For over 10 years I have encountered compulsive thoughts. Initially this manifested itself in pre-occupation with cleanliness, and now the obsession has taken on a further dimension in that every statement or action is analysed for kufr or divorce.
Below is a detailed description of the cleanliness issues I have encountered.
1. Initially I would not touch door handles without some form of barrier between my hand and the door handle; the reason being I feared contamination by germs. I have now overcome this compulsion.
2. There is a room at my parents’ house designated for Salah. If anyone walked in the room with shoes or walked with bare feet from an area requiring shoes I would not read Salah in that room. I would regularly wash the carpet and this practice has followed me to my own house.
3. If clothes have been hanging up for sometime and I can’t recall whether they are clean or not, I put them in the wash.
4. I despise any person that walks bare footed in an area where shoes are normally worn.
5. When performing wudhu I make a firm resolution not to wash my hands more than three times. Islamically and logically I know this is correct. However an overwhelming compulsion forces me to wash more than thrice. If I don’t, the mental repercussions are grave, i.e. I will feel that everything I touch thereafter has become unclean and will end up washing those items too. In addition, I will not end up praying Salah because I would find it uncomfortable.
6. When performing istinja, I will wipe the toilet seat with a wet tissue. Again, logically I know my wife is not unclean but I feel compelled to wipe the toilet seat with a wet tissue. I then wash the toilet cup. The reason for this is that many a time my wife just runs her hand for literally a second under the tap. I feel as if though the toilet cup is unclean and hence I wash the outside and the inside 14 times.
7. If I go to the gym and touch the equipment or the mat and then drive home I feel compelled to wash my hands and dry them. If I don’t dry them and touch the steering wheel I feel my hands may have become unclean as the steering wheel may be made from pigskin. There is no definitive way of determining whether or not my car steering wheel is made from pigskin. Further, if I touch the car steering wheel without washing my hands, then I feel as if though the germs from the gym equipment or the mat have transferred to my car steering wheel. I will therefore wash my hands and then wipe the steering wheel with a wet tissue and wait for it to dry. This will often make me late for Salah. If I don’t perform these ‘rituals’ the mental torture is unbearable and often does lead to further cleaning ‘rituals’ which results in physical and mental exhaustion.
8. When performing istinja I rub my private part 101 times to remove all trace of urine. After doing so I still feel as though a drop has come out. After having spent at least 5 minutes performing wudhu, I often find that a drop has come out. This makes me frustrated and angry and leads to questioning of Islam in my heart. Since I know that verbally uttering such sentiments can lead to kufr I walk around frustrated and angry as I have no avenue to channel my frustration.
9. If anyone performs wudhu at my house and walks with wet feet across a floor where shoes are normally worn and then enters the room for Salah, I will end up washing the carpet when they leave.
10. If any part of my body is wet and I touch a painted wall or door then I feel my body would have become unclean as the paint on the wall may have been administered by a paintbrush made from pig bristles.
11. After passing stool I am incapable of performing istinja on the toilet as the sound of water splashing in the pan makes me feel that water has bounced off the surface of the toilet pan on to my body. I therefore wash thrice on the toilet and then go in the shower.
12. If I have to use the toilet at the Masjid and the slippers are wet I begin to wonder whether it is water or urine. Therefore I carefully remove my trousers so that my feet don’t touch my trousers. If they do, then I wash the affected area of my trousers in the wudhu khana, hence I miss Salah.
13. If a tap has been touched by someone else, who has not washed their hands properly; I will wash my hands, close the tap and stimulate the tap for remaining water in the system to wash the germs off.
14. Recently I have been carrying out a thorough investigation of my shoes and that of my wife’s so that I can ascertain whether they are made from pigskin. This can be a painstaking task and has led me to question, in my heart, the onerous duties of Islam.
15. When performing ghusl I wash a maximum 7 times but then feel compelled to wash more when I see water from my body rebounding of the shower curtain or the bathroom tiles on to me.
