Question

Salaam. So I’ve basically been having seriously bad thoughts when I pray or out of nowhere. These thoughts attack Allah and other disturbing thoughts as well. This has given me anxiety and I cry a lot from this. I don’t believe any of these thoughts and I still pray 5 times a day. I guess my question is am I being held accountable for these evil thoughts. I love my deen and I did research which implies this is waswasa? I don’t know how to move on from this as even when I feel good I think about those thoughts and it hurts.

~

Response

Assalaamu ‘alaikum – peace be with you,

Thank you for being so open and honest about your experiences. I would like to begin with saying that you are not alone, intrusive thoughts are very common. These thoughts can be distressing, painful, repulsive and become a burden to the individual. Think of them as unwanted guests who refuse to leave and the more attention we give them, the more they resist. What’s interesting about obsessive intrusive thoughts are that they tend to often fixate on areas that are of great importance to us such as religion.

People will often make the assumption that because their mind is generating these thoughts and compulsively presenting them, then they must represent the individuals beliefs, values and in your case, your relationship with God. However if these thoughts were in line with your beliefs and values then why do they cause distress? The fact that these thoughts are causing you distress indicates that they are inconsistent with your values and belief system.

Your distress and your constant worry about your faith is proof of that. It is because of the love of Allah, the iman (faith) in your heart and your sincerity as a Muslim that you are so disturbed by these thoughts, otherwise why would they bother you? It is harder perhaps to detach ourselves from the workings of our minds, but just as our bodies sometimes behave in ways that we cannot understand or explain, so do our minds. Just as your body can develop an ailment or condition that causes you agony, so can your mind.

But Allah, the Most Merciful, is also the All-Knowing; He is fully aware of the state of your heart, He knows the distress that these thoughts are causing your soul and He understands. In fact, this duality and struggle of right and wrong, good and bad, fitrah (your pure nature) and nafs (ego), is a constant feature of our lives as Muslims that is acknowledged in our deen. However, perhaps this strife can become excessive in some of us and there is hope. He has created shifaa (a cure/healing) for every pain, every ailment, and my advice to you is to seek that out. Therefore there is no shame in seeking professional support which could be in the form of talking therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). As well as seeking spiritual advice and guidance. We at Inspirited Minds provide support through our counselling and listening services which takes Islam into account.

This may also appease and answer your question about whether you are accountable for these thoughts. “Actions are (judged) by intentions” (Bukhari/Muslim). If you are experiencing a mental health difficulty you are not to blame, Allah is aware of your intentions and sincerity. You are already sticking to your salah, if you continue to pray and seek appropriate help, Allah will reward your internal struggle insha’Allah. Finally, please reach out to us if you would like further advice and assistance, may Allah create ease for you for, “Verily, with every difficulty, there is relief, verily, with every difficulty there is relief” [Qur’an 94: 5-6]

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and we hope this helps insha’Allah,
Duas always,
IM Support Team

~

Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.

Click the link below to send us your question

Ask IM

Leave a Reply