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How to overcome Waswasa/OCD (Shaythans whispers) in worship

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  • How to overcome Waswasa/OCD (Shaythans whispers) in worship

    How to overcome Waswasa/OCD (Shaythans whispers) in worship


    Waswas can become a very serious issue and it may take away the pleasure in worship and instead replace it with constant worry whether a person did Wudu or Salaah properly. It can become a very serious issue as a person will feel overwhelmed by paranoia with regards to their worship and will always feel a sense of inadequacy.

    In worship terms Waswasa means always have doubts about ones worship and not be sure of anything relating to worship as there is always a doubt there and this serious disease and illness is caused by shaythan.

    What are some of the symptoms of Waswasa?

    -You pray and then be not sure if you did.

    - You waste too much water and long time in wudu and ghusl.

    - You pray more than the number of Rakats and do the Sahu sujud every time. Even you pray more than once.

    - you are not sure if your clothes are clean and every moment change your clothes.

    - You follow the tiny things that are not even seen by eyes to clean them and remove them.

    - You worry too much and feel your worship is not complete.

    - You ask strange questions that people feel amazed about and show strange behaviour for example: someone walks with shoes on the carpet until the spot where she prays just because she is not sure if the land is clean.

    - You spend a very long time in the bathroom, just washing.

    - You are not sure of any worship you did is complete.

    And many other strange things that can tell you are suffering form Waswasa.

    Waswasa can become a serious problem especially if a person suffers from it constantly. Shaythan keeps putting doubts in ones mind and keeps telling the person that their prayer or wudu ghusl etc are not valid and that you have missed something out or not done it properly and so you should do it again.

    Your clothes are not clean, wash them again and so on. The person keeps falling for this and by this time shaythan knows that this has become the persons weakness so shaythan is able to attack the person in many different angles.

    Eventually shaythan will go onto more serious matters of faith until he tries to convince a person that "Are you sure Allah exists"? Or shaythan tries to cast doubts in the mind of a person by convincing them that they had shirk thoughts and so they must do the shahada again because they have now become a disbeliever and are out of the fold of Islam.

    Here are some real stories of people having Waswasa problem:

    A woman said: For 16 years, I everyday have shower and take shahada because I suddenly feel I am not sure, I am Muslim.

    A guy said: For years I pray and think I did not until I stopped praying at all.

    A woman said: I used to pray the prayer and keep repeating it until the next prayer.

    The best way's to resolve Extreme cases of Waswasa are:

    1. Waswas can occur with pretty much any practising Muslim particularly if they do not have sufficient knowledge of Islam and matters pertaining to Fiqhi rulings.

    They care so much about wanting to worship right and please Allah and get so worried whether their deed has been accepted or not by Allah but the fact is they just do not know enough about Islam especially Fiqhi matters.

    So it is VERY important to learn about Fiqh and various other aspects of Islam. Knowledge is key to eradicating this problem from your life!

    Join some Fiqh classes face to face or online. Learn about other important aspects of Islam to. keep learning, learning and learning and you watch how these evil thoughts disappear inshallah.

    2. JUST IGNORE shaythans whispers. He will keep telling you your worship is incorrect or you have missed out something in your Salah then you must NOT repeat the Salah again.

    When you have done Wudu and something tells you that you have missed out something or have not done it properly then IGNORE those whispers.

    If shaythan tells you to do ghusl again because you never did it properly then IGNORE and NEVER obey these evil and deceptive whispers!

    If shaythan tries to tell you that you have attributed partners with Allah and that you have done shirk then IGNORE IT. He wants you to lose your faith and think that you have committed blasphemy when you have not done anything of the sort. if the mind wanders sometimes then that is fine all of our minds wander.

    Abu Haraira (Ra) narrates that once a group of people came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked: “We experience such evil thoughts that it is impossible to bring them on our lips”. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Do you really experience these thoughts? Yes, they replied. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “They are clear signs of faith”. (Sahih Muslim).

    So these are signs of faith and ultimately, we are not held to account for these thoughts. However, we will be held to account if we act on these thoughts.

    Shaythan will then try to make you think that you did act on these feelings when all you did was involuntarily wandered about them in your mind. Even if they did linger in your mind it does not mean you acted on it. Almost all of us have random thoughts and absurdities going on in our minds all of the time it does not mean we necessarily believe what we thought of.

    Do NOT ever give in to these thoughts for shaythan is just trying to be clever but knowledge will give on the upper hand!

    Whenever you get these whispers then just think: IT IS SHAYTHAN TRYING TO DECIEVE ME AND PUT ME OFF MY WORSHIP!

    3. Once you have completed Wudu then move on and ignore whatever shaythan tells you regardless of how serious it sounds. You have completed it and there is no need to think of it anymore. Once you have completed your Salaah then move on and continue with the next one or get on with whatever you are doing with your day or evening. Do not think about it and ignore any thoughts associated with the worship you have just done.

    Whatever you have completed is done and is over and there is NOTHING more you can do about it so do not think back that you could have done this or that or whether you need to repeat it etc. These doubts will not affect the prayer or wudu etc which you have completed so disregard and reject the whispers that tell you otherwise.

    These are all tricks of shaythan and you need to realise what his angles are. You need to play him at his own game and that way you will have the upper hand every time!

    Just think of what you need to do to please Allah and do not be extreme in religion.

    4. Who decides whether your worship will be complete or not? Shaythan or Allah? So by listening to the whispers of shaythan then you are simply obeying shaythan over Allah! Therefore we must ignore his evil whispers and realise that ONLY Allah can accept our deeds so we should obey Allah and ignore these waswas.

    5. If you get waswas then recite the following:

    A'udhu billaahi minashaythanirajeem


    La Hawla Wala Quwatha Illah billahil aliyyil Adheem

    Also recite the four Qul's Morning and evening and Ayatul Kursi Morning, before going to sleep and after every prayer.

    If shaythan whispers to you in prayer then look lft and spittle and recite A'udhu billaahi minashaythanirajeem

    thank Allah, wholeheartedly, for enabling you to overcome your desires and shaytan [saying, Alhamdulillah (‘All praise is due to Allah’)]; this makes shaytan despair, and strengthens one’s resolve.

    The following verse of Surah al-mu’minun may also be beneficial:

    “Rabbi inni a’uzu bika min hamazat ashayatin wa a’uzu bika rabbi an yahdurun”

    Trans: O my Lord! I seek your protection from the instigations of devils and I also seek your protection from that they (ever) come to me.

    6. Why disobey Allah and listen to shaythans whispers? By constantly repeating wudu, Salaah and wasting so much time then we are going against Allah and instead listening to shaythans evil whispers. The fact is Allah wants you to reject the waswas but shaythan wants you to accept them, then who will you listen to? The choice is yours...

    A desert Arab came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked him about ablution. He demonstrated (washing each part of his body) thrice, and then said: That is (the method) of the ablution. And he who does more than this has done wrong, transgressed the limit and has oppressed (himself). (Tirmidhi #417 , Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Abu Dawud)

    This hadith proves that one does NOT need to keep repeating the wudu over and over for no reason just because shaythan is telling us to repeat it. We would then transgress and oppress ourselves by doing so! Similarly one does not have to repeat the ghusl or prayers again and again for no reason just because shaythan tells us to. We are praying for Allah so shaythan has NO say in it and NEVER has!

    7. It is unlikely that you will not be able to conquer waswas overnight. Shaythan will not give up so easily for he will try and make you feel like you just don't care anymore about your worship or shirk etc but again this is just one of his many tactics that he uses to try and put off Allah's worshippers and so know that you know the different angels then you are now more equipped to fight these evil whispers.

    There are many more different angles that the shaythan will use but they will all be similar in nature, so if you follow these tips then eventually you will be able to eradicate this disease out of your life FOREVER! and start to enjoy your worship of Allah again Inshallah.

    So counteract all of these negative thoughts that you get after worship with positive thoughts and realise that ONLY Allah can accept your deeds and knows what is in your heart not Shaythan for he is just a deceiver!

    Allah Most High has promised,

    “As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good.” [Qur’an, 29.69]

    And Allah knows best in all matters

    Combatting the whispers of shaythan:


    May Allah make it easy for those of us that suffer from these issues. Ameen
    10 steps to increase our imaan(faith)
    Forty Good Deeds to do Everyday!

  • #2
    Distinguishing between clinical OCD and Waswas in spiritual growth:

    We have to distinguish between two different types of conditions.

    One is an actual clinical diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. People who have this disorder often become religious to the point of developing a disorder as well. This is called religiosity. Don’t get that confused with being very, very devout. These are actual mental conditions that cause the individual’s mind to obsessively think about something to the point where they cannot think about other things. It causes them to be dysfunctional and unable to function normally throughout their day. This condition is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is why so often the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors combined with symptom management is often helpful.

    On the other hand, sometimes people are simply going through a spiritual development process and feel the weight of their sin. They are in a process of cleansing themselves. In such a situation, if they are surrounded with mature, loving spiritual friends who can teach them about the love, forgiveness and all-embracing comfort of Allah (swt), they can pass through this spiritual development phase well.

    The extra focus on making sure you are doing things “right” is part of the learning process. Once mastered, the person can relax and will feel better about him or herself.

    The spiritual development should be rising toward a personal relationship between the individual and Allah (swt). The more connected people feel to the Creator, the better they feel about themselves. They will be able to experience themselves as pure.

    Spiritual growth is natural, and most of us on the path have felt the weight of our wrong doing, been motivated to change, and had a fervent desire to be with Allah (swt). Once we feel confident that we have changed, we perceive ourselves differently. Once our focus is no longer on our own self but is on Allah (swt) and how to please Him, we have all of our burdens lifted and relax.

    Still, there are some individuals who believe that Allah (swt) is a cruel and merciless being out there only to catch us doing something wrong. An anthropomorphic view of a tyrant Allah (swt) can cause an individual to become very fearful and live life chained to that fear. Scripture attests to the love and mercy of Allah (swt). Scripture refers to Allah (swt) as our Creator, Benevolent, and our Friend. To help a person who perceives Allah (swt) in a negative way, we can show this individual the scriptures about how much we are loved by Allah (swt) and that our suffering is measured by the distance between our heart and focus from Allah (swt).

