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Sister Doesn’t Pray Due to OCD

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 06, 2018

Question

My sister has come out of age but she does not pray. She says that she wants to but she can't because she thinks she has an OCD so takes a long time in the bathroom cleaning herself which she says she doesn't want to do and annoys her. She takes up to an hour. My mum is always telling her to pray but she doesn't. What are we supposed to do?

Counselor

Answer


Sister Doesn't Pray Due to OCD

 In this counseling answer:

“Whilst you are concerned about her not praying, do be careful not to force her into it or make her feel bad for not praying. If you are forceful or negative about her behavior she may eventually develop an even more negative association with prayer. This will make it even more difficult and unappealing for her to even desire to pray.”


As-salamu alaikum,

It can cause much distress when a loved one appears to be distancing themselves from Islamic practices and doesn’t seem to have any desire to make any changes.

As her sister, in sha Allah you can be a positive role model and help in assisting her back on the correct path. As we know, Salah is an obligation and so it is very important that she starts praying again. Whilst she seems to face a couple of obstacles right now, there are some things you can do to make it easier for her.

Be a role model

Firstly, you continue to pray as you always do and allow her to see the benefits it brings you; how content it makes you feel. Seeing you happy in prayer may encourage her to pray as a means to experience that same sense of contentment. This is one way to influence her continually without directly telling her to pray.


Check out this counseling answer:


You can also make sure to openly seeking protection with Allah from Shaytan. You can do this as a more subtle influence as above, or you can be me direct and educate her on why you are doing this.

Seek protection from Shaytan

OCD is commonly associated with waswas , therefore it is important to seek protection from Shaytan to avoid waswas  and the resulting OCD practices that come with this.

Whichever way you approach it, directly or indirectly, if she starts implementing seeking protection then this will in pact on her OCD in a positive way as she will be less concerned about taking a long time to do wudu, taking less time and therefore having less of a burden placed on her making prayer me appealing again.

Whilst dealing with waswas doesn’t directly make her pray straight away, it tackles the issue that is preventing her from praying so will indirectly encourage her. Showing her support like this will also be good for her in terms of overcoming her current difficulties.

Postive Support

Whilst you are concerned about her not praying, do be careful not to force her into it or make her feel bad for not praying. If you are forceful or negative about her behavior she may eventually develop an even more negative association with prayer. This will make it even more difficult and unappealing for her to even desire to pray.

Therefore, be gentle and encouraging with her that she will feel supported and have positive associations with a prayer that she will have my desire to start.

May Allah reward your concern for your sister and desire to guide her in her Islamic practice. May Allah guide her aright and make things easy for her.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

My Daughter Doesn’t Want to Pray

Mom Doesn’t Pray, What to Do?

My Boss Does Not Pray, I’m Afraid for His Kids




About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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