Heavily Afflicted by Waswasa

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about compulsively saying “I’m sorry” and asking forgiveness.

I became heavily afflicted with waswasa when I was unemployed mainly around najasah, but alhamduliLlah I recovered from that after starting work.

But recently have developed waswasa about actions or words of kufr. Also I’m obsessed with an intense fear of being “rude” and I keep obsessively saying sorry and it’s upsetting my parents.

I used to say bismillah before everything I do but a shaykh said it’s kufr to say bismillah before watching tv, as it contains haram things – and he said saying bismillah before eating something that’s not halal is kufr.

Is this true? Pretty much any media consumption involves some haram things like women without hijab or some music with haram things in it etc. So can we not say bismiLlah before watching tv or using internet, what about saying bismiLlah before leaving the house as you might see a uncovered woman, etc?

I am, insha Allah about to do nikah but in her culture we can’t consummate until walima a few months later. I am constantly worried and thinking about how any thing of kufr can nullify the nikah before consummation a‘udhubiLlah may Allah protect me. I found an opinion saying if we go into khalwa it can count as consummation.

Shaykh, is there an opinion that says any acts of kufr don’t affect the marriage from any madhab so I can take rukhsa?

Sometimes Muslim friends of mine make a joke on some topic that may actually be interpreted as kufr.

I’ve read your guide on how kufr needs to be intentional and you can’t accidentally do it, but I want a personal answer because it tears apart my mind and depresses me. Sometimes and my brain or shaytan finds a way of confusing me.

I also have this obsession that is driving my parents crazy. I have this intense fear that if I’m slightly rude or have an argument–disagree with someone and they get annoyed with me, it means I’ve argued and my dua won’t be answered and I’ll be punished. So then I have to beg forgiveness. Almost every single conversation I have with my parents ends with me saying “I’m sorry for being rude, I’m sorry.”

Someone in the masjid turned on the fan and someone else thought it was me and looked angry at me and I looked back at him and said “It’s a bit warm,” so he got angry with me. I felt like I had had an argument and needed to resolve it and apologize and say sorry.

And I’ll never criticize someone in case I’m being rude. This is driving me crazy and upsetting me. Is there actually any hadith or fiqh about arguing or being rude causing one’s dua to not be answered or severe punishment? The main problem is that my older brother is sometimes very harsh and rude with me even if I’m not saying anything, but even then I will try to say “sorry for being rude” because I’m scared it means I’ll be punished and my dua won’t be accepted.

I can’t leave any single interaction with a human without saying “sorry for being rude.” And it makes me seem very weak and if they know me for a while they will think I’m a bit weird. Like I will tell a joke, then think what I said might be offensive and start saying “Sorry.”

May Allah forgive me for anything haram I’ve said.

Kind regards


I pray you are well.

It’s clear that you have OCD, and it’s manifesting itself in religious matters. Worrying about falling into disbelief or offending people is a symptom of your OCD. The urges they cause can be very strong, and we know that there are some uncontrollable matters which a person is not taken to task for.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Indeed Allah has overlooked mistakes, forgetfulness, and being forced [to do something] for my umma.” (Ibn Majah). Although the compulsion referred to in the hadith is the type which comes from another party, we can infer that Allah’s mercy would also extend to some behavioral compulsions too.

Based on this, jurists have said that the divorce of someone like this would not apply if he was compelled to say the word over and over (Haskafi, al Durr al Mukhtar).

Relax and Seek a Remedy

Therefore, you should not worry or be consumed by guilt. You have a condition, and Allah has provided us means to getting it fixed. Get some professional help. The therapies EFT, PSTEC, and EMDR work well with this issue. Please bear in mind that it may take time for the issues to go, and that is a test by which you will draw closer to Allah if you show the appropriate response.

Please refer to this answer too.

Ask Allah for help, and seek a solution.

May Allah remove your difficulties very soon.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

OCD Causing Hardship with Impurities

Ustadh Salman Younas advises on how to deal with impurities when suffering from OCD.

