Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’ve stopped praying for a while because of my intuitions. I keep daily hygiene to gain merciful grace from God. I’m perplexed. I don’t know if this is what the Prophet wants me to continue following. I want to worship God. How do I deal with these troubling intuitions and thoughts leading me and telling me to do things for a specific outcome in my future?
It is troubling and confusing that you are having thoughts telling you not to pray.
Intuition means that you know something from your instincts without needing conscious reasoning. Instincts can be very useful in life, such as when reading people, when you have lost your direction in an unknown place, or when meeting someone for the first time. In these cases, one should rely on one’s instincts. We shouldn’t use instincts in cases of practicing one’s ritual of Islam because the Prophet’s guidance overrides our instincts.
Allah, Most High, said, “I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me.” [Quran, 51:56] This is our purpose of existence in the Quran, and he sent prophets to us to guide us in the manner of doing so. The highest spiritual level of humankind is prophethood. No man could bear even an atom in his heart of what the prophets bear; their spiritual strength and intense faith are unmatched. Our Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, the beloved of God and Imam of all the prophets, taught us that even he was obliged to pray five times a day and that even he would not enter Heaven except through Allah’s mercy.
The word that must concern us more than intuition or instincts is Fitra. This innate nature that Allah has created us with directs us to believe in Allah and naturally inclines us to His religion. The Prophet (may Allah bless and give him peace) said, “No child is born but upon Fitra. ‘He then said, “Recite: So [Prophet] as a man of pure faith, stand firm and faithful in your devotion to the religion. This is the natural disposition God instilled in mankind-there is no alterGod’sod’s creation- and this is the right religion, though most people do not realize.’” [Muslim]
I pray that this helps you end your confusion. The Prophet does not want you to continue living like this. Allah Most High and His Messenger have instructed all Muslims to pray for His mercy. I believe that Shaytan is the one whispering these ideas to you, and I implore you to ignore him at all costs.
The Prophet (Allah bless and give him peace) said, “There is none amongst you with whom is not an attache from amongst the jinn (devil). They (the Companions) sa‘Allah’sah’s Messenger, with you too? ‘Thereupon he said, ‘Yes, but Allah helps me against him, and so I am safe from his hand, and he does not command me but for go.’” [Muslim]
I guarantee that you will find tremendous peace if you ignore these baseless misgivings (waswasa) and instead do the opposite and take the time to learn your religion. Knowing what is expected of you will open a path of mercy to you, enlighten your heart, fill it with awe of our Prophet and Islam, bring countless blessings into your life and guide you to raise your rank with your Lord. Don’t forget that you want to pass these convictions down to your children.
Read these links to learn more about waswasa:
What is the difference between waswasa(internal whispering) and the ego?
Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?
Waswasa, Apostasy, and Pure Faith
A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)
May Allah Most High reward you and give you the best in this world and the next. I leave you with this hadith to contemplate.
Al-Bara Ibn ‘Azib said, “When the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) went to bed, he laid down on his right side. Then he said, ‘O Allah, I have turned my face to You, I have surrendered myself to You, and I have committed my back to You out of fear and desire for You. There is no place of safety or refuge from You except with You. I have believed in Your book which You revealed and Your Prophet whom You sent. ‘He said, ‘Whoever says it at night and then dies, dies in fitra (natural state.’” [Bukhari]
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.