How Should One Deal With Doubts in Matters of Faith?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


I had a problem with waswasa regarding faith in Islam, but now these have mostly disappeared. Here are a few things I’d like clarified to settle my doubts completely.

What are the repercussions for joking you are non-muslim and the repercussions for laughing at this joke?

Repercussions for saying a ridiculous statement out of pure sarcasm or highlighting its absurd nature, but not with an intent of seriousness or to implement this in reality.

For example, a preacher jokes that we should play music with the Quran to appeal to the youth, or one jokes that you or someone else is god-like/godly.

I would appreciate specific answers to each to end my waswasa completely.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Please read this article regarding doubts in faith.
How Do I Deal with Doubts in My Faith?

Joking About Faith

There are certain things in life that one must take seriously. Arguably the most important of those things is one’s belief. Being that belief is the key to Paradise and the deciding factor of one’s eternal state; it is easy to understand why such seriousness. And caution is warranted.

For a Muslim to declare themselves to be a non-muslim is disbelief with very few unique exceptions, such as fear of loss of life. Joking in this regard is not excused. [al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya]

Repenting from this demands that you repeat your testification of faith, thus re-embracing Islam. Seek forgiveness from Allah Most High and resolve never to make light of faith, even if jokingly. Your question indicates that you are remorseful, and Allah Most High will accept your repentance.

Note that joking about someone being god-like is also something one should refrain from. However, there is a basis for a person being ‘god-like’ or ‘lordly’ if by that one means that they have in them some of the qualities of God, such as mercy. Caution is therefore appropriate in such matters.

Allah Most High says, “It is not (possible) for a man that Allah gives him the Book, the wisdom and the prophethood, then he starts saying to the people “Become my worshippers, aside from Allah” rather, (he would say), “Be men of the Lord; as you have been teaching the Book, and as you have been learning it.” [Quran, 3:79]

Translating “Be men of the Lord…” as Be Lordly people is also a good translation.

Sarcasm and Exaggeration

Sarcasm, in general, is something that scholars encourage caution regarding. Using sarcasm to emphasize a point of religious benefit/significance. There are examples of this type of sarcasm in the Sacred Law.

Allah Most High says, “Surely those who receive our revelations with denial and arrogance, the gates of heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise until a camel passes through the eye of a needle. This is how We reward the wicked.” [Quran, 7:40]

Also, the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) narration is below:

Fatimah bint Qays (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that her husband divorced her irrevocably while on a journey. She told the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) about it, and he advised her to perform her waiting period (idda). Shortly after, she was proposed to by two people: Abu Jahm and Mu’awiya. When she sought his advice, he said, “As for Abu Jahm, he doesn’t let his staff down from his shoulder.” [Muslim]

The scholars discussed the meaning of this description. Some said it means he hits his wives. Others said its denotes that he travels a lot. And yet others said it means both. Either way, this statement is an example of exaggeration. [‘Ali Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih]

Sarcasm, exaggeration, or any other types of joking have their place; however, some scholars mentioned these as inappropriate regarding the injunctions and rulings of the religion. [Khadimi, Bariqa Mahmudiyya]

Check this reader also:
A Reader on OCD and Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.