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How Can I Feel Safe as New Muslim After Being Involved in an Abusive Church?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question:

Prior to being Muslim, I was involved with a controlling Christian church.  Even after a year, I am still dealing with the mental health problems that I developed in the church.  I have difficulty trusting religious authorities, especially men, and mentioning certain religious topics that remind me of my past makes me feel tense and angry, leaving me in tears for hours.  I cannot sustain this.  Am I ready to be Muslim?  How can I feel safe and stop constantly questioning my faith?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are going through so much with your past and your pain. I pray that you can heal and recover from the trauma that you had, and I encourage you to learn as much as you can.

Healing

If you have been through something traumatic, you should seek professional help. It is imperative that you talk to someone and process your emotions so that you can conquer them. Feeling like a victim or living in fear or mistrust is no way to continue living; you deserve better. Consider starting with a hotline or asking your doctor to recommend someone. You may also consider joining a support group. Good friends and relatives can also be pillars of love and support; try to surround yourself with them.

Islam

You ask if you are ready to be Muslim. I believe that Islam is the answer to your problems. It holds the key to remedy your heart, and you can start building a relationship with your Lord in the right way. Unlike other religions, there is no intermediary between you and your Lord. You can supplicate directly to Him, in the depth of the night, and you can pray to Him with your own presence of heart, making Him the goal of every good deed that you perform. I believe that Islam is a major step in your healing and that you will find ease after this difficulty, as promised in the Qur’an.

Faith

Instead of asking if you are ready for Islam, see what you can do to strengthen your faith and nurture it. See these links for the most excellent advice on this:
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/misgivings-and-doubts/
https://dev.seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/living-faith-fully-certitude-gratitude-contentment-and-tests-and-blessings/
https://seekersguidance.org/show/nurturing-faith-shaykh-faraz-rabbani/

Turn to Allah

Allah is the Hearer and Knower of all things, and He answers the supplications of His servant, especially those who were wronged. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Tirmidhi]

Please learn the du’as in the link below and say them daily, as a relief and solace to you, while gaining the reward, by His grace:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/

When You Get Upset

When you get upset, try some self-care. Do something that is good for your body and soul. Try to be around positive and loving people. Go out in nature, walk, exercise, do a charitable deed, or help another in need. My teacher once told me nothing takes care of a problem better than giving charity. Try keeping a journal to get your emotions out, and gradually you can start letting people back into your trusted circle. There is no rush at all. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and facilitate your matters for you.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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