Accountability For Thoughts That Are Settled In the Heart
Fatwa No: 384577

Question

I know it is haram to say kufr things with your mouth, but what if you only say it in your heart/mind? Is this haram? I am not talking about waswas but i mean if someone intentionally makes a kufr/shirk statement in their mind only (for example if they swear at Allah) but they do not verbalize it. What is the ruling for this? Seekershub gives a vague answer where it says< > In contrast Assim al-Hakeem gives a short answer where it says which one should i believe Seekershub or Assim al-Hakeem ? Please answer my question because i suffer from anxieties disorders and your answer is more helpful to me than 1 million dollars

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we would like to draw your attention, since you are affected with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), that it is better for you not to ask such questions. Our experience with the people who suffer from OCD is that issuing a Fatwa to them confuses them more and opens the door of doubts.

Secondly, the basic principle is that a person is not held accountable for his thoughts until he speaks about them or acts upon them. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Allah has forgiven my nation for that which they think about unless they speak about it or act upon it.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Thirdly, if a person has any thoughts of Kufr (disbelief), then he should repel them; in which case, it will not harm him. Repelling them is a proof of (true) faith.

Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated, "Some Companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) came to him and asked: ‘We think to ourselves about things which one of us considers too grave and serious to talk about.’ The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, ‘Do you really feel this way?’ They replied, ‘Yes.’ The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) then said, ‘That is a clear (sign of) faith.'" [Muslim]

Fourthly, if this evil thought settles in a person’s mind (become firm) and his heart becomes content with it (and likes it), then this may drive him out of the fold of Islam. Allah Says (what means): {Whoever disbelieves in Allah after his belief... except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion] while his heart is secure in faith. But those who [willingly] open their breasts to disbelief, upon them is wrath from Allah, and for them is a great punishment.} [Quran 16:106 ]

Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Fath al-Baari: "Al-Nawawi said: 'The verse is evidence that the correct opinion is that one is held accountable for the deeds of the heart if they are settled (in the heart). As regards the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): 'Allah has forgiven my nation for that which they think about unless they speak about it or act upon it.'; then this refers to when they are not settled in the heart.'" [End of quote]

Fifthly, generally, our strategy in Islamweb is not but judge individuals or entities. However, we draw your attention that a Muslim must ask those whom he trusts their religion and knowledge, and then act according to their Fatwa.

Sixthly, one of the best ways to get rid of whispers (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is to ignore them and not pay any attention to the thoughts or whispers that come to one’s mind, in addition to supplicating Allah, observing the Athkaar (mention of Allah), and performing Ruqyah.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 378565, 174507, and 87166.

Allah knows best.

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