How to overcome Waswas (shaythans whispers) in worship
Waswas can become a very serious issue and it may take away the pleasure in worship and instead replace it with constant worry whether a person did Wudu or Salaah properly. It can become a very serious issue as a person will feel overwhelmed by paranoia with regards to theri worship and will always feel a sense of inadequacy.
In worship terms Waswas means always have doubts about ones worship and not be sure of anything relating to worship as there is always a doubt there and this serious disease and illness is caused by shaythan.
What are some of the symptoms of waswas?
-You pray and then be not sure if you did.
- You waste too much water and long time in wudu and ghusl.
- You pray more than the number of rakats and do the sahu sujud every time. Even you pray more than once.
- you are not sure if your clothes are clean and every moment change your clothes.
- You follow the tiny things that are not even seen by eyes to clean them and remove them.
- You worry too much and feel your worship is not complete.
- You ask strange questions that people feel amazed about and show strange behavior for example: someone walks with shoes on the carpet until the spot where she prays just because she is not sure if the land is clean.
- You spend a very long time in the bathroom, just washing.
- You are not sure of any worship you did is complete.
And many other strange things that can tell you are suffering form waswas.
Waswas can become a serious problem especially if a person suffers from it constantly. Shaythan keeps putting doubts in ones mind and keeps telling the person that their prayer or wudu ghusl etc are not valid and that you have missed something out or not done it proprly and so you should do it again.
Your clothes are not clean, wash them again and so on. The person keeps falling for this and by this time shaythan knows that this has become the persons weakness so shaythan is able to attack the person in many different angles.
Eventually shaythan will go onto more serious matters of faith until he tries to convince a person that "Are you sure Allah exists"? Or shaythan tries to cast doubts in the mind of a person by convincing them that they had shirk thoughts and so they must do the shahada again because they have now become a kaafir and are out of the fold of Islam.
Here are some real stories of people having waswas problem:
A woman said: For 16 years, I everyday have shower and take shahada because I suddenly feel I am not sure, I am Muslim.
A guy said: For years I pray and think I did not until I stopped praying at all.
A woman said: I used to pray the prayer and keep repeating it until the next prayer.
The best way's to resolve Extreme cases of waswas are:
1. Waswas can occur with pretty much any practising Muslim particularly if they do not have sufficient knowledge of Islam and matters pertaining to fiqhi rulings.
They care so much about wanting to worship right and please Allah and get so worried whether their deed has been accepted or not by Allah but the fact is they just do not know enough about Islam especially fiqhi matters.
So it is VERY important to learn about Fiqh and various other aspects of Islam. Knowledge is key to eradicating this problem from your life!
Join some fiqh classes face to face or online. Learn about other important aspects of Islam to. keep learning, learning and learning and you watch how these evil thoughts dissapear inshallah.
2. JUST IGNORE shaythans whispers. He will keep telling you your worship is incorrect or you have missed out something in your salaah then you must NOT repeat the Salaah again.
When you have done Wudu and something tells you that you have missed out something or have not done it properly then IGNORE those whispers.
If shaythan tells you to do ghusl again because you never did it properly then IGNORE and NEVER obey these evil and deceptive whispers!
If shaythan tries to tell you that you have attributed partners with Allah and that you have done shirk then IGNORE IT. He wants you to lose your faith and think that you have committed blasphemy when you have not done anything of the sort. if the mind wanders sometimes then that is fine all of our minds wander.
Sayyiduna Abu Haraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that once a group of people came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and asked: “We experience such evil thoughts that it is impossible to bring them on our lips”. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Do you really experience these thoughts? Yes, they replied. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “They are clear signs of faith”. (Sahih Muslim).
So these are signs of faith and ultimately, we are not held to account for these thoughts. However, we will be held to account if we act on these thoughts.
Shaythan will then try to make you think that you did act on these feelings when all you did was involuntarily wandered about them in your mind. Even if they did linger in your mind it does not mean you acted on it. Almost all of us have random thoughts and absurdities going on in our minds all of the time it does not mean we necesserily believe what we thought of.
