Marriage loving the spouse for the sake of Allah

The Concept of Self Doubt in Islam

We are created by The Creator who is Beautiful and loves beauty. Each and every one of us is created differently. Be persistent in your good deeds even if you do not feel like it initially. Find that gem in you. As you embark on this quest, know that you are also renewing and constantly bettering your relationship with Allah. Being thankful for many of the blessings that Allah has blessed us with. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Those who believed and find satisfaction their hearts in the remembrance (of) Allah. No doubt, in the remembrance of Allah find satisfaction the hearts.” (Surah Ar-Ra`d 13:28)

The first step to change is to change your mindset. It brings a ripple effect to your actions, expectations and outcome. Simply changing your behaviour is unlikely to give you any long-term results as you cannot lie behind your emotions and thoughts. It is also insufficient to merely pray and seek Divine assistance from Allah without putting the right effort. Allah says:

وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ

“And whoever turns away from My remembrance, then indeed, for him (is) a life straitened and We will gather him (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection blind.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:124)

The fact that you care about your faith is wonderful. Now, put that guilt into action. Satan makes us do nothing so that we are doomed to hell. The best way to beat self-doubt is to do things that stop you doubting yourself and stop Satan making you doubt yourself. The positive belief needs to come from your own self. Accompany your prayers with the will and effort to change. Allah says:

لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ

“For him (are) successive (Angels) before him and behind him, who guard him by (the) Command of Allah. Indeed, Allah (does) not change the condition of a people, until they change what (is) in themselves. And when Allah wills for a people misfortune, then (there is) no turning away of it, and not for them besides Him any protector.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:11)

Break your ultimate goal into smaller goals to realistically make the change. Achieving these little milestones keeps you motivated and inspired to sustain the momentum until you reach your goal. The risks are great but the reward is greater. Bottom line is to make small but meaningful changes. Take the chance to make things better for yourself. Bring yourself closer to Him.

How does Islam guide us in overcoming this? Here are some key things for us to know how to start the change:

  1. Self-doubt is stemmed from our lack of love or devotion to Allah
  2. Self-doubt is earnest efforts to strengthen our Iman (faith)
  3. Self-doubt  forget our commitment to daily activities
  4. Self-doubt is sat around to expect things to change
  5. Self-doubt is upward and downward comparisons
  6. Self-doubt is to appreciate what he has given you
  7. Self-doubt is a lack of confidence in oneself
  8. Self-doubt is reflected in our state of Taqwa
  9. Self-doubt means ask Allah to expand you
  10. Self-doubt is an  episodic feeling is natural
  11. Self-doubt is to give yourself a chance
  12. Self-doubt is not a Sign of weak Faith
  13. Self-doubt  increases and decreases
  14. Self-doubt is below things you can do
  15. Self-doubt help in purifying our hearts
  16. Self-doubt help in reconnecting to Allah
  17. Self-doubt starts by changing our mindset
  18. Self-doubt  tells us that our belief is the locus
  19. Self-doubt  results reinforce our initial sour belief
  20. Self-doubt repeatedly affects our neural pathways
  21. Self-doubt is known that your feelings are not common
  22. Self-doubt affects our body; how we speak to ourselves
  23. Self-doubt means might constantly second think yourself
  24. Self-doubt picks up the message and translates it into actions
  25. Self-doubt produces the “expected results” central to what we believe

No one is able to overcome self-doubt overnight. It is a process that takes time, effort, retrospection and self-love. When your desire to change comes from within, honour that feeling with self-respect. Do not sabotage yourself by giving yourself too much to change over a little time. Allah says:

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

“Allah wishes to lighten for you, and was created the mankind weak.” (Surah An-Nisa` 4:28)

Change how and what you think of yourself. For example, it is not about how smart you are but what you are smart about. If you are unable to see your uniqueness or strengths, ask your family and close friends. Accept and acknowledge your worth. You will be amazed. This is a good mindset as it keeps us motivated to improve ourselves. Allah says:

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي

“Indeed, [I] I Am Allah. (There is) no god but I, so worship Me and establish the prayer for My remembrance.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:14)

We change when our beliefs change. Adopt a growth mindset to learn to appreciate the small progress. Your challenges are unique to you – only you know the amount of effort and sacrifices you put to improve your situation. You will slowly learn to see His wisdom and the manifestation of His Mercy to you. The journey you will embark on is not only good for you but it will bring you closer to Him.

Allah Almighty says about Self-doubt in the Holy Quran:

وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

“And they schemed, and Allah planned. And Allah (is the) best (of) the planners.” (Imran 3:54)

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

“Allah wishes to lighten for you, and was created the mankind weak.” (Nisa` 4:28)

أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“Then did they feel secure (from the) plan (of) Allah? But not feel secure (from the) plan (of) Allah except the people (who are) the losers.” (A`raf 7:99)

وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

“But not is (for) Allah that He punishes them while you (are) among them, and not is Allah the One Who punishes them while they seek forgiveness.” (Anfal 8:33)

Self-doubt can often be rooted in our childhood and the way in which we were spoken to as a child by our parents, family members, friends or even teachers. Sometimes, we question ourselves if we are devoting too much time on worldly matters, if Allah accepts our deeds, or if we are good enough as Muslims. As human beings, we are not precluded from having introspective questions.  Allah says:

إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ اللَّهُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا الَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّن بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“If Allah helps you, then not (can) overcome [for] you, and if He forsakes you, then who (is) the one who can help you after Him? And on Allah – let the believers put (their).” (Surah Al-Imran 3:160)

Take a step back and look at your life. You see a constant pattern that has not changed. The reason is that you yourself have yet to change. Self-doubt often makes us rationalise a situation to fit our emotional state. We make excuses that only create mental barriers. Reflect on your objectives and ask yourself, “what have I not done?” Allah says:

أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“Then did they feel secure (from the) plan (of) Allah? But not feel secure (from the) plan (of) Allah except the people (who are) the losers.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:99)

However, in return, we do not wish to become ungrateful Muslims for failing to see and appreciate the blessings He has given us. There are times when comparing ourselves to our own peers is helpful so that we recognise our own unique traits, discover and acknowledge the blessings and mercy He has showered upon us. Allah says:

وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

“And when plotted against you those who disbelieved that they restrain you or kill you or drive you out. And they were planning and Allah (too) was planning. And Allah is (the) Best (of) the Planners.” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:30)

In fact, with the right intention which is to receive Allah’s pleasure, these responsibilities are also forms of worship. Worship is not only in the form of prayers. We should not neglect our affairs here in a bid to reap benefits in the Hereafter. So, know that self-introspection and the fear you have is good but do not overthink or dwell on it. Allah, The All-Merciful, knows you are trying.