25 Rabi al-Awwal 1441

I m suffering waswas during prayer,what should i do?

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In Jinn, Witchcraft, Black Magic and the Evil Eye
Feb 15th, 2014
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Praise be to Allaah.

Evil whispers during prayer and at other times come from the Shaytaan, who is keen to misguide the Muslim and deprive him of good and keep it far away from him. One of the Sahaabah complained to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about waswaas during prayer, and he said: “The Shaytaan comes between me and my prayers and my recitation, confusing me therein.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “That is a devil called Khanzab. If he affects you seek refuge in Allah from him and spit drily to your left three times.” He [the Sahaabi] said, I did that and Allaah took him away from me.

(Narrated by Muslim, 2203)

Proper focus (khushoo’) is the essence of prayer. Prayer without proper focus is like a body without a soul. The following are two of the things that help one to develop the proper focus:

1 – Striving to think about what you are saying and doing, pondering the meanings of the Qur’aan, dhikr and du’aa’s that you are reciting; bearing in mind that you are conversing with Allaah as if you can see Him. For when the worshipper stands to pray, he is speaking to his Lord, and ihsaan means worshipping Allaah as if you are seeing Him, and knowing that even though you cannot see Him, He sees you. Every time a person experiences the sweetness of prayer, he will be more inclined to do it. [?]. This depends of the strength of one’s faith – and there are many means of strengthening one’s faith. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Of the things of your world, women and perfume have been made dear to me, and my joy is in prayer.” According to another hadeeth he said, “Let us relax, O Bilal, with prayer,” and he did not say, Give us a break from it.

2 – Striving to ward off the things that may distract you during prayer, namely thinking about things that are irrelevant or distracting. Waswaas affects each person differently, because waswaas has to do with a person’s level of doubts and desires and the degree to which a person is attached to other things or is fearing other things.

(From Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, 22/605)

With regard to what you say about the waswaas reaching such a great level that you have begun to experience waswaas that makes you think about Allaah in ways that are not appropriate, these are evil whispers from the Shaytaan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if an evil whisper from Shaytaan (Satan) tries to turn you away (O Muhammad) (from doing good), then seek refuge in Allaah. Verily, He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Knower”

[Fussilat 41:36]

Some of the Sahaabah complained about the waswaas that was bothering [?] them. Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said to him, ‘We find in ourselves thoughts that are too terrible to speak of.’ He said, ‘Are you really having such thoughts?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That is a clear sign of faith.’” (Narrated by Muslim). (Narrated by Muslim, 132 from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah).

Al-Nawawi said in his commentary on this hadeeth: “The Prophet’s words, ‘That is a clear sign of faith’ means, the fact that think of this waswaas as something terrible is a clear sign of faith, for if you dare not utter it and you are so afraid of it and of speaking of it, let alone believing it, this is the sign of one who has achieved perfect faith and who is free of doubt.”

And it was said that what it means is that the Shaytaan only whispers to those whom he despairs of tempting, because he is unable to tempt them. As for the kaafir, he can approach him in any manner he wants and is not restricted to waswaas, rather he can play with him however he wants. Based on this, what the hadeeth means is that the cause of waswaas is pure faith, or that waswaas is a sign of pure faith. See also question no. 12315

The fact that you hate that and your heart recoils from it is a clear sign of faith. Waswaas happens to everyone who turns to Allaah by reciting dhikr etc. It is inevitable, but you have to be steadfast and patient, and persevere with your dhikr and prayer, and not give up, because in this way you will ward off the plot of the Shaytaan. “Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytaan” [al-Nisa’ 4:76 – interpretation of the meaning]. Every time a person wants to turn to Allaah, waswaas brings other matters to mind. The Shaytaan is like a bandit: every time a person wants to move towards Allaah, he wants to block the way. Hence when it was said to one of the salaf that the Jews and Christians say, “We do not experience waswaas,” he said, “They are speaking the truth, for what would the Shaytaan do with a house in ruins?”

(From Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, 22/608).

The remedy:

1 – If you feel that you are being affected by this waswaas, say, “Aamantu Billaahi wa Rasoolihi (I believe in Allaah and His Messenger).” It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Shaytaan comes to one of you and says, ‘Who created you?’ And he says ‘Allaah.’ Then the Shaytaan says, ‘Who created Allaah?’ If that happens to any one of you, let him say, Aamantu Billaahi wa Rusulihi (I believe in Allaah and His Messenger). Then that will go away from him.”

(Narrated by Ahmad, 25671; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in al-Saheehah, 116).

2 – Try to stop thinking about that as much as possible, and keep busy with things that will distract you from it.

Finally we advise you to keep on turning to Allaah in all situations, and to ask Him for help, and to beseech Him, and to ask Him to make you steadfast until death, and to cause you to die doing righteous deeds… And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Beware of the whispers of the shaytaan about Allaah

For two weeks this question has been haunting me and I cannot find an answer to it, but in sha Allaah you will have the answer:
What is the evidence that Allaah does not lie, or what is the evidence that He always tells the truth, and why will He never lie?
I know that this is a strange question, and I felt too embarrassed to ask anyone about it for a while, but I looked for an answer and I feel a kind of anxiety even when praying.

Praise be to Allaah.

By Allaah, we do not know which of your two issues we find stranger, that you have gone along with the whispers of the Shaytaan to such an extent that brought you to the brink of the abyss and nearly made you fall in, or that you find this question difficult and are not able to find an answer to it.

What do you know of your religion, if you do not know this?

What do you think of your Lord, if you are asking about this?

When her freed slave asked her: O my mother, did Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) see his Lord? ‘Aa’ishah, the Mother of the Believers (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: My hair stood on end at what you said.

