09 August, 2011

Islamic Solution for OCD (Waswaas) – A Comprehensive Guide

A comprehensive guide with a step-by-step solution to overcome OCD (Waswaas). If you take too much time to do Wudu’ (Ablution), or suffer from confusions/forgetfulness in Salah, or you feel you are impure all the time, or If you have thoughts that you can’t even mention in front of anyone, then this document has an Islamic Solution for you. May Allah Help us overcome our weaknesses.
OCD - Islamic Solution


1.    Diagnosing OCD   
2.    Characteristic Features of Obsessions and Compulsions   
3.    What causes OCD?   
4.    Why Me? – Preventing OCD   
5.    Understanding Waswaas   
6.    Behavioral Therapies to overcome OCD   
7.    Islamic Solution for OCD   
8.    Fiqh Issues related to ‘ibadaat and OCD    
     8.1.    Disregarding any waswasah about breaking wudu’   
     8.2.    Wasting Water in wudu’   
     8.3.    Transgressing in Purification   
     8.4.    Wasting Time   
     8.5.    Skipping Obligatory and over-doing another task   
     8.6.    Doubts/Uncertainty/Forgetfulness in Salah  
     8.7.    Precaution or Waswasah?    
     8.8.    Conclusion   
9.    Things to do  

I am organising an online seminar on OCD in the muslim world. To register your interest please follow exploringpsyche.com/webinar 

1. Diagnosing OCD

Essential features of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) are the repeated occurrence of obsessions and/or compulsions of sufficient severity that they are time-consuming (> 1 hour per day) or cause marked distress or impairment [1]. In simple language, few people get over taken by certain uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions), which are at times accompanied by self-invented (compulsions) rituals. When these obsessions and/or compulsions taken more than 1 hour per day, then a person is said to be suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The most common OCD obsessions and compulsions are given below [2]
Obsession Compulsion
Fear of Contamination (50%) Washing/cleaning (50%)
Need for symmetry/precision (32%) Symmetry/precision (28%)
Pathologic Doubt (42%) Checking (61%)
Religious/Blasphemy (10%) [3]
Approximately half to three-quarters of individuals with OCD have multiple obsessions. [4] That is why they don’t add up to 100 percent.
The most common obsessions found in Muslims are:
- Which Rak’ah of Salah is this?
- Doubt whether I performed Salah[5] correctly or not
- Fear of impurities when doing Wudu’[6] and while performing Salah
- Doubts of passing wind, and nullification of Wudu’
- Doubts regarding Wudu’: whether it was performed correctly or not
- Blasphemous thoughts
- Constant feeling that my clothes are unclean
These obsessions lead to certain compulsions:
- Doing Sajda e Sahw in every Salah
- Re-performing Salah
- Performing Wudu’ several times
- Taking a lot of time in doing Wudu’
- Spending too much time in all purification/washing activities e.g. washing hands after meal

2. Characteristic Features of Obsessions and Compulsions

Defining features of Obsessions [7]:
i- Intrusive quality: The thought, image, or impulse repeatedly enters consciousness in an unintended manner; that is, it occurs against one’s will. A subjective feeling of compulsion is associated with the thought.
ii- Unacceptability: The negative effect associated with the intrusion may vary from an annoyance to unpleasantness or distress to strong fear or anxiety.
iii- Subjective Resistance: There is a strong urge to resist, suppress, dismiss, or prevent the obsession from entering consciousness, either through avoidance, cognitive control strategies, or overt compulsive rituals.
iv- Uncontrollability: There is a subjective sense of diminished control over the obsession.
Various types of overt/covert neutralization techniques (i.e. compulsions) adopted by an OCD patient are:
i. Compulsive rituals – e.g. Repeated Washing
ii. Compulsive Urges – e.g. Checking whether the door is locked or not
iii. Neutralization – e.g. Responding to a negative thought by a positive replacement
iv. Reassurance Seeking – e.g. reconfirming information again and again.
v. Avoidance – e.g. avoiding foods, numbers, people etc.

3. What causes OCD?

Modern day psychology, as it has humanistic basis, doesn’t acknowledge extra-dimensional influences on our life. It has failed to understand ‘what causes OCD’. Psychology, as it exists, can tell you the changes in the affected person’s brain/neurology when he is affected with a disorder, but it’s not possible for it to tell you how it all started.
There is a contradiction in the details of OCD as understood by main stream psychologists. On one hand they say that "The individual senses that the content of obsessions is alien, not within his/her own control and not the kind of thought that he/she would ever expect to have." [8] On the other side they also say that "the individual is able to recognize these obsessions as the product of his/her own mind"[9]. The question arises "how can a person be able to create thoughts that he/she does not even expect to be his/her thought?"
To understand the true nature of OCD, one needs to understand what actually obsessions are.
From an Islamic perspective, these unwanted thoughts are called waswaas[10]/wasaawis وسواس  (plural of waswasah وسوسه),  which are whispered into the minds and hearts of people by Shaitaan شيطان/satan/devil.
Allah says in the Qur’an, describing the devil (Shaitaan):
…And deceive among them those whom you can with your voice. Verily! On my true servants, you would have no authority. Sufficient is your Lord as a guardian [11]
These whispers of Shaitaan play a significant role in developing many Mental/Psychological diseases and disorders. And we are ordered to seek refuge with Allah from this enemy that is invisible to us:
Say I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind, The King of mankind, (and) The God of mankind. From the evil of the whisperer who withdraws, who whispers in the breasts of mankind, of jinn and men [12]
So, it appears to us that these are our own thoughts but, actually it is the devil (Shaitaan) who is whispering /injecting these thoughts into us, and fools us that these are our own thoughts.

