Repelling Evil Thoughts and Staying Focused….
As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah:
Abu Huraira (radiallahu anhu) narrates that once a group of people came to the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wasallam) and asked: “We experience such evil thoughts that it is impossible to bring them on our lips”. The Messenger of Allah (sallahu alahi wasallam) said: “Do you really experience these thoughts? Yes, they replied. The Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “They are clear signs of faith”. (Sahih Muslim).
Ibn Abbas said“Sometimes I experience such thoughts that I would rather be reduced to charcoal than get them on my lips” (meaning that to speak of these thoughts was worse than burning in fire, m). The Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “All praise is to Allah who restricted the devil’s designs to mere evil promptings”. (Sunan Abu Dawud,)
The above two narrations Cleary show that it is not unusual to have these evil thoughts neither is one more sinful or evil due to them. Even some Companions of the Messenger of Allah received these thoughts, as we have seen in the above narrations.
Therefore, one should not be worried on their account or feel sad and deterred, for these thoughts are signs of faith.
Some scholars have explained this by saying that a robber or thief only strikes at a place where he knows that there is wealth or money. He would not break into a place where there is no wealth. Similarly, when the devil (shaytan) whispers and puts these evil thoughts into anyone’s heart, then this shows that this person has the wealth of faith (iman) in his heart. If there was no wealth in that heart, Shaytan would have never entered it, thus one should not worry about these evil thoughts rather repel them with the remembrance of Allah.
It should also remember that one is not accountable for the evil thoughts that occur in the mind and heart as long as they remain thoughts.
Abu Huraira (radiallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alahu wasallam) said:
“Verily Allah forgives my Ummah for the evil thoughts that occur in their hearts until they don’t say it verbally or act upon it”. (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim).
One should seek Allah’s protection and refuge from the devil. Abu Huraira (radiallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“The devil (shaytan) comes to one of you and says: “Who created this? Who created that? Until he says: “Who created your Lord?” When one experiences this, one should seek Allah’s refuge and stop the matter there”. (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim).
The following verse of Surah al-mu’minun may be beneficial:
“Rabbi inni a’uzu bika min hamazat ashayatin wa a’uzu bika rabbi an yahdurun”
Trans: O my Lord! I seek your protection from the instigations of devils and I also seek your protection from that they (ever) come to me.
The following story demonstrates that we should strive to stay focused what is important…
Troubled in aspects of Deen: Imam Shafies response
And ath-Thahabee mentions from al-Muzanee that he said: “I knew that if anyone could rid me of a troubling concern about an issue of tawheed, it would be ash-Shaafi’ee. So I went to him while he was in a mosque in Egypt. When I kneeled in front of him, I said, ‘I am troubled about a certain issue of tawheed. I know that no one knows as much as you, so what do you say about this?’ ”
He became angry and said, ‘Do you know where you are?’
I said, ‘Yes.’
He said, ‘This is the place where Allaah drowned Pharoah. Has it reached you that the Messenger of Allaah was ordered to ask about that?’
I said, ‘No.’
He said, ‘Have the Companions spoken about it?’
I said, ‘No.’
He said, ‘Do you know how many stars are in the sky?’
I said, ‘No.’
He said, ‘So you don’t even know about one planet – its type or the time and place of its appearance and disappearance?’
I said, ‘No.’
He said, “So there is something from the creation that you see with your own eyes that you do not even know anything about, yet you speak about the Knowledge of the Creator?’ Then he asked me a question about ablution, and I erred in my response. So he explained it from four different angles (and asked me about them), and I was not correct in any of my responses. So he said, ‘So you leave alone the knowledge of something which you are in need of five times a day, and instead you burden yourself with the knowledge of the Creator? When this (kind of thing) comes to your mind, then remember the statement of Allaah the Exalted,
“And your God is One God; there is no true god besides Him. He is the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth…” [Surah
So use the creation as a proof for (the Greatness of) the Creator, and do not burden yourself with what is beyond your understanding.” [Siyar A’laamin-Nubalaa‘ (10/31)]