May Allaah help you, relieve your distress, guide your footsteps and forgive your sin.
Your soul is still in your body, your heart is still beating and your mind is still thinking, so we will start from there.
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah accepts the repentance of His slaves so long as the death rattle has not reached his throat.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3537); classed as hasan by al-Albaani.
You are not too weak and you are not a pile of dust like those who are in the graves, rather you still have the strength to start again, and in sha Allaah you are stronger than you think. The strong person is not the one who never falls, rather the strong person is the one who can get up again if he falls.
Were you not following the religion of your forefathers, associating others with Allaah and disbelieving in His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then Allaah gave you the strength to leave all that behind, and you moved to a new religion that you were not used to and had not followed before? That is a thousand times harder than leaving the state you are in now.
Weren’t the cups of wine filled around you and paths of temptation open to you, with no one watching for you to feel ashamed and thus be protected? But Allaah gave you strength and protected you from immorality and drinking alcohol. So now how can you give in to the situation you are in?
You have the strength to recover. Do not help your enemy against yourself. If some wrongdoer slaps you, do not slap your other cheek. “He is not one of us who slaps his cheeks, rends his garment and prays with the call of Jaahiliyyah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1294).
There is a difference between the one who falls into a ditch and gives in to the fall, and laments his luck, blames fate and thinks badly of his Lord, and one who falls and knows that he deserved it because of his sin and bad deeds, and because he chose that for himself. “And verily, Allaah is not unjust to His slaves” [al-Anfaal 8:51]. So he gets up after stumbling, and seeks the help of his Lord in ridding himself of sin first of all, then relieving his distress, as he learns to say every day: “You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)” [al-Faatihah 1:5]. Such is the strong believer whom Allaah loves. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allaah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to do that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allaah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allaah has decreed and what He wills He does,’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to the work of the shaytaan.”
Narrated by Muslim (2664).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Man is not commanded to refer to the concept of the divine decree with regard to the deeds that are enjoined upon him, rather he should refer to the concept of the divine decree with regard to calamities that he has no means to ward off. Whatever befalls you as the result of other people’s actions or otherwise, bear it with patience, accept it and submit. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“No calamity befalls, but by the Leave [i.e. Decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainments)] of Allaah, and whosoever believes in Allaah, He guides his heart [to the true Faith with certainty, i.e. what has befallen him was already written for him by Allaah from the Qadar (Divine Preordainments)]”
One of the salaf – either Ibn Mas’ood or ‘Alqamah – said: This is the man whom calamity befalls and he knows that it is from Allaah, so he accepts it and submits. Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (7/278).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth confirms some of the most important principles of faith, which include:
Man’s happiness lies in his striving for that which will benefit him in this life and in the Hereafter. Striving means doing one’s utmost. As man’s striving and deeds can only be done with the help of Allaah and by His will, He has commanded him to seek His help, so as to fulfil the meaning of the verse: “You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)” [al-Faatihah 1:5]. His striving for that which will benefit him is an act of worship of Allaah and can only be achieved with Allaah’s help. So He commanded him to worship Him and to seek His help.
Then he said: “And do not feel helpless”, because feeling helpless is the opposite of striving for that which will benefit him, and it is the opposite of seeking the help of Allaah. So the one who is striving for that which will benefit him and seeking the help of Allaah is the opposite of the one who feels helpless. This principle applies before what is decreed happens, and it guides the Muslim to that which is one of the greatest causes of attaining it, which is striving for it whilst seeking the help of the One in Whose hand are all things, from Whom they originate and to Whom they will return. If what is not decreed for him does not come to him, there are two scenarios: the first of which is feeling helpless, which opens the door to the works of the shaytaan, and this helplessness leads him to regret and say “if only” and there is no benefit in saying “if only”, rather this opens the door to blame, anguish, anger, regret and sorrow, all of which are from the shaytaan and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade opening the door to the shaytaan in this manner. Or in the second scenario, he may look at the divine decree and think about it, for if it is decreed (for him to get what he wanted) for him he would not have missed it and no one would have beaten him to it. Hence he said: “If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allaah has decreed and what He wills He does.’” So he taught him that which will benefit him in either case: if he gets what he wanted and if he did not get it. Hence this hadeeth is one that a person can never do without.
Shifa’ al-‘Aleel (37-38).
Once you have understood this, there is no room for wishing for something different than what was decreed, for that is in fact like suggesting that Allaah should have decreed something else. There is no point in wishing that Allaah had spared you from these trials that you went through and that made you so alterable and confused after you had been guided to Him.
Do you not know that tests and trials are an inevitable part of man’s existence in this life?
“Verily, We have created man from Nutfah (drops) of mixed semen (sexual discharge of man and woman), in order to try him, so We made him hearer and seer”
People are like metals. Some are pure gold, some are a mixture, and some are less than that. The test is like a fire which will show whether the gold is truly gold or not.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’aan, and none but Allaah (Alone) knows their meanings.]
2. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe’ and will not be tested.
3. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)”
Shaykh Ibn Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Allaah tells us of His perfect wisdom, and that His wisdom does not mean that everyone who says that he believes will remain as such, free from tribulations and tests, and not be faced with that which will confound their faith. If that were the case, then there would be no way to distinguish between one who is sincere and one who is lying.
