in life we would not be able to be in touch right now, on Shiachat, discussing this topic because the Computer and Internet would not have been invented.

Being on social media isn't bad, it can be a means of catching up with people or with Covid now, staying in touch with relatives, in terms of chatting up girls, that's a separate subject you might have a deep social need to engage with the other sex and so speaking to them makes you feel something, alive, or happy, or different because of a negative perception you might have of engaging in such activity, so there's a kind of thrill behind it. (this is really presumptuous of me, please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Take a deep breathe, step back and reevaluate your approach completely and find a more balanced means of having a true spiritual life in accordance with the lives of the Ahlulbayt who led normal lives. Take it easy on yourself, have a social life, we are social creatures for a reason, there is wisdom in it Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) states in the Holy Qur'an that we were created in tribes and peoples so as to get to know one another, there's alot you learn just by observing the dunya (world) and partaking in it as a normal member of society. Lessons that are invaluable. We need more brothers like you who are invested in their faith to become therapists, doctors, lawyers, economists, philosophers, artists etc. so you can bring shed light on these topics and bring out the truth.

Ask yourself this: (I'm sure you have because if you didn't you wouldn't have even proposed this question)
- Is spirituality supposed to make me sad? Does God want me to be generally depressed?
- Is misery something that makes me a better individual, does it positively impact my decisions, lifestyle and those around me?
- Are Muslims supposed to be different than the rest of humanity in terms of how certain things make them feel such as longing to be around people, having goals, dreams and pursuing them? Having desires? Are we supposed to be strong enough to block out these natural physiological occurrences? Are we supposed to seclude ourselves and worship Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) until our time comes?

No to all of the above.
With the coming of Islam humanity progressed in many fields, mathematics, architecture, medicine, astrology, and chemistry etc. regular Muslims began to look at the stars and beyond in wonder, and began to research, write and discover and what they did changed the entire world as we know it.

You are full of potential, your religion should be a means of you discovering this God given potential and recognizing that you have a social role to play, and have a responsibility to take care of yourself physically and mentally and be an outstanding member of society. If it is resulting in the opposite and you feel more of a recluse and your mental health is deteriorating then something is definitely wrong. Denying yourself the natural human feelings and experiences is only a veiled form of self-harm.

Imam Ali ((عليه السلام)) is a spiritual saint, he was not a recluse, a hermit, and was an active member of society, and was involved as much as anyone else in his time if not more, since he later became a leader, in social circles and activities.
 

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On 9/5/2021 at 11:04 PM, MayAllahBlessYou said:

Salam Alaikum guys, hope you all are well. 

I'm in pain and I hate to say this but, the longer I sit in it, the longer I wish for the coward's way out.

Jazakulla for your responses. 

Wa alai kum salaam.

I hope you realize that Islam does not recommend living as a monk.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying dunya.

Working to provide a good living for your family and you is spiritual. Spending time with family, taking trips together can all be spiritual. 

As far as I can remember, I do not have any qada salah or sawm (fast) and I have traveled the world and am an avid movie buff.

Enjoy life in the name of Allah.

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On 9/6/2021 at 12:04 AM, MayAllahBlessYou said:

Salam Alaikum guys, hope you all are well. 

I'm going to do my best to summarize what's been on my mind for a very long time. It's caused me lots of internal struggle and suffering. 

Basically, from my understanding, there are two paths one can take in this world. That of a person who wishes to further his spiritual pathway OR they may choose to pursue the world. With that being said, this past year, I have completely focused entirely on spirituality and getting closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the Ahlulbayt AS. I have read from their teachings, watched YouTube videos and mainly through the "Al-Hadith" app, which is Shi'i based I assume (totally recommend it) and essentially, have come the conclusion that for true success, one should mainly focus on the spiritual realm of Life. I agree with this, however, my mental health has suffered severely it seems. I feel as if none of my practices are coming into fruition. I still get very upset, depressed, anxious, and basically, excuse my frank-ness but, just looking forward for my Life to end. It becomes very hard for me to feel any reason to continue any of my worldly obligations, since I'm going to die anyway and it's all going to go.

On the other hand, whenever I let myself feel the joys of the world, I can tolerate existence in this world, I actually enjoy being alive and look forward to the future possibilities. I become less anxious and depressed, which is something I deal with constantly. To be frank, it's the worst part of it all. I can be "normal" it seems like. Here's the issue though, now I do things that are attached to the world, i.e. using social media actively, talking just to talk or catch up, wanting to speak to women and basically just become more heedless.