I have been struggling with OCD for the past few years. It’s mainly obsessive thoughts about impurities (najas).  I have read that certain things that are considered najis in the Hanafi madhab aren’t najas in, for example, the Maliki maddhab.

My life would become easier if I could consider less things to be impure since I am very afraid of touching impure things. Is it possible to follow the ruling of other madhabs when it comes to things being impure?

Yes, this would be permitted and particularly if there is a genuine reason to do so in cases of hardship.

Leading Sunni scholars have stated that it is not obligatory for a person to follow a single madhhab on every issue. Rather, he may follow different schools on different issues so long as he does not systematically seek out dispensations, or combine opinions in a way where the end action is one unacceptable in all schools. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar)

In your case, if your OCD makes it difficult for you to deal with certain types of impurities, you may treat them as pure if there are other opinions stating so, to avoid the mental anguish that comes with OCD. However, I would advise you to only do this as a temporary solution until you are able to overcome your OCD.

For this, you should seek professional help and advice, and, for the time being, avoid the more technical aspects of fiqh. Rather, focus on the very basics and don’t overburden yourself with details, which might aggravate your situation.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Dealing With Difficult Parents and Keeping Promises

Answered by Saira AbuBakr

Question: Assalamu alaikum

I find it hard to keep some of my promises and I live with a father who is sometimes cruel. I’m trying to find a way to stay on the right path, but it is hard.  Could you please advise me?

Answer: Walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah,

May Allah ease your situation for you and give you well-being in this World and the Next.

Dealing With Your Father

Know that prophets have been tested with difficult families and it is a sign of righteousness and expiation of sins, to be tested with those closest to us, especially parents. Make dua that Allah grants your father righteousness and facilitates ease for you in your patience with him.

Maintaining a Promise

Most of us, at some point or another in our lives, have broken promises, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

If one was sincere at the time of making the promise but was unable to fulfill it due to unforeseen circumstances, then one is not sinful in the matter. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reported to have said,

“Actions are by intentions and each person has what he/she intended….” [Imam AlBukhari and Muslim]

If one feels one has intentionally not kept a promise then the sunnah is to follow-up a wrong action with a good one. The former is erased by the latter.

The Prophet (Allah blesse him and give him peace) is reported to have said,

“….follow-up a wrong action with a good one, it will (the good action) erase it (the bad action). [Imam alTirmidhi]


” All Children of Adam are sinners and the best of sinners are those who repent often”. [Narrated by Imam al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad and others].

And Allah knows best.


Related Answers:

Ridding Oneself of Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

Dealing With Depression Caused by Unemployment and Loneliness

Breaking Promises and Repentance

Does the Qur’an Mention OCD or Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) Being Caused by Jinn?

Advice to a Young Man with OCD and Struggling with Pornography and Other Major Sins

Advice for Sufferers of Extreme Waswasa or OCD in Issues of Purification

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: I am suffering from extreme waswasa. Sometimes I bathe five times a day and I find concentrating in salah difficult. I have read everything about waswasa and I try to ignore it, but I can’t.  Also, after istinja, I am always doubtful about my hands. I try to open my fingers during washing but sometimes I forget whether I opened my fingers or not and I worry about whether I washed the spaces between them. Please advise me.


Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

May Allah ease your burden upon you. Wasawis are a difficult issue to deal with, but alhamdulillah you have already begun dealing with the issue in two important ways: 1) by recognizing that there is a problem and 2) by seeking help and guidance.

Seek Professional Help

From what you have described, it appears to me that your condition might move beyond waswasa and into the realm of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which is in reality a serious disorder that requires professional attention. Therefore, I highly encourage that you seek counseling from a qualified mental health professional who can help you understand and deal with this condition.

Have no doubt that seeking medical help is part of our religion. Consulting others in serious matters is an emphasized sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and seeking necessary medical help is required upon those who are able to seek it. When we are in doubt about something, Allah commands us to ask those who know [16:43].

