Praise be to Allaah.
It is essential first of all to define the cause of the
problem, then you can go ahead and deal with it. If you ask us to help you
define it, we would say that the problem is in yourself and not in anything
else. The help that others offer you will never be of benefit unless you
take steps towards salvation.
The feelings that you express in your question indicate that
the elements of righteousness are present in your case, for the believer is
the one who takes stock of himself and rebukes himself, and it seems that
you are doing that.
The believer is afraid of his shortcomings and sins, and sees
them as a mountain that is about to fall on him. It seems that you feel this
The believer holds his Islam and faith in high esteem, and is
proud to belong to this great religion, and he loves his Prophet Muhammad
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – and your letter shows
So how can all these qualities be present in one who falls
short in the greatest religious duty, which is prayer?
We do not have any explanation for that except poor
self-management and a lack of self control. Otherwise, performing the prayer
does not take up a great deal of effort or time. It is only a few minutes in
which a person is alone with his Lord, asking Him to fulfil his needs and
complaining to Him the heavy burden of his worldly concerns, and expressing
to Him his longing for Him and His mercy.
If we cannot put up with making the commitment of these few
minutes, then we do not think that we could ever succeed in our lives.
Self-discipline requires commitment and resolve, and our Lord has not
burdened us Muslims with more than we can bear, rather He has not even
burdened us with anything that is too difficult for us; He loves to accept
our repentance and make things easier for us.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make
things difficult for you”
“Allaah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is
unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept
your repentance, and Allaah is All‑Knower, All‑Wise.
Allaah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who
follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously
away (from the Right Path).
Allaah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man
was created weak”
Prayer is a mercy that Allaah has enjoined upon us by His
bounty and kindness. The one who adheres to it and prays regularly and
properly will see the bounty of Allaah to us which He has decreed for us and
will understand that the one who is truly deprived is the one who deprives
himself of the joy of contact with Allaah, may He be exalted.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with
him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
“Prayer is the best of prescribed things, so the one who is
able to do a lot of it, let him do a lot of it.”
Narrated by al-Tabaraani (1/84); classed as saheeh (authentic) by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (390).
See what Allaah says after the verses in which He enjoined
purification for prayer (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He
wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour to you that you may be
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),
whom you love and whose Seerah (life) you love, says: “My delight has been made in prayer.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (3940); classed as hasan (sound) by al-Haafiz ibn
Hajar in al-Talkhees al-Habeer (3/116) and classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.
How can the believer agree to miss out on this goodness and
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Alas! How can a person spend his time and live his life
deprived of smelling this fragrance, and leave this world as he entered it
without having tasted the best that it has to offer, and having lived in it
like a dumb animal, departing from it like one who is bankrupt. He lived a
life of helplessness, he died a death of sadness and his resurrection will
be loss and regret. O Allaah, to You be praise, to You we complain, You are
the One Whose help we seek, You we ask for aid, in You we put our trust, and
there is no power and no strength except with You.
Tareeq al-Hijratayn (p. 327).
I am not saying this to you in order to increase the despair
that you are feeling, but so that you will strive to rid yourself of it. It
has only befallen you because of your failure to perform the easiest of
duties, so you should know that you are more incapable of doing others.
You should not leave any room in your life for despair with
regard to Allaah. You must understand that He hates those who despair
(interpretation of the meaning): “And who despairs
of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?” [al-Hijr 15:56]
and He loves those of His slaves who are optimistic of His mercy and grace.
By His vast kindness He forgives bad deeds and pardons mistakes, indeed He
says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Except those who
repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for
those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is
Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful
repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards
Allaah with true repentance”
A wise man said: “Nothing brings hope but good deeds.” You
will never escape the trap of despair into which the shaytaan has caused you
to fall unless you start to strive and try to commit yourself to
righteousness, even if you fall short at the beginning.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and never give up hope of Allaah’s Mercy. Certainly no
one despairs of Allaah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve”
Hope means that a person must work and strive hard for
whatever he hopes for, but despair means that he will be sluggish and slow.
The best that people can hope for is the bounty, kindness, mercy and grace
“Certainly no one despairs of Allaah’s Mercy, except the
people who disbelieve” – because of their kufr (disbelief), they think that the mercy of Allaah is unlikely, and His mercy is far from them. So do not be like the kaafirs (non-Muslims). This indicates that the more faith a person has, the more
hope he will have of the mercy and grace of Allaah. Tafseer Ibn Sa’di.
The first thing you must do is to become eager to offer
prayers regularly and on time, as you would feel eager for other worldly
matters such as food, drink, study, marriage and so on. Every action is
preceded by concern and thought. One of the early generation strove hard to do many naafil (voluntary) prayers, until Thaabit al-Banaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I strove hard to do qiyaam al-layl (supererogatory prayers
offered at night) for twenty years, and I enjoyed it for the next twenty
This thinking and concern will not be sufficient unless you
focus on means that will help you to pray regularly and think about ways to
make yourself adhere to that which Allaah has enjoined. Man possesses a
great ability to choose the means that will help him to do what he wants.
Strive to get up straightaway, as soon as you hear the voice
of the muezzin saying takbeer, and remember that Allaah is greater than all
of this world by which you are distracted. Then go to your prayer-place and
pray what Allaah has enjoined on you. Do not forget to say that du’aa’ that
our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us: ‘Allaahumma
a’inni ‘ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ‘ibaadatika (O Allaah, help me
to remember You, give thanks to You and worship You properly).”
You say that your family is eager to fast six days of
Shawwaal, and this is a sign of goodness and righteousness that will help
you to offer prayers on time, when you see your mother and siblings getting
up at this time. Praise Allaah for this; how many complaints come from
children whose families smack them to stop them praying and hijab, but
Allaah has honoured you with a family who can help you to fear Allaah.
Keep company with girls who pray and are righteous, and ask
them to help you with prayer and to remind you of it and encourage you to do
it. That may be the best help for you.
Finally, beware of sins, for they are the basis of all
problems. One sin leads to another, and so on, until they accumulate and
destroy a man, making it too hard for him to pray and depriving him of its
light and blessing. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Sins generate more sins, and one leads to another, until they
overpower a man and he finds it difficult to repent from that. As one of the
earlier generation said: One of the punishments of bad deeds is more bad
deeds, and one of the rewards of good deeds is more good deeds.
Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi (p. 36).
As for your question about fasting Ramadaan and that you are
uncertain about not fasting on some days, with no excuse, we say to you: Do
not pay any attention to these doubts, if it seems most likely to you that
you did this act of worship at the right time with your family. Thinking
something most likely is sufficient to have discharged one’s duty, and
doubts count for nothing after that.
In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (7/143) it says:
Doubts after having finished tawaaf circling the k’abah), saa’i (walking between Safa and Marwah) and prayer should
be ignored, because what seems to be the case is that the act of worship is
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
If the doubt comes after finishing the act of worship, then
no attention should be paid to it, so long as there is no certainty about
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen
(14/question no. 746).
Moreover, if a fast is not observed with no excuse, it does
not have to be made up and no expiation is to be offered, rather one has to
repent and seek forgiveness, as has previously been explained in he answer
to question no. 50067.
I ask Allaah to decree your reward for you and to make you
steadfast in adhering to truth and Islam, and to protect you from the
And Allaah knows best.