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“I feel like a kafir. I feel like whatever I do to get closer to Allah, I get pushed away. The more good deeds I do, the harder it is to feel a connection to Allah. I just don’t feel like I believe, what is wrong with me, and what can I do to stop it?”
Yes, I am dealing with these thoughts and feelings as well. No Sheikh Imam, it is not just as simple as Shaitan whispering thoughts and we believe them. There is more complication to the situation then meets the eye. You can’t relate to it, because you aren’t suffering with the condition that I am.
It is a complicated feeling of disbelief as if it has been forced onto you, even though you don’t want it. The waswaas feels like it’s all you, and the thoughts are yours completely, and they are embedded in your heart, so that is the reality of who you really are at heart, even though you may do actions. You try to do all the good deeds in the world, but the dark reality of your heart remains the same, and Allah knows what’s in the hearts.
I have stressed and worried myself to impairment and disability over this issue of iman and believing and avoiding kufr and disbelief. It has caused me years of agony and suffering, and it has not increased my love of Allah one bit. It has not brought me closer to my Creator One ounce.
People around me think I’m silly for believing this. What do they see? They see a practicing muslim, big beard, memorized a lot of quran, learning Arabic, always doing good deeds, always trying to avoid all the sins, big and small as possible, attending a full time islamic university in Saudi Arabia, giving talks and lectures in the summer. Just a really religious guy, that they look up to.
So why is it then that i feel like a disbeliever, when I’m trying my utmost best to be a sincere slave to Allah and to do good deeds? Why am I feeling this way? What’s the explanation? I need one, because this anxiety about my iman is driving me insane.
Important question: Why is it that I never felt this way when I wasn’t suffering from an anxiety disorder? I mean I was born and raised muslim, and I wasn’t even practicing Islam like I am now. I was just your average american born muslim, not knowing too much about the religion.
Why is it that AFTER I developed my severe anxiety symptoms and disorder, that I am always questioning whether or not I’m a true Muslim.
I was actively learning and practicing Islam several years before I developed this bizzarre paranoia that I don’t really believe in my heart. If waswaas of Shaitan is the sole explanation for why I am feeling this way, then why didn’t I feel this way before when I was still practicing alot and developed my full blown anxiety disorder?
I have a very logical answer to this, after years of suffering through this agony of worrying if I’m a believer or not.
It’s called Depersonalization. A symptom of anxiety and stress, where you feel disconnected from reality. Where you feel like you aren’t youreself. Where you feel like you’re disconnected from your mind and body. Where you feel that you’re living somebody else’s life. Where you feel like your hand doesn’t really belong to you. Where you feel like your family members are complete strangers to you, even though you grew up with them. Where you feel like…… You’re not really a believer, even though you always wanted to be.
Consider what this one guy wrote on this thread on questioning religion.
After this condition, it was like my faith, spirituality was stripped from me. Like forced Atheism.
He’s a Christian saying that. Can you relate to that? For sure I feel the same way.
Is Shaitan involved? Yes of course he is. He wants you to become a disbeliever no doubt. But it’s not that simple as that as I mentioned. He has cunningly carved out and crafted an attractive playing ground for waswaas. Consider it waswaas on steriods. It is Shaitan’s chance to say something that is already matching with how you feel about things. So it makes it that much easier for you to buy into it.
Let’s start to find relief in the fact that we are dealing with a symptom of stress that is causing us to feel like true disbelievers. And let’s start truly entrusting our religion and deen to Al-Wakeel; the One who takes care of us and looks after our affairs.