It Can Happen To The Best Of Us
At some point in a Muslim person’s life, there are questions that pop into his/her head concerning Allah, Islam or even Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)—questions which can be uncomfortable, awkward or simply put, wrong (against Islam). Most of the time, it’s something that’s difficult to control. because all types of evil thoughts or questions come to your head.
For some people, it becomes so extreme that they start to question if they’re even still Muslims because of the evil thoughts and questions that constantly go through their mind. What I’m describing here is called waswaas (evil whispers from the Shaytan). A lot of the times, these thoughts and questions can cause someone stress, anxiety and pain.
Different Types Of Waswaas
- Evil whispers about some aspects of Islam, for example, asking questions such as ‘why do women have to wear the hijab?’ or ‘why can men marry four wives when women can’t?’
- Evil whispers or thoughts about if Al-Akhira really does exist.
- Evil whispers during prayer—making you forget how many rak’ahs you’ve prayed.
- Evil whispers during cleansing yourself after you go to the bathroom and making wudu—always thinking you have some impurity on you, or always thinking that you passed air so you must do your wudu again.
- Evil whispers about always thinking negatively about others.
- And the worst of them all, evil thoughts about if Allah really does exist, why He is not visible to us, where He is, how He looks, etc.
Shaytan is our number one enemy. This means he will do whatever he can to cause us pain and suffering. He will not leave you alone until you are dead and you meet your Lord. His job is to first try to make you commit shirk.
When he tires of this and sees that you will never do that because Allah has guided you, he will try to make you do bid’ah and all types of other crazy things.
When this also fails, he will try to make you commit other major crimes such as killing others, zina, hasad (envy), theft, and many other sinful things.
When he can’t make you fall into any of those things, he will resort to whispering evil things to you to confuse you concerning matters of the religion, prayer and/or wudu.
He does all of this to cause you heartache.
In the last chapter of the Quran, Allah tells us to seek refuge with Him from the evil whispers of the jinn and people. These whispers of the shaytan can be distressing and can bring harm to the believer if he or she doesn’t seek refuge with Allah and take control of it.
Say: “I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind,The King of mankind,”The Ilah (God) of mankind, “From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allah) ,”Who whispers in the breasts of mankind, “Of jinns and men.” Al-Quran: 114 (1-6).
My Personal Struggle With Waswaas
After high school, most of my friends and I parted ways. I had a lot of time to think about the important things in life. I returned to doing something which I haven’t done in a long time—reading, reciting and learning the Quran,
Alhamdulilah. I started reading the English translation of the Quran, and I fell in love with the Quran because I understood the Quran better. It was as if I had just become Muslim and was learning about the Quran for the first time.
I used to spend many hours listening to the Quran and following along by reading the English translation. I learned so much about Islam.
One of the very first ayah (verse) of the Quran which the shaytan would whisper evil questions to me about was the ayah where Allah makes it permissible for men to marry up to four women. I had this constant thought that this was just not fair. No matter how hard I tried to shake off this evil thought, it would always come back to my mind, Subhanalaah.
The evil thoughts didn’t stop there. The evil thoughts and whispers escalated to more horrible questions that concerned Allah.
This was the most painful for me. I didn’t know how to stop it or what to do. I felt like I was the most evil person in the world; my heart literally used to ache every time these evil thoughts came to my mind.
I used to cry.
I felt so miserable.
Nothing made me smile anymore.
My desire to learn the deen and the joy I felt when listening to the Quran were both slowly disappearing. Instead, I felt anxiety every time I wanted to listen or read the Quran.
I was afraid I would have one of those evil thoughts again, and for this reason I avoided reading the Quran altogether. All in all, it was one of the lowest points in my life. I felt like the one thing in the world which was my comfort and my guide (Quran) was being taken away.
Sister Um Ibrahim Ali is a regular guest blogger on Islamic Learning Materials. She reveals how she overcame waswaas in her next article, How To Overcome Waswaas Part 2.
You can follow Sister Um Ibrahim Ali and her adventures as a Muslim mother on her blog Sweet Mama Loves You.