Is Doubt about Committing an Act of Disbelief Excused?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


I have extreme OCD and have read online that doubt regarding committing an act of disbelief is not excused. Is this true? What if he thinks he is doing something right?


In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Kufr Is an Active Choice

Dear brother, don’t worry about these matters. Kufr is not something you can commit accidentally. It is to deny something which is necessarily known to all in Islam or to commit an act which expresses an underlying disdain for Islam. [Ghazali, Faysal al-Tafriqa; Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, al Qawa’id al-Kubra]

The things which lead one out of faith require an active choosing of disbelief. By Allah’s grace, you do not seem like you would make that choice. Being in doubt and doing something would not take you out of Islam. This is because the matters which take one out of Islam are clear enough for anyone to understand that they are a problem.

Denying the obligation of praying, the Hajj, Zakat, etc., are examples of this, for example, throwing the Qur’an in the rubbish. Everyone knows of such matters. You wouldn’t have any doubt about prostrating to an idol being wrong, would you? Don’t worry about this matter.

Stop Researching Online

With your OCD being the way it is, you should immediately stop researching these topics online. All you will do is confuse and stress yourself. Study what you need to know with qualified teachers and stay away from sites bound to give you more things to be confused about.

People who are trigger-happy when pronouncing others to be disbelievers will only confuse you. Don’t do what will lead you to more anxiety.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A man’s leaving that which does not concern him is from the beauty of his [practice of] Islam.” [Tirmidhi] Knowing the ins and out’s of what takes one out of Islam is the business of Scholars and Judges. The average Muslim does not want to go near it, so there’s no need to keep looking into the matter.

Leave it. Give yourself a break. Instead, learn about Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). Listen to this seminar. It will help with the OCD, In sha Allah.

May Allah Most High give you well-being.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.