Emotional WellbeingSelf Improvement

OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Scrupulosity in Islam

 “He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” – Arabian Proverb

Wikipedia defines scrupulosity as a psychological disorder “characterized by pathological guilt about moral or religious issues. It is personally distressing, objectively dysfunctional, and often accompanied by significant impairment in social functioning”.

Religious practice and devotion are not necessarily the cause of scrupulosity.  Scrupulosity is considered a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  OCD can occur in different forms. There are a variety of different types of obsessions and compulsions. The nature of intensity of these symptoms may vary over time. In some cases, aggressive, sexual and religious obsessions can occur together in the same individual.

The obsessions in OCD are the recurrent thoughts or impulses that make an individual anxious (such as the fear of germs in public places making one sick). Despite an individual’s efforts to control and suppress the obsessive thoughts, the obsessions persist.  The thoughts often feel intrusive and disturbing despite the individual’s awareness of the thoughts being produced in their own mind. Obsessions can include fear of harming someone, becoming contaminated, and/or doing something embarrassing.

Compulsions, however, are repetitive behaviors or mental acts the person feels driven to perform.  These acts are often with ritualistic rigidity aimed to prevent the anxiety connected with the obsessions. These actions may include the urge to wash, count, check, or repeat phrases to oneself.

OCD appears to be a biologically based disorder with severe psychological consequences. According to the OCD foundation about 1 in 100 adults – or between 2 to 3 million adults in the United States have OCD.  The OCD foundation also estimates at least 1 in 200 – or 500,000 – kids and teens that have OCD in the United States.  OCD statistics is assumed that up to 2.5 percent of the world population is affected obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some compulsive symptoms are detected in approximately eight percent of population.

People suffering from OCD also end up suffering from depression, a lack of self-esteem and self confidence, very weak willpower, relationship problems, and social withdrawal.

How Scrupulosity differs from devout faith and practice 

According to the hadith “Abu Huraira (may God be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The religion of Islam is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will overpower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) in the morning and at dusk and some part of the night” [al Bukhari].  Scrupulosity is when the individual is overpowered by their devotion and practice of their faith.  The scrupulous individual will focus excessively on a few specific rules and rituals while neglecting other aspects of the religion. It often involves mistakenly thinking that innocent or unavoidable things are sin and so feeling needlessly guilty.  When scrupulosity turns to obsessive thoughts, it can generate upsetting, uncontrollable blasphemous thoughts or images about God, or exalting the devil.

Just as some people with OCD feel compelled to keep checking locks or washing their hands, others might feel compelled to obsess over blasphemous thoughts that they hate or to keep doubting their salvation. Due to the doubting nature of scrupulosity, it has been also been called “pathological doubt”.  OCD sufferers will take a simple act of locking a door, switching off the oven, or seeking Allah’s forgiveness, and then worry abnormally over whether they did it correctly. They feel driven to keep seeking assurance far beyond what is rational.

Scrupulosity is considered a hidden disease due to the fact that it can fill people with such false guilt that many are unlikely to admit to it, while others have no idea that they have an unhealthy sense of guilt and so suppose there is nothing wrong with them.

In Islam, such unwanted thoughts are called wasawis (plural of waswasah), which are whispered into the minds and hearts of people by Shaitan (Satan). These wasawis play a significant role in many mental disorders that involve anxiety and cognitive distortions.  Although wasawis can affect individuals regardless of age, sex, faith, or creed, the nature, content, severity, and influence of these thoughts varies in individuals.  For some, they only cause mild anxiety and worry, while others are more severely affected to the point of becoming spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and socially paralyzed. Recurring thoughts about catching germs, being unclean, and questioning one’s faith appear to be the most common form of OCD amongst Muslim men and women but those suffering from scrupulosity, the unwanted thoughts tend to be more debilitating.

In the process of wasawis, Shaitan doesn’t care about the thoughts and doubts he sets buzzing around in our heads. Shaitan knows we will not be judged for the thoughts he has implanted in our heads because they are his thoughts, not ours. It is an impossible task to stop unwanted thoughts from coming in our minds.  While we are busy battling unwanted thoughts from our mind, Shaitan accomplishes his goal of distracting us from the essential teachings of Islam.  The goal of every Muslim should be to strengthen our faith and connection to Allah and not waste time avoiding certain thoughts or feelings.

Shaitan will try and distract us from his real schemes and instead focuses our attention on past sins instead of present forgiveness. Shaitan will also try and trick us into becoming so preoccupied with needlessly worrying about dishonoring God with words that we do not even mean, that we don’t notice that we are dishonoring God by not believing the extent of His love and forgiveness, even towards those of us who feel certain we are the worst sinners ever to walk this planet.  No matter how terrible the words or images that invade our mind are, we are not “sinning”.  Shaitan will also try and entice us to fear Quranic verses that apply only to people who until their dying day stubbornly refuse to repent from their deliberate sin/backsliding and refuse to seek forgiveness. Shaitan’s hope is that we become so alarmed by the few words in the verses that do not apply to us that we lose sight of the enormous number of joyous verses that do apply – those promising salvation to everyone who repents and believes in Allah and His messenger.  Shaitan’s dirty trick is to put despicable thoughts in our mind and then blame us or Allah for it.  Allah isn’t fooled into blaming us for Shaitan’s trickery and we shouldn’t be fooled either.  Just like we can’t stop Shaitan from being Shaitan, we can’t stop thoughts of temptation from popping into our thoughts.  All we can do is stop ourselves from being deceived by the thoughts.

All in all, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder. It is fear/anxiety that keeps us hounded by doubts, guilt feelings or unwanted thoughts that keep repeating in our minds. It is the very nature of deceiving spirits to foster and exploit fear for their evil purposes, and their highest goal is to fool us into losing faith in our religion.

Treatment of Scrupulosity

Like other forms of OCD, scrupulosity responds to medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). About 60%–80% of patients show some degree of response to treatment. The neurotransmitter serotonin appears to be involved in the pathology of OCD.  Medications that boost the level of serotonin in the brain such as SSRI’s (e.g. clomipramine, fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, and citalopram) are the most effective in treating OCD.

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT), specifically Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) has been successfully used for the treatment of OCD. ERP focuses on the fact that compulsions provide only a temporary reduction of the anxiety produced by obsessions. The only way to experience more permanent relief is to habituate (get used to) the anxiety caused by the obsession, without performing the compulsion. The key factor of ERP is habituation. While this type of therapy typically causes some short-term anxiety, this facilitates long-term reduction in obsessive and compulsive symptoms. Facing the negative, unwanted thoughts will create anxiety.  It is highly unpleasant, but they must disregard their fears in order to benefit from treatment.  Facing their anxiety is an unavoidably unpleasant experience, but they must continually force themselves to stay close to God, even though their fears of rejection and divine displeasure are immense.  As the person with scrupulosity begins to face his/her fears, he/she may experience a temporary increase in anxiety but with continued support and medication, the anxiety will decrease and symptoms will improve

When overwhelmed by unwanted thoughts:

