Mankind And Satan


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  • Mankind And Satan


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    Chapter Five

    The Devil’s Doorway
    Into Mankind

    Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, has informed us in the Noble Qur’an that the devil
    has the influence of inciting to anger, insinuating evil, whispering evil and
    touch, but what is the difference between all these maneuvers? And what are the
    means by which the devil penetrates the human soul, thus driving it into
    committing sin? How does the devil frightens his followers, mastering them by
    fear? And how he ultimately flees deserting the man fallen in sin, after he
    declares himself innocent of him?

    Before we
    begin, we must know that there is evil whispering from the devil, and evil
    whispering and pushing into sin from the human self. As Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, has informed us in the Noble Qur’an that human selves differ,
    for there is the kindly self, the self constantly self-reproaching, and the
    self that incites to evil.

    The kindly self
    is the one that performs nothing but what is good and benevolent. As for the
    reproaching self, it is the self of a man who when falls into sin, it
    reproaches him, thus he returns to goodness once more, for man may fall into
    sin more than once. As for the self that incites to evil, it is that of a man
    who got used to evil, thus nothing can spur feelings of remorse and disapproval
    in him; he is living with this evil, enjoining it, he got used to it in a way
    that all his actions have become wicked, and he is enjoying this wickedness!

    But how can we
    tell that whispering is either from the devil or the self?

    As for the
    devil, he wants man sinful anyway, so it does not matter what is the kind of
    sin, but rather all he cares about is that man falls into sin. Hence, the devil
    attempts to lure man with ill-gotten money, if he does not respond to such
    allurement, he hastily shifts to tempting him into committing adultery and
    vice; upon failing, he tries with him the temptation of liquors, thus if he
    finds all doors of sin closed before him, he changes his maneuvers by
    attempting to mar his obedience through making him boast of the charity he
    offers, hence he forfeits its reward, or when prayer is due, he tries to hinder
    him from performing it.

    One should know
    that such temptations do not happen by force or compulsion, as the devil has no
    subjugating power over man. But for instance, when the Azan [Call to
    Prayers] is pronounced, the devil tempts man not to perform the prayer, but
    postpone it till the film he is watching ends, and when it does end, he starts
    reminding him of things he should do, like calling a friend, or eating his
    supper first, or making a visit he has forgotten, and other wiles that the
    devil resorts to.

    If man is a
    merchant, he starts frightening him by the thought that if he went to prayer
    now, he might forfeit many bargains, and thus would lose profit. In such a way,
    he keeps busying him with one matter after the other, till the prescribed time
    of prayer is gone, or he gradually abandons it. But if he fails in this, he
    starts whispering to him during ablution and praying, in order to cause him to
    feel that he did not perform ablution correctly, raising doubts about his
    ablution, so that he repeats it more than once, then when he stands for prayer,
    he casts doubt into him in such a way that man keeps repeating the prayer and
    no longer knows how many rakahs
    (9) he truly
    prayed or no longer knows whether he performed ablution correctly or not.

    Hence, the
    devil does not care about the sin itself, but all he pants for is to make man
    sin.

    As for the evil
    whispering of oneself, it insists on a certain act of disobedience, and does
    not crave any other form of sinning, in other word, the self impels one to
    commit a specific sin, and repeats it, without tempting into other sins.

    The Difference Between
    The Two Whisperings

    To know who is
    whispering to you, see if the one whispering only wishes that you fall into
    sin, regardless of what it is; if so then it is the devil, but if there is
    insistence on a certain sin you got used to, then it is from your self.

    Satan always
    sneaks through the doors where there is weakness in abidance by the doctrine;
    if he finds man unyielding to temptation in a certain aspect, he finds his way
    through another aspect where man shows weakness. Hence, if man for instance
    adheres fast to praying, performing them at their due prescribed times, Satan
    creeps into him from the door of money, whispering to him not to pay the Zakah
    (Obligatory Charity), to be tightfisted, and to eat up other people’s money
    unjustly, deluding him into thinking that by such a way he would be rich, his
    money would grow, and he would be safely away from poverty. But the truth is
    otherwise, as the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
    said: “Never would wealth decrease because of
    charity”
    , because it is charity which makes money grow, and
    place the Blessings of Allah in it so that it increases. Wealth belongs to
    Allah, and we all leave it behind us upon departing from this worldly life, but
    the unbeliever is unaware of such a truth.

    Hence, when
    Satan finds a man, who strictly guards the performance of prayers but loves
    money, he approaches him from this side, by stopping him from giving in
    charity, and all sorts of benevolent acts. Then, he starts to allure him with
    ill-gotten money, so sins starts to weave their threads around his heart little
    by little, till it smothers his heart wholly, preventing him from remembering
    Allah.

    Little things
    that man can give thanks for is better than plenty that man can not tolerate,
    for the devil may exploit the love of money within the heart of one of the
    servants of Allah to shun him away from obedience and the Law of Allah, thus he
    may abstain from paying Zakah (Obligatory Charity) driving him into
    sinning, and ingratitude. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says (which
    means):

    “And among
    them are those who made a covenant with Allah, [saying], ‘If He should give us
    from His bounty, we will surely spend in charity, and we will surely be among
    the righteous.’ But when he gave them from His bounty, they were stingy with it
    and turned away while they refused. So He penalized them with hypocrisy in
    their hearts until the Day they will meet Him – because they failed Allah in
    what they promised Him and because they [habitually] used to lie.” (At-Tawbah,
    9: 75-77)

    There are many
    examples for satanic ways, for he searches for the weak points in man in order
    to penetrate to him through them. His endeavors never abate, till he entraps
    man in his snares and drives him out of the Doctrine of Allah.

    Searching For WeaknessHence, the
    faces of temptations are versatile, if Satan found man strictly observing the
    Prayers and paying the Zakah and is weak before women for instance, he
    approaches him from that side and keeps adoring to him unchaste women, evilly
    insinuating to him, till he fall into adultery or fornication and thereby he
    commits one of the major sins.
    And if the
    believer is strong in all these respects Satan creeps to him and adorns to him
    drinking intoxicants, or gambling, or bad company, or backbiting…the important
    thing is that Satan always approaches man from his points of weakness, leaving
    the points where he shows firmness.

    Never think
    that when the devil tempts man, he comes to him from an evil path that man may
    recoil from, but rather Satan cloaks this evil in a delusive guise that makes
    it appear favorable to the self, easy to do and is desirable.

    Thus, if man
    suffers from straitened circumstances, Satan starts bedecking to him stealing.
    He first whispers to him that it is a simple process that will go smoothly and
    no one will discover it. Like telling him trip that man, so that when he falls
    pretend that you are helping him get up, and while unconscious, steal his
    wallet.

    Satan here
    tends to simplify matters to man, always masking evil. He thus would incite man
    to take ill-gotten money, like in the case of a man working as a cashier, he
    whispers to him that he needs the money in his treasury and that it will only
    be a loan, which he would pay back once conditions improve. The cashier is thus
    driven to take unlawful money, and he fails to pay it back.

    Satan is not a
    fool to presents evil to you as evil, in a way that reminds you of the torment
    that would be inflicted on you in worldly life and in the Hereafter, but he
    rather deludes you into believing that it is good to you, for Satan circulates
    in the human body as blood circulates in it.

    Out of Allah’s
    Mercy, all praise and glory is to Him, is that He disclosed to us Satan’s
    stratagems, so that we can protect ourselves against him. Satan never forgoes
    seducing you, as long as you are obedient. He tries hard to sneak to you from
    one side after the other till he pushes you into sinning, except if you seek
    refuge with Allah always and beg His Help, for he can never thus reach you and
    can never have any power over you.

    Whispering During
    Prayer

    Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, has warned us against the way that Satan always
    adopts in inveigling the creatures of Allah into committing sins. Allah, all
    glory is to Him, says (what means):

    “O you who
    have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to
    other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of
    Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” (Al-Mâ’idah, 5: 90)

    Hence, whomever
    follows the path of drinking intoxicants, gambling, attempts of drawing closer
    to idols through offering sacrifices, or using divining arrows
    (10) or palmistry, playing-cards
    or any art of charlatanism to know the Unseen is committing an abomination of
    Satan’s handiwork which he beautifies in the eyes of mankind, so that he can
    remove them away from worshipping Allah and entraps them into sin.

    Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, has warned us against this in the glorious Ayah
    saying (what means):

    “And obey
    Allah and obey the Messenger and beware.” (Al-Mâ’idah, 5:92)

    Through this
    warning, Allah informs us that the devil will never let us enter into the
    obedience of Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
    He will always strive hard to prevent us from doing so. If we barred all ways,
    he would come at the moment of performing ablution and make us forget whether
    we washed our hands or not, or whether we performed ablution as ought to be or
    not. Then, when the time of offering prayers comes he makes us forget how many rakahs
    or prostrations we offered, and this in fact does not constitute a bad sign, on
    the contrary, it is a sign in our favor, for Satan never comes near ruins. If
    our prayer were not accepted, he would have never approached it, but the fact
    that he tries to spoil it for us, means that it is accepted, and that he craves
    to ruin it. Therefore, the moment man starts offering the prayer he reminds him
    of things forgotten and keeps whispering to him trying to spoil his prayer.