4. Why Me? – Preventing OCD

Science presents lots of reasons for OCD that are physiological, genetic and psychological. Some researches propose that brain's physiology can be changed by thoughts, and this is the window from where psychotherapies intervene to address the problem, we will see cognitive therapy's point of view regarding reasons for OCD and its treatment because cognitive and behavior therapies work best in OCD.
Cognitive therapy says that most people have intrusive or uninvited thoughts similar to those reported by people with OCD. But why some people develop OCD and others do not? The answer is that most people may be able to shrug off such thoughts and others who develop OCD are unable to do so.
There are few characteristic differences between normal thoughts and abnormal obsessions. At first it depends on your reaction to it, and if you fall prey to the obsessive thoughts, then they tend to overcome you and their effect on you is also one of the distinguishing factor [13]
Normal Thoughts Abnormal Obsessions
Less frequent More frequent
Less unacceptable/distressing More unacceptable/distressing
Some perceived control Diminished perceived control
Considered meaningless, irrelevant to the self Considered highly meaningful, threatening important core value of the self
Less emphasis on neutralizing distress Strong focus on neutralizing distresses associated with the obsession
Less interference in daily living Significant interference in daily living
Islam tells us that all of us have a Shaitaan (Satan, evil Jinn, Qareen) attached with us, and it is able to send us fake thoughts, making us feel that they are our own thoughts, or sometimes people exaggerate satanic thoughts (whispers, waswaas) to such an extent that the start deeming them to be holy (i.e. from the inner self, ruh روح). So, if Muslims (or even Christians and Jews) believe in satanic thoughts then why do they suffer from them? There are two types of people who fall prey to satanic thoughts (whispers, waswaas) to such an extent that it becomes an abnormality/disorder.
i. For some people it becomes very difficult to repel satanic thoughts as useless, because they tend to remain confused on the source of such thoughts. They jumble up satanic intrusions with thoughts from one’s self (mind), and from one’s inner self (ruh, spirit).
ii. Others tend to be totally heedless of the severity of satanic intrusions (waswaas), and every thought that comes with a certain level of strength they tend to label it as their own. And there might be some who don’t really ‘believe’ in satanic intrusions.
So, for one reason or the other, when one starts to dwell in satanic whispers he may develop this disorder and those who overcome Satan will not develop it. And, the enemy is invisible so there is a documented/specific way of fighting it.
- One needs to be aware of the tactics of the Shaitaan and its powers and limitations
- One needs to know the characteristics of waswaas of Shaitaan
- One needs to be aware of his own powers and limitations
Cognitive theory also suggests that as long as people interpret intrusive thoughts as 'catastrophic', and as long as they continue to believe that such thinking holds truth, they will continue to be distressed and will practice avoidance and/or ritual behaviors [14].
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Allah Most High has forgiven the wasaawis (satanic whispers/intrusions) that arise in the hearts of the people of my nation until one acts upon them or talks about them" [15]
It is because when we ignore them, don't talk about them or do not act on them, so, they can't harm us in any way, if Allah wills.
The above mentioned is a must-know to prevent one’s self from being a victim of waswaas. But, what if, one has already dwelled satanic thoughts to an extent that he is obsessed with them, and the self-invented rituals (compulsions) are taking a notable time away from his daily life?
Waswaas, as mentioned above, is a phenomenon that happens with all of us, but some of us dwell in them so much, that their frequency and the actions that they drive the person into makes him a ‘patient’. And there is a solution for every disease.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: “Allah has not sent down any disease but He has also sent down its cure. Those who know it, know it, and those who do not know it, do not know it.” [16]
Once you’ve become a patient, you need to carefully measure your actions and follow some steps to get rid of them.

5. Understanding Waswaas

i. Who is Shaitaan: There is an evil Jinn attached with all of us which is known as the Shaitaan/devil/satan/qareen. A Human Self/Nafs is composed of the physical body and the metaphysical spirit/ruh. And in addition to that we all have four angels [17] and one Shaitaan attached with all of us.
Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said: “There is no one who does not have a companion from among the jinn and a companion from among the angels.” They said: Even you, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “Even me, but Allah helped me with him and he became Muslim (or/and I am safe from him), so he only enjoins me to do that which is good.” [18]
In another hadith, Allah’s Messenger says:
“The Shaitaan flows through man like blood.”[19]

ii. Shaitaan is our enemy and wishes to put us on the path that leads to hell-fire, and he must be recognized and treated as an enemy. And we can best defeat an enemy when we know how it works.
Surely the Shaitaan is your enemy, so take him for an enemy; he only invites his party that they may be inmates of the burning. [20]

iii. The Shaitaan cannot force us physically to do any act. It is only limited to whispers. It cannot force us to commit sins; it can only incite us to it.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him): A man came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: Apostle of Allah! One of us has thoughts of such nature that he would rather be reduced to charcoal than speak about them. He said: Allah is Most Great, Allah is Greatest, Allah is Most Greatest. Praise be to Allah Who has reduced the guile of the devil to evil prompting. Ibn Qudamah said "reduced his matter" instead of "reduced his guile". [21]

iv. The more we fall into Satan’s traps the easier it gets for it to strike us again. Hence, Shaitaan has power only over those who follow the whispers, those who ignore the whispers; Shaitaan has no power over them. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
Surely he has no authority over those who believe and rely on their Lord. His authority is only over those who befriend him and those who associate others with Him. [22]

v. Hence, it whispers into our hearts/minds to confuse us on our beliefs (‘aqaaid), and to incite us to bad acts (munkar) and to confuse us in the matters of worship (‘ibadaat).

vi. Shaitaan is very cunning and can lead as astray with seemingly religious thoughts like:
o I need to perform Wudu’ again
o Allah is very kind, he’ll forgive me

vii. Exaggeration in the matters of religion is also from Shaitaan. The best and complete path is the path of Allah’s Messenger and his rightly guided companions. If you are more cautious than the Sahabah in any matter of religion, than you are over-cautious. And if you over-stress a particular part of Islam you are bound to ignore other parts. So, if Shaitaan cannot involve one’s self in disobedience of Allah, he promotes exaggerations and bid’aat.
Sufyan ath-Thawri said, “Bid’ah is dearer to Shaitaan than sin, for, one may repent from sin, but not from bid’ah.”

viii. Shaitaan has a certain degree of influence on our dreams and can insert fear into our mind and reduce our productivity as a Muslim using horror dreams. [23]
Narrated Abu Qatada: The Prophet said, "A good dream is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan. So whoever has seen (in a dream) something he dislike, then he should spit without saliva, thrice on his left and seek refuge with Allah from Satan, for it will not harm him, and Satan cannot appear in my shape ." [24]

ix. Shaitaan becomes really active when we pray and there are specific evil Jinns/ shayateen whose purpose is to confuse a person when he/she is busy in worship (‘ibadaat).
One of the Sahabah (companions) complained to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) about waswaas during prayer, and he said: “The Shaitaan comes between me and my prayers and my recitation, confusing me therein.” The Messenger of Allah (Peace 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 Sahabi] said, I did that and Allah took him away from me. [25]

The characteristic features of these waswaas involve exaggerated fear, confusion or hope. Allah gives us an example in the Holy Qur’an:
Shaitaan threatens you with poverty and enjoins you to be niggardly… [26]

xi. Waswaas were experienced by even the best of men i.e. the Sahabah.
Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah 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.’” [27]

xii. Any astray feeling that comes as a suggestion of one’s physical self (Nafs e Ammarah) will also be treated as a waswasah. For instance, lusty feelings can be a suggestion of one’s perverted self. Allah says in the Qur’an:
And certainly We created man, and We know what his mind suggests to him, and We are nearer to him than his life-vein. [28]

xiii. Other evil human beings might intentionally or unintentionally be on the same mission as the Shaitaan. And there words might in actual be waswaas, that distract us from the straight path. That is why the last Ayah [29] of Qur’an mentions Humans and Jinns as those who whisper evil thoughts into one’s mind. Allah says in another Ayah of Qur’an :
And thus did We make for every prophet an enemy, the Shaitaans from among men and jinn, some of them suggesting to others varnished falsehood to deceive (them), and had your Lord pleased they would not have done it, therefore leave them and that which they forge. [30]

xiv. Humans have been given the ability to defeat the Shaitaan, it is the Shaitaan who makes us doubt our abilities. Ibn e Kathir quotes a narration that Allah’s Messenger said:
“The believer can seize the forelock of his Shaitaan as one of you seizes the forelock of his camel whilst traveling” [31]
Imam Ibn Katheer explained, “What is meant by seizing his forelock is defeating him and overwhelming him, as one does with a camel when it runs away, then you seize it and overpower it.” [32]
And that is why Allah’s Messenger told ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) various times that Shaitaan is afraid of him.

