3 Islamic articles on: Islam and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

IslamQA: OCD is making their practice of Islam difficult

Selam I have a problem I suffer from OCD scrupulosity aspect of it. To be honest my personal relationship to Islam is so messed up I don't know where to start. With my prayer and wudu I am in constant doubt. I repeat multiple times because i think I passed gas or ect. I find no peace what so ever, it has become quite an agony. I feel completely overburden with rules too. How to eat how to sleep how to enter bathroom ect. At night I don't sleep cause I constantly think i must make dua/zikr to GOD to thank him. I get up and face mekkah (not sure if I have to for dua) but i feel I must do wudu also. Of course by then I am awake and cant sleep. My job has big responsibility I am afraid I will make mistake. I am so tired from lack of sleep. I must be honest I am thinking about giving up on Islam. I read what these sheikhs have to say and its all about haram all the time. I feel so overburden, I don't want to leave my faith but I just can't go on like this anymore. I have read, though by some Shia scholars who say that person that suffers OCD should not repeat prayer or clean the impurity like urine even if person believes he is certain of it due to the nature of disease OCD. That could help me but not sure if that ruling is OK. Please if you can offer some advice I would appreciate it.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I strongly recommend that you get medical help. There are drugs that can help greatly with your condition. It is abnormal to worry about the Islamic way of eating, sleeping and entering the bathroom; these are all recommended things, not obligatory, so you do not have to worry about them. It is not Islam that is at fault, it is your mental condition. So your first focus should be on addressing your condition through medical help.

You can also search online for supplements for OCD. Buy them and give them a try.

I also recommend that you read the Quran daily and make it the center of your life. Stop worrying about the unimportant things and focus on what the Quran tells you.

Also see the previous articles on: Islam and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Repeating prayers due to uncertainty about having performed them correctly

Assalamu alaikum I keep forgetting things in my prayer or more likely doubt it. Like I would say the Basmalah before reciting and I would start doubting or say the dua in rukoo and maybe when am in sajdah I will start feeling like I didn't say it. sometimes I tried to continue praying but I my heart will be tight and I feel scare like am doing something wrong. If I say I'll pray sujood sahw then I'll be praying it my every salah. I feel like I have a mental problem because sometimes I found myself praying a particular prayer more than five times like I would be starting over and over please help.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Sorry to read about your condition. It sounds like OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and there are drugs that help with it, so I recommend seeing a doctor. The Prophet PBUH says:

When any one of you is in doubt about his prayer and he does Dot know how much he has prayed, three or four (rak'ahs). he should cast aside his doubt and base his prayer on what he is sure of. then perform two prostrations before giving salutations. If he has prayed five rak'ahs, they will make his prayer an even number for him, and if he has prayed exactly four, they will be humiliation for the devil. (Sahih Muslim 571 a)

If you are not sure whether you made a mistake or not, then try to continue the prayer and cast away your doubts. At the end perform the sujud al-sahu just to be sure. You can do this with every prayer if you have to, there is no issue with doing it every time.

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Constantly redoing prayers in fear of having made errors

SalamAlaykum I have problem I hope you help inshAllah Sometimes I will pray and I will think I make mistake and I will redo again again even though I don’t make many mistake I will read sorah and feel I make mistakes so I start over over again My mind wants to make do everything perfect, it is very tiring and hard Makes me not wanna do at all. Maybe OCD?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

That may be a psychiatric issue like you suggested. Maybe taking the right drug or supplement can help put an end to that. Here is a study that discusses NAC, a cheap and widely available supplement, that helps reduce OCD symptoms.

Making mistakes in prayer does not necessitate that you redo the prayer. There is something called sajdat al-sahwu (prostration of error), two prostrations you can do right before the end of the prayer (before saying the final salam) if you fear you have made an error in the prayer. However, even that prostration is not considered obligatory by many of the schools. It is only recommended and not doing it does not nullify the prayer.

So if you fear you have made a mistake while still inside the prayer, you can continue with the prayer and if you remember, perform the two extra prostrations before the final salam.

Minor errors do not require redoing the prayer. Major errors, such as not saying al-Fatiha, or performing the wrong number of units, require it, but only if you are certain of the error. If there is doubt and there is the possibility that you did things correctly, then it is not necessary to redo the prayer.