30 Reasons for Redemption and Elevation, Not Despair


Note: These lessons were acquired while participating in the ipersonalenrichment.com program.

Scholars have often noted that a Muslim should have an almost balanced level of fear and hope in Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (Exalted is He), while their hope in Him should actually be more due to the hadith (narrations) of the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him): “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne, ‘My Mercy overpowers My Anger.’” (Bukhari)

Yet despite this encouragement from scholars, many Muslims seem to ache from an unhealthy level of guilt and disapproval in themselves, and thus suffer from too little hope in Allah (swt). Subhan Allah, Glory be to God, the shaytan (devil) approaches us through extremes. He comes to some Muslims through the doors of complete negligence in order to prevent them from tawbah (repentance). Yet, he actually comes to others through their humility and tricks them into thinking that feeling excessively guilty all the time for their mistakes and shortcomings is an act of worship. When they accept this approach, it becomes a habit of their nafs (ego). Guilt becomes excessive and a tool against their iman (faith) when it actually prevents a person from real tawbah, because they feel their sins are too heavy, or too oft-repeated, and there is little hope for them to get better. They dread going back to Allah (swt) because they are overwhelmed by shame. They may even ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness but deep down, they feel they are not worthy of it and they begin to doubt themselves in everything they do, and doubt Allah’s Love for them, and sometimes give up and indulge even more in sins because of their feeling of hopelessness.

There are a number of mistakes in this approach. First, the word ‘tawbah’ does not mean excessive guilt nor does it mean despising oneself. Tawbah is translated to mean ‘repentance’ but comes from the Arabic root which means “to return to.” This is the same root as the Beautiful Name of Allah al-Tawwaab. So the one making tawbah is simply returning to Allah (swt) while He is Oft-Returning to them in His infinite Mercy.

The second mistake is when the Muslim creates a lot of fiction around their mistakes making them bigger than they actually are, accusing themselves of much worse than what was actually done. They lack having mercy on their own selves in an effort to be sincere, but in doing so actually make it harder for themselves to turn back to Allah (swt) as they lose hope. Another form of fiction created around guilt is when the person feels guilty about something which Allah (swt) will not ask them about. It isn’t a sin or shortcoming of theirs in the first place, but they feel responsible and guilty. Allah (swt) is Greater than His needing His servants to torture themselves in this way.

The third mistake is even if the sin was something bigger in nature, the guilty person who wants to return to Allah (swt) should focus on Allah’s Greatness and not the size of their sin. Now this is an interesting point to reflect on. Those whom the shaytan tries to reach through negligence are advised by our predecessors, “Don’t think about the sin being minor, think about the Greatness of the One you are sinning against.” Similarly, those whom the shaytan tries to hinder through excessive guilt, must also be advised “Do not look at the size of the sin, but the Greatness of the One Who has promised His forgiveness.” To think that mistakes are simply too big or too repeated for the forgiveness of Allah (swt) is a form of doubting Allah (swt)’s infinite Mercy. It is a materialistic approach, subconsciously limiting His Forgiveness to the human constructs of forgiveness we find in the world. The question is not “Will Allah forgive us?” The question is “Will we turn to Him?” The Forgiveness of al-Ghafur, al-Afuww, (the Forgiving, the Pardoner) is greater than anything we can imagine.

The fourth mistake is that Allah (swt) doesn’t want us to despise ourselves. He wants us to feel regret in disobeying Him, to turn back to Him seeking His forgiveness, to have the determination not to do it again, and if other people were harmed then to return their rights. These are the conditions of tawbah as outlined by Imam Nawawi in Riyadh al-Saliheen. The initial feeling of regret and guilt is simply the key to the whole process. One should not get stuck staring at the key, but use it to unlock the door of seeking forgiveness, and open the door with the determination of not going back, in order to walk into the room of redemption, the room of getting closer to Allah (swt) by returning to Him. It is hope in His Mercy that drives this process and moves a person from simply focusing on the key of regret to actually using it to propel oneself closer to Allah (swt).

