Assalamualaikum, Is it permissible to ask Allah to wipe away memories of a traumatic event? A while back I went through an extremely traumatic event. It's been very debilitating for me because it plunged me into severe depression and I keep being haunted by the memories every second of the day. I cannot sleep, and even if I sleep I keep seeing dreams of that event. It constantly replays in my head and it causes me trouble in concentration and focus. I have tried counseling and meds but they haven't worked. The flashbacks drive me insane and I have been on the verge of commiting suicide several times but the fear of the Allah's punishment and being in eternal pain and suffering after all of this is what keeps me away from it. I'm constantly praying that Allah will get me through this but I realized that the only way to get through is to have these memories wiped clean from my head. I know that Allah is capable of anything and everything and that his might transcends our understanding but is my demand permissible? I really know no other way to keep on going. I need to forget this.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Since remembering that incident causes you sorrow, anxiety and sadness, then it is evil. It is lawful for a person to seek refuge in Allah from evil and to ask Him to remove it from him.
Therefore, you should endeavor to supplicate Allah to make you forget that particular incident. We do not see any harm in supplicating Allah to erase your painful memories that cause anxiety and sorrow to you.
Dear sister, we recommend that you supplicate Allah as much as possible using the supplications for removing worry and anxiety, such as the Hadeeth narrated by Anas ibn Maalik who said: "I was serving the Prophet and I used to hear him say many times:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَمِّ وَالحَزَنِ، وَالعَجْزِ وَالكَسَلِ، وَالبُخْلِ وَالجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ، وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
“O Allah! I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily indebted and from being overpowered by (other) men." [Al-Bukhaari]
Moreover, ‘Ali ibn Abu Taalib narrated that the Prophet taught him the following words and ordered him to say them when any difficulty or calamity befalls him:
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ الْكَرِيمُ الْحَلِيمُ، سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
"None has the right to be worshipped by Allah, the Generous, the Tolerant. Exalted and Blessed is He, the Lord of the Magnificent Throne. Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds." [Ahmad, An-Nasaa’i, Al-Haakim and Ibn Hibbaan]
Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said in another Hadeeth: "I know some words that no person who in difficulty says them except that Allah makes a way out for him; it is the supplication of my brother Yoonus [Jonah] [when he supplicated while in the belly of the whale]:
لا إله إلا أنت سبحانك إني كنت من الظالمين
"There is none worthy of worship except You, Glory to You, Indeed, I have been of the transgressors." [At-Tirmithi]
Besides, Nafee’ ibn Al-Haarith narrated that the Prophet said: "The supplication of a person in distress is:
اللهم رحمتك أرجو، فلا تكلني إلى نفسي طرفة عين، وأصلح لي شأني كله، لا إله إلا أنت
"O Allah, it is Your Mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for the blink of an eye and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshipped except You." [Ahmad and Abu Daawood]
Moreover, lbn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Prophet used to supplicate at times of difficulty and calamity with the following supplication:
لا إله إلا الله العظيم الحليم، لا إله إلا الله رب السموات والأرض ورب العرش العظيم
"None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Incomparably Great, the Compassionate. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Rubb (Lord) of the heavens and the earth, and the Rubb of the Mighty Throne." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Therefore, dear sister, supplicate using the above supplications as much as possible and recite the Quran as much as possible, and perform the obligatory prayers at their prescribed time, and Allah willing, your problems will be solved, and you will feel tranquil and at ease.
You should think good of Allah and beware of the whispers of the devil to commit suicide, as its fate is Hellfire; we seek refuge in Allah from that.
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said:
"Whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that iron weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in Hellfire wherein he will abide eternally forever; whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be drinking this poison in Hellfire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in Hellfire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Allah knows best.
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