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.
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”).
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.
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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.