    The extent that we perceive anything to be about our own self is the exact extent that we will suffer. Not because Allah (swt) is a bad God, but rather because this is a universal law and basic spiritual principle, much like gravity is a law of this Planet Earth.

    When we read about the laws of Allah (swt) and understand them in this way, you will also understand that the revelation of His laws are only for the purpose of saving us from heartache and suffering because following them brings us closer to Him. Natural consequences of failing to follow a law of Allah (swt) do not mean that we are being abandoned by Him. It only means that we failed to follow the law. We can self-correct, with the love and guidance of Allah (swt). This is the grace of Allah (swt).

    Connect your heart and your soul back to its source. Connect to Allah (swt) and focus on Him, and you will greatly reduce your suffering and see your own self as a beautiful creation of Him; a spiritual being here on this Earth for a short while, only to do His will. Contemplating your place in the world in this manner will reduce the negative thoughts and beliefs that a person has about Allah (swt) while adjusting his/her own self-perception as well. By putting things in perspective, we can try to be kind to ourselves and relax, allowing our spirituality to naturally unfold and grow in the way that Allah (swt) would have us grow. Allah (swt) is All-Knowing, so, undoubtedly, He (swt) knows where we are in our soul development.

    With that said, if our intention is good and we love Allah (swt) with all our heart, our actions follow. We can only do the best we can with the tools that are available. If Allah (swt) can have such great love for us, then we can stop worrying about our own condition so much and shift our focus in joy to serving Allah (swt). All that we desire for His sake will be given to us. These are attitudes to adopt and they will increase a person’s ability to relax. It is in reducing the worry and self-judging and fear based on false beliefs that will change the patterns of negative thinking.

    A person can also use thought stopping and thought replacement, and that is what I mentioned when I discussed using positive scripture. A person can make a conscious effort to be aware when he/she is thinking in the negative manner and pull out a scripture that reminds him/her of this love and kindness of Allah (swt). Keeping little papers with scriptures written on them handy so that once you become aware of having a negative thought, you read it. It can help you erase the negative patterns in your mind and replace them with the truth.

    By changing your thought patterns, your behaviour will also change. If you do not have a chemical imbalance, but only negative conditioning in your mind, you can easily do this work. However, if you have been conditioned to believe that you are a bad person or unworthy of the love of Allah (swt), you will also want to work on reframing your self-perception. You might want to get counselling for this so that you can have help challenging your distorted self-beliefs and replace them with the truth about who you are as a human being.

    Remember, at our core, we are pure as we were born pure and good. Everything that Allah (swt) created is good. It is uncovering the layers of ignorance that we acquire through the years, getting back to this core self where we are pure and learning how beloved we are as created beings of Allah (swt). Realizing this will change your thought patterns and your behaviour's and free you to live for Allah (swt) without becoming obsessive or compulsive. It will strengthen your faith, and you will have protection from the whispers of Shaytan. It is a journey of discovery but well worth the travel. You will get there by putting one foot in front of the other.

    Source: All About Waswasa and How to Overcome It | About Islam
    10 steps to increase our imaan(faith)
    Forty Good Deeds to do Everyday!


    • #3
      How Do I Deal with Constant Doubts and Waswasa (Misgivings)?

      Doubts and waswasa regarding purification and prayer are very serious matters. Due to their sincerity in their religious practices, people like to adopt caution. But caution in Islam must be understood correctly.

      The Correct Understanding of Caution

      Caution in Islam is to apply the Prophetic teachings in one’s practice of the religion. To follow the Sunnah (Prophetic way) necessitates knowledge of the Sunnah. Most of what is considered cautious are undue hardships that people put on themselves.

      Allah, Most High says, “And Allah has not put on you in the religion any undue hardship.” [Quran; 22:78]

      You must deal with these doubts and waswasa by abandoning misunderstood caution and following the Sunnah.

      How To Deal With Waswasa

      For the one who is constantly in doubt abandoning caution is sometimes the best cure.

      “As for the one who is often inflicted with waswasa, it is necessary for them to sever the cause of the waswasa and not to give it any consideration. This is because it is the doing of Shaytan and we have been commanded to oppose him.” [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]


      The long-term cure for these constant doubts is to seek a deeper understanding of Islamic Knowledge. With knowledge, Shaytan can not deceive you with his whispers and plots. I would advise that you find authentic scholars in you area and study with them a basic text in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh).

      Many Muslims struggle with baseless misgivings (waswasa) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

      OCD is defined as “a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.” [National Institute of Mental Health]

      These struggles manifest in troubling thoughts that make everyday life extremely difficult, as well as in doubts concerning purity, prayer, issues concerning marriage and divorce, and more.

      The answers below aim to convey the questioners struggling with waswasa and OCD clarity and practical solutions to their inquiries:
      10 steps to increase our imaan(faith)
      Forty Good Deeds to do Everyday!



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