Ustadh Salman Younas advises on how to deal with impurities when suffering from OCD.
I have been struggling with OCD for the past few years. It’s mainly obsessive thoughts about impurities (najas). I have read that certain things that are considered najis in the Hanafi madhab aren’t najas in, for example, the Maliki maddhab.
My life would become easier if I could consider less things to be impure since I am very afraid of touching impure things. Is it possible to follow the ruling of other madhabs when it comes to things being impure?
Yes, this would be permitted and particularly if there is a genuine reason to do so in cases of hardship.
Leading Sunni scholars have stated that it is not obligatory for a person to follow a single madhhab on every issue. Rather, he may follow different schools on different issues so long as he does not systematically seek out dispensations, or combine opinions in a way where the end action is one unacceptable in all schools. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar)
In your case, if your OCD makes it difficult for you to deal with certain types of impurities, you may treat them as pure if there are other opinions stating so, to avoid the mental anguish that comes with OCD. However, I would advise you to only do this as a temporary solution until you are able to overcome your OCD.
For this, you should seek professional help and advice, and, for the time being, avoid the more technical aspects of fiqh. Rather, focus on the very basics and don’t overburden yourself with details, which might aggravate your situation.
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.