    From satanic
    insinuations also is that he entices us to disobey the Messenger of Allah (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace), so he whispers secretly to us: “Such a
    command was not mentioned in the Qur’an, so do not obey it
    .” Though Allah,
    all praise and glory is to Him, clearly says (what means):

    “Say: ‘Obey
    Allah and obey the Messenger.’” (An-Nûr, 24: 54)

    Besides, Allah,
    Blessed and Exalted is He, has given the authority of legislating to the
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying (what
    means):

    “And whatever
    the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain
    from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” (Al-Hashr, 59: 7)

    The Messenger
    of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Shortly, a man leaning on his couch speaks about one of my
    Hadiths, thus saying: ‘Between us and you is the Book of Allah, The Exalted and
    Ever-Majestic, whatever lawful we find in it, we will regard as lawful, and
    whatever unlawful we find in it, we will regard as unlawful,’ Beware! For
    verily what the Messenger of Allah has prohibited is like what Allah has
    prohibited.”

    Satan’s evil
    whisper or insinuations cast in the soul provoking thoughts that enrage it and
    such rage causes it to act foolishly, in a way that neither agrees with reason
    or religion.

    When the
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked His Lord
    about how to guard oneself against anger, The Truth, all praise and glory is to
    Him, said (what means):

     

    “And if an
    evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He
    is Hearing and Knowing.”
    (11) (Al-A‘râf , 7: 200)

    We are not here
    discussing this issue as regards the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him
    and grant him peace), even though some people may wonder if Satan can whisper
    to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): the answer
    is that the Ayah says “If” which introduces a condition that may or may
    not happen; thus the matter itself is a doubtful condition.

    But let us
    assume that it did happen, so why should Allah deprive His Messenger (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace) from the joy of confronting and defeating Satan.
    The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “There is no one among you but a comrade from among the
    jinn is assigned to him.” They (the Companions present in that occasion) asked:
    “Even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “Even me, but Allah granted me
    victory over him and I am safe from him, so he only enjoins me to do that which
    is good.”

    The devil did
    appear to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
    while he was on his way to the Masjid (mosque); for the Messenger (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace) narrated, saying: “A
    demon from the Jinn came to me yesterday suddenly, so as to spoil my prayer,
    but Allah enabled me to overpower him, and so I caught him and intended to tie
    him to one of the pillars of the Masjid so that all of you might see him, but I
    remembered the invocation of my brother Solomon (as stated in the Qur’an): 'And
    bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me.' (Sad,
    38:35) so I dismissed him humiliated."

    Thus, the
    confrontation did happen, and the defeat of Satan was fast. Allah, all praise
    and glory be to Him, asked His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) to seek refuge with Him, and seeking refuge is to turn to Him for help.
    One can only ask help from someone who is stronger than him, and indeed
    stronger than the one trying to attack him.

    Superiority of Satan’s
    Element

    Satan possesses
    many characteristics by which he surpasses man, among such characteristics is
    his agility, our inability to see him, and his capacity to pervade our souls.
    Thus, what is demanded from us is to resort to the One, Who is Most Strong and
    All-Powerful, and no one is stronger against Satan than His Creator. And Allah
    is All-Hearer, All-Knower; He hears us whenever we seek refuge with Him, and
    knows from what we are seeking refuge. The Noble Qur’an says 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)

    The believers
    remembers the power that Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, possesses over
    the devil and they remember that the Law of Allah protects them against the
    devil and that the All-Watchful Eye of Almighty God is never inattentive to the
    servants. Therefore, The Truth, says in the Divine Hadith:

    “O
    My servants! If you think that I do not see you then the defect is in your
    faith, and if you do think that I see you then why did you let Me be the One
    Whom you care the least about of all those who are watching you?”
      

    As we have said
    Satan is viler and more combative when enticing the believers because the
    sinner has already helped the devil by obeying his desires and becoming a slave
    to them. Thus, the devil no longer needs a big effort to lead him astray. Bus
    as for the obedient believer, the devil surely needs a big effort with him to
    entrap him into sin.

    Thus, the devil
    can come to you with a provoking thought that infuriate you, drive you mad and
    you commit what may incur upon you the Anger of Allah, all because of a fit of
    temper.    
      

    The devil may
    also suggest to you, in hushed tones, devising a plan for you to realize the
    sin. As for evil whispering, it the devil’s unceasing endeavor. He creeps to
    you from your weak side, striving to endear to you sin and that is the
    permanent work of the devil - his mission.

