>> Sunday, October 23, 2011
I don't know what to say but sometimes I get these really terrible ideas in my head. I think things that istagfirAllah really are wrong and I worry that I'm not even a Muslim. I'm always doubting myself and thinking I am a hypocrite. I'm scared to meet Allah with these thoughts. Sometimes also I get these doubts in the middle of my prayer and I think about just stopping my prayer right then and there..like how can I pray to Allah with these thoughts and also I get so confused what part of salah I did and didn't do. Please help.
Dear In Need of Help,
Al-Bukhaari (3276) and Muslim (134) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The Shaytaan comes to some of you and says, “Who created such and such? Who created such and such?” – until he says, “Who created your Lord?” If that happens, then let him seek refuge with Allaah and stop thinking about that.’”
Al-Bukhaari (1231) and Muslim (389) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘When the call for prayer is given, the Shaytaan runs away, breaking wind loudly so as not to hear the adhaan. When the adhaan ends, he comes back. When the iqaamah is made, he runs away, then when the iqaamah ends, he comes back to distract a man from his prayer, saying, “Remember such and such,” things that the man did not remember, until he does not know how many rak’ahs he has prayed. If one of you does not know how many rak’ahs he has prayed, whether it is three or four, then let him do two prostrations whilst he is sitting.”
“This waswasah is something that enters the heart not by a person’s choice, and if a person hates it and shuns it, this hatred of it is clear faith.”
“This waswaas may be gotten rid of by seeking refuge with Allaah and ignoring it, so that if [the Shaytaan] says, ‘you did not wash your face,’ you should say, ‘Yes, I did wash my face;’ if he thinks that he did not form the intention (for prayer) or say Allaahu akbar, he should say in his heart, ‘Yes I did form the intention and say Allaahu akbar.’ He should cling steadfastly to the truth and ward off the waswaas that goes against it, so that the Shaytaan will see how strong and steadfast he is in adhering to the truth, and will leave him alone. Otherwise when he [the Shaytaan] sees that he is influenced by doubts and responsive to waswaas, he will send him more waswaas until he will be unable to resist and his heart will become receptive to the seductive whispers of the devils of the jinn and of mankind, and he will move from one thing to another until the Shaytaan drives him to his doom.
Based on the above, we may say that a man will be rewarded for resisting this waswaas and for striving against the Shaytaan for a number of reasons:
1 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) praised the feeling of hatred towards the waswaas that had to do with doubts concerning belief (‘aqeedah), when he said, “That is clear faith.” One of things implied by the hatred of this waswaas is that one turns away from it and does not get carried away with it.
2 – Obeying the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Let him stop it.”
3 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning the prostration of forgetfulness (sajdat al-sahw): “They will annoy the Shaytaan.” This implies encouragement to annoy and humiliate the Shaytaan. Annoying him here means turning away from this waswaas and not paying any attention to it. This is in addition to the fact that Allaah and His Messenger have taught us to seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan, etc.
4 – The difficulties and distress that the believer may suffer as a result of this waswaas may be included in the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “No Muslim suffers tiredness, exhaustion, worry, grief, annoyance or distress, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allaah will expiate some of his sins thereby.”
(al-Bukhaari, 2573; Muslim, 5642).
5 – Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah – may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “like the mujaahid to whom the enemy comes and he resists him until he defeats him, and this is the greatest form of jihad.” The fact that he likens him to a mujaahid and describes this as the greatest form of jihad may be understood to mean that he will be rewarded for that.
And Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid