Mankind And Satan


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  • Mankind And Satan


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    Chapter Four

    Adam’s Guilt….And
    Satan’s Guilt

    We have
    concluded the last chapter by stating that Satan wormed his way into the
    temptation of Adam from the direction that Allah is The Ever-Mighty, The
    Ever-Rich, Who, by His Sovereign-Self, is richly beyond need of any of His
    creatures. Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says in the Divine Hadith
    (7)
    concerning that meaning: 

    “Were
    the first of you and the last, the living and the dead, the green and the
    withered (i.e., the young and old; or the obedient and disobedient; or those
    who have knowledge and those who are ignorant) had the heart of the man most
    pious among My servants, that would not add to My Kingdom a mosquito wing. And
    were the first of you and the last, the living and the dead, the green and the
    withered had the heart of the wickedest among My servants, that would not
    decrease from My Kingdom a mosquito wing. And were the first of you and the last,
    the living and the dead, the green and the withered to gather at one highland
    and every man amongst you ask all he wishes for and were I to grant each
    supplicant what he asked for, it would decrease nothing from My Kingdom, any
    more than when one of you passes by the sea and immerses a needle into it then
    raises it (back) to himself. This is because I am the Most Generous, the
    Glorious, Do whatever I will. My Giving is words and My Torture is words.
    Truly, My Command, when I will a thing, is only to say to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!”
     

    Thus, from the
    door of the All-Mightiness of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, Satan
    crept to misleading Adam. Satan succeeded to convince Adam that Allah has
    prohibited him from eating of the tree because He does not wish him goodness,
    for us to beware of Satan’s stratagem in temptation. For definitely, there is
    no goodness in a seeming goodness that leads to Hellfire and disobedience, and
    there is no evil in a seeming harm that leads to Paradise and obedience to
    Allah.

    Satan tried to
    depict evil to man as goodness. Therefore, he presented to Adam the act of
    disobedience as benefit. So, when Adam ate from the tree and committed the sin,
    Satan fled!
    The question
    that crosses the mind at this point is why did Allah, all praise and glory is
    to Him, forgive the disobedience of Adam and did not forgive the disobedience
    of Satan? Adam disobeyed and Satan disobeyed, Allah pardoned the first and
    accepted his repentance, and He cursed the second and made him eternally
    abiding in Hell. What is the difference between the two guilty acts? 

    The answer is
    that when Adam and Eve disobeyed Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, they
    did not persist in disobedience, and did not try to reject the decree of the
    Decreer. They did not say, “Your Judgment is untrue,” as Satan did when
    he proclaimed, “I am better than him (Adam). You created me of fire, and You
    created him of clay
    .” (7: 12)
    They never did that but they admitted their guilt and
    begged Forgiveness and Mercy from Allah. Regarding this, Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, says (what means):

    “They said,
    ‘Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have
    mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.’” (Al-A‘râf , 7: 23)

    These are the words that Adam and Eve both said after disobedience.
    Their words meant: O Lord Your Word is the Truth and Your Judgment is the
    Truth but we failed to oblige our weak selves to abide by the Law, thus we
    indeed wronged ourselves, we walked in the path of perdition and we beg from
    You forgiveness and mercy. And if You do not bestow them upon us, we shall
    certainly be among the losers who have lost their own selves on
    Resurrection Day.

    Thus, Adam and Eve begged that Allah would relent towards them.
    Regarding this incident, The Truth, all praise and glory is to Him, says (what
    means):

    “Then Adam
    received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it
    is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 37)

    Repentance occurred in three stages: the first stage is that Allah
    legislated repentance. The second stage is that when they showed repentance He
    accepted it from them. And the third stage of repentance is by not reverting to
    sin. Some people fail to comprehend the Saying of Allah, Blessed and Exalted is
    He, which means:
    “Then He
    turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of
    repentance, the Merciful.” (At-Taubah, 9: 118)

    Some people may ask: if Allah has relented towards them so why were they
    obliged to repent? The answer is that Allah’s Legislation of repentance had to
    precede repentance itself…His Saying, “He turned to them so they could
    repent,”
      means that He
    legislated for them repentance.

    He said to them that if you committed a sin or a guilt repent; and as
    long as Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, asked them to repent they
    should turn to Him in repentance and Allah will accept it from them.

    The legislation of repentance is not only a mercy towards the sinner but
    also to the community at large. Had Allah, all glory is to Him, closed the door
    of repentance then whoever has committed sins would sink deeper in sins, as
    long as repentance is not accepted. And as long as a sin leads to eternity in Hellfire,
    then whoever commits one sin will consequently fill his life with sins, for
    there is no hope for him in ever winning Paradise. So, he will decide to take
    his share of worldly life, and consequently the whole community will suffer
    because every sinner will sin even more.

