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Does Jokingly Pretending to Convert to Cullenism or Not Liking Beards Make Me an Unbeliever?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

(1) During my adolescence I became obsessed with the Twilight books. As a result I said, as a joke, ” I have converted to Cullenism,” and, “I won’t die before I see this movie”. Have I committed disbelief?

(2) In the past, I have said that I don’t like beards. Have I committed disbelief?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

(1) No, this is not disbelief (kufr). [See these related answers.]

(2) No. Please see the link at (1).

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And see also: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: flickr.com/photos/larkyn/

Am I Starting to Be a Disbeliever for Not Crying Anymore Regarding Bad Thoughts Towards Allah and His Messenger?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I always have bad thoughts regarding Allah and his messenger (peace be upon him). At first these thoughts were making me crying but now, even if I still hate these thoughts they don’t make me cry anymore. Am I getting accustomed to them? Am I starting to be a disbeliever?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You are a Muslim. Remember that “bad thoughts” also arose in the minds of the Companions (sahab) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

They said, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.” [Muslim]

However, continue seeking repentance, as this is the sign of those who are close to Allah Most High, and strive to seek out ways to increase in worship, knowledge and remembrance, gradually, whilst not omitting any responsibilities you have.

Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]

Please see: Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is Asking a Question About Uttering Statements of Disbelief Disbelief in Itself?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaikum

Someone has thoughts of disbelief and, in order to know the ruling, asks a scholar by writing saying that he has uttered this statements of disbelief.

Does writing this question make him a non muslim?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, this does not make one a non-Muslim.

What would take a person outside the faith is denying that which brought him into it, namely the testimony of faith and all that it entails of that which is necessarily known to be of the religion.

As for misgivings and passing thoughts of disbelief, they are no consequence as Sheikh Nuh Keller writes in Sea Without Shore, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.”

Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih collection that some of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless
him and give him peace) came and asked him, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.”

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

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Doubts Regarding the Authenticity of the Qur’an: I Really Need Help

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Since the end of Ramadan, I try to maintain good habits that I took during Ramadan. My belief in the Quran was so high a that time but now I am overwhelmed with doubts regarding its authenticity. I’m always trying to pray the best way but I have to break my prayer many times and repeat it again and again to make it perfect. Doubts regarding the Qur’an have made my worship very difficult. I really need help.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
(1) It is not permitted to break your prayer because “it is not perfect enough.” Pray once.
(2) I’d advise reading: The History of the Qur’anic Text by Mustafa al-Azami
(3) Ignore such whisperings. All of them are from the devil who wants nothing better than to confuse you and make you leave your religion.
(4) Misgivings of such a nature arise from a lack of knowledge, a lack of study, and a lack of asking the scholars of the religion.
Please read the following: How Do We Know That the Qur’an Is Inimitable and Thus From Allah? and: Tormented by Thoughts of Disbelief and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Thoughts of Disbelief While Being Delirious

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,
At one point in my life I became delirious and at that point I had a thought that Allah does not exist and that the purpose of Prayer is to gain control over the mind. Immediately after I asked Allah for forgiveness. Is this considered to be major shirk?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, you are a believer.
Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]
Please see: Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Wet Fingers Inside the Body While Washing the Private Parts and Fasts

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu aleikum,
I always thought to enter a state of purity one must clean the anal area completely and that would require using wet fingers inside the anus. I think many of my fasts were invalidated due to water entering my body through this channel. What should I do to clean myself properly while not invalidating my fasts?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, your fasts at not invalid.
During the istinja, what is a confirmed sunna is to clean the point of exit.
That which is beyond it, and on the body, must be washed away. As for what is on the inside, this does not have to be cleaned, and you are not called upon nor responsible for cleaning it.
Note that cleaning the point of exit is a sunna, and therefore if left, would not prevent the validity of your prayers. In general, you should be wary of cleaning yourself in the manner you have described, particularly as it may also be harmful to your body.
Please see: How to Wash Filth From the Private Parts [Istinja]? and: What is the Best Way to Clean Oneself After Using the Toilet?
See also: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Tormented by Thoughts of Disbelief

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalāmu’alaykum
When I first got close to Islam, words cannot even describe how I felt…I was crying in my prayer…It was just beautiful.
But now I get waswasa about shirk. For example, someone will say “look at the weather today, it’s so miserable”, and then I will say “I know.” but then immediately think “Oh no! I’ve disrespected Allah and committed kufr”.
I love Islam so much. I don’t want to commit shirk or kufr. Please help. 
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Misgivings are from the devil. He is your sworn enemy and would like nothing better than to confuse you, mess with your life, and have you drown in doubts until he ends up causing you to forget whose slave you are. This is his mission, and he is very good at what he does. How is it that somebody with so much presence, love, and tears in their prayer can end up after a time depressed, in constant fear, and doubting whether they are a Muslim or not? The devil.
The way of the sunna is to ignore such whisperings and misgivings, and to focus on what really matters: Allah. You need to have sound knowledge and understanding of the religion before you can make judgements on issues. Making up rulings only fuels the devil and his work.
As such, make it a point to:
1. Remove the unlawful from your life.
2. Repent from all sin.
3. Attend at least one gathering of knowledge or remembrance a week.
4. Send blessings upon the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) one hundred times daily.
5. Take a class somewhere.
6. Find some righteous company.
7. Get up at night when others are asleep and ask Allah to remove the troubles in your life.
If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to send them. We’re here to serve.
Please see: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud? and: Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Cure Satanic Whispers Causing Bad Thoughts About Islam?

Answered by Saira AbuBakr
Question: As Salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,
May Allah bless you all who are holding this website giving and helping us Muslims!
I am suffering from some deeply bad whispers. It’s not the kind that I can just ignore. Sometimes I think of deep philosophic thoughts which I can’t handle. I am trying to ignore them but I can’t do so effectively. I don’t really know what to do. All kind of thoughts are coming up like for an example bad thoughts about Allah and the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Sometimes I think things things that lead me to think Shaytan is getting me to abandon my belief. When I get to that point, I try to reject the thoughts and say, “I believe in Allah, La ilaha illAllah, Muhammadar-rasulullah. Never will I loose my faith.” What should I do? These last days are starting to plague me. I try to study more, pray more, and even do more dhikr but my problems persist.
Answer: Walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah,
May Allah reward you for asking this question. May Allah ease your situation.
Increase in Knowledge
It is important, as you said, to continuously increase in knowledge. Be vigilant about going to circles of knowledge and blessed gatherings in general. If there aren’t many in your area, start one. Do this even if it is just you and one other brother. Don’t be concerned about the numbers. Make a sincere intention and the gathering will be blessed. From the blessing there will be increase and not the other way around.
Dhikr and Good Company
Continue the dhikr that you are doing. Couple this with righteous company. This is key and its importance cannot be underestimated.
The Messenger of Allah is reported to have said,
A person is on the religion (deen) of his close friend and so one should look at whom one befriends.
Know that it takes effort to maintain relationships and if misunderstandings happen, as they usually do, try to rectify them quickly. Another of shaitan’s ploys is to isolate the believer by baseless whisperings about other believers.
If you currently do not have friends from whom you can benefit, ask Allah to give you good company. Don’t give up. Keep asking. Facilitate for others what you wish from your Lord and you will reap its benefits in this World and the Next. God willing.
For more details to your question, please see Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra’s excellent answers in the two links below:
Doubts About Islam: I Don’t Find Any Observable Effect or Peace in My Worship

Ridding Oneself of Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

God bless.

Distinguishing Between Thoughts From Ourselves, Shaytan, and Allah

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: How can someone know the difference between thoughts from themselves, (nafs) shaytan, and Allah? For example, your nafs or shaytan can be telling you to respect yourself and do not allow anyone to oppress you and Allah can be guiding you to forgive others indefinitely.

Also, in the case of dreams, how would a person ascertain the distinction? Nafs, shaytan and Allah.

Thank you for any insight.

Answer:

The Spring Source of our actions

All of our actions spring forth from a thought that enters our heart and this is what makes knowing the science of thoughts (khawatir) so important [Muhammad Mawlud, The Purification of the Heart]. One of the most difficult tasks we face in our lives will be in weighing out each one of the thoughts that enters our heart and seeing which one we should follow. The scholars have given us a guideline as to how to tell the signs of the source of thoughts that enter our heart.

The Subtleties of Thoughts

A person may feel that following a thought may be good, but in reality there is much harm and evil buried deep within that thought. This is one of the ways the Shaytan deceives us in a way similar to the story of the Monk Barsisa in Sura 59:16 by wrapping the means to evil in seemingly “good” actions.

We must realize the the Shaytan has declared war on us and thus we should not be hasty in action and we must weigh each thought on the scales of the Sharia. The doors that the Shaytan can enter through the heart are many and yet the angels enter through only one and so we must be very careful [Muhammad Mawlud, The Purification of the Heart].

The Four Sources of Thoughts

There are four sources of thoughts and they are Divine (from Allah), Angelic (from angels), Selfish (from the nafs) and Satanic (from the devil). Divine and Angelic thoughts are characterized by steadfastness (thabat) while Selfish and Satanic thoughts are characterized by fluctuation/change (taraddud).

Divine Thoughts

Divine thoughts come after struggle and worship. There is a coolness that comes with it and there is not one specific way that it comes. The thought increases just as dawn does, in that it is slowly steadily and surely. There is nothing that can stop a Divine thought and the action that is being inspired will definitely be done. This in contrast to an Angelic thought which can be stopped by a Selfish or Satanic thought.

Angelic Thoughts

Angelic thoughts come enjoining only good and will never enjoin evil. Angelic thoughts will try different avenues to get a person to do good. For example, they will enjoin prayer and if the person does not do it then they will give them thoughts to do dhikr and then if that is not done a thought to be silent. There is a coolness that comes with an angelic thought and an expansiveness felt in the heart.

Selfish Thoughts

If a thought of evil enters a person heart but they are not compelled to do it, then it is either a selfish of a satanic thought. A selfish thought is described to be like the false dawn in that it appears suddenly and is very bright to where one would think that the day has begun. But just as quickly as it appears, it goes away and only the darkness of night remains.

Satanic Thoughts

Satanic thoughts are like a wolf trying to attack a flock of sheep in that if the wolf is turned back from one avenue, he will try another avenue. The only goal of the devil is to get a person to sin and he doesn’t care what the sin looks like. So, if one thought for a sin doesn’t work, then he tries something else. Whereas the self only wants to fulfill its desire (shahwa) and thus it will keep coming back to the exact same thing it wants, no matter how many times you turn it away from that.

If you get a thought that you are sure there is good in it and you do not fear any harm to come out of it, then it is either a selfish or devilish thought. This is because some good things can lead to bad such as forbidding evil and it lead to a greater harm. Both the Selfish and Satanic thoughts can be refuted with remembrance of Allah (dhikr) but dhikr is a medicine that will only benefit one you have built up immunity, which here would be taqwa.

The above answer is essentially a direct translation of the section on thoughts from Shaykh Muhammad Mawlud’s book The Purification of the Heart.

As for dreams, Allah knows best, but they too can come from the four sources.

If you are finding difficulty in doing good actions, this is a good sign as the scholars have said, “One of the signs of acceptance of actions is difficulty found while doing them.” Keep trying and do not ever give up. The Shaytan wants us to be in a state of despair and think that we have to give up. There is one scholar in Mauritania who studied the Mukhtasar of Khalil eight times (each time taking about three years) until he felt he finally go it on the ninth time.

He was inspired to go for the final time after almost giving up but he saw an ant trying to carry a huge grain up a hill and fell down eight times and made it on the ninth. He said, “I can’t have less aspiration than an ant.”

What Do I Do If My Wudu Is Taking Me 45 Minutes?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Wudu has become a huge burden upon me, most times taking about 45 minutes. I keep trying different techniques and this has been going on for over 6 months i think, though it seems extremely difficult. Please advise.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Washing is that which is normally considered washing, such that: were someone to look at you at that moment in time, they would say that you are ‘washing’ your face/arms/feet.

It is not a condition that one use a single handful of water. However, normally if one takes a handful (using both hands) of water and pours it onto one’s face and rubs, one is considered to have washed one’s face. Ensure that you gently rub your whole face. Repeat this thrice. Then move on.

Remember to begin one’s ablution (wudu) with: [i] the ta`awwudh (`Audhu billahi min al-shaitan al-rajim), and [ii] the basmala (Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim). Thereafter, ignore all doubts and misgivings concerning that which ‘may’ have not been washed, even if they are strong doubts. Realize that they are from the devil. Instead, busy yourself with making dhikr and supplicating during the ablution (wudu).

If you continue to struggle, go to the mosque and watch how other Muslims perform the ablution (wudu) and copy them. Don’t let such misgivings ruin your worship, and take over your life.

Please see:

[1] Key Principles Relating to Certainty, Doubt, and Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa)

[2] Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?

[3] The Ruling and Method of Washing the Feet in Wudu

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani