View Full Version : How to get rid of WASWASA (scruples)?

Nur Student
08-26-2013, 11:34 AM
(I think this might be helpful for some brothers/sisters, as it was and is for me.)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

And say: "O my Sustainer! I seek refuge with You from the suggestions of the evil ones * And I seek refuge with you, O my Sustainer, lest they should come near me. " (Qur'an 23:97-8)

O one afflicted with the sickness of scruples (waswasa)! Do you know what your scruples resemble? A calamity! The more importance they are given, the more they grow. If you give them no importance, they die away. If you see them as big, they grow bigger. If you see them as small, they grow smaller. If you fear them, they swell and make you ill. If you do not fear them, they are light and remain hidden. If you do not know their true nature, they persist and become established. While if you do know them and recognize them, they disappear. And so, I shall explain only Five Aspects which, of the many sorts of these calamitous scruples, are those which most frequently occur. Perhaps it may be curative for you and for me, for these scruples are such that ignorance invites them and knowledge repulses them. If you do not recognize them they come, if you do recognize them they go.


Satan first casts a doubt into the heart. If the heart does not accept it, it turns from a doubt into abuse. It depicts before the imagination some unclean memories and unmannerly, ugly states which resemble abuse, and causes the heart to declare: "Alas!", and fall into despair. The person suffering from scruples supposes that he has acted wrongfully before his Sustainer and feels a terrible agitation and anxiety. In order to be saved from it, he flees from the Divine presence and wants to plunge into heedlessness. The cure for this wound is this:

O wretched man suffering from scruples! Do not be alarmed! For what comes to your mind is not abuse, but something imaginary. And like to imagine unbelief is not unbelief, to imagine abuse is not abuse either. For according to logic, an imagining is not a judgement , and abuse is a judgement. And moreover, those ugly words are not the words of your heart, because your heart is saddened and sorry at them. Rather they come from the inner faculty situated near the heart which is the means of Satanic whisperings. The harm of scruples is imagining the harm. That is, it is to suffer harm in the heart through imagining them to be harmful. For it is imagining to be reality an imagining which is devoid of judgement. Also, it is to attribute to the heart Satan's works; to suppose his words to be from it. Such a person thinks it is harmful, so it becomes harmful. And anyway that is what Satan wanted. ~Said Nursi

(I will post each aspect seperately)


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Nur Student
08-26-2013, 11:42 AM


It is this: when meanings arise in the heart, they enter the imagination stripped of form; it is there that they are clothed in form. And the imagination, always under some cause, weaves forms of a sort. It leaves on the way the forms of the things to which it gives importance. Whatever meaning passes through it, it either clothes it, or wears it, or taints it, or veils it. If the meanings are pure and clean, and the forms, dirty and base, there is no clothing, but there is contact. The man with scruples confuses the contact with being clothed. He exclaims: "Alas! How corrupted my heart has become. This baseness and meanness drive me out!" Satan takes advantage of this vein of his. The cure for this wound is as follows:

Listen, O you unfortunate! Just as outward cleanliness, which is the means to the clean correctness of your prayers, is not affected by the uncleanness of the inside of your inner organs, and is not spoiled by it, so too the sacred meanings being close to unclean forms does not harm them. Suddenly you feel ill, or an appetite, or a stimulation like a need to pass water. Of course your imagination will see whatever is necessary to cure the ill or answer the need, and will look at it, weave lowly forms appropriate to them, and the meanings that arise will pass between them. But there is no harm in their passing, nor soiling, nor error, nor injury. If there is any mistake, it is in paying them attention and imagining the harm.


It is this: there are certain hidden connections between things. There are even the threads of connections in things which you least expected. They are either there in fact, or your imagination made them according to the art with which it was occupied, and tied them together. It is due to this mystery of connections that sometimes seeing a sacred thing calls to mind a dirty thing. As stated in the science of rhetoric, "Opposition, which is the cause of distance in the outer world, is the cause of proximity in the imagination. That is, the means of bringing together the forms of two opposites, is an imaginary connection. The calling to mind which arises through this connection is called the association of ideas.

For example, while performing the prayers or reciting supplications before the Ka'ba, in the Divine Presence, although you are reflecting on Qur'anic verses, this association of ideas takes you and drives you to the furthest, lowest trivia. If your head is afflicted with association of ideas such as that, beware, do not be alarmed. Rather, the moment you come to your senses, turn back. Do not say: "I've done a great wrong", and keep playing with the trigger, lest through your attention, that weak connection finds strength. Because the more you show regret, the more importance you give it, and that weak memory of yours becomes ingrained. It becomes an imaginary sickness. Do not be frightened, it is not a sickness of the heart. This sort of recollection is mostly involuntary. Especially in sensitive, nervous people it is more common. Satan works the mine of this sort of scruple a great deal. The cure for this wound is as follows:

The association of ideas is mostly involuntary. One is not answerable for them. And in association there is proximity; there is no touching or intermingling. Therefore the nature of the ideas do not pass to one another and do not harm one another. Just as Satan and the angel of inspiration being in proximity to one another around the heart, and sinners and the pious being close to one another in the same house do not cause harm, so too, if, at the prompting of the association of ideas, dirty imaginings come and enter among clean thoughts, they cause no harm. Unless it is intentional, or by imagining them to be harmful, one is over-occupied with them. And sometimes the heart becomes tired, and the mind, in order to entertain itself, occupies itself with anything it encounters. Then Satan finds an opportunity, and scatters dirty things before it, and drives it on.

Nur Student
08-26-2013, 11:52 AM


This is a scruple arising from searching for the best form of an action. Supposing it to be fear of God, the more rigorous it becomes, the more severe the condition becomes for the person. It even reachs such a point that while searching for even better forms of action, he fall into what is unlawful. Sometimes searching for a Sunna makes him give up what is obligatory. He says: "I wonder if my act was sound?", and repeats it. This state continues, and he falls into terrible despair. Satan takes advantage of this state of his, and wounds him. There are two cures for this wound.

The First Cure : Scruples like this are worthy of the Mu'tazilites, because they say: "Actions and things for which a person is responsible are either, of themselves and in regard to the hereafter, good, and because of that good they were commanded, or they are bad, and because they are bad they were prohibited. That means, from the point of view of reality and the hereafter, the good and bad in things is dependent on the things themselves, and the Divine command and prohibition follows this." According to this school of thought, the following scruple arises in every action which a person performs: "I wonder if my action was performed in the good way that in essence it is?" While the true school, Ahl-i Sunna va Jama'at, say: "Almighty God orders a thing, then it becomes good. He prohibits a thing, then it becomes bad." That is, goodness becomes existent through command, and badness through prohibition. They look to the awareness of the one who performs the action, and are established according to that. And this good and bad is not in the apparent face and that which looks to this world, but in the face that looks to the hereafter.

For example, you performed the prayers or took the ablutions and there was a cause that of itself would spoil them, but you were completely unaware of it. Your prayers and ablutions, therefore, are both sound and acceptable. However, the Mu'tazilites say: "In reality it was bad and unsound. But it may be accepted from you because you were ignorant and did not know, so you have an excuse." Therefore, according to the Ahl-i Sunna School, do not say about an action which is conformable with the externals of the Shari'a: "I wonder if it was sound?"; do not have scruples about it. Rather, say:
"Was it accepted?"; do not become proud and conceited!

The Second Cure : This is: "There is no difficulty in religion." (Bukhari, i, 16; Ibn Hibban, Sahih, i, 280; Kanz al-‘Ummal, iii, 33, 36, 47; vi, 42, 47) Since the four schools of law are true; and since realizing a fault which leads to the seeking of forgiveness is preferable - for the person afflicted with scruples - to seeing actions as good, which leads to pride, that is, it is better if such a person sees his action as faulty and seeks forgiveness, rather than seeing it as good and falling into pride; since it is thus, you throw away your scruples and say to Satan: "This state is a difficulty. It is difficult to be aware of the reality of things. It is contrary to the ease in religion expressed by: There is no difficulty in religion. It is contrary to the principle, 'Religion is facility'. Certainly an action of mine such as that is conformable with a true school of law. That is enough for me. And at least by confessing my impotence since I cannot perform the worship in a way worthy of it, it is a means of taking refuge with Divine compassion through humbly beseeching forgiveness, and to meekly supplicating that my faulty actions be accepted.

