The spiritual journey is one that spans our entire lives; we learn, we discover ourselves, we make mistakes, and we grow from them. Along the way, we naturally experience our ups and downs as we journey towards spiritual bliss and closeness to Allah (swt).
Although every person’s experiences are different, for young “coming of age” Muslims, there seems to be a common trend as they first discover their passion for the Deen. When the first taste of the sweetness of Iman enters the heart, one usually goes all out; they remove all the haram from their lives, they change their clothes and the way they speak, they change their friend groups, and more often than not, they end up burdening themselves with more than they can handle.
If a slow, balanced approach to the Deen isn’t adopted at this early stage, the dangers of falling into somewhat of an identity crisis or developing unhealthy personality and character traits can become inevitable. Not only can this affect the individual themselves, but it can negatively impact their relationship with those around them.
Does the following sound familiar? A young and excited Muslim first discovers their deep passion for the Deen, and then:
- They make dramatic changes to their entire life (attitude, clothes, friends, etc.)
- They begin growing their beard / wearing the Hijab
- They start praying 5 times per day, adding in Tahajjud, and regularly visit the Masjid
- They start volunteering for various Islamic organisations, taking classes, and watching YouTube lectures until Fajr.
All of these are fantastic, and greatly rewarding. But… they may also:
- Start imposing their opinions on other people
- Become increasingly judgmental of others, thinking that they are “lower” than themselves
- Get a little over-confident with their knowledge of the Deen, only after taking a couple of classes or reading a few books
- Feel that a “good Muslim” is only one that wears a thobe / abayah / hijab 24/7 and looks the part
- Develop “Haram police” syndrome
We all know somebody like this, or rather, may even have been like this once ourselves. You may even be reading this right now and be thinking “Uh oh… sounds like me!”
Being super excited and deeply passionate about the Deen when one first becomes practicing is a wonderful feeling, and yes, one should aim to better themselves in every way possible. However, setting a standard this high from the get go can soon become burdensome, and inevitably, an individual may experience a major “crash” with their Iman. Once they are no longer able to uphold these standards, they feel like a lost cause, that their Iman is now gone, and a deep spiritual depression and emptiness takes over their hearts.
This is where the term “spiritual steroids” stems from. Just like anabolic steroids cause a massive surge in muscle growth at a rapid rate, as soon as the bodybuilder stops them, the body deflates and the muscle can become lost. Similarly, if one tries to cheat their spiritual development and fast track their progress, their Iman may also experience deflation.
How do we avoid this from happening, and how should one approach the Deen in a healthy and balanced manner so as to keep a consistent and steadily growing level of Iman? Join us in this podcast episode with Shaykh Abdul Hameed where he discusses this issue and provides his knowledge, wisdom and advice to those going through, or about to go through this stage of their lives.
What you’ll learn:
- Common reasons why people get off on the wrong foot
- What it means to be “spiritually hench”
- The dangers of going too fast, too soon
- Why everything eventually goes back to having a sound to an understanding of the Deen (or a lack of)
- Why people suffer an identity crisis and aren’t comfortable with themselves
- Misconceptions as to how pious or religious Muslims are “supposed” to be / look like
- Shaykh Abdul Hameed’s advice on how to develop a balanced approach towards the Deen
Leave a comment!
If you have a question for Shaykh or want to share your story / tip on how to keep a balanced approach to the Deen, especially when first getting started, leave a comment below.
Got more questions? Find Shaykh Abdul Hameed on Facebook by clicking here.
Shaykh Abdul Hameed Ismail
Shaykh Abdul Hameed is a young traditionally trained Islamic scholar from Leicester. He graduated as an Alim from Jamea Uloomul Quran (Leicester) under the patronage of Hazrat Shaykh Adam hafizahullah. He also memorized the Quran during his studies at the institution. He is very well versed in the Quran and has a unique way of simplifying Quranic passages for a variety of audiences.
The Shaykh also completed his BA honors in social work/psychology. He currently is perusing his Masters in education/ psychology. He has a passion to work with young people and is part of many organisations to help serve the needs of the youth.
He currently works as a secondary school teacher in a Leicester state school, and also lectures all over the UK and has been invited by many organisations to deliver lectures in different parts of America.
Some of his hobbies include having a huge passion for Martial arts from a young age, and has competed at a high level. He currently still competes in mixed martial arts (MMA) tournaments across the UK. He also has a passion for riding super-sports motorbikes. His young age, unique hobbies, well grounded Islamic knowledge and passion to “reconnect people to the Quran”, allows him to engage with the youth, in order for them to access and practice Islam in a relevant yet simple manner.
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