Summarised version of the question: Why is Allah Testing Me?
My parents separated when I was very young but my life was normal until one day, I was abused by my neighbour, at the age of 8. I suppressed this incident and life briefly went back to normal. At the age of 13/14, I was on the verge of becoming a confident young man with an ambition of becoming an actor. Acting allowed me to escape from my self escape and it made me feel good. At the age of 15, I was diagnosed with CMT which drastically turned my life upside down. It became difficult to walk and I developed a limp. Everyone began to question why I walked like this, which rocked my self-confidence. I became insecure and isolated myself. I neglected my studies, believing I had no hope as my disease will eventually consume me. I guess I would call this the early stages of my depression.
My brother convinced me to go college and there I met a friend who I developed a good relationship with. The same year, my beautiful niece was born. It felt like my life had started again. I started working part time in a popular fast-food chain, focusing on college and trying to be the best uncle I can. Then my oldest sister got diagnosed with cancer and was also in an abusive relationship for many years. She died 2 years later.
In my last year of university, I would lock myself in my room and fall into despair. At the same time, I was dealing with a progressive genetic disorder. I alienated from my family and became a monster. My only salvation was the birth of my nephews and nieces but I was still angry towards my other siblings and blamed them for our sister’s death. My condition progressed, became more of a recluse, fell into fell into debt and refused to ask for help. Recently I was unable to walk for 6 months and my close friend helped me.
Why is God testing me so much? I keep upsetting my family and friends, they don’t deserve this. Why does He not kill me?
As-Salaamun ‘Alaikum – peace be with you,
Thank you for reaching out to us. We know that it isn’t easy and we appreciate the confidence you have placed in us. May you be rewarded, Ameen.
We are sorry that you have experienced the hardships mentioned and wholeheartedly pray that your situation improves. From a young age, it sounds like you experienced traumatic events and these have inevitably led to low moods, as well as feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Feeling trapped within the cycle of these events can be overwhelming and it is inevitable that at some point you cannot help but question “why does Allah (SWT) keep testing me?”
To begin answering this important question, we can examine the life of the Prophets (peace be upon them all) and learn from their experiences. We know that they were tested abundantly, for instance, Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) was repeatedly tested with the death of his loved ones, first his beloved wife Khadija (RA), and subsequently his close uncle and his children (may Allah (SWT) bless them all). Another example includes the Prophet Ayyub (AS) who was severely tested with poor health. These stories resonate much with some of the trials we endure in our lives. So, why did these Prophets experience these trials and why are you experiencing them too?
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) has said, “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials. Whomever Allah intends good, He afflicts him with trials” [Bukhari]
Trials you have faced appear to have impacted you tremendously. We encourage you not to lose hope or give up as Allah (SWT) assures us that as long as we remain patient and persist in rectifying our affairs, the trials will act as an opportunity for additional reward from the Almighty.
It is worth mentioning, being patient does not mean that we hide or deny feelings of sadness or fear. Rather, it involves accepting that this a trial from Allah (SWT), to trust Him completely and to actively seek His help through permissible avenues whilst supplicating repeatedly for His help. You have taken the first step in seeking help and you should be proud of yourself for doing this.
Experiencing depression and anxiety is no easy feat. However, please remember that there is always a way out – this trial will not last forever, as Allah (SWT) has reminded us:
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” [Qur’an, 94:5-6].
We recommend you address and manage negative feelings through talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This involves talking with a qualified therapist who will use healthy techniques to assist you in acknowledging your thoughts as they arise, and how they can impact your feelings and subsequent actions. Please note, we also offer these services here at Inspirited Minds.
To give you a taster of CBT practices which may be helpful, perhaps you could try this technique called ‘Reframing:’
- Calm yourself down through deep breathing i.e. breathe in for 3 seconds and out through your mouth for 7 seconds.
- Think/write/describe the situation that led you to have a low mood (i.e. passing of a loved one)
- Write/verbalise the automatic thoughts you experienced when you first experienced the low mood.
- Positively rationalise your automatic negative thoughts. For example “I am not a monster – I take care of my family.”
This may be difficult at first. If you would prefer, you can start of by only doing breathing exercises and then slowly progress onto the next steps. Alongside these, please remember to make Du’a (supplication), eat well, exercise and surround yourself with family and friends who care for you. If you feel uncomfortable talking to anyone you already know, you could try peer group support. This brings together people who have had similar experiences with anxiety to support each other – here are some links: Anxiety Care, Elefriends, and No More Panic.
Please remember that you are not alone and we are here for you. You also have the innate ability to overcome this situation. Allah (SWT) assures of this:
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” [Qur’an 2:286].
May He alleviate your hardships and reward you immensely! Ameen.
These are just some humble suggestions. We sincerely hope and pray that one or more of them will be suitable to your circumstances and help create ease for you, In Shaa Allah (if Allah wills). If you would like to discuss anything else on your mind, we also offer more personalized counselling here at Inspirited Minds.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and we hope this helps In Shaa Allah (if Allah wills),
Duas (supplication) always,
IM Support Team
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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