And as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it (signs of Allah) adds uncleanness to their uncleanness (disease of doubt) and they die while they are unbelievers. (Surah Tawbah 9:125.)
The world is getting bigger each day. Shadows of doubt continue to fall on the long cherished fact that Islam is the only way.
How many times do you want to question the existence of Allah? Or questioned whether the Quran is really God’s Word? What about your own faith in Allah? Have you ever wondered if you were truly a Muslim?
Doubts could result at any point in times during these experiences. Doubt could either be outside or within us. How then can we identify our doubts squarely in the eyes and stare them down?
Tracking the conduct of our changing times is quite the project here. We live in a multi-textured world that is filled with too many beliefs, opinions and ideas. Ours is a world of doubt and desire, faith, searching and questioning.
Our faith faces massive threats from the outside. Many New Atheists are on the rise trying to infiltrate our faith with doubt.
Old-fashioned questions are being repackaged to set off alarm in the heart of the believing ones.
Number one on the agenda is an attempt to abandon Allah once and for all. Satan is so determined to use these New Atheists to create unbelief by employing all possible measures.
Some are ready to repackage Islam. Even some so called Islamic scholars have sought to introduce new things (Innovation) into Islam making it fashionable and for self-gains.
It is becoming harder and harder for Muslims to stand united against a chorus of voices crying out against Islam. There are even more external threats out there, but I trust you’ve captured my vibe.
Islam today is in a state of acute danger threatening its existence not only from external imperilment but also from the challenges of internal conflicts.
Unlike in the past when threats were majorly a product of the aggression of alien cultures on Islam and Muslims, perpetuation by Muslims upon Muslims themselves is now on the rise.
The conflict in Syria, the violence and repression in Egypt, the destruction in Libya, the bombings that occurred between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the repression in Algeria, the sectarian violence in Iraq, the bloodshed ongoing in Somalia and the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria have Muslims majorly as both victims and aggressors.
Is Islam ready to lead this world of doubts?
Sure, our Islamic leaders both locally and internationally is trying so hard to clarify things but have they equipped the Ummah how to defend their faith and how to deal with their doubts?
They may have done everything possible but my observation and experience tell me that some Muslims have never been afflicted with doubt as they are today. I’ve never seen such an identity crisis within people of the Quran.
Never before have the Quran and Sunnah been so confused and never will they ever be. And behind much of that confusion of these Muslims lays an irritant called doubt.
Islamic scholars and religious leaders can no longer take the easy road and avoid answering the tough questions that afflict the average Muslim. Rather, we must engage them, Wrestle with them and defend against them Insha-Allah.
Sincere Muslims, like you, have questions that deserve authentic and sincere answers. Especially with our youth where this crisis of doubt can be dangerous, we cannot overlook this fact.
Good Doubt and Bad Doubt
Well, not all doubts are bad. Some are beneficial whereas others do more harm than good. It is OK to doubt lots of things that aren’t true. For instance, I think it’s good to doubt Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and so on. It’s even good to doubt certain things within Islam that are innovations.
We are not exempt from holding false beliefs which never came from our beloved Prophet (PBUH). How many Muslims (or denominations) do you know who contradict each other? In order not to confuse people, I won’t talk much about this.
Thinking about our Faith is completely different from doubting Our Faith
During my research on doubts, I across many articles and books. Some stand firm that doubt is a good thing while others condemn it with supporting Hadiths and verses from the Quran.
The reason to say that doubt is a good thing is simple. Doubt can enable us to question what we believe and come to stronger convictions. I personally don’t support this belief. There is nothing good about doubts in Islam. It is a good thing to doubt other faiths other than Islam, but doubting Islam itself is some kind of disease of the heart, some kind of disbelieve or Kufr.
Thinking about our faith is completely different from doubting our faith. I think this is what some don’t consider before declaring doubts as something good in Islam. Thus, questioning what we believe and coming to stronger convictions should be referred to as thinking of our faith but not doubting our faith.
Doubt is a dark place, and no cautious Muslim wants to live in darkness. We begin to develop fear the moment we start doubting the truth. But doubts are already in us and we cannot ignore it just like that. The only way is to deal with it by the help of Allah.
Now let’s see. Do you ever struggle with doubt regarding your faith, Allah (SWT), the Prophet (PBUH), the Holy Quran, morality, miracles, or truth? Are things getting out of hand and you find yourself very confused wondering where Allah is?
If that be the case, be encouraged. This was written just for you. I want you to swap out your panic for peace by showing you a whole new way to doubt.
What could be a new way forward in this confusion that we see today? Doubt doesn’t go away overnight. They are from the Satan and he is going to be around for some time. After all, that is his main goal. It could also be a test from Allah to see how you will handle these doubts that you have.
Some people choose to accept the doubts and leave Islam (May Allah forbid)
Others (such as you) choose to turn to Allah, make dua to him, research and ask people to try and sort things out (Maasha-Allah)
However, one thing is certain. It’s a lot easier to ask questions than to find answers. Yet I still think a life without explanation is exhausting. Therefore, there’s a need for explanations to our questions, and fortunately, Islam worldview comes nicely furnished with explanations Insha-Allah. This should give us hope.
It also tells that now is not the time to throw in the towel. Our instruments comprise faith and the Word of Allah. The Holy Quran is our dependable “direction indicator”, and faith helps us to navigate our way through the disorienting clouds of doubt.
In the journey of confusion, faith is the direction we aim. And in doubting toward faith, we end up doubting toward Allah Almighty, the only One who can surely lead us through the journey and calm our doubts.
As Imam Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) said:
“there is enough light for one who wants to see.”
The choice is yours. You can doubt toward unbelief or you can doubt toward faith. Are you ready? If so, let’s get to work.