“I wanna be a good muslim. I wanna be really good. But what are these evil thoughts that I keep thinking? Did I really think all this mean stuff up? Is this me? Have I always been this evil? I’m.. not a good person at all…” 😦
Has this thought ever crossed your mind? Well, it crossed mine plenty of times. And i find it to be absolutely frustrating, and a real challenge to overcome, because it not only messes with my self-esteem, it also somewhat drains my willpower and good intentions. It’s scary.
And Allah has already warned us about this in the Al-Qur’an, specifically in surah an-Nas.
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, (1) The King (or Ruler) of Mankind― (2) The Allah (or Judge) of Mankind― (3) From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper)― (4) (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind― (5) Among Jinns and among Men. (6)
In surah an-Nas, it’s clear that these whispers of evil are actually from Jinns, unseen creatures(of course including shaytaan). So, it’s important that you do not believe that it is your own thoughts. How do we know it’s not our own thoughts? If you dislike it, you want it to go away, you realize it is a bad thought, it is most probably shaytaan or jinns whispering.
Don’t feel too bad or weak when you face this problem because even some of the companions experienced the same thing, and asked our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about it:
In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to him and said, ‘We find in our hearts things that none of us dares utter.’ He said, ‘Do you really find that?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He (Muhammad) said, ‘That is clear faith.’” (2/153).
Ibn Abbas (Allah have mercy on him) narrates that a Companion came to prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and asked: “Sometimes I experience such thoughts that I would rather be reduced to charcoal than get them on my lips” (meaning that to speak of these thoughts was worse than burning in fire). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “All praise is to Allah who restricted the devil’s designs to mere evil promptings”. (Sunan Abu Dawud,)
Here’s an interesting way to look at it:
Imagine a thief. Which house would the thief break into? A house without gold or a house with gold?
Obviously thieves don’t break into empty houses. Similarly, Shaytan breaks into the heart and mind of a person that possess Iman (Faith)!
As for the unbeliever, Shaytan leaves them alone to wander in the darkness because Shaytan knows very well that this unbeliever is already lost and not a threat to their goal.
Okey, so the big question, how do we make it stop? We want it to go away, but we can’t see them, what can we do? Allah gave us an answer to this too, in Surah al-A’raaf, 7:200.
If a suggestion from satan assail thy (mind), seek refuge with Allah; for He hears and knows (all things). (200)
Our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also told us about this problem and how to face it.
“The Shaytaan comes to any one of you and says, ‘Who created such and such? Who created such and such?’ until he says, ‘Who created your Lord?’ If that happens to you, seek refuge with Allah and give up these thoughts.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 3277
1. Remember that it’s all shaytan’s plans to misguide us.
“The Shaytaan said to the Lord of Glory: ‘By Your Glory O Lord, I will keep trying to misguide Your slaves so long as their souls are in their bodies.’ The Lord said, ‘By My Glory and Majesty, I will continue to forgive them so long as they ask My forgiveness.’” Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2/32
2. Remember to never lose hope, and always ask for Allah’s forgiveness when these evil thoughts ever come. And always ask Allah to raise your iman.
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:
“Verily Allah forgives my Ummah for the evil thoughts that occur in their hearts until they don’t say it verbally or act upon it”. (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim).
3. Stay away from haram. Haram activities, haram food, drinks, tv shows..
4. Read books that will give you useful knowledge, that will help to distract you from the evil thoughts. And train you to truly ignore them.
5. Hang around helpful and knowledgeable brothers/sisters.
6. Remember Allah and read the Al-Qur’an everyday, and ponder upon the verses.
7. If the whispers and thoughts get too ‘loud’ to bear, ask help from people you trust.
And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins and who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what (wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is the reward of the doers (of good)! (Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136)
P.S: Let them whisper. choose not to listen.