  • Keep in mind, first and foremost, Allah (swt) has prescribed a balanced approach to Islam and reassured us His mercy and forgiveness are ever so near.  So if fear, anxiety, or condemnation comes upon us, it is not from God. It is simply a dirty trick of Shaitan trying to get us to take our eyes off the infinite saving power of Allah (swt).
  • When unwanted thoughts or fears hit, do your best not to let the attack distress you. Let it wash over you, keeping as calm and unconcerned as you can. The thoughts or images won’t hurt you, and God does not accuse you. Allah (swt) knows best, even better than you do, that these thoughts are not yours. Temptation usually takes the form of thoughts being satanically placed on our minds, and temptation is not sin.
  • When you reach the point where you don’t react to the unwanted thoughts of doubt, oppressive guilt feelings, and spiritually repulsive thoughts, the attacks themselves will lessen.  Psychological fact:  Anxiety is a driving force behind Obsessive Compulsive Disorder so if you are not anxious about the thoughts, you’ll notice a significant reduction in the attacks.  Spiritual fact: When Shaitan is thoroughly convinced that he can no longer use such things as unwanted thoughts to annoy you, or undermine your faith, he will eventually begin to tire of that approach and only try it now and again, just to check that you have not reverted to being concerned by such attacks.
  • We give pleasure and power to Shaitan when we fall into his trap of supposing that his plan is to get us to think or feel wrong things. Shaitan’s main goal is to get us distracted so he can ambush us.
  • Shaitan’s evil scheme is not to entice us to think or feel anti-God things but to fool us into denying the saving power of Allah (swt) by us forgetting Allah’s power to continually forgive every person who repents and puts faith in him.

Daily Exercises:

  • When unwanted thoughts creep in your mind, catch them and write them down.  Right below the thought, challenge the thought by asking if that is a true thought.  Is it 100% true about you?  Below that write down, “it’s just a thought”.
  • Make sure you are eating healthy and clean foods, getting to bed by 10:00 pm and getting enough sleep, and getting food based vitamins to help you feel emotionally healthy and balanced.  (For more info. check out the minibook “Scrupulosity & OCD Religiosity“)
  • Practice daily affirmations such as “I’m doing the best that I can”, “My thoughts are just thoughts and only have power over me if I give them power and I choose not to empower these unwanted thoughts”, “I put my trust and faith in Allah’s mercy and forgiveness”.  The affirmations might not feel true for you but repeating them daily will help you replace the negative thoughts with the positive affirmations, thereby lessening the power of the negative unwanted thoughts.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises and repeat to yourself “I am safe and with Allah’s blessings, Shaitan can’t hurt me”.
  • Actively get involved in a deeply engrossing activity that you enjoy such as exercising (yoga, running, biking, etc.) or playing a board game where you are not focused on the negative thoughts.
  • Force yourself to smile.  This simple act will automatically make you feel happier and relax.  Your mind is incapable of having a good and bad thought at the same time.  When you smile, you force your mind to focus on the positive rather than the negative.
  • Work with a mental health professional to address the symptoms of scrupulosity.  Past traumas (like sexual/physical abuse) and unsavory conduct and lifestyles of the past that may be responsible for severe guilt leading to OCD, must be dealt with in therapy with a trained mental health professional.

Overall, relaxation, daily practice, education, medication, and cognitive behavior therapy can be combined to treat OCD and Scrupulosity.

Coordination Between Islamic Leaders and Mental Health Professionals

It is often useful for mental health practioners and religious leaders to work together in raising awareness and educating the community about Scrupulosity. The religious leader can help the community members distinguish legitimate concerns about faith and guilt from stereotyped religious obsessions. If an individual is compulsively repeating a ritual until it is perfect, the Imams may need to give individuals special permission to perform a ritual in a less than perfect manner. This can lead to freedom from excessive guilt and stereotyped religious obsessions. Ultimately, the individual is freed to experience a richer life in his or her family and faith community.

Dr. Nafisa Sekandari is the director and founder of Mental Health 4 Muslims.com. Dr. Sekandari is currently licensed and practicing in California and Arizona.  Dr. Sekandari is also the current founder and director of MH4M Counseling and Education Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  Additionally, Dr. Sekandari is a published author and lecturer.





  1. Fatihia 10 August, 2017 at 14:20 Reply


    I just wanted to say JazakAllah khair for making this informative post. It has helped a lot in understanding OCD and scrupulousityand how I can cope with it in a practical and religious way. Please keep posting about mental health with relation to Islam.
    May Allah reward your efforts! Ameen.

  2. Adam 25 September, 2017 at 06:57 Reply

    Asalamualkum, I’m in a big deep trouble here wallahi. These thoughts come like a missle, they attack me so fast and so powerful, I can’t even think straight I get so worried my stomach hurts. I don’t know what to do, I get horrible thoughts of me doing something horrible to my baby brothers, like murder and rape. I don’t know what to do. I’m praying and reading quran but sometimes I just feel so helpless like, it’s eating me alive. Ya Allah should I see a psychiatrist, I’m afraid i do. Because a psychiatrist is not a muslim and doesn’t know what we value in religious beliefs. Anyone please help me, my name is adam and my phone # is 12052335592

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 30 September, 2017 at 16:20 Reply

      Please follow the suggestions listed in this post and insha’Allah you will find relief from your symptoms.

    • SSS 17 October, 2017 at 09:21 Reply

      Hello Brother

      I have the same problem and I get weird thoughts about my past, religion and akhira, I was under medication for almost one year but they were effective as long as I was taking them, once I stopped everything came back so this time I saw Psychologist and I had the same feeling that they wont understand me and my religion but I thought I will give it a try to see what they say because I was suffering, but Alhamdulillah with therapy lot of my doubts are clear and I understand it better now, they didn’t tell me anything to harm my belief or religion perhaps they will give you examples which suits my lifestyle, culture and religion. Alhamdulillah I am doing quite well now not taking any medication and still attending therapies but changed the frequency from weekly to monthly.
      I would strongly suggest to go for therapy with medication in the beginning if required and continue therapy, they wont take your thoughts and Anxiety away but will remove your doubts and help you manage it better which wont bother you even if it comes to your mind.

      I pray Allah to give you shifa and all other people who are suffering.

    • Erfan 8 December, 2017 at 13:56 Reply

      Assalamualaikum warahmatullahiwabaraktu brother, remember Islam is the religion of peace. Understand the meaning of the Quran, love Allah’s words and always seek refuge with Allah. Constantly believe in Allah(S.W.T) and be sincere in du’a. I’ll pray for you.
      May Allah help you to get through OCD, protect you from all forms of Shaitan and ease all your trials. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.

    • Anne 30 January, 2018 at 16:39 Reply

      Br. Adam, this is an anxiety disorder. Don’t be afraid of your thoughts. They are just thoughts. They are not from you, it is what you hear, like hearing dogs barking. Just ignore them without fighting them. Let them come and go. You should find a psychologist or psychiatrist. Preferably a Muslim one. You can ask the author of the above article if she knows one in your area. Also, look at the contributor writers on this website, some are male psychologists, all Muslims – some of them do skype sessions online. In the mean time, please buy the book “Hope and Help for your Nerves” by Dr. Claire Weekes. also look into the book “Brain Lock”.

      Don’t panic. You are a good man, Allah will protect you. You just need to remain calm and trust yourself and Allah. This will all be over soon, iA. Like I said, it is an anxiety disorder and the reason you are having the thoughts again and again is not because you will act on them, it is only because they are so alien to you that they scare you. Be assured that you will not act on them. Once you lose the fear, the thoughts will lose their purpose of scaring you and go away.

