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How Can a Muslim Be Fully Aware of Satan’s Plan?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: How can a Muslim be fully aware of Shaytan’s plan? Like avoiding the bad? What tricks does he use to make a person transgress?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The fundamental component by which one can know the plots and plans of the Shaytan is having deep understanding of the Religion.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “One person of deep understanding of religion is harder on Shaytan than a thousand worshippers.” [Ibn Majah]

Deep Understanding

Deep Understanding is the fruit of seeking sacred islamic knowledge. Knowledge of the teachings of Allah Most High and His beloved Messenger (may Allah bless him and give him peace).

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever travels a path, seeking therein (sacred) knowledge Allah will facilitate for him a path toward Paradise. And verily the Angels lay down their wings out of being pleased with seeking knowledge….” [Ibn Majah]

Practical Steps for Seeking Knowledge

Firstly, you should seek out a reliable teacher who has studied from a reliable institute or from reliable scholars. Their character should be in accordance to the Prophetic teachings.

Secondly, strive to learn from them the basics of the religion regarding faith, worship, and spirituality.

If you then desire to further your studies, consult your teachers regarding the way forward.

Shaytan’s Plot

– Shaytan’s goal is to drag everyone with him to the Hell-Fire.

Allah Most High says, “Verily Shaytan is your enemy, so take him as an enemy. He only calls his followers to become inhabitants of the Blazing Fire.” [Qur’an; 35:06]

– He has no control over anyone except that he incites them toward evil through his whispers.

Allah Most High tells us, “And Shaytan says, when the affair is decided: ‘Verily Allah promised you the promise of truth; I also promised you but I broke my promise to you. I did not have any authority over you except that I called you and you responded to me. Therefore, do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me…’” [Qur’an; 14:22]

– Shaytan deceives. He beautifies disobedience for people.

Allah Most High says, “…and Shaytan has made their deeds beautiful to them and he has barred them from the (right) way, so they are not guided.” [Qur’an; 27:24]

His Plot is Weak

Allah Most High says, “… surely Shaytan’s plot is weak.” [Qur’an; 04:76]

Summary

In summary, the greatest way to travel the straight path and protect one’s self from the plots of Shaytan is knowledge coupled with sincere practice. Thereafter, having a community and a teacher or mentor in which one can consult in unclear decisions.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Lost My Faith Due To Doubting About God And Holy Quran

Answered by Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat

Question: Recently i was reading the last verse of Surah Baqarah and started to have lot of doubts. Now i have lost my faith [iman] and i am questioning God and i absolutely hate it. I feel empty inside, feeling that i don´t have a purpose and constantly confused and crying. I feel like Allah doesn’t like me and i keep on thinking I am going to hell. Can you please advise me on what to do?

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

I pray you are well.

Turn to Allah

First and foremost, it seems to me that you are a believer who is undergoing a very difficult trial. Your dislike of the matter is proof of this. I advise you to turn to Allah and to ask for help. Say, “O Allah, I believe in You, and all you command me to believe in, in the way you want me to believe it.”

The pain of your situation must be immense, and the confusion must be making the matter worse. Affirm your faith in Allah as I mentioned and know that the doubts will not do anything to you. You question evinces the existence of true faith; otherwise, why would you feel empty?

Problems Do Not Appear From a Vacuum

The doubts and questions you have certainly did not appear out of the blue, or simply because you happened to read a verse on a given afternoon. Although your question does not give us the details of your issues – let alone the causes.

I cannot tell what they are, but generally there are causes which need to be addressed. From dealing with a number of cases on this matter, it has become clear that two issues usually play a role in scenarios like this.

The first is a lack of requisite knowledge of Islam. People grow up with a cultural understanding of God and His religion, and this understanding is occasionally used by people to manipulate others. Sometimes people do not understand the wisdom and purpose of tests. We found that in places where the masses had a healthy relationship with the ulema, such as Syria, and where the majority of people were literate in Islam; its worldview, teachings, and wisdom; in such places the the laymen were like rocks when tested.

