I have a problem I cannot make a decision regarding it. But this decision has to be taken within few days. I have friends who I think are good. I am 22 years old, four years ago I knew them in university, we co-operate in that which is good. We encouraged each other and memorized 15 juz’ of the glorious Quraan. We made a wonderful magazine about the prophet, peace be upon him. They supported me against a big problem I faced in which the whole environment at university was against me. We have a daily circle in which we study about the book of Allah.
The problem is that I cannot tolerate them anymore; I feel I am masked in front of them, and have another face behind their backs. Some silly situations happened made me stop calling them or meeting them. I apologized to them and made our contact only via mail, using few simple sentences, such as how are you, fine, and that is all. As for memorizing and all other projects with them, I stopped them all. I really hated all of them; I did not complete my memorization till now. I feel very weak in terms of worshipping, no fasting, no praying at night, I do not know if it is devil or what, they want me to decide what exactly I want to do, I decided to live alone, isolated from the whole world, I became hateful and envious, my heart is so black, blacker even than a dark night. I feel that having friendship with them has an aspect of being attached to life, superficiality and other women issues. What shall I do? Even the reminder message from them, specially these messages I delete before I read!
I fear if I say to them that I am going to leave them forever, I put a black point in their hearts against me; for they made me a model; some of them swear by Allah that if it was not by Allah’s grace then my help they would not be even praying, praying at night, fasting a day after a day, memorizing, or waking each other up for fajr prayer. Now I really hate them. I know this is from devil but by Allah I cannot help it, how can I stay with them, I stress on myself, and leave this matter of being just alone and I return to them because they send me so many messages urging me to return. They ask me by Allah to answer them. This situation affected my study negatively; I feel it is punishment from Allah to me. I do not want to feel that I am better than anyone, not in terms of worldly matters or any other matter.
I feel that my suffering is greater than the messengers’ sufferance; because a messenger is certain that Allah loves him, and that Allah is supporting him. I fear this is a punishment for a reason I do not know. Shall I forsake them, or return? What shall I say to them? A person sometimes falls in a problem he/she thinks is very complicated and that there is no solution for it.
Please guide me by your experience because I leave this matter on Allah, then I will use your advice. May Allah bless you with Paradise.
Undoubtedly what you are feeling towards your sisters is caused by the shaytaan and his plots and tricks. According to what you say in your letter, these sisters have not done anything to make you treat them in this manner; even if they made some mistakes or did something wrong, all people are like that; who is there who never did anything wrong?
This indicates that the matter is no more than a trick of the shaytaan to make you fall into the situation you are in now. We are sorry to see that he has succeeded in that and that he has made these friends hateful to you and caused you to give up on doing acts of obedience and worship.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan), then, verily, he commands Al‑Fahsha’ [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse)], and Al‑Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; and to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islam)]”
You should understand that the tricks that the shaytaan uses with those who are obedient to their Lord are:
1. Sowing discord among the Muslims, especially between righteous friends
It was narrated that Jaabir said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The Shaytaan has despaired of being worshipped in the Arabian Peninsula, but he will sow seeds of discord among them.” Narrated by Muslim (2812).
Al-Nawawi said: This hadeeth is one of the miracles of Prophethood. What it means is that he has despaired of being worshipped by the people of the Arabian Peninsula, but he will strive to sow discord among them, with arguments, disputes, wars, tribulations and so on.
Sharh Muslim (17/156).
2. He makes righteous company hateful to them, and causes them to prefer harmful isolation
It was narrated that Abu’l-Darda’ said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There are no three men in a town or in the desert among whom prayer is not established, but the shaytaan has taken control of them, so you must adhere to the jamaa’ah, for the wolf only eats the sheep that wanders away on its own.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (547) and al-Nasaa’i (847); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The shaytaan is the wolf of man like the wolf of sheep takes the stray sheep and the one that wanders far. Beware of division, and adhere to the jamaa’ah.”
Narrated by Ahmad (22029); classed as hasan by the editors of al-Musnad.
Al-Manaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: i.e., he corrupts man, by tempting him, and he destroys him, like a wolf running loose among a flock of sheep.
“He takes the stray sheep” i.e., the one that wanders far from its companions. This is a metaphor for the one who is separate from the jamaa’ah (main body of Muslims) and keeps away from them, then the shaytaan overpowers him, like the sheep that wanders away from the flock, then the wolf catches it because it is alone.
The metaphor ends with a warning: “beware of division” i.e., beware of separation and dissent. “And adhere to the jamaa’ah”, affirmation after affirmation, i.e., cling to it, stay with the main group, for the one who drifts away will end up in the Fire.
Fayd al-Qadeer (2/350).
Strive to bar both ways to the shaytaan, and do not open any doors to evil. You did not become bored and lose resolve to obey Allaah until after the shaytaan was able to overpower you and lead you in the way he wanted. Perhaps if you compare your situation now with your situation before, you will be able to see that it is the result of the shaytaan’s plots and tricks, so beware and pay attention.
Righteous friends are one of the greatest means by which a Muslim can remain steadfast in adhering to his religion, so strive to form such friendships as Allaah has prescribed.