  3. Fadila 28 November, 2017 at 16:41 Reply

    Salamu alaikum,this post has encouraged me to some extent of having hope..am an average practicing Muslim but of recent like4months ago,i began to think that Allah is too merciful on me,others are dying,some are poor,some have life threatening diseases,some have failed marriages and so on and so forth,i began to fear that any moment something terribly bad will happen to me or my spouse or my children,i began to have a severe fear of Death,anywhere i hear about death i become inquisitive about it,maybe when i hear some body die as a result of a sudden headache,i will start thinking maybe i too will die from headache,just a mild headache will make me panic..i couldn’t eat,am not the same person i am,lost alot of weight,begin to have panic attacks but i didn’t stop praying and fasting..Alhamdulillah the attacks has stopped as a result of praying,my appetite has increased but sometime i have thoughts like is it really true prophet Muhammad did exist?does shaitan?or what if i die and islam is not the true religion what will happen to me?or even if Allah exist he will never forgive me and will never allow me to enter Paradise..or sometimes when i want to do something i will start having some thoughts like”maybe this is the last time i will do so and so thing,maybe i will die after doing this”.Any time i have this thoughts i become miserable and full of fear but i never quit praying to Allah SWT,pls will i ever become normal,the way i was before?i cry in sujood telling Allah my problems and asking him to relieve me of this suffering,will it ever get better?am suffering internally i don’t think anybody can understand what am really going through.

  4. layla 17 January, 2018 at 15:38 Reply

    Salam, i am a 27 year old woman who since Christmas have been dealing with horrible, depressing thoughts that have triggered from absolutely nowhere. These horrible thoughts include doing hideous things including raping my sisters daughter, who is my niece and I love dearly I am beyond mortified, its effected my eating , socialising, and everything else. I have had a very 2 difficult years and accomplished a lot , I find myself questioning why would God the Al Mighty just remove these thoughts when he is so capable? Its come to a point now where I cant even think anything sexual with my fiancée without a sick image of my niece popping into my head. I pray ,I do dhikir but as soon as I wake up and its time for work the thoughts follow me throughout the day. I will read all my surahs ect I am a good person with a good heart and love Allah very dearly ,but im weak I cannot handle this kind of torture.Allah dose not burden a soul more then it can handle so why am I being put through this why is the shaythan allowed to do this to me? I am so so down, my parents are old, I have so many other issues to deal with this is the last thing I need to worry about please please please all remember a sister in your prayers. I just wish I could wake up and never ever think of this ever again If it is impossible for me its not impossible for my lord I just wish he’d grant me this. I read my ayatul kursi 7 times , surah nas everything but it just follows me its now coming on a month , I don’t want to take anti depressants , I just want god to heal me the devil is not bigger then my lord. There was a time when they completely went for a whole week , then I came on my period and it started all over again? How is that possible even , please my brothers and sisters pray for me I have so much to look forward to but not excited any more, matter of fact nothing excites me and no worldly life issue upsets me. I could deal with anything bar this the illness of the mind is the most painful , hardest and indeed the most upsetting.

  5. Fraz 26 March, 2018 at 15:18 Reply

    Assalamualaikum my brothers and sisters I am in deep despair as my biggest fear is to evil worship and all these thoughts come into my head. I just want to know something, If I thought that I Loved something that was wrong that doesn’t mean I submitted to it correct please help and pray for me my brothers and sisters

    • Khan 3 September, 2018 at 11:13 Reply


      Walikumusalam. These are just thoughts.. Allah does not punish you for the thoughts because they are not under your control. Just do your best and remember that Allah loves you Turn to Him, it does not matter what you did. I am sure whatever you think you did, you did not, it is just your fear which makes you think you did it. Even if you think you did something remember that Allah is the Most gracious and the Most Merciful.

  6. Abiha 1 April, 2018 at 19:54 Reply


    JAZAK’ALLAH Khair.

    What a wonderful post! Can I please speak to you? Please tell me how to deal with the fact that one is tricked into believing that it is his own thought? It is extremely hard to deal with the guilt and it interferes in every other activity.

    Kindly do respond.

    ALLAH Hafiz.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 12 April, 2018 at 02:07 Reply

      It’s important to differentiate between a rational thought and an irrational thought. OCD can be tricky because it can make us fully believe the irrational thought as being rational. Start with journaling all the thoughts that are bothersome and ask yourself “Is this true”? “If so, how do I know it’s true”? “What is the percentage that it is a true statement? 100%, 80%, 2%?” Obviuosly we would not react the same to something that is only 2 percent true vs. 100% true. If you still cannot differentiate, ask others what they think. Sometimes we need an objective perspective until we learn how to distinguish between rational and irrational thoughts.

  7. abia 3 June, 2018 at 20:52 Reply

    asalamu alaikum
    what about in terms of salah? if one has many intrusive thoughts (especially of an immoral nature) while performing salah, is their salah accepted?

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 24 June, 2018 at 16:31 Reply

      Allah accepts our intentions and insha’Allah your prayers will be accepted if your intentions are good. The intrusive thoughts are just thoughts. Throughout the day, we get many kinds of thoughts but we ignore them. They will not harm you unless you obsess about the thoughts, which means you are struggling with OCD and need to get professional help to help you overcome and control the thoughts.

  8. Fat 4 June, 2018 at 10:33 Reply

    I have exactly the same thoughts has been for 18 years already. i sweat at Allah in my prayer, I curse in my head I think the most horrible things I dont even want to mention it. I happens a lot when it is Ramadaan and I try to do more good. I have been on medication and left it. Please make duah for me.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 24 June, 2018 at 16:28 Reply

      There is help and you might need to work with a professional to overcome the thoughts. Changing your diet to include healthy meals and making sure you get enough sleep will help as well.

  9. Sammy 8 June, 2018 at 12:18 Reply

    I am going through this intrusive thoughts came out of no where , my mind keeps telling me to become homosexual which I never in my life thought of & to become a transgender ! I loved my life the way it was , now I am doubting myself & this is giving me anxiety! I can’t look at women anymore (I am a woman) I stay away from them incase I get attracted to them & I am scared of being a transgender ! I just wish I can be old me again! Happy with myself loved being a woman but now I don’t feel like my self no more .
    I need help ! I am praying salah reciting lot of Quran e pak..

  10. NOVIAN 3 August, 2018 at 04:37 Reply

    Alhamdulillah, thanks a lot for your article dr. I beleive Islam have solve for our problem. When we feel so far with Allah every problem will come and Saitan have many step to make we far. Please dr, write again article like this and I feel so calm and near with Allah when I read this article.

  11. Junaid shaik 5 August, 2018 at 19:36 Reply

    Assalam alikum wa rahamthullaih wa barkhahu
    I’m so afriad because I get very vulgar thoughts that are most dangerous thoughts I can’t even say to you I think sometimes I need to die because I can’t remove this thoughts form my mind when I’m in Salah and when I’m reciting quran when I’m reciting dhikar even when I’m asking forgiveness with ALLAH SWT the thoughts are coming in my mind again and again it not with one thought some many thoughts . I don’t Allah SWT is accepting my deeds are not even I don’t understand I’m become a Kaffir asthagfirullah I can’t understand what is going I have no position in my life form 5 months different types of thoughts are coming into my mind I can’t tell what kind thoughts coming in my mind. I can’t even sleep at night by this thoughts even my family so worried about me. I’m a particeing Muslim. But I never miss my Salah. Can me help me if ALLAH SWT wills. make dua for me in sha Allah. ALLAH SWT may help me. Please give suggestions form removing the thoughts. Waalsam alikum wa rahamthullaih wa barkhahu.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 6 September, 2018 at 17:50 Reply

      Walaikum Salaam. I’m sorry to hear about your suffering. Please follow the guidelines in the article and find a trained mental health professional that can help you better understand and control your symptoms. OCD is treatable and there are trained mental health professionals to help you so please seek help and stop suffering needlessly. May Allah ease your suffering and guide you towards the help you need.

    • Amaan 28 January, 2020 at 12:04 Reply

      Do the dam and recite the ruqyah verses over the water as well as olive oil and anoint your body with it. It will take some time but you’ll get better. Also see a psychiatrist to help you with understanding and correcting your brain cognitive dissonance

  12. Ramsha 6 August, 2018 at 16:31 Reply

    I have been suffering so much for around two months and I’m very distressed. My head won’t accept Islam and please help me. I am so sad.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 6 September, 2018 at 17:48 Reply

      We cannot provide mental health support via the website but can recommend seeking help for your suffering. There is probably more going on but know there is help available and there is no need to suffer needlessly.

  13. Afra 11 August, 2018 at 08:48 Reply

    thanks Dr Nafisa for aneedy article
    I’m having this scrupulosity OCD , more than 25 yrs
    Just recently I’m a ware about it.
    The problem is I can’t achieve my goals, I lose my confidence, I m not a happy person, I feel mentally and emotionally paralyzed. I used to have the intrusive thoughts and do my rituals mentally by avoiding thinking about it. But now I don’t feel anxious, I feel it’s part of me. I feel disintegrated.
    I’m looking for intensive residential program to deal specifically with my OCD type, where I can stay and distracted from other responsibilities and just concentrate on treating and understand my self..
    But I need a Muslim religion adviser along with mental Councillar, can u recommend a place deal with my problem

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 6 September, 2018 at 17:46 Reply

      Salaam Afra. The residential program options would depend on where you live and what your affordability would be. Treating OCD doesn’t necessarily require a Muslim therapist since the skills you learn to manage OCD can be applied to the religiosity. Religiosity or scrupulosity impacts all religions so even finding a therapist who specializes in scrupulosity with Christians for example would be beneficial for you. As you learn to have more control of your OCD, you can customize the treatment to your own specific obsessions and compulsions. At this time I would recommend starting with a trained mental health professional and see where that takes you. If that is not sufficient, then look for residential treatment centers. Hope that helps.

  14. Hassan Khan 23 August, 2018 at 18:04 Reply

    Dear Dr sikandari one of my nephew who has got b.sc degree and doing B.S in fashion designing is an o.c.d patient he hate his brother and consider him his enemy in home he does strange acts and clapping hands and kicking in air he sleeps less in night but out of home he behaves well seems normal all problems and uncontrolled thoughts and abnormal acts he performs in home he develop this disease when he was 13 years old now he is 25 his physique is so awesome and healthy
    From Hassan Khan principal govt higher secondary school rajjar 2 charsadda k.p pakistan

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 6 September, 2018 at 17:42 Reply

      His condition needs to be evaluated by a medical or mental health professional. He might have Tourett’s or some other neurological disorder.

  15. Mohammad Shoaib 7 September, 2018 at 16:34 Reply

    Assalamualaikum mam,
    I am suffering from OCD as well as SCRUPULOSITY. First of All, i began to get thoughts of dying n death and then suddenly it turned in getting terrible bad thoughts about Allah, islam and prophets…. I have seen this post n Alhamdulillah helped… But now when i overcome the thoughts , then i get thoughts of dying n death which make me depressed again.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 8 September, 2018 at 14:09 Reply

      Please follow the suggestions in the post but seek help if your symptoms intensify. There is no need to suffer. You can feel better but you may not be able to do it alone.

  16. MUHAMMAD QASIM VIRK 27 September, 2018 at 12:53 Reply

    I was praying consistently and i was close to Allah that suddenly a thought came about a reigious pure figure and when i tried to divert my attention it shifted towards another pure religious figure,its been weeks,my life seems ruined.I swear to Allah it seems like i am being punished in this World and em also gonna be punished in the hereafter.These thoughts tear me apart and i hit myself so bad,i am losing my faith and i am tired of these as these are about the purest creatures thathave ever lived on this earth Wallahi,i am even worried that Allah will give azaab to me along with my family and friends too with whom i have connections.During namaz,these thoughts are atleast reduced,i cry and after that these again come back,i am so pre occupied that i want to kill myself.I am Truly a believer and i believe in Allah and the Holy prophet SAW but the thoughts are about someone whom Allah and Prophet SAW love the most and so do I,i swear to Allah i always try to fight the thoughts but they resist everytime and then i panic and once i panic,then i am done.Thoughts become worse.Please help me and tell me some medicine if one can help.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 22 October, 2018 at 16:51 Reply

      What you are dealing with is Religious (Scrupulosity) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is an anxiety based disorder. You must work with a trained MENTAL HEALTH professional that specializes with OCD to get the relief you need. Medication alone will not help since a lot has to do with thought awareness and control. You might also consider lifestyle changes such as sleep, stress level, diet, exercise, meditation, etc. They contribute greatly to our overall well being. There is a direct connection between food and mood. Make sure you are eating clean and eating enough protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. Eating foods rich in serotonin will help as well.

  17. noname 10 October, 2018 at 05:55 Reply

    Salam! I‘m quite unsure if I really suffer from ocd since I don’t want to diognost myself but rather I think a actual doctor should do that, but the symptoms come near to what I experience every day. It‘s really bad… I feel like my wudu and my prayer won’t be accepted and I make wudu several times and pray one prayer so many times. It stresses me out mentally and physically…I really don’t know what to do anymore…I have thoughts during prayer that I don’t want to have and I start it all over again… there are also many other things that i won’t go into detail but anyways I will try the things you wrote down and inshallah it will get better… anyways I’m writing this because I want to thank you for taking your time and giving your knowledge for free to everyone! May Allah give you a lot of blessings for this!
    Also another thing I wanted to ask is: Can anexiety attacs come hand in hand with ocd or are they two completely different things?
    Thank you very much 🙂

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 22 October, 2018 at 16:49 Reply

      What you are dealing with is Religious (Scrupulosity) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is an anxiety based disorder. You must work with a trained MENTAL HEALTH professional that specializes with OCD to get the relief you need. You might also consider lifestyle changes such as sleep, stress level, diet, exercise, meditation, etc. They contribute greatly to our overall well being.

  18. Aisha 11 October, 2018 at 09:23 Reply

    Im a mother 3 children, i suddenly started have thoughts telling me I sexually abuse my children. now i cant be around them without anxiety. im anxious all the time, now even amongst other people. cant be in public spaces bec of fear of the thoughts coming. only when im only do the thoughts stop but the anxiety does not go away.
    it stays with me the whole day. i have been put on meds but nothing seems to help infact it is just getting worse,
    dont know what to do..

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 22 October, 2018 at 16:47 Reply

      What you are dealing with is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is an anxiety based disorder. You must work with a trained MENTAL HEALTH professional that specializes with OCD to get the relief you need. Medication alone will not help since a lot has to do with thought awareness and control. You might also consider lifestyle changes such as sleep, stress level, diet, exercise, meditation, etc. They contribute greatly to our overall well being.

  19. Owais 10 November, 2018 at 21:44 Reply

    Hi. Just read the post and it is very helpful. I don’t know if I’m suffering from OCD. Last year I have severe stomach issues and I went for treatment and still going for treatment and My doctor has not found out what my problem is but it’s definitely a stomach issue and sometime I feel great and full of live but most of the time I feel down and have this thought stuck in my mind that I cannot stay happy and I will die. Now the dying thought doesn’t really bother me what bothers me is why the thought is there everyday. Like I can be doing anything and suddenly the thought strike that something will happen to me. My question is, is it from shaytan or what is it. Please need your help.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 21 November, 2018 at 01:30 Reply

      It sounds like anxiety but OCD is an anxiety based disorder. Try the suggestions in the article as well as incorporate relaxation strategies and work with a trained mental health professional to help you manage your symptoms.

  20. S 16 November, 2018 at 01:50 Reply

    Assalamualaikum sister,

    Thank you for this enlightening post.. however, I’m unable to comprehend my nature of thoughts & if it’s even related to the above you mentioned.. Four five years ago, I was a practising muslim, stopped listening to music, praying & reading Quran regularly, memorizing a lot many surahs & every religious act with great conviction & taking pride in whatever I did.. the good pride, ofcourse.. then 3 years ago, I got married & for some unfortunate reasons, the marriage broke & I started to work in an office.. during my marriage days, I was getting a lot distracted, missing prayers & that feeling of closeness that I had with Allah was still not there.. though I regularly pray, read Quran, etc.. even till this day, it’s the same.. but now I cannot even focus anymore.. no matter what I do, I’m not in that moment.. any activity I do, I have totally unrelated thoughts happening & I’m unable to concentrate on any of my works.. please advise what I should be doing & what even is this so I can get any psychological help, inshaAllah..

    JazakiAllah khair..

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 21 November, 2018 at 01:25 Reply

      S.A. You might be suffering from loss of your marriage and haven’t fully healed or moved on. That’s pure speculation of course. You can talk to a trained mental health professional so they can tease out what is going on with you. It may or may not be OCD but since you are so close to the situation, you will need help from a trained professional. Best of luck.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 21 November, 2018 at 01:26 Reply

      Try some of the suggestions and see if they will help you. There are definitely natural alternatives to medication but you do need to also focus on diet and exercise as well as sleep and environmental stressors.

  21. F 22 November, 2018 at 03:04 Reply

    Assalamualaikum sister,
    From last 4 to 5 years I am suffering from such type of unwanted thought it comes in my mind every where for any one specially in holy places and also in salah.i always have guilt about this.due to such type of thought I feel distraction low energy and anger on others…pls give me suggestions….

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 22 November, 2018 at 19:51 Reply

      Walaikum Salaam! What you appear to be dealing with is Religious (Scrupulosity) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is an anxiety based disorder. Try some of the suggestions and see if they will help you. You must work with a trained MENTAL HEALTH professional that specializes with OCD to get the relief you need. You might also consider lifestyle changes such as sleep, stress level, diet, exercise, meditation, etc. They contribute greatly to our overall well being. There is a direct connection between food and mood. Make sure you are eating clean and eating enough protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. Eating foods rich in serotonin will help as well. Also journaling out your anger will be beneficial.

  22. Sss 24 November, 2018 at 21:44 Reply

    Pls help me m suffering from scrupulousity I can’t afford any mental health specialist because I belong to a very backward area tell me what to do

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 27 November, 2018 at 04:27 Reply

      Try some of the suggestions and see if they will help you. If you can’t go to a mental health professional, you should consider lifestyle changes such as sleep, stress level, diet, exercise, meditation, etc. They contribute greatly to our overall well being. There is a direct connection between food and mood. Make sure you are eating clean and eating enough protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. Eating foods rich in serotonin will help as well. Also journaling out your anger will be beneficial.

  23. Shaheed Jamal 1 December, 2018 at 20:36 Reply

    I feel like everything is dirty. I can’t touch any door locks as i feel its dirty and if I touch it my prayers won’t be accepted. I have another problem regarding my pee. Like many people i have the same problem of pee not cleared all the time. Even after cleaning it for 2-3 mins after a few moment pee gets out automatically. And after that i have to take shower every time this happens. I can’t touch my pant after doing pee and even if I touch it mistakenly i have to wash my hand several times until my mind gets cool. And things like this comes in my mind: after touching the pant if i touch anything else it gets dirty and after doing wudu if I touch those substances my prayer won’t be accepted. Please give me a solution.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 3 December, 2018 at 16:55 Reply

      What you are dealing with is OCD. Work with a trained mental health professional to help you manage your symptoms. Try some of the suggestions in the article and see if they will help you. If you can’t go to a mental health professional, you should consider lifestyle changes such as sleep, stress level, diet, exercise, meditation, etc. They contribute greatly to our overall well being. There is a direct connection between food and mood. Make sure you are eating clean and eating enough protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. Eating foods rich in serotonin will help as well. Also journaling out your feelings will be beneficial.

  24. Umar 25 December, 2018 at 16:16 Reply

    Dear Sister in Islam
    I have this issue of unnecessary guilt and making myself accountable for minor moral failures in the past I also feel that I may have done something that was a violation of huqooq ul ibad and I will go to hell because my good deeds will be taken on Qayamah. I am too harsh on myself and feel anxiety and restlessness. Also I am getting unproductive please suggest me some solutions to overcome these issues and whether should I really try to be so perfect in every manner.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 28 December, 2018 at 07:07 Reply

      What you appear to be dealing with is Religious (Scrupulosity) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is an anxiety based disorder. Try some of the suggestions in the article and see if they will help you. You must work with a trained MENTAL HEALTH professional that specializes with OCD to get the relief you need. You might also consider lifestyle changes such as sleep, stress level, diet, exercise, meditation, etc. They contribute greatly to our overall well being. There is a direct connection between food and mood. Make sure you are eating clean and eating enough protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. Eating foods rich in serotonin will help as well. Also journaling out your anger will be beneficial.

  25. Tarique Shaikh 13 February, 2019 at 02:28 Reply

    I dont know whether…i have ocd or not….but yes i have done many time blasphemous act in past….and i have stucked into that…..allhamdullillah i think i am 80% ok now…..i think after my marriage everything will be ok……..its very hard to control the whispers of iblis (shaytan). Thanks for this post…..

  26. Nosheen Abid 25 March, 2019 at 15:30 Reply

    My daughter has Religiois OCd.she repeat same questions again and again.i am fed up of this.no medicine effect on her.she went to three doctors.but in vain.5years has gone.she said no theripy wil effect her.wil u suggest some other thing.or tricks for it

  27. Nosheen Abid 25 March, 2019 at 15:33 Reply

    My daughter has Religiois OCd.she repeat same questions again and again.i am fed up of this.no medicine effect on her.she went to three doctors.but in vain.5years has gone.she said no theripy wil effect her.wil u suggest some other thing.or tricks for it.plz help.i am a muslim.my girl has stopped praying because this illness.she said Allah didnt have mercy on her and when ever she try to pray these thoughts became more and more.

