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A Mind Consumed By Persistent Doubts

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 16th December 2011 20:40
Doubts regarding taharah are consuming my mind. Try as I might, a new powerful, anxiety-ridden doubt will force me to seek assurances from a mufti on a daily basis. I am therefore fearful of going to urinate or to have a bath.

What others may not pay any attention to, my mind is automatically drawn towards it. For example, today, near the pile of clean clothes was underwear. Assuming it was paak, I picked it up and wore it, whilst my feet, legs and private parts were wet.

Subsequently the all consuming doubt entered my mind, which was: 'I am not sure whether it is paak or not, why was it just lying there in isolation and is it a napaak underwear that I negligently discarded. If so, my limbs have become napaak, and if they have become napaak, then the water which dripped on to the carpet has rendered the carpet napaak. This would mean any subsequent salah performed on that carpet would be void for the rest of my life.'

If I clean the carpet with a rug doctor again (like I have done several times previously) this will serve only to cause a huge argument with my wife.

I have to contend with this conflict and, no matter how much dhikr I do, the doubt and fear that the carpet is napaak will always be there.

A Mufti has advised me to ignore the doubt, but the 'what if' scenario is still at the forefront of my mind. This has caused me to miss Asar, Maghrib and Isha today.

I often cry out to Allah because this issue of not knowing whether I am paak or not, or whether the carpet is paak, or whether cross-contamination has taken place through a wet transfer is driving me crazy.

It is because of this I miss Salah and feel despondent thinking there are so many things to wash due to cross-contamination that I am never going to finish. I have to wash towels etc. discreetly and quickly so that my wife does not find out. This raises my anxiety.

Sometimes after wudhu I will feel as though a drop of urine has come out, despite vigorously trying my best to remove urine drops at the time of istinja. The confusion is sometimes that feeling is backed up by concrete evidence of a urine drop having come out. 8 out of 10 times there will be nothing. In such a scenario, the mind beomes scrambled as to what should be done next.

The latest issue is hand-washing after Istinja or generally. I wash 3 times, but after removing my hands from the sink, there will be this strong whisper in my mind, which says: 'You have just touched the toilet floor. If you don't go back and wash your hands, then the towel you wipe your hands with will become napaak. If this becomes napaak and then you wipe your body after ghusl, then your body will become napaak, and if your body, in particular your feet become napaak, the carpet will become napaak and the repercussions of that are far worse than going back and washing your hands.' The voice in my head also says: 'It takes only one error for these chain of events to come in to play and therefore to avoid the greater anxiety, it is safer to engage in the less anxious task of re-washing your hands.'

I have seen Shayks, Muftis, Hakeems, Doctors etc. but that question of 'what if the carpet is napaak will not go away?' Sometimes the question is: 'what if I have committed kufr?'

A couple of Shaykhs are unwilling to assist stating that I am the only one that can help myself. No disrespect intended but I am trying. I wouldn't deliberately inflict this anxiety on myself or my family.

It is the things with the most grave repercussions that affect me, e.g. if the carpet is napaak (as in the above scenario) then anytime and everytime my wife and I walk on it after wudhu, our feet become napaak, and if they become napaak, then our Salah for the rest of our life will not be accepted.

Similarly, if a particular action, no matter how far-fetched, may constitute kufr, the repercussions are I could have nullified all my previous good actions and invalidated my marriage. These are serious issues and hence on a daily basis, I am not functioning. All I am doing is asking fatwas.

I think I have a database of over a 1000 fatwas. My marriage is in turmoil because I simply cannot distinguish between what is a genuine concern and what is a doubt.

I feel all alone and often wonder whether this issue will ever go away and whether or not I will ever attain that connection with Allah.

I am having CBT, counselling and Paroxetne. I try to do dhikr at the time of these doubts, but they remain strong as ever. 'What if' is a dominating theme in my thought process and this is exacerbated by the odd occasion when I have tried to ignore and realised that actually there is clear evidence that urine has come out or that the underwear is napaak.

I want to gain closeness to Allah, but I am plagued by waswasa, OCD, concerns, anxiety, worry (call it what you well).

I would love to wake up one day and find instant peace within myself and not worry about whether the carpet is paak or not, or whether my in laws are recklessly consuming haram again.

This leads me on to another issue. My father in law will sometimes order takeaway without checking whether its HMC or making relevant enquiries. This leaves me in a dilemma; should I eat or should I not eat? My hear beat goes up everytime I go there. If I say something, it gets blamed on my waswasa or being too strict. If I eat it and it's haram, the consequences are even worse.

These issues have led to contemplation of suicide. Has anyone been through this and, if so, can they render some advice.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 16th December 2011 20:44
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 16th December 2011 21:20
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 16th December 2011 21:45
Assalamu Alaykum,

You are not the only person who suffers from this. It is also not something that people have not recovered from.

When Allah is The Curer, nothing is incurable unless He wills it to be.

Anything that extremes to extravagance in actions and deeds such as Tahaarah in this case is not related specifically to Islam. As a Muslim, you have naturally associated it with Tahaarah in Islam. Non-Muslims suffer from this too.

As a Muslim however, we have assurances and reminders such as the following Hadeeth narrated by Talha bin 'Ubaidullah رضي الله عنه:

A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah's Apostle and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah's Apostle said, "You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours)." The man asked, "Is there any more (praying)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil prayers (you can)." Allah's Apostle further said to him: "You have to observe fasts during the month of Ramad, an." The man asked, "Is there any more fasting?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, but if you want to observe the Nawafil fasts (you can.)" Then Allah's Apostle further said to him, "You have to pay the Zakat (obligatory charity)." The man asked, "Is there any thing other than the Zakat for me to pay?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, unless you want to give alms of your own." And then that man retreated saying, "By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this." Allah's Apostle said, "If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise)."


When Nabi (saw) has told us that success is in completing the 'required' Faraaidh only, nothing more and nothing less, we should not find ourselves in a position where we add to it to such an extent that our Imaan and life goes into jeopardy.


A lot of the times, lack of knowledge about what is considered Taahir (pure) in Islam and what is considered Najis (impure) in Islam also leads a person to a never ending cycle of doubts and whispers.

If one fully accepts the Islamic ruling that washing with water 3 times purifies the body, garment or accessory then no amount of whispers will convince the Muslim otherwise.

Learning the fundamental Masaail (rulings) of Tahaarah will help immensely in these situation only if one accepts the Fiqh rulings. If a person rejects the rulings then no amount of verses, Ahadeeth or advice can help this person.

Sometimes, it can simply come down to prioritising the way one approaches the issues in order. Such as accepting rulings, followed by knowing the ruling which leads to practising and accepting the rulings killing all doubts with the routine. This can be better achieved with the guidance of a qualified scholar (one teacher should suffice otherwise it could lead to more whispers).

Finally, reading "Hasbunallahu Wa Ni'mal Wakeel" abundantly Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best of Guards which is a verse of the Qur'aan and cannot go unaffected.

And Allah knows best.

May Allah have mercy on us all.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 17th December 2011 01:24
Don't entertain your whispers. If they say something, go against it.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 11th June 2016 08:24
As slamu alykum wa Rehhmatullah How can i contact you brother
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 11th June 2016 10:34
ali wrote:
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Agreed with the first part of your statement. The ultimate treatment is ignoring it. As for the second part 'go against it' ,I consider it part of 'intertwining'it.

'Ignoring it' means paying no attention. 'Going against it' is certainly paying attention which proves counterproductive.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 11th June 2016 10:36
ALIF wrote:
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Sorry for the typo

Please read " As for the second part 'go against it' ,I consider it part of 'intertaining' it
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 15th June 2016 10:46

Tadees wrote:
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First of all, you say that you wish to wake up one day and be free from it. Allah Ta’ala is the Sovereign and Most Powerful and can do anything BUT it is possible that it may not happen.

Like any other problem you need to work at it and it simply won’t go away one day.

Most Ulama, Mashaykh and people think that it is simple for you to “Turn Off” your thoughts so they continue to tell you not to dwell on it etc but it isn’t that simple.

The issue is of “consequences” and not thoughts and whispers.

The reason you are dwelling on thoughts is because you think that the consequences of your fears are so grave that it warrants you to clean the Carpet again and again and again. Why?  What if the carpet is unclean? Apart from you praying on it, what difference does it make if it has minor impurity? Why don’t you have a roll of garbage bags (bin liners) and just roll a brand new one of the floor and pray? Its brand new so can’t be dirty.

Just an example for you to think about consequences (of your worst fears)

Secondly, it is difficult for human mind NOT to think about something. For example, if I have the urge to look at a woman it is difficult for me to NOT think about it. But it’s easy for me to divert my mind and think about something else (and in the process I lose the original thought).

The latest psychiatric help is based on “behaviour therapy” and less focused on thought process.

For example, if a patient thinks that by touching something they need to scrub their hands again and again. Patient is deliberately told to touch something and then PREVENTED from washing hands.

Just to make a point about consequences i.e. you touched the dinner table and you didn’t wash your hands WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT were the consequences?

Do your Wudhu (follow the Sunnah) while someone is watching. Wash limbs 3 times and the other person should force you to pray.

What happened? Nothing! You just prayed.

  1. Learn to think about consequences
  2. Learn to think about something else. Your mind is so focused on a thought that you simply don't seem to break free. DON'T argue with your wife instead do something else or think of something else (most important).
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