I have many questions in my head, my heart is not satisfied. What should I do?

The Details of the Question

I have been constantly feeling a void inside me for about a year. I have many questions in my head such as "Is there God or not? Is there such a thing as religion? Is Islam the right religion? Is there an afterlife? Where are the dead people right now?" and I worship, but my heart is not satisfied, I am unimpressed about that. I don't smoke, but I even want to start smoking. I went to psychiatry, but it was not enough. What should I do? I do not want to talk to people, I cannot explain myself, to my family or to anyone.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.

From what you say, we understand that the emotions you feel and the thoughts and doubts that come to your mind made you very tired, uncomfortable, and even battered you. This is actually a situation that every person can experience from time to time. I hope that just as millions of people got rid of it, you will get rid of it InshaAllah.

1. Man’s questioning his own existence is the necessity of being a thinking creature. Do not worry too much.

As a necessity of being a human, you question yourself, your existence and hence your religious thoughts. This situation is not unique to you because from the day humanity existed, people rightly asked themselves the questions like: "Who am I, Where did I come from, Where am I going, Is there life after death?" In addition, sometimes the questions that confuse you can engage people’s attention.

One reason for it is the curiosity of finding and knowing oneself, his environment and his creator that the Supreme Creator has put into man.

It is an opportunity for a person to develop spiritually and to elevate his position in the sight of Allah.

The best example of it is seen in the Prophet Abraham. The Prophet Abraham (a.s) lived among a pagan people. His contemplation of the existence of God, who is the owner of everything and does not resemble creatures, is described as follows: “When the night covered him (Abraham) over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set." (Later) When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray." When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah. Surely, I have turned myself with devotion and in a most upright manner to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth. I have never been of the polytheists.” (Surah al-Anam, 6/76-79)

If you regard your inquiries within this framework and at the same time if you consider it as the labor pains of guidance that will rise in your heart, InshaAllah you will have a more peaceful life and a stronger faith than many people. For, these questions that come to mind are actually given for the development and progress of human beings as a necessity of the testing in the world.

2. The fact that these questions cause you trouble and harass you is because they are delusions (waswasa).

Delusions are doubts that the devil whispers to the human heart. Just as there is a conflict between demons and angels in the universe, this conflict continues in the small circle of the human heart, too.

Therefore, the words that come to your mind are not actually yours, they are the words of Satan. You fight the devil with your faith. The clearest proof of it is that you are uncomfortable with those ideas. For, one's own words do not bother him. So, Satan wants you to think that his delusions are your own thoughts; do not fall into this trap.

The best way to get rid of it is to know that those ideas that come to mind are from the devil, and they should not be taken seriously; you should not focus on them. Because “The more importance they are given, the more they grow. If you give them no importance, they die away. If you see them as big, they grow bigger. If you see them as small, they grow smaller. If you fear them, they swell and make you ill. If you do not fear them, they are light and remain hidden. If you do not know their true nature, they persist and become established. While if you do know them and recognize them, they disappear.” (The Words, Twenty-First Word)

Also, whenever a delusion comes to your mind, say, “A’udhu billahi min ash Shaytanir Rajim” (I seek Allah’s protection/refuge/shelter from Satan, the Accursed one) and dismiss them. We are sure you will be very relieved this way.

3. First, focus on solving your personal and family problems.

As far as we understand, the reason you are going through this process a little more painfully than other people is because of your other problems.

These problems seem to have negatively affected your emotions. The negative, pessimistic feelings that arise have also negatively shaped your thoughts in the same direction. In other words, one of the reasons for confusion in religious matters is your personal or family problems. Inshallah as you solve your problems gradually, your feelings and your thoughts will be normalized.

Therefore, focus on solving your other problems first, without being occupied with religious inquiries. For your seemingly psychological problems, you also need to talk for a long time with someone who is an expert or with people you trust.

Because they could not fully understand you in a few conversations, you felt incomprehensible. Be patient and follow the advice of your psychiatrist or psychologist.

4. Talking and explaining yourself will be very beneficial to you.

You say that you went to the psychiatrist but then quit seeing the psychiatrist. Please keep in mind that the problems you have did not occur in a month or two; similarly, it is not possible to solve the whole thing in a short time. You need a long process for that because not sharing your feelings, emotions with anyone can lead you to get lost in your thoughts. The best thing is to talk to a specialist and be patient.

If you cannot do that, you can share your feelings and thoughts with someone you trust. If it is not possible, put your feelings and thoughts on paper. You will see that over time they will become clear and bring you the peace of mind.

5. Read the Quran, hadith, tafsir…

The Almighty Creator, who created us, says that He sent down the Quran to heal people. That is why patients who are disturbed by even the slightest noise listen to the Quran for hours and relax. You can also listen to the Quran from those who recite it properly.

Reading the life and hadiths our Prophet (pbuh), who is the living Quran, with the explanations of the hadiths and trying to lead a proper life based on them will relieve you considerably.

In addition, we strongly recommend that you read the tafsirs of the Quran. We think that reading the Risale-i Nur, one of the tafsirs of the Quran that focuses on this century, will help you to answer the questions you have in mind.

By Allah's leave, you will see that you will get rid of all doubts and troubles in time. We especially recommend that you start to read Risale-i Nur by reading the 21st Word, which tells about delusion (waswasa).

By the way, never neglect to be very sensitive about avoiding sins, to perform worship in a timely and decent manner.

Seek refuge in Allah and seek His help.

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