A`udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ar-rajim. Bismillah, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim.
Quite a controversial topic. Surely I should be teaching everyone not to sin instead of teaching them how to deal with it. But here’s the thing. We all sin. We are not prophets. Weather our sins are small or big depends on how pious we are. But learning how to deal with the inevitable is good as we can be better prepared when it comes.
Depending on the person the sins can be perceived as different. For example, for prophets it’s not about sinning and not sinning but about making the best decision in a situation. So there could be a situation where you have a choice between two good deeds, but the deed less liked by Allah STW is chosen. This is the kind of problems that prophets have.
But for us, we measure ourselves differently also. Someone who makes a small sin during the day like maybe they listen to music but for them they never listen to music. They then start to feel awful about themselves and feel like they have lost their way. But someone else who for example listens to music everyday, does a much larger sin like missing his prayers for the day, could feel the same amount of guilt as the previous guy. Because we all measure ourselves differently.
But weather you have made a small sin or a much larger sin, we must never let shaytan escalate it further. Here is how he does it. “Oh no i’ve committed Zina”. “I’m awful, i’m a horrible Muslim, I don’t deserve Allah’s love, I can’t pray after doing that. What a hypocrite I would be if I now made a prayer. Acting all pious. I’m not going to wear my hijab either because that would just be a lie. Acting like i’m pious when i’m not”.
These three things are very commonly used by shaytan to throw us into further sin after the initial sin. First making us hate ourselves. Self hatred is one of the biggest problems we have in our ummah. A lot of violent and horrific thing stem from self hatred. Second is convincing you that you’re a hypocrite for ‘acting good’ when you’re not. Third is making you think that Allah doesn’t love you anymore or doesn’t want you to turn to him.
I personally experienced this when I first reverted. Every time I made a sin. This huge feeling came over me, of self hatred and that i’m not good enough to turn to Allah. But ALL these thoughts come from shaytan ONLY. We have no valid reason to feel them. Because the irony is that turning to Allah is the only way to heal your sin. “Call upon me. I will respond to you” (40:60)
Tobah. Repentance. The best thing to do as soon as you have sinned. Make sincere repentance. Genuine intention that you won’t do it again. Turn to Allah as he is your lord. Most importantly after that repentance, don’t hate yourself. Hating ourselves gets us nowhere and it’s what shaytan wants you to go. Everything shaytan wants you to do, do the opposite. It’s a good habit to get into, to defeat his whispers. Understand that you made a mistake. You have made genuine repentance which is the best you can do. Don’t doubt Allah and carry on with your life.
If you then fall into that same sin again then ok. Make Tobah again. But never at any point start hating yourself. Strive for better yes. But Allah is the most forgiving most merciful. If you find yourself continuously falling into the same sin over and over again then it’s definitely time to get help. Weather you ask family and friends or a professional. It’s fine to get help.
I hope Allah gives you the strength to give up whatever it is that’s holding you back from getting closer to him. Ameen.