This is what is missing from the Muslims today. The benefits of Islamic education stretch far beyond knowing the obligatory actions of wudu, and knowing how to pay you zakat. When properly in place, they allow one to see that we are all under the care and protection of Allah.

Trials of the Messenger of Allah

Feeling that Allah hates you is an indication of the second issue: trauma. But before moving on to that let us look at the beloved Messenger of Allah, Allah blessed him and give him peace. We know that Allah loved him more than anyone, and that ʿAʾisha noticed that his prayers would swiftly be answered. Does this, however, mean that he wasn’t tested with difficulty? No.

He grew up without his parents. He went from being the most respected member of Quraysh to being someone the idolaters publicly mocked and insulted daily for years on end. They threw rubbish on him. They threw entails of animals on him. Blamed him for the problems they experienced. Blamed him for families being split. Made nasty rumours about him and spraed them amongst all the tribes in the Hajj season.

His life was threatened multiple times. He was chased out of a city by slaves and children. Stoned until his clothes were bloody. His friends and close relatives were killed and mutilated before him. The list goes on and on. Perhaps the greatest trial a person can endure in this life is to watch one’s own child die. Of the seven children he had, he lived through the deaths of six of them, Allah bless him and give him peace.

Having problems doesn’t mean Allah does not like you. On the contrary, it means that He loves you (Bukhari), and that through these problems He is taking raising your rank in a way which would not have happened otherwise.

The second issue is trauma. People go through difficulties and struggle to understand what is happening. Sometimes the unresolved emotional trauma leads to developing certain symptoms which cause a lot of pain and difficulty.

Seek Help

I suggest you speak to a local scholar who has experience is helping people. Get answers to your doubts if answering them helps. If it just brings more doubts then don’t try to answer them.

Seek out some form of therapy which is helpful, and, if Allah wills, the doubts will disappear and their oppressive persistence will lost its power over you.

If you keep in mind that Allah loves you, and that He will always bring about that is best for you – that is what you will find. “I am as my servant thinks me to be – and I am with him when he remembers me.” (Bukhari). Disregard the doubts, disregard the thoughts; turn to Allah, and ask. You’ll find that He responds – even if it takes some time to manifest. And you’ll find He was with you all along.

May Allah bring the best end to your difficulties in the shortest time. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. He moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time, 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 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. In the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

Plagued by Many Obsessive Thoughts.

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have strong feelings of hatred towards God that He made these laws and legislations but I don’t act upon it. I have worries, and thoughts that even if I fulfill the Islamic duties, I would get punished for the feelings I had.

Is this how I’m tested by God? How can I learn to have patience in this matter? I want to learn how to accept something I don’t like. Or, it is has He decided To test my patience like this? By adding these laws and legislations, and then To bring me into existence?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa bakaratuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Tribulation

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him):

Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” [Bukhari]

Difficulties are part of life in this dunya. These are all opportunities for you to turn towards Allah, instead of away. It is not easy to uphold the obligations Allah has placed upon us, especially when you live in the West, and have non-Muslim family members. Please know that the harder you try, the more reward you will have.

Feelings of anger against Allah

No matter how you have sinned against Allah, the door of repentance is always open. You are still beloved to Allah.

Instead of feeling anger at Allah for legislating His laws, perhaps you can explore what lies underneath your anger. Do you feel ashamed that you struggle so much? Please know that it is human to sin.

Obsessive Thoughts About The Past

Dear questioner, it sounds like you are very troubled by your hurtful past, and need compassionate, spiritual and professional help. Please reach out Sidi Zuhair Girash of Aafiyah Healing. InshaAllah, holistic healers like him will help you learn how to stay firmly grounded in the present. You have so much more to live for.

Perhaps you can begin with a daily gratitude exercise. Every day, practice writing down 10 things you are grateful for. It will be very challenging at first, but once you do this for at least 40 days, it will become a habit and you will rewire your brain.

