In the name of God,
may His light shine on your path of finding truth and good.
When we intend to do something of good nature, something that will connect the soul to its true purpose of nearness to the Divine, the lowly parts of the Self and its influence by the whispers of evil fight to keep one away from what is good.
What you experience may be a result of that. That when we want to do good, we are influenced to keep away from what draws us towards His door.
Sometimes we are kept away from going somewhere or doing something which in its essence is good but done at the wrong time and during wrong conditions may push you away even further.
We are tested individually and customized to specific times of our lives. One must always check with oneself and find the reason to why one wants to do something. We may experience that we desire to pray, to study, to read, to give (and so on) and then we are redirected from those actions. Later in life we may come to the conclusion that if we had done that at the specific time, we would have done it with riya' (the intention of showing off or gaining worldly positions).
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said
Perfecting an action is more difficult than performing the action itself, and purifying an intention from corruption is tougher for the striving ones than engaging in lengthy jihad. (Bihar al-Anwar, volume 77 page 288 no 1)
You must reflect and contemplate and you will find what is behind this redirection. When you know, and you will know by looking deep within. Look past where it hurts, where the reality of what we hide from ourselves lies. There you will find your reason and then you can change it.
If it is caused by the whispers of evil - find the strength to fight it and view yourself as victorious.
If it is caused by the harm of riya' - praise God that He kept you away from it, then fight it and humble yourself by going somewhere no one knows you.
If it is caused by poor planning - find the motivation to plan your day and keep to your schedule.
If it is caused by something else - find what is within the depths of your strength that God the All-Mighty has blessed you with.
That you seek answers, that you search and ask for help is a beautiful trait and a blessing from God. I am sure you will find the reason and the remedy even more efficient than the ones you ask, and ask God to assist you He will open doors of self-recognition for you.
as salam alaikum
intentions should be followed by actions. If actions do not follow intentions on a regular basis, it may indicate that the intentions have been not formulated fairly. In fact intentions are the cause and deeds are the effect. A famous prophetic hadith says: "Truly the deeds are only according to the intention and to every man is that which he has intended". It is the intention that defines the action; working on the intention therefore should bring a better and/or more refined action insh'Allah.
You may also make a list of priorities and put the salat in the masjid at the top of your list, then keep vigil and focus on what is most important with Allah's assistance.
With prayers for your success.
From my experience, there are multiple causes of the symptoms of waswas.
As described in the previous response, literally, the word "waswas" refers to the whispering of Shaytan. However in my experience, people also experience the same symptoms as:
* Psychological coping mechanisms (for instance, as a response to prolonged stress such as warfare or the pressure of being a minority and feeling one's identity is under threat)
* Manifestations of psychiatric conditions (anxiety, OCD, etc.) that are expressed in the guise of being "religious". Sometimes because this is considered to be a more socially acceptable way of expressing this behaviour or even praised and encouraged as signs of piety.
* Sometimes as a response to a very strict upbringing or social environment in which one is made to be terrified of small mistakes (like missing a spot during wudu), or where there is a lot of criticism of these things.
* I think to some degree there is a personality element as well.
Not all people who are dealing with these things respond in the same way (i.e. with symptoms of waswas); however, some do. Perhaps part of it is a desire for control in situations where we cannot control what is going on around us.
This does not mean that whispering from Shaytan is not present in these situations or that everything has a psychological/psychiatric explanation; rather, the two can happen at the same time.
Anyway, in addition to addressing what is due to Shaytan, such as by reciting ayat al-kursi, and the other interventions mentioned below, these things can also be addressed, if they are applicable in the circumstances.
Some people are also just naturally very scatterbrained and absent-minded and easily forget things (such as whether they ate or what time they have to go places, as well as things such as whether they did salat or wudhu), but this is somewhat different because it does not usually cause distress. However, some of the same interventions may apply (such as ignoring doubts).
In any case, as discussed in the previous response, the important thing is to overcome these things and acknowledge that this is not what Allah wants from us and rather the ritual acts we do such as salat and ritual purification are means to a higher goal rather than something to become anxious about in and of themselves.
Waswasa is a condition of weakness in the will power and thinking power which makes the person hesitate in defining his acts and doubts himself or / and others.
The cause of this mental condition is the weakness in dealing with Shaitan which makes the person under the influence of Shaitan.
Shiatan and Satanic efforts are weak as Allah (SWT) says in Quran ( Verily, the efforts of Shaitan are weak) (Sura Annisaa’, Verse 76). Normal human beings are easily able to defeat Shaitan, but those who opt to be weak and go on in their weakness till they become very weak, put themselves as an easy target for Shaitan. Shaitan tries to mislead them under many titles including Wudhu and Namaz and Tahara and Nijasah etc. Shaitan creates doubts in their minds about the validity of their worship to disturb their state of mind and make them loose the sweat taste of worshipping Allah. If they keep listening to Satanic whispering, they will go far away from Allah (SWT). Some of them might reach to loosing their faith in worst scenarios.
Tackiling Waswasa needs:
1. Admitting that Waswasa is from Shaitan and being aware about its origin.Jafar Al-Sadiq (AS) was requested help to cure a person suffering from Waswasa.bHectold them: Ask him, is what he suffers from from Allah or from Shaitan? Imam Said: He will say: It is from Shaitan.
‘Such person needs to always be reminded that Waswasa is from Shaitan.
2. Repeating Estighfaar, Salwaat, La Hawla Wala Qowwata Ilya Billah and Laa Ilaaha Illallah لا إله إلا الله, Sura Tawheed. All these recitations drive Shaitan away if been recited with concentration and dedication.
3. Not to care to the repeated doubts at all and practicing the total ignoring of such doubts because of its Satanic origin.
4. Reciting this Quranic supplication : RABBI A’OOTHO BIKA MIN HAMAZAAT ASHSHAYATEEN رب أعوذ بك من همزات الشياطين
5. Repeating Ayatul Kursi.