Fatwa: # 45343
Date: 2nd August 2020


Waswasa and Shubuhaat - How do i overcome this?


As salamu alaykum, For almost a year I feel that I have been suffering from waswasa relating to food and drink. I live in the UK and I have always been cautious of ensuring what I consume is halal, but for the past year I have began to question if every single ingredient is halal on the back of a food product. I used to eat normally but now I hardly eat anything and I only eat something if it says halal on it, and sometimes I search each individual ingredient to check if it is halal in an obsessive way but I know most Muslims don’t do this, no matter how religious they are. My family still eats as they used to and I haven’t told them about my problem but I was hoping you could give me guidance on what to do. Jazakallah Khair.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We take note of your obsession behaviour in determining Halal. You need to draw a distinction between dubtful things (Shubuhat) and Waswasa.

Sharia advises us to abstain from doubtful things. Sharia also advises us to abstain from Waswasa. The difference between doubtful and Waswasa is, if there is a clear basis in Sharia for the doubt, then one should abstain from such items. If there is no basis in Sharia for one’s doubt, then that is Waswasa and the trick of Shaytan. Do not give in to Waswasa under the guise that that is Taqwa. It is not Taqwa. It is a trap of Shaytan. It is thus incorrect for you to not eat due to the Waswasa. It is also not necessary to go in to undue depth to determine if something is Halal or haram.

Furthermore, consider the following incident which occurred in the time of Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu):

أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ خَرَجَ فِي رَكْبٍ، فِيهِمْ عَمْرُو بْنُ الْعَاصِ، حَتَّى وَرَدُوا حَوْضًا، فَقَالَ عَمْرُو بْنُ الْعَاصِ لِصَاحِبِ الْحَوْضِ: يَا صَاحِبَ الْحَوْضِ هَلْ تَرِدُ حَوْضَكَ السِّبَاعُ؟ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ: يَا صَاحِبَ الْحَوْضِ لَا تُخْبِرْنَا، فَإِنَّا نَرِدُ عَلَى السِّبَاعِ، وَتَرِدُ عَلَيْنَا (موطأ مالك: 14 )

Translation: Umar ibn al-Khattab set out on one occasion with a party of riders, one of whom was Amr ibn al-As. They came to a watering place and Amr ibn al-As asked the man who owned it whether wild beasts drank from it. Umar ibn al-Khattab told the owner of the watering place not to answer, since the people drank after the wild beasts and the wild beasts drank after them. (Muwatta Malik: 14)

From the above incident, we learn that the companions after drinking from the watering place enquired regarding its impurity. Hence, Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) instructed the owner not the answer them as this was Waswasa from Shaytan.  

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mahmood Suliman

Student Darul Iftaa
Gaborone, Botswana

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


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