How Should I Deal with Waswasa about Divorce?
Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Please answer my question directly and do not refer me to other answers. I am a man who is dealing with Waswas, uncertainty, and doubts about divorce; I argued with my wife yesterday and was a little irritated. I said these words several times: “We can’t stay together like this so tell me the way we can stay together” or “We can’t stay together like this so tell me the way you want”
Then, as I was saying one of the above statements for the last time, a thought came to mind telling me that I meant divorce. I’m not sure what my intention was with the last statement, but I think the first time I said it, I meant to scare her and make her take my words seriously. So I said, raja‘tu.
Does this ruju‘ have meaning?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.
These thoughts should categorically be ignored. Sacred Law is not trying to trick people out of their marriages. There was no divorce, in this case. Allah is Merciful and does not take His servants to task for what they have no control over. These are Satan’s games, and Allah knows best.
Waswasa – a Spiritual cum Psychological Problem
This kind of religious Waswasa is called Scrupulosity, a form of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Waswasa is one means the devil uses to misguide people and distract them from Allah by casting doubts and whispers (Waswas) into their hearts. You should categorically ignore these, and Allah knows best. We strongly advise you to oppose the devil by not paying attention to the doubts and simply ignoring these distractions. If you do not follow through with this, you will find more and more doubts until your life becomes unbearable, Allah forbid.
Remember, Allah is the Most Merciful, and His Mercy means that He will not take you to task for discrepancies that exist only in your mind. Find comfort in His Mercy, and do not let the devil distract you from Allah.
You may benefit from consulting a Muslim, God-fearing mental health expert to help you manage your condition, and Allah knows best.
I pray this is of benefit.
[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 pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.