One of the signs that a person carries disapproval of themselves is when they need or seek attention or approval from others in order to feel good. Even acting arrogantly can actually be a sign of personal insecurity rooted in unhealthy guilt. It’s amazing to think how a disease that enters through an extreme approach to humility (excessive guilt and despair) actually can lead to its opposite extreme in arrogance. Whatever the guilt is rooted in must be confronted, allowing the person to take their lessons, mend their ways and move forward. When it comes to repenting from harmful addictions, part of one’s determination to not return to the sin should include seeking the help of a counselor or therapist. Real tawbah is not about getting stuck in an endless cycle of excessive guilt and returning to sin. Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned in Jawab al-Kafi a line in which the excessively guilty person describes his diseased state, “I drank a cup to taste its pleasure then drank another to heal its pain.

As Ramadan is the opportune month to purify ourselves from our diseases, I wanted to compile a list of Quranic verses, ahadith, and sayings that remind us how Allah (swt) welcomes our returning to Him, our true tawbah. He (swt) is repeatedly assuring us of His Mercy and Forgiveness, not asking us to despise ourselves. Tawbah is about removing the sin from one’s path in order to draw even closer to Allah (swt) than before. Every sinful mistake is an opportunity and a signal that it is time to grow in our relationship with Allah (swt); and as we turn to Him walking, He turns to us rushing. Tawbah as such is an act of redemption and elevation, not despair:

1. “Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’” (Qur’an 39:53)

2. “Except those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Qur’an 2:160)

3. “But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 5:39)

4. “[…] Then He turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Qur’an 9:118)

5. “[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Qur’an 15:49)

6. “And [there are] others who have acknowledged their sins. They had mixed a righteous deed with another that was bad. Perhaps Allah will turn to them in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 9:102)

7. “Those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, only [committing] slight ones. Indeed, your Lord is vast in forgiveness. […]” (Qur’an 53:32)

8. “[…] indeed He is ever, to the often returning [to Him], Forgiving.” (Qur’an 17:25)

9. “And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 4:110)

10. “[…] And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 73:20)

11. “[…] Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (Qur’an 12:87)

12. “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. […]” (Qur’an 2:186)

13. “O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, “Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.” (Qur’an 66:8)

14. “And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? […]” (Quran 3:135)

15. “[…] Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (Qur’an 11:114)

16. “Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 25:70)

17. “And it is He who accepts repentance from his servants and pardons misdeeds, and He knows what you do.” (Qur’an 42:25)

18. On the authority of Anas radi allahu `anhu (may Allah be please with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: “Allah the Almighty has said: ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds in the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins and were you then to face Me, without having associated anything with Me, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon.’” (Tirmidhi)

19. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (ra) the Prophet ﷺ said, from among the things he reports from his Lord (swt), is that He said: “A servant [of Allah's] committed a sin and said: ‘O Allah, forgive me my sin.’ And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: ‘My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them.’ Then he sinned again and said: ‘O Lord, forgive me my sin.’ And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: ‘My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them.’ Then he sinned again and said: ‘O Lord, forgive me my sin.’ And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: ‘My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for sins. Do what you wish, for I have forgiven you.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

20. On the authority of Ibn Abbas (ra) the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said among the sayings he relates from his Lord is: “Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones.” Then he explained it [by saying that]: “He who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

21. Abdullah ibn Omar (ra) says that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah accepts the repentance of His servant as long as he does not croak (on his deathbed).” (Tirmidhi)

22. Anas ibn Malik (ra) says that the Prophet ﷺ said: “When a servant of Allah returns to Him and repents, Allah is happier than a traveler who loses his mount which has all his belongings and provisions on it and then resorts to the shade of tree after losing all hope only to wake up and find his mount staring in his face, and then out of joy and happiness erroneously says: ‘Allah You are my servant and I your Lord.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

