Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Am I Committing Sin by Acting Upon My Compulsions?

03 January, 2023
Q I want to know if I am committing a sin by doing compulsion on my intrusive ocd thoughts because Almighty Allah said all our sins are forgiven has long as we do not act or talk about them, but I feel am acting on them by doing compulsions anytime I have this thoughts. Please help me with an answer. Ma salam

Answer

In this counseling answer:

  • If your thoughts urge you to do something that is impermissible and sinful, then it may be another issue, probably related to other mental health struggles like, for example, addiction.
  • It would be important to gain control of your behavior and have enough inner strength to resist your obsessions and urges. 
  • Seek the help of a professional to find out what exactly is behind your behavior and what you can do to stop it. 

Salam alaikom wa rahmtullah brother,

You are asking whether you are committing a sin by engaging in compulsive behavior as a result of your obsessive thoughts.

Not Accountable for Thoughts

As you also said, you are not accountable for your thoughts and feelings as long as you do not talk about them or act upon them:

“Allah has forgiven my followers the evil thoughts that occur in their minds, as long as such thoughts are not put into action or uttered.” Sahih al-Bukhari 5269

The question would be what exactly your thoughts are and what compulsions you are urged to fulfill in order to feel some kind of relief.  

The hadith mentions evil thoughts, not any type of thought. So, in general, we are not sinful for acting upon our thoughts.

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

On the contrary, this is how we usually operate. We have a thought or feeling and act upon it (“I am hungry; I want to eat; I go and eat something”). 

Complusions

Normally, compulsions are some kinds of repetitive behaviors. Checking, unnecessary arrangement of objects, and avoiding contact with everyday objects or situations. So, in general, they are not sinful or haram behaviors.

Obsessions vs. Addictions

If your thoughts urge you to do something that is impermissible and sinful, then it may be another issue.

Probably it is related to other mental health struggles like, for example, addiction. 

In some cases, one may suffer from obsessions and addictions at the same time.

If you are addicted to something, you are going to feel some form of intense craving and an urge to engage in certain actions in order to feel relieved. 

This craving can be physical and psychological as well, depending on the type of addiction. Of course, it will manifest in your thoughts as some form of “obsession.”

Addiction is a serious mental health condition and is frequently but not necessarily related to sinful behaviors like drug and alcohol consumption, porn watching, or gambling.

To be honest, I do not know exactly to what extent you are accountable for committing sinful acts based on obsessive thoughts if you have a mental illness. It depends on some important factors related to your sanity.

I am not an Islamic scholar, so please write to our section Ask the Scholar for a detailed answer.

Find a Professional & Gain Control

At the same time, if you repeatedly commit something sinful, it would be important to gain control of your behavior and enough inner strength to resist your obsessions and urges.

So, I kindly advise you to seek the help of a professional. Find out what exactly is behind your behavior and what you can do to stop it. 

A mental health specialist will assess you and set up a diagnosis and treatment plan, depending on your condition. 

So, whether it is more likely to be an obsessive-compulsive disorder or some kind of addiction, you are going to be treated accordingly.

Please, brother, do not hesitate to seek further help.May Allah help you with it.

More from Orsolya Ilham O.:

***

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.

About Orsolya Ilham O.
Orsolya Ilhaam Oszter holds a BA degree in Communication and Manager in Public Relations, with a specialization in Andragogy. She completed her studies in the BSc Psychology department of International Open University, where she also studied Islamic sciences. She obtained certificates in Islamic Counseling and Islamic Marriage Counseling. Previously she worked in a client-centered atmosphere; currently, as a translator, counselor, and content creator related to Islam, counseling, and psychology. She is a mother of 2 and lives in Spain.