The Best of Amaliah Straight to Your Inbox

Amaliah Agony Aunt: How Do I Strengthen My Heart and Imaan After Years of Abuse and Manipulation?

by in Soul on 1st April, 2023

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

Dear Aunt Maya,

I am trying to finally move away from home after years of narcissistic abuse and manipulation. I was 21 when I moved back home and my mum put a stop to my career and studies because she wanted me to get married. I am over 26, still unmarried and the grief of what transpired during these past years has become too much for me. My best years were spent in unnecessary pain and agony. My emaan is failing me now, seeing all the opportunities I missed and how alone I am in my journey. Everyone I know has nurtured a family or themselves during these years. I feel like I’ve woken up from a very long nightmare. How do I strengthen my heart and my emaan. I am afraid for my emaan.

Maya Areem Responds:

Salaam alaykum,

Thank you for sharing your story with us and trusting us with it. I am really sorry for what you have endured, may Allah grant you shifaa and ease in your heart and your affairs. Ameen.

I remember someone sharing with me, that the fact a person is worried or scared about their emaan, the fact that they feel low, means that they have emaan, that they are a believer – and the point at which you truly despair is when you no longer even reflect on where your emaan and your relationship with Allah is.

When we reach lows, only Allah can rectify our affairs. Here are some small ways you can start rebuilding your emaan:

  • Jinan Yusuf’s book on names of Allah makes for wonderful reading to understand Allah and know Him. You may find some of Allah’s names especially comforting for you.
  • Read a dua a day from this list 
  • Are you able to connect with a Muslim friend? Are you able to open up to anyone around you who you feel could support you on this journey?

Know that any step you take towards Allah will not be forsaken, if you walk towards Him, He will come running. 

I can imagine you may feel robbed and it feels sore to see what others seem to have gained in that time. This will be an ongoing grieving process. While it feels like so much has been lost, you are also still only in your 20s, the first decade of adulthood. There is still so much to gain. You will need to pace yourself, and bit by bit create the life you want. Ensure you surround yourself with people who are encouraging, motivating, supportive and inspiring in how they live their life. 

It is going to be hard work but be patient with yourself and spend time thinking about what life you want. 

What things do you feel robbed of that you can start slowly incorporating into your life?

I pray Allah grants you strength and surrounds you with people who will support and help nurture you through this process of growth and learning. I pray He takes care of your affairs, continues to guide you towards Him and make you among those most beloved to Him. Ameen. 

Love and duas, 

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. 

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.