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

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: As salaamu ‘alaikum,

I have a book by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani detailing the fard, wajib and sunna actions of prayer and have glanced through it but I often find myself thinking that I haven’t performed a recommended action of the prayer and repeat it. Sometimes praying the 4-cycle fard prayer turns into 12-cycles via 3 repetitions.

In the most recent iteration, I came home late from a wedding, was very tired from not having slept much during the week, came home and prayed the Fard of ‘Isha and repeated it twice finding some aspect of my clothing that was invalid for the prayer or having performed something I think was a mistake. This overwhelmed me and I went to bed without having prayed the Sunna and Witr prayer setting an alarm a before Fajr knowing pretty well that I probably wouldn’t wake up. I was tired and had a long drive planned for the next morning so I just slept knowing that I need to pray. I feel horrible and am worried about the state of my imaan.

I am consumed by the thought that this has taken me out of the fold of Islam. Should I simply, repent, try my best to avoid this kind of situation in the future and continue with my life?

JazakAllah for your time and effort.

 

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,
Wa alaikum as salam,

I pray all is well. Thank you for your question. This is a clear case of baseless misgivings from the Shaytan (waswasa). The basis of the ritual prayer is that once we understand its basic integrals and perform them, we assume validity of the prayer unless we know with sure knowledge that something invalidated it. Sure knowledge is not through suspicions, guesses or doubts.

You should ignore all of these misgivings entirely. Passing thoughts, doubts or even sleeping through prayer accidently or from laziness (though sinful) does not remove one from the fold of Islam.

The Validity of the Prayer

Leaving out a recommended (sunnah) act in prayer does not affect the validity of the prayer- it need not be repeated, nor does the forgetfulness-prostration need to be performed. If you are in the prayer and cannot remember if an integral action was performed or not, ignore the doubts and assume everything was performed correctly, since you are aware of the basics of how to pray.

In terms of clothing, a palm-sized area of filth is excusable on your clothing for the validity of the prayer. Make your wudhu washing within a maximum of 45 seconds, and unless you remember breaking it thereafter with certainty, assume you have ritual purification. Ignore any misgivings about purity during or even after the prayer.

If you complete the prayer, do not ponder over how it could have been invalidated. Ignore all whisperings and assume validity, asking Allah to accept your prayer and engage in His remembrance and in supplication. The Shaytan hates when a servant is grateful and joyous over Allah’s mercy for him.

The Shaytan’s trick is to get you to repeat your prayer through baseless doubts until you are so tired, you cannot carry on worshipping Allah, and eventually fool you into thinking that you have left Islam. Nothing can take you out of Islam but the denial of the two statements which bring you into faith or denying something necessarily and undisputedly known about the religion.

It is good that you have the book the Absolute Essentials of Islam, but it is not enough to simply flip through it; you should register for the course online here at Seekers Guidance and study it properly under its author. With sure knowledge, Shayton’s misgivings will away, insha Allah.

Wassalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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