Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
Dear respective brothers and sisters,
The topic for today’s post revolves around satanic waswasa, as I have recently received many complaints that many individuals get a lot of satanic thoughts and whispers. So, is this a good or bad sign, and what can an individual do when they are getting waswasa?
First we need to understand what waswasa is and the types of waswasa. There are two types of waswasa and they can occur in Ibaadat and in Aqeedah. Waswasa in Ibaadat means you have performed Salah, but you have doubt about whether you have performed it correctly, whether Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has accepted it, and the amount of rakats you have performed. Also, one may constantly question themselves on whether they have performed wudhu properly. There are many other examples of waswasa in Ibaadat/worship.
Waswasa in your Aqeedah/belief is when you might get thoughts about whether Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) exists or if the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the true prophet – nauzubillah. A person may get very dangerous waswasa like this to the point that they get very scared that they don’t even want to mention it. Just a word of advice, one should not mention these waswasa to anyone, but instead try to fight and ignore them. However, if it gets too difficult, then you should reach out to a scholar, who has the knowledge of Fiqh and Deen, so that they can provide you with the correct advice.
There are a few symptoms of waswasa which I will run through – one may pray but not be sure of what they have prayed and if they have prayed correctly. When performing wudhu/ghusl, one may waste a lot of water and time thinking about whether they are performing it properly. One may also get thoughts about whether their clothes are clean and they may worry about their worship, as well as feel like their worship is incomplete. Furthermore, a person may gain characteristics of OCD and ask strange questions and feel amazed by it.
Sometimes, these waswasa can become a serious problem for an individual, but don’t worry. In the final Surah, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) speaks of these waswasa:
Here, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is teaching His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and us about how we can ask for His protection from shaytaan. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) also says “O, my beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ask for Allah’s protection from shaytaan’s waswasa”.
According to a statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), every single person is appointed a shaytaan and it troubles the believing Muslim, so there is a battle between shaytaan and the goodness in the person’s heart. It is a test from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that every single practising Muslim has to go through.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) uses the term “waswaas” in this Quranic verse because Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows that a believer will have waswasa. So, if any of the readers of this article get waswasa, don’t be surprised because waswasa occur according to the experience and amount of questions we have regarding our knowledge. Approximately 1 in 10 Muslims will have some sort of waswasa. It’s not very rare and it just depends on how we overcome this waswasa. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) gave us this verse, so we would seek His protection from shaytaan.
Waswasa are all a part of shaytaan’s plan to cast doubts in an individual’s mind and try to convince them to shirk and kufr thoughts. But don’t worry, this is normal. The following are a few examples of waswasa:
- A 16 year old sister said she used to take a shower and say the Shahadah every single day, because she suddenly had doubts about whether she was Muslim. Even after doing this, she still wasn’t satisfied.
- A brother said for years and years he prayed his Salah and thought that he didn’t pray properly and it wasn’t being accepted, so he stopped praying altogether. Basically, this meant that he was judging himself which is not good.
- Another sister said that she used to pray and keep repeating her Salah until she was satisfied that she had prayed properly. For Zohr Salah, she would pray 10-15 times and then think only 1 or 2 of them had only been accepted.
Waswasa and doubts can especially happen to those who do not have the sufficient knowledge of Islam and matters relating to Deen and the Fiqh. If one knows about the basic Fiqh correctly and performs it according to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), then one should not be worried. People who get waswasa are very concerned with their worship, want to please Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and want to know if their deeds are being accepted or not. Obviously, only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows if one’s deeds have been accepted or not.
The best way to solve these extreme cases of waswasa is to ignore the evil thoughts and whispers from shaytaan. The shaytaan will keep coaxing you into thinking what the point is of reading Salah if it’s not getting accepted. Shaytaan may also put doubts in your head that you are exaggerating your Salah in order to show off to others, therefore your Salah is not being accepted. For individuals who have done any past sins and repented for them, the shaytaan will keep reminding them of their past sins and make them feel worthless of reading Salah.
In this case, it is important to note that once an individual sincerely asks for forgiveness from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), your sins are surely forgiven and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) accepts your repentance, leaving you like a newborn baby. In fact, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is so merciful that if one’s sins amount to the space between the Earth and the sky, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) will still forgive them when they sincerely ask for forgiveness. This means that once an individual asks for sincere forgiveness, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) will forgive your sins 100%. Therefore, one must tell shaytaan that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has forgiven them so shaytaan has no place to remind them; Forget your past and move one. Concentrate on today, focus on tomorrow and forget about yesterday.
If one has doubts about the validity and acceptance of their Salah, make sure they do not repeat it. Furthermore, one should not follow their thoughts and worry about shaytaan’s doubts placed in their mind, because if an individual is confident of making wudhu according to the Fiqhi Masail and the method of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) mentioned in the Ahadith, and still has waswasa regarding dry body parts, do not perform wudhu again. The same remedy can be applied to ghusl or the Aqeedah waswasa. For example, if shaytaan puts thoughts associated with shirk in your head whilst performing Salah, ignore the thoughts and do not break the Salah. One should understand that at the beginning of Salah, the intention is already made to pray to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) facing the Qiblah, and as long as the individual knows that their intentions are pure in their heart and the waswasa they are getting are wrong, all satanic thoughts and whispers should be ignored.
In a Hadith in Sahih Muslim, Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) narrated that a group of people came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and asked “O, beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), we are experiencing such bad and evil waswasa of kufr and shirk and we are scared about it and feel embarrassed to bring it to our lips”. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) asked “Are you really experiencing these?” The people said “Yes, we are.” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) replied to them “These are just clear signs of your faith.”
This means that shaytaan gives an individual waswasa because they are practicing their faith in a good manner. Remember, we will not be held accountable for these thoughts on the Day of Judgement, however we will be held accountable if we act on these waswasa. For example, if one gets a waswasa that they should go to a temple and worship other gods, and they go and do this, then the individual will be held accountable. It should not matter if one gets waswasa about committing sins such as zina or going to the cinemas, as long as the person does not act upon it, then they will not be held accountable.
When an individual gets these shaytaani waswasa, just think that it’s the devil trying to deceive and put them off from their worship and faith. Once a person has done everything properly in regards to their knowledge, for example performing wudhu and praying Salah, then they should move on, divert their attention and continue with their day.
Finally, one can recite a number of things to seek the protection of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) from these waswasa. In a Hadith, it is mentioned that one should recite “Auzo Billahi Mina shaytan Nirajeem” or “La Hawla Wallah Kawata Illah Billah Hil Alhi Yil Azeem”. One can also read the four Quls, especially the final one; Surah Nas. These are the major recitations, however many more can be found. The individual should aspire to make a set time and zikr following the muraqaba method. Hazrat Aisha (رضي الله عنها) narrated that whenever Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) sat down for zikr, they would sit down in the form of how we sit down in Salah, and close their eyes and remember Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). You need to remember and concentrate on Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) fully and know that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is also watching over you.
Just remember, you cannot overcome waswasa overnight, as shaytaan will not give up on you and will try his best to drag you to Hell. Shaytaan challenged Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) nauzubillah, and said that he will try his best to ensure that every person will be thrown into the fire of Hell. All we need to do is concentrate on our daily activities, ignore these waswasa and follow the methods, in this post, to overcome them.
May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) protect us all.
Checked & Approved by Molana Mohamed Aadil Saleh (Bradford, UK)