How Do I Deal with Constant Doubts and Waswasa (Misgivings)?
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
For the past several months I have been experiencing severe doubts about purification and prayer. Whether it has anything to do with Ghusl, Wudu, prayer, or anything else.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
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.
Please note that SeekersGuidance.org has classes available in Islamic Jurisprudence and many other subjects.
A Reader on OCD and Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)
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.