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Does Uttering Waswas (Baseless Misgivings) About Allah Make Me a Disbeliever?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I recently went to a restaurant and in the washroom there was something written about Jesus. I didn’t stop my mum from using it. I later realized my mistake, asked for forgiveness, said my shahada and scrapped off the writing. I also said something that was blasphemous but I didn’t mean it. I have asked for forgiveness but I feel like Allah will never forgive me.

Am I a still a muslim?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah,

Yes, you are still Muslim, and what you are expressing is a strong sense of belief (iman). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents from a sin is like the one who never sinned.” [Ibn Majah] So rejoice in Allah Most High’s Mercy and Grace, and have a good opinion of Him. You are not your thoughts and whisperings, nor are you responsible for their presence in your mind. Busy yourself with the good, and pay no attention to the whispers.

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Do Gas Exiting “Inside the Body” Break My Ritual Purity?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have excessive gas throughout my body such that I can hear it all the way from the top of my digestive tract with no feeling of gas exiting the body. If I hear such a sound can I assume my wudu is still valid?

Would it be wrong to repeat the prayer because of this?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, feeling gas exiting “on the inside” is of no consequence, so your wudu would be unaffected and you would complete your worship as normal. As for repeating in the case of doubts, this should be avoided as it simply leads to further misgivings. The basis is that you do not pray an obligatory prayer twice.

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

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersGuidance: STEP101

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: irumge

I Can’t Help Myself From Thinking About Statements of Disbelief. What Do You Advise?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I suffer from waswas and am forced to internally say things that are disbelief whenever I am praying or when I am in any kind of distress. I am not great at being patient and when I am in distress sometimes I intentionally say things internally that I shouldn’t. What do you advise?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

You should repent for your mistakes, have gratitude for the blessings in your life, and seek out some righteous company. Fill your time with the good, lest it be filled with the bad without your realising it. Stray thoughts and whispers come to those who spend much time alone, disconnected, and the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) warned us to stick to the group because the wolf only eats the stray sheep. Look for circles of benefit, knowledge and remembrance, and the people of Allah Most High. Seek refuge from the devil, and supplicate to Allah Most High that He remove these misgivings from your life.

Please see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud? and: I Have Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) About the Soundness of My Faith and My Marriage… and: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

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

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Biswarup Ganguly

I Have Bad Thoughts About My Faith. How Should I Deal With Them?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

1. I know in my heart that my faith is strong and I always think that I will never leave islam but how can I be sure about that? I have bad thoughts about my faith!

2. Do I have to perform a ghusl after renewing my shahadah because of these doubts?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Ignore it. What takes a person out of the fold of Islam is, as Imam Tahawi states, the very thing which brought them into it, namely, belief in Allah Most High and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace).

As for passing thoughts of disbelief and the like, they do no harm as long as you don’t act on them. Thus, say the ta`awwudh, ask Allah Most high for facilitation and success, and seek out some righteous company.

And consider taking the following free class: Excellence in Faith & Action (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How to Answer Claims That the Prophet Never Existed?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: 1. I was deeply disturbed by reading claims that the Prophet never existed. Can you give me a solid response to those claims? I am really struggling inside.

2. Does really struggling inwardly with doubts caused by what I just described makes me a disbeliever?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

1. Questioning the existence of the Prophet (blessings be upon him) is a revisionist thesis forwarded by certain Orientalist scholars as a consequence of their rejecting/questioning the historical literature authored by later Muslims in its entirety.

The theories of these revisionist scholars are untenable and have been rejected even by many in the Western academy. The Islamic historical tradition, as you know, establishes the existence of the Prophet (blessings be upon him) through mass-transmission. To deny this existence is, consequently, an absurdity, and the explanations justifying/explaining any alternative narrative are equally absurd sounding more like conspiracy theories than anything else. Even those who question the oral tradition of Islam have recognized that the archaeological record and non-Muslim sources (Thomas the Presbyter; Sebeos; Khuzistan Chronicle) contemporaneous/near-contemporaneous (i.e. mid-late 7th century) to the Prophet (blessings be upon him) make mention of him, his teachings, his companions, and many other things affirmed by the oral tradition.

As such, to question the existence of the Prophet (blessings upon him be peace) is to question both the mass oral Islamic tradition and also numerous other external sources. My personal advice to you would be to steer clear of such revisionist theories concerning early Islam. It will only create doubts where none should exist.

2. Internal struggles are not to be equated with disbelief. Disbelief is actually rejecting the tenets of Islam, not the thought of doing so or questions about these tenets. As Imam al-Tahawi says, “a servant is not considered to have left his faith except by denying that which originally caused him to enter into it.”

