Insinuations of apostasy

Q: I hope you will read my letter in its entirety so that you can understand my following inquiries: When is a person considered as an apostate - we seek refuge in Allah (from this)? My question may appear strange, but it confuses me a lot. Sometimes I have insinuations that give me a feeling that some of my actions denote apostasy, I seek refuge in Allah (from this). I would like to inform you that my heart is at rest with Iman (Faith), Praise be to Allah, but as I have mentioned I have doubts regarding every act I do even before I do it. For example, if I speak with one or more persons; before uttering a word, I have doubts that what I will say may be a statement of Kufr (disbelief), I seek refuge in Allah. Thus, I become hesitant and begin to stutter. Sometimes, I continue to talk and do not have the chance to reconsider whether to utter a word or not; I find myself making statements involuntarily without intending Kufr, I seek refuge in Allah. (Part No. 2; Page No. 200) Thereafter, I am attacked by thoughts as to whether or not I have become an apostate because of this. Some of the things that reinforce my insinuations are that people I talk to always stare at me expecting me to continue (talking). I find this a very weak excuse and so my doubts keep growing. In spite of this, I feel I will never abandon this religion, regardless of the punishment that might be inflicted upon me; but I cannot understand what happens to me while I am talking. It is such an odd and painful feeling that I sometimes cannot sleep. When I try to ignore it, I cannot, and the thoughts return. Should I bathe as one does upon first embracing Islam. Will my prayers not be valid unless I bathe? Will all my previous good deeds be nullified like an apostate person? Should I perform Hajj again, for instance? Also, I sometimes feel angry and stressed when I find myself directed toward certain thoughts - I cannot mention them - but quickly I manage to control myself and try to get rid of these thoughts. Is this considered Kufr, I seek refuge in Allah?I would also like to say that I read a Hadith that implies that if a Muslim charges his Muslim brother with Kufr, it will fall upon one of them. Does this mean that when a Muslim charges another with Kufr, he himself is a Kafir (disbeliever), i.e. An apostate? What if I feel that someone is Kafir without declaring it? Is believing in superstitions - such as believing in the (Part No. 2; Page No. 201) unluckiness of the number 13 or believing in a bad omen from throwing nails on the ground - considered Kufr, given that the one who does this is a Muslim and believes in what Muhammad (peace be upon him) has come with? And if the person repents from this and no longer believes in them (superstitions), will his case be the same as one who enters Islam? In other words, should he or she bathe? A further question: Are doubts and insinuations in oneself considered a sin no matter how far they have gone? Given that I sometimes spend a long time trying to ward them (insinuations) off, I will not elaborate any further. To sum up, When is a person considered apostate?I do not want to ask how an apostate be recognized, rather I would like to know how apostasy can be recognized in oneself? I seek refuge in Allah (from this). Does an apostate take the same ruling as a Kafir with regard to bathing when entering Islam, even if he has had sexual intercourse or a wet dream during the period of apostasy? One more question: Hajj is an obligation that is performed once in lifetime, except in case of apostasy (I seek refuge in Allah from this), are there other cases where a Muslim is obliged to perform Hajj again?

A: First: There are many reasons that make one's religion null and void. They are explained by scholars in their discussion of the ruling on an apostate. If someone leaves Islam and then re-embraces it, their good deeds performed while being a Muslim will not be annulled. For Allah (Exalted be He) states: And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever. (Part No. 2; Page No. 202) Thus, Allah (Glorified be He) stipulates that one must die as a disbeliever in order for one's deeds to be rendered fruitless. Second: A Muslim will not be punished for such Satanic psychological notions and insinuations that do not nullify one's religion, especially if he has sound beliefs, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) states: Allah has forgiven for my Ummah (Community) the evil thoughts that occur to their minds. Related by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Third: You should ward off these evil insinuations and seek refuge in Allah from them. You should also say: I believe in Allah and His Messengers. Maintain remembrance of Allah, recite Qur'an and be among righteous people. Furthermore, you should visit a psychiatrist, fear Allah as much as you can, and turn to Him for all that inflicts you. You should supplicate to Allah to relieve you from hardship. Allah (Exalted be He) states: And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things. We ask Allah to grant you a speedy recovery.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.