Loneliness and Lack of Achievement

As salam alaikum Everyone,

I hope you are doing well with Allah’s remembrance. Alhamdulillah I am doing well–just busy with life. 

Recently a fellow Muslim asked me to write about the following topic: “I want to be grateful for what I have in my life, but sometimes I feel very lonely and feel like I couldn’t achieve anything in life.”

There are two issues in this topic: 1) loneliness and 2) feeling a lack of achievement.

  1. First I will share my thoughts about loneliness.

Loneliness is a hard feeling to face. We are social beings and long for connection. But loneliness can be good in some ways. It can make us look at ourselves more deeply and start to improve ourselves. Loneliness reminds us that on the Day of Judgment, we will be alone in the sense that we will each be responsible for our own deeds. So loneliness can make us wake up and work on our relationship with Allah (swt). Allah says in the Quran in Surah Maryam:

“And each one of them will come to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone. Those who believe and do righteous deeds, the Most Merciful will give them love.” (19:95)

The most important relationship we have is with Allah (swt). If that relationship is not good, then we have a real problem. Turn loneliness into a sign to get closer to Allah. Take Islamic classes. Visit the masjid more. Read Quran, send salawat (blessings) on the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), make extra dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.  

Human relationships come and go. On the Day of Judgment, close friends will not care about one another. Even family members won’t care about each other because it will be a scary day. So loneliness is in a sense the truth of our existence. We will all have to face the Day of Judgment alone, even though we will be in crowds of people. 

But of course we don’t have to stay lonely in this life. Family and friend relationships are fun and rewarding. If you feel lonely, first remember that millions (if not billions) of people also feel lonely and long for deep connections. You could be the answer to someone’s prayer. Be willing to meet new people. Visit the masjid. Invite acquaintances over to your home or out to tea/lunch/dinner. Don’t let your negative thoughts stop you. Pick up your phone and reach out to someone. You never know who will become a close friend. 

You can also volunteer your time to help others in some way. See if your local masjid needs any volunteers. You can google “volunteer opportunities near me.” You never know how much of a difference you might make in someone’s life. 

Personally, I see loneliness as an excellent opportunity to improve myself. When I feel lonely–which everyone feels sometimes–I take online courses and watch YouTube videos related to self-improvement. I work on developing my inner self. Currently, I am taking courses on parenting and financial growth.

Learn to enjoy your own company. Fall in love with yourself. When you feel positive about yourself, you attract positive people in your life.

  1. Now here are my thoughts on feeling like you haven’t achieved anything in life.

First of all, this idea that you haven’t achieved anything is totally false. Everyone has achieved something. Well, you are alive, right? You’ve made it this far in life–despite all the challenges you’ve faced. So you have weathered the storms of life up to this point. That’s an achievement!

Also, do you have children? Are they happy? Isn’t that an achievement?

What else have you achieved? Are you still married? That’s an achievement for sure. 50% of marriages sadly end in divorce these days. Even if you are divorced, you have learned something from your first marriage.

Are you earning money? Do you have a degree? Have you ever helped someone? Please never believe for a second that you haven’t achieved anything.

Perhaps you think these achievements are no big deal. Well, this belief is relative. A small achievement to you could be a huge one to millions of people.

Of course, let’s talk Islamically about achievement. What do you think is achievement in Islam? Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“Every soul will taste death, and you will receive your full reward on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is pulled back from Hell and entered into Paradise is the victorious one. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion?” (3:185).

In Islam, true achievement and success is to enter Jannah/Paradise. The life of this world is like a drop from an ocean, whereas the next world is the entire ocean. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

“By Allah the dunya (life of this world) compared to the akhira (hereafter) is nothing except: if you look at the sea, you stand by the sea and put your finger in and you take it out, you see the drop of water fall from your finger.” (Sahih Muslim)

So if you haven’t achieved “big things” in this life–first realize that those “big things” are nothing compared to achieving Jannah. And achieving Jannah is simple (although challenging). The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught us that the way to achieve Paradise is to perform the 5 Pillars of Islam:

Abu Huraira reported: A bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, show me a deed by which I may enter Paradise.” The Prophet said, “Worship Allah and never associate anything with Him, establish the prescribed prayers, give the obligatory charity, and fast the month of Ramadan.” The man said, “By Him in whose hand is my soul, I will never add anything to it, nor will I lessen anything from it.” When the man turned his back, the Prophet said, “Whoever is pleased to see a man from the people of Paradise, let him look at this one.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

So if one wants to achieve something, let him or her perform these 5 pillars. And the secret is, when one is doing their 5 pillars with sincerity, Allah will open the doors to other forms of success. 

It’s natural to want to achieve something in this life. My own need to achieve motivated me to get a Master’s degree and publish 2 books, Alhamdulillah. But when I look back, I can see with 100% certainty that these achievements were simply gifts from Allah. Without Allah’s help and permission, I would not have achieved anything.

So if you want to achieve anything in this world, first focus on the 5 pillars, then write down what you want to achieve and then work towards your goal. 

“A human being can have nothing except for what he strives for.” (Holy Quran 53:39)

A final and crucial point is to always think positively. Negative thoughts are from shaytan and have no benefit. Take the positive from every situation. Never lose hope. It’s never too late to change and achieve anything you want. 

I’m a strong believer in the Law of Attraction, which states that our thoughts and feelings cause things on the same frequency to be attracted to us. Of course, Allah is in control of everything, but Allah does give us some free will/choice. There are many verses and hadiths that support the idea of the Law of Attraction, which I explained in this article:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *