Question

I’ve been really struggling these past 5-6 weeks, and feel my anxiety and depression has increased. I keep getting thoughts relating to my beliefs, questioning my faith. I get thoughts questioning whether I am a true Muslim. I get thoughts of doubts about Islam, faith, afterlife and it really scares me and bad thoughts relating to my faith and religion. I don’t want these thoughts, I wake up in the morning feeling really anxious and sick thinking whether I am a true Muslim. I constantly search up online whether other people experience the same thing. I’ve lost my appetite and have not been eating well. I am always feeling down, I can’t even do the things I enjoyed doing before. These thoughts occupy my mind all day, with the same cycle repeating each day. I start thinking about death also, and what if I’m not forgiven for these doubts I get. I just get negative intrusive thoughts all day, and get scared if these are actually my thoughts. And when I feel at ease, I start getting worried if I have accepted these thoughts. I don’t know what are my thoughts, and whether my heart is pure with full faith and belief. I’m really scared and just want these thoughts to disappear.

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Response

Assalaamu ‘alaikum – peace be with you,

Firstly we’d like to thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time, this is sometimes one of the hardest steps; we hope we can be of some help.

Living with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression is daunting and can impact all aspects of our lives, from sleeping, eating, relationships to work. Having racing thoughts occupying our minds daily can be exhausting which leaves us with little time to engage in things we once enjoyed doing.

Remember that you have the power to take back control of your mind and body, with the support of loved ones and reaching out to services where you are comfortable.

Dealing with intrusive thoughts:

  • Question yourself. Are you going to give in to them, trying to control your anxiety? As the thoughts begin to creep in talk to them and ask if they are relevant.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts. Think about how you would respond if it was a friend speaking that way, Apply the same logic to your own thoughts. “Thoughts don’t matter, but your response to them does.” – Adrian Wells
  • Speak to someone, tell them how you are feeling and talk of your thoughts. Speaking to another individual will help it get out of your system, they will be able to help. God has placed people on this earth with us as mediums for support.
  • Therapy can help deal with thought processes, feelings, relationships and beliefs that we have. The therapist will help you devise tools to overcome anxiety and depression.
  • Remember that less is more. Pause. Give yourself time. There is no urgency.
  • If your thoughts return, don’t feel that you have let yourself down, keep working on them.
  • Take up a hobby of your interest (old or new). For example; art, wwimming, reading, listening to lectures.
  • Practice gratitude, your positivity levels will gradually increase. Everyday wake up and write down what you are grateful for or whilst sitting on a prayer mat, express your feelings of gratitude to God.

We all have them moments in our lives where our belief in God or our faith is questioned. Our faith is always constantly shifting and at times on a roller coaster. We need the strength and support to fight through and boost our faith.

Whether you are feeling high or low with your faith, remember you are never alone as  “Allah said, fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear, and I see,” [Surah Taha, 20:46]. Simple tip: When your thoughts become overwhelming take a deep breath and recite the beautiful names of Allah (learn the meanings at your own pace), and it will strengthen your relationship with God.

Each time you fall into a moment of questioning, look up at the sky, the trees, anything in nature and remind yourself of the beauty of universe. Remember Allah’s perfect creation and see that it is in front you. This will remind you of the small blessings in life that exist. God is the Most-Merciful and Most Kind, He is with you at all times and knows what is in your sincere heart.

You are in control of your mental health, your mental health does not control you.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and Insha’Allah we hope this helps,
Duas always,
IM Support Team

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Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.

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