How Can I Distinguish Satanic Whispers From Legitimate Questions?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat 

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.

I am struggling with differentiating between legitimate questions and satanic whispers. When I was young, I remember being sexually abused, and now I keep getting waswas that I may have STI’s. What do I do in this situation?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray Allah removes your difficulties and gives you lasting ease.

Distinguishing Thoughts

It seems that you suffer from OCD as a result of your past traumatic experiences, which can manifest in many different ways. Intrusive and obsessive thoughts are common.

Generally, matters caused by OCD are coupled with a feeling, unlike rational questions. For example, if you want to ask about a matter of the prayer, try to tune into your feelings and see how things are if you were to not ask about the matter or ignore it. If you experience a sense of panic, anxiety, or discomfort, it is caused by OCD.

If you don’t feel that it is a question you want to know the answer to. This is a common way to assess matters caused by OCD.

Practicing Religion

Always remember the words of the Prophet, “Indeed, the [practice of] the religion is ease itself. “(Bukhari). If something feels overly burdensome, there is probably something that is being affected by OCD.

The best thing is to learn the basics of the religion and practice them as simply as possible. Don’t try to do a lot. The difficulties you face because of the trauma are enough of a challenge, and being patient with them will bring you much good.

It’s important to learn what needs to be done and to practice it simply. If it seems hard, consult with someone. Don’t suffer and go through endless cycles of difficulty.

Seek Professional Help

It’s important for you to try and heal from the wounds of the past. This will improve your life significantly – although it may be a long and difficult journey to get there.

You should start by turning to Allah and asking for His help. Try listening to this seminar on emotional and mental health. It will give a broad overview of the matter and contextualize it for you.

You’ll also learn of some avenues you could pursue. It’s important to seek professional help from someone qualified.

Keep going. Allah has a plan for you. It will unfold beautifully over time.
May Allah facilitate all matters for you.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.