  28. Salimatou Diallo 4 April, 2019 at 08:14 Reply

    i have lot of evil thoughts i cant control them all my life has change it give me bad thoughts towards my son and husband of harming my sons and m’y husband i get images as well i do djikr and listeng to ruqya it worsen my situation pls i need help

  29. Sayyid Vader 4 July, 2019 at 20:10 Reply

    Assalamu ‘alaikum. What a world we living in right now! Being 29, male, and single is sure tough with the hectic, sinful and stupid stuffs life has got to offer. Islam is a gift from God and God has determined that the only religion that He accepts is Islam. Your particular writing helped me to understand a part of myself that needs attention and tending, before it turns into an ugly invisible cancer. Thank you.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 2 August, 2019 at 15:50 Reply

      It’s not necessarily curable but you can manage it and make it work for you so it doesn’t cause problems in your life. I actually believe OCD is the best disorder you can have if you know how you can make it work for you. I’m currently doing a FREE video series about dealing with anxiety. You can watch it at https://drsekandaricourses.com/anxiety.

  30. Anonymous 17 July, 2019 at 14:50 Reply

    Jazakallah khair for such a beautiful post

    I read this whenever i feel overwhelmed…and it relieves me to some extent.
    Dr ,I’m not sure what I’m suffering from but I’d like to know what it is.
    Last year there was a guy who was a good friend of mine and our conversations were mostly based on religion.I liked him only as a friend but nothing more. But as days passed by i started to feel maybe that guy was interested in me
    As soon as I realised that he might be developing feelings for me I started to distance myself from him and when i realised being “just friends” with a guy can also lead to something wrong, i stopped contacting him.
    Later i got to know that he was actually interested in me.

    But after this I started to feel an overwhelming guilt that i have wronged myself ,or maybe I’d seduced him or maybe i had feelings for him and that i am wrong and i have committed something immoral…I know I haven’t done anything wrong nor did I have any feelings for him and infact I know it was shaitaan all along but i still can’t let go of the guilt
    I feel like I am filthy and I’ve committed a sin like zina and I’ve lost Allah
    Plz help me out and let me know how to find a way out …I’ve been suffering for the past 7 months and I need a break from my depreciating thoughts.

    Sorry for the long post.
    Jazakallah khair

  31. Ameer basha 30 July, 2019 at 18:58 Reply

    Aslmaleykum I am Ameer I’m suffering from OCD since 10 years and please suggest me how to gain back my life I’m 28 years old I lost my job because of this please give suggestions

  32. iqbal 5 August, 2019 at 17:19 Reply

    Dr , my tongue influence me to speak bad word when I don’t want it and my heart or within from the chest influenced me or feel word or occur sinful words . is this a psychological problems or a medical treatment available? please answer . help me.

  33. Muhammad sohaib zafar 3 September, 2019 at 13:25 Reply

    Is it compulsory to findout the answer of every question/to focus or rectify every type of thought .
    Is every thought in our mind have same importance?.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 25 September, 2019 at 15:33 Reply

      No. Your brain can lie to you and make irrelevant thoughts seem important. You must learn how to identify these thoughts and ignore them or challenge them.

  34. Madiha Shaikh 3 October, 2019 at 20:05 Reply

    Assalam walekum,
    I have this severe ocd.and during menstruation time it becomes more severe…in sitting positions,hygiene,touching doors….even if someone else have mc,I tend to avoid places they sit and things they touch,sitting next to them…it blows my mind….need help..Please do reply!

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 28 October, 2019 at 20:47 Reply

      Yes, what you are struggling with is OCD and following the recommendations in the article will help you but you also sound like you need to work with a trained mental health professional to help you overcome the urges.

  35. Syed 9 October, 2019 at 14:35 Reply

    Hi Dr. Nafisa,

    I came across with this post and found my heart to be half of it little bit calm. My question is does Blasphemy, abusive words that comes for ALLAH or for me what ever I felt from inside not to think about that thing, I go ahead and think, repeat those words in my mind. IS THIS A OCD AS WELL ??? The intensity of those bad/insulting,evil,disrespect words are such that once they came, I myself found a solution to replace them with some zikr’s,, but again when after sometime I got busy with other stuff, I got them noticed again that they are not coming and all of a sudden then come to me and a series of bad, vulgar words for ALLAH starts.
    I am confused is it me who is thinking or OCD, coz right now if these are not coming to me I can think/repeat in my mind so how come its ocd ?? At times . those words got uttered from my tongue too mistakenly, felt so remorse ann upset.
    Could you help please ??

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 28 October, 2019 at 20:46 Reply

      What you are experiencing is OCD and applying the recommendations mentioned in the article will help you. The more you resist the words and thoughts, the stronger the urge. Replacing them with zikr or some other behavior will break the loop. I would recommend getting help and getting supported on your journey. Make sure you are eating well and resting as well.

  36. kaika kaika 11 October, 2019 at 20:04 Reply

    very important article ,inshaallah Allah most honorable most glorified besides whom there is no power wishes will help me overcome also. kaika

  37. Adri Febrianto 20 December, 2019 at 17:44 Reply

    Assalamualaikum, I have this kind of religious OCD too. Anyway, I think anxiety is a common feeling for human beings. It happens to everyone in different scale and in different circumstances. Anxiety comes when we don’t know the answer. You keep washing your hands over and over again because you don’t know what will happen to you if you don’t do so. You have a thought that it is wrong not to wash your hands. Once you have the answer (either given by someone or you dare to challenge it) , the anxiety will be mostly gone away. In that “washing hands” case, when a doctor gives you the answer that you don’t have to repeatedly wash your hands, your anxiety goes away. It will go away too when you dare not to repeatedly wash your hands, and then everything is fine (you don’t get sick, etc). But, that is physical. How about spiritual anxiety ? ALLAH SWT doesn’t literally communicate to us. No way we can get answer from ALLAH SWT. And if we dare to challenge it ? Well, most likely, nothing will happen to us. But you know, sin has no physical form. So, I think, the most effective way to remedy this spiritual anxiety is to have concessions and forgiveness from The Almighty. You are worry about dirtyness / najis ? Then no najis for you. Are you worry about your wudu (ablution)? Then everything you do for your wudu, is acceptable. Anxiety comes for mis-reciting surah Al-Fatihah in prayer ? Then just recite it, anything comes out from you mouth is correct. Question is, are we allowed to do this ? Imams and clerics should discuss this and give a “yes” to that question. Without that, I’m afraid this religious OCD will never be completely cured. Medicines and practices will only make the illness down to lower scale, but it is waiting to come back.

  38. Aym 13 January, 2020 at 10:56 Reply

    I have a huge huge problem that i think i am going to loose my mind
    I can’t sleep can’t eat can’t talk to my mom about it
    About 17 years ago when i probably was in matric started having blasphemous thought about a noble creature during Salah and my heart seemed like popping out of my heart
    I broke the Salah and repented to Allah that this not me but Shaitaan
    Then these thoughts sometimes used to came during Salah and sometimes not
    Then in 2010 i read an article about blasphemy about Holy creatures and it’s punished
    Then Shaitaan started to put wasawis in my mind that you are so going to hell and your are not even Muslim
    I had such a panic attaack that i was unable to breathe
    My feet were shaky all the time and my heart ached all the time and i had zero interest in studies. And difficulty in prayers. I deleted all the songs and movies from PC and used to listen to Naats. That gave a small extent of peace and so i gave the exam without a good preparation and luckily got good marks. I thought may be Allah is not angry with me. Then i read somewhere that having abusive words in your mind about a noble creature doesn’t mean anything and i was relieved. But then one day a thought occur from my past that i actually had siad those words from my mouth but i was uncertain about it whether it happened or not. The Shaitaan said now you are actually screwed but i denied that this can’t happen never. Now Shaitaan keep reminding me of those words and make me doubt whether i really said it or not.
    My life was hell but then a thought generated in my mind that if that really happened then how come i remember it now?? Why didn’t it come to my mind in past few years and why i was so terrified when these thoughts only came to my mind in salah if i ever said it with my tongue??? Why didn’t i remember it at that time.
    This thought made me relieved for some time.
    Then i ask Allah to call me to his house and if i can see Kabaa then i still am a Muslim otherwise not.
    I went for Umrah thanks to Almighty and with pounding heart when i looked at Kabaah it was there.
    No bad thought came to my mind Alhamdulillah during my stay in Saudia.
    And when i got back one of my aunt saw me in her dream when i was in Umrah that she saw her sister (who runs a Madrassah in her home) had a tasbeeh in her hand and on that tasbeeh is written my name and along with it Walliullah.
    When i listened to that dream my heart was filled with such joy and i said to Shaitaan that look i haven’t said those blasphemous words in past when i was about 14 or 15.
    Then whenever that thought striked my head i recalled that dream to it and says i haven’t said those words.
    Then i got Nikkahfied with a guy who is madly in love with me and Nikkah was on 12th Rabi ul Awal
    I was sooo content uptill now and i also got my government job. But few days ago those thoughts kept coming back. I can’t sleep i can’t eat my heart is heavy all the time and i am about to loose my mind. When i do my Salah i may feel hope but then after it same thoughts coming back and my mind tells me that you actually had said those words but my heart never believes. Shaitaan said that dream of you being Waliullah has no significance i shift my thought to the fact that why did i was called for Umrah then?? And why does my 2 major wishes came true there just by thinking of them??
    But Shaitaan says No you are doomed
    Please help me and tell me that OCD does make false memory right??? But why is that doubt and uncertainty and what if in my mind???
    I am again loosing my mind
    My wedding is in just two months and i feel zero happiness
    I am lost. I can’t talk about it to my Mom. I am afraid of being called Kaafir or blasphemous.
    Please help me🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🏼🙏

  39. aqeel 22 February, 2020 at 10:33 Reply

    Indeed, I am Allah . There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.

    the being that only exists is Allah

  40. Yousha Marzan 28 April, 2020 at 10:03 Reply

    I am also suffering from this..a selfie of mine
    is repeatedly coming to my head..especially when I pray Salat and call Allah..It is forcing me to think that that photo is my god.(naujobillah) I know it’s not true..but when I seek Allah’s help it repeatedly comes to my mind..that’s why I feared that I may lose my imam..really please help me..it’s killing me alive. sometimes I feel that photo is Allah( naugobillah).That’s why I fear to call Allah with my whole heart

  41. Filza 5 May, 2020 at 20:33 Reply

    Literally it is such an insightful article. May Allah give you Jaza for that. I prayed to Allah with my condition and this article appeared infront of me. It really helped me in understanding that this is a mental health problem rather something related to me being a bad muslim. I

  42. Sura 14 May, 2020 at 23:07 Reply

    I suddenly had this unwanted thought about god in Islam n I feel like i accepted that thought and speaked out it , its giving me really bad anxiety …. I dnt knw how to function after this I m really scared.. please help me

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 25 June, 2020 at 16:31 Reply

      You need to seek help for this disorder. This is not in your control and you will not be held accountable for thoughts or feelings related to a mental illness. Please seek help.

  43. afia 20 May, 2020 at 23:16 Reply

    thank you for the post and for putting a term and diagnosis to what i think i had for years; for decades i had terrible thoughts during salat; intense anxiety at the thoughts coming in during salat; it was so bad that i would rush through the rakats so incredibly quickly and mumble the words in super crazy speed because i was so anxious and terrified that bad thoughts would come into my prayer; i thought if each rakat is quick and short the thoughts would be less likely to intrude; i also had to perform wudu over and over and over…i would spend half an hour in the bathroom washing my hands over and over; again the thoughts would come in during wudu and i would feel intense guilt and shame; i always thought my prayer was not going to be accepted and that i would go to hell; it was intense anxiety, panic, shame, and guilt, just debilitating to the point where i thought if i live any longer, more sin would accumulate from my bad prayer and i would be doomed even further; can you please put a name to what i had; is it OCD and scrupulosity; i need to know please; i need to understand what happened to me for so many year; i have so much regret that i lived my life this way; how can i stop feeling like i was a bad person because of all this

  44. Mohamed Haniff 12 June, 2020 at 00:34 Reply

    Salam Sister ..

    Can I discuss with a medical professional for OCD.. As our nabi SAW told as these thoughts are clear sign of faith as long as you dont discuss or speak about it…

    Pls advise..

    Mohamed Haniff

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 25 June, 2020 at 16:24 Reply

      You can and should speak about these issues with a trained mental health professional. People used to seek help from our prophet (pbh) during his time for whatever they were struggling with. He never told them not to talk about things and didn’t just tell them to pray harder. Seeking counseling is acceptable in Islam.

  45. ANIA 2 July, 2020 at 08:01 Reply

    Dr. Nafisa Why dont u ever mention in the comment that people sould pperform salah listen to ryqya and seeing a imam who can read the quran.

    It is like you only believe in threapy and medication to help. Wherever I read and hear about ocd it is shaitans whisperer not somethng that is wrong with your overall mental healt.

    I sufferede from it My self. And No medication nor threapy did ever help. I got better by praying listen to the quran and got ryqya read for me.

    So maybe u should combinate does two.
    I am not saying threapy does not help, but it could be a result af Black magic, shaitan, djinn,

    Everyone look up the symptoms on Black magic and you will see a lot og Them matches your symptoms.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 2 July, 2020 at 17:56 Reply

      Thank you for your comment Ania. Treating Religious OCD is difficult because it IS religious based. For some it’s the prayers that cause the irrational thoughts and beliefs. I don’t just believe in therapy or medication since OCD requires a holistic approach and should be multimodal. Prayer definitely helps for a lot of reasons but just praying is not enough and simply praying for some struggling with religiosity can make their symptoms worse. I’m so happy that you were able to treat your scrupulosity with prayer but that approach doesn’t work for everyone. OCD is a mental illness and not just a spiritual deficiency and should be treated as an illness. Even in cases of black magic and Jinn possessions, a multi-modal and holistic approach, which could include prayer and Quran recitation, is the best approach. Try as many different approaches until you find one that helps you.

