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Waswasa (Satanic whispers) and its remedies.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa-TT.com



The question laid out in the scenario below is based on an inability to decipher whether or not the situation that arose is one of waswasa or not.  Therefore the need to ask the question.

I always enter my house toilet with slippers on.

My house toilet when flushed sometimes splashes water out from the toilet bowl and on to the floor.  These drops are only visible on close inspection.  I try to clean the floor after finishing from the toilet, but sometimes if I am in a rush for Salah or for work I do not clean the floor.  Therefore drops would have accumulated over a period of time on the toilet floor.  After finishing in the toilet sometimes I make wudhu in the sink next to it and water will land on the same floor.

On Thursday, after finishing in the toilet I exited in to a carpeted room wearing the same slippers that I had used in the toilet.  This would cause any napaaki on the slippers to dry, although may be not fully.  This will depend on how much wetness there was on the toilet floor.  If wudhu was made, then the bottom of the slippers would be more wet than if only the toilet had been used.                                                                                                                                                            

After this I walked outside in the same slippers to my car which was a few feet away.  I then drove to Masjid.  After exiting the car I walked around outside in the Masjid car park for over an hour providing security.  The grounds of the car park was partially wet as it had been raining earlier in the day.

After an hour or so and just prior to entering the Masjid, I accidentally stepped in a muddy puddle of water which caused water to get on to my slippers, through my leather and cotton socks such that the dampness could be felt on my feet.  I was not sure what to do.  I stood outside in the car park and took about five minutes to decide my next course of action after which I entered the carpeted lobby area of the Masjid.  Prior to doing so I removed my leather and cotton socks so that the carpet would not become wet.  After this I placed my feet on to the carpet of the lobby area.

However some moisture from my feet would have got on to the carpet.  I then walked through the carpeted lobby, through the Masjid (Jamat Khana) and to the wudhu khana where I washed my feet.  Prior to entering the Masjid (Jamat Khana) I tried to carefully place the dry part of my leather socks in the carpeted lobby area as I thought that I do not want to take in to the Jamat Khana potentially napaak socks.  However, a subsequent doubt has arisen as to whether I was careful enough in this respect.

My mind is now occupied with the thought, which I cannot shift, which is:

  1. Is the carpeted lobby area of the Masjid now napaak and how far does that napaaki extend to?
  2. Does it extend to the Jamat Khana too?
  3. What about the carpeted area where I placed my leather socks?
  4. If napaak, how do I address the washing of the carpet with the Masjid committee without bringing humiliation to myself?

The aforementioned worries are consuming my mind and I cannot seem to see a way out.  Logic says to me that it is far-fetched that napaaki from my toilet floor could end up on the Masjid carpet, but I can’t be certain whether my conclusion is correct or not.  I know that there would be no visible sign or even possibly smell of napaaki on the carpet, but I do not know whether this would be sufficient to result in a finding that the carpet is pure.

Please assist


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

What you are experiencing are the whispers (Waswasah) of the Shaytaan, whose aim is to cause misery and distress to the Believers to the extent that they become despondent in the mercy of Allah ﷻ. 

These `satanic whispers` you are suffering are however, a clear sign of your Imaan and steadfastness upon Islam. Abu Harairah رضى الله عنه narrates that some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came to the Prophet ﷺ and said to him, ‘We find in ourselves thoughts (whispers of the Shaytaan) that are too terrible to speak of.’ He said, ‘Are you really suffering from that?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That is a clear sign of Imaan’ (Muslim).  

The whispers of Shaytaan mainly come to those who strive in seeking the pleasure of Allah ﷻ in doing good deeds and actions with devotion and sincerity. This is because, those who follow their desires and transgress the laws of Shariah are exactly where the Shaytaan wants them to be, just as a thief does not enter a ruined house.

The Shaytaan, through his whispers, seeks to conspire against the believers and misguide them from the straight path by corrupting their Aqeedah (beliefs) and ruining their acts of worship. Without doubt, Salah is one of the greatest act of worship, hence the reason the Shaytaan comes to a person while in Salah and tries to cast doubt in his mind regarding the amount of Raakat performed, ritual purity (Taharah), cleanliness of clothes, place etc.[1] Similarly, the Shaytaan comes to a person while performing Wudhu and cast doubt in his mind  to the extent that a person washes a limb or part thereof constantly thinking that it was not washed properly, even after the completion of wudhu he has doubts as to whether his wudhu is correct or not.

