Dealing with Waswasah
A number of ruqyah patients complain of severe whisperings, known in Arabic as waswasah. There whisperings can take the form of hearing voices, compulsive thoughts, and even some of the symptoms of OCD. These thoughts are often blasphemous, and can be extremely upsetting for the patient, with many people questioning themselves and their faith.
While ruqyah is a major means of treatment, there are some other things that can be done. In a recent test case, by the grace of Allāh and His mercy, the thoughts went away within a week or so of following these simple steps:
Recognise that these thoughts come from the shaytān. They do not mean that you as an individual are an evil person, or that you are responsible for these things. The proof for this is the statement of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will forgive my ummah for whatever crosses their minds, as long as they do not act upon it or speak of it.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim].
Recognise that these thoughts even afflicted some of the companions of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him and may Allāh be pleased with them). Muslim recorded from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) that some people from among the companions of the Messenger of Allāh came to the Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said to him, 'Indeed we perceive in our minds that which every one of us considers too grave to express'. He replied, "Do you really perceive it?" They said, "Yes." He said, "That is true faith." Abu Dawood recorded from Ibn 'Abbās (may Allāh be pleased with him) that a man came to the Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said, "O Messenger of Allah! One of us has thoughts of such a nature that he would rather be reduced to charcoal than speak about them." The Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, "Allāh is the Greatest! Allāh is the Greatest! Allāh is the Greatest! All praise be to Allah who has reduced [the shaytān's] plot to whispering."
Take the normal steps to protect yourself from the shaytān, and protect your house from the shaytān with the recitation of Surah al-Baqarah, as well as removing harām from the house, such as TV, music, pictures and photographs. Follow the seven day programme if you think it may be of benefit.
Repel these thoughts persistently. It is vital that when you do this, you do so every single time without fail.
This is my suggestion on what to do each time these thoughts occur:
- Mention the greatness of Allāh and His perfection, either by saying Allāhu Akbar! or Subhānallāh!
- Seek Allah's refuge from the shaytān, by saying a'oodhu billāhi min ash-shaytānir-rajeem or something similar.
- Affirm your faith in Allāh and his Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Either by saying aamantu billaahi wa rusulih, or this, or this, or this, or this.
- Seek Allāh's forgiveness, either with a simple astaghfirullāh or something more. Even if this isn't your sin, it is a good habit to get in to, and there are several reports of the companions seeking forgiveness for things in which it isn't clear that they did anything wrong. Furthermore, seeking Allāh's forgiveness frequently will push the shaytān away from you and make you closer to Allāh, as well as making putting your mind at ease when you feel a degree of responsibility for these thoughts.
Try this for two whole weeks, whenever these thoughts come into your mind, whether day or night, mention the greatness and the perfection of Allāh, seek Allāh's refuge from the shaytān, affirm your faith in Allāh and His Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), and seek forgiveness from Allāh. I doubt there is any jinn, no matter how persistent who can bear this over a prolonged period, and when used in addition to ruqyah, the seven day programme, and protecting yourself and your house, your problems will disappear, by the permission of Allāh, the Exalted.