How do I know the difference between doubts and waswaas of shaytaan? In many Islamic websites, doubts and waswaas of shaytaan are two entirely different things. These websites say that Allah will forgive you if you have waswaas of shaytaan, but He will not forgive you for doubts. These websites also say that if you are suffering from waswaas, you are still a muslim. But if you are suffering from doubts, you are a kafir. Read what it says in this website: https://www.al-islam.org/qalbe-saleem-immaculate-conscience-ayatullah-sayyid-abdul-husayn-dastghaib-shirazi/fourth-disease

So according to this website, if you have doubt in your heart, you are a kafir and you good deeds are useless. This is what bothers me the most.

If you've read my previous posts, I said that I'm suffering from doubts. But most people are telling me that these are all waswaas of shaytaan and I should seek refuge of Allah. Now I'm scared. What if they really are doubts? That means I am a kafir. I don't want to be a kafir. If they really are doubts instead of waswaas, then what should I do? I read a lot about Islam but nothing is helping me.

  • Perhaps specifying what exactly your doubts consist of and what level of conviction you have in the essential doctrines of islam will get you better answers.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 10:08
  • @G.Bach You're an atheist, right? There are actually some questions I want to ask you. Ironically, I think it could actually help me with my faith. Let's take this to chat: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/47253/doubts-about-islam
    – user16329
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 13:36
  • If the answers below satisfy your query please mark the relevant one as accepted. Else please elaborate on your doubts/questions.
    – Ahmed
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 7:36

5 Answers 5


No one can really answer your question except Allah, then you. This is a test, but here is how you can try to figure out the cause. It is a test to all, believers and non-believers alike. Tests and tribulations are what distinguishes between one who is sincere and one who is lying.

The Prophet said in this long hadith (only partially quoted):

تعرض الفتن على القلوب كالحصير عودا عودا فأي قلب أشربها نكت فيه نكتة سوداء وأي قلب أنكرها نكت فيه نكتة بيضاء حتى تصير على قلبين على أبيض مثل الصفا فلا تضره فتنة ما دامت السماوات والأرض والآخر أسود مربادا كالكوز مجخيا لا يعرف معروفا ولا ينكر منكرا إلا ما أشرب من مراه

Temptations will be presented to men's hearts as reed mat is woven stick by stick and any heart which is impregnated by them will have a black mark put into it, but any heart which rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that there will become two types of hearts: one white like a white stone which will not be harmed by any turmoil or temptation, so long as the heavens and the earth endure; and the other black and dust-colored like a vessel which is upset, not recognizing what is good or rejecting what is abominable, but being impregnated with passion.

If, when you get your doubts, you reject them and ward them off and you do not follow with committing sins, your faith is sincere. If your heart is affected by the doubts to the extent that it leads you to sin or to stop fulfilling your worship duties, then your faith is not fully sincere. This is not a binary situation, where not fully sincere automatically means kaffir, but there are so many degrees and levels.

Imam Al Nawawi in his explanation of the hadith above is that when a man goes through tests and tribulations that are followed by sins, his heart goes one darkness after another, until the light of Islam is removed from his hear in its entirety. This concept is also confirmed by another hadith in Musand Ahmad (with my own translation, as I could not find one online):

أحسنوا إلى أصحابي ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم ثم يجيء قوم يحلف أحدهم على اليمين قبل أن يستحلف عليها ويشهد على الشهادة قبل أن يستشهد فمن أحب منكم أن ينال بحبوحة الجنة فليلزم جماعة المسلمين الجماعة فإن الشيطان مع الواحد وهو من الاثنين أبعد ألا لا يخلون رجل بامرأة فإن ثالثهما الشيطان ومن كان منكم تسره حسنته وتسوءه سيئته فهو مؤمن

[My own translation, so treat with care] Be good to my companions and those who follow them and then those who follow them, and then there will come people who solemnly swear before being asked to swear, and testify before being asked to testify. Whoever from among you wants to attain the vastness of Jannah, observe the congregation of Muslims, for the shaytan is with the sole one and he is farther from two people together. A man should never be alone with a woman, for the shaytan will be their third. And whoever among you who is pleased with his good deeds, and is troubled by his bad deeds, he is a believer.

So, when you get such doubts, follow your doubts with good deeds, and seek refuge in Allah as the Prophet said in this hadith:

يأْتِي الشَّيْطَانُ أَحَدَكُمْ فَيَقُولُ مَنْ خَلَقَ كَذَا مَنْ خَلَقَ كَذَا حَتَّى يَقُولَ مَنْ خَلَقَ رَبَّكَ فَإِذَا بَلَغَهُ فَلْيَسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ وَلْيَنْتَهِ

Satan comes to one of you and says, 'Who created so-and-so? 'till he says, 'Who has created your Lord?' So, when he inspires such a question, one should seek refuge with Allah and give up such thoughts.

EDIT: One more point is that you need to always say the duaa' of the Prophet in this hadith:

يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك

O Controller of the hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion

It has a few other narrations (1, 2, 3)

  • Brother, I think you are referring to waswaas of shaytan. But most Islamic websites say that waswaas and doubts are two separate things. In order to cure waswaas, I need to seek refuge with Allah. But the websites don't say anything about curing doubts.
    – user16329
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 3:50
  • @curiosity - One needs to seek refuge in Allah at all times regardless. The Prophet sought refuge in Allah and he didn't have doubts or waswasa from shaytan, and asked us to do the same.
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 9:45


I'll try to answer your question but it will be in an indirect way.

Below is a famous Hadith:

" Hanzala Usayyidi, who was amongst the scribes of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). reported: I met Abu Bakr. He said: Who are you? He (Hanzala) said: Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. He (Abu Bakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying? Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our very eyes and when we are away from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to After-life) slip out of our minds. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same. So I and Abu Bakr went to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and said to him: Allah's Messenger, Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: What has happened to you? I said: Allah's Messenger, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your paths but, Hanzala, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the Holy Prophet) said this thrice.

Reference : Sahih Muslim 2750 a In-book reference : Book 50, Hadith 14"

As you can see, this Hadith also tells us about the piety of the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS) with reference to the natural instinct of man to think differently in different situations. This condition has nothing to do with Nifaq (hypocrisy). Islam is the Deen of Fitrah (pure nature) and takes the middle course in everything, and combines the benefits of this world and those of the Hereafter. It also satisfies the needs of the body as well as that of the soul.

When among people of deen, you are also surrounded by angels. Your level of iman is at a high. When you leave such gatherings it is but natural for a dip in your imaan.

Stay strong.Don't think too much and stay with good friends who lead you to the straight path. Remember it is better to be with good company than alone for the lone sheep is an easy target of the wolf.

  • I don't see how this addresses the question.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 20:31
  • “I'll try to answer your question but it will be in an indirect way.” While I appreciate the desire to be circumspect, that is counter to the purpose of a StackExchange site: to find the correct answer to each question. Please try to re-work this answer so that it is a direct answer to the question :-)
    – bignose
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 0:12

If you do not have conviction that all the essentials of islam are true, then that makes you a kafir. The essentials include at the very least that Allah is the only god there has ever been, that Muhammad is his messenger and everything he said is true (note: this does not mean that one has to have conviction into all ahadith being true to be Muslim because they could have been transmitted falsely; what is required is the abstract conviction that what Muhammad spoke was only truth and thus that whatever he is considered to be known to have said must be true), and that there will be a day of judgement and an eternal afterlife. Al-Ghazali says so explicitly in Faysal at-Tafriqa on pp. 112 ff., in particular p. 114 the paragraph "As for the three fundamental principles...".

  • Could the downvoter let me know in what way my answer is false?
    – G. Bach
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:28

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that once a group of people came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and asked: “We experience such evil thoughts that it is impossible to bring them on our lips.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Do you really experience these thoughts? Yes, they replied. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “They are clear signs of faith.” (Sahih Muslim)

  • This is not an answer as we expect, evidences are not self-explanatory (see How to Answer)!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 7:29

Ok, so here is my opinion:

Doubt is sinful when the doubt itself causes you to do evil things. I know this is not necessarily in the Quran. But you have to believe that good exists, good is greater than evil, and use your faith to help you find the meaning of good.

  • Welcome to Islam.SE. Answers here should be elaborate, and focused on addressing the question. Claims should be supported by evidence. Please visit our tour in the help center, and refer to how to answer questions.
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 13:53

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