Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
ShiaChat.com
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Waswasa/ OCD - What Can I do?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Advanced Member

Dear Brother and Sisters, Assalamu Alaikum. InshAllah all is well.

(For this thread, it would be preferable that no one else post until the thread is finished. InshAllah when I finish, anyone is open to comment).

Unfortunately, waswasa or OCD is a growing issue in our communities which can leave many on the brink of harming themselves. It is important that we know what can be done say we ever fall into its trap, having a solid plan of action is a crucial factor in creating a long-term healing plan and ultimately, using this obstacle as a learning experience. Understanding that waswasa or the whispers comes from the shaitaan as a means to prevent one from performing their wajibat is among the weapons he will use to take us off the path of the Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام). It is vital for the one suffering from waswasa realise that the whispers are nothing more than a distraction, the shaitaan is an open enemy and so anything from him is evil, Chapter 35 Verse 6, "Indeed Shaitaan is a enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the blaze". The Qur'an is telling us to take the shaitaan as an enemy and in turn anything from the shaitaan must be avoided, including the evil thoughts the shaitaan puts in our minds.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Waswasa in salat;

There are many steps that can be taken to resolve waswasa in salat, but in order to heal we must not give up. Know that this process will take time but it requires dedication and strong will, something that will be developed over the course of this obstacle. There are many situations where someone may be overwhelmed with whispers, understanding the islamic rulings from your respective marjas is crucial and must be done to overcome waswasa. 

According to Sayed Ali Sistani there are twenty-three types of doubts in prayers; eight of these invalidate prayers, six of them must be dismissed, and nine are valid. (https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2239/)

Doubts that invalidate prayers;

https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2240/

(For the sake of the keeping this post short, I will give a link to the relevant islamic rulings instead of copying and pasting everything here).

Doubts that must be dismissed;

https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2241/

Doubts that are valid;

https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2242/

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For this post, I want to target those who excessively doubts in salat. There are many techniques which can performed to reduce the amount of doubts one has. Some of the techniques include;

  1. Praying with someone else. If I'm someone who constantly doubts whether they are in this rak'ah or another or if they performed this act or not, praying with someone will alleviate these doubts because if praying in congregation, the Imam is going through the salat and he has the responsibility regarding the salat and so you are given the chance to focus more on what you are saying rather than doubting. If this cannot be done, have someone watch you instead. Ask them to watch you pray whilst ignoring any doubts that come, after the salat ask whomever is watching you if everything was done correctly. If they tell you everything is correct then that should help you realise that the doubts are nothing more than a distraction and that you should not consider them.
  2. Online there are turbah counters that can be purchased which count the number of sajdahs someone makes and some are more advanced than others which also indicate what rak'ah your on. However these should not be relied on entirely because you want to develop the ability to trust in yourself and not rely on the counter. This should only be used as a means to build up your confidence. https://www.shiabooks.com.au/products/rakaat-counter-turbah-mohr-sajad.
  3. Finally, if you're an excessive doubter, these doubts must be dismissed because it will have negative effects in the long-term. I know it is hard to ignore them but this is a must. Brother @Zainuu in one of his posts shared a video that is really helpful in strengthening your ability to dismiss these thoughts. https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235069048-psychological-warfare-still-continues-in-prayer-nothing/?do=findComment&comment=3324363. Undergoing this mediation process will inshAllah give you the ability to control where your mind goes giving you control.

 

InshAllah next, I will try to discuss methods regarding people who are overcome with evil thoughts and what they should do to solve it.

Wasalam.

Edited by ShiaofAli12
Added the last parts of the post
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
2 hours ago, ShiaofAli12 said:

Praying with someone else. If I'm someone who constantly doubts whether they are in this rak'ah or another or if they performed this act or not, praying with someone will alleviate these doubts because if praying in congregation, the Imam is going through the salat and he has the responsibility regarding the salat and so you are given the chance to focus more on what you are saying rather than doubting. If this cannot be done, have someone watch you instead. Ask them to watch you pray whilst ignoring any doubts that come, after the salat ask whomever is watching you if everything was done correctly. If they tell you everything is correct then that should help you realise that the doubts are nothing more than a distraction and that you should not consider them.