Remember that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) learned that two Muslims had given an injured man ill-informed advice that resulted in his death, he (peace be upon him) blamed them for the man’s death and asked why they did not simply seek a more knowledgeable source for guidance. [Sunan Abu Dawud] By not taking the time to seek proper advice from a knowledgeable source, the two men carelessly and needlessly caused their companion’s death.

I mention all of the above merely to emphasize the point that you should seek professional advice to help you deal with these problems. It may very well be that there are underlying issues that need to be treated before you can address the wasawis.

Seek Allah’s Help Through Dua and Prayer

In addition to seeking help, make sure you consistently ask Allah’s aid during these trials. Make much dua (supplication), and also establish and increase your prayers – pray the five daily prayers on time, establish the sunnah prayers, read the Qur’an daily, send salawat on the Prophet (peace be upon him), and make sure you increase in your remembrance (dhikr) of Allah as well.

Limit Your Indulgence, Say the Ta`awwudh, and Move On

In addition to implementing the professional advice and guidance of a counselor, you can also try to reduce the wasawis in the following manners:

1. Establish clear limits and stick to them: 1 shower a day for 5 minutes max, 1 wudhu per prayer for 1 minute max (5 seconds on each limb), 10 seconds for washing your hands max, and so on and so forth. Once the timer is up, you stop the action, assume cleanliness, and move on.

2. Say the ta`awwudh (a`udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajim) when you hear the whispers calling you to redo an action. You can also recite surat al-Nas, which is also a dua for protection against wasawis.

3. Leave the washing area immediately and do NOT look back. Go straight into your prayer (after wudhu) or continue with your day. In other words, busy yourself and your mind before Shaytan tries to take over.

4. Trust in Allah that your prayer and purity are accepted. Remember that the sahaba and the Prophet (peace be upon him) all had less water than we do now, and without a doubt their prayers were accepted. So there is no doubt that we, who use (and waste) so much more water than they ever did, are performing our wudhu in a matter acceptable to Allah.

The Blessing of Good Company

Above all, do not try to handle these problems alone. Seek the help not only of a counselor, but also of those close to you as well. Your family and friends can uplift your spirits and shift your attention away from the wasawis to other good things: remembrance of Allah, enjoyment of beneficial company, and the general goodwill and love that exists among all of us. Spend your free time in gatherings of dhikr, sacred knowledge, and other lectures at your local masjid, Islamic center, or Muslim neighbor’s house.

Shaytan is strongest when we are alone, and weakest when we are in good company (suhba), so make it a habit of immersing yourself in blessed gatherings. With Allah’s help, you will see that Shaytan’s influence will slowly but steadily dissipate as you fill your head with remembrance of the All-Merciful, and how majestic and glorious and exalted He is!

Other Readings on Waswasa

As you tread this path to well-being, it might be of benefit to read and re-read the various points of advice found in the following answers for guidance and inspiration:

Does the Qur’an Mention OCD or Waswasa Being Caused by Jinn?
A Reader on Waswasa
Waswasa as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?
Medical Conditions and Waswasa
Satanic Whisperings are Making Me Withdraw from Muslims

Final Word

Again, I must reiterate that it sounds like you have a serious condition, in which case you must seek counseling and treatment. This is of the highest priority, as sound health – mentally, physically, and emotionally – is an essential part of our religion. Without it, we cannot excel in our path to Allah – rather, establishing it is, in many ways, how we achieve closeness to our Lord.

May Allah aid you in your time of difficulty, cure you of your afflictions, and give you – and all of us – good health. And only with Allah comes success.

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Medical Conditions and Waswasa

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: I had a question regarding an abnormality I have been having. For the past year or so, I keep dozing off and falling asleep at the most random times of day. I have tried to get an accurate diagnosis but was unable to get a proper answer. I always fall asleep when listening to anything Islamic, I just find myself asleep within minutes. I feel like something is haunting me. I am always jumpy and feel like death is upon me. I am always paranoid of everyone around me to the point that I am now even paranoid from my own family. Alhamdullah I pray and do my dua’s, however I can’t explain why I feel like a curse is upon me or perhaps I’m possessed by a Jinn. I can’t explain it and when I do explain to anyone they think I am crazy or it’s all in my head. I do feel helpless and don’t know why these random sleep attacks, jumpy feeling, feeling that death is upon me happen.

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Jazakum Allahu Khairan, and may Allah ease you of your difficulties and cure you of your affliction.

Seeking Proper Medical Attention

Before addressing some of your concerns related to jinn and waswasa (Satanic whispers), I first advise that you exhaust all medical options. See a physician to ascertain whether or not the problem is related to physical or mental health, and follow his recommendations. Ensuring one’s health is part of the religion, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us that after belief, Allah provides nothing better than health. [Tirmidhi]

So if you haven’t done so already, the first piece of advice I have for you is to seek the advice of a doctor. Just as we go to religious scholars for advice on our religion, we go to doctors for advice on our physical and mental health. In all cases, we follow the advice of the experts. This is the path of moderation, which is the path advised by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Do Not Withdraw from Your Family and Others

Although you are inclined to stay away from your family and from other Islamic environments due to your affliction, I encourage you to resist this urge as much as possible. Maintaining positive and healthy relationships with your family is from the sunnah. Similarly, you can increase your faith and decrease any sinister influences upon you by attending religious gatherings: congregational prayers at the masjid, Islamic classes, halaqas, and similar events.

Even if you are unable to stay awake for the entirety of such events, you will still receive the benefit of attending them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us that a special group of angels seeks out and attends gatherings wherein Allah’s name is invoked and praised, and that Allah grants mercy and forgiveness to all those who attend these blessed gatherings. [Muslim]

See the following answer for more advice on this issue: Satanic Whisperings Are Making Me Withdraw from Muslims

Increase in Prayers and Reliance Upon Allah

If the problem appears to be coming from sources that a medical doctor cannot treat – be they the actions of the jinn, black magic, or the whispering of Shaytan – then the solution is, for all cases, to seek Allah’s aid. Increase in remembrance and supplication, remove any haraam from your life, be firm in your religious obligations, and to establish the sunnahs as well.

For some specific guidance and supplications on dealing with these problems, see the following answers:

OCD and Jinn

Protecting ourselves from Jinn

Prayers for Driving Away Jinn

I am being menaced by a Jinn

Above all, do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Trials and tribulations are a part of life, and oftentimes they contain hidden blessings that we cannot perceive until after they are over. I pray that Allah gives you patience through this test, that He makes it easy upon you, that He cures you of any problems you may have, and that He makes this a means for your sins to be forgiven. And only with Allah comes success.

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Advice to a Young Man with OCD and Struggling with Pornography and Other Major Sins

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I am a young man and have recently suffered a few physical injuries, as well as some psychiatric problems of extreme loneliness and OCD. I tried getting into Islam and stopped most of my unlawful activities, yet recently fell back into committing major sins, including pornography. Are movies allowed in Islam?

Also, I get horrible thoughts regarding Allah, and sometimes while praying the thought comes to me that I am praying to the devil. The waswasa brings me to tears… Please help.


Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

May Allah make this entire ordeal easy for you, and grant you the strength and courage that you need to overcome your trials. Below are some key aspects of our religion that might prove helpful for you in this stage of your life; I pray it is of benefit to you.

I would also like to preface this advice by stating that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious mental illness, for which a person should seek appropriate psychiatric counseling and medical treatment. It is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about: it is a trial from Allah, like any other trial.

Dealing with Trials

Do not lose hope because of the trials you face. Trials are either an expiation for sins or a means of raising one’s degrees in Allah’s sight. And scholars mention that our trials are filled with subtle blessings that we do not perceive but that are nevertheless there.

Our Master Ibn Ata’illah says, “Whoever deems His subtle kindness to be severed from that which He decrees, then that only reflects one’s shortsightedness.” The true believer, then, is the one who can find that grace amidst the trial — he sees far, well beyond the immediacy of this life, and his scope is broadened, thus enabling him to rely on Allah during the trial.

Our Master Umar (Allah be pleased with him) highlighted some of the blessings of trials when he once said, “I was never afflicted with a tribulation except that with it Allah gave me four blessings: it was not in my religion; I was not barred from being content; it was not worse than it was; and I hoped for reward through it.”

Umar (Allah be pleased with him) was able to appreciate these blessings only because he was realized in the statement of Allah Most High, “Perhaps you may hate something, yet it proves better for you.” (2:216)

And this realization was a result of his having accompanied the best of creation (peace and blessings be upon him), who confirmed this reality when he said, “How amazing is the believer’s affair! Allah decrees nothing for the servant except that it is good for him.” [Musnad Ahmed]

Divine Wisdom and Having a Good Opinion of Allah

Also with respect to trials, one must always remember that nothing exists except that it reflects Allah’s infinite wisdom, for He has called Himself ‘The All-Wise’ (Al-Hakim).

There is always the big picture, a larger context that we are often unable to perceive. Allah Most High is fully aware of how things unfold in the long run, and we must place our trust in Him, fully realizing that there is wisdom in His decisions.

Indeed, our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us to maintain the very best opinion of our Lord, and to expect only the good from what He decrees. Allah Most High Himself states, “I am in the opinion of My servant.” [Bukhari]

If we are convinced that Allah is looking out for our best interests when He decrees painful situations, and that He will replace what is lost with something much better for us in both this life and the next, then that is exactly how we will find Him, without a doubt.

Reflecting on Those Less Fortunate

Furthermore, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave us a powerful mental tool to help deal with trials, as he said, “Look towards those who are below you, not towards those who are above you, for indeed, that is more conducive to your not belittling the blessing of Allah upon you.” [Muslim]

This is an immense wisdom that we should hold firmly to when we are dealing with the struggles in our lives. Today for example, we need only reflect on the situation of those less fortunate than us: people in severe famine who sometimes have to see their infants die before their very eyes due to lack of basic food, people under oppressive governmental regimes who lack security and freedom, people who have lost all their property due to flooding or earthquakes, people who have seen their families killed or transgressed upon by tyrants, people who have no housing and therefore live under bridges, people who get into major car accidents and are paralyzed for life, etc.

We could list many other examples, yet these few should suffice us in making us appreciate that, despite the trials we face, things could be much much worse. Perhaps you should consider visiting those around you who are less fortunate: go to the local homeless shelter or cancer ward, and sit with the people there. Spend time with them, serve them, and count the innumerable blessings that you have in your life.

The Gift of Patience

Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that “Patience is a glowing illumination” [Muslim], and that “No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts a Muslim — not even a thorn that pricks him — except that Allah wipes out his sins by it.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Of course, patience is not only the key to dealing with the struggles of life, but it is also the characteristic that enables us to avoid crossing the limits set down by Allah and falling into sin.

In this regard, if you find it difficult to be patient, then simply work on it and force yourself to be patient, as that itself will inculcate patience. Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever forces himself to be patient will be granted patience by Allah.” And what a great gift from Allah! Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said immediately afterwards, “No one was given a better and more expansive gift than patience.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Do your Best and Rejoice

Allah Most High says, “When My servant draws near to Me by a handspan, I draw near to him by an arm’s length, and when My servant draws near to Me by an arm’s length, I draw near to him by two arms’ length, and when he comes to Me walking, I come to him rushing.” [Bukhari]

If you take on this struggle for Allah the Exalted, to rid yourself of major sins and be truly patient with your trials, Allah will rush to you — with His concern, with His favor, with His acceptance, with His good pleasure, and with His love. You will find unforeseen provision and unexpected gifts in your life, not to mention what will await you in the afterlife. Do your best, and rely on Him.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Verily this religion is ease, and no one shall make the religion difficult except that it will destroy him. So do what is correct, try your best, and rejoice!” [Bukhari] Notice how the Prophet ended with the command to rejoice, yet didn’t mention what to rejoice over, as an indication of the immensity and greatness of the blessings of doing what is correct and trying one’s best. [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari] Above all, we should rejoice in Allah’s mercy and acceptance of repentance.

Allah’s Vast Mercy and the Vast Door of Repentance

If you find yourself repeatedly falling into major sins, remember that the doors of repentance and divine mercy are always open. No matter how grave the servant’s crime, the servant can at any time turn back to his Generous Lord and find Him Ever-relenting.

Amazingly enough, our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) even described an actual door in the direction of the West of Medina through which repentance goes through to be accepted, a door so vast that it would take a rider 70 years to cross it! This vastness indicates to us that no matter how many sins we have committed, and no matter how grave those sins are, there is plenty of room for repentance. This door, by Allah’s grace, shall remain open until the sun rises from the West. [Tirmidhi, Nasa’i]

Surely, there is no room for despair in our religion. Allah Most High states, “Say: ‘O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah! For Allah forgives all sins: indeed He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'” (39:53)

And Allah not only loves for the servant to turn back to Him, but rather is overjoyed at his repentance, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained:

“Allah has greater joy at the repentance of one of His slaves, at the time he returns to Him, than if one of you were on his riding mount in the middle of the desert, only to have it escape from him with his food and drink. So he despairs of it and comes to a tree to recline in its shade, in utter despair over losing his mount, when… Lo and behold! There it is standing right in front of him! So he takes it by its reigns and exclaims out of intense excitement, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am your Lord!’ He makes a mistake out of such intense joy!” [Muslim]

Keeping Good Company

Directly related to repentance is the divine mandate to seek out good company, since after one has decided to change his old ways and turn back towards his Lord, he must be in an environment that is conducive to his new direction in life. This connection between repentance and finding good company is evident in the narration in which our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) describes a man who, after having killed 100 men, was told to leave the town in which those sins took place and move to a new town. [Bukhari, Muslim]

You must find company that will elevate your spiritual state. This is one of the most central foundational principles in one’s relationship with Allah Most High — it cannot be taken lightly, and it cannot be emphasized enough. Allah Most High commands us to seek the best of company as He says, “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and be with the sincere and truthful.” (9:119)

Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) reinforced this divine injunction when he advised his community, “A person is on the religion of his close friend, so let him carefully examine whom he befriends,” and he also said, “Do not keep company except with a true believer, and let not anyone eat your food except one who is godfearing.” Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]

You should spend time with believers that are strong-willed and of good character, people who remind you of Allah Most High. Many times we cannot even perceive how we benefit from the people of Allah’s remembrance, yet there is no doubt a profound effect of keeping their company. The same applies to the harm of sitting with bad company — it is often slow, gradual, and hence unnoticed.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) alluded to this with a beautiful metaphor when he said, “The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like a carrier of musk and one who blows the bellows of a blacksmith. The carrier of musk either gives it to you, or you buy some from him, or at the very least you smell its sweet fragrance. The one who blows the bellows of a blacksmith either burns your clothes, or you get from him a foul stench.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Finally, we must realize that company in our times includes virtual company: the websites we visit and the images we see there are often “bellows of blacksmiths covered in soot,” leaving our hearts enveloped in foul stench and burnt garments. It is only Satan and his devilish insinuations, coupled with the lower self and its unbridled passions, that drive so many of our young people to keep such wretched virtual company and sully their precious hearts.

