Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalam alaykum
I suffer from autism and struggled greatly to form friendships over the years. I am now in my early 30’s and suffering from years of frustration due to lack of ability to marry and attract the opposite sex. I suffer from intense anger and bitterness and this feeling seems to have developed into eczema, hot flushes…
What do you advise?
Answer: Assalam alaykum.
Dear brother, Jazakum Allah khayr for writing to us. It’s obvious that you have been struggling and bearing difficulties on many fronts throughout your life. May Allah reward you for staying firm in your faith, and striving to overcome each hurdle, which takes a lot of faith and determination. Many would have given up by now.
There are three steps that I encourage you to take immediately:
1. Support and Treatment
A person cannot, and is not expected to, get through these sorts of issues on their own, especially if you feel that your personality is becoming aggressive and you have low self-esteem.
It is essential that you get professional support. This is the first step that must be taken. Please seek out a reliable counselor who can support you through all of this. Your local council or GP should be able to refer you to someone, preferably a Muslim therapist.
As you mentioned, the body is manifesting signs of your inner turmoil, so this is more reason to get things professionally treated. Alongside counseling, I would advise getting nutritional therapy or/and constitutional homeopathic treatment, which takes into account both the emotional and physical symptoms together, including various ASD levels. There is no harm in your case doing all of these therapies together, if it is possible, as you need both the emotional and nutritional support, and the medicine.
If finance is an issue, speak to a sensitive local GP who may be able to refer you to such therapists on the NHS, or family members who may help.
You may want to stop fasting, especially if you feel it is not helping and you’re losing weight, as fasting continuously for some people can be detrimental, and needs to supervised.
Just as professional support and therapy is important, social company and the support of family and friends is vital. Don’t spend too much time alone or doing solitary activities.
Join hobby classes in your area which are of interest, or volunteer to do some community team work that interests you (such as working with children with difficulties or disabilities, the elderly, gardening clubs). Don’t feel shy or awkward doing these things, they can be very satisfying. These will not only keep you pre-occupied from your worries and physical needs, but they provide a sense of self-worth and belonging, and a productive channel for surplus energy.
If you’re into sports and exercise, which is important, then play team sports with friends, or join a sports club in the area. This would be better than exercising alone, can be fun, and a good way to make friends from different backgrounds.
3. Turn to Allah
May Allah reward you for attempting to stay on top of your religious duties and activities. While professional support and social company is essential, first and foremost, we must turn to Allah for all our needs, for nothing can change except through him.
“And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” [65:3]
Ensure that your obligatory prayers are all fulfilled, and on time. Make a short du’a after each prayer for Allah to help you, cure you, and fulfill all your needs. Try to do a small amount of dhikr and a small amount of Qur‘an recital every day, even if just very little. This will suffice for now, until you feel the yearning to do more.
I’m sure it must be very frustrating and disheartening to not have been able to find a suitable spouse for marriage. Despite the disappointments, be patient, Allah knows what is best for us at each and every moment.
Despite the natural physical needs that you’re experiencing, I would advise that you follow the treatments mentioned above (nutrition/homeopathy) before looking for a spouse. You want to get these issues resolved before bringing someone else into your life. It is hoped that the therapies will bring balance into your life, which should help with controlling the physical desires better, until marriage becomes an option.
If treatments become established and things go well, then it may be time to look again for a spouse. At that stage, insha Allah, you will be feeling much more positive, confident and happy with yourself, and be in a position to give and share with another, without any of this in the background.
Solace in Hardships
Finally, when one finds that they are in continuous struggle, that the difficulties of life are unrelenting, then you should know that Allah wishes you only the very best.
The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, has informed us that, “If Allah intends good for someone, then he afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari), and he, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi).
Take solace in this, and remain firm in your faith in Him. Allah Most High knows all your struggles, difficulties, and loneliness. Turn to Him, day and night, and make Him your intimate Companion.
I wish you all the best dear brother. Please do follow the above steps. May Allah grant you strength and healing, and happiness in this life and the next. You’re not alone, so do feel free to write to us again and let us know how you’re getting along.
Warmest salams and sincere du’as,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.