Help: Unwanted Thoughts are Driving Me Nuts!

27 June, 2020
Q I have a question and I know that many people come to you guys for help.

I'm really hoping that you guys are going to see my message and insha allah answer me.

My simple ( not simple ) question is, ok let's say that I'm a bad person ( from the beginning God knew that I'm a bad person ). CAN I CHANGE THAT AND BE GOOD, and have a good ending?

I have impolite thoughts towards Allah, what can I do? Like they are not questions so they could be answered, yet they take the beauty of my worships.

If I'm okay with these thoughts (they are not stopping me from doing good ) am I still not a true believer?

Like these thoughts cannot be answered cuz they are not questions in the first place. Can they be answered and solved by searching and learning more? I hope you could understand me?

When allah said (فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ), (In their hearts was a disease (of hypocrisy)) does that mean that they already were born like that? How to know if I'm one of them, like iblis when Allah said that he already had so much good in him before he was tested. Then his inside, pride, just showed up.

I swear that like these endless thoughts came to me as much as I educate myself! What can I do and Jazakom Allah khair.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

The first question you need to ask yourself and understand is: am I responsible for my thoughts or only my actions? Does Allah judge me for my thoughts?

These thoughts you have are OCD-type of thoughts.

Aboutislam has many great articles with great tips on religious OCD thoughts. Please check them out.

I sincerely advise you to spend time with yourself to understand your thoughts, your actions, and your emotions better and develop your emotional intelligence.

Please, read some books on self awareness or take some courses.

If you need some further help, do not hesitate to seek help from a professional psychologist or counselor in your local area. 


Assalamu Aleikom dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us with your concern. I am so sorry to read you experience distress due to your bothering thoughts. May Allah help you get rid of them soon, amen!

Let me reflect on your message thought by thought. 

You said you have “impolite thoughts about Allah” in your head. 

The first question you need to ask yourself and understand is: am I responsible for my thoughts or only my actions? Does Allah judge me for my thoughts?

Let me quote from an article that will relieve your heart, inshallah. Please read the full answer on this link!

 “What you have inside is not the same as what passes through your mind. What is in someone’s heart, such as;  faith, disbelief, love, hate, grudge or good intention, changes the direction of life. What passes through mind is mostly Satan’s whispers.

Help: Unwanted Thoughts are Driving Me Nuts! - About Islam

Sometimes such thoughts come to your mind that you even doubt and worry if you have become of those who conceal (their faith). Actually this shows that you are on the right path.” 

 These thoughts you have are OCD-type of thoughts. OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive thoughts that are “recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.”

Aboutislam has many great articles with great tips on religious OCD thoughts. Please check them out.

You said “I am a bad person.” 

Sister, by default, every human being is a good person. Only their environment makes them a “bad person. 

Not only psychology, but Islam also confirms this truth and calls it fitrah. “Fitrah is the pristine nature within humans that leads them to acknowledge the truth of Allah’s existence and follow his guidance.” (Psychology from the Islamic perspective).

If people were born with tawheed, how could they be bad?

“Goodness” and “badness”

Define what you mean by “good” and “bad”. What makes a good or a bad person, in your opinion? Just because you have “impolite thoughts about Allah” in your head that actually bothers you, is it enough for you to consider yourself a “bad person?” Or are there other things that make you feel you are a bad person?

We know now that our thoughts do not define our good or bad-ness, unless we act upon them. So, in Islam, our criteria of a “good” or a “bad” behavior is whether Allah likes it or not.

Good actions are all that Allah has permitted or likes and bad actions are the ones He prohibits or dislikes. It is as simple as that, for Muslims. When talking about actions, we must also consider one more thing: the intention.

This is the core of whether the action will be rewarded or punished by Allah. Bukhari’s hadeeth book starts with the following hadeeth: “Truly, the deeds are only according to the intentions, and to every man is that which he has intended.

So, just because someone prays, fasts and seem to be a good Muslim or human does not mean he or she is actually good. Or someone does a sinful act or does not do something Allah likes might still be a good person or a good Muslim based on his or her intention. 

But again, we are talking about actions here. You said you have troubling thoughts – and we will not be judged for our thoughts. 


Check out this counseling video:


You said you want to change to be a good person and have a good ending.

Sister, if you feel you are not happy with yourself, with your actions, you always have the power to change. You can change anything basically.

We can become more patient, more outspoken, more confident, more positive, more punctual people….etc. There are only a few characteristics such as temperament we are born with, the rest we can develop in. 

Just understand what makes you feel like changing something in you. Do you feel like changing because people criticize you and you want to avoid their criticism by changing instead of standing up for yourself for who you truly are?

When seeking to change, do not be harsh on yourself. Do anything step by step. 

Your goal with any change should be to become more true to yourself. 

I sincerely advise you to spend time with yourself to understand your thoughts, your actions, and your emotions better and develop your emotional intelligence. Please, read some books on self awareness or take some courses. It will benefit you a lot as a human, as a woman, as a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a Muslim. 

One of our dear counselor, Sister Megan Wyatt has an interesting project on developing Muslim women’s self awareness in particular. Check her website!

Lastly, you ask about the verse فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ (In their hearts is a sickness. 2:10)

This aya is referring to the hypocrites, those who show they are Muslims when they are not. However, I would advise you to read more about the tafseer of this verse and who the hypocrites are. 

I would recommend Nouman Ali Khan’s explanation on the munafequun, it is among his very first lectures about Surat al-Baqarah. You will find it on Youtube if not, then on Bayyinah TV. 

You will find the definition of hypocrites does not match you at all, and you can feel peace inshallah that you are on the right track, biznillah. 

Please sister do not lose hope. By the fact that you have written to us shows how a sincere Muslim you are. Pray to Allah that He strengthens you and guides you on the straight path.

If you need some further help, do not hesitate to seek help from a professional psychologist or counselor in your local area. 

I hope I could give you some relief from your stress. 

May Allah bless you.

Salam,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

How to Overcome My Religious OCD?
About Timea Aya Csányi
Timea Aya Csányi is a personal trainer who is specialized in the spine and functional training. She is advocates for gaining self-love and confidence through exercise.She also pursues her BSc. degree in Psychology at Islamic Online University and is one of our counselors at the "Ask the Counselor" section. If you are a Muslimah who seeks spine-friendly online training with a PT, you can reach out to Timea at [email protected].hu