16. At Fajr time, it takes me 15 minutes to perform wudhu because I feel compelled to pass water all over my head because I am not unsure where my hands have been at night.
17. I use a separate towel to my wife. If I have any inkling that she may have used my towel, I put it in the wash.
18. If someone walks bare feet in an area where shoes are normally worn and then reads Salah on a prayer mat I use, I will wash that prayer mat as I will feel uncomfortable reading Salah on that mat.
19. If my hand sweats whilst driving I feel that my hand has become unclean because of sweat transfer to a steering wheel containing pigskin.
The kufr thoughts began in 2004 after Hajj when I started reading articles published by Majlisul Ulama (South Africa). I began to recall statements I made in Hajj whilst encountering some of the aforementioned issues. I stated that ‘I don’t want to be here, I want to go home, I can’t take this anymore and I don’t feel like praying.’
My intention was not to reject Hajj but the Majlisul Ulama concluded that this constituted kufr. All other scholars that were consulted concluded that this did not constitute kufr.
Part of my compulsion, especially in matters of kufr, is to consult other scholars. Without this consultation I always feel there is some doubt. At times this leads to confusion because of differing answers, but no matter how determined I am I keep failing and end up consulting more than one scholar.
In the last few years I have asked over 500 questions regarding whether a particular thought, utterance or action constitutes kufr.
It is rich of people to say I have not tried. This judgement cannot be made until they have met with me or lived with me. Everyday I wake up with a firm resolution/intention not to entertain thoughts and to perform wudhu, ghusl and istinja in accordance with the Sunnah. The thoughts are so overpowering that I inevitably fail. I have even set myself time limits and made timetables, which have all proved futile. Some people think harshness is the answer to the issue. I say, continue being harsh. It has not helped to date, but for some people it is their default position on every issue.
The breaking point came on Saturday when I was reading Salah with full concentration and devotion and a genuine doubt occurred as to whether I had performed masah. I told myself, ‘it’s done.’ The over powering thought then came to my mind that: ‘if you continue to perform Salah when there is a strong doubt regarding the legitimacy of your wudhu, is this not tantamount to kufr?’ I gave up performing the Salah and did not perform witr either.
Saturday was the breaking point. I have since been in bed virtually all day and have given up reading Salah or performing any deeni actions as I find it too burdensome. Even though I have felt positive over the last 24 hours and could perform Salah, I have convinced myself, don’t bother, there is no point, i.e. I have fought hard and tried to be positive but the reality is that I will start reading Salah and after a few days I will be back to square 1. I therefore may as well give up and continue sitting in bed all day as this way I have less thoughts and don’t have to undergo the burden of performing wudhu, istinja or ghusl. In addition, I will continue with a life of disobedience.
In addition, there is a misguided notion that I function normally when it comes to worldly matters. Well think again, I have not worked now for at least a month and prior to that I have worked unproductively.
Herein lies the conundrum. At this point, I have an overwhelming urge to say explicitly that I give up Islam as this sentiment is now strongly etched in to my heart. Secondly, I have condemned the Ulama in my heart. However I do not have the courage to verbally utter such a thing although I am not far off from doing so.
What is preventing me from getting out of bed is the thought that, in my heart I have rejected Islam so what is the point? I feel that I should re-enter Islam and re-perform nikah but this is not feasible as my wife will not accede to such a request as she has been through so much turmoil as it is. She will refuse on the basis that I have an issue and that if she accedes to my request of re-performing nikah, how many more times will it happen in the future?
For me, if she does not re-perform nikah I will feel as if I am committing adultery and what’s the point of an adulterer performing any good deeds as none of them will be accepted?
The only way out seems to be suicide and I don’t have the courage for that either.
These issues are constant and have shaped my personality, who I am and how I think. I walk around with a burden on my shoulders at all times.