23. Narrated Abu Huraira (ra): I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ saying, “The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise.” They (the Prophet’s companions) said, ‘Not even you, O Allah’s Apostle?’ He said, “Not even myself, unless Allah bestows His favor and Mercy on me.” So be moderate in your religious deeds and do the deeds that are within your ability: and none of you should wish for death, for if he is a good doer, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to Allah.” (Bukhari)

24. The Prophet ﷺ said,”Every son of Adam makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” (At-Tirmidhi)

25. He ﷺ also said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” (Muslim)

26. On the authority of Ibn Abbas (ra) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah has pardoned for me my people for [their] mistakes and [their] forgetfulness and for what they have done under duress.” (ibn Majah, Baihaqi and others)

27. The Prophet ﷺ said to Mu’adh bin Jabal (ra), “Shall I not show you the gates of goodness? Fasting is a shield, charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire; and the praying of a man in the depth of night.” Then he recited: “Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” (Qur’an 32:16-17) (Tirmidhi)

28. Ali (ra) said, “The sin which makes you sad and repentant is more liked by Allah than the good deed which turns you arrogant.”

29. A man asked Abdullah ibn Masood (ra) about repenting from a sin which he wanted to commit but did not commit it. Abdullah (ra) turned away from the man and then turned towards him with his eyes weeping and said: “Paradise has eight entrances, all of which open and shut except the entrance of tawbah. This entrance has an angel guarding it so that it does not shut. So repent and do not despair.”

30. Saeed ibn Musayib (ra) said, “Allah will change the bad deeds of those who repent and convert them into good deeds (on the Scales) on the Day of Judgment. Repentance is itself a good deed. So the sinner changes his sins into good deeds.” (Madarij al-Salikeen)

Subhan Allah, if Allah (swt) will forgive you, who are you not to forgive yourself? If He loves you and has mercy on you, who are you not to love yourself and be merciful with yourself? Finally, as is my sunnah in such articles, I also wanted to leave some narrations on a different thought. These are connected in that they show us the general theme that Allah (swt) is much Greater than His needing us to harm and torture ourselves. Actually, He doesn’t want those things from us at all. He wants us to elevate ourselves in our relationship with Him. Just as we don’t need to beat ourselves up for real tawbah, we also don’t need to harm ourselves in order to worship Him best this Ramadan. Let us push ourselves insha Allah, God willing, in a way that keeps us consistent in turning to Him and worshipping Him (swt).

5 Reasons not to Torture Ourselves!

1. Anas ibn Malik (ra) reports: “The Prophet ﷺ came one day into the mosque and found a rope stretched between two pillars. He asked what the rope was for. He was told that it was put up for Zainab, so that she would hold on to it during her prayer when she felt too tired. The Prophet said: ‘No. Take it off. Let everyone pray when they feel fresh and comfortable. When they feel tired, they should sit down.’” (Bukhari)

2. Narrated `A’isha (ra): The Prophet ﷺ used to say, “Do those deeds which you can do easily, as Allah will not get tired (of giving rewards) till you get bored and tired (of performing religious deeds).” The most beloved prayer to the Prophet was the one that was done regularly even if it were little. And whenever the Prophet offered a prayer he used to offer it regularly.  (Bukhari)

3. Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was informed that I had taken an oath to fast daily and to pray all through the night throughout my life. I replied, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you! I said so.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “You cannot do that. So, fast for few days and give it up for few days, pray and sleep. Fast three days a month as the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times and that will be equal to one year of fasting.” I replied, “I can do better than that.” The Prophet ﷺ said to me, “Fast one day and give up fasting for a day and that is the fasting of Prophet David and that is the best fasting.” I said, “I have the power to fast better (more) than that.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no better fasting than that.” (Bukhari)

4. Narrated Mujahid from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Fast three days a month.” ‘Abdullah said, “I am able to fast more than that.” They kept on arguing on this matter till the Prophet said, “Fast on alternate days, and recite the whole Qur’an once a month.” ‘Abdullah said, “I can recite more,” and the argument went on till the Prophet ﷺ said, “Recite the Qur’an once each three days.” (Bukhari)

5. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Make matters easy and do not make them difficult, give glad tidings and do not make people averse.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

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46 Comments

  1. Suhaib Webb says:

    Just what I needed for Ramadan!

  2. ahmad b says:

    Awesome article masha’Allah! That was very inspiring!!

  3. Khajija says:

    Just underwent and still under-going a very strange situation. The more i try to deduce the purpose and “test” behind it, the more confused, guilty and uncertain i become.

    I have brought it unto myself through sinning but sincerely pray to Allah (SWT) that He turns it into a good and worthy experience and make me Firmer and more resolute in Faith. May He recall me back unto the Straight Path and make me the best Muslimah i can be..

    Pls include me in your Duas…

    May He bless us all and shower his infinite mercy on us…Amiin Ya Rabanna

    • Charles says:

      I am not a Muslim but wanted to encourage you to go before God in sincerity just as the article says. I have found Him to be majestic in His love even when I failed myself and others miserably. Do not despair, my friend.

      • Mashallah Charles. May God bless you for your encouragement and concern.

        And Khajija, sister, Allah is always ready to accept our sincere request for forgiveness. Sister, it’s time to start acting as if you’ve been forgiven and move forward on the right path. If you stay waiting for the sign of forgiveness, you may never see it. It’s in action that the blessings come. May Allah accept your duah!

        • Khajija says:

          Thank you Charles and AmusingMuslimah for your kind words. May Allah (SWT) bless you all for it.

          Inshallah, i will stop despairing and despising myself and endeavour towards being on the straight path.

          May Allah(SWT) bless us all and make our faith and trust in Him firm….Amiin

    • Muslema says:

      Sister Khadija,

      I wanted to let you know if you’d like to talk or email please contact me insha Allah, using my facebook page, and if I cannot help you myself– I will connect you to someone who can insha Allah.

      Take care insha Allah, and may this Ramadan bring you internal healing and immense blessings!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swUORYD3LQE

      WS,
      Muslema

      • Khajija says:

        Sr Muslema, Thank u very much for your offer.

        I have just sent u a facebook friend request so we can start conversing. Am the one with the “Bm” pic.

        May God bless you Allah for your concern.

    • seef says:

      In Surah Al-Ankabut, Allah mentions those who see the struggles of this life as a punishment from Allah, and not as a test as Allah wants them to be for us.
      Uncertainty of belief is a trick of the Shaitan. Consider that out belief is in the unseen, and by becoming Muslims we are witnesses, having witnessed the Oneness of God and the truth from His messenger. Seeing the unseen.

  4. Sarah Zareen says:

    SubhanAllah Sh.Muslema! Thank you for such a wonderful read. I truly love you for the sake of Allah and will keep you and your family in my duas, especially during Ramadan.

  5. Yasmin says:

    This post really encourages us to turn to Allah (swt) in repentance.

  6. J says:

    Beautiful- jazakiAllah khair. I really needed this.

  7. Arif Shaikh says:

    jazaki Allahu khayran for the important reminder.

  8. Salma says:

    Jazakallah khair, youve have truly lifted my spirit by sharing this article. May Allah bless you.
    Salaam alaikum.

  9. brah Kaminari says:

    does this article include major sins ? Does it mean when a man killed his mother with his hands and he repented with sincerity that his repentance is a sign that Allah forgave him ?

    Can he live life now confidently and become a scholar ? Does Islam say that this is to 100 % possible ?

    I often hear Imams saying that when they mention ahadith where Allah says that he will forgive all ur sins even if they would be so many as …. that this applies only to minor sins

    can somebody clarify this ?

    • seef says:

      Moses killed a man and went on to be one of the beloved Prophets. It is up to Allah how he will deal with these types of major sins – will the criminal face earthly justice, will his sins be covered up, will he get away with it in this life, will Allah ultimately forgive him, will he face eternal punishment? Allah forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills.

  10. Mohammed Ameen says:

    Good article ….which keeps our despair away and give a heart to repent to Allah almighty . Hadees saying that mercy of Allah overpowers his anger was a great piece of enlightenment to me . Masha Allah may Allah give you more strength and knowledge

  11. Muslema says:

    @brah Kaminari, please see this hadith and let me know what you think:

    Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said: “There was a man from among a nation before you who killed ninety-nine people and then made an inquiry about the most learned person on the earth. He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the negative and the man killed him also completing one hundred. He then asked about the most learned man in the earth. He was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the affirmative and asked, `Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.’ So he went away and hardly had he covered half the distance when death overtook him; and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, ‘This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,’ and the angels of punishment argued, ‘He never did a virtuous deed in his life.’ Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, `Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.’ They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul”.

    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

    In another version: “He was found to be nearer to the locality of the pious by a cubit and was thus included among them”. Another version says: “Allah commanded (the land which he wanted to leave) to move away and commanded the other land (his destination) to draw nearer and then He said: ‘Now measure the distance between them.’ It was found that he was nearer to his goal by a hand’s span and was thus forgiven”. It is also narrated that he drew closer by a slight movement on his chest.

    • brah Kaminari says:

      it is unbelievable how insecure u can become as a muslim when u r listening to the wrong persons

      Knowledge seems to be nothing when u dont have the right faham ( undestanding ) to it and the hikmah ( wisdom ) to apply it to ur time and for the coming future

      I thank u for the clarification, it is not that I didnt know it but I felt unsure about all this , the way muslim leaders want muslims to become good muslims is not to tell them this is haram and it is haram not to do this …..

      aisha ( ra )said somethn like, when the first command that would have been revealed be – dont drink wine,aclohol – , nobody would have ever givin up alcohol and she is talkin about the sahaba

      I would really like to see her FAHAM and HIKMAH being applied in our time , or in FIQH, I sense more DONTs and DOs , can’t reflect about donts and dos,

  12. Meena says:

    A truly uplifting and insightful article, published at the perfect time.

    jzk Muslema!

  13. Hasan Khan says:

    Such an important article.. jazakilahukhairun :)

  14. marcus says:

    thank you so much for this. i always tend to feel guilty when i do wrong and the guilt takes over my concentration to do anything of good deeds and i feel not worth anything. thank you for your advice.

  15. Aicha says:

    SubhanAllah, this article is a must read. JAK Ustadhati Muslema.

    This makes me think of the importance of balance.

    On one end there is the mindset of a psychopath who lacks (or has shut off) the senses of guilt/remorse either through immediate rationalization, deflection onto others/things/events, or complete denial. And on the other end, a normal/physiological sense of guilt that is just enough to rectify our actions and bring us to a state of tawbah can go into a pathological state of anger, depression, persistent grief, reoccurring indulgence in negative behavior/thoughts, low self-esteem, negligence of other responsibilities, etc, which all further degrade someone to an unhealthy state of guilt, if left without it’s remedy*. Of course, our mind and body are intimately connected so a harmful emotional state will definitely affect the physiology of the physical body–dwindling into a cascade of illnesses to deal with.

    *Allah SWT is our Creator. He knows us better that we ever will. He has given us a system that reflects what we need to be healthy. Tawbah is the remedy to guilt. It is our medicine. If we do not engage in this form of treatment, the disease will exacerbate and we cannot be healthy no matter what else we to try to mask the subsequent symptoms with.

    Another important factor to consider is the obsession with perfection. We were not Created as perfect beings. We fall into err so that we may go back to Allah SWT and sincerely seek His Forgiveness and Guidance. It is an opportunity to pause, rethink our lives and go back to the Source of Guidance and Mercy. It is the cleansing we need to get through our days as fallible beings.

    May Allah SWT Help us recognize the tools he has left us to heal. Amin.

  16. Mahmood says:

    Amazing article mashAllah. JazakhAllah Khair!! These collection of ayats n hadeeth really blew me away. Thanks to Suheib Webb FB page for sharing it!!

