Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trust after Betrayal

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

A reader asked for my take on how to you rebuild trust after repeated betrayals, so here it is - my own personal view.

When you have someone in your life that hurts you, commits indiscretions, or outright sins,  and you come to a stage where you cannot trust them, don't. Not trusting someone doesn't mean you cannot live with them, enjoy time with them, love them. It simply means that you know certain of their weaknesses and cannot rely on them to overcome them.  It does not mean that you don't encourage them or support them to overcome those weaknesses though. It doesn't mean that you give up hope and dua' for them, either.

There is a saying, expect nothing then everything will either meet or exceed your expectations. With our loved ones we don't want to think badly of them or expect them to do wrong, but getting over their betrayal lies in accepting their humanity and failings. Pray to Allah to keep bad feeling from your heart and replace it with understanding, mercy, and forgiveness. If you want or need to feel some kind of trust in that person, consider areas that they have always been consistent in and focus on them.  However, there is no point setting yourself up for continuous disappointment or hurt by trusting them in the things they cannot be trusted with, when they haven't conquered their qareen/shayateen/nafs.

An example I can give is in raising children. You may have a child who tells lies. You may remind the child that this is wrong and even negatively reinforce the behavior (in other words punish them). You hope that the child learns and doesn't lie again. However, knowing the child's character, will you be surprised if the child lies again? Disappointed, probably but surprised, no. You know that lying is the child's weakness. There is, in my estimation, little or no difference with a spouse, parent, or friend. If one day you find that five years have passed and the child hasn't lied, perhaps you will find that over that time your trust in them has grown. It isn't something that needs work, it is something that happens naturally when there are no repeat offenses or they become very few and far between.

This is the direct opposite of what we are supposed to do with Allah, from Whom we expect the best because He is Perfection. My view is very simple: trust only Allah completely, not mere humans.


  1. Jazakullah khair for your response to my queries, i've been thinking on the same lines and hope my husband will remember the emphasis on putting things fwd for a potential wife to thinking over and contemplate before she considers polygny...we've discussed it before he didn't feel the need for the emphasis, but when i told him of the case where a potential sister backed out of it close to making the contract when it hit her she'd be alone every second night he was amazed - don't leave anthiing for granted, even the obvious!

    Trust Allah (SWT), Subhan'Allah often i can feel that events around me are beyond my control and things seem to move in a certain direction, i tell myself it as plaaned by the Best of Planners and so i need to submit - i feel my feelings may make me a hostile unwilling slave, but Astagfirullah! as i try to over come shaitan's waswasa, i have people poking me and saying that the events are because of my behaviour, they make it seem that what could be considered difficulty that leads
    to good is actually punishment and humiliation - it makes me feel weaker and ashamed and even angry... i've been told that tests are for those who Allah loves and for the rest of us it is not a test or cleansing of sins but rather a punishment and humilialtion!

    Subhan'Allah! is not a punishment a cleansing of sins? should we not feel glad that it is over and done with here? or should we feel depressed and embarrassed? I feel so confused and hurt, struggling against shaitaan is never-ending, but when relatives who give you examples of how they are good people because of their actions for Allah, how their every dua is answered and how the are rewarded because Allah SWT has chosen for them to live in Saudi Arabia close to His House, and the rest of us can only visit it and reflect evry difficulty we pass thru as a punishment and lack of baraka from Allah (SWT).....i feel upset and low.

    Soemtimes it seems that struggling against people's opinions of one self is so much more difficult and painful. We repent to Allah SWT and hoope for forgiveness, but Subhan'Allah how do we deal with the humiliation people inflict on us?


  2. ummshuhudaa
    sister can you please calm down. You should never feel that Allah is punishing you because your husband is getting married again. This is what Allah made halal sis, its not a punishment, maybe it is a blessing and you dont know it. If you really feel that its a punishment i really really think you should take time to reflect upon the nature of Allah swt and how he loves to bless his beliver with hidden blessings. Maybe this will be a major test for your husband Allahu Alim, but you should feel safe and secure knowing that you are not alone in this. Theres alot of people in polygany, some of them are happy, they take it as blessings. Please be happy sis. If only we knew what was hidden we would thank Allah day and night for putting us in the situation that we are in. :)

  3. oops! i wasn't actually speaking about polygny but about instances in life, we are not polygnyous yet, i was reflecting on how when we try to be strong about difficulty in life how there are those are pious (i don't suspect their piety) but accuse others of lacking in piety because they are going thru difficulty, but now i'm repeating myself...i know it to be their opinion, but when these people are relatives who live with you and their decsision affects your life, well its so hard to think positively and it hurts ....

    I know that if polygny is meant for us then Allah SWT will guide my husband towards it and helps us thru it.

    I'm sorry if my pervious comments were unclear.


  4. As salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah Umm Shuhadaa.

    Are you saying that whenever you face your tests with faith and a positive outlook, your relatives tell you that your tests are because of your failings or weak emaan? Subhaan Allah. Allah sends us tests for many reasons. Every one of those reasons is a blessing. It is when He stops sending the tests and leaves us to our own misguided wandering that we no longer have any hope!

    'If Allah Loves a people, He tests them.'

    This hadith is hasan, and was reported by at-Tirmidhi (4/2396). It is also included in 'Sahih al-Jami'' (275).

    I don't usually do factual posts on this blog, because they can be found from other sources, but I did a workshop on, "After Hardship there is Ease," and it was all about Allah's tests. Hopefully that will make you feel better...and my little poem at the end will be something to raise a smile when you are faced with those attitudes and accusations.

    Big hugs to you, my sweetie!

  5. This is an awesome piece to read. Mail your words of wisdom are do truthful and help me to really reflect on my situation. I will reread your blog again because your words ring so true to what I feel. Thank you for sharing your sincere advice.