If the hair of the Mother of the Believers stood on end because of alarm for the one who asked her this question: Did Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) see his Lord, i.e., in this world – although the believers will see Him in Paradise and that will be the greatest of their joys (may Allaah not deprive us of it) – then how should one react to your question?

Have you left your heart empty to such an extent that the Shaytaan can toy with it and cause it to end up like this?

Have you heard of the report narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh (2268) from Jaabir who said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allaah, I saw in a dream as if my head was cut off. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) smiled and said: If the Shaytaan toys with one of you in his sleep, he should not tell the people about it.”

If a dream such as this is regarded as the Shaytaan toying with a person, then what would the Prophet’s response be to one who saw what you have seen in a dream? What would he say if the Shaytaan toyed with him when he was awake, and not in a dream?

It is natural that you should feel ashamed and you should weep for yourself if the Shaytaan has gained so much power over you.

Yes, we understand that the Shaytaan may toy with a person in such ways, but he should not go along with the ideas instilled by the shaytaan and ry to discuss it and look for evidence for it. Rather his deeply rooted faith should protect him, for the shaytaan is evil and his plot is weak: “ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytaan (Satan)” [al-Nisa’ 4:76].

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah 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.”

What do you think the Prophet’s answer would be to this “difficult” question posed by the accursed enemy?

One should seek refuge with Allaah from this waswaas, and stop thinking about it or getting carried away with it, because the accursed one does not need an answer to this question. He knows that his question is pure fallacy, for it is not befitting that the Creator should have a creator, otherwise He would be another created being.

Rather his aim is to stir up doubts until he gains control over one who dies in such a state, if he can. Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the hadeeth quoted above:

“‘Who created your Lord?’ If that happens, then let him seek refuge with Allaah and stop thinking about that” i.e., let him stop getting carried away with that, and turn to Allaah in warding it off; he should realize that he (shaytaan) wants to corrupt his religious commitment and his reasoning with these whispers, so he should strive to ward them off by thinking of something else.

Al-Khattaabi said: The point of this hadeeth is that if the Shaytaan whispers such thoughts, one should seek refuge with Allaah from him and stop debating with the shaytaan about it, then this waswaas will diminish. … There is no end to the shaytaan’s whispers, rather every time proof is produced to silence him, he moves on to something else until he finally makes one confused. We seek refuge with Allaah from that. … But his saying ‘Who created your Lord?” is contradictory and is a flawed argument, because it is impossible for the Creator to be created.

Al-Teebi said: Rather he enjoined seeking refuge with Allaah and distracting oneself with something else; he did not tell us to ponder and look for evidence, because the knowledge that Allaah does not need a creator is a basic fact that is not open to debate, and because getting carried away in thinking about that will only make a person more confused. If a person is in such a state, he has no option except to turn to Allaah and seek His protection.

The hadeeth also implies criticism of asking too much about that which does not concern one and that which one has no need to ask about. It is also one of the signs of Prophethood, namely his foretelling something that was going to happen and then it happened. End quote.

As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined putting an end to such whispers and not indulging in them, then the believer, if he is overwhelmed by any such thing, and if the accursed enemy instills such a thing in his heart, then he will regard this waswaas as something serious that has befallen him.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: Some of the companions of the Prophet (S) came and asked him: We find in ourselves something that is too awful for any of us to speak of it. He said: “Do you really find that?” They said: Yes. He said: “That is clear faith.” Narrated by Muslim (132).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: What this means is: the fact that you think of this waswaas as something terrible is a clear sign of faith, for if you dare not utter it and you are so afraid of it and of speaking of it, let alone believing it, this is the sign of one who has achieved perfect faith and who is free of doubt

O slave of Allaah, the man of dignity who has some standing among people would refrain from lying and would hate lies to be attributed to him. The story of Abu Sufyaan with Heraclius concerning this matter is well known, so how about if this noble and dignified man is a believer? For lying is incompatible with faith.

How about if one imagines the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) telling lies when he is the truthful one? This is an idea that would make the skin crawl and the hair stand on end.

It seems most likely that there are two reasons why the Shaytaan has gained control over you:

1- You have turned away from focusing on remembrance (dhikr) of the Most Merciful, studying His verses and what it says in His Book of His most beautiful names and sublime attributes, and acknowledging His greatness, majesty, beauty and perfection that are mentioned in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

2- Perhaps it is a punishment from Allaah because of the first reason, which is your keeping company with the devils among men, who have been supported by the devils among the jinn and helped by them against you.

Those companions were not necessarily friends of yours who come and go with you, rather that may have been via the internet as idle curiosity may have led you to go to some atheist and anti-religion chat rooms, where one of them stated his specious argument and it settled in your heart and led to the problem that you are now suffering. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allaah) (i.e. this Qur’aan and worship of Allaah), We appoint for him Shaytaan (Satan ‑ devil) to be a Qareen (a companion) to him.

37. And verily, they (Satans / devils) hinder them from the path (of Allaah), but they think that they are guided aright!

38. Till, when (such a one) comes to Us, he says [to his Qareen (Satan/devil companion)] ‘Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts (or the east and west’ __a worst (type of) companion (indeed)!

39. It will profit you not this Day (O you who turn away from Allaah’s remembrance and His worship) as you did wrong, (and) that you will be sharers (you and your Qareen) in the punishment”

[al-Zukhruf 43:36]

Set your heart straight and turn to your Lord, and acknowledge Him as He has told you in His Book. Turn to His Book and read it and ponder it, and keep your tongue busy with remembrance of Him (dhikr), for that will protect you:

“I command you to remember Allaah, for the likeness of that is that of a man who enemy comes after him, until he comes to a strong fortress where he protects himself from him. Similarly, a person cannot protect himself against the Shaytaan except by remembering Allaah.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2863) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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