Waswasah regarding purity (taharah) and how to deal with it
I am struggling with waswaas (whispers from the Shaytaan). Usually I am very confused as to whether I have invalidated my wudoo’ or not, then I argue with myself about that, and get very confused because of some sounds in my stomach, which I know are not significant, but sometimes that happens in the back passage, and I am still suffering from this. Is this okay, or is my wudoo’ invalidated? The problem is that it is not always easy for me to do wudoo’, especially if I am in the University or outside the house, because it takes a long time; I have to take off my hijab and socks, and this makes me lose my focus in worship. Of course I do not mind doing wudoo’ if it has really been invalidated, but I am tired of this waswaas. I feel that if my wudoo’ is invalidated, I have to repeat it and there is no problem with that, but if I continue praying, what if my worship is not accepted, because I think that I have wudoo’ when in reality I do not? I am very worried about whether Allah will accept my repentance and my worship or not. For example, I came to know recently about a mistake I have been doing in my wudoo’: I do not only have to clean the opening of the ear with my forefinger, but I have to clean all the front of the ear. Then I corrected that, but I am worried about my wudoo’ in the past and if my prayers were not accepted because of this mistake. I feel that I have a kind of compulsive waswaas. Sometimes, whilst praying, weird ideas and images cross my mind, that I do not want to think about, and I feel that they will spoil my prayer. What exactly is najaasah (impurity)? What is dust? What is hair? What Is the smell of faeces?
Praise be to Allah.
Our advice to you is to pay no attention to doubts, in prayer or otherwise; give up uncertainty and do not be hesitant about that, and do not feel sad, for you are on the right track; in fact you are obeying the command of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), for he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, when a man complained to him that he thought he noticed something whilst praying: “Do not interrupt your prayer until you hear a sound or notice a smell.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (137) and Muslim (361).
What is meant by that is: until you are certain that you have broken wind.
Doubts and imagination carry no weight, so you should not interrupt your prayer until you are certain that you have broken wind. This is the command of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Your prayer is valid, even if it so happens that you have indeed invalidated your wudoo’.
But if a Muslim becomes certain that he offered a prayer without wudoo’, and there is still time to make it up, then he must repeat that prayer. But if he is not certain about that, then his prayer is valid, and there is no blame on him.
With regard to wiping the ears, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars as to whether it is obligatory or mustahabb (recommended). The majority of scholars are of the view that it is mustahabb, not obligatory. The Hanbalis are of the view that it is obligatory, but what is narrated from Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) is that if someone omits to wipe his ears, his wudoo’ is still valid.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (1/97): al-Khallaal said: All of them narrated from Abu ‘Abdillah, concerning one who omits to wipe his ears, deliberately or because he forgot, that his wudoo’ is still valid. End quote.
Whoever omits to wipe the ears, or wipes part of them, his wudoo’ is still valid according to the majority of scholars, and this view is most likely to be correct. So do not worry about past prayers, for they are valid, in sha Allah.
See also the answer to question no. 115246.
Try hard to ward off this waswaas; pay no attention to it and do not act upon it. At the same time, seek the help of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, calling upon Him and seeking refuge with Him from the accursed Shaytaan.
If this waswaas does not go away and is causing you hardship, then we advise you to consult a trustworthy psychologist, because compulsive waswaas is a well-known disorder which needs medical treatment, whether medicines or cognitive behavioural therapy sessions, at the hands of a trustworthy specialist.
And Allah knows best.