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If you've read one my earlier questions, you'd know that I've been suffering from heavy waswas from Shaitan which lead to depression. Many people have requested me to learn more about Islam to clear my doubts. However, whenever I start doing research on Islam, I start suffering from anxiety.

Recently, I've decided to ignore all the doubts and just continue my life as a Muslim. I want to say the Shahadah again because I've said some pretty terrible things when I was talking about my doubts with my parents... things that just might have taken me outside the territory of Islam.

But the problem is that according to most Islamic websites, my shahadah will not be valid unless I say it with a pure heart.... in other words, I have to say it with absolute certainty that Islam is the truth. So basically, that means I can't just ignore my doubts and say the shahadah. And as I said, every time I try to research about Islam to clear my doubts, I start suffering from anxiety.

So what do I do now? I'm pretty sure some of the things I said to my parents turned me into a non-muslim. And at the same time, I can't return to islam because I can't fulfill one of the requirements of shahadah (which is certainty). I don't even know if Allah is accepting my salah anymore.

It's like Allah doesn't want me to be muslim. It's like He has already condemned me to hell.

Am I a hypocrite?

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Tabraze Azam at SeekersHub addressed this exact problem:

...I struggle with words as my my heart wavers. I think this happened when i was reading about the essentials of becoming a Muslim. A person is a Muslim ONLY if he says this and believes in the heart with conviction without a single doubt otherwise he is a non Muslim. Reading that scared me. Now the problem is worse. So how do i know i am a believer? ...

(A): You are unquestionably a believer. This is all simply misgivings and misplaced knowledge. ... As mentioned previously, you are not responsible for your thoughts. Your hating them is sufficient proof that there is no ‘doubt’.

There's going to be hardline fatawa (e.g. Islam Q&A), but these things need to be put in perspective...

No one who prays in the direction of Mecca [lit: “people of the Qibla”] may be called an unbeliever, unless he willfully and repeatedly denies the legitimacy of established Shari‘ah law because he would then be denying Divine legislation. -- The Response

(In fact, these hardline fatawa were the reason The Response was authored.) Blips in one's iman should not be considered the determining factor as to whether one is a Muslim or not.

To put your concerns about the shahada in perspective, look at these Pew Survey results:

Belief in God and Muhammad

There is a sizeable Muslim population who do not accept the first pillar of Islam and are willing to admit to it in a survey. Going through those Pew Survey results helped me relax and accept being imperfect in matters of religion.

I like to recall the hadith:

Allah (swt) says: Take one step towards Me, I will take ten steps towards you.  Walk towards me, I will run towards you.

(Image source: Pintrest.)

We're not required to, nor would we be able to solve every problem immediately. I just try to make incremental progress day by day and over time it adds up.

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    I don't see how a large minority of people who are from a muslim culture admitting that they are not muslims is relevant here. Disbelief is disbelief, no matter how confidently some disbelievers proclaim to be muslim. – G. Bach Oct 26 '16 at 8:46
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    Calling someone a disbeliever if he doesn't believe in Allah or Muhammad being Allah's messenger is not a "hardline" interpretation; in all of islamic history there has not been a single scholar who would call someone like that a muslim. Not believing even a single word of the quran makes you a disbeliever - how much clearer then if you don't believe in the "Allah" that the quran talks about, or that Muhammad was sent by god to reveal the quran. These are the central doctrines of islam, there is zero wiggle-room there. What would islam without Allah even mean? Who would you be submitting to? – G. Bach Oct 26 '16 at 10:50
  • The article you link to (you call it The Response - I haven't heard of this, what is its significance?) explicitly states that anyone who denies a tenet of the shariah persistently can be called a disbeliever. Can you name a tenet of the shariah more central than la ilaha il allah muhammad rasulullah? Saying "many people who call themselves muslim don't follow this notion, so their view must be acceptable" makes islam a do-it-yourself jumble where anything that enough people do goes, not the last revelation from an almighty god with clear guidelines and boundaries that it purports to be. – G. Bach Oct 26 '16 at 10:58
  • I made a chat room if you'd like to discuss this at some point – G. Bach Oct 26 '16 at 11:21
  • It's not a matter of prejudice or being hardline! In its doctrinal, religious and even literal sense "Muslim" means someone who is "submitted," that is, submitted to Allah and His religion. So calling someone who does not submit to Allah and His religion a "Muslim" is simply to commit to a blatant contradiction! I am not suggesting that such "muslims" who are "muslim" only in the cultural and/or genetic sense should not be treated with grace, sympathy and respect, but to demand that we call somebody something he is not, well, is not simply rational and honest! – infatuated Nov 3 '16 at 3:45
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Adding to what Rebecca had provided, it is worth mentioning that of the famous Hadith of Usamah bin Zaid, in which Usama kills an enemy solider in a battle. But before he killed the solider, the solider professed the Shahada. (source)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kept blaming him, even after Usamah said that the solider only professed Shahada to escape death, and then prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said his famous phrase:

Why did you not cut his heart open to find out whether he had done so sincerely or not?

We might have our doubts here and there sometimes, and it happens to everyone. But one should try their best to repel doubts by studying more and learning more about the religion, and by contemplating the creation of Allah around.

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. (Quran 3:190)

So since you confessed Shahada, and believe it, then you are fine. Just keep learning bit by bit, and you should be fine, Inshallah.

Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful." (Quran 39:53)

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Just don't be so anxious with your doubts. Your doubts seem to be honest and Allah doesn't expect you to base your beliefs on uncertainty. You just need to take Islamic studies seriously until you find certainty in beliefs. I don't know about Sunni school, but in Shia Islam it is said that a Muslim should accept the principles of faith such as Monotheism and Prophethood based on some reason and evidence learned or developed by the believer himself. In other words, you can't accept Islam based on any authority other than your own research and reasoning. Consequently, the authority of Quran and Sunnah are accepted and followed only after their general truthfulness is established by independent reasoning and research. That's why some scholars developed the science of Kalam for rational substantiation of Islamic basic beliefs.

  • I understand what you're saying. But as I already said, I can't do research. This depression this has hit me hard. When I try to do research, I start feeling anxious. Out of nowhere I get this feeling of fear. It's like my heart is having a panic attack. That's why my only option is to follow blindly. – user16329 Oct 26 '16 at 12:34
  • @infatuated Its same in the sunni school that for aqaid or belief you have to know and learn by yourself. – Faqirah Oct 26 '16 at 16:03
  • Let's say I recite my Shahadah while having doubts. Then I build my Imaan through prayer. After many weeks, my doubts go away. Does that mean I have to recite Shahadah again? – user16329 Oct 26 '16 at 19:44
  • @curiosity As infatuated mentioned you dont need to be anxious for doubts as this wasy shaytan wants to misguide you by awhaam so once you have said shahadah thats fine but the zikr of lailaha ilallah is very useful in removing these thoughts so you could recite it a tasbeeh or more . – Faqirah Oct 26 '16 at 22:23
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    "Allah wants to be worshiped based on knowledge ان الله يحب ان يعبد عن علم" Is the major statement of the 'Aqidah (I'm not sure about salafi) I've learnt. – Medi1Saif Nov 7 '16 at 13:50

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