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Author Topic: Wasaawis and OCD  (Read 4037 times)

ummi taalib

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Wasaawis and OCD
« on: December 09, 2013, 07:18:08 AM »
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Can worries like these lead to excessive concerns and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) regarding purity?

I'm looking into OCD and wasaawis regarding purity. A special needs teacher recently said to a friend who has a son who suffers from OCD that religious beliefs often contribute to OCD.

I also wanted to know if wasaawis as we know them in Islam, is actually OCD?


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abuhajira

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 10:28:04 AM »
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Can worries like these lead to excessive concerns and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) regarding purity?

A continuous pattern of such scenarios confusing ones mind do contribute to OCD. Once certain scenario is sought and clarified with an Alim, then it should be left to rest. Everytime the same scenario appears, one should follow the guidance given on the previous occasion. When a person starts recurring worries on the same scenario, even after having had the solution for it will definitely be either OCD or Wasawis.

Quote (selected)
I'm looking into OCD and wasaawis regarding purity. A special needs teacher recently said to a friend who has a son who suffers from OCD that religious beliefs often contribute to OCD.

Actually, any set of ideology, whether it is through religion, civilized code of conduct or just basic interactive ethos ALL have the same tendency of contributing towards OCD. Essentially, anything can contribute.

Quote (selected)
I also wanted to know if wasaawis as we know them in Islam, is actually OCD?

No, I do not think so. While OCD resemble similar symptoms, I feel wasawis are more particular in nature. Wasawis tend to have a pattern about things which takes one away from ibadiyaat or distances oneself from them. OCD can be in many simple things as well. Why is the soap placed that way, it has to be right side up and in the specific place. etc.

ummi taalib

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 11:07:46 AM »
Jazaakallaahu khayran for the explanations. I was worried about the Islamic perspective. I've almost completed putting together the notes (will be adding from your reply) then may I post them here before making it public on a forum?
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abuhajira

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 11:29:16 AM »
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Jazaakallaahu khayran for the explanations. I was worried about the Islamic perspective. I've almost completed putting together the notes (will be adding from your reply) then may I post them here before making it public on a forum?

Yeah that would be nice.

I wish this forum can become a one big class room. Where all of us learn something new from everyone else.

ummi taalib

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 07:19:48 AM »
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Jazaakallaahu khayran for the explanations. I was worried about the Islamic perspective. I've almost completed putting together the notes (will be adding from your reply) then may I post them here before making it public on a forum?

Yeah that would be nice.

I wish this forum can become a one big class room. Where all of us learn something new from everyone else.

To me it is already a class...so much to learn in quite and unusual and relaxed way. MashaAllah, may Allah ta'ala reward you all for this effort  and increase you in  blessings, aameen! 
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ummi taalib

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 05:49:43 AM »
Assalaamu 'alaykum Warahmatullah
the compilation is taking a rather long time because we (sister Acacia and myself) keep overhauling the whole project. There is just too much info online and we're trying to compile only relevant information and then present the Islamic perspective inshaAllah.

If I post everything we've done here it will be too much reading so I shall make short points to what we have so far:
1. introduction
2. definition - medical
3. causes - medical (in reality no definitive answer)
4. examples of OCD cases - non muslims
5. religious OCD - medical definition  ( now we can tie in Muslims & OCD)
6.  examples of OCD in Muslims - few common type of cases
7. The Islamic Perspective
   a. to begin with we intend to tie in "thoughts" (as mentioned in the
       definitions) to wasaawis
   b. proof from Quran and hadith of wasaawis
   c. ways of combatting them (from Quran and hadith)
   d. present opinions of Ulama regarding the connection between OCD and Wasaawis (if any - differences if there are differences)

InshaAllah...
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ummi taalib

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 05:54:23 AM »
Point number 7: (Point number 8 is Solutions - cant seem to edit that post)

The following needs checking - not just the verses and hadith used but also the layout and if doing it this way (The layout as in the previous post) is correct. Is there more we can add or will this suffice?

