I have bad thoughts every 5 minutes. I tried my best to stop these thoughts but it keeps recurring. Sometimes the bad thoughts are about Allah Ta’ala. Does having bad thoughts about Allah Ta’ala constitute a Muslim a disbeliever? What solutions can you advise to rid myself of bad thoughts?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Thoughts are of two types, voluntary and involuntary. One should not introduce evil thoughts in the mind. This could be done through exposing the mind to things which develop bad thoughts. For example one should be careful of the material one reads or sees. A bad read or an impermissible sight will develop evil thoughts.
If one experiences involuntary bad thoughts then one should ignore them. This is done by conditioning the mind. Think of a highway, whilst driving one is concerned about the road ahead and does not give any significance to the traffic that surrounds oneself. In the world of thoughts one should “drive” pass these involuntary thoughts and pay attention to the work or occupation that is before oneself. Another example is a livewire, if you ignore the live wire it remains harmless but no sooner you interfere with it then it harms you.
Your problem is not a new one. It is an old plot from the tricks of Shaytaan. Shaytaan wants to distract you by arresting your attention. The Sahabah Radiyallāhu ‘Anhum once complained to Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam about thoughts of a similar nature;
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: جَاءَ نَاسٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَسَأَلُوهُ: إِنَّا نَجِدُ فِي أَنْفُسِنَا مَا يَتَعَاظَمُ أَحَدُنَا أَنْ يَتَكَلَّمَ بِهِ، قَالَ: وَقَدْ وَجَدْتُمُوهُ؟ قَالُوا: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: ذَاكَ صَرِيحُ الْإِيمَانِ
Abu Hurairah reports, some companions of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam came and they said, “Verily we have such thought that which we regard speaking about it to be a heinous act.” Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, “Do you really have such thought?” they replied, “Yes” he replied, “That is a clear sign of your belief.” [Sahih Muslim vol.1 pg.191; Dar Ihya Turath]
From the above Hadith it is understood such thoughts are not abnormal for those who have true faith. A thief looks to commit theft only in places which have some goods of value. Shaytaan will launch an attack on the hearts of those who have true Imaan.
When these thoughts come recite Ta’awudh;
أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
لَا حول وَلَا قُوَّة إِلَّا بِاللَّه الْعلي الْعَظِيم
And busy yourself with other work to keep your mind preoccupied from these type of thoughts.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Mahmood | darulmahmood.net