Excellence of Worshipping Allah at a Young Age
Fatwa No: 410257

  • Fatwa Date:2-1-2020 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 7, 1441
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Question

Hello, my question is how do I get rid of really bad anxiety and depression inside my heart I grew up in a Muslim household and for 8 years I was slacking and didn’t really understand Islam . I was just told do this do that or you go to hell and I used to rebel not knowing the beauty and true meaning of Islam and about Allah(swt)’s mercy,after highschool I started taking my deen seriously for the past 6 months( I am now in my 20s ) I started praying properly, reading books for knowledge, watching lectures etc everything I could do to change I Repented whole heartily to Allah (swt). each time I discovered something new about Islam I felt happiness and love for the deen that my heart changed and I became spiritually at peace and I felt my eman came back and I started using my time for voluntary acts of worship, duas, Quran etc but recently after August I started going downhill, I realized my past came back to me because I would watch Islamic lectures about “ raising pious children” and the things like imams/scholars telling parents needing to be careful at the early stages of their children or they will turn out as bad Muslims or they will waste their
youth and destroy working for their afterlife. Them giving examples of how their kids grow up with the teachings of Islam and the sunnah etc. and I see these little kids memorizing Quran, hadiths by 8,15 not being exposed to fitnah and internet etc and being so pious and then I started feeling bad because when I read hadiths about wasting your youth and how precious it is I started feeling so sad I was the example of a bad Muslim child like in those lectures, because as a kid I grew up playing trying to have friends and not thinking deeply about Islam when I asked once i am so old.. people younger then me are achieving so much/ learning also heard Allah(swt) rewards/loves youth compared to oldermore because it’s harder to control desires at that time , I don’t know if it’s true but i feel I missed out on that

Answer

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, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Firstly, we congratulate you for the blessing bestowed by Allah, The Exalted, upon you by giving you true understanding of Islam, guiding you to sincere repentance, and for your keenness on steadfastness in obeying Him. Evoking these beautiful and honorable meanings is one of the most important means to relieve your anxiety and depression; Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Say, "In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy - in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate."} [Quran 10:58] So keep performing acts of obedience in order to savor reassurance of the heart. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “Verily, a good deed gives brightness to the face, light to the heart, strength to the body, abundance in sustenance, and love in the hearts of the people.

Secondly, you should remember Allah, The Almighty, frequently and keep your tongue busy with reciting Thikr; Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured."} [Quran 13:28] Also, make sure to remind yourself with death, as it disciplines the self so it would not fall into greed or become afflicted by fear and dismay. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Often remind yourselves with the destroyer of pleasures – death. Indeed, no one remembers death at a time of hardship, but he will feel ease, and no one remembers death at a time of ease, but he will feel constricted.” [Al-Bayhaqi in Ash-Shu‘ab, Ibn Hibbaan on the authority of Abu Hurayrah and Al-Bazzaar on the authority of Anas. Al-Albaani; Hasan]

Thirdly, do not allow this lack of resolve in worship to be a source of concern to you; it is normal. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Oh, Hanthalah, an hour and an hour (i.e., there will be times when faith is weak and the worldly affairs will mix in one's heart with the Hereafter, while there will be times when faith is strong, and one's heart will be purely devoted to the Hereafter)” Rather, make such times a launching point to (recharge and) set off again. So continue seeking knowledge, attending gatherings of goodness, and keeping the company of righteous people.

Fourthly, do not let what you heard about some young Muslims, who were brought up with adherence to Islam and Sunnah and memorizing the Quran, discourage you from performing good deeds. Rather, make it a source of motivation for you to ascend to higher levels of perfection. The fact that they have preceded you (in performing good deeds) does not necessarily mean that they are better than you. If you diligently strive in doing good, you may surpass them (in rank). Therefore, you should perform a great deal of voluntary acts of worship after observing the obligatory ones, and be keen on performing the deeds whose benefit extends to others. At-Tabaraani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them that a man came to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, who are the most beloved people to Allah and what are the dearest deeds to Allah?” The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “The most beloved among people to Allah is the one who is most beneficial to people, and the dearest of deeds to Allah are: to bring happiness to a fellow Muslim, or to relieve his distress, or to pay off his debt, or to satiate his hunger. To walk with my Muslim brother to fulfill a need for him is more beloved to me than to observe I‘tikaaf in this mosque (the Prophet’s mosque in Madeenah) for a month.

Fifthly, yes, there are some texts related about the virtues of taking advantage of the time of youth in the obedience of Allah, The Exalted. For instance, Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “There are seven (types of people) whom Allah will shade in His (Throne's) Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except that of His (Throne's) … a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] Moreover, it was narrated in Musnad Ahmad on the authority of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah, The Exalted, (practices) 'Ajab (which entails that He is greatly pleased with) a youth who has no inclination (to worldly pleasures).” [Shu‘ayb Al-Arnaa’oot: Hasan] You are still young – praise be to Allah – so you will have a share of this merit, Allah willing. Verily, it is the bounty of Allah which He gives to whom He wills.

Allah knows best.

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