Problems and Solutions – Book Sample
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
- Sleeping and missing salaat al-fajr
- Excessive laughter
- Waswaas (insinuating thoughts from Shaytaan)
- Staying up late
- Short temper
Waswaas (insinuating thoughts from Shaytaan)
A person may ask: “I am suffering from many insinuating thoughts (waswaas) about the nature of Allaah, may He be glorified. There are thoughts going around in my mind that I cannot utter because they are not befitting to Allaah, and they keep coming back to me, when I am praying and at other times. It is so bad that I doubt my faith, and wonder if I am even a Muslim or not. What is the cure for this problem?”
A number of ahaadeeth have been reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which contain the answer to this problem, al-hamdu Lillah.
The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Shaytaan may come to any one of you and say, ‘Who created Allaah?’ If any one of you experiences this, let him say, ‘Aamantu billaahi wa rasoolih (I believe in Allaah and His Messenger),’ and that will drive him away.” (Saheeh
al-Jaami’, 1657). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Shaytaan may come to any one of you and ask, ‘Who created the heaven?’ and he will say, ‘Allaah.’ The Shaytaan will say, ‘Who created the earth?’ and he will say, ‘Allaah.’ Then the Shaytaan will say, ‘Who created Allaah?’ If any one of you experiences this, let him say, ‘Aamantu billaahi wa rasoolih.’” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1656).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever experiences anything of this waswaas, let him say three times, ‘‘Aamantu billaahi wa rasoolih,’ and that will drive (the Shaytaan) away.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6587).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Shaytaan may come to any one of you, and say, ‘Who created such-and-such? Who created such-and-such?’ until he asks, ‘Who created your Lord?’ If this happens to anyone, let him seek refuge with Allaah and let him stop these thoughts.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7993).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people will nearly ask too many questions, so that one of them may say, ‘Allaah created all of creation, but who created Allaah?’ If they say this, then say:
‘Allaah is the One, Allaah is the Self-Sufficient Master. He begets not, nor was He begotten; and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him’ [al-Ikhlaas 112:1-4, interpretation of the meaning], and spit (drily) to your left three times, and seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 8182).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Think about the signs of Allaah, do not think about Allaah (Himself).” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2975)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Think about the creation of Allaah, do not think about Allaah (Himself).” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2976)
From these texts we may summarize the following six ways of overcoming these insinuating thoughts:
The person who is experiencing such ideas should say, “Aamantu billaahi wa rasoolih (I believe in Allaah and His Messenger).”
He should seek refuge with Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan, and say three times, “A’oodhu billaahi’l-Samee’ il-‘Aleem min al-Shaytaan il-rajeem, min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafathih (I seek refuge with Allaah, the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, from the accursed Shaytaan, and from his slander and evil insinuations).”
He should spit (drily) to his left three times.
He should stop thinking about whatever it is that is on his mind, as the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let him stop.” This is an important tactic, because continuing to allow the Shaytaan to influence one in this way can only make it worse. The Muslim must stop these thoughts, as much as he is able, and keep his mind busy with something useful and beneficial.
He should recite Soorat al-Ikhlaas (Qul huwa Allaahu ahad), because it describes attributes of the Most Merciful and is considered to be equivalent to one-third of the Qur’aan. Reciting this great soorah will guarantee an end to these insinuating thoughts.
He should think about the creation and blessings of Allaah, not about His nature, because his weak human mind can never comprehend the nature of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… and they will never compass anything of His Knowledge” [Ta-Ha 20:110]
Staying up late
We have received so many questions about this problem that we know it is crying out for a solution. So many people are wasting so much time in staying up late at night.
But the truth of the matter is that this phenomenon is not homogenous. There are three kinds of staying up late:
(1) Staying up late to worship Allaah. This is the worthy kind of staying up. It includes staying up for reasons that are of benefit to the Muslims in general, such as engaging in jihaad and guarding the borders of Islam, as well as staying up to pray (qiyaam al-layl) and read Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord and praying, with fear and hope].” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:17].
We should not forget, in this context, the great Sahaabi who was guarding the Muslims at night, and spent his time on guard duty praying. He was struck by an arrow fired by the mushrikeen, and his blood began to flow, but he kept on praying, enjoying his contact with his Lord.
It is reported that some of the scholars used to discuss hadeeth until the sun came up. Some of the sincere da’iyahs (callers, Islamic workers) still stay up at night discussing matters that keep those who care about the ummah awake.
An example of this is what happened with Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hameed ibn Baadees and Shaykh al-Basheer al-Ibraaheemi, the founders of the Muslim scholars’ organization (Jam’iyat al-‘Ulama’ al-Muslimeen) in Algeria.
During their time in Madeenah, they used to stay up all night, until fajr time, discussing the state of the Muslim ummah and the bid’ah, myths and backwardness in which it had ended up, and planning how they would rescue Algerian society from this sorry state.
This kind of staying up is entirely worthy, so long as it does not lead to the neglect of something more important or more obligatory. Some people may stay up for a legitimate purpose, then miss fajr prayers. This is a mistake.
(2) Staying up for a permissible reason. This is fine, as long as it does not lead to the neglect of something obligatory. This includes, for example, travellers staying up to talk to one another, in order to relieve the tedium of travel. The
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would stay up to talk to one of his wives and keep her company, when they were on a journey.
This also includes talking to one’s guests and keeping them company.
Also included is the staying up involved in modern-day shift work, created by the demands of materialistic circumstances.
No doubt some of the interests of the Muslims demand the work of people at night, such as those who work in the security forces, in hospitals and airports, in supplying electricity, and so on.
(3) Staying up to commit sin, such as staying up to watch movies, to play haraam games such as cards, or to consume the flesh of others by gossiping and backbiting and slandering, and other kinds of sin.
This kind of staying up is haraam, and those who do it are sinners who deserve the punishment of Allaah. Their number has increased in modern times, for the reasons mentioned by the poet:
“Youth, idleness and good health,/ corrupt man in such a bad way!”