    But what is
    (the influence of) the touch? Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says about
    those who devour Ribâ (usury or usurious interests) what means: 

    “Those who
    devour usury will not stand except as one whom the devil has prostrated by
    (his) touch will stand.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 275)

    As though the
    devil has touched the human constitution so the soundness of the faculties is
    corrupted. The human structure possesses a soundness of faculties in a way that
    makes every movement harmonious with the other. But when the devil touches a
    human that touched person loses the harmonious movement of his organs and his
    faculties come into collision and consequently his moves are irregular and
    irrational.

    In the
    Hereafter this is the description characteristic of the takers of usury and in
    worldly life it is characteristic of the irrational movement of man, in a way
    hysterical. When we contemplate the world today and what is happening in it we
    will find that turbulence and hysterics prevail. Like a man who bursts into a
    nursery school, which he does not know and have no enemies in it and kill all
    the children there without a reason, or when a man approaches a man he does not
    know and hurls him under the subway train.

    Complementarity….Not
    Repetition

    Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, created the universe on the basis of
    complementarity and not repetition. Therefore, talents and capabilities varied
    and man achieved progress in the universe. Logic would have dictated that the
    world should live comfortably and peacefully, because progress and development
    offered man the greatest fruits with the least effort and in the shortest time.

    Based on this
    reality is the world we are living in a rational one? No, we find the richest
    country in the world and the best as regards economic progress is the one
    teeming with psychological disorders as anxiety, sadness, depression,
    dejection, nervous tension, perversion and suicide. That is because the world
    we are complaining of today does not live according to the Law of Allah but
    according to desires and satanic allure. Therefore, the world is afflicted with
    hysterics, conflict, stumbling and falling. Truly, the world and its events
    looks now as a substantiation of the Saying of The Most Exalted, which
    means:          

    “Will not
    stand except as one whom the devil has prostrated by (his) touch will stand.”
    (Al-Baqarah, 2: 275)

    Why then do not
    the thinkers investigate the secret of this misery? Why do not they ask
    themselves about the cause behind all this wretchedness when they have from the
    means of material progress what may guarantee happiness to mankind! Why have
    not they searched when they had to?

    And if the
    calamity is general it excludes neither an underdeveloped nor a developed
    country but it reigns in all countries. Therefore, it must have a common cause
    and investigation must lead us to the conclusion that the world has strayed
    from the Law of Allah, thus worldly life became to us an end and not only a
    means. Also, wealth became our purpose and not only a necessary means for the
    movement of life and making the earth a prosperous place. For truly, wealth all
    belong to Allah Alone. None possesses it and when we die we shall leave worldly
    wealth to worldly life, so why then have people distorted its use and made it a
    goal itself? The answer in words: it is detachment from the Law of Allah.

    Worldly life
    cannot be an end, first because it is a limited period that will surely end;
    second because its enjoyments are but little and third because staying in it is
    uncertain because you can not guarantee to live the next hour.

    If we want to
    specify Satan’s mission in a few words, its basis is to make us forget that
    Allah exists and that He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. Man never steals, commits
    adultery or fornication, or kill while bringing to mind that Allah surely sees
    him and that He will punishes him for his crime. Had he remembered the
    punishment at the commission of the crime, he would have never dared. But
    Satan’s mission is to make us forget that Allah exists, for the one who commits
    a sin behind closed doors imagine that as long as he is concealed from people’s
    eyes then no one sees him and forgets that Allah hears and sees and nothing
    whatsoever is hidden from Him.

    At the end of
    this chapter we say: the way of Satan is to discover the weak points of man to
    pierce through. He portrays sin in a picture pleasing and agreeable to the
    soul, enveloping it in fake goodness. His chief concern is to entice the
    servants obedient to Allah, and he never leaves them. He incites man with
    provoking thoughts. He whispers to man what facilitates sinning. He adorns
    disobedience in his eyes. And if he overmasters man he touches him and causes
    him to lose the harmony of his movements thus his behavior turn into a kind of
    hysterics and floundering. Satan has many wiles of temptations but Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, helps His believing servants resist Satan and
    disobey him, and He leaves the disbelieving servants to Satan to make them sin
    more and go further astray. Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might,
    neither helps nor guides a disbeliever in Him.


    (9)
    The prayer of Muslims consists of Rak‘ât or Rak‘ahs (singular-rak‘ah).
    Rak‘ah represents a unit of the Prayer and consists of one standing, one bowing
    and two prostrations with a sitting in between.

    (10)
    I.e. belomancy: The pre-Islamic people used to use small arrows on some
    of which they wrote “Do”, and on the others they wrote “Do not do” in order to
    consult these arrows first before doing anything.

    (11)
    If the devil lures you to get angry, thus directing you away from
    forgiving the ignorant and towards punishing him then “seek refuge with Allah”,
    Allah commands here to seek refuge with Him from the devil’s whispers. 

     

     

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