Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I am a young individual who was once a devoted Muslim. However, I have recently struggled with extreme waswas (intrusive thoughts), which has severely affected my aqida (faith and beliefs). While I don’t like dwelling on this, I fear that I may have fallen into kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allah) and potentially left the fold of Islam. It’s easy to say, ‘This is all waswas; I’m still a Muslim,’ but only Allah knows what I may have done over the past month.
I’ve caused trouble within my family, left school, and am unable to sleep due to anxiety. I’ve committed significant sins with the idea that I’ve already fallen into these sins, and I’ll repent later. I feel lost, torn between belief and disbelief. My problems persist, and I don’t know how to reconcile my actions. I’m struggling to admit to the things I may have done because they are terrifying. What should I do? I’m not okay with thinking I may have committed these sins.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
First and foremost, remember that Allah is the Most Merciful, and He forgives all sins if a person repents sincerely. The Quran tells us in Surah Az-Zumar (39:53):
“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’”
This verse emphasizes the boundless mercy of Allah and His willingness to forgive all sins when one repents sincerely.
You mentioned that you have fallen into waswas (intrusive thoughts). Such thoughts are from Satan and can lead to distress. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised us to seek refuge in Allah when experiencing such thoughts. You can say, “A’udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajim” (I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed devil) when these thoughts arise.
Please see our reader on waswasa.
Thoughts of Kufr
Regarding your fear of having committed kufr (disbelief) or shirk (associating partners with Allah), it’s essential to understand that these are serious matters. However, in your case, it is the influence of waswas. Allah is aware of your intentions, and if you sincerely believe in the oneness of Allah and His message, you are still a Muslim. Repentance is critical, and you should sincerely repent to Allah for any sins you may have committed.
You should also seek knowledge and understanding of Islamic beliefs (aqida) and continue strengthening your faith. This can be done through seeking knowledge from reliable sources, such as scholars and Islamic institutions (like SeekersGuidance.org).
It is crucial to talk to someone you trust about your struggles, whether it’s a family member, friend, or a qualified religious scholar who can provide guidance and support tailored to your situation.
In the meantime, engage in acts of worship, such as prayer, supplication, and seeking forgiveness. Be patient and trust Allah’s mercy and ability to guide you back to the right path.
Remember, there is always hope and a way back to Allah. Seek help and guidance, and sincerely try to return to your faith and lead a righteous life.
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.