One of the biggest stumbling blocks in our lives is when we find ourselves losing faith. To lose faith in one’s self or God can damage us greatly if it is prolonged.
Losing faith usually occurs when going through a long-term trial or tribulation, such as a long-term health concern, or a long-term project or business plan which does not seem to be working out. It is usually when one is heavily invested in something, and is struggling to find a way out of the problem or even a solution, when one may begin to lose faith in themselves and their efforts.
This often happens when one’s imaan is low, and thus it becomes easy to lose yourself and not see the wisdom in whatever you are going through.
In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah reminds us:
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not”. (Qur’an 2:216)
There are many different issues we see in the Muslim community today which may cause us to lose faith in Allah, to the point we start to question Him. For example, one of these issues is marriage; there are many brothers and sisters in the ummah facing delays in marriage for a number of reasons. They may be struggling to find decent life partners, or may be rejected by potential suitors.
A number of mixed emotions can stem off of this, causing us to lose our faith in Allah, at a time when it’s Him that we need the most. Anyone going through a similar situation may struggle with their sense of self-worth. They may feel unworthy of whatever they are seeking or asking from Allah, even if what they are seeking is something that is halal.
When Allah does not give us the outcome that we want, we begin to question why. We often think He is withholding to punish us, or He may not want us to be happy, maybe He is displeased with us etc. It starts off a chain reaction of thoughts and beliefs that may be harmful for us.
A quote attributed to Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, where he says, “From the perfection of Allah’s Ihsan is that He allows His slave to taste the bitterness of the break before the sweetness of the mend. So He does not break his believing slave, except to mend him. And He does not withhold from him, except to give him. And He does not test him (with hardship), except to cure him.”
Why would thinking otherwise be dangerous for us?
The minute we start to question Allah on why things didn’t work out the way we wanted, we begin to lose hope in His Qadr, and we end up distancing ourselves from Him. The connection we have with Alla is then weakened, thus making it easy for anything that is bad or harmful for us to overpower us. We may fall into a state of despair or depression; we stop taking care of ourselves and our imaan is at a huge low. We may end up falling into habits that are not in accordance with Islamic values, i.e wasting time, not maintaining prayers, and not being God-conscious.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient”
Patience is a concept that we fail to implement during tests and trials. Yet this enables us to stay steadfast in prayer, and hope that Allah will see us through. When you are patient upon something, you are internalising hope. This, along with our connection to Allah through prayer, is what helps us to understand that Allah will always see us through in the way that He sees best.
We are told in Surah Al-Baqarah:
And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive (to Allah).
– (Qur’an 2:45)
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. –
It may well be that we are constantly tested throughout our lives, but we are also told that there is reward in this, and forgiveness for our sins. The more tests and trials, the higher the reward if we keep our connection with Allah strong.
It was narrated in al-Saheehayn that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “No tiredness, exhaustion, worry, grief, distress or harm befalls a believer in this world, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah expiates some of his sins thereby.” (Bukhari & Muslim).
When we find ourselves slipping with low imaan and see ourselves losing faith, we must try to renew our connection with Allah. We need to consistently remind ourselves of this if we wish for Allah to be pleased with us.
I end with a narration from Sahih Muslim:
On the authority of Suhaib (may Allah be pleased with him), he said:
“The Prophet (pbuh) said: “amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him.”” (Muslim)
– Qaddurah Nur