You should rest assured that these Whispers are mere imaginations, baseless assumptions and suspicions which are far away from reality. Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life and shows has how to deal and counteract the problem of Satanic Whispers.

How to combat the whisperers of Shaytaan

(1) Be Steadfastness upon Islam and have complete Reliance upon Allah ﷻ.

Allah ﷻ mentions in the Noble Quran:

إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Surely he (Shaytan) has no power over those who believe and rely on their Lord.


(2) Seek refuge in Allah ﷻ by reciting Ta’awwudh, Surah an-Naas and Surah al-Falaq. Allah ﷻ mentions:

وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytaan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

(3) Ignore the whispers completely and do not pay any attention to it, do not even entertain it by seeking any clarification regarding what was whispered.[2]

* قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يأتي الشيطانُ أحدَكم فيقول من خلق كذا وكذا ؟ حتى يقول له من خلق ربَّك ؟ فإذا بلغ ذلك فليستعذ بالله ولينته هـ

Imam Muslim (ra) narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah رضى الله عنه that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: The Shaytan comes to one of you and says: Who created this and that? Until he questions: Who created your Lord? When he comes to that, one should seek refuge in Allah and keep away (don’t pay any attention towards the satanic whispers).

* عن عباد بن تميم، عن عمه: أنه شكا إلى النبيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الرجل يخيَّل إليه أنه يجد الشيء في الصلاة، قال لا ينصرف، حتى يسمع صوتًا، أو يجد ريحًا هـ

‘Abbad bin Tamim رضى الله عنه said: My uncle asked the Prophet ﷺ about a person who imagined to have passed wind during the prayer. The Prophet ﷺ replied: “He should not leave his prayers unless he hears sound or smells something (i.e. until he is certain that his wudhu is broken).

The Islamic Jurists have derived from the above Hadith and the likes of it the following Legal Maxim: “Certainty is not dispelled by doubt”. Certainty regarding a matter is not removed if doubt befalls it. This certainty is only overruled by something similar to i.e. with certainty. Thus if a person is certain about a matter and doubts comes to him, he does not take such doubts into consideration.

For example, a person is certain about being in a state of ritual purity (Taharah), cleanliness of his body, clothes etc. thereafter, he has doubts regarding it he is considered be in a state of ritual purity and similarly, his clothes, body etc. is clean and pure.

(4) Occupy yourself; a person should occupy himself with something beneficial, before the Shaytaan occupies him with his whispers.

(5)Remembrance of Allah:ﷻ The best thing a person can occupy his mind with is the remembrance of Allah ﷺ by Dhikr, optional Salah, recitation of Quran, supplication (Dua) and acknowledging the countless favors of Allah ﷻ upon him. Allah ﷻ mentions: “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility.” Allah ﷻ also mentions: “And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allah) (i.e. the Quran and worship of Allah), We appoint for him a Shaytan to be a companion for him.[3]

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: The Shaytaan sits perched upon the heart of a person, the moment he becomes absentminded and heedless he whispers. Then, as soon as he remembers Allah ﷻ he withdraws.[4]

A person should be habitually in reciting the morning and evening Ad`iyah (invocations).  

(6) Consider it a test from Allah ﷻ, exercise patience, hope for rewards from Allah ﷻ and don’t ever despair of the mercy of Allah ﷻ.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ هَمٍّ وَلاَ حُزْنٍ وَلاَ أَذًى وَلاَ غَمٍّ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا، إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ هـ‏

“No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.”

When Allah ﷻ loves a person he puts him to tests and trails in order that his sins be forgiven and his status be elevated.