xv. Last, but not the least, Shaitaan never tires, and if Shaitaan cannot directly convince anyone for a major sin, it starts inciting him to minor sins and makes him see those as harmless. That is why Allah says in the Qur’an:
O you who believe! Enter into submission one and all and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitaan; surely he is your open enemy. [33]
The above discussion tells us that negative thoughts (waswaas) can be result of:
i- Satanic Intrusions
ii- Negative suggestions of other Human beings
iii- Negative suggestions of Nafs ul ‘Ammarah
No benefit is earned out of discussing the minute differences in the characteristics of the above mentioned, because the main difference lies in their origin/source and they produce almost the safe effect.
The important discussion is how to differentiate between Waswaas and calls/positive suggestion of Ruh (spirit, true self). The above mentioned features of satanic intrusions, if kept in mind, should be enough. Ibn al-Qayyim has given few points to differentiate between them, and the summary is that it depends on the out-come or the direction of the thought. He says:
“ [i] The thought which is in line with the will of Allah, and the guidance brought by the Prophets, that is from the ruh, and what is against the commands of Allah is from the Shaitaan.
[ii]The outcome of which is inclination towards Allah, and concern and remembrance of Allah is from ruh, and its opposite is from Shaitaan.” [34]

6. Behavioral Therapies to overcome OCD

The commonly in-use Behavioral therapies for OCD are:
1- Exposure and Response Therapy (ERP)
The patient is Constantly Exposed to Obsessions and Prevented from carrying out compulsions.
2- Paradoxical Intention
Exposure to situations that generate obsessions and the patient is made to intentionally dwell on the obsession and elaborate it until he can himself judge the validity of the obsession.
3- Habituation (Satiation) Training
It involves holding onto obsession for a certain period of time, so that he doesn’t feel the need to go on to obsessions anymore.
4- Thought Stopping
Verbalizing thoughts and stopping them again and again. A patient is made to dwell in the obsessions and then it is said to him ‘STOP’, and he comes back, and that is repeated again and again, until the patient himself automatically learns to ‘STOP’ the thoughts.

7. Islamic Solution for OCD

These behavioral therapies give us certain techniques to cope with OCD. After a careful analysis of these behavioral therapies and Islamic injunctions on the whispers of Shaitaan and other related physical and meta physical processes, a list of Do’s and Don’ts has been compiled.
- First step, of-course is to develop an understanding of the mechanics of waswaas and how Shaitaan works.
- Second step, is to aware one’s self of fiqh (jurisprudence) issues related with impurity, doubts etc., so that one doesn’t go to extremes in ignorance.
- Then there is a list of Do’s and Don’ts in the end which will help one safe-guard from the evils of Shaitaan and undo the harmful changes in one’s life because of dwelling in satanic intrusions.

8. Fiqh Issues related to ‘ibada-at and OCD

Sometimes we start following some Islamic teachings so strictly and extremely that it becomes a burden for us, and the very source of spiritual health starts becoming a problem for us. We can only succeed against our enemy if we know its tricks. Satan is the biggest enemy of ours and one of the greatest trials too. No fitnah (trial) that we encounter today, but we had been warned of it before by Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him). A very old trick of Satan is to put us into doubts regarding our Salah and Wudu’. This is something that even the Sahaba faced. As the time progresses we are getting weaker and our enemy is getting more intelligent.
If suddenly your mind clicked and reminded of you the times when you over-do your wudu and get confused in Salah and suddenly you shook it off thinking: 'I have a genuine problem'. Beware! This might be in itself a waswasah too. So, the main question that arises is how to be certain whether it's a waswasah or a 'real' problem. The answer is simple: if you can't swear by Allah that you have a medical problem that breaks your wudu’ often or you have some physiological problem that disturbs you during Salah, then you are in doubt. And this doubt is in itself a certainty that you are a victim of waswaas from your cunning enemy.
Satan tends to be pretty inventive and creative, and Muslims around the globe suffer from different flavors of obsessions related to wudu’ and Salah which lead to a variety to ritualistic actions that are driven by invisible satanic thoughts. Some commonly faced wudu’ and Salah related OCD problems are:

8.1. Disregarding any waswasah about breaking wudu’

Repeating Wudu’ again and again due to doubts is the result of falling into satanic whispers. It is action driven by a negative thought. Wudu’ does not break on mere doubts and this rule is very clear from the Ahaadith of the Prophet (Peace be upon him):
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad said, "If one of you finds a disturbance in his abdomen and is not certain if he has released any gas or not, he should not leave the mosque unless he hears its sound or smells its scent." [35]
'Abbad ibn Tameem related that his uncle queried the Prophet about a person who feels something in his abdomen while praying. Said the Prophet, "He should not leave (the prayer) until he hears it or smells it." [36]
Ibn al-Mubarak said, "If one is uncertain about his condition of purity, he does not need to perform a new Wudu’."
Imam al-Nawawi said: 'This Hadith establishes a rule to decide authenticity of matters depending on their bases as well as to state that accidental doubts make no problem'.
In the same way, if one doubts about making Hadath (impurity) while performing Wudu’, he should not take such doubts into consideration, especially if one usually undergoes doubts. This is the best way to stop doubts.
Thus, it becomes clear that if one doubts about breaking wind or not after performing Wudu’, he should not repeat Wudu’ unless he is sure he has broken his Wudu’ by a sound, smell or feeling of passing wind or something like that.
What is Certainty?
The Scholars have written that one should be able to take an oath by Allah to say that one's Wudu’ is broken, for the Wudu’ to be regarded as broken. If one is unable to take such an oath, one's Wudu’ will be deemed to be unbroken and hence, valid.
Clarification: Even when you are sure and can swear by Allah that you did pass wind, Istinjaa (washing private parts) is not required and ablution would suffice.
From the above the objective of Shar’iah is clear that one shouldn’t be lethargic to the extent that even when he knows that he doesn’t have wudu’ he assumes the opposite, and one shouldn’t be extremist and follow the doubts when he isn’t really sure. So, repeating your wudu’ on doubts (whether severe or slight) is in itself a disobedience to the hukm (order) of Prophet Muhammad and not an act of piety like Satan makes you feel. Imposing on your-self too-much strictness in a matter of religion which has been kept flexible by Prophet Muhammad means taking-away importance from some other matter. So, Prophet Muhammad closed the door of this innovation of repeating wudu’ on doubts and clarified that wudu’ is rendered as nullified only when there is certainty of that.
A desert Arab came to Allah's Apostle (Peace be upon him) and asked him about wudu’. He demonstrated (washing each part of his body) thrice, and then said: That is (the method of) ablution. And he who does more than this has done wrong, transgressed the limit and has oppressed (himself). [37]
If the amount of water that the Allah’s Messenger used for wudu’ is not even sufficient for your hand washing, there is some problem with you!