Warding Off the Devil

The devil is a trickster, and deceit is his profession. He has been in business for as long as humans have existed. He is cunning and crafty, and he works very hard to achieve his goals. He has many tactics, at the top of the list being baseless misgivings and creating doubts in our minds and hearts. He wants us to become confused and obsessed to the extent that it destroys us. He knows our psychological makeup very, very well.

Take the means to ward off the devil, as taught by our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). These include the following:

(a) Seek refuge in Allah Most High, by saying, ‘A’udhu bi Llahi min ash-shaytani r-rajim’ [Bukhari, Muslim]; and recite Ayat al-Kursi, as well as the last three surahs (Ikhlas, Falaq, Nas) [Tabarani, Mu’jam Kabir].

(b) Ignore any thoughts or fleeting notions of disbelief: these are from the Devil, and he hates to be ignored. Every time you get such a thought, remember Allah and seek His refuge. Go to Allah broken and weak, and He will fix you and grant you strength.

(c) Be consistent in the remembrance of Allah (dhikr), especially when you are on the Internet. When you get online, begin with Allah’s name by saying the basmala, and couple this with sending much salutation and blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). While you are online, continue to remember Allah and keep your tongue moist with His remembrance, especially by sending salutations upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

(d) Maintain a strong relationship with the Qur’an, reading some portion daily, however little. Make sure you pray all five prayers on time, and try to attend the mosque for as many of the five as you can. When one is busy attending the mosque regularly, it is more difficult to engage in sinful activity between prayers.

Allah Most High states, “Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and regularly establish the prayer: surely, prayer keeps one away from indecency and evil. Indeed, Allah’s remembrance [of the servant] is greater yet, and Allah knows all what you do.” (29:45)

(e) Learn sacred knowledge under righteous scholars so you know the reality of the Sacred Law and its limits. Implement what you learn. The more sound knowledge one has of the religion, the more empowered one is to deal with Satan’s prodding.

(f) Seek Allah’s help in warding off the devil, whose whisperings are in reality of no power or consequence. Allah is in full control. Allah created the devil to spur us forward in our journey to Him Most High. Make supplication (dua) to Allah, and observe the various etiquettes of dua, such as eating lawful and wholesome food, praying with sincerity and focus, and being certain that Allah will answer your dua.

A more complete discussion on the etiquette of dua can be found here:

Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

Some Final Advice

It’s time to really roll up your sleeves and be strong for the sake of Allah. Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, yet there is good in both. Be avid for that which benefits you, seek Allah’s help, and don’t be weak.” [Muslim]

Notice — may Allah have mercy on you — how the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) first stated the merit of being strong, and then followed the statement with the very means to gain strength: (a) being avid for the beneficial, and (b) seeking Allah’s help. Don’t merely do the beneficial, but be keen and avid for it: determine what benefits you, seek it out, and hold firmly to it once you find it. Then rely on Allah and seek His aid alone, for there is no might nor strength except with Him.

Masha’Allah, you have already taken the first step of recognizing your problems and having a sincere desire to quit, and this is not to be underestimated. It is a very praiseworthy thing for a someone with a problem or addiction to at least admit he has a problem and genuinely want to rid himself of it. Have hope in Allah that with each step you take towards Him, He will take ten towards you.

Also, regarding movies, the legal ruling would depend on their content, although most movies have unlawful content and are hence unlawful.

Lastly, please see the following related answer. Although it deals specifically with homosexual feelings and gay pornography, much of its advice can help with any Internet addiction:

Tackling Homosexual Feelings: Supplication, Repentance, and Going Cold Turkey

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Does the Qur’an Mention OCD or Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) Being Caused by Jinn?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Are there any verses in the Quran that allude or suggest that ocd is caused by jinn, by ocd i mean the type of ocd where people keep washing their hands or they keep thinking they havent locked the front door etc?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a serious mental illness, for which a person should seek appropriate psychiatric counseling and medical treatment. Allah knows best if the cause could be related to jinn.

