Have I Converted to Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

A long time ago I decided to become a Muslim, but I am not actually sure if I recited the Shahhadah or not. I have seriously conflicting memories on whether I did or not. But I came to assume I converted anyway, became a devout Muslim for a brief time, then committed kufr. Then eventually I decided to reconvert. This time, I properly recited the Shahhadah and did Ghusl.

Regardless of whether I did properly convert the first time, did my recitation of the Shahhadah count, even though it was with the intention of reconverting, not converting? Also, I recited the Shahhadah by a whisper. Does it still count? What should I do?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Just assume you became Muslim at that earliest time.

The significance of the testimony of faith (the Shahadah) is only your legal status in a Muslim country, that is to say whether or not you can marry a Muslim woman, and whether or not you can inherit from other Muslims.

You become a believer by believing, regardless of making the testimony of faith.

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.

Argument Leading to Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Our neighbor died as a christian. My grandmother really liked him for some reason and cried a lot because he died. I’m pretty sure that she knew that he was a non muslim, but nevertheless she said things like ‘may his place be Paradise’. I was arguing with her and then I told my grandmother that non muslims won’t enter paradise. Then I think She said that Allah knows this. I responded with ‘no’ but I didn’t intend to deny that Allah is All-Knowing. What’s the ruling on that? Is it disbelief?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question

There are two aspects regarding your question that I would like to address:

1. Praying for non-Muslims

The ruling of praying for Non-Muslims differs from before and after death. Prior to his or her death, it is permissible to pray for them in terms of guidance or any worldly benefit. As for after death, it is not permitted for a Muslim to pray for a non-Muslim as far as forgiveness of shirk (ascribing partners unto Allah) or entry into paradise is concerned [Fatawa al-Nawawi]. It is however permissible for a Muslim to pray that Allah forgives a non-Muslim for sins, other than shirk [Hashiyah al-Shabramallisi].

2. Pronouncement of disbelief unintentionally

Someone who unintentionally makes a pronouncement of disbelief is not considered a disbeliever. RasuluLlah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said, “The liability of three things has been lifted from my ummah: forgetfulness, mistake and duress.”

Accordingly, you are not guilty of disbelief.
May Allah grant us steadfastness in all thats good, and protect us from all evil, Amin.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Visions of Heaven.

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Are people’s claim to see heaven true? Even if when the form of transport to heaven for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was on a winged horse?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Yes, it is possible for someone on earth to be shown Paradise whilst still on earth. This is something rationally possible, and we have precedent for similar events from the lives of the prophets, Allah bless them and grant them peace, and the companions, may Allah be well pleased with them all.

The Visions of Ibrahim and ʿUmar

Allah Almighty said, ‘And no less than that, did We show Ibrahim the perfect, immense dominion of the heavens and earth, and our sovereignty over them; and [We did this] so that he may be of those of absolute certainty.’ (6:75). For Ibrahim to have been shown the whole universe, and beyond, as a child – as the Qurʾan indicates – is something in the realm of possibility.

If someone can be shown the furthest reaches of creation, then being shown Paradise is also a possibility.

Imam Ibn Kathir also narrated a rigorously authenticated narration regarding sayyiduna ʿUmar – whilst delivering a sermon in Medina – seeing a group of Muslims who were about to ambushed hundreds of miles away. He called out to warn them, and they heard his voice and reacted appropriately.

Miracles Granted to the Righteous

A vision is not the same as travelling a distance. Yet, it is also possible for a person to be transported from one place to another. Physicists affirm the possibility of the occurrent of a ‘wormhole’, which is the nexus of two distant points in the universe through the folding of space.

The occurrence of such events has been reported as having to many individuals, such as the grandfather of the great Moroccan saint and scholar, Ahmad b. ʿAjiba. He mentioned it himself in his autobiography, which is an excellent work.

Imam Ibrahim al Laqqani, in his great didactic poem, Jawhara al Tawhid (The Gem of Divine Oneness), said,

“You must affirm for the saintly miracles,
Those who deny them cast aside their rambles.”

Dr Mostafa al Badawi, a distinguished contemporary scholar, discussed these metaphysical matters in his work ‘A Higher Reality‘ which is highly recommended.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Uttering Words of Disbelief.

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

My friend uttered words of disbelief with his tongue which he did not belief in his heart. But he is not sure whether he did it on purpose or not. During the course of the day he renounced it but one thing he is sure is that he did not belief what he said. Is his Islam still valid?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

There are two positions among the scholars regarding one who utters words of disbelief, intentionally, but not intending its meaning or not intending to actually depart from Islam. The position of the majority is that the utterance of disbelief, intentionally, even though not intending its meaning, is disbelief. The second position states that it is not disbelief. [Radd al-Muhtar]

Accordingly, it is advised that your friend recites the testimony of faith and repent from those utterances. This also serves as a lesson for us all to be more particular regarding that which we utter and pronounce.

May Allah protect us all and grant that we leave this world upon Iman and faith in Him and His Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Why Should I Show Gratitude to Allah for Being a Muslim?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

I became a muslim because of my free choice. So why should I show gratitude to Allah for being a Muslim?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Humans are ascribed with free-will in so far as they acquire their actions due to their choice (ikhtiyar), but man does not create anything. Rather, God is the only truly omnipotent being, and the actions of man are only possible due to God creating a power in him concomitant to any action he carries out: “God created you and all that you do.” (37:96)

We would not believe without God willing so and creating a mediating originated power within us that allows us to carry out our action. This is true for everything we do. We recognize that God is the one who is truly in control of all things. And we thank Him for giving us belief.

In addition to this, there are countless factors in our acceptance of faith. The signs that God has placed in front of us; the natural disposition we have been created with to recognize the divine; the people we come across; the moments in life that jolt us into searching for something more meaningful; our soundness of mind, body, and possessing an intellect; our very existence itself. We cannot take credit for any of these. It is all out of God’s generosity, His favor, and His tawfiq, that we are able to recognize and accept Islam.

In fact, if we reflect deeper on this point, we will ultimately realize that we can never thank God enough for His blessings and favors.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

Discussing Correct Aqida

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked for advice on how to counter the objections of those who say that Ash‘ari and Maturidi aqida is not true to Islam.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

How do we answer objections that say the Aqida of the Ashari and the Maturidi is not the Aqida of the Salaf? They mention how Imam Abu Hanifa’s Fiqh al-Akbar was not actually written by him.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

If you are talking to students of Islam, please have them read The Ash‘aris & Maturidis: Standards of Mainstream Sunni Beliefs.

Otherwise, they would do well to read the following:

دفع شبه التشبيه بأكف التنزيه لابن الجوزي
إلجام العوام عن علم الكلام بتحقيق الكوثري
أهل السنة الأشاعرة : شهادة علماء الأمة وأدلتهم

Note: Don’t busy yourself with what divides the Umma and fuels the fire of cyclical debates. As the Shah al-Kirmani said, “Whoever looks at others with his own eye, falls into lengthened arguments with them; whoever looks at others with the eye of Allah, overlooks what they made do or say, and doesn’t busy himself with them.’

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Did I Commit Wrongful Takfir?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if calling saying or thinking that a Muslim is non-Muslim wrongfully puts one outside of the fold of Islam.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I once typed a message saying some Muslims I do not like were not true Muslims, whispering the words to myself as I typed them. but then I remembered that Muslim laypeople are not allowed to say that and deleted the message. Did I still commit the sin of wrongful takfir? Does that make me a non-Muslim as that one hadifh said?

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The only way you leave Islam is by rejecting what made you a Muslim to begin with.

That said, we should all be very careful about what we say, because throwing words and labels around is not permissible.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Reading Literary Fiction

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked about the use and benefit of literary fiction, and advises on their possible detriment to faith and love of Allah.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I would like to ask a question regarding reading literature:

I always enjoyed reading and, especially growing up, I spent many hours reading some of the greatest classics in my own language (Portuguese) and in English. After I became Muslim, I was discouraged from continuing doing so by fellow Muslims. I was told that it was a waste of time to read fiction and stories of people who never existed, regardless of how well these stories have been written. Also, from my own perspective, I started noticing that many of these novels tell stories of morally corrupt people (from an Islamic point of view) and that love, romance, betrayal, even adultery and substance abuse are commonplace. Before Islam I would not even consider this moral aspect, and the mastery of the spoken word was enough to engage me, but now I feel uneasy. Is my reluctance and my Muslims friends’ criticism justified?

I will be grateful for your advice.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner, I will try to answer your question from a few different angles.

The book as your friend

And He has said of the believers that they ‘shun what is vain’ [23:3]

And He has said, ‘And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversion. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.’ [6:68]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) mentioned three people who would taste the sweetness of faith and of them was, ‘he who would hate to return to disbelief after Allah had saved him just as anyone would hate to be thrown into a fire.’ [Bukhari]

These verses and this hadith tell us that the general rule is to have nothing to do with ‘vain’ ideas and words and books that do not conform to the high morals of Iman, Islam and Ihsan.

And Allah Most High has told us, ‘O you who have believe, fear Allah and be with the true.’ [9:119]

And the Prophet of Allah has said, ‘ًA person is on the religion on his close friend, so let each of you look well to whom he takes as a close friend.

In view of this guidance, we have to make sure that the social, literary and cyber society is something that increases our faith, resolve to change, fear Allah etc., and not something that reminds us of disbelief, turning away from Allah, and preferring ephemeral pleasures to the worship and good-pleasure of Allah Most High.