It was narrated from Abu Moosa that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believers are like a structure, parts of which support other parts.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (467) and Muslim (2585).
‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “You should seek sincere brothers, for they are an adornment at times of ease and a support at times of calamity.”
Strive to do acts of worship and righteous deeds, for they are the best help in remaining steadfast, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allaah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allaah will cause to go astray those who are Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers), and Allaah does what He wills”
“but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith)”
Strive to persist in saying du’aa’ and beseech Allaah to make you steadfast in adhering to His religion, and to increase you in guidance and strength and righteousness, for this is the state of the believers, as Allaah tells us of them in the verse where He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“(They say): ‘Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from
the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You
are the Bestower’”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:8]
It was narrated that Anas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) often used to say: “O Turner of the hearts, make my heart steadfast in adhering to Your religion.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2140) and Ibn Maajah (3834); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Setting things straight between you and them need not take a great deal of effort. You can restore this good relationship by replying to their messages, talking to them, and telling them that you have some personal problems, with no need to tell them the details; it is sufficient to be a lesson for you in the future.
Beware of being alone and remaining isolated, because they are the first steps on the road to deviation and falling into the pit. If your withdrawing is for the purpose of worship and devotion, then it has some basis in sharee’ah, but the kind of isolation that leads to apathy is a haraam kind of isolation. In that case mixing with your friends becomes obligatory, so you should pay attention to that.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
As for the words “is it better for the one who is striving hard to be isolated or mix with people?”, although people disagree concerning this issue, in whole or in part, the truth of the matter is that mixing with people may, at different times, be obligatory or mustahabb, and an individual may, at different times, be required to mix with people or to isolate himself. It depends: if mixing with people will involve cooperation in righteousness and piety, then he is enjoined to do it, and if it will involve cooperation in sin and transgression, then he is forbidden to do it. Mixing with the Muslims for some types of acts of worship, such as the five daily prayers, Jumu’ah, the eclipse prayer, prayers for rain (istisqa’) and so on, is something that is enjoined by Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The same applies to mixing with them at the time of Hajj, when fighting the kuffaar, even if the leaders are evildoers or there are evildoers among those groups.
The same applies to meetings which increase a person in faith, either because they benefit from him or he benefits from them, and so on.
But there are times when the believer must be alone in his du’aa’, dhikr, prayer, thinking, taking stock of himself, setting himself straight, and private matters which have nothing to do with anyone else. At these times he needs to be alone, either in his house –as Tawoos said: The best cell of a man is his house, where he restrains his gaze and tongue – or elsewhere.
Choosing to mix in absolute terms is wrong and choosing isolation in absolute terms is also wrong. So too the amount of each that a person needs, and what is best for him in each case, is something that depends on each person, as stated above.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (10/425, 426)
You should realize that the calamities that have befallen your heart, of resentment and envy are all connected to the situation you are in. The reward of a good deed is another good deed like it, and the punishment of a bad deed is another bad deed.
If you had understood things as they should be understood, you would know that Allah knows best about His creation, and He raises some of them above others in status, by His knowledge of His creation and His wisdom for a purpose that He wants for them.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment”
“Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: ‘Is it these (poor believers) whom Allaah has favoured from amongst us?’ Does not Allaah know best those who are grateful?”
Shaykh Ibn Sa’di said: i.e., this is a way in which Allaah tests His slaves, whereby He makes some of them rich and some poor, some noble and some lowly. When Allaah blesses a poor or lowly person with faith, that is a test for the rich and noble. If his aim is to find the truth and follow it, he will believe and become Muslim, and the fact that there are poor and lowly people who are less then him in wealth and status who are Muslim does not prevent him from embracing Islam. But if he is not sincere in seeking the truth, this will be an obstacle that will prevent him from being among the followers of the truth. They said, mocking those whom they regarded as inferior to them, “Is it these (poor believers) whom Allaah has favoured from amongst us?” That prevented them from following the truth. Allaah said, responding to their words which implied objection to Allaah for guiding these people and not guiding them: “Does not Allaah know best those who are grateful?”, those who acknowledge the blessing and appreciate it, and do what it requires of righteous deeds. So He bestows His grace and favour upon them, and not those who are not grateful, for Allaah is wise and does not bestow His grace on those who are not deserving of it; those who objected do not deserve it, unlike those whom Allaah has blessed with faith of the poor and others, who are grateful. Tafseer al-Sa’di (258).
What you should have done was to hasten to do good deeds, and give up evil, and compete with people in that, as the Lord of the Worlds says (interpretation of the meaning):
“so compete in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to
Allaah; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ”
Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Whoever competes with you in religious commitment, compete with him, and whoever competes with you in worldly matters, give it up to him.
But refraining from doing good deeds and being preoccupied with these problems, this is not the action of wise people at all.
We ask Allaah to guide you to that which He loves and which pleases Him, and to set your thinking and your affairs straight, and to make your heart steadfast in faith and obedience. We hope that you will understand what we have said about reviewing your disconnection from your sisters, including being keen to resume those good friendships, and keeping away from the traps of the shaytaan and shunning his waswaas. We hope that Allaah will help you to do that.
And Allaah knows best.