8.2. Wasting Water in Wudu’

When one starts following the doubts that Shaitaan creates in one's mind, one gets into a lot of other sins including wasting water by performing Wudu’ again and again, by taking bath time and again with an extended period under the shower owing to extreme care, and by washing one's clothes on mere doubts of impurity etc.
It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with them both), that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) passed by Sa'ad (May Allah be pleased with him) he was performing wudu’. He said: What wastage is this? Sa'ad said: Is there wastage in wudu’ also? The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Yes, even if you are at a flowing river. [38]
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
"….And eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant."[39]
"…and do not act extravagantly; surely He does not love the extravagant." [40]
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to perform ghusl (ritual bathing) with a sa` (around 4 mudds) of water, and he used to make wudu' with one mudd of water". [41]
`Ubaydullah ibn Abu Yazid narrated that a man asked Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), "How much water is sufficient for wudu'?" He answered, "One mudd." The man asked, "And how much is sufficient for ghusl?" Ibn `Abbas said, "One sa`." The man said, "That is not sufficient for me." Ibn `Abbas said, "No! It was sufficient for someone better than you, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) ". [42]
What is Mudd: Mudd is as much water one can carry in their two hands joined together. Others define it to be 600 grams.
What is Sa': One Sa' is approximately 4 Mudd (about 2.5 kilograms).
Al-Bukhari said, "Scholars do not approve of using water beyond what the Prophet would use for wudu'."
Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal said, “A Knowledgeable person should use only a small quantity of water’”
Muhammad ibn ‘Ajlan said, “Adequate knowledge of Deen of Allah is knowing how to perform Wudu’ properly, using little water”
Prophet Muhammad used water very carefully, yet he was the most pure. If we use more water than him, and repeat the actions of wudu’ more than him than we are going against his sunnah. So, one has to be careful about using the least possible amount of water for wudu’. Otherwise we might be over-doing when it comes to physical purity and in actual making our inner-self (baatin) impure by listening to waswaas of Shaitaan.

8.3. Transgressing in Purification

Being over conscious about purity and cleanliness is also against Islam. Islam being the "mid-way" does not guide us to any extreme. It is true that Islam declares "cleanliness" as half of "faith" but it does not allow anyone to get into cleanliness issues so much that other aspects of deen (religion) are forgotten.
`Abdullah ibn Mughffal (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saying, "There will be people from my nation who will transgress in making supplications and in purifying themselves" [43]
Narrated Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights."[44]
Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated that his shaykh al-Rabee’ – who was the imam of the people of his time – was the fastest of the people in relieving himself and doing wudoo’.
Many people feel they get unclean on their way to the mosque.
A women from the tribe of Abd al-Ash’hal said to Allah’s Messenger,”O Messenger of Allah! I walk through a dirty place on my way to the mosque; what should I do?” He said: “Is there not a clean place for you after that dirty one?” She replied, “Yes”. He then said, “What comes after it would clean it”. [45]
‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said, “We did not perform ablution after treading over anything” [46]
Abu Ash Sha’ta said: Ibn ‘Umar used to walk bare footed in Mina’ through areas covered in dirty blood, then he would enter the Mosque and perform Salah without washing his feet” [47]
It is recorded in several narrations that ‘Ali ibn ali-Taalib used to walk bare-footed towards the mosque.
Tip: In order to avoid any waswasah sprinkle water over your clothing after relieving yourself, so that in case you doubt later on, you say “this is the water I sprinkled”.

8.4. Wasting Time

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, "The feet of the son of Adam will not move away from his Lord on the Day of Resurrection till he is asked about five things about his life, how he spent it; about his youth, how he passed it; about his wealth, how he earned it; and on what he poured it; and what he did with that which he learnt." [48]
Half an hour for every Salah (common for OCD patients) and few more times here and there makes it around 3 hours/day in the washroom. When you are asked on the Day of Judgment: “Where did you spend your age? [49]” 3 hours/day makes it 1100 hours/year approximately. Meaning a person living 60 years spends almost 8 years in the washroom. Are you ready to reply Allah that I used to spend 1/8th of my day in the washroom and hence I spent 8 or so years of my life in washroom?

8.5. Skipping Obligatory and over-doing another task

If one remakes Wudu’ many times and takes a lot of time and resources in "purification", it is certain that one will miss Salaht-ul Jama'ah, the Khutba of Jum’uah and he will delay Salah. He will not only lose great rewards like praying in first row, with first takbeer, rather because of his doubts he would start leaving obligatory tasks.

8.6. Doubts/Uncertainty/Forgetfulness in Salah

Some people get so many doubts (waswaas) in Salah that they start doing Sajda-e-Sahw (the prostration for mistake) at the end of every Salah. Fuqaha (jurists) divide the parts of prayer into pillars (Arkaan), obligatory (Wajibaat) and Sunnah (Sunan). According to Hanbali Jurists the pillars are arkaan are fourteen, the wajibaat are eight and the sunan are numerous. The details can be found in any book of Fiqh[50]. Sajda-e-Sahw is done when we make some mistake (addition or omission) in any essential act (rukn or wajib) of Salah or when we are in doubt.
i- When you are sure that you have missed a rukn (pillar) you must carry out that rukn and do Sajda e Sahw at the end.
ii- When you are in doubt regarding any pillar you act according to what your mind is more inclined to and perform Sajda e Sahw at the end.
iii- If you miss any or you are in doubt regarding any Wajib, it can be compensated by doing Sajda e Sahw in the end, and you don’t necessarily need to carry out the missed act even if you are sure that you missed it.
iv- If you miss any Sunan, it is not a must to carry out Sajda e Sahw.
v- If one forgets to do an obligatory Sajda e Sahw then he should carry it out when he/she remembers it. But if a long time has passed then he doesn’t need to do anything and the prayer is valid [51].
People suffering from Waswaas get many doubts during Salah:
- Which Rak’ah is this?
Follow what you think is more likely and do Sajda-e-Sahw [52] in the end. If you can’t decide the more likely, then follow the safer approach [53] and do Sajda e Sahw in the end.
Allah’s Messenger said , “If any of you doubts during his prayer then he should try to discern the more certain and correct case, then complete the prayer based upon it, then perform tasleem, followed by two prostrations."[54]
In another hadith narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, Allah’s Messenger said , "If any of you doubts during his prayer and he does not know how many [raka’aat] he has prayed, whether it is three or four, then he should discard and cast away his doubt. He is to continue upon what one is sure of [i.e. the lesser] then perform two prostrations before making tasleem. If he ends up [in reality] praying five [raka’aat], then his prayer will be an intercession for him; and if he ends up completely the [requisite] four [raka’aat] then it is targheeman for Shaitaan." [55]
An-Nawawi says : “ targheeman: i.e., a way of annoying Satan and humiliating and embarrassing him, as well as rejecting him as a result of his failure to achieve his desire of disturbing the worshipper.”[56]
- Mind wandering away?
Mind wandering away in Salah is very common, and it even happened at the time of Sahaba, and Allah’s Messenger told us of a Specific Shaitaan who does that and asked us to seek refuge from it and spit to ward off the Shaitaan. Allah’s Messenger did not mention Sajda e Sahw in this case, so one should not make it a habit to do Sajda e Sahw at the end of every Salah considering that his mind did wander away to some extent.
Allah’s Messenger said, “A person may be distracted whilst praying so only one-half of it, or one-quarter, or one-tenth or less, is recorded for him”[57]
One important thing for those suffering from waswaas to know is: You are not suffering from any memory-loss rather it’s a reduced confidence in one’s memory. [58] Shaitaan is attacking your meta-memory and it can’t really change your physical memory directly. So, you must remember that when you suffer from forgetfulness in Salah, those might be natural if they happen rarely, considering that they happened some times in the life of the best (Allah’s Messenger) as well. But, if that happens very often then you are person who is doubting a lot and is affected by waswaas; and reading the ahaadith on the subject one realizes that one of the main objective of those rulings is to humiliate the Shaitaan by being un-bothered by those doubts and giving him a hard reply by your actions: “Your waswaas are of no use, Shari’ah has a very simple solution to it”. And don’t let Shaitaan get happy by confusing you to an extent that you have to break or re-do your Salah. Re-doing Salah is not amongst the Sunnah of the Salaf (the best three generations), hence one should try and perform his Salah in the best possible way in the first attempt, and one shouldn’t keep on redoing a single Salah.
Fuqaha have differentiated between the normal rulings and rulings for the person who doubts a lot (Katheer ush Shak). And Fuqaha have said that such a person should not pay any attention to such doubts and should not even perform Sajda e Sahw to get rid of Shaitaan [59], until he gets normal. So, if you are in a habit of doing Sajda e Sahw very frequently you must know that the Shar’iah demands that you build confidence in yourself and repel the Shaitaan and stop showing any signs of confusion in Salah. Furthermore, it is equally essential that you remember that Allah knows the condition of your heart, and you remain contented and hopeful that he will accept your Salah.

