What Should I Do about Waswasa in My Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I suffer from constant waswasa and concentration problems during prayer.

Can I stop and restart a compulsory prayer if, for example, near the end, I’ve realized I haven’t concentrated at all, and what do I do if I’m unsure if I’m on the second cycle or the fourth? Should I start again?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

You should not pay attention to your waswasa, nor should you repeat your prayers, and when you’re unsure of whether you’re in the second or fourth cycle (rakaʿa), you should assume that you’re in the fourth, and Allah knows best.

Dear questioner, please refer to our comprehensive guide on Waswasa and OCD issues:

I pray this is of benefit.

[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.