How Should I Treat the Conversations in My Head?
Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
When I relax and close my eyes, I see images. Can this be from the angels? I try hard not to interact, but in that stage of relaxation, I basically can’t control my mind, so my mind asks a question, and then I get an image or sometimes a concise video clip. I firmly believe that if I interact with the presence of my mind, the images I get will be relatable. Should I interact?
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. Amin.
The images and conversations within us are usually self-talk (kalam al-nafs) or our imagination. In certain extreme cases, this could signify psychological issues or whispers from the devil. If one experiences an unusual increase in this, seeking psychological evaluation from reliable Muslim professionals would be advised.
We are not responsible for the unintended thoughts in our minds, but we should not entertain them, especially if they are sinful. In an authentic tradition, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “God has overlooked (i.e., forgiven) for my community that which crosses their minds so long as they do not act upon it.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
Do the Angels Speak to People?
Angels are usually only sent to communicate with Prophets and Messengers. Direct communication from Allah (wahy) has ended with our Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). All the Divine revelations we need can be found within the Quran and Sunna, and Allah knows best. [Khinn, Al-‘Aqida Al-Islamiyya]
Should We Accept Guidance from Our Thoughts?
Allah has honored humankind with rationality (‘aql), and He sent revelation as a paradigm within which the ‘aql should function. When humans apply sound reasoning within the framework of revelation, they experience guidance, one of the most precious gifts from the Almighty. If we seek to be guided, we should seek guidance from reliable scholars who can train our minds and connect us to Allah’s sacred Din.
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 has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.