8.7. Precaution or Waswasah?

What an OCD person labels as precaution is in actual a waswasah.
- Precaution is to follow the Sunnah in the best possible way and to avoid any negligence and exaggeration in following the Sunnah.
- Waswasah is that a person exaggerates beyond the practice of Allah’s Messenger and his companions, deeming it to be a part of religion or a necessary ‘precaution’ for himself. E.g. Cleaning parts of body more than thrice in wudu’, using excessive water in wudu’ or ghusl.
Ibn al-Qayyim says, “There are thousands of things which the people afflicted with waswaas take as a part of religion, cloaked in ‘precaution’, whereas, precaution is to be exercised in following the sunnah” [60]

8.8. Conclusion

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "The (whole) earth has been made a mosque (or a place of prayer) and a means of purification for me, so wherever a man of my ummah may be when the time for prayer comes, let him pray." [61]
So, this hadith clarifies that matters of Salah and purification were made easy for this Ummah, and he who inflicts himself with troubles and extremes that are not from Allah, will be judged with added strictness too. So, what Allah has made easy, let it be easy.
We are wrong, when we try to be flaw-less in our ‘ibadaat. We do, and will continue to make mistakes. No Salah of ours is perfect enough to be presentable to Allah. No Wudu’ of ours is complete enough to be shown to Allah. ‘Ibadaat are not a transaction with Allah, but it is a request for the mercy of Allah and Allah has himself told you: "Allah wants ease for you, and does not want difficulty"[62]. Why do we recite استغقرالله thrice immediately after Salah? This is a confession, an admission that we were not able to pray the way we were supposed to. Why do we ask Allah to make us amongst the توابين after wudu’? This is a clear-cut confession that we have grave errors in performing the orders of Allah, including wudu’. The solution is to follow the guidelines set by the Prophet Muhammad and to follow his illuminated path. He had already warned us of the tricks of Shaitaan. He already warned us that these tricks would get severe in future: "There will be people from my nation who will transgress in making supplications and in purifying themselves". So, are you still going to prefer the waswaas of Shaitaan over the commands and guidelines of Prophet Muhammad? Are you going to make the religion difficult for yourself to follow?
Narrated Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights." [63]
Allah is not in need of our Salah or our wudu’. He has ordered to us perform tayamum in case we don't find water. We have changed the way we perceive cleanliness. We try to leave behind the Prophet Muhammad and Sahaba in the matters of purification. Can we ever do that? So, where are we heading? We are over-emphasizing one thing. We are making things difficult for ourselves. They never lived in homes which were dust-free. They had cats in their homes. There was soil on the ground in their homes and in their mosques even. Prophet Muhammad was seen prostrating in 'muddy water'[64]. We have complicated religion for ourselves and we do it out of a sense of over-carefulness thinking this is something which Allah likes. Islam doesn’t ask us to be germ free and Taharah doesn’t mean germless-ness.We need to mend our thinking, even our concept of 'taharah' and 'cleanliness'.
The way out of waswaas is to oppose what the Shaitaan is telling. If Shaitaan is telling you to leave your Salah and perform it again, oppose it. If he's asking you to spend more time in wudu’, do the opposite. Let us not inflict trouble on the 'angels' (kiraman katibeen) with us by spending too much time in the impure washroom, in the name of 'purity'. Let us not deprive ourselves of fazail of various matters by our self-imposed compulsions. Let us not enrage Allah by making His easy deen, difficult for our own selves. Let us defeat the Shaitaan and see things exactly the way Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) did, and realize that his way is the best, and we cannot leave him behind.


9. Things to do[65]

1- Start Now, Don’t leave it off for tomorrow

2- Knowledge Base # 1 - Identify your enemy and its tricks
Surely the Shaitaan is your enemy, so take him for an enemy; he only invites his party that they may be inmates of the burning. [66]

3- Knowledge Base # 2 - Know the limitations of your enemy
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him): A man came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: Apostle of Allah! One of us has thoughts of such nature that he would rather be reduced to charcoal than speak about them. He said: Allah is Most Great, Allah is Greatest, Allah is Most Greatest. Praise be to Allah Who has reduced the guile of the devil to evil prompting. Ibn Qudamah said "reduced his matter" instead of "reduced his guile". [67]

4- Knowledge Base # 3 - Stop Blaming yourself
Waswaas are a sign of faith. Shaitaan wishes to steal the treasure of Imaan away from you. The fact that you worry for your Imaan is a sign of its strength and a proof that its dear to you.
Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah 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.’” [68]
Al-Nawawi said in his commentary on this hadith: “The Prophet’s words, ‘That is a clear sign of faith’ means, the fact that we think of these 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.”[69]

5- Knowledge Base # 4 - Re-attribute
Attribute these thoughts as satanic whispers and do not fall in them, as they say: "We may not be able to choose what kinds of thoughts come into our mind but we definitely make the choice of what kind of thoughts we want to dwell in."

6- Knowledge Base # 5 - Re-value
Do not take these thoughts at face value. They do not define the 'real you' and are from Shaitaan to mislead you.

7- Knowledge Base # 6- Re-focus
Refocus your mind towards something positive. Work around these thoughts by focusing your attention on something else, something "positive" and "worth doing".

8- Knowledge Base # 7- Ignore the waswasah completely and don’t dwell in it
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: "Allah Most High has forgiven the wasaawis that arises in the hearts of the people of my nation until one acts upon them or talks about them" [70]

9- Knowledge Base # 8 - Learn the matters or Religion –
If you face some religious issue, don’t keep it pending in your mind, and don’t invent your own solution. Learn the Islamic Solution and you’ll figure out how simple the religion is.

