Answered by Shaykh Omar Quereshi

Question: Asalaamu alaykum,
I wanted to ask a serious question regarding waswasa (whisperings). I’m not entirely sure whether it is waswasa or not. when i perform salah, attend a dhikr gathering, search for knowledge or even attend a Mawlid of the prophet; i start hearing disgusting remarks attacking the prophet SAW and even Allah SWT. its very distressing and im not sure if its waswasah or if its something that’s deep rooted in me. i have no idea and i cant talk to anybody about it because its too shameful. i would rather leave salah than listen to any of the horrible phrases that come into my mind. it mostly happens when im in a group and i cant stand it anymore. im try to be patient and seek Allahs Help and will continue doing so Inshallah. please advise me as best you can sheikh.

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaikum.

Ibn Ata’illah said:

“Do not abandon the remembrance [of Allah the Exalted] because you do not feel any presence therein. For your abandoning the remembrance [of Allah the Exalted] is worse than your forgetfulness when remembering Him. For perhaps He will take you from [a state of] remembrance of Him with forgetfulness (ghafla) to a state of remembrance with awareness (yaqadha), and from one with presence  to one wherein all is absent but the Invoked. “And that is not difficult for Allah.” [Quran 14:20]”

What you are experiencing is definitely a trial that Allah the Exalted is putting you through. May He the Exalted take you out of this trial while maintaining full adab with Him. These notions that occur are demonic (shaytani) in source. The goal of them is to get you to abandon all of your acts of worship all together. For, as Ibn Ata’illah has mentioned, that is a worst state to be in and that is what the goal of these demons is: to put you in a worst state by abandoning your acts of worship all together.

You should continue your acts of worship and never abandon them. Continue to fight these notions whenever they occur. Realize and be convinced of the source of these notions and that they are only meant to further you away from Allah the Exalted. Ask Allah the Exalted to help you through this situation. Every time they occur, invoke blessings and peace upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and inshaAllah they will go away. The best advice I can offer is to find a spiritual guide (shaykh) who is qualified to help you fight these notions.

Allah the Exalted knows.
Omar Qureshi

Shaykh Omar Qureshi completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri – Columbia in Microbiology in 1995 and later obtained a M.Ed. in Science Education – Curriculum and Instruction from the same institution. As a teacher in Saudi Arabia, he also studied various Islamic Sciences with Sh. Salman Abu-Ghuddah. He continued his Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria at Ma’had al-Tahdhib wa-l-Ta’lim and privately with local Damascene scholars such as Sh. Hussain Darwish. Currently Omar serves as the Dean of Academics and Instruction at Islamic Foundation School located at Villa Park, Illinois. In addition to teaching, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education and Comparative Education at Loyola University in Chicago, where he is focusing on Muslim moral educational philosophy.

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