Finding comfort with OCD in surah 2 verse 286

The whole Quran has this unbelievable way of amazing me. Its beautifully poetic verses and breath taking words just settle in my heart and mind so warmly. Though the whole Quran has the power to make me feel like everything will be okay, there is one verse that absolutely wins my heart. That verse is “On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear” 2:286. (This verse is also repeated in 6:152, 7:42 and 65:7).

I can not think of any other verse in the Quran that empowers me as much as this one does. This is a verse I often reflect on in times of stress, sadness and need. Think about it. Just repeat the words.

On NO soul does Allah place a burden GREATER than it can bear.

Now, tell me, what is it that we can not overcome? What test is too much to bear? What final exam, what major decision, what grief of a loved one passing away, do we not eventually overcome? The answer is simple – none.

This verse really hit me at a time I needed it most. For the last couple of years, I have been suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD. It is a disorder that effects millions of people, and is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain.

This disorder caused me to have many unnecessary thoughts. I would repeatedly replay incidents over and over in my head. The type I have is more of a mental OCD, rather than a physical type. However, I would sometimes encounter physical anxiety. For example, sometimes I felt I had to touch something a certain amount of times or repeat things.

The hardest challenge was when I came to have difficulties in making wudu, the purification washing before performing a prayer. I was always under the impression that my wudu was not good enough or that I missed washing a spot. I would literally stand in front of the sink repeating my wudu until I thought I had it perfect. The same would happen with my prayers. I would pray the same prayer 3 times just to make sure it was “perfect”.

Little did I know that on one particularly rough day, I would be inspired. I was feeling very down because of the OCD. I just could not handle it. It is hard to explain to someone who does not have it, it is just so frustrating because it seems like an easy thing to handle, but for one who has OCD it is incredibly exhausting.

So, I am standing in front of the sink, wondering to myself why it is so difficult to just be content with the things I do. I was so angry. So upset. Until the phone rang. It was my brother, calling from his college dorm.

My mom picked up the phone and spoke with him. I assume she told him that I was having a rough day, so he asked to talk to me. When I got on the phone, all he said was, “Go look in the Quran in chapter 2, verse 286”.

So I went and picked up my Quran that he had recently bought me. I flipped through the pages until I came to the verse. Then I stared at the words and read them in my head. “On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear.” I had to fight back tears. I actually felt like Allah had written those words just for me.

It was that day that I really understood what those words meant. I still reflect on the words every time I need to. So I want to tell you all, my brothers and sisters, let those remarkable words settle in your hearts and minds. Always remember that there is nothing we can not overcome. Allah said so. J

(By the way, OCD can be controlled, please reach out to a doctor if you feel you need too. Always remember Allah is watching over you).



  1. Sini Faizal says:

    Assalami alaikum,
    I really liked this article.Actually I dont know much on meanings of Quean verses.I was browsing for some verses in Quran which can help me overcome my mental stress and this article really helped me a lot.i was unaware of this verse .and now I understand I should find tme for learning the meanings and explore the lifesupporting versus Allah had written for me.Any way thankx ,this really helped.

  2. maya says:

    dear fellow Muslim,

    I just wanted to let you know how important I think it is to post these kinds of stories online. Just when you’re having one of those days Allah can send you such pleasant reminders!

    jazakum Allahu khair and may Allah grant you a full recovery

  3. Junaid says:

    Allhumdulillah! It was very nice. I am a patient of acute OCD. Just 10 minutes ago i felt strong fits. I just tried to relax myself and fstart serching for how to fight ocd, and i find yours article. Mashallah, May Allah help us to fight this terible diseas.

  4. I know its not easy, and sometimes we need the help of medications, but also OCD has alot to do with “weswas” or doubts in our minds. If we can start to include Allah in our life throughout the day, to start our actions with bismillah, and to have faith in Allah and his power over allllllllllllll things even the microbes around us, then we can rely upon Him to help and guide us and we will not be fearfull or have as much weswas. or doubts that cause us to do things over and over or to hold onto thoughts that just drive us crazy. Always ask yourself,, is it worth all this stress? Will it get me somewhere? Dua is also the best of help inshallah… keep trying

  5. muslim_girl says:

    Assalamu alaikum brothers and sisters
    an hour ago, before i started browsing ocd in Islam, i felt helpless and completely alone in this condition. I had no help or support in this matter… so i just want to say thanks for these advice..

    May Almighty Allah help and bless us all

  6. Gulzar Ahmed says:

    i m suffering from religious ocd relapse.i had been on medicines for 2 and half a year but due to decrease in my medicines by myself triggered my ocd again.i think we should take these medicines for several years as prescribed by doctors.and if necessary,for whole of life.
    May Almighty Allah help and bless us all

  7. ifty says:

    i am suffering from ocd….my illness is that whatever i say, it seems like im saying to my wife. i have habits which i have used to focus when i talk e.g. making a fist etc. I recently asked a doctor to help me and now am having therapy and medicine….to be hnest it hasl helped talking to professionals but still have the same problem and the verse stated in quran surah 2 verse 286 is amazing. It has me thinking and has made me feel that ill be better somtime. when i pray i feel better knowing that allah will help me.
    i also use other techniques such as keeping busy and doing job as this keeps my mind busy.

  8. I am so happy to hear that you find some relief through a mulit modal method. It is also interesting thought to use the medicine of the Prophet to possibly help healing. Have you thought about Habbit al baraka (black seeds) and natural honey every morning before you eat. Allah is merciful so turn to Him always.

  9. Shahid Ali says:

    Helo Dats A Great Post :D

  10. Fitz says:

    Thank you brother, this has helped me a lot.

    May Almighty Allah help and bless us all

  11. Yasmine says:

    jazakallah for the article, very helpful while I was feeling lost with this condition. May Allah reward you. Salam alaikum

  12. soulseasons says:

    JazakAllah khair

  13. Mohsin Raza says:

    A.O.A to all muslims . . Really this verse helped me a lot to overcome my ocd. and really there in nothing that we can’t overcome. Thanks May Allah bless u

  14. Laura says:

    Subhanallah, when I disbelieved in Christianity and was going through a phase as a ‘non-specific montheist’ – I came across this particular ayah and my heart started to beat a different way. This did it for me, that moment I believe is when I truly became Muslim. I had struggled with mental illness for a decade (major depression, OCD and borderline personality disorder), and these words were all I needed from my Creator to let me know that He knows me, what is best for me and what I am capable of. May Allah keep us steadfast and full of sabr, ameen.

  15. Ummi says:

    i have ocd, and my psychiatric told me that i am not obligater to pray. it means that pray (salat) is not an obligation for me.
    What do you think about this, guys ???
    Please help me . . .

  16. This is wrong.. in my humble opinion. I am not one to give a fatwa, and this should be asked of a sheikh and more than one doctor. If you have common sense enough to write this question you have enough mental capability to pray. And in fact the process of making wudu, in order and then praying five times a day and being close to Allah may positively help you in dealing with your OCD.

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