How Do I Live Normally Again With Compulsive Whispers?

30 June, 2019
Q Assalam my alikum my fellow Muslims. Hi I’m a high school student and of course I love my religion. For the past months I haven’t been able to focus on my prayers in peace and struggle to keep concentration. I learnt the meanings and make the intention to pray of course but sometimes bad thoughts come to my head and distract me. They come to me even outside my prayers and are so terrible I start crying a little and repent to Allah for having even thought of such a thing. Another troubling thing is that I’m going to be done with my Salah and be sitting down to study and the thought will come to my head... Hey let’s pray 2 more Rakaat. It’s a good thought and we should be ready and willing to worship Allah I know but they come when I’m swapped with work. The thought of praying comes to my mind or reading the Quran when I’m outside in situations when I can’t and sometimes even when I’m trying to go to bed exhausted. Of course I love and wish to please Allah (SWT) so if I don’t I then feel extremely guilty and feel like Allah may punish me. For any wrong thought or thing let it be the smallest thing I feel like I am going to be punished for it in many ways in this world. Astaghfirulla, may Allah forgive me in fact I felt the same guilt and fear while typing this. I know everything is up to Allah to decide and I’ve been going through anxiety and depression along with this as well so I considered that I was being paranoid but now I don’t even know any more. Please help me. Thank You!


Short Answer:  There are several things you can do after seeking professional help: Maintain your morning and evening adhkar, surat Al-Baqarah, adhkar throughout the day and always remember Allah’s Mercy and call on His Mercy and Help. Also seek to be among righteous companions because they will help you focus on what’s right and drive off evil thoughts.


Walaykum As-Salam waRahamat Allah waBarakatuhu Dearest Sister,

Thank you so much for sending your email.

Your sincerity and faithfulness can be sensed in your message and it is beautiful to see young people who love their religion and are very keen on doing the right thing and avoiding any displeasure of Allah.

Masha’Allah, may Allah reward you abundantly for that!

I want to remind you that the Affection and Mercy of Allah Almighty are vast and incomparable, and He will most definitely bestow His mercy and favors upon those who love Him and love His path.

So you should let your heart and mind find comfort in this thought always.

Professional Help

Now, what you discussed highly suggests that you need to see a therapist because of the compulsive thoughts, depression and anxiety you described.

There is a normal level that we all experience of these thoughts/feelings, but when they reach a level where we can’t function properly and are highly distressed, then we must seek medical/professional help.

There is no shame in that; our bodies are our amanah (trust) and if we seek professional help from trusted sources, this could help us perform better as believers spiritually, physically and socially.

So, by all means, do consider this option.

I also encourage you to send your question/case to our Ask the Counselor service just to be sure what type of professional help you may need, and/or to get their recommendations, insha’Allah.

On our end, we will discuss with you two elements generally to answer your question; first, dealing with the compulsive ‘waswasa‘ (compulsive thoughts/whispers of Satan), and remembering Allah’s Mercy.

Dealing with the Waswasa

First of all, regarding the waswasa and bad thoughts that come to your mind while praying, this something that many of us experience.

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) taught us how to deal with it.

Uthman b. Abu al-‘As reported that he came to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) and said:

Allah’s Messenger, the Satan intervenes between me and my prayer and my reciting of the Quran and he confounds me.

Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) said:

That is (the doing of a) Satan (devil) who is known as Khinzab, and when you perceive its effect, seek refuge with Allah from it and spit three times to your left. I did that and Allah dispelled that from me. [Sahih Muslim]

So, do try this next time you get the thoughts in prayer and just continue normally.

If you get distracted till you forget parts or get confused inside the prayer, then here is what you need to do as prescribed in the hadith:

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said:

“The Satan comes to any one of you while he is praying and comes between him and his soul until he does not know whether he has added something or omitted something.

If that happens, then he should prostrate twice before the Salam, then he should say the Salam.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Daily Adhkar

In addition to that, to keep the compulsive waswasa away, I highly recommend that you devotedly recite the morning and evening adhakar because they protect us from the devil and his whisper.

So shield yourself from him by reciting the morning and evening adhkar.

Also, if you managed to also recite Surat Al Baqarah at home that would help greatly as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) says:

“Do not turn your houses into graveyards. Satan runs away from the house in which Surat Al-Baqarah is recited.” [Muslim]

And when you’re not at home, always seek refuge in Allah from the evil whispers saying ‘a’udhu biAllahi min asShaitan asRajeem‘ (I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil). And always recite adhkar, make the adhkar your companion so that it prevents you from proceeding further with bad thoughts.

Allah’s Mercy

Regarding your question on whether Allah Almighty will punish you for evil thoughts, I wanted to remind you of this beautiful hadith:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “Allah forgives my followers those (evil deeds) their souls may whisper or suggest to them as long as they do not act (on it) or speak.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]

Allah is much more Merciful than you described.

He is not concerned about punishing us; He is concerned about helping us grow and purify ourselves and live a decent life that benefits us here and bring us to an eternal paradise.

“What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Appreciative and Knowing.” (Quran 4: 147)

So, to recap:

1- Send your case to Ask The Counselor
2- Consider professional help for compulsive thoughts and waswasa
3- Maintain your morning and evening adhkar, surat Al-Baqarah, adhkar throughout the day
4- Always remember Allah’s Mercy and call on His Mercy and Help
5- Seek to be among righteous companions because they will help you focus on what’s right and drive off evil thoughts.

Thank you, and may Allah facilitate all good for you.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Know How Satan Whispers



About Dina Mohamed Basiony
Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.