I keep getting bad thoughts in my prayer, I’ve been told to ignore it but it’s gone on for so long that I can’t seem to keep it away. When I try to ignore it, I think of it more, and if I notice I’ve gone a long way without saying something bad then the thoughts come back.
Even normal or neutral thoughts are turned bad, so I’m thinking/saying awfully and bad stuff about everything including God but I think it’s coming from me even though I really don’t want to.
Sometimes it’s really hard to hold it off, or I just break down and say something bad even though I don’t want to.
I try telling myself to just not say the stuff but I still can’t and I feel like I’m battling myself.
It sometimes takes me over an hour to pray one salat.
What can I do?
Do I have to repeat or restart my prayer every time, because I think it’s me but I still can’t stop myself and every time I hate it and it scares me?
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
It is good that you now ignore these doubts. There are just from the devil, to make you feel uneasy, and to try to get you to abandon prayer. In one narration, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,
جاء رجل إلى النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم- فقال يا رسول الله إن أحدنا يجد فى نفسه يعرض بالشىء – لأن يكون حممة أحب إليه من أن يتكلم به فقال « الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر الحمد لله الذى رد كيده إلى الوسوسة ». قال ابن قدامة « رد أمره ». مكان « رد كيده». (أخرجه أبو داود في سننه )4/ 490)
A Companion came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him give him peace) and asked: “Sometimes I experience such thoughts that I would rather be reduced to charcoal than get them on my lips” (meaning that to speak of these thoughts was worse than burning in fire). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest! All praise is to Allah who restricted the devil’s designs to mere evil promptings.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, 4/490)
As long as you do not verbally utter anything, your prayer is valid, and you should just continue.
However, if inadvertently some words come out from your mouth, the prayer will be nullified. In this case, you will need to restart the prayer.
As for the past, whenever you did accidentally verbalize anything, if you did not restart the prayer, you will have to repeat and make up for those prayers.
Constantly recite the following:
Ta’awudh (a’udhu billahi min ash-Shaytaan ir rajeem)
Hawqala (Laa Hawla wa laa quwwata illa billah)
Aamantu billah (I believe in Allah)
عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم * لا يزال الناس يتساءلون حتى يقال هذا خلق الله الخلق فمن خلق الله فمن وجد من ذلك شيئا فليقل آمنت بالله (أخرجه مسلم في صحيحه – (1/119)
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him &; give him peace) said: “The devil (shaytan) comes to one of you and says: “Who created this? Who created that? Until he says: “Who created your Lord?” When one experiences this, one should seek Allah’s refuge and stop the matter there”. (Sahih Muslim, 1/119).
Insha Allah, Allah will make it easy for you and grant you ease.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .