Islamic

Doubts

Had a chat with a friend who has some “doubts” about the Deen the other day…

She questioned a few things and couldn’t “logically” accept nor understand some concepts (won’t go into detail here)…

I’m not a scholar and this is not my field of expertise in anyway; but sharing the concluding remarks we discussed, which helped this person Alhamdulilah, in the hope that it will help someone else struggling with doubts as well…

1. We live in a very globalised society and Muslims aren’t doing their best in most areas in our modern times (leadership, science, answering these doubts – proper scholarly ijtihad has been minimal if not stagnant for the last century mainly due to socio-political factors and other factors) and this creates a challenge that we must acknowledge – yes there is a gap that needs to be filled…and this leads many Muslims are taking their knowledge from secular ideologies – just as we won’t go looking for food to nourish our bodies in the rubbish bin; why would we seek certainty and Hidayah to nourish our souls from those who reject it?!

2. Those who question things are usually the smart ones and the thinkers amongst us… they shouldn’t be condemned or made to feel like “they’re not good Muslims for asking”… the Muslim scholars throughout history themselves asked questions; this is our rich Islamic tradition that expects you to understand, reflect and ask questions…

But the difference though between the scholars questioning and most of our questioning, is that they had a “fertile soil” in their hearts; faith was a solid foundation… their aqeedah was in tact… so any “seeds of doubts” would usually fruit into more faith for them… and actually get them closer to Allah after their research and study into answering these questions…
*hence why it’s essential to study Islamic sciences before one studies other sciences so they have a strong context of reference and understanding…

3. All those questions and doubts that you may have are not unprecedented… they have been asked and answered before you had them! There are answers to these doubts and questions – and just because one didn’t find their answers yet (or been answered the wrong way) doesn’t mean the answers don’t exist or that these doubts are valid…

4. The duty of someone who has these doubts is to to make dua for Allah to guide their heart (the prophet (s) himself would regularly ask Allah to keep his heart steadfast on the deen!) and keep seeking answers (with good intention) – the Quran and sunnah are perfect and do not need to be re-invented… sometimes we may not understand the language of certain texts; which is again a shortcoming… but there are some excellent teachers and scholars that can EASILY help answer such questions (sh Wesam Charkawi here in Sydney is amongst the best mashallah as he uses not only Islamic but also logical and philosophical arguments to help refute these)

5. We need to reflect on the nature of these doubts: there are some intellectual doubts for sure (and as mentioned above these are answered by the scholars even if you haven’t come across them yet)… but I personally believe most of these doubts may have a spiritual foundation… when anyone neglects their salah, athkar, dua or recitation of Quran for sometime it’s likely to get these doubts no matter who the person is… These “heart acts of worship” are a shield for our hearts and when we abandon them; this protection of our hearts can become non existent or may become a very thin shield…

6. A lot of a person’s “doubts” can also stem from ego-centric thinking (without one realising it ); the ego exits in every person and is real and it can be a barrier to Allah’s guidance… the spiritual doubts stem from the whispering of the shaitan but we also have ego centric doubts that come from our own nafs and we need to recognise these too (as a possibility)…

Ego centric thinking can happen when one thinks they know what they don’t know… and they make this a fact they believe to be true… I had a client once (for parenting issues) who had a massive ego centric approach of thinking; she believed what she was doing with her child was “the best” because “she read all the books” and “attended lectures and seminars” so she believed she knew or knows best… so she had that sense of “I know”… when it was her ego driving her thinking without realising it herself as she was a genuinely good person… she even told me “I read, I’m not like other mums”! This ego centric approach obstructed this good woman from seeing the reality of how she was harming herself (and harming her child).

7. One’s social circle has a direct impact and influence on the state of the hearts:

One day, Abu Bakr (ra) met Hanzalah al-Usaydi, another companion may Allah Please with them all. They were good friends and Abu Bakr asked him: “How are you O Hanzalah?”
Hanzalah replied: “Hanzalah has become a hypocrite!…When we are with the Messenger of Allah (s) he reminds us of the Fire and the Paradise until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from the Messenger of Allah, we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal.”
Abu Bakr told him that he experiences something similar so they went to the prophet (s) for counsel… and they told the prophet the dilemma… the prophet (s) told them:

“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you continued as you are when you are with me, and continued to remember (Paradise and Hell), the angels would shake hands with you in your homes and on the streets. But, O Hanzalah, there is a time for this and a time for that, (he said it three times). (Muslim)

So when we sit with those whose hearts are filled with Iman; our hearts will be filled with iman (and vice Versa)… it’s important to reflect on how we occupy our time, what we feed our minds and hearts with and who our company is…

8. Our mental wellbeing/ psychological state impacts these doubts: when a person is struggling to make sense of who they are and the world they’re in (the state of the world is depressing to say the least) this can impact the belief system… a person suffering from a mental illness or a personal crisis for example; is likely to feel these doubts in a more intense way… *therefore assessing which kind of doubts we have is necessary in overcoming them in sha Allah…

May Allah guide our hearts and keep them steadfast on his Deen… and help us to continuously purify our hearts so they are healthy… because a healthy heart cannot accept any doubts just like the eyes that see will not accept doubts about the sun…

* we need to all increase in saying the below dua

“Ya muqalib alquloobi, thabet qalbi 3ala deenik” (Oh transformer of hearts. make my heart steadfast in your deen)

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