10- Faith Booster # 1 - Dive into the Qur’an
Make it a habit to recite some portion of the Qur’an daily with understanding. Qur’an has immense power and it answers your doubts on faith and gives you passion for pious acts. Qur’an is the most powerful faith booster that exists today. No day of yours should go by without having recited some portion of Qur’an with understanding. Remember to recite in a loud voice when you do so.
Remember to seek Allah’s refuge from Shaitaan before Reciting Qur’an:
“So when you recite the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaitaan[71]

11- Faith Booster #  2 - Remain surrounded by people who are God Fearing and remind you of Allah
If you stay with people who have weak Imaan, then your Imaan will also start becoming weak, similarly if you stay with people with strong Imaan, your Imaan would start becoming strong.

12- Instant Weapon #1 - Seeking help from Allah
Shaitaan is our invisible enemy. We cannot defeat him without the help of Allah. We should seek refuge from the accursed Shaitaan by saying

اعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
(I seek the refuge of Allah from the accursed Shaitaan), whenever we feel that Shaitaan is overpowering us. This is your weapon. If you learn to use it properly Shaitaan will never get the opportunity to mislead you.
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
“And if an evil whisper from Shaytaan (Satan) tries to turn you away (O Muhammad) (from doing good), then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Knower” [72]
Seeking refuge is like a sword in the hand of a warrior; if the hand is strong then the sword will be able to deal the fatal blow to the enemy, otherwise the sword will not harm the enemy at all, even if it is made of burnished iron.
Similarly, if seeking refuge is done by one who is pious and fears Allah then it is like fire, which burns the Shaitaan, but if it is done by one who is confused and weak in faith then it will not have a strong impact on the enemy.
Whenever you recite something it is essential you keep its meaning in your mind.

13- Instant Weapon # 2 - Repelling Shaitaan with the Zikr (Remembrance) of Allah.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever experiences anything of this waswaas, let him say three times:
آمنت بالله ورسله
‘‘Aamantu billaahi wa rusulih” (I believe in Allah and his Messenger) and that will drive (the Shaitaan) away.” [73]
It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The Shaitaan comes to one of you and says, ‘Who created you?’ And he says ‘Allah.’ Then the Shaitaan says, ‘Who created Allah?’ If that happens to any one of you, let him say,
آمنت بالله ورسله
“Aamantu Billaahi wa rusulih” (I believe in Allah and His Messenger). Then that will go away from him.”[74]
Abul-Maleeh reports that a man said, “I was behind the Messenger and his riding animal stumbled. I said, ‘May Shaitaan perish,’ and he said, ‘Do not say, ‘May Shaitaan perish.’ If you say that he will grow in size until he becomes the size of a house and says, ‘By my strength.’ Instead say, ‘In the Name of Allah.’ When you say that, he reduces in size until he is like a fly.’”[75]

14- Instant Weapon # 3 - Repelling Shaitaan by spitting
One of the Sahabah (companions) complained to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) about waswaas during prayer, and he said: “The Shaitaan comes between me and my prayers and my recitation, confusing me therein.” The Messenger of Allah (Peace 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 Sahabi] said, I did that and Allah took him away from me. [76]
Narrated Abu Qatada: The Prophet said, "A good dream that comes true is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan, so if anyone of you sees a bad dream, he should seek refuge with Allah from Satan and should spit on the left, for the bad dream will not harm him."[77]

15- Force Field # 1 - Zikr, Remember Allah, around the clock
Yahya (peace be upon him) advised his companions: “I enjoin you to remember Allah, for the likeness of that is of a man who was pursued by the enemy, until he came to a strong fortress where he found protection from them. Similarly, a person cannot protect himself from the Shaitaan except by remembering Allah (zikr).”[78]

16- Force Field # 2 - Remain in the state of Wudu’ always.

17- Force Field # 3 - Recite Surah an-Naas and Surah al-Falaq after every Salah and before going to bed (with the meaning in your mind)

18- Force Field # 4 - Reciting Ayat al-Kursi after every Salah and before going to bed (with the meaning in your mind)
The Prophet said, “When you are about to sleep recite Ayat al-kursi (Surah al Baqarah 2: 255) till the end of the verse for there will remain over you a protection from Allah and no Shaitaan will draw near to you until morning.” [79] [80]

19- Force Field # 5 - Remember to seek Allah’s refuge from Shaitaan before entering the washroom
أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الْخُبُثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ
“I seek Allah’s refuge from male and female devils” [81]

20- Tidbit # 1 - If you feel that whispers are bombarded at you, and it seems difficult to ignore them then write opposite, on a piece of paper, and tell yourself that you are this positive one and not the one who has negative thoughts.

21- Tidbit # 2 - Do opposite to what Shaitaan does and asks you to do
Prophet Muhammad said, “When any one of you eats, let him eat with his right hand and when he drinks, let him drink with his right hand, for Shaitaan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.” [82]
He also said, “Take a midday nap because the Shayateen do not take a nap.”[83]

22- Tidbit # 3 - Avoid useless things, useless debates so that you can avoid useless thoughts.

23- Tidbit # 4 - Seek Help from others
For instance if you take lot of time in doing wudu’, make someone monitor your wudu’ and tell you: “Ok, this is enough, move to the next part”.

24- Warning # 1 - Don’t leave any obligatory act; it will make you weaker, specially the Fajr Salah. –
Messenger of Allah said, “Shaitaan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.” [84]

25- Warning # 2 - Do not be hasty. You must follow the above constantly for at-least 40 days[85], for it to show any significant effect.

26- If you still feel ‘helpless’ while confronting the waswaas, pray to Allah using the d’uaa of Ayub (Peace be upon him) :
“And (remember) Ayub (Job), when he cried to his Lord: Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy” [86]
(اللهم) أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

- Muhammad Awais Tahir
- Faiza bint Abdul Qayyum (MSc. Behavioral Sciences)
[[ By the grace of Allah, this is our third and most comprehensive write-up on the topic of OCD and its Islamic Cure. Many people have given us a positive feedback on our previous write-ups. So, the solution summarized in the end in points is tested and has worked with many brothers and sisters around the globe, by the grace of Allah. If you still have some queries and are unable to overcome obsessions/compulsions, send your queries to Muhammad.Awais.Tahir@gmail.com. Don’t forget to send us your feedback if you feel this write-up has helped you to some extent. It is advised that you print out the last chapter (i.e. Things to do) and remind yourself of it frequently. ]]
JazakAllah-u Khairan

[1] DSM-IV-TR; APA, 2000
[2] OCD Symptom Subtypes described by Ramussen and Eisen (1998)
[3] A survey done in an area with practicing religionists would yield a much larger percentage, especially, when fear of contamination gets attached to the religious incorrectness obsession.
[4] Akhtar et al., 1975; Ramussen and Eisen. 1998
[5] Salah is the Arabic term for the five daily prayers.
[6] Wudu’ is the Arabic term for ablution
[7] Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD, David A.Clark.
[8] Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR, pg.457
[9] Ibid.
[10] Waswaas is also translated as the whisperer, meaning the Shaitaan/Satan. More accurate plural of وسوسه is وساوس, but as وسواس is commonly used hence we are sticking to it.
[11] Al Qur’an - Surah Al Israa' 17:64–65
[12] Al Qur’an - Surah An Naas 114:1-6
[13] Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD, David A.Clark.
[14] Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Review, Pathan Dilnawaz. ISSN 2230 - 8407
[15] Al-Bukhari, Al-Muslim
[16] Narrated by Ahmad ; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam
[17] Two angels (Kiraman Kaatibeen) are for writing our good and bad deeds, and two angels are for our protection.
[18] Sahih al-Muslim, Masnad Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Sunan ad-Darmi
[19] Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim
[20] Al Qur’an : Surah al-Faatir 35:16
[21] Masnad Ahmed bin Hanbal (Hadith # 2131) and Sunan abu Dawud (Hadith # 5114), authenticated by al-Albani
[22] Al Qur’an: Suran an-Nahl 16:99-100
[23] Follow this link to learn how to identify satanic dreams and how to deal with them.
[24] Sahih al-Bukhari
[25] Sahih al-Muslim
[26] Al Qur’an: Surah al-Baqarah 2:268
[27] Sahih al-Muslim
[28] Al Qur’an: Surah Qaaf 50:16
[29] Al Qur’an: Surah an-Naas 114:6
[30] Al Qur’an: Surah al-An’aam 6:112
[31] Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah 1/73
[32] Ibid.
[33] Al Qur’an: Surah al-Baqarah 2:208
[34] Kitab ur Ruh, ibn al-Qayyim
[35] Sahih al-Muslim
[36] Sahih al-Muslim
[37] Sunan ibn e Majah (Hadith # 457), Sunan An Nasai (Hadith # 141) and Masnad Ahmed bin Hanbal (Hadith # 6841). Al-Albani verified it to be authentic.
[38] Masnad Ahmed and Sunan Ibn e Majah, The hadith has a weak chain as pointed out by al-Albani and Sh'uaib Arnaoot but it is used to emphasize an established fact which is mentioned many a times in the Qur'an itself.
[39] Al Qur’an: Surah Al A'araf 7:31
[40] Al Qur’an: Surah Al-An'aam 6:141
[41] Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim
[42] Ahmad, Al-Bazzar, and At-Tabarani and it has been authenticated by Sh'uaib Arnaoot
[43] Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and An-Nasa'I and it has been authenticated by al-Albani and Shu'aib Arnaoot
[44] Sahih al-Bukhari
[45] Sunan Abu Dawud and Jami’ Tirmidhi
[46] Sunan Abu Dawud and Jami’ Tirmidhi
[47] The Interpretation of the book: 'Dham Al-Muwaswiseen wat-Tahdheer Minal Waswasah', pg.47
[48] Jami’ Tirmidhi
[49] Jami’ Tirmidhi
[51] Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (14/50)
[52] There are different methods of Sajda e Sahw mentioned in ahaadith. Details can be found in a book of Fiqh.
[53] If you are in doubt whether it is third or fourth Rak’ah, then considering it to be third is the safer approach.
[54] Sahih al-Bukhari
[55] Sahih al-Muslim
[56] Sharah e Muslim An-Nawawi
[57] Masnad Ahmed bin Hanbal and Sunan Abu Dawud, authenticated by al-Albani
[58] Radomsky et al., 2001
[60] Kitab ur Ruh, Ibn al-Qayyim
[61] Sahih al-Bukhari
[62] Al Qur’an: Surah al-Baqarah
[63] Sahih al-Bukhari
[64] Sahih al-Bukhari
[65] These points have been written after lot of contemplation and discussion and special effort have been made to keep them as simple and as less as possible.
[66] Al Qur’an : Surah al-Faatir 35:16
[67] Masnad Ahmed bin Hanbal (Hadith # 2131) and Sunan abu Dawud (Hadith # 5114), authenticated by al-Albani
[68] Sahih al-Muslim
[69] Sharah e Muslim An-Nawawi
[70] Al-Bukhari, Al-Muslim
[71] Al Qur’an: Surah an-Nahl 16:98
[72] Al Qur’an: Surah al-Fussilat 41:36, Surah al-A’araaf 7:200
[73] Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6587
[74] Masnad Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Authenticated by Sh’uaib Arnaoot
[75] Sunan Abu Dawud
[76] Sahih al-Muslim
[77] Sahih al-Bukhari
[78] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2863; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi
[79] Sahih al-Bukhari
[80] There are many Azkaar (supplications) that Allah’s Messenger used to recite in the morning and evening, we have tried to keep things as simple as possible, and not over-burden affected people with too many azkaar to memorize and recite.
[81] Sunan Abu Dawud, al-Albani graded it as Sahih
[82] Sahih al-Muslim
[83] Saheeh al-Jaami’ (4/147)
[84] Sahih al-Bukhari
[85] Numerous ahaadith point towards the importance of being consistent in our actions, and the special significance of doing actions continually for 40 days is also mentioned in various ahaadith.
[86] Al Qur’an: Surah al-Anbiya’ 21:83


  1. Assalamu Alaikum brother. I really loved your article! I think it is very helpful by Alhamdulillah. I have been suffering from waswasa for quite some time and I have a question I would like to ask.  I often feel some air in the anus but am sure that it is trapped air that is not from an impure site. I can feel it during movement. There is no sound or smell. I am not sure whther it breaks my wudu or not. I usually feel this only during salah. Can I continue praying if I feel such air? And can I pray more than one salah with a wudu I am in doubt of? I am trying to follow the steps that you have given. Please pray for me so that I can defeat the shayateen!
    Your sister in Islam

  2. Dear Sister,

    Jazakillah for appreciation and sending your question.

    you just 'feel' the wind, and you are praying and you don't HEAR its
    sound, or you don't SMELL it, then there is no need for you to leave
    your salah, specially when you have been suffering from waswaas.

    The ruling on the topic is very clear-cut.

    'Abbad ibn Tameem related that his uncle queried the Prophet about a
    person who feels something in his abdomen while praying. Said the
    Prophet, "He should not leave (the prayer) until he hears it or smells it."Hope it helps.JazakiLLAH u Khairan.

  3.  Asslamualaikum brother.  Jazakamullah It is very helpful the people who are in great distress with ocd.  I do a lot zikr of Allah to avoid negative thoughts coming to mind constantly. But unable to resist hand washing and and unable to do household works and office works on time as I am bombarded with bad thoughts every time.  I have been trying to follow your guidelines and valuable advice.  Kindly advise and pray for me. 

  4. check your email please muhammad 

  5. MashaAllaah, this should go into publication - would be a useful pocket book tool for many, me especially

  6. i am suffering with ocd.this has made my life worst than hell.no one understands my situation.i cant enjoy my life.

  7. I am suffering with OCD as well . Good work guiding me how to handle it bro. 

  8. Assalam walaikum
    it is a good guide. I get opsessions alot. It may sound stupid but sometimes i feel like my life isn't real; as in when i do something, it's not actually happening. And when I pray i feel like i didn't even say certain things. when i do the wudu or ghusl i take quite some, i personally feel i have improved in taking less time but parents still say i waste too much time and i know they are right. i did tell my parents about me having OCD and that i may also have dispersonalisation disorder but i didn't have that a long time before. And just so you know my parents aren't muslim. Im not sure what is real and what isn't sometimes so should i just go with what i feel i have done right?
    All your help is much appreciated
    thank you

  9. Dear Sister Aman,
    You didn't leave your contact address. I hope you come to the blog again to read the reply. Kindly contact me over Muhammad.Awais.Tahir@gmail.com. In sha' Allah, we'll get over the OCD problem.(For some technical reasons your comment is not appearing here)
    Muhammad Awais Tahir

  10. By the way, Im a guy. Thanks for your reply. Sorry i forgot to put my contact details.

  11. Assalamu allikum , really nice work , I wonder how u analyzed OCD ers problem this much , without feeling that,I am OCD sufferer, I hv the problem in Wudu, in salah, and some . Some times when I was in salah some worst word abt god comes in mind automatically. That's very worst thing, how to over come that, jazakallah hiree for ur blog bro, tks, bye

  12. If you have anxiety related to OCD, cut back on your caffeine (especially coffee). Coffee can increase anxiety due to its high caffeine nature.