(7) Intentionally expressing a heedless and thoughtless attitude to his whispers while being happy and cheerful in a sarcastic manner ridiculing to the Shaytaan, as though you are least bothered or care less about him. This is because nothing displeases the Shaytaan more than the joy and happiness experienced by a Believer. Therefore, do not be depressed and worried since it only adds fuel to his whispers.[5]  Imam Malik (ra) reports in his Muwata that when Qasim bin Muhammad (ra) was asked regarding satanic whispers during Salah, he replied; continue your Salah and do not pay attention to the whispers and upon completion of the Salah say to the Shaytan: “I didn’t complete my Salah”[6] (in a ridiculing manner).As though you’re saying to him ‘my Salah is incomplete and so what? or my Taharah is incomplete and so what?

(8) Be in the company of the righteous and pious who would encourage you upon goodness and give proper advice.

(9) Equip yourself with sound Shari’ knowledge and Aqeedah (beliefs), so that you would not be deluded and misguided by the tricks of the Shaytaan.

(10) Be punctual and habitual in performing Salah with Jama’ah, for the wolf only eats the sheep that strays from the flock.[7]

Many people afflicted with Waswasah label their actions as precaution, which is indeed a deception. Ibn al-Qayyim in his Kitaab ar-Ruh explains the difference between Ihtiyaat (Precaution in matters of Religion) and Waswasah (Satanic Whispers). He says that Precaution is strictly adhering to the practice of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and his noble companions without exceeding the stipulated bounds, without deficiency and without exaggeration and this is the Ihtiyaat (precaution) which is pleasing to Allah ﷻ and His Messenger. Waswasah on the other hand is where a person exaggerates on a practice which was not endorsed by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ nor was it a practice of any of his companions moreover, he deems it to be part of Islam or a necessary ‘precaution’ for himself. E.g. washing the limbs of the body more than thrice in wudhu, using excessive water in wudhu or ghusl, constantly repeating his intention for Salah, washing his clothes in which he is not certain that it is impure etc.

He further states that; those afflicted with Waswasah regard their actions as religious and acts of precaution in religion when the fact of the matter is, such actions contradict what is defined as “Precaution” in Islam as precaution in matters of religion is adherence to the practices of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.[8]

I conclude with the advice of Mulla Ali al-Qari (ra) which summaries the cure for Satanic Whispers: “Protection from the whispers of Shaytaan can only be sought by the help of Allah ﷻ, Adhering to the injunctions of the sacred Shariah, Totally ignoring and neglecting the whispers of Shaytaan and There is no strength nor power except Allah the Mighty”[9]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom

Trinidad, West Indies


[1] صحيح مسلم (4/ 1728)

68 – (2203) حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ خَلَفٍ الْبَاهِلِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْأَعْلَى، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ الْجُرَيْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي الْعَلَاءِ، أَنَّ عُثْمَانَ بْنَ أَبِي الْعَاصِ، أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ حَالَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ صَلَاتِي وَقِرَاءَتِي يَلْبِسُهَا عَلَيَّ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «ذَاكَ شَيْطَانٌ يُقَالُ لَهُ خَنْزَبٌ، فَإِذَا أَحْسَسْتَهُ فَتَعَوَّذْ بِاللهِ مِنْهُ، وَاتْفِلْ عَلَى يَسَارِكَ ثَلَاثًا» قَالَ: فَفَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ فَأَذْهَبَهُ اللهُ عَنِّي

[2] قال ابن حجر الهيتمي ـ رحمه الله ـ وقد سئل عن داء الوسوسة، هل له دواء؟ فأجاب بقوله: له دواء نافع، وهو الإعراض عنها جملة كافية، وإن كان في النفس من التردد ما كان، فإنه متى لم يلتفت لذلك لم يثبت، بل يذهب بعد زمن قليل كما جرب ذلك الموفقون، وأما من أصغى إليها وعمل بقضيتها، فإنها لا تزال تزداد به حتى تخرجه إلى حيز المجانين، بل وأقبح منهم كما شاهدناه في كثيرين ممن ابتلوا بها وأصغوا إليها وإلى شيطانها

[3] ومن يعش عن ذكر الرحمن نقيض له شيطانا فهو له قرين  سورة الزخرف 36

[4] مصنف ابن أبي شيبة (7/ 135)