    The entire humanity suffers from the spread of sin and not only the
    individual. Thus, by legislating repentance, Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He,
    has mercy on the entire humanity against the spread of sins. Because the first
    sin does not cast man eternally into Hellfire, provided that man repents and
    returns to Allah. Therefore, man should never persist in sin but he should
    hurry to righteousness and repent to Allah and perform more good deeds, to have
    his sins forgiven. This way hope in attaining Paradise remains and also remains
    the wish for goodness, thus the community prospers and it becomes filled with
    blessings. Indeed, repentance is a mercy on the entire humanity.

    But Satan rejected the Commands of Allah and he worsened it by his will
    to lure mankind into sin. He said as the Noble Qur’an relates to us (what
    means):

    “[Satan]
    said, ‘Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on
    Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind
    them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them
    grateful [to You].’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 16-17)

    Satan did not admit his sin, but rather he insisted on it and threatened
    that he would do such and such things, a persistence in disobedience. On the
    other hand Adam and Eve admitted their sin which is a very important point that
    we should heed, so that people who dare and sin beware of. They should not
    justify disobedience or sin by contradicting the Command of Allah, claiming
    that time or circumstances have changed.

    For example, to the dealers in bank interests, which involves a
    suspicion of usury, we say: do not claim that Ribâ (usury) is not
    unlawful and that taking interests is an international system and that the whole
    world transacts business through it and that time has changed…to the end of
    what we hear nowadays. By such words of yours you remove yourself from the
    domain of Allah’s Mercy to the domain of expulsion from His Mercy, all praise
    and glory is to Him.

    But rather say: O Lord, we have failed to overcome ourselves, please
    forgive us and have mercy on us
    . This way you have accused yourself of
    weakness, negligence and injustice and you have kept yourself within the domain
    of belief. But by rejecting the Judgment of Allah and by claiming that Ribâ
    is not unlawful you have walked out of belief to disbelief, Allah forbid.
    When man commits a sin he should neither try to justify its commission
    nor defend it and claim that it is lawful. Nor say that circumstances have
    changed and that the legal ruling must have also changed. Because this involves
    a rejection of Allah’s Command, which pulls man out of belief to disbelief, and
    from mercy to damnation. And that is the difference between the sin of Adam and
    that of Satan.

    Satan disobeyed and was puffed up with pride, whereas Adam disobeyed but
    he admitted his sin. When Adam and Eve confessed their guilt, Allah taught them
    the way of repentance. Had not Allah, The Most Exalted and Ever-Majestic,
    taught them, they would not have known how to repent. For repentance occurred
    by an inspiration from Allah, all praise and glory is to Him:

    “They said,
    ‘Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have
    mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.’” (Al-A‘râf , 7: 23)

    Then Allah, Whose Majesty reigns Supreme, said (what means):  

    “(Allah)
    said: ‘Get down, some of you an enemy to some others. And for you on the earth
    is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time.” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 24)

    We should observe the Ayat that relates to us the act of descent. In
    another Ayah, The Truth, all praise and glory is to Him, says (what means):
    “(Allah)
    said: ‘Get you down, both of you, together, some of you are an enemy to some
    others.’” (Tâ-Hâ, 20: 123)

    And in another Ayah, Allah says (what means):

     

    “We said, ‘Go
    down from it, all of you.’” (Al-Baqarah, 2:38)

    The addressees are Adam, Eve and Satan, and enmity here is preexistent
    between mankind and Satan. But His Saying, “Get you down, both of you,
    together, some of you are an enemy to some others,”
    shows that enmity is
    between two parties: Adam and Eve are one party, and Satan is the other party.
    So, we have two groups: Adam, Eve and their offspring are one group against the
    group of Satan and his offspring. All the Ayat perfectly agrees.

    We have to understand that when Allah says, “Some of you are an enemy
    to some others,”
     there will be
    a struggle and enmity between the offspring of Adam and the offspring of Satan,
    and that the struggle (between the two parties) will last as long as worldly
    life continues only and will not extend to the Hereafter. But as to the devil
    and man, there is a lasting struggle as long as the lifetime of each in this
    world, and not the lifetime of this world. When the devil dies or man dies the
    struggle between them comes to an end.

    A
    Struggle in Worldly Life

    The struggle between the devil and man – as we have previously said – is
    a period limited by the life of both and does not extend after death and does not
    exist in the Hereafter.

    Afterwards, The Truth, all praise and glory is to Him, advises the
    Children of Adam against Satan to protect them from him, saying (what means):

    “O children
    of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and
    as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from
    the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 26)

    The speech in this Ayah is addressed to every soul from the Children of
    Adam, because every soul has a battle and an enmity with the offspring of
    Satan. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, draws our attention that He has
    sent down to us a Law from Heaven that covers our shameful parts and screens
    them. Sending down necessitates that a thing descends from a place high, and
    all good things on the earth have come down from Heaven. Garments are made from
    the yield of the earth and earthly produce only comes forth with rain that
    falls down from Heaven.

    We have to learn that Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, has sent down
    the Law to cover the defects of mankind, and the defects of communities. If we
    abided by the Law, no defects or sins would appear in us and the community
    would be homogeneous and united. As if the rain that Allah has sent down from
    Heaven gives us from the earth the clothing that hides our physical shameful
    parts and a garment of moral values that hides our spiritual defects. Over and
    above this, He gave us ornaments as fine clothes, a kind of luxury and
    pleasure. 

    As if Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, has given us delights in this
    world and made them lawful to us and has given us the Law to cover our moral
    flaws. So, if the material garment covers the bodily private parts in the life
    of this world, then the garment of piety and righteousness will conceal our
    shameful deeds from any disgrace in the Hereafter. The garment of piety by
    which we guard ourselves against the Anger of Allah, all praise and glory is to
    Him, is far superior to the material garments. Therefore, Allah, Blessed and Exalted
    is He, says about it (what means):

    “But the
    clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that
    perhaps they will remember.” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 26)

    Hence, the garment of piety – which is far superior to worldly garments
    because they guard us against the Anger of Allah, Whose Majesty reigns Supreme,
    is one of the Signs of Allah, for us to know that we are created of matter and
    morals. Just as the material side has physical shameful parts that appear when
    we take off our clothes, also the spiritual side has shameful defects that
    appear at impiety. Then comes the solemn warning from Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him:

    “O children
    of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from paradise,
    stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts.”  (Al-A‘râf, 7: 27)

     

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, warns us against the trial of
    Satan. If we succeed in this trial no corruption will occur, it only occurs if
    we fail in the trial. The trial is neither evil or good, but it is a test that
    brings you goodness if you succeed and evil if you fail in it.

    This way warning against the devil came through a practical experience
    lived by Adam and Eve before they came down to the earth. An experience of
    obeying the entrusted duty of “Do and Do not do”. The trial, as is the
    case with the enjoined duty, included a command and a prohibition. The command
    dictated that Adam can eat from everything in the garden wherein he lived, and
    the prohibition dictated that he should not draw near one tree in this garden.

    Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, informed Adam that Satan is an enemy
    to him, and that he would cause him to fall into error. But in spite of this
    warning Adam and Eve ate from the tree and their private parts appeared, for us
    to learn that any obedience to the devil never brings goodness.

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, wants us to know that in Adam are
    two factors: the factor of humanity that may do right or err, disobey and
    repent, and the factor of prophethood that is infallible. Therefore, we must
    pay heed to the part of the Ayah saying (what means):

    “And Adam
    disobeyed his Lord and erred.” (Tâ-Hâ, 20, 121)

    Which is human nature. And the Saying of The Most Exalted, which means:

    “Then his
    Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him].” (Tâ-Hâ, 20,
    122)

    Which is the guidance with which the prophets from the offspring of Adam
    would be sent. Therefore, we should not wonder saying: how did Adam disobey his
    Lord while being a prophet, because the disobedience of Adam happened before
    prophethood.

    After disobedience came prophethood and guidance. Thus, humanity is
    divided into two: prophets who convey to people the Law on behalf of
    Allah,  who are infallible; and others
    to whom Allah conveys His Law, who obey, disobey and repent. No one should say
    or claim that Adam descended to the earth because of his disobedience, because
    Allah has created him and his offspring to live on the earth and has forbidden
    them and warned them against the temptation of Satan, in His Saying, “O
    children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you,”
     this warning is addressed to mankind. Allah, The Most Exalted
    and Ever-Majestic, did not command Satan not to tempt the Children of Adam. Had
    He thus ordered Satan he would have diverged from his mission in life and life
    would not have been an abode of trial as Allah willed for it to be, causing the
    creatures given the power of free choice either to enter Paradise or Hellfire,
    we seek refuge with Allah from the latter.

    Therefore, the trial of Satan that mankind is put though is part of what
    Allah has decreed in worldly life. But some people wonder about the Saying of
    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, (which means):

    “And Abraham
    instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], ‘O my sons,
    indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you
    are Muslims
    (8).’” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 132)

    The prohibition here is for mankind and the question is: do people have choice
    in death? Can they specify its time, date and place so that they can only die
    while they are Muslims? The answer is that the Truth, Blessed and Exalted is
    He, wants to draw our attention to the fact that death comes suddenly at any
    moment, so you have to be Muslim all the time, so that death never suddenly
    overtakes you, except while you are Muslim.

    Allah, praise and glory is to Him, wants us to know that the trial of
    Satan expels us from the blessing of assignment (enjoined duties) that would
    lead us to the
    Paradise of Eternity in
    the Hereafter. Afterwards, Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says (what means):

    “Indeed, he
    sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them.” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 27)

    This part of the Ayah means that the devil sees us but we do not see
    him, and that gives him the power of exercising temptation. Because as long as
    we cannot see him, we cannot know from where he will come or notice that he is
    whispering evil to us.

     

    But did Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, desert us alone with Satan, to
    lure us and lead us astray? Or did He create protection for us?

    By His Justice, Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, granted us
    protection against diabolic insinuations and from all this evil. This
    protection can only be through close abidance by the Law of Allah. Whoever
    adheres firmly and sincerely to the Law of Allah, the devil will never be able
    to reach him nor tempt him. Therefore, we find a confession of Satan that he cannot
    approach those who are loyal to Allah and hold fast to His Law, because such
    people are protected against him by their abidance by the Law of Allah in the
    glorious Ayah saying (what means):

    “[Iblees]
    said, ‘By your might, I will surely mislead them all, except, among them, Your
    chosen servants.’” (Sâd, 38: 82-83)

    Then, comes the Saying of Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, which means:

    “Indeed, My
    servants – no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of
    the deviators.” (Al-Hijr, 15: 42)

    Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, has guaranteed protection to every
    servant who sincerely believe in Him and who sincerely worship Him. Allah, The
    Most Exalted and Ever-Majestic, guards the believers against satanic
    temptation. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says about the description
    of the believer (what means):

    “Indeed,
    those who fear Allah – when an evil thought comes to them from Satan, they
    remember [Allah] and at once they have insight.” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 201)

      

    This means that when Satan comes to the pious, believing servants of
    Allah, Allah never leaves them, but He makes them remember His Law, only then
    do they see the truth and they return to closely following the Law. As if the
    one who follows the devil is like the blind, who sees nothing thus move
    confusedly, stumbling and falling. Satan strives to blind the sight and
    insight, to keep us from seeing the truth and the Signs of Allah in His
    Universe, and be only in the dark.

    The Truth, Blessed and Exalted is He, presents to us this picture while
    depicting to us the followers of Satan in the Hereafter in the Ayah saying
    (what means):

    “He will say,
    ‘My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?’ [Allah] will
    say, ‘Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you
    this Day be forgotten.’” (Tâ-Hâ, 20: 125-126)

    Thus, the mission of Satan is to make people blind to the Signs of Allah
    in the universe and deprive them from perceiving the greatness or mightiness of
    The Creator, all praise and glory is to Him. Blindness to these signs makes man
    forget his submissiveness to Allah and makes him regard worldly life as an end
    and not only as a means to the Hereafter. This way man tries to take from
    worldly life all he can, be it lawfully or unlawfully. For as long as there is
    only worldly life for him, his goal is to seize of it all it can offer either
    lawfully or unlawfully. The thing most important for him and his gauge of
    success is what he realizes of desires and whims, thefts and bribes etc.

    Such a group of people when comes to the Hereafter, Allah raises them up
    blind, seeing nothing, stumbling and falling. When they shall ask about the
    reason of this blindness after being endowed with eyesight in worldly life,
    Allah will answer them saying that they were surely blind in worldly life. They
    truly had eyes but they did not see with them the proofs, evidences, signs,
    revelations of Allah is His Universe, therefore they gave free reign to sin and
    disbelief. And as they forgot the Signs of Allah in the life of this world,
    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, will forget them in the Hereafter, so
    they will not attain His Mercy on that Day. Therefore, Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, says (what means):

    “And whoever
    is blind in this [life] will be blind in the Hereafter and more astray in way.”
    (Al-Isrâ’, 17: 72)

    Blindness in this glorious Ayah does not mean loss of sight but rather
    means loss of insight by which man sees the Signs of Allah that urge him to belief
    and obedience to the Divine Law.

    From the Mercy of Allah is that He exposed before us the ways of Satan
    and how he lures mankind, and He has clarified how Satan stealthily steals in
    the human soul and the wiles by which he leads man into error. Allah has
    clarified all this to warn us against satanic inlets into the human soul in
    order to bar all these inlets so that Satan never approaches our souls….so what
    are these inlets?


    (7)
    Divine Sayings, other than the Noble Qur’an, transmitted on the authority
    of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

    (8)
    I.e., on the Faith of Islam, which is submission to the Will of Allah,
    Alone.

     

     

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