Unnecessary thinking – “Waswaas” during prayer

Unnecessary thinking – “Waswaas” during prayer

With regard to the question about thinking of unnecessary things during prayer, please read the points mentioned below.

These thoughts are called “Waswaas”.


The person praying should try to get rid of these thoughts. Shaytaan influences different people from different directions. With things that the person desires. He will try to influence the person with worldly matters and engulf the person in them. Make the person feel proud of his actions.


What to do to prevent these Waswaas during prayer. In order to escape from such Waswaas the person in prayer should say أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم (Aoodhu bil-Laahi min ash-Shaytaan ir-Rajeem) and blow with wetness to his/her left side three times. It is in the Hadeeth,

Uthman ibn Abi al-‘Aas رضي الله عنه came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ, the Shaytaan comes between me and my prayer and recitation and he confounds me”. The Prophet ﷺ said, “That is the Shaytaan who is known as “Khanzab”. If you feel disturbance (during prayer) seek refuge with Allāh from it (i.e. say أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم) and spit (blow with wetness) on your left side three times.” The Sahabi said, “When I did that, Allāh dispelled that from me”.


How can the person in prayer spit with a wet spit (with saliva in it)? I will remind you of some points that the people of knowledge have said in this matter. That is, how should the person praying in congregation act in this case? How great is the Sunnah, Ahlus-Sunnah, Salafi Manhaj! They will not act according to their intellect claiming to act according to the Hadeeth and leave the understanding of the people who understood and explained the Hadeeth. The scholars have mentioned how the person praying in the congregation should act in this matter.

One scenario is, the person is at the left end of the row. In this case, the person should act as mentioned above. But if he is standing in the middle of the row, Al-Allāmah ibn Uthaymeen رحمه الله said, “he is to use a tissue or a handkerchief (if he has one) to wet-spit on it after turning to his left. And if he cannot do that, turn his head a little to the left and say أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم and the objective will be achieved”.

Meaning: Allāh is sufficient in everything concerning the religion as well as the worldly affairs.” الفوا كه الشهيه


Fourthly: This action will not be a separate action. A small action like this will not affect the prayer. This will not come under extra movements. This is a recommended action to perfect the prayer.


Fifthly: To remain steadfast with strong willpower during worship. Dear, brother! When such thoughts (Waswaas) occur, you should not think about it and let yourself get distracted. This is an act of Shaytaan to corrupt your worship and take you out of it. Therefore, ignore it completely and turn your back to it.

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Thaymiyyah رحمه الله said,

“Anyone who faces Allāh with submission is affected with Waswaas. Therefore, for the slave is to remain steadfast with patience in reciting the legislated Adhkar and stay in the prayer. He should not get disappointed and leave. That is because (when you are steadfast and patient in submitting to Allāh) these plots (cunning waswaas) of the Shaytaan are dismissed.

(Allāh said)

إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَانِ كَانَ ضَعِيفًا

‘Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytaan’.

Whenever the slave of Allah submits to Him wholeheartedly, Waswaas appears in some form. For indeed the Shaytaan’s place is like that of a highway robber (that blocks the path of a traveller). Every time the slave submits to Allāh wholeheartedly, Shaytaan tries to stray him away from the path and stop him”.

Sixthly: What can be done outside of prayer to get rid of Waswaas. Even outside of prayer the most powerful two things that can be done to free oneself from Waswaas is to seek Allah’s refuge from Shaytaan and to make Dhikr while ignoring the Waswaas of Shaytaan. Moreover, to be careful in observing the Sunnah prayers, to give time for prayer s and find time for prayers and give the prayer it’s deserving magnanimous status will close these doors.


Make the trust in Allāh stronger. That is to entrust everything to Allāh’s will and to hold on to the reasons of submission to Allāh. Taking all precautions needed to be safe from diseases. Al-Allāmah Naasir al-Sa’dee رحمه الله said, “Many among the people have the disease of getting into plentiful imaginary and inclining thoughts (this difficulty has confronted them). These people continuously go through fear and are living a fearful life. They believe simple illnesses as big diseases. Sometimes they think that they have a disease (even when they don’t have one). However, there is no reality to it. And the reason for all this is because the hearts are weak, and imagination and desires have overcome them and have no trust in Allāh’s will. Allāh says,

وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ

‘And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him’.


Seventhly: To think negatively due to Waswaas and repeat the prayer. As these kind of Waswaas are Mujarrad Waswaas (uncontrollable) and prayer will not get nullified due to these. However, depending on the amount to which the person gets engulfed into these Waswaas, he loses the rewards of prayer. Unless he says something with his tongue, he is not a person who talked out of the prayer. If he doesn’t say with his tongue the prayer will be valid. The one who fulfilled all conditions, pillars and obligations of the prayer has performed the prayer.

A misunderstanding of some people is: They feel uncomfortable after prayer when they get Waswaas and they want to repeat the prayer. Know that, this is not the correct thinking. This is contrary to the Sunnah. For if the person has fulfilled all conditions, pillars and obligations of the prayer he has given the prayer its due rights and is free from the responsibility. When he does something that is not required to do, he has performed an act against the Sunnah.