Satan’s Whisperings or Nafs
I sense within my mind, at times – horrible thoughts/words about Allah, His Deen – and all good things. I know these whispers are wrong and disgusting, and I certainly do not agree with them. Nonetheless – I perceive them a lot, and I cannot bear to hear them. It’s not a voice I hear, like someone speaking – it’s rather “in my own mind” – as if I myself is thinking it. It happens especially in Salaah, and at times it destroys my Salaah. While I read Quran, while I engage in many acts – I perceive the vilest, most disgusting thoughts and words – and I make istighfaar…I seek refuge in Allah from this calamity.
I read a hadith that said some companions perceived horrible things, so much so that they would rather fall from the sky than to speak of them. According to the hadith, they were told it was a sign of faith. InshaAllah, I hope I fall within that category, but sometimes I feel like I cannot be forgiven for such blasphemous thoughts – and that I will be thrown into hell on account of them.
I always wonder if it is my nafs, or my qareen, or Shaytan/jinn. I have rationalized it like this:
My nafs commands me to do evil, and I fall into it – because I am weak (such as daydreaming about beautiful girls and not lowering my gaze). I feel that this is my nafs – because I know its wrong, but my urges take over, and even though I don’t express my urges aloud – I still willingly know and carry on such thoughts in my head. Basically, I feel like my nafs is something that I willingly do – even though I know its wrong.
The whispers are different, I try so hard to avoid thinking about it – and when I perceive it, I hate it inside and out, and I do not willingly do it. Yet I still perceive and sense it. Does this mean its definitely from Shaytan, and not nafs?
I’m confused. Wa’Allah I want to get rid of these insinuating insulting thoughts.
What should I do?
I think what you are going through is what many Muslims — even good ones – experience. However, be cautious against complacence. Our nafs has a leaning towards the evil, and Satan doesn’t do anything except whispering into the same nafs more evil so that it continues to drift away from the right path towards what is wrong. In other words, the evil thoughts that come to your mind are indeed from Satan which appeal to your nafs.
Your trial is to make your earnest attempt to ensure that you don’t allow what Satan whispers into your heart to become a permanent part of your nafs. The crucial thing is that you should always regret and seek forgiveness from the Almighty after you had a bad thought. Keep doing istighfar in your prayers and otherwise too. Don’t plan anything bad, evil when you are in the normal frame of mind. Try to remain in a state of ablution (wuzu) for as long as is possible.
Be sure that this world is a trial between Satan and our nafs on the hand and our determination to defeat them on the other. Satan and our nafs won’t die so long as we live in this world. However, we can subjugate and defeat them over long periods of time. On each occasion when we feel that we have overcome their influence, they are going to do their best to stage a comeback. So be vigilant against them by i) saying your prayers regularly, ii) remembering Allah as much as possible, especially through reading the Qur’an and understanding it, iii) staying in the company of good people, and iv) staying in a state of wuzu.