Automatic Negative Thoughts ANT and the role of Satan


  • Maira F. Maneka
  • Dr. Omer Farooq Saeed



Negative Thoughts, ANT, role of Satan


In this paper the aim is to analyse the concept of automatic negative thoughts from the perspective of satan whispers in Islam. Satan whispers are called waswasa in the Quran referring to the repeating silent whispers that satan blows into the minds of all humans, in order to misguide them.


This paper analyses how the psychological perspective of automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) coincides with the Islamic notion of waswasas. This is done from three standpoints. The first section details the conceptual framework for satan whispers according to Islam. Rest of the sections are analysed from the lens of section one. This section will further be divided into five subparts. These are the Islamic explanation of Satan with respect to his 1) essence 2) his works 3) his motivations 4) human necessity for protection and 5) treatment.


Section two provides the scientific understanding of ANTs with respect to their 1) nature 2) etiology and 3) effects. Section three focuses on the kinds of ANTs that have been widely accepted and studied in psychology. For this three frameworks were adopted; firstly Daniel Amens explanation, Steven philipsons theory on intrusive thoughts and lastly the position Positive Psychology tends to hold with respect to ANTs and what kinds exist. While detailing the kinds of ANTs from each framework, the paper will simultaneously analyse how these approaches overlap or stand against our original conceptual framework of Islam. Finally the last section is about treatment of ANTs in the psychological field and their comparison with the Islamic framework.

Hypothesis: that ANTs are the result of intentional thought processes of satan, rather than random associations in the brain.