But His way with the earlier nations and with this ummah is to test them with good things and bad things, with ease and hardship, with good times and bad times, with wealth and poverty. He tests them by causing their enemies to prevail over them sometimes and He tests them when they strive against the enemies in word and deed, and other kinds of trials, all of which result from specious arguments about faith, which are contrary to certain faith and desires which undermine the resolve of the believer.
If a person’s faith remains firm in the face of doubts and does not waver, and he wards them off with the truth that he has, and if, in the face of desires that call him to sin or to go against that which Allaah and His Messenger have enjoined, he does that which is required by faith, and strives against his desires, this indicates that his faith is sincere and valid.
But if his heart is affected by doubts and desires, and they lead him to sin or divert him from his duties, this indicates that his faith is not valid or sincere. People are of varying degrees with regard to this matter, which are known only to Allaah, We ask Allaah to make us steadfast in this world and in the Hereafter, and to make our hearts steadfast in adhering to His religion, as tests and trials are like the bellows which brings out the dross and the good.
O maidservant of Allaah, you do not want to live and you do not want to die.
We say: We too would not like you to have this life of sin, but we hope that you do not die in this state, rather we hope that our Lord, the Lord of the Worlds, will not like you to live such a life and will not like you to die in this state.
This situation is not as confusing as you think, and the solution is not for you to give in to loss, as you are doing now. Allaah does not want you to meet Him, after you die, in any state other than Islam.
“O you who believe! Fear Allaah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always,) and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allaah)]”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:102]
Nor does Allaah want you to live except in a state of Islam, which He has chosen for His slaves:
“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
163. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims”
So what is the solution? Where should we start?
The solution is to turn back to Him, and He will love you when you turn back to Him:
“Allaah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves”
He will grant you relief when you come back to Him, no matter how far astray you have gone.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: ‘I am as My slave thinks I am, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers me to himself, I remember him to Myself; if he remembers Me in a gathering, I remember him in a gathering better than it; if he draws near to Me a handspan, I draw near to him an arm’s length; if he draws near to me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length; if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” Narrated by Muslim (2675).
So what about sins and alcohol?
Our Lord, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
You still have a way to turn over a new leaf and make the record of your deeds white and clean. We do not mean that it will be white with no good deeds or bad deeds written on it so that we will go back to zero and start from scratch. No; what we mean is that we want it to be white with no sins on it, and by the mercy of the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, it will be filled with good deeds instead of every bad deed that you did and every sin into which you fell.
Have you not heard the words of Allaah which tell us of the characteristics of the slaves of the Most Merciful, where He mentions a number of their beautiful attributes that are beloved to Him, among which He mentions:
“And those who invoke not any other ilâh (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.
69. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace;
70. Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful.
71. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allaah with true repentance”
Do you not see how Allaah does not just forgive those major sins, but by His grace He turns them into good deeds!
It was narrated from Abu Taweel Shatab al-Mamdood that he came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “What do you think if a man has committed all kinds of sins, and has not left out any of them, and he did not omit any minor or major sin but he did it, can he repent?”
He said: “Have you become Muslim?”
He said: “As for me, I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate, and that you are the Messenger of Allaah.”
He said: “Do good deeds and abstain from bad deeds, and Allaah will make them all good deeds for you.”
He said: “Even my betrayals and immoral deeds?”
He said: “Yes.”
He said: “Allaah is most great,” and he kept saying takbeer until he left.
Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer (7/314); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb.
So, O maidservant of Allaah, change your state and do good deeds, and give up bad deeds, and they will all be turned to good deeds in your record of deeds. Then you will know that you cannot lose that closeness to Allaah, for you will still have the opportunity to be with Him in Paradise.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: Come and be with Allaah, and draw close to Him in an abode of peace, with no exhaustion or tiredness or suffering via the closest and easiest routes. You are in a time between two times, which in fact is your life, your current time, between the past and the future. What has passed can be set right by repentance and regret and prayers for forgiveness, and that is something which will not exhaust you or tire you out and is not difficult. Rather it is an action of the heart. As for the future, you should refrain from committing sin, and refraining from sin will give you a great deal of peace of mind. It is not a physical action that is too hard to do, rather it is resolve and firm intention, which will bring physical and mental peace.
But what matters is your life, which is your time between two times. If you waste it you will lose happiness and salvation. But if you take care of the present as well as correcting the past and the future as described above, then you will be saved and will have peace of mind, pleasure and tranquillity.
Taking care of it is more difficult than setting right that which comes before and after it, for taking care of it requires you to do that which is best and most beneficial for you, and which is most likely to bring happiness, and people differ greatly with regard to that.
So seek the help of Allaah to deal with your situation and roll up the record of the past with all that it contains, and move on to set the rest of your life straight. Strive to keep company with good people who will help you deal with your situation, and if you can move to a new place, close to good and righteous people, then do that, for it will be better for you. Be mindful of Allaah and He will take care of you; be sincere towards Him and He will compensate you with good for what you have missed.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet (Muhammad)! Say to the captives that are in your hands: If Allaah knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you, and Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
In sha Allah, we are sure that you will do this, and we look forward to another message from you with good news of a new journey towards the light, just as we were saddened to hear of your stumbling from the path.
And Allaah knows best.