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In the Name of God بسم الله

Redoing my Duas

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I feel genuinely uncomfortable at the beginning and ending of every supplication. Ever since I was told that I should begin and end my du’a by praising Allah  and sending peace upon the Prophet, I have had a gnawing at my mind before and after the prayer.

Praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah, I would repeat in a murmur (or in a thought, of course). Then, I would reflect on what I had just expressed, just to make sure that it was solid. You know—to make sure the words were really there. Then, I would pray. That part was usually ok. At the end, though, I always felt somewhat imprisoned by the mantra that was supposed to give me relief; praise be to Allah, and may peace be upon the noblest of the Prophets and messengers…

I had no clue that OCD symptoms can manifest themselves in religious practices, before I experienced the illness, myself. I had always thought of religion as a peace-granting institution, shielded from any worldly pain or discomfort. The idea that negativities present in life can intermingle with and taint Islamic rituals we carry out is…distressing, to say the least.

That being said, mental illness is a formidable opponent…it can ruin life to an unimaginable point. And it doesn’t mind if you are a pious, God-fearing Muslim, or not. (Sometimes, being firm in faith is actually the driving force behind its strike; it tries to shake your faith in Allah through its blows.) Mental disorder will clutch you in a most painful grasp, and will refuse to let go until either you give up, or it sees that your sabr is stronger than its hold.

My own disorder and I have wrestled some rough brawls. I have suffered through psychosis, depression, and OCD at the hands of mental illness. And yes — I have wondered such thoughts as “why me?” and “when will this end?” in the midst of the battles. But I have learned through my war with mental illness that a good Muslim is not one who never distresses, or who doesn’t ever waver in her faith (for, if there was such a Muslim where would Allah’s test be in the life of that person?); a good Muslim is one who, after falling down in spirit, rises back up, again, and again.

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قَالَ قَالَ لِيَ الصَّادِقُ ع أَ مَا تَحْزَنُ أَ مَا تَهْتَمُّ أَ مَا تَأْلَمُ قُلْتُ بَلَى وَ اللَّهِ قَالَ فَإِذَا كَانَ ذَلِكَ مِنْكَ فَاذْكُرِ الْمَوْتَ وَ وَحْدَتَكَ فِي قَبْرِكَ وَ سَيَلَانَ عَيْنَيْكَ عَلَى خَدَّيْكَ وَ تَقَطُّعَ أَوْصَالِكَ وَ أَكْلَ الدُّودِ مِنْ لَحْمِكَ وَ بَلَاءَكَ وَ انْقِطَاعَكَ عَنِ الدُّنْيَا فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ يَحُثُّكَ عَلَى الْعَمَلِ وَ يَرْدَعُكَ عَنْ كَثِيرٍ مِنَ الْحِرْصِ عَلَى الدُّنْيَا
al-Ṣādiq (عليه السلام) said to me, 'Do you become sad, worry, and suffer?' I said: 'Yes, by Allāh!' He (AS) said: ‘When that (happens) to you, then remember death, your loneliness in your grave, the flowing of your eyes on your cheeks, the breaking of your joints, the worms eating from your flesh, your misfortunes, and your separation from the world. For that is what prompts you to do (good) actions, and deters you from many of the desires of the world
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Yes OCD, traditionally it's called waswas.

Once you sense your mind has locked on something, just let go of it, don't show any sensitivity,  even if it takes to let it be locked for some seconds, just don't fight.

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