Really appreciate brother. Brilliant point. What shias lag according to me (and mashallah sunnis are good at this) is building mosques and praying in congregations. Shias rely very much on solitary prayers. 

They should try their best to hold prayers in congregation. If they don't have a mosque nearby, they can do it at home. According to the ruling, only a count of atleast 2 is required to hold a congregation. 

This can even be done even by a husband and a wife together at home. And it will also save a lot of time. It will promote group learning which gives faster results

Edited by Zainuu
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

I once contributed something to the topic too:

These things happen. Stopping watching entertainment doesn't do any benefit except listening to music. 

But remember thoughts are thoughts. If you have sexual thoughts about Holy Figures, Have thoughts cursing Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Realize the first thing is they are just passing thoughts. They don't come from you. They come from your brain chemistry. The lack of serotonin in your brain causes these thoughts in your mind. They attack the things you hold dear. They will tell you you're a mushrik, Show you dead images of your loved ones and upset you in every way. Then you develop rituals to combat them. 

And that is how you stay an OCD patient for life. The first thing to realize is that it's a biological and psychological disease. Educate yourself on the realization that yes these things do upset me but at the end of the day I have the right to decide what upsets me and what does not. I have the right to allow something to affect me. A stimulus is just a stimulus in an environment but RESPONDING to a stimulus is a choice by the organism. Whatever thoughts and images you get in your mind whilst praying and doing wudhu. Keep going in your task no matter how loud the noise of the thoughts get. Your path to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) cannot be stopped unless you stop it yourself. If you forget what wudhu step or prayer step you've done, then keep a small notepad or make a recording of your voice where you are talking loudly in prayer or saying wudhu steps. Acknowledging a sickness as a sickness is the first step of recovery. In OCD acknowledgement does not mean just knowing you have OCD. It means separating yourself from your disease.

Instead of doing rituals to combat thoughts. Challenge your thoughts in your mind. For example:

You said:   "used to pray 5x a day and still do but get awful thoughts about Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)" -> The first step is not avoiding these thoughts. If you get thoughts cursing Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and it upsets you. Challenge them by saying "Oh it's not from me. Must be the devils playing around me again. Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows whats in my heart and soul. He(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) wouldn't want me to be bothered by such things because my faith is strong and no secret of mine is hidden from Him(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). I'm a good Shi'a Muslim. My sickness doesn't stop me from being one. Let these thoughts come and go. They have no power over me nor my opinion of God((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى))"

You said "I pray to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) every single day and I know it’s a test but I also know it isn’t magically going to go away. " -> If you got stabbed with a knife. Would you just pray for the knife to go away from your stomach or would you go to an ER? The same with psychological diseases. Therapy and Medication are for the mind what Painkillers+Surgeries is for the body. You can pray to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to aid in your recovery but you cannot sit idle and let the blade be lodged inside you. Take steps to pull it out by doing the things I told you to do. If only prayers helped in medical recoveries then no Muslim worldwide would have hospital bills or insurance.

When I prayed, I'd get images of Hindu Idols with thoughts telling me I'm making Sajda to them instead of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). It bothered me for a bit where I'd decide to end prayer right then. But then I kept going. No matter what happened, I kept going and going because I have the choice of reaction to it. Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows me, Knows every thought and every secret in my heart. If I know that, then why should I doubt anything? It's nonsense.

Also, try getting prescribed medication which will help you like Zoloft but first get diagnosed by a therapist so they can judge you. Then prescribe you if they decide to. Don't medicate yourself.

Hopefully I was of some help having a background with this and supporting many individuals who have OCD who have gotten better through these steps.

Wasalam.