For this reason, one should be very careful, as you have clearly expressed, of reading material, even if it be of high literary value, that does not lift us up, especially if it talks about clearer immoral and licentious deeds, and even more so if they remind one of a lifestyle and modus operandi that one once followed.

Personally, I have found certain great literary works like Les Miserables, Robinson Crusoe, and a number of Shakespeare’s works like Hamlet and Macbeth, morally uplifting. Even some “in appropriate works”, like Naguib Mahfouz’s Respected Sir, I definitely benefited from as a student of Arabic and as a reminder of the Faustian deal of this world.

Many others, personally, I have found more harmful than beneficial: much of Shakespeare’s work, and many 19th century works like certain works of Hardy and Dickens. The language is amazing, the characterization masterful, but very little moral benefit in the end.

I remember reading the Monastery by Sir Walter Scott and having to put the book down after a short while after getting the sense that although he was outwardly defending religion and, perhaps, religious freedom, he was actually organised religion. (Maybe that’s just my jaundiced view!)

The upshot is that we have to be very selective of what we allow to enter our hearts and minds. It is actually our responsibility to protect them: ‘And pursue not that which you have no knowledge of; the hearing, the sight, the heart — all of those shall be questioned of.’ [17: 36]

Calling others to Islam

Despite all the foregoing, it is important to note that calling others to Islam, and that can only happen properly with a full understanding of the language and culture of those being called to Islam. To be able to do this, we do need to read literature and get some level of cultural exposure, within reasonable bounds of course.

If we look at many well-intentioned translations of religious works, or if we listen to certain lectures by certain religious guides, we feel the huge language gap and we suffer from the disparity in cultural references and norms. All of this is relevant in calling people to Islam.

Do you need to read everything, pure and rotten, and watch every film that the target audience has watched in order to talk to them on their level? There is a level of god-fearing judgment needed to answer this question.

Priorities

One of Allah many blessings upon us is that He has given us very short lives and very limited resources, both of which force upon us a very acute need to prioritize what we do, say, hear and see. Even if something is very beneficial, or even morally incumbent, if may offer be secondary to something even more important and pressing.

If we sit down and ask ourselves very honestly, our knowledge of the Quran and Sunna is very, very limited. Our familiarity and attachment to the live of the best person very to have lived (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is not really there, and the lessons that we have drawn from the best generations after him are very few. In light of this, for most of us, or many of us, to really dedicate our few hours of spare time to anything else is to some extent embarrassing.

We need to prioritize what is obligatory over that which is merely beneficial.

Upshot

Find something in Portuguese that morally uplifts us to some extent, and read with the intention of giving yourself more energy to worship Allah; read with the intention that your language becomes above average such that you can translate the keys texts of Islam into Portuguese and guide people. Whenever you feel something bad in the book, go to another one, unless the benefit is clearly far exceeding the harm.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/13648/

 

Adopting and Conveying a False View for the Sake of Dawa

Ustadh Farid Dingle untangles questions on establishing a state and the rule of law, authority, personal opinions and ijtihad, and who one should follow.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Praise be to Allah Most High and may His peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and those who follow him.

Is it permissible for a dawah group with the intention and goal of establishing khilafah and shar‘ia to demand of its followers to leave their personal opinions of ijtihad in regards to what the group deems to be essential to keep the unity of the group on the way to establishing the state?

They quote as evidence the maxim “that without which an obligation cannot be fulfilled is an obligation”(ma la yatim al wajib illa bihi fahuwa wajib).

They also quote the version of events regarding the bayah of Uthman. A;;ah be pleased with thim, which is mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari and al-Bidayah wa al-Nihaya and others, where Ali, Allah be please with him, declines the bayah because of the condition of following as shaykhayn in addition to kitab and sunna and Uthman, Allah be pleased with him, accepts the bayah with its condition.

Their claim is that Uthman, Allah be pleased with him, stepped down from his opinion and Ali, Allah be pleased with him, didn’t.

They say that this is evidence that one can leave whatever opinion he has for the sake unity of the ummah in action, saying and believe regardless of whether the person believes something else.

So is the Amir khass like the amir Aam in regards to the right to be obeyed ?  Is it possible and is there perhaps any scholarly precedence for this analogy ? I’m especially interested the extension of the right of the amir to be obeyed (whether Aam or khass) to actually adopting his opinion and carrying it to the people despite disagreeing with it?

I hope my question is clear and understandable and I hope you will provide us with an answer and references since this topic affects hundreds of people.

Note: They say that this applies to the muqallid and the mujtahid, even if he is mujtahid mutlaq.

Jazakum Allah khayr.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Question 1: Is it permissible for a dawah group with the intention and goal of establishing khilafah and shari‘a to demand of its followers to leave their personal opinions of ijtihad in regards to what the group deems to be essential to keep the unity of the group on the way to establishing the state?

