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Rufai Oladimeji
, Nigeria.
Question

There is a woman who experiences
waswasah (whispers from the
Shaytaan) when she prays, and she
always thinks about sexual matters
whilst praying. How can she rid
herself of these whispers? Does she
have to interrupt her prayer every
time?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

Waswasah (compulsive thoughts) is
a kind of sickness that stems from
the Shaytaan gaining control over a
person, or when a person is
overpowered by his nafs that is
inclined to evil. Hence the remedy
for that is to strengthen your faith
and weaken the Shaytaan’s leverage
over you; to do a lot of acts of
worship and turn to Allah,
remembering Him (dhikr), glorifying
Him (tasbeeh) and seeking His
forgiveness; to resort to prayer; and
to turn to Allah, may He be exalted,
and beseech Him to relieve you of
this evil and harm. For He, may He
be glorified, is the best to respond,
and He is more merciful to His slave
than he is to himself. Allah, may He
be exalted, says (interpretation of
the meaning):

“Is not He (better than your gods)
Who responds to the distressed one,
when he calls Him, and Who
removes the evil, and makes you
inheritors of the earth, generations
after generations. Is there any ilah
(god) with Allah? Little is that you
remember!”
[an-Naml 27:62]
“And (remember) Ayoob (Job), when
he cried to his Lord: ‘Verily, distress
has seized me, and You are the Most
Merciful of all those who show
mercy.’
So We answered his call, and We
removed the distress that was on
him”
[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:83-84] .

You will find that many of those
who are afflicted with waswasah are
neglectful of reciting the adhkaar
that are prescribed for morning and
evening, when going to sleep, when
entering and exiting the house, and
when eating and drinking. This gives
the Shaytaan more power over them
and enables him to instil in them
bad and evil thoughts, so as to
increase them in distress and grief.

Secondly:

One of the most effective ways of
dealing with waswasah is to ignore
it and to try hard to pay no
attention to it, until it goes away
altogether. Ibn Hajar al-Makki (may
Allah have mercy on him) was asked
about the disease of waswasah; is
there any remedy for it?
He replied: There is an effective
remedy for it, which is to ignore it
altogether, no matter how often
these thoughts come to mind. If no
attention is paid to them, then they
will not take root; rather they will
disappear after a short time, as has
happened with those who are given
divine help. As for the one who pays
attention to them and acts
accordingly, they will continue to
increase until they drive him to
insanity, and even worse, as we
have seen in the case of many of
those who were faced with these
compulsive thoughts, and they paid
attention to them and to the devils
who cause them.

End quote from al-Fataawa al-
Fiqhiyyah al-Kubra (1/149).

Thirdly:
The one who is faced with the
problem of waswasah should
understand that he will not be
called to account for ideas that
cross his mind, no matter how bad
they are, whether they come to him
whilst he is praying or otherwise, so
long as he hates them and wants
them to go away. This is indicated
by the report narrated by Muslim
(132) from Abu Hurayrah, who said:
Some of the companions of the
Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) came and asked
him: We find in ourselves
something that is too awful for any
of us to speak of it. He said: “Do
you really find that?” They said: Yes.
He said: “That is clear faith.”.
In other words, hating that and
being distressed by it is indicative of
faith in the heart.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may
Allah have mercy on him) was
asked:
Whispers and thoughts may cross a
person’s mind, especially with
regard to Tawheed and faith; will
the Muslim be brought to account
for that?
He replied: It is proven from the
Messenger of Allah (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him), in as-
Saheehayn and elsewhere, that he
said: “Allah has pardoned my
ummah for what crosses their
minds, so long as they do not act
upon it or speak of it.” Agreed upon.
And it is proven that the Sahaabah
(may Allah be pleased with them)
asked him (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) about what
might cross their minds of these
whispers and thoughts, and what is
referred to in the question, and he
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) responded by saying,
“That is clear faith.” Narrated by
Muslim. And he (blessings and peace
of Allah be upon him) said: “People
will keep asking questions until it is
said: Allah created this creation, but
who created Allah? Whoever
experiences anything of that
nature, let him say: I believe in
Allah and His Messengers.” Agreed
upon. According to another report,
he said: “…let him seek refuge with
Allah and stop (such thoughts).”
Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh.
End quote from Tu hfat al-Ikhwaan
bi Ajwibah Muhimmah tata‘allaq bi
Arkaan al-Islam , question no. 10.

As that is the case, then you must
be very cautious and avoid listening
to the whispers of the Shaytaan
about giving up worship because of
what crosses one’s mind of haraam
matters whilst praying. Rather the
individual should continue with his
prayer, no matter what crosses his
mind, and he should not interrupt
his prayer or repeat it; rather he
should strive to ignore these
thoughts, and they will go away, by
Allah’s leave.
See the answer to question no.
25778.

However, we should point out here
that it is essential for her to keep
away from anything that may
provoke these whispers and evil
thoughts in her mind, such as
watching movies or looking at
indecent images that may settle in
people’s minds, and lead to them
acting upon them, even if that is
after a while.

If she is faced with any problem of
that nature, despite her dislike of it,
or if she feels that she has desire
for intimacy with her husband, then
she should fulfil her desire with her
husband first, before she prays, if
that is possible and there is still
enough time for offering an
obligatory prayer.

Abu’d-Dardaa’ (may Allah be pleased
with him) said: It is part of a
person’s understanding of religion
to fulfil his needs (or desires) so
that he can focus on his prayer
wholeheartedly. Narrated by al-
Mirwazi in Ta‘zeem Qadr as-Salaah
(134), and in a mu‘allaq report in
Saheeh al-Bukhaari .

We ask Allah, may He be glorified
and exalted, to help and guide us
and you.

For more information on ways of
attaining proper focus and humility
in prayer, please see the essay 33
Ways of Attaining Khushoo‘ (proper
focus and humility) In Prayer in the
Articles & Books section of our
website.

And Allah knows best.

islamqa.info/en/answers/88106/when-she-is-praying-whispers-come-to-her-about-sexual-matters

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