Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
For a few months, I went through waswasa, but now I cannot distinguish between my thoughts and Satanic whispers. My connection with Allah Most High is constantly wavering; I don’t feel connected and cannot concentrate on prayer due to bad thoughts. I get evil thoughts about people when I am around them.
My prayer is always lacking; although I have been trying to focus on the words, I’m reciting. Recently a bad word has been stuck in my mind; it prevents me from thinking clearly and affects my mood. I feel sure to have become a hypocrite. I’m struggling with motivation both in deen and studies. How can I return to Allah when I have evil thoughts about Him?
May Allah reward you for being concerned about your religion and sincerely wanting to transform your thoughts. This in itself is faith.
It is natural to have negative thoughts, which also occurred to the Prophet’s companions (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that once a group of people came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and asked: “We experience such evil thoughts that it is impossible to bring them on our lips.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Do you really experience these thoughts?” Yes, they replied. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “They are clear signs of faith.” [Muslim]
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra also (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Verily Allah forgives my Ummah for the evil thoughts that occur in their hearts until they don’t say it verbally or act upon it.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
Dhikr is your Tool
As such, the Devil only attacks those with faith, but he has no authority over you. Your job is to practice pushing the thoughts away and replacing them with the remembrance of Allah. I guarantee you, with time, the thoughts will be a distant memory.
Apply this when you are trying to focus on the meanings of your prayer, and apply this when this nagging word comes to your mind. Ignore it, seek refuge from the Devil with this formula (أعُوذُ بِالله مِن الشَّيْطانِ الرَّجيم) and replace it with goodness. Keep it up until the habit breaks. I guarantee you that you are not a hypocrite, so discard that idea.
Please see these links as well:
How Should I Deal with Waswasa Concerning My Faith?
Having Seriously Evil Thoughts
Having Doubts About Allah
Negative Thoughts About God
Moments of Bad Thoughts About Allah and the Prophet
Reader on OCD and Waswasa
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.