Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I went to umrah a while ago.  I’ve never experienced anything like that before – the spiritual high and the magnificence of being close to Allah. Ever since I’ve come back I’m always struggling in all aspects of my life and with my practice of Islam.   Personal, family, and religious problems are plaguing me and it is all difficult to handle. I’m also dealing with long term unemployment and a lot of debt.  I wish I could go back to umrah – that’s where I want to be right now. I pray hard but my life doesn’t get better. I really can’t find any coping strategies to deal with my problems and to better myself. I understand that life is a struggle and a huge test but I would really appreciate some advice on how to cope because everything’s getting out of control. Please help.

Answer: Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are feeling better.

My advice is to try to recall specifically what gave you that “spiritual high” from your Umrah and try to recreate that in daily life. The whole point of this exercise should be to remind you that Allah placed us out in the world for a reason. Had He wanted you to have that experience everyday, He would have made you a resident of Mecca! So there must be some wisdom in your present life circumstances.

Obviously, being unemployed and in debt is adding to your stress, so please do whatever you can to tackle this problem by availing yourself of all career counseling and networking opportunities out there.

I think the true test is not how we behave when we’re at the House of Allah, but how we carry over those feelings, emotions, and recharged iman to everyday life.

And Allah knows best,

Zaynab

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