34774 – جَرِيرٌ، عَنْ مَنْصُورٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ فِي قَوْلِهِ: {الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ} [الناس: 4]، قَالَ: «الشَّيْطَانُ جَاثِمٌ عَلَى قَلْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ، فَإِذَا سَهَا وَغَفَلَ وَسْوَسَ، وَإِذَا ذَكَرَ اللَّهَ خَنَسَ»

مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (4/ 1559)

وعن ابن عباس قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «الشيطان جاثم على قلب ابن آدم فإذا ذكر الله خنس وإذا غفل وسوس» . رواه البخاري تعليقا

[5] الأذكار للنووي ط ابن حزم (ص: 242)

أنفعُ علاج في دفع الوسوسة الإِقبال على ذكر الله تعالى، والإِكثار منه.

وقال السيد الجليل أحمد بن أبي الحواري -بفتح الراء وكسرها: شكوتُ إلى أبي سليمان الدارني الوسواس: فقال: إذا أردت أن ينقطع عنك، فأيّ وقت أحْسَسْتَ به فافرح، فإنك إذا فرحتَ به انقطع عنك؛ لأنه ليس شيءٌ أبغض إلى الشيطان من سرور المؤمن؛ وإن اغتممت زادك.

قلتُ: وهذا مما يُؤيد ما قاله بعض الأئمة: إن الوسواس إنما يُبتلى به من كمل إيمانهُ، فإن اللصّ لا يقصد بيتًا خربًا


[6] مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (1/ 146)

وعن القاسم بن محمد أن رجلا سأله فقال: «إني أهم في صلاتي فيكثر ذلك علي فقال القاسم بن محمد امض في صلاتك فإنه لن يذهب عنك حتى تنصرف وأنت تقول ما أتممت صلاتي» . رواه مالك

[7] المستدرك على الصحيحين للحاكم (1/ 330)

قال: أبو الدرداء سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، يقول: «ما من ثلاثة نفر في قرية ولا بدو لا تقام فيهم الصلاة إلا استحوذ عليهم الشيطان، فعليك بالجماعة، فإنما يأكل الذئب من الغنم القاصية» . «هذا حديث صدوق رواته، شاهد لما تقدمه، متفق على الاحتجاج برواته إلا السائب بن حبيش، وقد عرف من مذهب زائدة أنه لا يحدث إلا عن الثقات»

[التعليق – من تلخيص الذهبي] 765 – زائدة مذهبه أن لا يحدث إلا عن الثقات

[8] والفرق بين الإحتياط والوسوسة أن الإحتياط الإستقصاء والمبالغة في اتباع السنة وما كان عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأصحابه من غير غلو ومجاوزة ولا تقصير ولا تفريطوأما الوسوسة فهي ابتداع ما لم تأت به السنة, ولم يفعله رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا أحد من الصحابة زاعمًا أنه يصل بذلك إلى تحصيل المشروع وضبطه كمن يحتاط بزعمه ويغسل أعضاءه في الوضوء فوق الثلاثة, فيسرف في صب الماء في وضوئه وغسله, ويصرح بالتلفظ بنية الصلاة مرارًا أو مرة واحدة, ويغسل ثيابه مما لا يتيقن نجاسته احتياطاً , ويرغب عن الصلاة في نعله احتياطاً , إلى أضعاف أضعاف هذا مما اتخذه الموسوسون ديناً، وزعموا أنه احتياط ، وقد كان الإحتياط باتباع هدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وما كان عليه أولى بهم ، فإنه الإحتياط الذي من خرج عنه فقد فارق الإحتياط وعدل عن سواء الصراط

منقول من كتاب الروح لابن القيم الجوزية ص٨١٤  دار عالم الفوائد

[9] مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (1/ 147)

 والحاصل أن الخلاص من الشيطان إنما هو بعون الرحمن، والاعتصام بظواهر الشريعة، وعدم الالتفات إلى الخطرات، والوساوس الذميمة، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم

This answer was collected from Fatwa-tt.com, which is operated by the Darul Iftaa of Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad and Tobago) under the advice and guidance of Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Daamat Barakaatuhum) of South Africa.

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