Satanic Thoughts While Performing Salah

Question and answer details
As-salamu `alaykum. The reason why I'm addressing this question to you is because there must be lots of Muslims -brothers and sisters- who might be in my situation. I realize that it's time to change my life for I have been very "bad". But unfortunately, while performing salah (prayers), some satanic ideas come to my mind… I start thinking of Allah Almighty and converting to another religion. Could you please tell me how to get rid of these evil whisperings?
Waleed Ahmed Najmeddine
Salam Mohammed,

Thank you for putting your trust in us to answer your question.

First of all, let me assure you that you are not alone in being bothered by Satan’s whisperings during your prayers. This is something that he has made as a goal for himself, to distract the true believers from their prayers so that they will not benefit from its great rewards.

Allah Almighty explains how does Satan arrogantly post his own situation towards all people in Surah 7 (Al-A`raf), verses 16-17 which give the meaning of:

{I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path. Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from their right-hand side and from their left-hand side; and Thou shalt not find most of them thankful.}

Satan knows the value of making prostration at Allah’s Command. It is his refusal to prostrate before our father Adam (peace be upon him) when Allah commanded him to do so. For his refusal, Satan has been condemned to hellfire for eternity. What better way to get back at Adam than to lead his sons and daughters to the hellfire with him? So, he will never stop trying to distract you and put ideas into your head. You have already gotten the upper hand on him because you realize that it is Satan who is distracting you in your prayer. Now that you know this, it should be easier to discount his “whisperings” as a feeble attempt on his part to lead you astray.

With respect to other religions, while there are truths to be found in them, the
real truth about Allah and what pleases Him can only be found in Islam. I encourage you to study Islam as much as you can. Listen to the words of the scholars, read their books, listen to their tapes, watch their videos, associate with other pious Muslims and attend prayers in the mosques as much as possible. During the prayers make du`aa’ during prostrations for anything you feel you need from Allah.

At the same time, study other religions and try to compare finding out the differences between them and Islam. Look at their histories and leaders of the past and compare them with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Study the lives of the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) and see what they accomplished. Study what the righteous predecessors and scholars have contributed to Islam and all of mankind and you will have no doubts as to which faith is the true path to Allah,
the true path to success in this life and the hereafter.

I hope this has helped you with your problem. Please remember us in your
du`ah and may Allah guide us all to what pleases Him.

Thank you so much for your question, and please keep in touch.


Useful links:

Perfecting Your Prayers

Beyond Hope and Fear: Learning to Love Prayers

Prayers: A Special Connection with God

Prayers… Surrendering to God

Doubting God's Existence