By: Shannon Abulnasr via OnIslam
“I've had it! I'm done! I've tried as much as I can, and nothing seems to ever work out the way it is supposed to. No matter what I do it never seems to be enough. I will never be a good Muslim, and I will never hold up to everyone's expectations of me.”
Does this sound familiar to you?
You or someone you know have probably said this during some stage in life.
It happens. Life happens. What was the outcome of that hopeless time period?
It passed right?
All things get resolved in time, we just have to be patient and remain positive. I'm sure there was a time in your life when you couldn't find a job and felt you never would, but eventually you found one. You probably had a conflict with a family member that you thought was going to be the end of the world, but somehow, things are back to normal.
If you look in hindsight to every struggle we have ever faced, you can usually say that you overcame all of them. The only time we face a hardship that is not overcome is typically when we fail to do something about it, fail to remain positive and hopeful.
I'm frequently contacted by new Muslims all around the world with various life struggles with various strenuous circumstances that have left them in a state of hopelessness and despair. Whether it is a marriage falling apart due to the strain of their ability to implement and practice Islam to the expectations of their spouses, or inability to learn the prayers for whatever reason, or criticisms of the community they live in, or even putting so much pressure on themselves to be perfect and feeling that they will never reach that state, leaves them to start contemplating if they made the correct choice in accepting Islam.
New Muslims are always told that “Islam is easy”, which can be a bit misleading to a new Muslim depending on the mindset and way that they interpret a particular matter based on whatever struggles they are having.
When a new Muslim is told that “Islam is easy”, yet something about the religion for them seems extremely difficult (for whatever circumstances or reasons), it can cause them to think that they will never be a good Muslim, because if it is so easy, then why can't they feel that themselves? Then they start to doubt themselves, and Islam in general.
So, what is the problem? Why do some new Muslims give up?
What can new Muslims do to remain positive and not give up?
Remaining Positive Is the Key to Everything!
Most of the issues new Muslims face in Islam can be easily overcome if they remain patient, seek knowledge, and remain positive.
Shaitan (Satan) – our worst enemy - wants to see new Muslims in a state of despair and will whisper to them things that will make them pity themselves and have doubts. This is his job, and he is the expert in it! He loves nothing more than making someone walk away from God. He is a pest. What do we do when pests enter our homes?
Do we sit in utter doom thinking that there is no solution? Do we feel sorry for ourselves and never let the light of hope enter? No! We don't, because we know that it may take some time, but we can get rid of them. We get bug spray and eliminate them.
Same rule applies here. Get your can of shaitan spray in hand and be on guard. Be ready to spray anytime you see him show his ugly face. Don't let shaitan ever feel that you are scared of him and what he can do, otherwise he will invade every part of your home and life. When he sees that you are strong and don't want to live with his ugliness, your ability to be positive will grow and grow. No one wants to live with pests, right? You will feel hopeful and positive that you will eliminate this pest when you have armed yourself with what he hates most! Pest spray (Faith and trust in God).
Let's discuss a few forms shaitan gets to people
There are many methods that shaitan attacks new Muslims to make them doubt their decisions. We can evaluate how their attitudes and outlook can change everything if they just remain positive and seek out solutions.
The Lonely Shaitan
Shaitan is lonely, and wants to be your friend, so don't become his best pal! I realize that loneliness is a horrible feeling, and I can't just snap my fingers and put friends and family in front of you, but that doesn't mean it is the end of the world as you know it. Just because he is there wanting your attention doesn't mean that he is the friend you need to have.
If you are a negative thinker, you will probably stay at home and pout, and the lonely shaitan will entertain you day and night. Get your pest spray out and get rid of that loneliness shaitan! Be positive, and get out and go do something! Anything! Meet new people. They don't have to be Muslims, but if there is a large Muslim community near you, do your best to make new friends with them. Frequent places where they gather, visit the masjid regularly, get involved in events and you will make new friends. It takes time, but it takes time to make a new friend regardless of where you meet them, or what their religion is, right?
The Marital Shaitan
Shaitan prides himself in keeping people unmarried, or divorced. Always remember that. Just because you may be single doesn't mean that you are the victim of shaitan, but don't let him be what prevents you from getting married. Watch out though....he may actually be the one to have you marry a particular person that is not good for you, because he loves to see people divorce.
New Muslims are pushed to marry quickly, and encouraged to marry someone that may not match them. Don't be one of these people that lets other people make their decisions for them. Shaitan thrives on people that can't think for themselves.
Know what you want, make it known, and don't accept anything less, even if it takes time. Look for a pious spouse, and make sure that you are a pious spouse worth being sought out for. Remaining hopeful and positive while being patient will pay off in the long run in this matter, because if you make a rushed decision, it can destroy you in a heartbeat through a divorce.
The Poor & Jobless Shaitan
When we are in misery, the shaitan is happy. When a person is struggling financially, the shaitan sees an opportunity to influence a believer. He is weak, and when he becomes desperate, he is easier to convince to go against Allah. The perfect example of this is the single mother that reverted to Islam and is the sole provider for her child. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and shaitan is usually successful. Shaitan can make a woman feel that she will never find a job wearing a hijab, and as she becomes desperate, she may consider removing her hijab just for the sake of getting a job.
“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested?” (Qur’an 29:2)
“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” (Qur’an 2:155)
Allah is our provider, and as long as we are trying to do our best to please Him, He will provide for us in ways unexpected. Stay positive and don't become weak, and He will open the doors of opportunity in places you were not expecting that are better for you than the jobs you were seeking. He may close a door, but He will open another if you put your trust in Him and remain patient and steadfast.
“And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” (Qur’an 65:3)
The Black Sheep Shaitan
Family is the core support for an individual. Parents have no ulterior motives for their children, and always look out for their best interest. New Muslims typically lack this after accepting Islam, leaving them without this core support system. Shaitan preys on these individuals because of it! So be alert!
Always be hopeful and ask Allah to guide your family to Islam, and to open their hearts and make it easy to have a loving relationship with them. Even if you don't have a great relationship with your family, be grateful that you have one. Think of the orphans all around the world that don't have family to have any sort of relationship with! Alhamdulilah
The Burn Out
This is a very prominent occurrence amongst new Muslims. They try to do everything prescribed in Islam from day one, and 99% of the time, find themselves exhausted, unable to keep up, and wanting to give up. They burn out.
This is a joyous event for the shaitan. If you try to do too much, too quickly, you will be overwhelmed, and won't be able to keep it up, and then have doubts about if you could ever be a good Muslim. Many new Muslims leave Islam for this reason alone. They feel doomed to the hellfire. Don't fall into this trap.
Our troubles erase our sins, while patience with them raises us in status, and when Allah loves His creation, He tests him.
Think Positive! - Think Positive of Allah and positive things will come.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Allah says: ‘I am as My slave thinks I am, and I am with him when he calls on Me.’” (Bukhari 7405 and Muslim 2675)
Islamic Solutions for Depression (Article - extensive, goes into types of depression too)