Edited October 22 by El Cid

 

I struggle with OCD for sure. But all the things I've said above have made me 99% better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
1 hour ago, El Cid said:

I once contributed something to the topic too:

These things happen. Stopping watching entertainment doesn't do any benefit except listening to music. 

But remember thoughts are thoughts. If you have sexual thoughts about Holy Figures, Have thoughts cursing Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Realize the first thing is they are just passing thoughts. They don't come from you. They come from your brain chemistry. The lack of serotonin in your brain causes these thoughts in your mind. They attack the things you hold dear. They will tell you you're a mushrik, Show you dead images of your loved ones and upset you in every way. Then you develop rituals to combat them. 

And that is how you stay an OCD patient for life. The first thing to realize is that it's a biological and psychological disease. Educate yourself on the realization that yes these things do upset me but at the end of the day I have the right to decide what upsets me and what does not. I have the right to allow something to affect me. A stimulus is just a stimulus in an environment but RESPONDING to a stimulus is a choice by the organism. Whatever thoughts and images you get in your mind whilst praying and doing wudhu. Keep going in your task no matter how loud the noise of the thoughts get. Your path to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) cannot be stopped unless you stop it yourself. If you forget what wudhu step or prayer step you've done, then keep a small notepad or make a recording of your voice where you are talking loudly in prayer or saying wudhu steps. Acknowledging a sickness as a sickness is the first step of recovery. In OCD acknowledgement does not mean just knowing you have OCD. It means separating yourself from your disease.

Instead of doing rituals to combat thoughts. Challenge your thoughts in your mind. For example:

You said:   "used to pray 5x a day and still do but get awful thoughts about Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)" -> The first step is not avoiding these thoughts. If you get thoughts cursing Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and it upsets you. Challenge them by saying "Oh it's not from me. Must be the devils playing around me again. Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows whats in my heart and soul. He(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) wouldn't want me to be bothered by such things because my faith is strong and no secret of mine is hidden from Him(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). I'm a good Shi'a Muslim. My sickness doesn't stop me from being one. Let these thoughts come and go. They have no power over me nor my opinion of God((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى))"

You said "I pray to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) every single day and I know it’s a test but I also know it isn’t magically going to go away. " -> If you got stabbed with a knife. Would you just pray for the knife to go away from your stomach or would you go to an ER? The same with psychological diseases. Therapy and Medication are for the mind what Painkillers+Surgeries is for the body. You can pray to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to aid in your recovery but you cannot sit idle and let the blade be lodged inside you. Take steps to pull it out by doing the things I told you to do. If only prayers helped in medical recoveries then no Muslim worldwide would have hospital bills or insurance.

When I prayed, I'd get images of Hindu Idols with thoughts telling me I'm making Sajda to them instead of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). It bothered me for a bit where I'd decide to end prayer right then. But then I kept going. No matter what happened, I kept going and going because I have the choice of reaction to it. Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows me, Knows every thought and every secret in my heart. If I know that, then why should I doubt anything? It's nonsense.

Also, try getting prescribed medication which will help you like Zoloft but first get diagnosed by a therapist so they can judge you. Then prescribe you if they decide to. Don't medicate yourself.

Hopefully I was of some help having a background with this and supporting many individuals who have OCD who have gotten better through these steps.

Wasalam.

Edited October 22 by El Cid

 

I struggle with OCD for sure. But all the things I've said above have made me 99% better.

Thank you so much for that brother!!

OCD is a very big issue for some converts and reverts, or for people like myself who came from a very sinful past, unfortunately its not discussed much by shiekhs, very few lectures about them too

Some people with OCD (speaking about myself) don’t like turning to therapist, because the first thought that cames to mind is ‘what would they know about what I’m going through, it would make no sense to them because my OCD is all religion related’. So seeing fellow Shias such as yourself with this past trauma and how you dealt with it really encourages and helps. It helps me alot

This topic should be discussed in absolute details with all the knowledge you guys have because a lot of people such as myself will really appreciate it!

