Praise be to Allah.
You should understand that man is the one who produces his
waswaas and negative thoughts, and he is the one who causes himself to hear
these voices inside his mind. In most cases it is an echo of what he is
thinking about and the details thereof that preoccupy his mind, or it is a
reflection of the reality he is living, or it is an accumulation of past bad
experiences the effect and traces of which he has not been able to erase and
overcome (and he is still dwelling on them).
But persuading yourself that you are helpless in the face of
these insinuating thoughts and that it is something beyond your control is
the most significant part of the dilemma; in fact this is one of the deepest
pits that humans in general fall into with regard to thought, reason and
contemplation. This is the difference between our father Adam (peace be upon
him) and Iblees. Adam (peace be upon him) admitted his sin, declared his
repentance, turned to Allah and was confident that he could overcome this
situation, so he and his wife said: “Our Lord! We
have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your
Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers” [al-A‘raaf 7:23].
In contrast, Iblees, may Allah curse him, blamed his Lord for his disbelief
and stubbornness, and behaved as if he was weak and helpless, unable to save
himself from the situation in which he found himself. He said, addressing
Allah (may He be glorified): “Because You have sent
me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your
Straight Path” [al-A‘raaf 7:16].
The remedy to this problem begins with realising that you are
able to deal with it and that it will be easy once you arm yourself with
resolve, determination and willpower, and follow the example of millions who
have gone through all kinds of problems and troubles, but they remained
steadfast and overcame their troubles, and became a cause of happiness for
those around them and brought development and success to their countries and
communities. You are not less significant than them and your trials are not
greater than theirs; rather it is nothing but a voice echoing inside your
mind. So let your reason be the thing that leads you and energizes you to
turn a deaf ear to these whispers, no matter how loud they are; the passage
of time will help to reduce this voice bit by bit, until it has diminished
completely, by Allah’s leave.
Remember the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased
with him), according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills
himself will be throwing himself down in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever.
Whoever drinks poison and kills himself will be sipping it in the Fire of
Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron will have
that iron in his hand, thrusting it into his belly in the Fire of Hell for
ever and ever.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5778; Muslim, 109.
If you ponder this hadeeth you will realise the seriousness
of the matter. There is nothing standing between you and this punishment
except the barrier of death, which could come at any moment. On the other
hand, there is nothing standing between you and the promise of paradise and
eternal happiness except the same barrier. So why choose for yourself
punishment and pain; why deprive yourself of eternal bliss? The Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Paradise is closer to one
of you than the strap of his sandal, and Hell is the same.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6488.
Whatever the case, the most beneficial and most powerful
remedy for all destructive psychological problems is the wisdom that Imam
ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) learned from his experience of
life. He used to say: Pay attention to your nafs, for if you do not
preoccupy yourself with the truth it will distract you with falsehood. The
truth with which you can preoccupy yourself requires a great deal of
sacrifice from us and from you. This world is full of different kinds of
good in which you can immerse yourself, so you will hardly have any thoughts
except thoughts about doing good things, and you will not pay attention to
anything but what those good deeds require. So this will be a means of
raising your status before Allah, may He be exalted, whilst also helping you
to overcome your psychological problems.
Finally, we also advise you to see a doctor or psychologist,
and do not take this matter lightly. Many doctors can reduce the impact of
(negative) ideas and thinking by means of medicines that correct hormonal
imbalances in the body. Many people have benefited from treatment by
trustworthy doctors, in addition to the spiritual and Islamic advice given
We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to grant you a speedy
And Allah knows best.