Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
Almost 8 years ago, I was talking to a brother for the purpose of marriage. We both loved each other, but the relationship didn’t work out because he felt there was a gap in our spiritual practice. I have tried to detach my heart over the years, but I can’t seem to move on. It’s horrible. What can I do?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in to us. May Allah ease your difficulties. May Allah also reward you for trying to do all the right things and remaining patient.
Prolonged heartache has many roots, and though the main cause may be obvious, the deeper underlying roots are not so easily detected. The ultimate answer lies in realising and working towards our relationship with Allah. It can also be beneficial to approach these situations with both spiritual and therapeutic methods.
The key to healing yourself from an Islamic perspective is to realign your relationship and attachment to God. When our hearts become too attached to created beings, we lose sight that it is Allah who makes all things happen, and it is to Him we must return. In turning to God we must consider the following:
1. Ensure that your heart is attached to Allah and the Prophet ﷺ more than anyone else. We can only do this by knowing Allah. Knowing Allah and the Prophet ﷺ is achieved through a) learning and b) reading and understanding the Words of Allah. Take time each day to learn basic aqidah and seerah, as well reading a portion of the Quran daily, using an English translation if possible. For courses, please see our course page.
2. Realise that all events happen according to God’s Decree. Take heart in the words of Allah, ‘No affliction befalls, except it be by the leave of God. Whosoever believes in God, He will guide his heart. And God has knowledge of everything.’ [64:11]. Allah is reassuring us that our hearts will be guided through and out of the sorrows of this world, and that He is aware of the anguish of our hearts. Knowing this, and that He alone is the Controller of all affairs, lets us know that He alone can change our affairs.
One does not know what wisdom Allah has placed in the misfortunes that befall us, and what greater misfortune he has averted from us or what greater reward He has stored for us instead. If we knew the reality of each situation, we would not want it to be any different then what Allah has Decreed, for His Decree is perfect.
3. Do your best to increase in faith (Iman), as faith is the fortress of the heart from the upheavals of worldly tides. This can be achieved by what we mentioned above (learning and building a relationship with the Quran), as well as waking up for Tahajjud (night prayers), even 5-10 minutes before Fajr and praying to Allah. Wake up in these quiet hours in the still of the night, and tell Allah that you have woken up to seek his help and to change your condition, to tell him that it is Him whom you love and seek happiness in, and to make you amongst those who have patience, gratitude and certainty. With sincerity, insha’Allah your prayer will be answers, for the Prophetﷺ informed us that,
‘Our Lord descends to the heaven on the last third of every night, and he says: Who is calling upon me that I may answer him? Who is asking from me that I may give him? Who is seeking my forgiveness that I may forgive him?’ [al Bukhari, Muslim].
4. Keep the company of good people, and do not spend a lot of time alone.
5. Keep busy through work, socialising (in moderation), pursuing hobbies and interests (particularly creative ones) and community work, especially for people who are in need and suffering. Seeing others in a worse state than our own is a wake-up call to count the blessings we have and not remain stuck on our own particular sorrows.
6. If you desire to marry, then move on by meeting prospective spouses. Allah will place you with the person that you were going to be with, so continue the search, and with the right intention. It ca be surprising how heartache can be forgotten when something new enters into one’s life.
7. Recite the following supplications much:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men. [al Bukhari]
اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا
O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy [Ibn Hibban]
اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ
O Allah, I hope for Your mercy, do not leave me for even the duration of an eye blink (duration) and correct my total condition. Besides You there is none worthy of worship [Hisnul Hasin]
8. Please also read the following answers which you may find useful:
How to get over unrequited love?
My heart has been broken by a man but I can’t move on
Turning to Allah through the above means is no doubt the first and main path to healing. However, it sometimes occurs that no matter what one does they can’t lift themselves out of the hole they find themselves in. This is where alternative therapies can help.
If the above does not help alone, then I suggest seeking out a qualified and reputable homeopath. Homeopathy is very effective in helping people overcome prolonged grief, broken hearts and unrequited love. The remedies can help balance the person’s judgement, and realign the will and determination to see beyond the point they are stuck in and move on. Alternatively, a traditional herbalist may also be of use. And Allah alone is the healer of all maladies.
I wish you all the best and pray that Allah turns your heart towards Him and grants you peace and happiness.
[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.