Q: I am a Muslim guy in college. I have a problem that is making me very depressed. Whenever I decide to do something I always think; a.) “what would others think about this?” plus I b.) fear that they would discriminate and think something negative in their mind about it c.) hoped that they would like and approve it. This is really affecting my daily life and studies, this is so strong that even when I’m praying salah alone these is always what’s in my mind. So my questions are:
1.) is this counted as Riyya? Since my niyyah for studying in college is for the sake of Allah (which ulamas say is now a form of worship). When I go to school, do reporting, studying, taking quizes and exams etc. these thoughts pops into my mind that I lose concentration, focus and become very anxious to what their thought or reaction is.
2.) How can I remove this? Before in highschool I always think about “what would Allah think?” but now these thoughts are the top concerns in my mind instead of Allah These are making me very depressed. I can’t study well and it’s really affecting my grades plus my parents are paying for my education and are getting old. I want to finish so that I can provide and take care of them but these thoughts are hindering my progress.
A: You should not be too concerned about people’s opinions and remarks. It is not possible for any person to please everybody all the time. Instead, you should be more concerned about pleasing Allah Ta’ala and your relationship with Him. Keep Allah Ta’ala before you at all times and refrain from all things that will bring His displeasure.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)