Firstly I would like to apologize for submitting several questions in one form, please forgive me for any inconvenience caused.
Recently everyday several questions have started to bother me seriously. I don’t know how they are coming into my brain, but I am striving to get them out. Here are the evil thoughts that trouble me.
Thoughts come into my head that Muhammad (s) is not a true prophet. Something tells me that he gathered all information from various sources and compiled a religion to follow God i.e. He was just another very clever person (May Allah forgive me and all Muslims)
Thoughts come into my head that if I was born into another religion (e.g. buddhism) would I really believe in Islam? or would I just practise Buddhism thinking that it is the true path.
How do we know for SURE, that we are following the true path
You see I don’t mean to think these thoughts, but they just keep coming to bother me. No doubt, some of these thoughts have been provoked by the anti-Islamic site, ‘Answering-Islam’. I have studied some of their articles and I know they are so baseless and illogical that I wonder what is their real aim?
You see for me about a year ago I was a five-time prayer and found a happiness in me that for some reason has just faded. I feel deeply saddened at how my beautiful religion is constantly under attack and how it is summed up as ‘just another religion’.
Please try to understand that I DO NOT MEAN ANY OF THIS. Even when I look at what I just wrote, I feel deeply ashamed.
I want to assure you that the problems you have stated are pretty normal functions of the human mind. How they got there I cannot answer. All I could offer, from my experience, is that when we expose ourselves to certain things they echo in our heads until our brains are satisfied and let go of them. It is obvious that you do not believe in the first “sound bite” that’s being repeated in your head. I, therefore, see no reason to try explaining or elaborating on the concept that the Prophet “gathered” his information from elsewhere and created a religion to “follow God.” I think history speaks for itself and God’s Word (i.e. the Qur’an) dismantles that theory.
But the disbelievers say: “Naught is this but a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him at it.” In truth it is they who have put forward an iniquity and a falsehood. And they say: “Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening.” Say: “The (Qur’an) was sent down by Him who knows the mystery (that is) in the heavens and the earth: verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al Furqaan 25: 4 – 6)
I want to make the point that you cannot rationalize certain thoughts they’ll be there regardless of all the facts. Don’t be disheartened by this, these problems can be solved.
I cannot speculate on your second point. You could have been born into another religion and may or may not have accepted Islam. God is the All Merciful, so as long as you are striving to attain Truth and follow it as best as you can then you should be fine. After all, if we are ignorant of the Truth how can we be guilty of not believing it or not following it? It is only when we are presented with the Truth and we know without a shadow of doubt that it is the Truth, yet we reject it, that we have to worry about the consequences of our deeds and beliefs.
In your last point you want to know how we know that it is the Truth we are following. I’ll reiterate that one of our missions in life is to seek the Truth the best way we can and follow it. That is what God expects of us. You have to let God do the Judging and just concentrate on the seeking. I also recommend reading one of our earlier responses to a related question, titled “How do I know if I am on the Right Path?“, which elaborates on this concept a bit more.
Brother, please, understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that we are all affected by the negativity hurled at us. What would make us different and right in the sight of God is our reaction and how we handle ourselves. Life is like a roller coaster and faith and beliefs go up and down, loop and come back around with it. Your duty as a Muslim is to strengthen yourself with your prayers and honest communication with God. There is way too much negativity to succumb to, and we could easily lose our faith if we fall for them. Our perfect example was the Prophet (pbuh), surely he had it worse than any of us. His own people ostracized him and many of them claimed he was false. It all seemed hopeless; what a great struggle he must have gone through, yet one by one they began coming around to their senses. I only mention this to point out the example of strength and absolute confidence in the fact that God will help us. Think about the Prophet and how he reacted and try to apply it to your life, even though it seems difficult right now.
I want to mention one last thing regarding a solution to your problems. Based on my experience I have found that the mind works in an amazing way. Having said that, I have a bit of advice on how to try to alleviate yourself from those thoughts. First, remember that if you try to forget something then you’ll remember it and think about it constantly. Fighting your thoughts will do you no good because you will actually be invoking those thoughts in your mind. So the best way to deal with them, according to my experience, is to allow your mind to express them. I know it may sound strange but you will see that your brain will no longer be interested in repeating ideas you so freely allow to pass. In time you will master this skill and, insha’Allah, the ideas will leave your head. Also, avoid the negative stuff because you’re just piling on more negativity. I’m not saying don’t inform yourself I’m just saying don’t get yourself caught up in what you yourself deem “nonsense.” Get back to praying and concentrating on your relationship with God and when you hear or see something negative take it with a grain of salt.
Finally, insha’Allah, you will overcome your normal problems. God is there for you, seek Him out and ask Him for help. Remember that God loves you and He is Compassionate to your predicaments. Tell Him how you feel. It always brings us relief knowing that our Creator has heard us and will grant us peace no matter the situation.
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.