Anyway the question remains (as is always the case), based on what I have said above
HAVE I COMMITTED KUFR ALREADY AND, IF SO, WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)
If one has uttered a clear statement of Kufr, or by uttering words which imply Kufr, it will make someone come out of the fold of Islam. Also, if one utters Kufr considering it light or as a joke it will constitute Kufr. If a person desired kufr to the stage of determination in his heart, then he would become a disbeliever through that, regardless of whether he performed an act of kufr or not. Hence, a person must repent at once.
However, if a person was compelled or erred in uttering Kufr is excused because he did not intend Kufr, as opposed to the one who mocks or jests about Allah etc, since he desired to utter these words.
Therefore, in your case if you have not intended Kufr due to error and the thoughts that you have of Kufr does not reach to determination (Azm), then you are still a Muslim and no need to renew Nikah.
(Al Ashbah Wan Nazair)
From what you have described above, It sounds you are suffering from a severe thought problem. We advise you to consult a physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
I would like to address two important subject on Thoughts and Fearing from Allah Ta'ala.
Thought and Waswasa in Islam:
Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said,"Indeed Allah forgives all that they thought in their hearts as long as they do not utter it or act upon it." (Muslim)
Scholars has mentioned that thoughts of sin or good works that occur to the soul are of five levels:
1. The notion (hajis), which is that which occurs to it;
2. The thought (khatir), which is the notion going through it;
3. The whisperings of the soul (hadith al-nafs), which is the uncertainty is has as to whether to do something or not;
4. Inclination ( hamm ), which is to lean towards doing something;
5. Determination (`azm).
(Al Ashbah Wan Nazair)
From the above you will not be made accountable but only If you are determined to do a sin.
As you are suffering from Waswasa, please refer below in how to cure yourself from Wasawis.
Curing Wasawis (pl. of Waswasa):
Waswasa is from the Shaitan one should treat it with contempt and pay no attention to such thoughts and do not bother. If one gives a little attention to such thoughts, the Shaytan feels honoured. It has achieved its purpose of diverting one’s mind in wrong. One should never give into that. Simply treat such thoughts with contempt and ignore them.
Make a routine of reciting the Quran like morning and evening etc.
"We sent down in the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe." (17:82)
Recite the last verse of Surah Baqarah (2:285,286).
Recite Surah Yaseen in the morning.
Recite Muawwazatain (Surah Naas and Falaq) and Surah Ikhlas and blow over yourself from your nape to feet 3 times, after every Fardh Salah and before you retire to bed.
Also, you may consider to have Hijama (cupping) done, it gets rid of toxic waste like toxins from mental stress, anger, anxiety and depression etc. It is a means of cure for all types of diseases even Sihr, evil eye and jinn Possession.
Ibn ‘Abbaas (RadhiyAllahu Anhuma) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Healing is to be found in three things: drinking honey, the knife of the cupper, and cauterization of fire.” (Bukhari)
What is the limit of fearing from Allah Ta'ala (Khashiat):
Indeed, to Fear Allah Ta'ala is compulsory upon everyone. However, Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has explained the limit of fearing from Allah Ta'ala, When he (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) supplicated to Allah Ta'ala saying, "O Allah! Give us such portion of Your fear whereby it would come as a barrier between us and sinning against You."
He didn't request more fear than that. So it is understood from this that the objective of fearing from Allah is sinning against Him, and for this reason having an overpowering fear may lead to difficulties such as, phsyical and psychological problems.
Allah Ta'ala says:
"You who believe! Fear Allah the way He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims. (3:102)
Feeling hope with fear:
Although a believer fears Allah, he should never forget Allah's compassion, mercy and forgiveness, or that He is the One Who due to His generosity accepts repentance.
Allah Ta'ala says:
Say: "My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful." (39: 53)
Call on Him fearfully and eagerly. Allah's mercy is close to the good-doers. (7: 56)
Always trying to make things more difficult on yourself may lead to problems as mentioned, and may open the doors for the Shaytan.
Allah Ta'ala says,
"Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you." (2:185)
"Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope." (2:286)
So be thankful to Him and stop worrying about the doubts and Wasawis (whispers).