1) This question assumes that there are no Islamic states, and that Shari‘a law is not applied. The former is not true, and the latter is not entirely true.

Any Muslim ruler who has military and political control over an area makes that area an Islamic state. Based on this definition, most, if not all, Muslim countries are Muslim states. The significance of that is that their laws that do not categorically contradict the Sacred Law are biding, and that their ruler must be obeyed by their subjects.

As for saying that Sharia is not upheld, that is true to a great extent in many Muslims countries, though not all. And given the fact that they are Islamic states, the proper way to “establish Shari‘a” is to work with the governments and not against them, in whatever form and capacity one can.

It is worth noting that there, at least in my opinion, many Muslim rulers who would love to apply Shari‘a Law 100% but whose hands are tied by the political weakness of the country, and moral weakness of their own people. Being a ruler of a country is no easy business.

2) For the sake of political, communal, or familial unity, is it valid for a non-scholar (muqallid) to adopt another valid position?

Yes, a thousand times yes. Can one follow something that is invalid? No.

Question 2: So is the lesser/specific Muslim ruler (Amir khass) like the greater/general Muslim ruler (amir Aam) in regards to the right to be obeyed?

I am no mujtahid or specialist in Islamic political theory, but I have never heard of these terms. The authority of a Muslim ruler (defined above) is only extended to those who he appoints as governors and judges and the like.

As for any temporal or moral authority granted to someone trying to set up an “Islamic state,” I’ve never heard of anything like that. [al-Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun (specifically his discussion on the Hisba); The Governing Ordinances, al-Mawardi; al-Ihkam fi tamyiz al-fatawa an al-ahkam wa tasarrufat al-qadi wa al-imam, al-Qarafi]

My Advice

Make your heart and soul conform to the state of Iman, Islam and Ihsan, and help existing Muslim countries and Muslim people and non-Muslim people get closer to the Quran and Sunna.

May Allah give you success through Sacred Knowledge.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Sins of the Imagination

Ustadh Salman Younas is asked about imaginings resulting from the words and ideas of others or to hadiths, and what these  might entail with regard to one’s faith.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahamt Allah wa Barakatuh.

All I want to know is whether this way of imagining is sinful and the scale of sin for each case I described. And the case when it is a kind of normal reflex of the mind. When I think about something I hear on a Christian TV channel, like God needed to become a child in order to save mankind, I think within myself that this is extremely absurd because it would imply that God has passed through a female vagina and an image of an vagina that I may have seen in a biology book or somewhere else appears in my mind.

When I take ghusl I may remember that the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, did it the same and I may imagine a nude man. I may read hadiths that say that the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, was helped with water or stones by such and such a Sahabah during his personal needs in the toilet, and I may imagine a person half nude or full nude cleaning himself in the toilet.

I may read a hadith that says the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, was sick and I may imagine an old man with gray hair that is helped to stand up and drink medication on his bed.

I may think about death and a horrible image of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, or sahabah in the shape of a scary human skeleton appears to my mind saying to me this what the most beloved person on earth has become. Or I read a hadith that the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, slept with his wife and an image of a man symbolizing the prophet appears kissing and having intercourse with a woman. And it comes to me naturally as part of the normal process of thinking.

Is this manner or way of thinking and imagining sinful and what is the scale of sins for each case I described? What if a feeling of sexual pleasure abruptly appeared? Am I obliged to block this feeling of pleasure immediately to not otherwise I nullify my Islam? Am I also obliged to block immediately all those images even if I don’t have bad intentions or bad feelings in relation to them?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

To clarify at the outset, none of what you have described entails a nullification of faith, or kufr. You should remove this possibility from your mind altogether.

Similarly, such thoughts and images that come to your mind suddenly are not in and of themselves sinful. In an authentic tradition, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “God has overlooked (i.e. forgiven) for my community that which crosses their minds so long as they do not act upon it.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

For images to come to one’s mind when reading or hearing about certain things is natural to human beings. Sometimes, what one imagines is appropriate and blameless, while on other instances it is inappropriate. In the latter case, we are not held to account for uncontrolled and sudden thoughts that occur in the mind, but we should dispel them once they occur.

Thus, if you read something about the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, such as his manner of taking a bath, and an image of a naked man comes to mind, this is not sinful but you should try and divert your thoughts away from imagining this. Especially when it comes to thoughts of a potential sinful nature, such as sexual thoughts, it is even more necessary to move on from these thoughts as soon as they occur by seeking God’s refuge.

With that said, you need to be careful not to obsess over this as it may put you in a state of perpetual anguish and cause severe misgivings. As I mention above, thoughts of this nature are simply part of our being human. You should not dwell too much on it.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.