After I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, it felt like my world had fallen apart. 

I could not understand how this had happened and I even questioned why it had happened. 

Despite being someone who does not accept blind faith, I discovered there is so much of the Asian culture ingrained in me, that I started believing I deserved the chronic illness because I may have done something catastrophically wrong in my life and this is the punishment.

After a lot of research and speaking to health professionals, I know now that being kind to oneself is very important.

Coming to terms with a chronic illness and then dealing with it really is all consuming.

But when people started finding out, I was truly upset by some of the responses.

One 'friend' told me this could be cured if I read more Quran and prayed more frequently.

I was told if I read or listened to a certain surah from the Quran every day, it would heal me.

This makes me wonder about the sincerity of the ‘advice.’ Was it really an attempt to help me or simply an exercise in making themselves feel better that they had done their dawah for the day.

Another friend told me this happened to me because I was too emotionally invested in this world and that I hadn't thought about the afterlife enough and that the disease was a reminder that I need to change.

I was also told that in some respects I should be grateful as this long-term disease was a big test for me and God only tests those he loves.

How easy it is to say these things when you are not the one going through it.

Even when people try to be positive, it can break you down.

I have been told numerous times, "You're so strong. If anyone can handle it, you can."

I know this is meant to reassuring and I need to take positivity from it.

But really, when people use religion to justify an illness or a disease, it is soul destroying.

To say you are making dua for someone is a genuine sentiment.

But to use religion to blame someone’s disease makes me questions one’s true understanding of the religion.

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