May Allah reward all of you!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

Assalamu Alaikum everyone,

Thanks for the added advice, I was gonna talk about this next but you guys have spoken about it far better than I could ever. Jazakum Allah Alif Khair. If anyone else has advice for people suffering from OCD that you think would help, feel free to post it here.

3 hours ago, El Cid said:

Instead of doing rituals to combat thoughts. Challenge your thoughts in your mind. For example:

You said:   "used to pray 5x a day and still do but get awful thoughts about Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)" -> The first step is not avoiding these thoughts. If you get thoughts cursing Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and it upsets you. Challenge them by saying "Oh it's not from me. Must be the devils playing around me again. Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows whats in my heart and soul. He(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) wouldn't want me to be bothered by such things because my faith is strong and no secret of mine is hidden from Him(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). I'm a good Shi'a Muslim. My sickness doesn't stop me from being one. Let these thoughts come and go. They have no power over me nor my opinion of God((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى))"

You said "I pray to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) every single day and I know it’s a test but I also know it isn’t magically going to go away. " -> If you got stabbed with a knife. Would you just pray for the knife to go away from your stomach or would you go to an ER? The same with psychological diseases. Therapy and Medication are for the mind what Painkillers+Surgeries is for the body. You can pray to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to aid in your recovery but you cannot sit idle and let the blade be lodged inside you. Take steps to pull it out by doing the things I told you to do. If only prayers helped in medical recoveries then no Muslim worldwide would have hospital bills or insurance.

When I prayed, I'd get images of Hindu Idols with thoughts telling me I'm making Sajda to them instead of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). It bothered me for a bit where I'd decide to end prayer right then. But then I kept going. No matter what happened, I kept going and going because I have the choice of reaction to it. Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows me, Knows every thought and every secret in my heart. If I know that, then why should I doubt anything? It's nonsense.

Adding on to what brother @El Cid has said, it really important that we realise when we have a sudden attack of bad thoughts such as what has been mentioned above is all coming from the shaitaan and him whispering into our hearts. It is a great suggestion by the brother when he says challenge them by saying "Oh it's not from me. Must be the devils playing around me again". Anytime a random burst of evilness rushes through you, it's the shaitaan trying to get you to think it's from you and if he succeeds in this part, it will make you lose hope in the mercy of God which is the second greatest sin after shirk. 

It is also important to understand what brother @El Cid is saying in the last paragraph quoted above. Anytime during salaat you are inflicted with negatives thoughts, you need to make you stand against them, know that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows your secrets and what is in our hearts and he (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows what we truly believe in.

As has been mentioned before with regards to brother @Zainuu's post in another thread, it is really important we also understand that the mind is like any muscle. In order for a muscle to get stronger it needs exercise and training. The same logic applies to the mind where it requires exercise and training in order for it to develop. This has been taken from the following video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFYineGGbio. The video is really important for anyone who has recurring negative thoughts, it will help you clear your mind.

InshAllah this thread helps those who are currently dealing with OCD related problems.

With Duas and Salams for all of you.

 

Edited by ShiaofAli12
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators
14 minutes ago, Guest SB9 the Wasteman said:

All the advices here don’t take away the fact that it’s psychological torture for me. I’m going to spend 1 hour today trying to read a 2 rakat Salah.

Why would you spend one hour when it takes less than 5 minutes? There's no reason to keep repeating your prayer if you haven't missed anything out. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
2 hours ago, Guest SB9 the Wasteman said:

All the advices here don’t take away the fact that it’s psychological torture for me. I’m going to spend 1 hour today trying to read a 2 rakat Salah.

Why don't you try to solve the problem by taking the advice. I've realised that you expect results instantly and because of this, it is getting in the way of you getting better. You need to take the advice slowly and commit to them, only then will it actually help. 

The question is why do you keep repeating yourself, just do what was mentioned above such as pray with someone so you wouldn't doubt. These advice do actually work because I had OCD as well and this was one step I had to take and so should you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
On 11/29/2020 at 12:13 PM, Guest SB9 the Wasteman said:

All the advices here don’t take away the fact that it’s psychological torture for me. I’m going to spend 1 hour today trying to read a 2 rakat Salah.

