How to deal with fleeting thoughts from Shaytan

When a person begins to make changes in his life, Allah will grant Him the tawfiq to give up major sins. Shaytan then tempts him into other sins like backbiting, jealousy, enmity e.t.c
Slowly as a person progresses, he learns these tricks of the devil and overcomes them too. He concentrates on developing good character traits like soft-heartedness and selflessness.
So now, shaytan makes him worried about things he shouldn’t worry about.
Often, people at this stage worry over whudu. They wash each limb repeatedly thinking it’s piety to be careful. In reality, he has fallen for another trap from the traps of shaytan. There is no extra reward for one who washes a limb more than thrice in whudu. Rather, this is wastage.

The mind is amazing, nobody can reign it. It’s unlike a hand that can be restrained. Often we can keep our outer in line but the mind runs wild inside. Shaytan knows this, so he makes a person become perturbed over thoughts that he won’t be questioned over. A person becomes worried until he thinks that I’m just a hypocrite, I’ve lost iman so I may aswell watch TV, I’ve lost anyway.

Understand the mind. We will not be questioned about fleeting thoughts which come involuntarily. If you are, for example, in a queue at a doctor’s room or a government department and a lady joins the queue behind you. You ensure that there is a safe gap between the both of you, but shaytan will play mind games. Shaytan will keep enticing and keep suggesting you to look. Don’t try it. Imaan gets towed away when we cast lustful glances. So the mind is running wild but he is ignoring it. He is abstaining from the sins shaytan calls him towards. So is he sinning? No! In actual fact he is attaining rewards. In that state he may even experience the sweetness of iman.

We are human beings. To think we will never think like this, is to misunderstand the mind. Every human has a nafs and shaytan who will constantly play games. Provided we abstain and keep our gaze lowered, we will not be answerable to Allah for fleeting thoughts.

Other times, people get unrealistic, fleeting thoughts about future matters that may not even occur. This often translates as fantasising. Don’t plan future sins and play a game for both parties. That you will do this and she will do that, then you will say this and she will say that. Stay in your lane because this “planning” is a huge sin, even if it does not actualize.

Deflect these thoughts with dhikrullah. Allah has given us enough weaponry in our arsenals to deflect whatever shaytan throws. We just have to learn how to reverse the mind rather than becoming frustrated over fleeting thoughts. Yes shaytan will change his tricks, once he fails in one avenue, he will try getting at you with something else. He won’t leave you until death, so we must win over him with dhikrullah.

Recently I’ve received many emails on this matter. Someone said that I have filthy thoughts. I asked what thoughts? He explained to which I responded – ok. Can we stop a truck of pigs ahead of our car in the motorway? No. But what we can do is overtake and pass ahead of that truck. So when these thoughts enter use your indicator, switch lanes and accelerate ahead. Move forward and leave the filth behind.

May Allah make grant us tawfiq, aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

The above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 19/09/2016 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full audio, please click here.

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