There are many people who face doubts in their faith, face serious problems, feel lost and helpless and when they call out to Allah for help they feel their call is unanswered. Sometimes they begin to doubt in the existence of God, or even blame Islam for the lack of solutions in life.

So why do people doubt the existence of God or the validity of Islam? One of the most common reasons why so many people reject God or deny God is because of the troubles they are facing in their lives. Sometimes, because we are constantly facing barrier after barrier, hardship after hardship we feel as though the world is great for everyone else, except for me.

You pray, you ask God for a solution and you wait and wait and nothing comes. In a state of anger and frustration we tell ourselves that God is not answering my prayers, maybe He doesn’t exist.

Then one day you finally get up and decide to do something about it, you start taking some action towards a solution to your problems and then somehow you get through the problem and you resolve it by finding a solution yourself. Hmmm…  maybe

Then you tell yourself that it was because of your effort, you made it through this and then just around the corner you encounter another problem.

Why me? That’s a common question that many of us ask ourselves when we choose to be a victim to life’s circumstances. We won’t take action or do something about the problems we’re facing. We ask others to help us and we ask God, and then when we don’t get the solution we want, we become disillusioned and angry at God.

Does any of this sound familiar, it may do or may not, but it sure is one of the most common reasons for why people deny God or the existence of God.

Now let me be very clear here, this is not an academic thesis analysing the case of an atheist or agnostic. This is a heart to heart, so if you’re troubled with doubt I would ask that you ask yourself whether some of this is true in your life and if so I hope you will benefit from the recommendations I make insha’Allah. So, let’s troubleshoot this problem.

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Root causes for doubt in God and Islam:

1.  Hardship and its Role in life

As a child, we learn to walk and we stumble over and over, but we keep getting up and we never give up. Parents help their children because they want them to succeed, and because they want them to become independent and stronger, they step back and they allow their children to try by themselves. The children don’t just get up one day and start screaming at their parents, why are you helping me. Why don’t you just make me stronger and able to walk?

No, they just continue trying and trying and practising and practising until they are able to walk. This is the natural way that humans deal with problems, this is the natural way that God has created us.

God Almighty says:

“Do they think that they will believe, yet we will not test them, indeed we will test them.”

Quran, Surat Al-Anqabut. v2

You see in this verse of the Quran, God informs us that even if you say you believe, you will be tested. You may not like that, the idea that life is full of tests, but ask yourself did your parents go through life with no troubles? Did your neighbours go through life with no troubles? Did any of your friends or relatives go through life with no troubles? No of course not.

In fact, ask yourself about some of the greatest human beings that have ever lived, what do we know them for? I suggest to you that we know them for the great struggles that they faced and overcame. They became famous because of the great struggles that they overcame.

No human being has ever lived, or will ever live, except that they will face troubled times. It does not make sense that we deny the one that created us simply because we are having to face the inevitable troubles of life.

2.  Doubt in Islam due to a lack of Understanding.

Wait! Before you react to that let me explain…

Even if you understand that Islam is based on the 5 pillars. Even if you know how to pray, fast and so on, ask yourself one simple question. Do you know what you are saying when you recite those Arabic verses in your prayers? Do you know who God is? Do you know why there are scientific miracles in the Quran that had not been discovered 1400 years ago?

Look I’m asking some fundamental questions. Who is God? If I asked you about who you are, you would begin to describe yourself. Can you describe God?

Have you read the Quran in English or in any other language that you fully understand from beginning to end? Did you read it with an open mind and try to contemplate and understand what the message is?

I’ve found in my experience as a Muslim, that even many people who absolutely believe in God, haven’t spent a huge amount of time reading the Quran in a language that they understand. Or maybe they read it when they were young and haven’t gone back to it since then.

The solution to understanding and knowing God and Islam and is to read the Quran from beginning to end.

Now you might say, why should I read this book? And my response is basic. If you want to understand why you exist and what you are doing on this earth, then you have to look at the Quran because it claims to be the words of God, the Creator of all life.

After having read the Quran with an open heart and an open mind, thinking about the verses that you’re reading, I believe with full conviction that you will see the truth of the book without any need for persuasion.

God Almighty does not require for anyone to be a Muslim unless they themselves willingly submit to God. My advice to anyone who is having doubts about their faith in God or Islam is that you read the Quran in any language that you fully understand. Read it and contemplate on the verses and ask God to help you.

God Almighty begins the Quran with the verses of Surat Al Baqarah by saying,

“Indeed, this is the book wherein there is NO doubt, a guidance for those who are conscious of God.”

Ask yourself if you are in doubt about Islam, what book have you ever read that begins by telling the reader that there is No doubt in this book. In other words, there is nothing unclear or distorted about this book and it is absolute clear guidance for humanity.

You see, that is a bold claim that only an author such as God himself can make. So, if you want certainty about your faith, and you want to stop having doubts, then first, you must seek knowledge to understand your faith.

 

3.  Why some doubt in Islam due to the prohibited in Islam

There are many people who reject Islam because they want to reject the prohibitions, those things that have been prohibited in Islam. It may be they are either doing it or want to do it.

An example of this may be someone who has a desire for illegal sexual activities. Someone who wants to have unlawful relations out of wedlock because it’s the common culture to have boyfriends or girlfriends. They don’t want to deal with the guilt of knowing they’re doing something wrong in Islam.

Sometimes they want to just live the way their non Muslims friends live. They want to adopt their culture because they live in an environment where the dominant culture is not Islamic.

I found when speaking to people who have this difficulty, that they just want to fit in. Identifying with Islam, especially at this moment in time feels troublesome. Sometimes they find difficulty in acknowledging and admitting that they are Muslims because they feel that maybe their friends won’t approve of them or Islam.

Often their friends don’t have a problem with Islam, instead, the problem is in their thinking, maybe due to too much exposure to negative media. So, they end up wanting to distance themselves from Islam.

If you do not spend much time with Muslims, or you do not seek to understand by studying the Quran, then it will no doubt have the effect of strengthening your doubts in Islam and God.

 

4.  A battle of Desires

If you have doubts in your faith because you’re battling with your own desires. Then my advice again is read the Quran. When you read the Quran, understand that God is talking to you, and don’t fear knowledge.

Some people fear knowledge and they stay away from seeking knowledge because they feel as though the knowledge will stop them. If you feed your desires instead of your intellect, your desires will become stronger and ultimately you will end up becoming imprisoned by your desires and you will lose to your desires. Feed your intellect, read the Quran and ask God for help.

 

5.  Doubt in Islam due to Cultural heritage.

Look, I understand this one because as a Muslim born and raised in the UK, I didn’t always identify with the people of my cultural heritage. Because the dominant culture and my friends were mostly non-Muslims. And so the culture that I grew up in, in the UK was the British culture. And if you’re like me and you fit right in with your friends, then you may find some of the cultural practices of the Muslims not amenable, not compatible with the way that you’re living right now.

But let me tell you, that doesn’t mean that Islam is wrong. That doesn’t mean that God has not made Islam for all people, of all cultures. You could be a British, European or an American Muslim with your local culture and there would be no clash between your Islam and your culture.

But let me clarify for you that there is a difference between what is acceptable behaviour to the non-Muslims versus what is acceptable behaviour to Muslims who practice Islam.

Muslims who practice Islam, do not have boyfriends or girlfriends, or at least they’re not supposed to. Muslims are prohibited from being intoxicated, not allowed to drink alcohol or take drugs.

You may find that in your community, wherever you’re from there is a culture of drinking alcohol as a norm. Now, if that’s the cultural difference that you have a problem with then you need to differentiate between what is permitted in Islam and what is not.

This is not a cultural clash, this is a clash of desires. This goes back to the last point I made where you may desire something which is prohibited in Islam.

You are free to follow the cultural norms of your society as long as you do not indulge in their religious practices or you do not fall into that which Allah prohibits in Islam, such as the examples already mentioned.

My advice to anyone having doubts about Islam is to read the Quran, connect with God on an intellectual basis because that will then lead to a connection on a spiritual basis.  You’ll feel nourished and you’ll feel equipped with the tools that you need for the ups and downs of life.

If you are to having troubles in your life, you will find the Quran gives you solutions. You will understand how to deal with it and learn how to accept the realities of life.

If you have doubts about anything, only the knowledge can wipe away doubt so that you become crystal clear in your mind. Absolute certainty about what is right or wrong will help you make decisions in life and take action with confidence.

Now if your doubts come from the fact that you want to do things that are prohibited, then my advice to you is live your life today so that it serves you both today and tomorrow, not just today.

Today is the life you’re living right now. Tomorrow is when you will pass away and return to God.  Everything in life perishes and so will you and I. You must be ready for that day, so make your decisions today so that it helps you both here in this world, and on the day when you return to God

No one is under any illusion, or in any denial about the fact that they will die. Death is inevitable and we all need to prepare for it. Those who get to the last days of their lives and they are in absolute fear, it’s usually because they haven’t prepared for that moment.

You’re alive today, You still have time.

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  • ​Quranic guidance on Optimising Your Life
  • ​Become the Best version of​ your​self this Month
  • ​Learn how to deal with Problems with Confidence