"Doubts in Aqa’id”
A person said he had certain misgivings and doubts in certain aqa’id (beliefs). Hadrat replied that if it is so, then it is absolutely necessary the doubts be cleared as soon as possible, otherwise no ‘amal (deed) would be beneficial. All your deeds will be wasted. First it has to be ascertained as to whether you truly have doubts or just thoughts. Doubt is one thing and stray thoughts another, and both have separate laws. To doubt the necessary beliefs results in damage and harm to iman (faith). On the other hand, thoughts are not even a sin, for there will be no questioning regarding it.
Thereafter Hadrat inquired from him as to whether he is troubled by those thoughts and do they cause him anxiety or not. Also whether he had considered preventative measures or not. He replied that they cause him great anxiety and uneasiness. Hadrat said: Then these are just stray thoughts and not doubts. The differentiating factors are that thoughts have anxiety attached to them, the heart is troubled, and the person abhors such thoughts and considers preventative measures. But when one experiences doubts, all these factors are absent. The heart is completely at ease. Thus you will not see a kafir (non-Muslim) in such anxiety. You only have suspicions. Do not become troubled by them, for Shari’a has granted us immunity regarding them. When there will be no questioning regarding them, then to be troubled by them is a complete waste of time. It is acknowledged that they are troublesome but they will not be if you ignore them. For example, if one is feeling sleepy, let it come and don’t fight it. Do not make an intention of ignoring the thoughts. The intention of ignoring them (or fighting them) is actually getting involved in them. The more you try to fight them the more they will attack you. Do not become perturbed even if you are not free from them your entire life because they are not harmful to you in any way.
Hakim-ul-Ummah Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi Rahimahullah