If what you mean by OCD is not the actual medical disorder, but instead a person’s bad habit or tendency to be fidgety or twitch, or repeatedly check things unnecessarily, then it is possible that such a tendency is related to waswasa, which the Qur’an does affirm as coming from evil jinn, as in the well-known verses of Sura al-Nas.

Having said that, we also know that a person’s own nafs incites him, as Allah Most High informs us:

“Surely it was We Who created man, and We know what suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.” [50:16]

Regardless of its origin, a person should force himself to fight such a tendency, lest it get out of hand and perhaps even turn into the real medical illness of OCD.

Restlessness is a vice, while the mark of the strong believer is dignity and tranquility. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

OCD, Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) and Divorce

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question: I have an extreme condition of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). I had an argument with my wife, and the next day while I was taking a bath, the previous day’s argument scene came into my mind. I started imagining the scene (like a flash back), and whilst imagining, I uttered the words “Talaq” 3 times. When I say uttered, I mean my lips moved but I did not hear myself clearly. It was more like murmuring, and the voice was so low that I could not hear myself and neither anyone next to me would be able to hear what I was saying. However, I was in the bath with the water tap running.

Please could you let me know if this has any implications on my marriage? Also, please advice what I can do to treat this condition, as I get a lot of waswasa (misgivings)?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

To begin with, it should always be remembered that merely thinking about divorce or having baseless misgivings (waswasa) about it does not Islamically constitute a divorce, as long as one does not actually issue a divorce verbally or in writing.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Indeed, Allah has overlooked for my Umma the misgivings/thoughts that occur in their hearts, as long as they do not act upon it, or speak about it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

If during such thoughts, even if one was to utter or murmur words of divorce in such a soft, low, or indistinct way that, under normal circumstances [i.e. when there is no external cause for not being able to hear], it is not possible for the speaker to hear himself, then that too does not constitute divorce.

It is stated in Maraqi al-Falah:

If one thinks about divorce in the heart, and the tongue [also] moves, [but] without making an utterance that can be heard, then divorce does not occur, even if letters were correctly formed.” (Maraqi al-Falah with Hashiya al-Tahtawi, P: 219)

Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his renowned Al-Durr al-Mukhtar:

“The main integral (rukn) of divorce is the specific statement (lafdh makhsus).” (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala ‘l-Durr 3/230)

He also states:

“The minimal of “loud/audible (jahr)” utterance is that others are able to hear the speaker, and the minimal of “soft/inaudible (makhafat)” utterance is that the speaker is able to hear himself… As such, if one utters divorce… but is unable to hear himself, the divorce does not count, according to the sounder opinion.” (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala ‘l-Durr 1/534-535)

Hence, in order for a divorce to be considered effective, it needs to be uttered or pronounced in such a manner that, in normal circumstances, one would be able to hear himself. Simply forming the letters with lip and tongue movement, without producing any actual sound, is of no consequence. (See: Fatawa Mahmudiyya 12/249)

Indeed, if one is absolutely certain (yaqin) of hearing himself, or if there was some external cause that prevented hearing, one is sure that without such cause, one would have heard one’s self, then it will constitute divorce.

The basic principle (qa’ida fiqhiyya), that all people prone to misgivings should keep in mind, states: “Certainty is not lifted by a doubt.” (Ibn Nujaym, Al-Ashbah wa ‘l Nadhair) As such, the certainty of marriage (nikah) is not lifted by mere doubts or misgivings. It is only lifted by certainty of divorce.

I pray Allah Most High cures you from your condition and reward you for the difficulties you are facing, Ameen. It would be worthwhile visiting a qualified psychiatric and getting some professional medical help, Insha Allah.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester, UK

Related Answers:

I Have Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) About the Soundness of My Faith and My Marriage…

Key Principles Relating to Certainty, Doubt, and Baseless Misgivings (waswasa)

What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

What Can I Do About Satanic Whisperings That Plague Me And Even Make Me Want to Abandon My Salat?