  46. Dia 8 July, 2020 at 17:51 Reply

    Salam Dr. Nafisa,

    I’ve been struggling with blasphemous thoughts for past 4 months and it has gotten severely worse as days passes. My thoughts hits all limits to the extend where I’d constantly say my shahadah because I’m afraid that those thoughts might have subconsciously taken me out of the folds of Islam. The thoughts consists of really foul language towards sacred personalities (I’m honestly embarrassed to be saying all these) but its causing me a great distress. At times I would do vigorous shakes or would agressively shut my eyes to stop the thoughts from coming in. Despite all that, they just won’t stop and I can’t seem to deviate my attention to something else, no matter how hard I try. The thoughts are too overpowering and persistent. I feel so helpless because its greatly affecting my faith. Do I consider this as Scrupulosity Dr. Nafisa? Jazakallah.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 10 July, 2020 at 22:21 Reply

      From what you shared, it appears you are struggling with the OCD disorder of Scrupulosity…if they’re religious based. If they’re just negative or irrational thoughts, it might just be your brain getting stuck due to OCD. If you have access to a trained mental health professional, I’d recommend you getting the opinion of a professional that can take your whole situation into consideration. If not, try some of the strategies mentioned in this article and see if you feel better.

  47. Dia 28 July, 2020 at 07:26 Reply

    Indeed Dr Nafisa, they’re all religious based. I don’t understand why I don’t get thoughts related to something else, but religious. I would constantly find ways to conduct compulsive rituals just to suppress my anxiety. At times its taking a toll on me when I’m in public, because I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself. When I don’t do it, I get all sweaty. The more I try to get rid of the thoughts, the more persistent it gets. At times I don’t know if its OCD or its just me being in pretense.

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 4 August, 2020 at 22:00 Reply

      Definitely OCD and you can’t just get rid of the thoughts if you don’t know what’s at the root. The more you give in and do what OCD wants you to do, the stronger it’s hold and control over your life. If you have access to a trained mental health professional, I strongly recommend you work with someone that can help you overcome this.

  48. kaneez kubra 30 July, 2020 at 17:39 Reply

    assalam alaikum doctor
    I was suffering from ocd which was not first religious at time when I was in matric . I reccurent thoughts in my mind occurred that I wll loose my beloved ones it caused me axienty and to loose anxiety I recieted Darood sareef and making strange faces or performing stange actions.this was too much . my family criticized me iwas more deeppresed but I belived in my allah I thought if they criticize me not matter they are more imp to me. and this continued.i could not concentrate on my studies even idid not know that iwas suuferring from OCD. when I wasin 1 year I again suffered from it .even my family mem could not diagnose my dis order. at last of the 1st year ocd up to some extent became less intense .because I started believing that ALLAH is enough for me He will safe my beloved. then I promised to me to become good muslim. I became a good beliver and my life become excellent .but later on it became much depressive as I got bad thoughts about my allah and sacred personalities . I did not wanted my ALLAH to become sad so ieven said soory to HIM about it Ididnot know that these were not my thoughts It became soooooooooo depressive that I even wanted to sucide . but Allah saved me from this by His grace. IWAS MUCH DEPPRESSED but none could understand me. at once I by chance opened an Islamic web where I got info about OCD I thanked my allah but I am still suffering from I still got thoughts but I donot know much hown to fight I even could not visit phychatrist and even could not take online appointment as I am only of 18 years and my family is not understanding mr much PLEASE REPLY ME .

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 4 August, 2020 at 22:04 Reply

      It’s difficult to treat something this intense with an email response. You need to start getting therapy somehow or even start educating yourself about the anxiety and start taking care of yourself so you have better control of your anxiety. Keep praying but also talk about to your parents about the severity of your symptoms and insha’Allah they’ll see how much it’s affecting you and get you the help that you need. I just opened registration for my online course on transforming anxiety and you can learn more by visiting https://www.transforminganxiety.com/transform

      This course is like therapy in a box and provides you with all the tools you need to completely transform your anxiety in as little as 6 weeks!

      Learn more at https://www.transforminganxiety.com/transform

  49. Aisha 23 August, 2020 at 13:16 Reply

    Salam doc!

    I just came across this post and I can’t tell you how informative it was. I suffered from this type of OCD when I was very young, around 8-9 years old and back then I didn’t know what it was. It’s been more than a decade later and I’m trying to piece together information to try to understand myself better. I remember having a very STRICT ritual of duas I HAD to pray every night before bed and it had to be in the exact order or I would start again and again and again. I would break my salah and start again and again until it FELT right. I would cry if anyone made me mess up my prayers because it meant I could have to start again and I dreaded that. My family didn’t know what to do with me I swear! We had no idea this was OCD at all. I feel like over the years my ocd transformed and became less about religion and more like general ocd, where I had issues with blinking and speaking. and nowadays, in my 20s I have had a lot of anxiety recently. I have never thought to seek out help from anyone. But your post really helped me organize my thoughts better. I hope to see a therapist one day In Shaa Allah. Thank you for including the Islamic perspective I really really appreciate it. Anyways I just wanted to tell my story because honestly I grew up thinking I was just weird and different and this rlly hurt my confidence. So to anyone reading this going through the same, you are not alone 🙂

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 26 August, 2020 at 17:33 Reply

      Thank you for your feedback! I was the same with my OCD and it took me many years to figure it out but once I did, I was able to really take control of it and not allow it to control me. OCD will transform from one thing to another if not treated at the root. If you’re interested in learning more about my online course, please visit https://www.transforminganxiety.com/anxious for more info.

  50. nabeel 23 August, 2020 at 20:16 Reply

    dr i have ocd and social anxiety disorder for more than 11 yrs , i have unnecessary thoughts, learning disabilities etc . medications is making me worse . i cannot perform salah, do dhikr, even fast also , dr please i need help

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 26 August, 2020 at 17:30 Reply

      For something as complicated as anxiety, medication is often the first step instead of the last resort. There’s so much work that needs to be done in order for you to fully overcome your anxiety. A pill will never make it all go away. Given that anxiety is the #1 disorder in the world, and there are tons of anti-anxiety medications available, why have we not seen a dip in the prevalence of this disorder? That’s because you have to do the work. Find a trained mental health professional and get help. It’s possible to overcome your anxiety and with the right tools, you’ll be able to manage and control it at the root. I have an online class that’s self paced if you’re interested. You can go here: https://www.transforminganxiety.com/anxious for more info. Good luck!

  51. Altaf 12 December, 2020 at 00:13 Reply

    I have ocd where something urges to give divorce to wife especially when angry almost 90% of time
    Beside this these thoughts were all day along when initially diagnosed . I was given medications and then put on EPR therapy. Problem is that therapist tells me divorce wife verbally and religious people sometimes tell me not to say. You have to understand that I love my wife and I don’t want to divorce. But when I did these did exercise with thearapy I was so anxious and therapist keep telling me no compulsions and think this is your thoughts to kill ocd. OCD now tells me It is me I guess that is why therapist keep telling think it is you deliberately

    • Dr. Nafisa Sekandari 16 December, 2020 at 01:55 Reply

      I’m assuming she’s telling you to divorce her to face your impulse, not to necessarily actually divorce her. It seems you’ve realized you love your wife and don’t want divorce but the compulsion for divorce is there from OCD.

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