A Reader on OCD and Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

“And strive for God, with the striving due to Him.
He has chosen you and has not burdened you in religion
—the faith of your father Abraham.”
[Quran, 22:78]


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.

Key Principles

Key Principles Relating to Certainty, Doubt, and Baseless Misgivings (waswasa)

What Is the Difference Between Waswasa and Ego? [Video]

Sura Nisaa Verse 137: Doubts, Hypocrisy, and True Faith

Faith and Thoughts-Related Issues

Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?

Dealing with Devilish Insinuations Regarding the Existence of God

How Do I Overcome My Misgivings concerning Divine Decree?

How Do I Address My Doubts about Allah and the Holy Quran?

How to Answer Claims That the Prophet Never Existed?

Should I Love Allah More than His Messenger?

How Can I Regain My Faith After Doubts and Exploring Other Religions?

I Have So Many Doubts That I Am Afraid to Loose My Faith. What Can I Do?

How to Overcome my Anxiety and my Attraction to Hinduism?

Misgivings Regarding Intentions and How to Memorize Qur’an

Weak Iman, Misgivings, and Loving the Messenger (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)

How Do I Deal With Negative Thoughts That Will Make Me Lose My Faith?

How Should I Deal with Waswasa Concerning My Faith?

How to Safeguard My Faith from Apostatic Thoughts?

Does Allah Hate Me?

How Do I Deal with Fear of Having Fallen into Kufr?

How Can I Overcome Thoughts of Kufr in My Everyday Life?

How Can I Overcome My Fear of Falling into Kufr and My OCD of Constantly Apologizing?

How to Address Waswasa, Low Faith, and Thoughts of Insincerity?

Waswas [Baseless Misgivings] Regarding Apostasy and Purity

I Have Doubts That Make Me Question Whether I’m Muslim

Why Do I Worship and Worry About Religion at All?

How to Address Waswasa, Thoughts of Apostasy, and Pure Faith?

I Have Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) About the Soundness of My Faith and My Marriage…

What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

Doubts About Islam: I Don’t Find Any Observable Effect or Peace in My Worship

Do I Suffer under Waswasa or Mental Health Issues?

How Do I Get Back My Feeling of Piety and Sincerity in Religion?

Satanic Whisperings Are Making Me Withdraw from Muslims

Plagued by Many Obsessive Thoughts.

Am I Sinful for Experiencing Unintentional ‘Images’ of God?

Plagued by Thoughts of Faith in Allah

Negative Thoughts About God

What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

Does Uttering Waswas (Baseless Misgivings) About Allah Make Me a Disbeliever?

How Can I Control My Urge to Internally Say Things Which Are Disbelief?

Doubts on My Islam

Do Any of These Thoughts or Scenarios Entail Disbelief?

Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair

Distinguishing Between Thoughts From Ourselves, Shaytan, and Allah

How Can I Distinguish Satanic Whispers From Legitimate Questions?

How Do I Deal with Negative Emotions Caused by OCD?

How Can I Deal With Fears and Suicidal Thoughts?

How to Get Rid of Suicidal Thoughts and Depression?

Are These Words Deemed Holy and Deserving of Respect?

Having Seriously Evil Thoughts

Tormented by Thoughts of Disbelief

I Struggle with Thoughts of Disbelief and Suicide

Moments of Bad Thoughts About Allah and the Prophet

How Do I Cure Satanic Whispers Causing Bad Thoughts About Islam?

Am I Starting to Be a Disbeliever for Not Crying Anymore Regarding Bad Thoughts Towards Allah and His Messenger?

Is Asking a Question About Uttering Statements of Disbelief Disbelief in Itself?

Am I a Disbeliever for Being Unable to Answer Waswas Regarding My Belief in Allah?

How Do I Combat Thoughts of Disbelief That Enter My Mind?

Thoughts of Disbelief While Being Delirious

I Can’t Help Myself From Thinking About Statements of Disbelief. What Do You Advise?

Misgivings Regarding Apostasy and How to Deal with Them

I Have Bad Thoughts About My Faith. How Should I Deal With Them?

Doubts Regarding the Authenticity of the Qur’an: I Really Need Help

How Can a Muslim Be Fully Aware of Satan’s Plan?

I Feel That My Mind Is Possessed. What Can I Do?

How to Overcome the Delusional Intuition of Leaving the Prayer?

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

How to Deal with Doubts about Allah

How to Deal with Waswasa and Blasphemous Thoughts

Is It Disbelief To Sarcastically Joke About One’s Faith

Filth and Impurity-Related Issues

How Do I Rid Myself of Misgivings When Using the Toilet?

Doubts About Purity After Using the Bathroom

How Do I Stop Waswasa in Istinja?

How to Deal With Waswas During Istinja?

How to Ignore Baseless Misgiving

How Should I Deal with Waswasa (Misgivings) Concerning Domestic Hygiene?

People May Have Walked on Filth in My Room: Has It Spread All over My House?

Does a Wet Mop Used on a Bathroom Floor Spread Filth Wherever It is Used?

Does Wetness From the Bathroom or Dust From Outdoors Make My Floor Impure?

Are Toilet Seats Considered Impure (Najis)?​

What Is the Ruling in Case of Doubt about the Transfer of Impurity?

Misgivings about discharge on the floor

Filth, Carpets, and Misgivings

How Should I Deal with Waswasa Concerning Washed Clothes?

How Do I Deal with Obsessive Thoughts about Impurity on Household Objects?

How Can I Retain Ritual Purity While Living with a Non-Muslim?

Should I Wash Possible Residual Impurities from Dog Saliva or Marital Relations?

Waswas and Dogs

What Can I Do About Misgivings Regarding Filth?

Is Dust from Dried Urine on a Wall Impure?

How Do I Deal with Waswasa During Istinja?

How Do I Remove My Waswasa During Istinja?

How Do I Address My OCDs about Impurities (Najasa)?

How to Avoid Waswasa of Dripping Urine After Using the Restroom?

Waking Up with a Spot on Groin and Dealing with Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa)

How Can I Be Sure Water Is Pure? I Suffer from OCD.

Does Splashes of Water from the Impure Part Transfer Impurity?

Ritual Purity-Related Issues

How Do You Deal with Waswasa and OCD in Purification and Prayer Acts?

I Feel Certain That I Repeatedly Break My Wudu, Even During Prayer; What Should I Do?

Validity of My Wudu and Prayer

What Can I Do About Satanic Whisperings That Plague Me And Even Make Me Want to Abandon My Salat?

What Do I Do If I’m Not Sure If I Had a Wet Dream?

How to Handle Constant Waswasa in Acts of Purification and Worship

How Can I Overcome These Extreme Difficulties During Wudu, Istinja, and Ghusl?

Severe Doubts in Washroom

Dealing With Misgivings of Impurity

How to Deal With Waswas Regarding Purity According to the Shafi’i School?

Dealing With the Constant Feeling that Gas Exits After Wudu

Part of My Nose Is Always Dry After Wudu

How Can I Avoid Taking 20 Minutes to Make Wudu?

What Do I Do If My Wudu Is Taking Me 45 Minutes?

How Can I Avoid to Spend Too Much Time Cleaning My Clothes and Performing a Ritual Bath?

Is It Really Possible to Perform a Ritual Bath in One Minute?

How Can I Perform a Valid Ritual Bath in a Reasonable Amount of Time?

Is It Valid to Make a Conditional Intention When Performing a Ghusl?

How to Maintain Purity for Prayer With a Non-Excused Urine Dripping Problem

What Can I Do About Drops of Urine During Wudu?

Checking Clothing for Drops of Urine

Can You Advise Me on the Proper Way to Avoid Excessive Doubts After Using the Restroom?

Doubts Regarding Whether Nosebleeds Break My Wudu

Do I Need to Renew My Wudu at the Slightest Sexual Thought?

Urine Leakage, Chronic Gas, and Misgivings

How Can I Stop My Misgivings About Purity?

How Can I Deal with Doubts I Experience during Ablution?

How Can I Overcome Excessive Waswasa (Misgivings) Concerning Purity?

How to Deal with Wudu, Waswasa, and Maintaining Purity During Tawaf?

Advice for Sufferers of Extreme Waswasa or OCD in Issues of Purification

Do Air Bubbles Invalidate Wudu?

Does an Internal Wind Break My Wudu?

Do Gas Exiting “Inside the Body” Break My Ritual Purity?

I Always Think That I Have Lost My Wudu During Prayer. What Can I Do?

Does the Qur’an Mention OCD or Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) Being Caused by Jinn?

Should I Articulate the Intention for Wudu in My Mind or Is My Awareness Sufficient?

How Should I Deal with OCDs about Regular Discharge?

To What Extent Should I Go in Checking the Nature of a Discharge After Waking Up?

Does Vaginal Discharge Break the Ablution?

When Do I Make Wudu When I Have a Chronic Excuse?

How Do I Ignore Misgivings in My Ritual Bath?

Questions Related To The Ritual Bath (ghusl)

Uncertainty Regarding the Validity of Ghusl and My Testimony of Faith (Shahada)

How to Deal with Waswasa regarding Ghusl? [Shafi’i]

Do Dandruff-Like Flakes from My Beard Invalidate My Ghusl?

Was My Wudu Nullified by a Thick White Fluid Flowing Out of My Toe?

What Should I Do If I Have the Urge to Pass Wind or Relieve Myself During Prayer?

How to Deal with Waswasa in Matters Related to Purification? 

How Do I Deal With Severe Misgivings (Waswasa) Regarding the Wudu and Ghusl?

Prayer-Related Issues

Is My Prayer Valid in the Presence of Misgivings?

Am I a Hypocrite for Losing Focus in Prayer?

How Can I Deal With Doubts About the Sincerity of My Prayers?

How to Deal With Bad Thoughts About God During Prayer?

How Can I Avoid Worshipping a Picture While Praying?

How Can I Battle Bad Thoughts During Worship? (Video)

What Should I Do About My Extreme Anxiety in Matters of Religion?

What Should I Do When I Am Not Sure About the Number of Prostration I Have Performed During a Cycle of Prayer?

How Can I Address My Misgivings About Acts of Prayer?

Have I Sinned for Missing a Day of My Daily Schedule of Makeup Prayers?

How Can I Deal With Waswas Regarding the Prayer? [Shafi‘i]

How Do I Avoid Waswasa in Recitation?

Can I Recite Loudly in Every Prayer Due to Waswasa?

Does Repeating Verses of Surah Fatiha out of Waswas Breaks Continuity?

Is My Prayer Valid If I Have Doubts About Reciting Surah Al Fatiha?

Does Repeating Al-Fatiha Due to Waswasa Invalidate My Prayer?

What Can I Do About Anxiety in Prayer and Waswas Regarding My Pronunciation?

Do Mistakes in Reciting the Tashahhud Supplication Invalidate the Prayer?

Repeating Phrases Like “Allahu Akbar” in Prayer Due to Bad Pronunciation

How Should I Go About Difficulties in Reciting the Takbir During Prayer?

Is Non-Chronic OCD a Valid Excuse to Delay the Prayer?

What Should I Do about My Severe Doubts during Prayer?

Doubts on the Validity of Prayer

Baseless Misgivings Regarding the Validity of One’s Prayer and Faith

What Should I Do When in Doubt Regarding the Number of Prostrations?

Can the Forgetfulness Prostration Be Done in Every Prayer Just to Be Sure it is Valid?

What Is the Ruling regarding Breaking One’s Intention in Prayer?

How Do I Stop Thinking Negative Things in My Prayer

How Do I Know If My Wudu Is Broken Due to Small Amounts of Pus Coming from My Skin Due to Eczema/Acne?

How Do I Pray Slower without Feeling Empty about Doing So?

Family, Marriage, and Divorce-Related Issues

How Do I Continue Living With My Non-Practicing Family When They Make My OCD Worse?

How Should I Deal with a Potential Husband Who Feels Unworthy?

Breaking Off an Engagement Due to Revealing Sins

Getting Over Marriage Anxiety When Diagnosed With Hirsutism

My Husband’s OCD Is Troubling Me. What Do I Do?

OCD, Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) and Divorce

Could I Have Divorced My Wife Unwillingly?

How Should I Deal with Waswasa about Divorce?

I Have Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) About the Soundness of My Faith and My Marriage

How Can I Stop Worrying That My Hymen Might Have Broken?

Do Thoughts of Disbelief Invalidate the Marriage

Practical and Food-Related Issues

Taking Far-Fetched Things Into Consideration When Determining Legal Rulings

How Can I Overcome Waswas Regarding the Permissibility of Food?

Sin-Related Issues

How Can I Overcome My Guilt Over Past Sins?

How Do I Stop Obsessing With Guilt and Worry for My Past Sins?

How Can I Get Rid of Recurring Thoughts of Bad Things I’ve Done in the Past?

Further Resources

A Reader on Ritual Purity, Urine Leakage, and Misgivings

The OCD Workbook by Bruce Hyman

Concepts of Health and Disease within an Islamic Framework

Being Balanced – Emotional and Mental Health – Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

How Do I Strengthen My Faith and Truly Repent?

What Can I Do to Strengthen and Increase My Faith?

How to Strengthen Faith in Allah and Return to Him? A Reader