Sheikh. Salaam alaikum. I have been aching for a solution to a problem I have that has engrossed my life for the best part of my 30 years. I will take a chance to explain to you what is happening to me…and advise on what I can do to rid this problem. sheikh..since I was 15 yrs old, I used to have doubts in salaat. These doubts were not fiqh related. It was like questioning Allah’s existence and authority. Over the years…I have succumbed to my mental brain taking control of the thoughts I have. The biggest problem I have is: Let’s say I saw a picture of a very rich successful man. Something in my mind (i think its OCD) will give me thought that this person is God. I immediately brush it off..knowing this is untrue and just my mind going crazy. The next day, I might see something else, and again my mind will give raise to a whispering thought that this that I have seen is God. Moreover, this goes on and on..for the past 20 years or so. Now. When I stand for salaat..and, I pray five times a day. The moment I do takbir, my mind quickly reminds me of the last person of whom my mind gave me the idea it might be God. I go crazy. Because I know this is shirk. I get anxious. My heart pounds. I cant continue namaz. I become very stressed. I break my namaz. I end up doing wudhu and starting over. Nowadays..just to pray four Rakat zohr…it takes me maybe 4 to 5 wudhu, plus the same amount of times of breaking my namaaz. A simple zuhr and asr can take me up to 30 to 40 mins. People around me get stressed. I’m considered as a lost case. Sheikh, because of this problem, I cannot partake in Jamaat namaaz. If someone tells me to pray Jamaat, I get anxious; my heart starts beating like nuts because of my fear of not being able to pray normally like everyone else. Sometimes in salaat, it all goes well. The moment I come to Salaam, my mind whispers that God is (the last image of a person or whatever) thought I had had that day or the last. Moreover, i have no will power to continue and finish salat. I just break it. I do not know why, but these shirk thoughts sometimes manifest in my mind in such a way, it feels real, I break my salat. Have to calm me down and remind me of the basics of la ilah ilallah. I then try again to start praying all over. I have pulled myself out from all congregational type of amaals. Its very difficult. Sometimes in simple amaals when we are asking Allah for help, I might have a thought whisper that it is not Allah you should be praying to, you should ask this thing (as described above). And then I fall into despair, and I feel my amaals are wasted. I have no will power to control these thoughts. Sheikh…I just want a normal life. What do I do? I also have a similar issue when having to do wajib ghusls. In the middle of my ghusl I have thought that because Mr X is so successful, he is God. Then I break my ghusl and do the same things I do when in namaaz. My wife has told me that it has taken my 50 mins to do a simple ghusl while everybody takes 2. I cannot talk to anyone about this issue. I cannot tell them that I have made an attempt of around 20 to 30 ghusls before being successful. I have sometimes contemplated of stopping namaz. However, that is what satan wants. I have till today kept up all my namaz alhamdullilah. However, I need help. Please dont judge me, as I admitted to you I am mentally weak. I am not sure if the OCD is the blame to all this or a Jinn is inside my taking control of my life. I just want to be a normal shia muslim like everyone else. Sheikh, what is your advise in dealing with this? Also sometimes in namaaz…when, i fear of being harassed by my thoughts, I end up in so much anxiety that these thoughts end up manifesting. Lots of times I just envy people who can pray normal salaat..something I have never been able to do.

Wslm thank you so much for the question and apologies for the delay. just came back from Hajj. No one has the right to judge you. I don’t think the challenge in question is associated with jinns. it may be associated with OCD but that has to be verified. however, here are my humble advises:

  1. Try as much as you can to ignore the doubts. it’s shaitan who try to cast doubt and make it difficult for you.
  2. Try to pray in congregation as that may help withstand the challenge of doubt.
  3.  Prepare for salat in advance before the salat time. try to pray few rakats before salat
  4.  Always stay in wudhu
  5. Recite few verses of the Quran