Nur Student
08-26-2013, 12:01 PM


In matters of belief, what comes in the form of doubts are scruples. The unhappy man suffering from scruples sometimes confuses conceptions in his mind with imaginings. That is, he imagines a doubt that has come to his imagination to be a doubt that has entered his mind, and supposes that his beliefs have been spoiled. And sometimes he supposes a doubt he has imagined to have harmed his belief. And sometimes he supposes a doubt he has imagined to have been confirmed by his reason. And sometimes he supposes pondering over a matter pertaining to unbelief to be unbelief. That is, he supposes to be contrary to belief the exercising of his ability to reflect in the form of understanding the causes of misguidance, and its studying and reasoning in impartial fashion. Thus, taking fright at these suppositions, which result from the whisperings of Satan, he exclaims: "Alas! My heart is corrupted and my beliefs spoiled." Since those states are mostly involuntary, and he cannot put them to rights through his faculty of will, he falls into despair. The cure for this wound is as follows:

Just as imagining unbelief is not unbelief, neither is fancying unbelief, unbelief. And just as imagining misguidance is not misguidance, so too reflecting on misguidance is not misguidance. For both imagining, and fancying, and supposing, and reflecting, are different from confirmation with the reason and submission of the heart, and other than them. They are free to a degree. They do not listen to the faculty of will. They do not altogether enter under the obligations of religion. But affirmation and submission are not like that; they are dependent on a balance. And just as imagining, fancying, supposing, and reflecting are not affirming and submitting, so too they cannot be said to be doubt or hesitation. But if they are repeated unnecessarily and become established, then a sort of real doubt may be born of them. Also, calling it unbiased reasoning or being fair, continuously taking the part of the opposing side reaches such a point that such a person involuntarily favours the opposing side. His preference of the truth, which is incumbent on him, is shattered. And he too falls into danger. A state of mind becomes established in his head whereby he becomes an officious representative of Satan or the enemy.

The most important of this sort of scruple is this: the person suffering from it confuses something that is actually possible with something which is reasonably possible. That is, if he sees something which is of itself possible, he imagines it to be reasonably possible and reasonably doubtful. Whereas one of the principles of theology is that something which is of itself possible is not opposed to the certainty afforded by knowledge and it does not contradict the demands of reason. For example, the Black Sea sinking into the earth at this moment is of itself possible, but we judge with certainty that the sea is in its place, and we know this without doubting it, and that possibility which is actually possible causes us no doubt and does not damage our certainty. And, for example, of itself it is possible that the sun will not set today or that it will not rise tomorrow. But this possibility causes no harm to our certainty and does not give rise to any doubt. Thus, like this, baseless suspicions arising from possibilities of this sort about, for example, the setting of the life of this world and rising of the life of the hereafter, which are among the truths of belief, cause no harm to the certainty of belief. Furthermore, the well-known rule, 'A possibility that does not arise from any proof or evidence is of no importance' is one of the established principles of both the sciences of the bases of religion and the bases of jurisprudence.

If you say: "What is the wisdom and purpose in scruples being visited on us, which are thus harmful and an affliction for believers?"

The Answer:
On condition they do not lead to excess or overwhelm a person, essentially scruples are the cause of vigilance, lead to seeking the best way, and are the means to seriousness. They cast away indifference and repulse carelessness. Therefore, in this realm of examination and arena of competition, the Absolutely Wise One gave them to the hand of Satan as a whip of encouragement for us. He strikes it at our heads. If it hurts excessively, then one must complain to the All-Wise and Compassionate One, and say: I seek refuge with God from Satan the Accursed.

~Bediuzzaman Said Nursi / The Words / Twenty-First Word

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'abd al-hakeem
06-17-2016, 11:06 PM

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