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Suffering from Satan’s Whispering

30 March, 2017
Q As-Salamu Aleikum. I am having a serious problem. I have a bad habit of thinking of sins and that something bad should happen to myself or my family. I feel this bad thinking will come true soon. I fight with myself not to think of these stuffs, but I always fail and my inner evil wins. Sometimes, I pray to Allah for evil things. Please help me to come out of it. JazakAllah!



Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

As strange as it may sound to you, this can be viewed as a blessing in disguise – because Allah (swt) tests the most those He (swt) loves the most. So, if you could view this as an opportunity to serve Allah (swt) through passing this test, i.e., struggling against the Shaitan and through hardships, you may be able to appreciate it in a different light.

What concerns me most is what you said “…I always fail and my inner evil wins”. What do you mean by that? Have you committed very serious sins? If you have, then the cure for every sin is repentance—and reformation. Repentance alone is great, but you also have to change and stop doing the bad behavior.

The best way to avoid sinning is to understand why the sin is a sin – what it does that takes you in the wrong direction. The rules of Allah (swt) are for us, not for Allah (swt) who is free of any need. When we understand this, it makes it easier for us to obey Allah (swt) because we recognize that we are just obeying the true nature in which we were created. It makes us feel whole and sane.

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Now, of course, we have desires that make us feel we want something that is not good for us. This is a challenge in life. To figure out how to counteract our desires that make us want to disobey Allah (swt), we have to use our mind, not just follow our feelings. We have to think about the whole equation of life – including this life we currently live in as well as the Hereafter. When you do that, you can see the Hell Fire and the reward of the believers, Paradise, and that can really make a difference. This is what unbelievers—and Muslims with weak faith—fail to see in their evaluation of what life is.

Another problem we face is that our desires have two sources: one is our true nature, the other is Shaitan. Our true nature, the ruh, desires things that are good and healthy; things that we need and want. Shaitan, on the other hand, whispers into our hearts. Shaitan does not whisper into our minds with words of argument only but whispers into our feelings. And our feelings drive everything, even logic (just think about the common expressions such as “it feels right” or “it makes sense”). So, his trick is very sly.

He also uses truth to get in and then misdirects you in the wrong direction. For example, it’s part of human nature that we need love, but he uses this against us to “guide” us into bad choices. This can happen to anyone. But these bad choices are important ways in which we can learn – if we learn from our mistakes. We learn that hot is hot by touching it. We learn how not to spill milk by spilling it. That is why Allah (swt) loves those who repent again and again—because when we realize we did something wrong and learn from our mistakes, we develop ourselves to become better Muslims.

So, don’t worry; Shaitan whispers to everyone. He works on all of us, and he works the hardest on those who are the hardest to sway, obviously. People who are already off the path don’t need him to get them off the path.

So, bottom line: ask Allah (swt) to guide you and help you! Allah (swt) does not ignore the person who asks for His guidance—He (swt) promises to guide you if and when you ask for guidance!

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you!


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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem
Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery.For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.