  17. Azlu says:

    (…)
    If your salvation is a long time coming, though, then remember that it may be because “Allah changeth not the condition of a folk until they ( first ) change that which is in their hearts ” (Ar-Ra’d : 11)

    If your trust in Allah is strong enough, you will not worry about Satan anymore. “Lo! he hath no power over those who believe and put trust in their Lord . ” (An-Nahl : 99)

    Depression, if any, will come to you only from Satan. “The devil promiseth you destitution and enjoineth on you lewdness . But Allah promiseth you forgiveness from Himself with bounty . Allah is All Embracing , All Knowing .” (Al-Baqara : 268) Even if Depression is a neuro-biological problem, rather than a matter of mood, as doctors say, your trust in Allah will not only dispel it, but cure it. One way of reaching that is by reading the Koran regularly with both your mind and heart. “And We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy for believers” Al-Isra: 82) “Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah . Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest! ” (Ar-Ra’d : 28)

    Your depression will go when you really believe that “For those who do good in this world there is a good ( reward ) and the home of the Hereafter will be better . Pleasant indeed will be the home of those who ward off ( evil ) . ” (An-Nahl : 30)

    And be prepared for “sacrifices”. You will not get everything you want. Because something you want may not be a good thing for you. “but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you , and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you . Allah knoweth , ye know not . ” (Al-Baqara : 216)

    And remember that it’s Allah who is the Lord, and that it’s who who should seek Allah’s pleasure, not the other way round. And that whatever you do you do it for yourself . “Whoso doeth right it is for his soul , and whoso doeth wrong it is against it . And thy Lord is not at all a tyrant to His slaves . ” (Fussilat : 46) “And whosoever striveth , striveth only for himself , for lo! Allah is altogether Independent of ( His ) creatures . ” (Al-Ankabut : 6) “Thou warnest only those who fear their Lord in secret , and have established worship . He who groweth ( in goodness ) , groweth only for himself , ( he cannot by his merit redeem others ) . Unto Allah is the journeying . ” (Fatir : 18) “Then withdraw ( O Muhammad ) from him who fleeth from Our remembrance and desireth but the life of the world . Such is their sum of knowledge . Lo! thy Lord is best aware of him who strayeth , and He is best aware of him who goeth right . And unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth , that He may reward those who do evil with that which they have done , and reward those who do good with goodness . Those who avoid enormities of sin and abominations , save the unwilled offences ( for them ) lo! thy Lord is of vast mercy . He is best aware of you ( from the time ) when He created you from the earth , and when ye were hidden in the bellies of your mothers . Therefor ascribe not purity unto yourselves . He is best aware of him who wardeth off ( evil ) . ” (An-Najm : 29-32)

    By following Allah’s path you are, in fact, just seizing the opportunity which He gave you to prepâre your place in Heaven. Your dream house will never be as beautiful as the least beautiful house in Heaven. your dream wife will never be as beautiful as the least houri in Heaven. It’s up to you to decide the degree of beauty of your place there. Patience is your best means of increasing that beauty. Paradoxically, the more strongly you believe in Allah the longer you will have to wait for your salvation. This may sound strange, but just read the stories of the Prophets mentioned in the Koran. And bear in mind that Allah wants you to be happy in this world, too: “Say : Who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah which He hath brought forth for His bondmen , and the good things of His providing? Say : Such , on the Day of Resurrection , will be only for those who believed during the life of the world . Thus do We detail Our revelations for people who have knowledge . ” (Al-A’raf : 32)

    “Whosoever doeth right , whether male or female , and is a believer , him verily We shall quicken with good life , and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do . ” (An-Nahl : 97)

    ***Excerpt from my post on depression***

  18. bilal ahmed says:

    subhanallah! it is so deeply true. may almighty increase u in imaan and grant you jannat al firdous.

  19. Hayaah says:

    JazakAllah Khayr for sharing this! It was a FANTASTIC read and we and our people are SO in need of this in the world that we live today…

  20. ukhti says:

    this was beautiful masha’Allah.

