Fatwa on - The Remedy for Whispering (of Shaytan)
From Fatawah Islamiyyah Vol. 1 and 2
Published by Darussalaam
The Blowing of Shaytan
I feel when I begin the prayer and after performing one or two Raka'ahs that I have broken wind; does that invalidate the Wudhu or not? And if this is continuous what should I do?
It seems as if this is the whispering of Shaytan, which is intended to cause the worshiper to ruin his acts of worship, or make them a burden on him; and it has been reported in a Hadeeth on the authority of Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that he said: "Shaytan comes to one of you during his prayer and blows at his backside, so that he thinks that he has broken wind although he has not; so if this happens, he should not leave (the prayer) unless he hears a sound or smells an odor." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (137)] And it was reported on the authority of Abu Sa'id (radhi allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "If the devil comes to any of you and says: 'you have broken wind.' It should be said to him, 'You are a liar'" [Musnad Ahmad] meaning, one should say it to himself. Therefore, we advise the questioner not to pay any attention to these Shaytanic thoughts and imagination, so that they will stop quickly. However, if this is definitely real, and it is, as he says, continuous, then the ruling for him is that of one who continuously breaks wind, and its emission during prayer or whenever it occurs will not nullify his Wudhu, like the continuous flow of urine, because constantly repeating one's ablution entails hardship, therefore, he should remain in prayer and make Wudhu for every obligatory prayer when it becomes due.
Shaikh Ibn Jibreen (hafidhahullah)
The Remedy for Whispering (of Shaytan) in the Prayer
When I begin to pray, I am afflicted by a kind of whispering and thoughts, and sometimes I do not know what I have recited, not how many Raka'ahs I have prayed. Please advice me.
It is prescribed for the worshiper, man or woman, to approach the prayer with humility towards Allah and to call to mind that he stands before his Lord, so that Shaytan will stay away from him and the whispering will be reduced, in implementation of Allah's Words: "Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offers their prayers with all solemnity and full submission." [Soorah Muminoon (23): 1-2]
If the whispering become frequent, it is prescribed to seek refuge with Allah, from Shaytan, as the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) ordered Uthman Ibn Abi al-As when he informed him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that Shaytan had confused his prayers. And when the worshiper becomes confused as to the number of Raka'ahs he has prayed, he should assume the minimum, base his estimation upon what he is sure of, and then complete his prayer. Afterwards, he performs two prostration of forgetfulness before making the Tasleem, based upon the narration of Abu Said (radhi allahu anhu) from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in which he said: "If any of you is in doubt regarding his prayer, and he does not know how much he has prayed, three or four (Raka'ahs) then let him cast aside doubt and base his estimation upon what he is sure of. Then prostrate twice before making the Tasleem; if he has prayed five, his prayer will be an intercessor for him, and if he has completed the prayer correctly, it will be a humiliation for Shaytan." [Saheeh Muslim (571)], And Allah is the Grantor of success.
Shaikh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah)