No Pain, No Gain. A lot of times, we have to go through painful experiences to learn something new or to change a habit. If the painful experience wasn’t present, then we may not be pushed enough to make the change. Of course that’s one of the benefits to anxiety disorder in general.
I normally don’t like to talk about some bad time I had because I feel that venting won’t really do any of us any good. But this painful and negative experience leads into the positive outcome we need to permanently realize and reach, so there’s benefit in mentioning it.
I went through another crises episode last night until this morning. Most of my crises lately revolve around Islam, and my relationship with Allah, because we have our close companion shaitan at work, trying to make our lives a miserable hell.
I am praying my night prayers, reading from the Quran. And ironically, this is soon after a great experience I had at isha prayer with feelings of tawakkul, and leaving everything in the hands of Allah. I was reading, and was feeling depersonalized, and not feeling anything in prayer. Then I started thinking that it is so difficult to get close to Allah. How much work do I have to do to try to feel close to Allah consistently? When can I get to a point where my khushu’ is so strong that it comes automatically? Because I am still having more problems with my night prayer and attaining khushu’ vs the fardh prayers in the masjid.
So I am feeling frustrated that I can’t seem to get closer to Allah very easily; that it is a difficult task. Then I started thinking that all the efforts that I’m making in asking Allah for help are useless and in vain, and that it’s better to not waste all your energy and get your hopes up with expecting an immediate response, because immediate responses don’t happen very frequently with Allah. And then I started despairing that I’m thinking along these lines. And feeling a strong sense of despair and depression smothering me like a wet blanket. And then I feel this big surge of negatively and pointlessness and anger with how hard it is to get closer to Allah, and I feel completely dead and disconnected from my Salah, that it’s utterly pointless. And I had zero feeings of connection with Allah, and I was frustrated and really upset, despairing, and feeling utterly hopeless with my situation. I was having terrible urges to just throw the Quran out of my hands and to stop praying and scream, Allah! I give up!!!! This is just TOO HARD! But of course actions like that are awful, and I know that I’m not allowed to do thiings like that, so I restrained and just finished the prayer. The moment I finished my 2 rakats, I collapsed on the ground and laid down for 15 mins. I could not believe how awful feelings I had during the prayer, and those awful and evil urges. I felt totally down the drain and that nothing will ever work for me. After some time resting. I got up and prayed the last rakah, and went to sleep in despair, but hoping the next day would be better.
This morning, woke up incredibly exhausted, and went back to sleep after fajr. I was still sad about how last night’s prayer went. I started my daily study routine, and was studying about the some of the meanings of Allah’s name – “Ar-Rabb” One of the linguistic meanings of Al-Rabb is – “Al-Mutasarif.” I went to look up this word in one of my dictionaries, and I found the meaning:
تصرف فلان في الأمر- احتال و تقلب فيه
معجم الوسيط- ص٥٣٢
“A person does “tasarafa” in something when they deceive and they becomes unsteady,fickle, and changes.”
This made me feel terrible. It lowered my confidence in Allah. I knew in my mind that this can’t be a valid meaning for the meaning of Ar-Rabb, because the dictionary is defining something unfitting and deficient, and Allah is free of imperfection. This is what I knew and learned. But inside, my spiritual crises continued and I felt nervous that this could possibly the definition of Rabb. I was so shocked by how irrational I was feeling, that I couldn’t take it. I prayed two rakahs and I was so despairing and confused as to why did I feel this way and not have the confidence to simply discard that as a plausible meaning of Rabb. I felt helpless and stuck in trying to figure out how to change this feeling. More despair into my situation set in. I lost more hope. I felt more angered at the lack of support I was getting. I felt abandoned by Allah that He just wants me to fall into kufr. I felt that no matter how much I am trying, I am destined to be a kaafir in the end. Then I had thoughts pop into my mind when I was reciting. “Al-Hamdu Lillah.” “What do you have to be thankful for?” I barely ignored it, but felt that thought was justified and legitimate. But I still decided not to accept it, in spite of how I was feeling.
I felt that all the efforts I was making every day, praying and praying, and begging Allah for iman, and sincerity was a lost cause and that Allah will not give it to me. And my despair and lack of hope became very strong. To the point where I was angry, and I didn’t want to study and wanted to give up, and the truth of who I am came out when i was tested. Nevertheless, I continued on with my studies, and continued listening to my lecture.
By the end of the lecture I sstarted feeling slightly normal again, and not so deep in negativity and doom and gloom.
It came almost time for Zhuhr prayer, and I saw a bookmark sitting on my desk. I picked it up to mark my place in the book. The bookmark had a message on it. I read it.
This message struck me deeply. I started bursting into tears when I saw it. Again, my problem and trap I always continue to fall into hit me again. I lose hope. I don’t trust.
I started reflecting: “wait a second. If I really trusted Allah, then why am I afraid that I will never be sincere? I am asking Him everyday to make me a sincere servant, and I am trying my best, so why am I always so paranoid that I will be told on the Day of Judgement that I was insincere in seeking knowledge, and that the angels and Allah will witness against me that I lied and I was insincere in seeking knowledge? And then I’ll be ordered to be thrown in the Hellfire?
Please, let’s ask the question to ourselves everyday. “Can’t I trust that Allah will protect me from being insincere if I ask Him for it? Can’t I trust that Allah will save me from hellfire if I ask Him for it?”
As I recovered from this crisis, I still feel a little shaken up inside. I had to experience this painful event, to maybe realize that losing hope and not trusting Allah can lead to awful results with your heart and iman.