Is waswasa (delusion) the same thing as doubt?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Vaswasa lexically means "doubt". Terminologically, it means "Satan’s certain suggestions without words." The doubts that Satan puts into man’s heart.

Satan puts some bad things into man’s heart to mislead him; he wants to mislead man, make him doubt, and drive him out of the circle of belief. Even if he fails to do it, he keeps pursuing man and disturbs him with his delusions all the time.

The mind thinks using words, but all deeds of the heart is without words. One does not love a flower or a scent "through words"; it loves them without using words. However, when man wants to express that love and transmit it to others, words are used.

Satan approaches man’s heart, which loves without words and which also believes without words, talks to him without words and whispers some suggestions. Those whispers of Satan are called waswasa (delusions).

“There are self-evidently corporeal evil spirits who perform Satan’s functions. It is also certain to the same degree that there are evil spirits without bodies from the jinn.” (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Lem’alar)

A person who instills some wrong ideas in another person looks into the eye of his interlocutor while speaking and tries to penetrate his spirit through the window of his eye and to suggest something to him. If we imagine to remove the bodies of those two people, two separate spirits will emerge. One of them wants to deceive the other. What Satan does is something similar.

We sometimes hear complaints from those who have just started to perform prayers: "Whenever I start to pray, bad things come to my mind; they stop when I finish prayer." Those who are caught by that delusion should listen to the following lesson of reality and should not fall into despair:

“Those ugly words are not the words of your heart, because your heart is saddened and sorry at them.” (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Sözler)

Accordingly, the sadness of a person due to the bad words coming to his heart shows that those bad words do not belong to his heart. He will see that when he gives up performing prayers and goes to a casino, those bad words will cease. That is to say, the owner of those words is an enemy of prayer and a friend of gambling. It cannot be the heart of the believer who performs prayers, it can only be Satan.

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