  13. Dear brother,
    may Allah bless u for spreading peace of Islam.

  14. Assalamu alaikum brother
    Please check you mail I have sent yesterdayALLAH HAFIZ

  15. Subhanallah. Thank you Allah. Thank you bro. 

  16. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
    السلام عليكم
    بارك الله فيكم for this great series for wiswas, wanted to point out that what you have translated for "ورسله" for the text that has footnote 74, "messenger" would instead be "messengers", if I'm not mistaken now, because رسول has the plural "رسل"

  17. Thanks for the correction bro. You're right. I'll have it changed, in sha' Allah. 

  18. jazakallah very good

  19. Drugs are Prohibited in Islam, and those entire thing which
    have near to drugs like win, Sigridcheap umrah packages 2013

  20. As-salaamu-alaikum Sir! Thank u vry vry mch for this beautiful article and for educating us! It has helped me a lot to start making efforts again to put away my OCD problem. So far i havnt been vry successful, but i'll keep tryin until my problems go away Inshallah.
    Surely knowledge helps us to handle our problem in a better way. Thank u vry mch for tellin us about what The Prophet (SAWS) taught. Alhamdulillah It has increasd my faith n determination 2 do whats right. May Allah (SWT) bless u greatly for ur good work..

  21. Asalam o alaikum!
    I have been suffering from OCD/psychatrist from last 4 years..... I even have not read the whole topIc because its too large when I will get my first good time I will read it completely Inshallah...
    Literally I don't have no words to speak at all. You know why because all have you written is totally the talk of my mind/heart....
    I was able to know this term OCD from last 3 years...
    I searched a lot on this term on google,youtube and Facebook,etc. And when I read about it. I understood its each and every term of it(what are obsessions, compulsions, germophobia,etc.. Even in Masjids I was able to recognize the man with OCDs while they were washing their hands and doing ablution again and again.. At that when I talked to them they asked me in a very modest manner, Brother! How you know It?, Leave it how you know it, tell me the solution... At that moment I used to say to them that CONSULT a psychatrist...
    InshALlah when next time any OCD sufferer will meet me Inshallah I will tell the things gain fro mthis topic.)
    I Was Also researching and was relating OCD with Islam and met only 1 Alim,when I tried to do reseArches on ocd from Islamic point of view,believe it or not obsessive thoughts came to my mind and I was used to busy in obsessive thoughts and today I am realizing that some other forces used to give me obsessive thoughts and was not abling me to relate it with ISlam, those fOrces didn't want me to know what Islam say about OCD and thoughts came to my mind that I thought how Astagfirullah Islam know what is OCD?, its a disease like other diseases. Becuse when you search OCD on google.Researches show its a disease but now today being a Muslim I am able to understand because of your helping topic that its not a disease its a wassawas of shitan/satanic thoughts indeed. Consider it my weakness I didn't relate Islam and OCD.But today ALLAH has given me the right path of understanding what basically OCD is??I have written a long comment so that's why I am not writing more but stll I have my words to say.
    ALLAH blesses you and may give you the reward and give you success in every walk of life and may give you more and more opportunities to serve the humanity.
    ALLAHHAFIZ and take care

  22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YfYbQxgPog

    these link well help who have ocd in shaa alah

  23. what a great find alhumdulilah. jazaakallah khayr for an honest and well researched article which has really illuminated me a lot.

  24. Assalamu'alaikum thank u so much... for your amazing article because i have lot of waswaas and it will inshallah help me to come out of my problem.... JAZAKALLAHU KHAIR....

  25. JAZAKALLAHU KHAIR. May Allah bless you for this very useful article with practical tips on how to overcome these thoughts...

  26. I have some friends who face this problem that is formation of an "air bubble" in vagina which is regular and cause of irritation too.I have questions about the same :

    1) What solutions is there to cure it?

    2)Does it invalidates wudu and makes clothes impure too? Which means the person needs to re-do wudu and make prayer again?

  27. Subhanallah. This is a great article and I have been looking for ways and means to tackle this problem as I too suffer from this. I have prayed to Allah to help me in this and i am so thankful to you for this write-up. I have been trying or at least I make the intention that I should not follow the waswaas but its very hard and I fail so many times. After reading this article I am just filled with so much gratitude and with renewed zeal of tackling this problem. Brother you are doing a very good work and may Allah reward you for this.

  28. Dear RH,
    Thanks for your appreciation, prayers and feedback.
    I hope you are doing great.


  30. Salam Alaikum brother, Im very grateful that i found this article it has helped me tremendously with unwanted thoughts that kept showing up in my mind. I just followed the simple steps of how to defeat it and Mashalla my first day im already making progress.

  31. thanks a lot for the article :D
    i wanna ask some questions, is it ok if i email you?

  32. aoa i realy like your aricle feel vry relaxe but only for a while i alwys feel like i dont respect our Holy Prophet sallalaho ale hi wasalam because when read his name bad thougts about him came in my mind and i cannot able to control it thats why i m not get out from it only for that time i m reading yor article i wwas feeling gud after that again that thougts came to me its like i m not feeling bad or worry about it .i suddendly love the other things and dont whant to love and respect Holy PROPHET sallalaho ale hi wasalm please help me

  33. Salaam brother. Thank you for this article. But I'd like to ask how about OCD where one has violent thoughts to harm, kill loved one and mutilate myself. I have had this gruesome thoughts just very recently. This thought made me really fear to be close to my loved one I have fear I'll really act upon the thoughts and actually kill her. So every time I see my loved one I become very afraid and keep a distance from her. Please how can I overcome this.

  34. Assalamu alaikum

    Have you in the meantime get any new ideas or insights against dirt/washing disorder? That trying to be "clean" all the time and seeing everything as dirty which had contact with supposed dirty things (not necessarily najs).

  35. Assalam-o-alaikum Sufferer,

    Go to the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY, and get the right kind of medication. This may not be OCD - it may be something else (bipolar). Thoughts about harming oneself can come with bipolar.

    Do NOT take this lightly by any means - please get the help you need. Allah provides us all with help.


    Sister Fatima

  36. Respected sir,

    i suffer from severe anxiety due to shaitaan. It makes me uncomfortable to the point where i fear alot. i get palpitations and headaches. I know its only shaitaan that is bombarding me with unwanted thoughts that induces fear in me. I need Allah's help, in fact everyone needs His help, I want your comments on that. Thanks brother.

  37. slaam please email me on zeb777@hotmail.co.uk

  38. slaam please email me on zeb777@hotmail.co.uk i can help you insh allah

  39. dear sister please email me asap i can help you allah swt willing.

  40. I have main wasswass while I do fard ghusl can anyone help me