The Islamic Perspective

Referring back to the medical definition of OCD, it is recurring thoughts on a certain aspect which leads to the obsessive, compulsive behaviour.

From an Islamic perspective, these unwanted thoughts are called Waswaas or Wasaawis  (Sigular - Waswasah) which are whispered into the minds and hearts of people by Shaytaan (Devil) who is keen to misguide the Muslim and deprive him of good and keep it far away from him. He says:

‘By Your Glory O Lord, I will keep trying to misguide Your slaves so long as their souls are in their bodies.’

Qur’an 7:16-17
[Satan] said, "Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path.Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You]."


We find Wasaawis mentioned in the Qur'an and Hadith. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

وَإِمَّا يَنْزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ
 "And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaitan (Satan), then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower" (Quran, Al-Aaraf: 200).

In Surah An-Naas, Allah says:

1. Say: "I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind,
2. "The King of mankind,
3. "The Ilah (God) of mankind,
4. "From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one's heart after one remembers Allah) ,
5. "Who whispers in the * of mankind,
6. "Of jinns and men."


Mention of the Whisperings of Shaytaan in the Hadith:
In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu anh) said: “Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) came to him and said, ‘We find in our hearts things that none of us dares utter.’ He said, ‘Do you really find that?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That is clear faith.’” (2/153).

One of the Sahaabah complained to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about waswaas during prayer, and he said: “The Shaytaan comes between me and my prayers and my recitation, confusing me therein.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “That is a devil called Khanzab. If he affects you seek refuge in Allah from him and spit drily to your left three times.” He [the Sahaabi] said, I did that and Allaah took him away from me. (Narrated by Muslim, 2203)

“The Shaytaan comes to any one of you and says, ‘Who created such and such? Who created such and such?’ until he says, ‘Who created your Lord?’ If that happens to you, seek refuge with Allaah and give up these thoughts.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 3277

****end****
I realise the solution also lies in the verses and hadith but there are many more points in "solutions" so we'll add these again in the Solutions section.

please everyone help...and be honest. This is such an important subject...I personally know of many people who suffer from this condition...may Allah protect us all.Jazaakumullah

« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 06:01:13 AM by ummi taalib »
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Maria

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 06:40:50 AM »
Assalamuàlaikum.

api Um Talib do non-Muslims also get religious OCD or waswasa about their religion?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 06:42:31 AM by Maria »

ummi taalib

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 11:07:59 AM »
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Assalamuàlaikum.

api Um Talib do non-Muslims also get religious OCD or waswasa about their religion?
wa'alaykumus salaam
I dont know if they get doubts about their religion as we understand it but yes they do suffer from religious OCD...a short story as an example:

The anxiety and shame started when Diance was 25. She was sitting in a pew at her church, where she is active in the ministry. It seemed to come out of nowhere. She felt as if she were going to jump out of her skin.

 
Diance doesn’t know why she felt so anxious. But she knows what she saw when the feeling overwhelmed her: a nearby woman wearing a v-neck sweater.
 
For years after that episode, Diance, a health care professional from Maryland, was unable to look at people wearing v-neck sweaters or other potentially revealing clothes for fear she was sinning. When people sat down across from her and crossed their legs, she thought it was because she had been looking at their genitals.
 
“I was scared to look at people. I thought I was offending them by inappropriately glancing at them, and I constantly prayed for forgiveness,” said Diance, who stopped hugging family and friends and felt like a hypocrite in church.
 
Diance suffers from scrupulosity, a type of (OCD). People with scrupulosity suffer from persistent, irrational thoughts about not being devout or moral enough, and believing that these thoughts are sinful and disappoint God. And like the 2.2 million adults who have OCD, Diance’s obsessive, unwanted thoughts and rituals interfered with her life and relationships
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ummi taalib

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 11:14:15 AM »
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I also wanted to know if wasaawis as we know them in Islam, is actually OCD?

No, I do not think so. While OCD resemble similar symptoms, I feel wasawis are more particular in nature. Wasawis tend to have a pattern about things which takes one away from ibadiyaat or distances oneself from them.

Assalaamu 'alaykum ww
Mufti Sahib, regarding the above discussion, we asked jamiat ulama...question and answer below... it gives a clear link between wasaawis and OCD and we have found a couple of short quotes from Q/A sites which indicate that wasaawis can lead to the clinical illness of OCD.

Question:
We are looking into compiling a resource on OCD. We have gathered quite a lot of information, both medical and from the Islamic perspective and we are in the process of putting it together inshaAllah. After researching what we cannot tell for sure is if OCD are in fact Wasaawis.

The Reply:
Respected Brother/Sister in Islam
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

As Imam ibnul Hajar al-Haythami (Rahimahullah) has stated, OCD stems from Wasawis. The beginning stage is that Shaitaan injects the doubts (Wasawis) in a person. The more a person pays attention to these doubts, the more severe it becomes until it eventually leads to OCD.

And Allah Knows Best.                                                                                 
Suhail Tarmahome(Mufti)                                                                                                         
Fatwa Dept. Jamiat Ulama - Natal
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Acacia

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 04:23:37 PM »
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim:

I would like to request the meaning of the Arabic word 'waswasa'. Please help by providing the lughah meaning. Also, please indicate what the shariah usage of the word is.

As it stands, what I have come to know about the word is that:
  • it means 'whisperings of shaytaan'; and
  • unwanted and repetitive thoughts, doubts and fears.

JazakAllah khayran.
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

Acacia

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 08:16:53 PM »
Alhamdulillah, I think I found what I was looking for. Here's a summary:

The word waswaas is originally an infinitive in the sense of waswasah 'to whisper'; however, in Islam, it is also used as an expression to refer specifically to Satanic and other evil whisperings ( Source: Ma'ariful Qur'an, surah 114).

Waswaas or Wasaawis (singular - Waswasah) in this context then are: repetitive and unwanted thoughts, doubts and fears whispered into the minds and hearts of people by unseen and unheard shayateen (evil jinns) who are keen to misguide Muslims and deprive them of good. Wasaawis follow such a pattern that they take one away from and distance one from the remembrance of Allah Ta'aala and ibaadah to Him.

Allah Ta'aala instructs us to seek refuge with Him against wasaawis. We are told a Satanic companion is attached to each of us and continually tries to destroy us in different ways:

Quote (selected)
First of all, he induces us to commit sins, and paves the way for us to willfully violate the Divine laws and injunctions. If he does not succeed in this, he tries to contaminate and destroy our acts of obedience and worship by casting the thoughts of dissimulation, hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance. He attempts to create doubts about authentic beliefs and doctrines of Islam in the minds of the learned scholars. The only one who can be saved from the evil of such Satanic pranks is the one whom Allah gives His protection.

The Messenger of Allah  :pbuh:  is reported to have said: "There is not a single one of you, but his companion [a devil] has been assigned to him." The companions enquired: 'Is such a devil companion joined to you also, O Messenger of Allah?' He replied: 'Yes. However, Allah has helped me against him and he has become submissive to me. As a result, he only commands me to do good." ( Source: Ma'ariful Qur'an, surah 114)

Other types of wasaawis in Islam include:
  • whisperings of evil people who cast doubts in the minds of others in indirect ways without uttering them explicitly; and
  • whisperings of our own nafs which urges us to do evil works.
( Source: Ma'ariful Qur'an, surah 114)

While these two other forms of wasaawis may also urge us to do evil works, for the purposes of comparison with OCD however, neither of them may be as repetitive, persistent, and unwanted as those fears and doubts cast in our minds and hearts by shayateen. For this reason, our focus will remain on Satanic whispers.
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

ummi taalib

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Re: Wasaawis and OCD
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 03:47:28 AM »
...and Alhamdulillah the compilation has been completed. Please visit:

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...and we would love to have feedback and please feel free to point out any mistakes. Request du'as, jazaakumullah!
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