Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I was born to Muslim parents, but did not practice Islam at all during my college years. I essentially lived like a disbeliever. I feel so far away from Islam. Is it possible for me to return?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Repentance

‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “Some prisoners were brought to Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) amongst whom there was a woman who was running (searching for her child). When she saw a child among the captives, she took hold of it, pressed it against her belly and nursed it. Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Do you think this woman would ever throw her child in fire?” We said, “By Allah, she would never throw the child in fire.” Thereupon Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Allah is more kind to His slave than this woman is to her child”.

Dear sister, the very fact that you have asked for counsel is a wonderful sign of Allah’s Favour upon you. It is absolutely not too late for you to return to Allah. His Love and Concern for you is even greater than your own mother’s.

The conditions for repentance are well known:

1. Leaving the sin;
2. Remorse over having committed the sin;
3. Resolve never to return to the sin;
4. (If it relates to the rights of another person, then to) Return the rights or property one wrongly took. [al-Bariqa fi Sharh al-Tariqa; Riyad al-Salihin]

If these conditions are truly met, then one can expect one’s sins to be forgiven. However, one has to be very careful about how sincere one is in fulfilling one’s conditions. It is recommended to seek forgiveness a lot, and to repent every time the sin comes to one’s mind. (Excerpt from What is Sincere Repentance? by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)

Moving forward

I encourage you to make good on your Islam. Make daily intention to be of service to your Creator, and to His creation. You are still young, and still capable of being a force of tremendous good.

Strive to establish your daily prayer, and make a timetable to pay back your missed prayers and days of fasting. I pray that by striving sincerely to fulfill your debt to Allah, you will be transformed.

Strive to fast and pray this Ramadan. The priority is for you to pay back your obligatory prayers, before you can do supererogatory prayers such as tarawih.

Please begin with small steps. Start with a small amount you can manage, instead of overwhelming yourself with too much, and then giving up.

Knowledge

Please connect your heart to nourishing traditional Islamic courses such as Introduction to Islam: What It Means to Be Muslim.

In the meantime, nourish your soul with lesson sets such as “Who Is Allah?” and podcasts such as Content of Character.

Life Coach

Please find a Muslimah life coach to help you get your life in order. There are many you can choose from online. Alhamdulilah, you have the rest of your life to orient yourself towards Allah, and I pray that Allah sends you the means to help you do just that.

I pray that Allah helps you make good on your Islam, and elevates your rank in Jannah. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
A Reader on Missed Prayers

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)