How You May Be Trying To Seek Nearness To Allah By Relapsing More

Have you ever felt that the only time you feel close and sincere to Allah is after you relapse back to your unwanted sexual behaviors?

Brother Ismail would often try to make himself feel bad about relapsing, as a way of drawing near to Allah.

“Sometimes I feel that I’m the closest to Allah right when I do the repentance after relapsing.” — Br. Ismail.

While there is a natural amount of guilt we all feel as a result of committing sins, the difference is when you are deliberately making yourself feel bad, just so you are able to repent and attain that closeness to Allah.

The problem with that is that for many people, this has become their spiritual strategy. They hold onto the repetitive sin in their lives with a distorted way of thinking: I’m going to act out, and I know that I am going to feel bad about it. I am going to make myself feel really guilty after acting out, and then I am going to make up with Allah. It’s all going to be good.

This roller coaster brings about a high where attaining that closeness to Allah is all about the emotions; there are no principles or discipline involved. It’s about being addicted to a high, but just a different kind of high.

I asked brother Ismail in one of our coaching calls what would happen if he did not feel bad?

“I’m afraid it’ll get worse. If I didn’t feel bad, pornography probably wouldn’t be the issue I was dealing with. It would probably have been further than pornography.” — Br. Ismail.

While that is a logical reason that has kept him in check and makes him feel bad, something different was happening internally. Brother Ismail’s emotional reality could be translated as this: Instead of going to commit zina, I’m going to get a high from making myself feel bad and getting closer to God. And then I’m going to settle for pornography.

“Relapsing back to his unwanted sexual behaviors after months of sobriety was a way to meet his need for spiritual growth.”

I asked brother Ismail further: “If you did not try to make yourself feel bad, then what would happen?”

“If I didn’t feel bad, I would feel like I have nothing to work towards, nothing to improve on. In the 4 months I didn’t relapse, nothing else happened aside from that. So many times the thought came to mind that I wasn’t growing, fine I didn’t relapse, but aside for that I was staying stagnant.” — Br. Ismail

What brother Ismail said was revealing; relapsing back to his unwanted sexual behaviors after months of sobriety was a way to meet his need for spiritual growth.

Brother Ismail was missing a healthy strategy of relating and connecting with Allah. He didn’t know how to bring about that state of humility before Allah in any other way, and therefore, he was stuck in a cycle of falling back to his unwanted sexual behaviors and then feeling good about the ride back up. If he didn’t feel really bad about these behaviors that existed in his life, he wouldn’t be growing.

What was lacking was a vision in moving forward in his recovery, a vision to grow spiritually. And what that spurred for us next was focusing on finding healthy ways he can relate and connect with Allah.

  • Abdullah says:

    I know a brother ,Allah guided him miraculously and purified him . he was trying to keep his duty to Allah . But he slipped in the name of earning experience .RESULT: as he gave up the covanent of Allah , he suffered from trials in within his deen and lost many parts of it and he saw his friend being preffered over him in the duties of the religion untill he knew that Allah has taken his friend as Awliya . tears roll down his cheeks but he is helpless except if Allah will He might purify him . But one thing is for sure he may not get things he lost until Allah favours him with his own Hand , with His own Mercy . May Allah grant him Mercy. AMEEN!

  • Abdullah says:

    if we return back to such sins I don’t know how are we afraid of Allah.This promise is for the Awliya of Allah who keeps His duty to him. Allah doesn’t like the disobedient. But Allah loves the repentant ones . The thing is we break Allah’s covanent and try to make a low contract with Allah . We planned and Allah planned and Allah is the best of planner . WE SHALL BE AFRAID THAT WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE IT OUT . who am I to make a contract with Allah if he wills different for me or i die as a kafir (Nawjubillahu min jaalik) .

  • Abdullah says:

    i know every dua gets excepted until we get haste . but is a hidith which says that if we guard the boudary of Allah , Allah will guard us . There are ayahs in the Qur’an that the Awliya of The All Mighty Allah are the ones who believed and then were afraid of HIm . they are the ones who shall have no afraidness and nor shall they grieve and they are given glad tidings in this world and hereafter . and then Allah says that this is the promise of Allah.

  • Abdullah says:

    well believe me , This is just the foolish ,shaytan had hooked me with . I just know things were better . very better . we all make sins but best is the one who repents . better is the one who doesn’t commit sin willingly , I mean doing it in a intention to disobey Allah . Allah knows the best , just for only one good deed Allah may prefer one above another but really i feel like if anyone returns back to disobedience after guidance has come to him he has gone very low . he shall not find Allah in his dua just like he was in the time of his obedience … really it hurts alot .

  • BrTwoThousand says:

    SubhanAllah, a very familiar process to me. What I’ve learned in my journey is that properly connecting with Allah has required (for me) a certain level of maturity that I have lacked. Even reading the Qur’an has become a far more fruitful experience now that I learned how to be more honest and less superficial.