Source of pain

Until you address the root cause of your pain, your obsessive thoughts and fears will not go away. They will simply take different forms.

You sound very miserable, but you also sound very used to being miserable. Change is difficult, but it is the beginning of something better for you.

Do you want to live differently? Are you willing to risk temporary discomfort, to break through old habits? Or do you feel that it is easier to just remain like this?

May Allah grant you the courage to take proactive steps to change.

Please see:

A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)
OCD archives

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Does Repeating Verses of Surah Fatiha out of Waswas Breaks Continuity?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Does repeating verses of Surah Fatiha out of waswas breaks continuity in Surah Fatiha in the Shafi Madhab?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

The Shafi’i fuqaha have mentioned the case of a person suffering from waswasa during recitation of the Fatiha in prayer and state that such a person is excused on condition.

Ruling on waswasa during the Fatiha in prayer

The ruling is that as long as they intend by their repetitions that they are reciting the Fatiha, that the recital is valid and is not interrupted.

‘Intending’ simply means that one knows one is reciting the Fatiha each repetition, and does not intend by his words some other reason.

[Bughyat al Mustarshidin]

Waswasa

Try to put aside the rulings for now and do your best and continue. If you are suffering from severe waswasa while knowing the correct ruling, then know that shaytan is at work. He wants you to keep beating yourself up and going over the same matter over and over again so all your time gets wasted on it, and you can’t complete your worship or move on to any other worship to Allah. The first step is to say the ta’awudh before commencing prayer, and in each raka, before the Fatiha.

If you find your condition getting worse, it may be worth seeking counselling to help surface the reasons behind your misgivings.

Please also refer to the following answers:

Waswasa Archives

May Allah give you ease in all your affairs.

Warmest salam,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

How to Deal With Waswas During Istinja?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

When I was defecating some toilet water splashed back.I’m 100% sure that urine got on me but I’m not 100% sure I washed it. However I’m still ignoring this as I already used so much water and I feel as if it’s just waswas. What should I do?

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

Thank you for your question.

You can assume that you purified entire area when you performed the istinja; that is the most likely scenario. Matters like these are best ignored, and the simplest and most effective way to deal with them is sound knowledge. Once one gains a clear understanding of matters of purification the meaning of the words of the Messenger of Allah ‘Indeed the religion is ease itself’ (Bukhari) become very clear, and one can thank Allah for this ease He granted us.

You should consider taking a course on the fiqh of worship, as this will help you a great deal.

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.

How to Deal With Waswas Regarding Purity According to the Shafi’i School?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I suffer from OCD.

1. After using the toilet, how much water is normally used? Is the water that splashes from the bottom of the toilet bowl filthy?

2. After making istinja, are my hands technically clean?

3. Before having intimacy, a sticky, colorless fluid comes out. Does sperm becomes filthy when it is mixed with this fluid?

4. When making the ghusl must the sticky fluid around the private parts be washed off completely? Can I use soap? How can I be completely certain that all the skin became wet?

5. When making wudhu, must I rub the hands and arms with water?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

May Allah ease all your affairs.

In an Islamic paradigm, OCD is usually borne from an eagerness to fulfill ritual obligations accurately or a fear of being taking to task if not. This is an important foundation for all your questions. If it is Allah you fear or wish to please, then you must take the advices of the scholars and give their guidelines precedence over your thoughts or obsessions. Allah instructed all believers to turn to Allah, His Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam and the scholars for guidance. Thus, when you act upon the guidance of scholars over your concerns or obsessions borne from your condition, you are pleasing Allah; giving preference to your concerns and thoughts borne from your condition over the guidance of scholars will effectively mean the opposite.