    • Muslema says:

      Jazakum Allahu Khairan for all your words of encouragement. May Allah (swt) accept from us all and forgive us all in this month.

      I also wanted to share this hadith. Look at the man’s sin and how the Prophet (saw) dealt with him. Look at the mercy and hope– the positive direction of his response as inspired by revelation from Allah (swt). This is the spirit we must treat ourselves with when we repent to the One who loves us for returning to Him:

      Narrated Ibn Mas’uud r.a.: A man kissed a woman and then came to Allah’s Messenger saaws and told him of that, so this Divine Inspiration was revealed to the Prophet saaws:-”And offer prayers perfectly at the two ends of the day, and in some hours of the night; [i.e. (five) compulsory prayers]. (Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (small sins). That is a reminder for the mindful.” (Qur’an 11:114) The man said, “Is this instruction for me only?” The Prophet saaws said, “It is for all those of my followers who encounter a similar situation.”

  21. Safiya Outlines says:

    Salaam Alaikum,

    A beautiful article. Jazak Allahu Khayran for this.

  22. Naqib Shifa says:

    “Similarly, those whom the shaytan tries to hinder through excessive guilt, must also be advised “Do not look at the size of the sin, but the Greatness of the One Who has promised His forgiveness.” To think that mistakes are simply too big or too repeated for the forgiveness of Allah (swt) is a form of doubting Allah (swt)’s infinite Mercy. It is a materialistic approach, subconsciously limiting His Forgiveness to the human constructs of forgiveness we find in the world.”

    That’s a profound comment masha’Allah. Jazak Allahu khair for that sagacious exposition.

  23. Sara says:

    Reading this on the 23rd and specially making duaa for you sis. This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. JazakAllahu Khairun

  24. River says:

    Very good points made, self doubt stems from a vicious cycle of anguish, leading to despairing in the mercy of Allah. Someone recently told me “Allah didnt make a mistake when he created you on your fitra.”

  25. siddiqnasir says:

    assalamualaikum warahmatullah

    sister muslema purmul, may i ask your permission to translate this article in malaysian language? i’m thinking of translating it in malay language and may be i can share it in my blog or my facebook for the benefit of my other moslem brothers and sisters.

    thank you,

    p/s: you may reach me at the above given email.i am very happy to have your article.it is very inspiring for us, moslems around the world.

  26. abdirashiid says:

    maansha-allah this is what i really needed!jazaakallahu-khayr

  27. Muslema says:

    @ siddiqnasir

    Yes, insha Allah. Someone from the website staff should be contacting you shortly!

    Jazak Allahu Khairan and Eid Mubarak!

  28. Holly says:

    MashaAllah! JazakAllah Khayer for the reminders

  29. Iram says:

    A powerfully written article, thank you for sharing this as it has really made me reflect deeply into how I ask for forgiveness.

  30. saif says:

    jazakallah brother
    your article was life saver for
    whole life i spent in these extreme guilt
    and now finally feeling relieved
    alhamdolillah………….

  31. Hannah says:

    jazakAllah sister Muslema for the insightful article! May Allah (SWT) grant you the highest level of janna

    please could you explain point 22? The final sentence confused me, I’m not sure if it’s a typing error or the actual response, if so please would you clarify it?

  32. Muslema Purmul says:

    @ Hannah

    In that narration the Muslim was so excited to find their items returned, their life saved that they cried out wanting to thank Allah (swt) and accidentally said it wrong. Allah is more pleased with our turning to Him, than the person in the story who was so overjoyed, they misspoke.

  33. nadia says:

    SUBHANALLAH!!!!
    Jazakallah for this amazing article..i guess we all need such reminders because shaitaan is working non-stop to put depair in our hearts..

    But ALHAMDOLILLAH what a wonderful rab we have.May He always protect us from the accursed shaitaan and never let us lose hope in His infinite Mercy.Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen.

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