How Should I Deal with Waswasa (Misgivings) Concerning Domestic Hygiene?
Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I suffer from extreme OCD, and I live in Australia.
Most of my family members aren’t practicing Muslims. I feel there is impurity everywhere in my house. For example, foods that my mum buys, which may contain alcohol and pork, cleaning products, etc. By me cleaning this area because of the stains on it, which are Haram, or by me worrying that if I touch this spot, I need to clean it because it is impure and rightfully so.
I do not just suffer from OCD but rather extreme OCD.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him.
Waswasa – A Spiritual cum Psychological Problem
What you described is called waswasa and is also referred to as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Waswasa is one means that the devil uses to misguide people and distract them from Allah by casting doubts and whispers (waswas) into their hearts. You should categorically ignore these, and Allah knows best. We strongly advise you to oppose the devil by not repeating any of the verses and simply ignoring these distractions. If you do not follow through with this, you will find more and more doubts until your life becomes unbearable, Allah forbid.
You may find benefit in consulting a Muslim, God-fearing, mental health expert to help you manage your condition, and Allah knows best.
Based on the lengthy description you sent, life has already become unbearable. The solution may be more complex for you at this stage. The solution you seek is not a technical Fiqh answer, but a combination of spiritual and psychological treatment. The problem begins when one conceptualizes one’s ideas of holiness and the way to Allah. Waswasa, in all of its forms, is definitely not the way to Allah but a path for Shaytan to destroy your relationship with Allah, and Allah knows best.
Please see the answers below for more details and solutions to this severe affliction.
How Can I Deal With Waswas Regarding the Prayer? (Shafi’i)
How Can I Overcome Excessive Waswasa (Misgivings)?
Heavily Afflicted by Waswasa
Does Repeating Verses of Surah Fatiha out of Waswas Breaks Continuity?
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.