1. Istinja

Istinja means to clean the front and back privates from filth or najasah. There is no set amount of water that should be used – the objective is to remove the najasah. Usually for the front private 100 – 200ml should suffice. Once water has been poured over the organ it suffices and there is no need to question whether all najasah has been removed. RasuluLlah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam permitted the usage of stones, acknowledging that stones may not remove all najasah. Consequently, one should remember that mere pouring of water is more effective than stones which were allowed by the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam. The same would apply to the backside, save that scholars advised that one uses the middle finger of the left hand to remove the filth. Use as little water as required, when no traces of najasah remains your istinja is complete and no thoughts or obsessions should be entertained. After relieving oneself, the water inside the toilet bowl will be considered najis, however it is only when you have absolutely no doubt that water has splashed from the toilet bowl onto your body or clothing that you need to wash the affected area. Anything less than physically seeing water splash onto your body, clothing or floor around the toilet, must be ignored, full stop. You asked about the hair of your leg touching the inside rim of the toilet, if you have not seen physically without doubt that najasah reached a spot that you touched with the inside of your leg or hand or any part of your body or clothing, then it should be considered clean and thus no need to wash.

2. Cleaning hands

Your hands are not impure after istinja. In the case of the front private this is clear. Regarding the back private, once you’ve poured water over your hand while washing the back private, your hand is already considered clean. If you however, see traces of najasah on your hand, then merely rinsing your hand with water once would suffice to remove najasah. Thereafter if you wish to use soap or any other detergent, you may do so, but it’s not a requirement from the Shari’ah.

3. Intimacy

Pre-ejaculate is najas, whether mixed with residue of urine or not. During intimacy if you know of an area of your linen that came in contact with pre-ejaculate, then it should be washed. Again, you must know without doubt, whereby you actually saw pre-ejaculate transferring to your linen, otherwise the default ruling would apply that it is clean. A thousand thoughts may enter your mind regarding the storing possibility that some pre-ejaculate may have transferred here or there, but these thoughts must be ignored in the face of the scholarly guidelines as mentioned previously. If you wish, and this not necessary, you may dedicate special linen for times of intimacy, that is removed afterwards.

4. Ghusl

Yes, pre-ejaculate and other najasah should be washed off before performing ghusl. You could perform ghusl before washing your body with soap or after. It’s important that ghusl be performed with water only. With a three litre bucket of water the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam completed a ghusl and he sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam had thick, long and dense hair. Standing under a shower while wiping the body where possible, definitely ensures water reached every part. What you could do to ensure water reached areas such as the back private is to wipe the area with a cloth.

5. Wudu

It is preferred to rub the hands. You can be certain that water reached your entire hand by observation. If you saw water running over the entire hand, then it reached all of the hand.

Lastly, please stick to these guidelines and others that you previously studied on the Seekers Hub website. Do not entertain thoughts that emanate from OCD as this does not only mean that you will be neglecting the injunction of following the advices of scholars, but it will make your life complicated and difficult and many a times effect your relationship with others.

May Allah guide and protect us all, Amin.

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.

What Should I Do When in Doubt Regarding the Number of Prostrations?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Today, I was doing the prostrations of forgetfulness, and forgot how many times I had bowed down. I ignored the doubts, and ended the prayer. Was I correct?

Also, I have been told one should pause for 1-2 seconds after every action, otherwise, the prostrations of forgetfulness is mandatory. Is this correct?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, you don’t need to repeat the prostrations of forgetfulness (sajda al-sahw) if you forget the number of prostrations you performed in it.

The basis is that you need to remain motionless for a moment within all actions of the prayer. This is very straightforward and you need not count seconds and the like. Moreover, this only practically applies to the rising from the bowing and the prostration as they are the only two places in which there is no sunna supplication.

In any case, you are doing the right thing by ignoring the doubts in your prayer. Ask Allah Most High for success, facilitation and right guidance.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss]

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: Can the Forgetfulness Prostration Be Done in Every Prayer Just to Be Sure it is Valid?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Have I Sinned for Missing a Day of My Daily Schedule of Makeup Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

1. A few months ago I made the intention to makeup the prayers I didn’t prayand I had been praying at least one day’s worth of make up prayers everyday since. For the last two days, I couldn’t bring myself to pray that amount. Have I sinned?

2. The reason was because of severe waswasa about everything (intention, wudu and prayer). I also have a lot of wind coming from the front end (I’m a woman) and I’m constantly doubting whether it came from the back end. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

1. It is not sinful to miss a day of your daily schedule of makeup (qada’) prayers. But it is inadvisable to do so, unless you have an excuse. Some scholars would recommend that you plan and pray ahead so that you don’t fall behind when exigencies occur.

2. The basis is that your ritual ablution (wudu) and prayer are both valid and sound, unless you are certain otherwise. Doubts, feelings and sensations are of no legal consequence, even if they are strong. We act on certainty and nothing else.

3. Wind which passes out from your front private organ does not affect the validity of your ritual ablution. Hence, even if it is actually happening, and it isn’t simply feelings, there is no need to worry.

If you’re encountering misgivings on a regular basis, I’d recommend reading the section on scrupulosity from the book by Dr. Bruce Hyman et al.: The OCD Workbook. Ask Allah Most High for relief and ease, and don’t give up.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.131); Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.92)]

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

How to Deal With Bad Thoughts About God During Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am facing a big issue of having very compulsive and evil thoughts. Sometimes they are of the doubting nature, so if I get them while praying I feel like my prayer does not count as I have doubted God, so I redo my prayer. Accompanied with these thoughts are images, which I know are 100% false as the human eye can never perceive Allah.

What can I do?

Answer:Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question.

Faith is a simple matter and no one should feel over burdened with doubts about their faith. The Prophet ﷺ informed us that, ‘Verily the religion is ease, and no one shall make the religion hard except that it will destroy him. So be balanced, do your best, and rejoice! And seek help in the morning, the early evening, and something of the night.’ [al Bukhari]

A person is not accountable for the thoughts that come into their mind inadvertently. The fact that you resent them is a sign of your faith. However, you must ignore these thoughts and not let them play out. Realise they are from the devil, who revels in distracting one from the worship of God.

Steps to Take

Supplications: Say the following supplications often,

Al Ta’awudh: Recite often, أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم (I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Satan) often, and before praying.

عُوْذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ الْتَّامَّاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

I seek refuge in the Perfect Words of Allah from the evil of what He has created

حسبي اللهِ ونعم الوکيل

Allah is my sufficiency, and how perfect a benefactor (Abu Dawud). This invocation can be is best repeated 3 times or more in odd counts.

Prayers: pray your sunna prayers before and after your obligatory as these will help you focus more during the obligatory prayer. Also, try to wake up a little before Fajr to pray and supplicate to God. Ask him to remove these thoughts and grant you strength.

Qur’an: Read a daily amount of Qur’an, even if little. Use a translation if needed, and reflect on the words.

Knowledge: Take some time to study your religion. I would suggest you look at SeekersHub course page and take a course in Islamic Belief.

Get on with the task at hand: By continuing and just getting on with the worship (or whatever else you do when the thoughts come), the door will be shut and the whisperings will stop. When the thoughts come, the ruling is you should just continue. So just follow this and don’t give the thoughts a moment of your time. Sooner or later it will stop.

Further Reading

Please also refer to these answers for further advice:

How can I battle bad thoughts during worship?
Waswasa Archives
What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

I wish you all the very best,

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Is My Prayer Valid If I Have Doubts About Reciting Surah Al Fatiha?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaikum

While praying, I swallowed my saliva and made a sound. I was thinking about this during my prayer and got distracted. At the end, I had doubts as to whether I recited surah fatiha. Is my prayer invalid? 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, your prayer would be valid in the case that you were unsure as to whether or not you had recited the Fatiha.

The basis is that doubts are ignored, and we act on whatever our reasonable surety entails. The sunna is in avoiding paying attention to distractions.

Please also see: A reader on waswasa (baseless misgivings)

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

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.