Do NOT ever give in to these thoughts for shaythan is just trying to be clever but knowledge will give on the upper hand!
Whenever you get these whispers then just think: IT IS SHAYTHAN TRYING TO DECIEVE ME AND PUT ME OFF MY WORSHIP!
3. Once you have completed Wudu then move on and ignore whatever shaythan tells you regardless of how serious it sounds. You have completed it and there is no need to think of it anymore. Once you have completed your Salaah then move on and continue with the next one or get on with whatever you are doing with your day or evening. Do not think about it and ignore any thoughts associated with the worship you have just done.
Whatever you have completed is done and is over and there is NOTHING more you can do about it so do not think back that you could have done this or that or whether you need to repeat it etc. These doubts will not affect the prayer or wudu etc which you have completed so disregard and reject the whispers that tell you otherwise.
These are all tricks of shaythan and you need to realise what his angles are. You need to play him at his own game and that way you will have the upper hand everytime!
Just think of what you need to do to please Allah and do not be extreme in religion.
4. Who decides whether your worship will be complete or not? Shaythan or Allah? So by listening to the whispers of shaythan then you are simply obeying Shaythan over Allah! Therefore we must ignore his evil whispers and realise that ONLY Allah can accept our deeds so we should obey Allah and ignore these waswas.
5. If you get waswas then recite the following:
A'udhu billaahi minashaythanirajeem
La Hawla Wala Quwatha Illah billahil aliyyil Adheem
Also recite the four Quls Morning and evening and Ayatul Kursi Morning, before going to sleep and after every prayer.
If shaythan whispers to you in prayer then look lft and spittle and recite A'udhu billaahi minashaythanirajeem
thank Allah, wholeheartedly, for enabling you to overcome your desires and shaytan [saying, Alhamdulillah (‘All praise is due to Allah’)]; this makes Shaytan despair, and strengthens one’s resolve.
The following verse of Surah al-mu’minun may also be beneficial:
“Rabbi inni a’uzu bika min hamazat ashayatin wa a’uzu bika rabbi an yahdurun”
Trans: O my Lord! I seek your protection from the instigations of devils and I also seek your protection from that they (ever) come to me.
6. Why disobey Allah and listen to shaythans whispers? By constantly repeating wudu, salaah and wasting so much time then we are going against Allah and instead listening to shaythans evil whispers. The fact is Allah wants you to reject the waswas but shaythan wants you to accept them, then who will you listen to? The choice is yours...
A desert Arab came to Allah's Apostle and asked him about ablution. He demonstrated (washing each part of his body) thrice, and then said: That is (the method) of the ablution. And he who does more than this has done wrong, transgressed the limit and has oppressed (himself). (Tirmidhi #417 , Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Abu Dawud)
This hadith proves that one does NOT need to keep repeating the wudu over and over for no reason just because shaythan is telling us to repeat it. We would then transgress and oppress ourselves by doing so! Sameway one does not have to repeat the ghusl or prayers again and again for no reason just because shaythan tells us to. We are praying for Allah so shaythan has NO say in it and NEVER has!
7. It is unlikely that you will not be able to conquer waswas overnight. Shaythan will not give up so easily for he will try and make you feel like you just don't care anymore about your worship or shirk etc but again this is just one of his many tactics that he uses to try and put off Allah's worshippers and so know that you know the different angels then you are now more equiped to fight these evil whispers.
There are many more different angles that the shaythan will use but they will all be similar in nature, so if you follow these tips then eventually you will be able to eradicate this disease out of your life FOREVER! and start to enjoy your worship of Allah again Inshallah.
So countract all of these negative thoughts that you get after worship with positive thoughts and realise that ONLY Allah can accept your deeds and knows what is in your heart not Shaythan for he is just a deciever!
Allah Most High has promised,
“As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good.” [Qur’an, 29.69]
And Allah knows best in all matters