The best way to straighten ones faith is through (a) study and (b) practice. The latter is essential as it is the nourishment of the heart that protects one from the whispers of the self and the devil. For more, I would advise you to read the following:

Differentiating Between Legitimate Questions and Satanic Whispers

How Can I Regain My Faith After Doubts and Exploring Other Religions?

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Fraz Ismat

I Always Think That I Have Lost My Wudu During Prayer. What Can I Do?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question:As salam alaykum,

Praying for me has become a very difficult task. I have difficulty sustaining Wudu, as I have confusions regarding whether or not I passed wind. Most of the time, I have to stop mid-prayer and repeat the entire process. Also, I feel as if I have urine issues.

These occurrences really discourage me.


What can I do?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Ask Allah Most High to lift your hardship, and read The OCD Workbook by Bruce Hyman.

Feelings are of no legal consequence. Further, you are only responsible to the extent of your ability, which is in responding to situations which arise. As for “it may not have been valid,” this is simply neurotic misgivings and advertisements from Hell, from a devil who hopes you end up leaving Islam.

Pray, paying no attention to feelings and thoughts, and rely upon Allah Most High. Ibn Ata’illah al-Sikandari said, “From amongst the signs of relying upon actions is the lessening of hope when slips occur.” [al-Hikam]

Please see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: A Reader on Ritual Purity, Urine Leakage and Misgivings

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Jorge Quinteros

How Can I Control My Urge to Internally Say Things Which Are Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I suffer from waswasa and am forced to internally say things that are disbelief whilst praying and when I am in any kind of distress. Sometimes I intentionally say things internally that I shouldn’t like statements of ingratitude and blasphemy. What do you advise?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

“Internal” thoughts, statements, whispers have no consequences on the faith of a person. They are to be ignored and one should take the means to rid oneself of such thoughts.

My advice to you would be:

(a) whenever such a thought comes and you recognize it, immediately seek refuge in Allah from the devil and the evils of the nafs.

(b) ensure that you are engaging in uplifting spiritual practices during the day, such as reciting the Qur’an, performing your obligatory prayers, engaging in dhikr, and so forth.

(c) try your best to remain on a state of purity.

(d) keep yourself distracted through positive things; seek the company of good people who provide you with support and busy you from reflecting on these negative thoughts.

(e) learn your religion properly from qualified scholars as ignorance may well be a cause for one’s waswasa

(f) seek the support of a professional doctor if things do not improve as waswasa – especially if regular and long-standing – may require the advice and guidance of such people.

I hope this will be of some help to you, inshaAllah.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Really Possible to Perform a Ritual Bath in One Minute?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

A scholar said that ghusl (ritual bath) can be done in one minute. I was wondering how that was possible if someone has bad memory and is prone to misgivings?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Removing the state of major ritual impurity (janaba) is straightforward. Wash your mouth and nose, and then stand under the shower and rub your entire body once. This can be done in one minute.

Everything beyond that is mere misgivings, and the person should seek refuge from the devil and his whisperings. There is no caution for the person with misgivings, and as a matter of fact, his caution is to leave caution altogether.

For details and the sunnas, please see: The Ritual Bath (ghusl): Obligatory, Recommended, and Disliked Acts

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

And consider reading: The OCD Workbook by Bruce Hyman

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Jeremy Osterhouse

How Can I Perform a Valid Ritual Bath in a Reasonable Amount of Time?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum

My biggest problem is compulsory ghusl, taking me about an hour, due to do the removal and spread of impurity. I can’t make myself accept that I am not spreading impurity everywhere on my body rather than performing a valid ritual bath. How should I go about this?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Wash the filth away no more than thrice. Going beyond this is simply misgivings and wastage. You can easily stand under the shower and wet your entire body (i.e. a complete ghusl) in under a minute.

And ask Allah Most High for relief from misgivings and facilitation in that which is pleasing to Him.

Please see: Uncertainty Regarding the Validity of Ghusl and My Testimony of Faith (Shahada) and: Answers on Misgivings

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Am I Sinful for Experiencing Unintentional ‘Images’ of God?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: When I was a child, someone showed me an image (of a person) and said ‘that’s God’. Since that time, I have flashbacks of this image when I think of the name ‘Allah’.

Is there any way that I can remove this image from my mind, and am I sinful for having this image in my mind?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

This is not sinful because they are images that your mind unintentionally produces during these moments.

The important thing is that your belief regarding God is one that recognizes His complete transcendence, that He is not a form, person, or in any way similar to human beings.

I would advise you to continue in your worship and remembrance of God. Eventually, as the heart of an individual is purified through sincere acts of worship, the traces of the world, which include these “images”, will disappear. Try your best to ignore them for now and when they do arise recognize that God does not take you to account for things not completely in your control, such as some of the thoughts you might have.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani