Question: How do I deal with misgivings (waswasa) that occur when doing istinjaa?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Preface to the Answer
Before answering your question, you must realize that these doubts, these what-ifs, are from Shaytan, and Allah Most High has explicitly commanded us to oppose Shaytan. It may prove as a challenge to you at first, but you must ignore these types of doubts and misgivings as best as you can.
Only by successfully ignoring them will they go away along with your sufferings. It is not cautioned to take the strictest opinion, but rather caution is acting on the way of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Anything beyond that ends up in self-inflicted hardship.
Allah Most High tells us, “Strive for ˹the cause of˺ Allah in the way He deserves, for it is He Who has chosen you, and laid upon you no hardship in the religion—the way of your forefather Abraham.” [Qur’an; 22:78]
Religious responsibility requires a level of effort and burden, but undue hardship is not part of one’s responsibility in Islam. Acting on doubts and misgivings is from this undue hardship; Allah has only tasked us to act on reasonable surety or certainty and to ignore all else.
To answer your question, the basis of all liquid is purity. Unless you are reasonably sure of the contrary – which necessitates some sort of proof – consider the wetness pure and by extension your hand and clothing. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]
The answer provided here will suffice you for this question, however, the nature of these types of misgivings (waswasa) is that, if not treated, they may grow and spread to other aspects of your religion. I implore you to consider the following advice:
1) Seek a deeper understanding of the rulings that purification and prayer are based on. Consider the courses offered here at www.seekersguidance.org/courses
2) Whenever such doubts occur, especially those regarding impurities, only act if you are reasonably sure or certain of the matter. Take solace in knowing that Allah Most High only tasks His slave with that which is in their ability, no more. Anything beyond reasonable surety is not in the scope of your ability, and therefore you will not be asked about it, even if hypothetically speaking, you were wrong.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences