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Guilt prevents me from making Dua, what to do?

Guilt prevents me from making Dua, what to do?


I have an extreme problem with guilt that keeps me from making duaa and praying and even reading quran. I’m so extremely guilty that I feel weird when I do these things because I ask myself how can I face god when I’ve done this terrible sin. I acknowledge that Allah is all merciful and that as long as I am truly regretful and ask for forgiveness i will be forgiven but it doesn’t feel like that. How can god forgive me If i can’t even forgive myself?

Salaam alykum,

I’d like to start by saying–in general–if this problem is more serious than needing a “pep talk” from me, then I would suggest taking a look at some counseling, even for just a single session, as you all know, I am not a therapist or have training in counseling in any way shape or form.

You are not the only person who feels this way, but you have to remind yourself that you are limited in your capacity, as am I, as we all are, for we are merely human. We have limitations, even in our capacity to love ourselves. God, however, has no limitations.

God underlines this in The Qur’an, where it says:

“He will forgive whom He wills, and will chastise whom He wills: for God has the power to will anything.” [2:284] Muhammad Asad

In The Qur’an we are also reminded that we should be balanced in our approaches towards rectifying the bad, where The Qur’an says:

“But [remember that an attempt at] requiting evil may, too, become an evil,” [42:40] and while the some of the most eminent scholars (Baghawi, Zamakhshari, Razi, Baydawi) underline that this ayah is about tyranny against oppression, the message still rings true in your situation, because in combating the mistakes you have made, your guilt is preventing you from being able to move forward, it is hurting you.

The only person who is giving you the feeling that you cannot be forgiven is yourself (as far as I understand from what you’ve told me). If it is someone else, then you need to push past their toxic ideas, because it isn’t from God, it is from yourself, because God underlines–repeatedly–that He is forgiving:

“God is much-forgiving, forbearing.” [3:155]

“for God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.” [4:99]

“for God is much-forgiving, forbearing.” [5:101]

“He pardons much” [42:34]

“God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving” [58:2]

I can keep going, but I think you get the point.

You cannot continue in life by beating yourself up over mistakes you’ve made, because you are not the only one. I make them, so did Imam Abu Hanifa, everyone does, but you are the one who gets to decide whether you are defined by your mistake or not. You have fallen down, but that part doesn’t matter, the part that matters is whether you’re going to get back up, and I know you can, and do you know what’s going to help you? Praying, making Dua, and reading Qur’an.

I don’t like comparing people, but, remember that many of the early Muslims, before they became Muslims, some of them were doing horrible things. You are not defined by your past, and anyone who defines you that way is a d-bag, which is a technical term ps, so brush off your shoulders, smile and wave while you walk away.

Do not worry about your sin, as it is quite clear that you are regretting it, but do not let that regret hurt yourself, and do not think that you are in some unique position that no one else has come across, for The Qur’an says:

“You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him – this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon.” [3:186]

Furthermore, there is a Hadith Qudsi, reported in both Bukhari and Muslim, where God says:

“I am as the perception/assumption of My slave.”

This means that if you think of God in a certain way, He will be that way. So if you see God as merciful, you will experience mercy; if you think God is only angry, that is all you will see.

The Qur’an warns against this, for it says:

“do not lose hope of God’s life-giving mercy: verily, none but people who deny the truth can ever lose hope of God’s life-giving mercy.” [12:87]

Finally, do not think that by experiencing pain, that by beating yourself up, by making your life difficult is going to make things better, or that it is something that God “wants.” Again, God explains this away in The Qur’an:

“those who believe, and whose hearts find their rest in the remembrance of God – for, verily, in the remembrance of God [men’s] hearts do find their rest” [13:28]

So turn to God, turn to prayer, to making Dua, and to reading The Qur’an, because by denying yourself that you are denying yourself the way to not just receive forgiveness from God, but to move past your mistake for yourself.

I pray this reaches you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.

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