I don't know what to do. I don't see myself being able to provide for myself if I put my emphasis on my spiritual journey. I have Trust in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but I don't think He expects me to pray only and wait for sustenance to drop out the sky. Is there something I am not understanding about the faith? Why do I still feel depressed and ashamed once I feel happy? I'm in pain and I hate to say this but, the longer I sit in it, the longer I wish for the coward's way out.

Jazakulla for your responses. 

What you are saying is not a binary choice. It's not an 'either or'. Either this or that. You absolutely are obligated to do both. As you are doing both, you need to observe the hudud, the limits and the regulations which were laid down by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) so that you will be successful both in this world and the hereafter. I will give you some examples. One of the most famous duas said by almost everyone in Salat is 'Atina fe dunya hasantin, wa fe akhirate hasanaten, waqina athab an nar'. Give me good in this world, and good in the next world (akhira) and save me from the punishment of the fire (hell). 

Very short dua but very, very important. Now why is this dua so important. It is important because it puts things in perspective. If there was only good in the akhira, the dua would say 'give me good in the akhira' and stop, meaning there is no good (hasanat) in this world. So the fact that we are asking Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) for good (hasanat) in this world and the next world proves that there is good in this world. Now we need to figure out how to get the hasanat (good) that is in the dunya, this world

To further explain this, someone asked Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) what is the 'fe dunya hasanaten', the good in this world. A man was asking so he said having a mumina for a wife. If a women was asking, there might have been a different answer. If someone who was lazy and didn't want to work asked the question, Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) might have answer 'Earning a halal livelihood'. The point is, you partially earn your akhira thru your actions in the dunya that are done 'Qurbatin in Allahe ta'la' (Seeking nearness to Allah). So without the good in the dunya, there would be no good in the akhira. They are connected together. One gives birth to the other, in a sense. 

The other important point is that anything that gives you pleasure in this world and is not haram, or makruh, you should definitely do it, provided it doesn't interfere with your carrying out the wajib acts which you need to do. So if something isnt haram or makrooh, and it doesn't interfere with your wajibat, then I think it is almost an obligation to do it. People need to have pleasure in their life in order to have a good and stable mental health state. 

Some people will make the objection that, 'Well if doing things that give you pleasure are so important, why isn't there many hadith about the Imams doing specific things that they did just that gave them pleasure'. There aren't many of these hadiths that talk about this, I agree, but there is a reason for that. The reason is that what gives one person pleasure might be totally different than what gives another person pleasure. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) want us to use our own desire and our own creativity in order to have those experiences free from constraints, except the constraints which were mentioned above. If, for example, the hadith said (and I am just making this up, btw, there is no such hadith that I am aware of), 'Imam Sadiq used to pick flowers from his garden and arrange them and got great pleasure from this', then what would people think. Everyone (who is Shia) would try to force themselves into loving picking flowers and arranging flowers. Personally, this is the very last thing I would think about, for pleasure purposes, but if there was a hadith like this, I would try to do it and find a way to like doing it. At the same time, then it would not be pleasurable, it would be work. 

Every human being has the desire to be free in seeking pleasure and doing what makes them happy. Themselves personally, not other people. If people don't this, they will have a lack of joy in their life which could lead to mental illness or other bad consequences, and eventually this would affect their spirituality. I am highly encouraging you that if you find something that gives you pleasure do it, do it as much as possible provided it isn't haram or makrooh and doesn't interfere with your wajibat. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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Imam Hassan: " When it comes to this world (Dunya), work hard and live like you live here forever. When it comes to Akhirah, live like you die in the next hour".

 

When you go to work every morning, do your best and make as much halal profit as possible. When it's Azan time, do your prays on time, be honest with people, enjoy halal pleasures, do zikr sometimes during the day, recite Quran and ziarat Ashoura, enjoy hikings foods being with family(especially wife and kids if married), etc. Don't overthink. Take it easy

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Why not seek qurbatan ilaLlah in everything you do? be it a family picnic, a shopping trip, reading Qur'an, visiting a friend, attending a wedding, attending majalis, going on ziyarah etc. 

Your intentions guide your perception and thereby your actions. 

One can serve Allah and seek great spiritual rank in being a constantly held up doctor rarely able to take a break or perform namaze awwale waqt.. and one can have a massive turban on, claim to be dedicated to spiritualism only and be a great tool of corruption and fasad on this world, as well as it being mere service. 

I do not see why you consider "normalcy" in the dunya as being definitely against spiritualism. It is what you make of it, and how.

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