Salaam brother, 

You have everything with you. Just have patience.

@Mahdavist rightly pointed out. Why an hour for a 2 rakah Salaat? 

Stop doubting. Doubts are created by Satan. It is a kind of a swamp or a trap so that you waste your time and later on faith becomes a burden on you. And then you give up on faith for ease in life. 

This is Satan that's causing you to repeat your wudhu and your prayers. Don't follow what he wants. 

Prayers bring certainty in one's belief. By doubting so much you are loosing the real effects of prayer on the spirit. 

I don't want to recall here the way I prayed some years ago. 

May Allah bless you and give you with ample of patience. 

May Allah solve your problems. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members

Bismillah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Rahim!


FOR EVERYONE SUFFERING FROM OCD AND WASWAS


In al-Kafi, (al-Kulayni reports) with his isnad from Zurarah and Abu Basir that they said: We asked him ( Imam al-Baqir or Imam al-Sadiq [A]) about a man who had frequent doubts in his salat, to the extent that he wouldn’t know how much he has offered and how much remain to be offered. He said, “He should repeat (the salat).” We said to him, “That happens to him a lot and wherever he repeats his doubt also recurs.” The Imam said, “(In that case) he should ignore his doubt.” Then, he added, “Don’t let the Evil One get accustomed to haunting you by tempting him by breaking the salat. For Satan is wicked and gets accustomed to that which he is allowed to get used to. So when one of you does not pay attention to his doubt and does not break his salat frequently, and this is done a number of times, the doubt will not recur to him.” Zurarah says: Then the Imam added, “The Evil One wants to be obeyed, and when he is disobeyed he will not return to any of you.”
 

1. OCD is really growing much that`s true. Specially many religious persons are affected by this painful illness. Sadly many people seek help from religious leaders for the treatment of OCD. This is not their field to be honest and it can let a person suffer in years without knowing that there actually is a cure for this mental torture called OCD.  Knowingly or unknowingly many religious leaders may make the condition worse for a person by telling the affected one to recite azkaar hard prayers to get rid of OCD. I am not saying that the zikr dont help but in this case the solition is what the Masomin (عليه السلام) has told us. And that`s very very simple. It`s not to do anything at all and just ignore it all. Let the thought come but do NOT do the cumpolsive behaviour at all. Sometimes as long as the sharah permits it can even be a good idea to do the opposite. For example if the OCD is telling you that maybe your hands are najis because you touched that wet door. Just go and toch all your hands to that door again :) If the OCD is telling you that recite such such prayers each time to get rid of disturbing images of thoughts.... do not do that at all the next time those images/thoughts come. If you are suffering from waswas in making intention of prayer just start the prayer without making the niya again and again.... even what the OCD tells you. And as Masomin (عليه السلام) has told us. The evil devil want people to obey and when they dont.... suddenly they are free from all this torture inshAllah.
 

2. This is veeeeery imporant! take this seriously and inshAllah you will get rid of it. Seek a psycatrist who practice EXPOSURE AND RESPONS PREVENSION treatment of OCD. Again this is very very imporant. The cure is inshAllah very simple but this treatment is not done by many psychiatrists. So dont end up going to one who doesnt know exactly this style of treating it called: Exposure and respons prevention

3. Here are series on youtube on what this is all about. Fallow all these videoes and the tips given in them wholeheartedly. Pray to Allah and seek tawassul of Masomin (عليه السلام) before starting. But remember. Do not get dua, zikr or prayers themselves be a part of OCD by praying again and again as a result to get rid of it. Have a look at these video series and inshAllah you will understand it.

1. Katie d'Ath, OCD treatment specialist: Introduction - YouTube
 

May Allah help and cure the mominin suffering from this pain. Please remember me and my familiy in dua 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...